Fragrance Reviews from August 2012

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    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma

    Fico di Amalfi opens with a brief shot of lemon before switching to a combination of citron and sparkling grapefruit that almost smells pear-like. The grapefruit and citron remain into the early heart notes now joined by a fig note with slight almost unnoticeable jasmine support. The grapefruit and citron combo finally recedes in the late heart and the fig takes over from here-on out, only coupling with a bit of light musk from the base. Projection and longevity are both average.

    I hate swimming against the tide of love this scent engenders, but I find it somewhat boring. The opening is not particularly striking as in many of the regular Acqua di Parma main line scents, and once the fig arrives, the scent becomes somewhat of a one trick boring act. The bottom line is like the other Blu Mediterraneo scent I reviewed yesterday (Bergamotto) I find Fico di Amalfi pleasant smelling, but that is about it and am wondering if we are seeing an early trend of mediocrity for the Blu line. Similar to its cousin, this one gets an average 2.5 star out of 5 rating. Not recommended to anyone but the most ardent fig lovers.

    05 August, 2012

    antiqueRose's avatar



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    Amarige by Givenchy

    my current favourite. a solid wall of intoxicating flowers, soft, sharp, fresh, sweet,everything you could wish for packed into a nuclear flower explosion. Actually, I find it almost addictive... it reminds me of a big bunch of fresh jonquils. Love it.

    05 August, 2012

    antiqueRose's avatar



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    Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

    new bottle=reformulation. Now not as complex and I believe it is missing some notes like rose for example. It is now more linear, doesn.t develop or go through stages. It is somehow more refined. It still retains the essence and essential character of the original. I would guess that many who couldn't wear the original could wear the latest version.

    05 August, 2012

    antiqueRose's avatar



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    Covet Sarah Jessica Parker by Sarah Jessica Parker

    There is a beautiful strong scented plant in my garden that I think is a type of honeysuckle, but smells a little like daphne, and it reminds me of covet. Covet dares to be different

    05 August, 2012

    antiqueRose's avatar



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    Beautiful by Estée Lauder

    A very classy, polished feminine floral. For when you want to impress

    05 August, 2012

    antiqueRose's avatar



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    Pleasures by Estée Lauder

    Does any one else find that this fragrance doesn,t hang together? My first impression is the distinct scent of a christmas tree in ones living room, then it changes to something else altogether! But I like it. Pleasant dry down.

    05 August, 2012

    antiqueRose's avatar



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    Vintage Muse by Kate Moss

    starts with a lovely strange haunting floral which is fleeting to be replaced by screechy notes. Disturbing but strangely likeable at the same time. It IS vintage, it makes me imagine a scene where you are having rhubarb pie with lashings of cream with your dear old grandmother in her fusty old house, with the smell of furniture polish eminating from antique furniture and the smell of linens and mothballs in a big old chest right next to your dining table!

    05 August, 2012

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aramis Cool Blend by Aramis

    Unlike most of the other fragrances with "Aramis" in their names, Cool Blend is a true flanker. The underlying basic Aramis accord comes through clear as day. With Cool Blend, imagine Aramis with a much crisper, drier edge. It is also a little bit lighter.

    The problem with Cool Blend is the middle and drydown stages. The Aramis scent is still there, but over time it gets overpowered by a weird, semi-dirty chemical smell that I truly cannot describe. What results is an unpleasant mess, like a fragrance that's trying too many things at once, and doesn't know what it wants to be.

    Aramis Cool Blend isn't quite terrible, but it's confused, and in the end it smells overly synthetic.

    MY RATING: 4.5/10

    05 August, 2012

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    DKNY Men (New) by Donna Karan

    Imagine a handful of silverware, just washed with dishwashing liquid, but not rinsed. Imagine jostling and grinding all those utensils in your hand, so that it creates an annoying, ear-shattering din of metal-on-metal. Imagine licking the utensils, still unrinsed, with the dried soap still on them. That's what DKNY Men smells like. Why on earth would anyone want to smell that, never mind smell LIKE that?

    This is quite simply the worst fragrance I have ever smelled to date.

    MY RATING: 1/10

    05 August, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Lancetti Uomo by Lancetti

    extremely poor on sillage, the fragrance itsel si interesting and sexy with no overblown notes. Sillage is extremely poor, needs to be overapplied, over and over and over!

    05 August, 2012

    dimplesg's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    DKNY Delicious Night by Donna Karan

    This is also my favourite from the 'Delicious' range. Its is mysterious and 'warm'. I don't find it to be a very heavy scent with my body chemistry.

    To be honest, I have had this scent a few years and forgot that I had it but rediscovering it again has been great.

    Definitely my typical scent - warm and comforting!

    05 August, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

    interesting frag, but extremely poor sillage and duration

    05 August, 2012

    rbaker's avatar



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    Bel Ami by Hermès

    On first impression this is a leather fragrance: leathery and a touch of citrus in the base notes. Patchouli, orange and cedar dictate the drydown, but after a few hours the basenote displays oakmoss abundantly and, eventually , this is what remains - oak moss, with a bit of vetiver and castorum added. Is remains quite discreet and inoffensive. No citrus blast like Creed CdR, not gasoline vibe like the openings of Knize Ten or Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather - this is a genlemanly restrained leather. A good longevity of over five hours on my skin. A good weekend leather frag. This is a review of the latest reformulated version.


    05 August, 2012

    Possum-Pie's avatar

    United States United States

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    New York Oud by Bond No. 9

    New York Oud has no oud scent that I can detect. It starts out with a sickly sweet plum mixed with rose. These two don't mix. Try Black Aoud by Montale if you are looking for Rose and oud, this is not worth the money. Like Most Bond no 9 fragrances it has incredible lasting power and Projection. Like someone else said... try New York Amber instead.

    05 August, 2012

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Polo Modern Reserve by Ralph Lauren

    Modern Reserve is a good example of a well-done flanker. In my opinion, flankers are most effective when they bear some resemblance to the precursor. MR shares the DNA of Polo through and through. It manages, I think, to outdo the current iteration of Polo Green. While the original was a power beast and sillage monster, the contemporary rendition seems watered-down, closer to a knockoff than the real thing.

    Modern Reserve recuperates Polo. Those that find the original dated might prefer MR's calmer approach. This manages to be more successful than Polo Crest, another flanker to which Modern Reserve has been compared. Crest was a bit too polished and tranquilized. MR restores the smoky leather of Polo and carries the family jewels well into the substantial longevity. Nice work. A caveat though: this is more old school than modern so those looking for a fresh, wispy clone of the current Macy's counter should look elsewhere.

    05 August, 2012

    Leora1987's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Jungle L'Éléphant by Kenzo

    Lovely statement fragrace which smells a lot like EsteeLauder's Cinnabar. There is nothing shy and retiring about this fragrance! It makes no excuses for being up front and in your face. I love it! It smells gorgeous from the moment it is sprayed to the last lingering remnants of the dry down.
    Other reviews have said that this is a Christmas perfume, I say if you can wear this fragrance, you can wear it anytime and I certainly would.
    Rate 5/5
    Sillage: go on I dare you!
    longevity : all day long
    Wonderfulnes: the Halle Orchestra.



    05 August, 2012

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blu Mediterraneo Mirto di Panarea by Acqua di Parma

    Mirto di Panarea opens with a now all too familiar combination of lemon and bergamot and other citrus with a mildly herbal undertone of basil and myrtle, and a salty accord that is relatively well-repressed. The salty citrus and its underlying herbal greens remain into the heart as the scent remains linear in its presentation throughout only slightly changing up things a bit when a base note of amber replaces the now highly dissipated citrus late. Projection is average and longevity is below average.

    It is now official... after having tried three of the four samples of the Blu Mediterraneo series I am pretty well convinced this segment of the Acqua di Parma brand is not for me. Like its sister scents I find Mirto di Pannarea to be extremely uninteresting and forgettable. The bergamot and lemon has been done so many times before and quite frankly done a lot better elsewhere. It also has been done by other scents in the Blu line, come to think of it... Why do these Blu line scents all seem like the same fragrance over and over again? I do like the amber dry-down, but it is nothing earth shattering and it is quite short-lived with no projection at all by the time it appears. Mirto di Panarea is yet another disappointing release in the generally disappointing Blu line, earning another average score of 2.5 stars out of 5. Skip it, says I.

    05 August, 2012

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blu Mediterraneo Sicilian Almond / Mandorlo di Sicilia by Acqua di Parma

    Mandorlo di Sicilia opens with a sweet almond, orange and creamy vanilla combination that resembles one of the worst smelling (and tasting) cream-orange liquid medications I had to take as a kid for cough and congestion called "Tussagesic." This root beer and Creamsicle monstrous hybrid opening calms down as the orange and creamy vanilla recede, allowing the almond to shine more brightly coupling with a now less creamy vanilla, mild anise and musk from the base that presents itself as support. Projection and longevity are both average.

    This is the most unique of the four Blu series scents I have sampled over the past week, and it also is easily the worst of them. Tussagesic's terrible taste and smell left an indelible mark on my childhood memories in the most negative of possible ways, and this scent has brought them all back. No one should have to pay to smell this kind of stuff, in my opinion. To be fair, Mandorlo di Sicilia does improve once you get past the open and early heart notes, but even this improvement is only to the point of the scent now being just "bad" instead of "absolutely terrible." I think I have had my fill of the Blu line and it would take a near-stratospherically innovative and interesting release to get me to return for more. I strongly recommend steering clear of this 1.5 to 2 star out of 5 stinker in particular.

    05 August, 2012

    PerfumeCollector's avatar

    United States United States

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    Scuderia Ferrari Extreme by Ferrari

    A common cedar perfume with bergamot opening and musky/oakmoss base, but what make this perfume to stand in a crowd of similar scents is the intense nutmeg in the heart that lingers during drydown givingthis perfume a very pleasant finish.
    I like it, but still is just a common cedar base scent with a bergamot opening, so it doesn't rise to a thumbs up in my book.

    05 August, 2012

    flathorn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jules by Christian Dior

    I really like this fragrance. I'm a woman, and tried it on myself. Yes, it's big, masculine and rough, but oh, so great-smelling.
    The classic leather chypre ambiance of this one is so balanced, alive and sexy it was instantly satisfying. Everything about it is just right. It might be too 'big' for me to wear, like putting on guy's boots, but I'd be drooling if I smelled this on a man, as it has such a big, sensual 'guy ambiance' about it. In spite of my hyperbole, it still has that slight chypre reserve and dryness, which adds to it's power. It could make up for any number of flaws in an actual man.
    I haven't researched this fragrance, but it is so classic, hitting all the dry, leather chypres notes just right that it seems familiar. Perhaps there have been many clones, or perhaps it is inherently 'right' in itself.

    05 August, 2012

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    154 by Jo Malone

    I've tried this many times. Each time, it develops a slightly sour-tangy note which I find unpleasant. Perhaps it is the patchouli. Some have talked of a metallic note, and I see that. Others mention leather, and while it is not strong on me, I can detect it.
    Just doesn't work for me. It is not a horrible scent, it might suit others.

    05 August, 2012

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza by Acqua di Parma

    A really well made fragrance for the lovers of the genre. What a bracing beginning! The first explosion of grapefruit-petit grain, tart citrus, aromatic-minty herbs, lymphatic  flowers and patchouli is refined, "frozen kind" and sharply classy. The juice is first of all cool and minty, furthermore floral with a great take on muguet and jasmine, than finally woody and musky with a touch of powder. While the original Colonia as well as the Assoluta (that in my opinion is slightly less aromatic than the Essenza) are more stressed on fruits, rose and orange (neroli), this version is really aromatic in its cool, refrigerating blast of sage, mint and verbena (oregano?) accompanied by the angular effect from grapefruit, petit grain and citrus, than  is floral in the heart with all the "violety" and intensely floral vibe from muguet and jasmine, finally is woody and musky with a touch of final soapiness. A strong note of patchouli imprints masculinity, and dark-cool boldness perceivable since the beginning.  A classically  crafted fragrance for a daring and charming kind of conservative man.

    05 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 06 August, 2012)

    Celia.D's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Chance Eau Tendre by Chanel

    Where this succeeds with me is it's longevity and sillage. Yes it goes on quite hairsprayey but its base notes are lovely and enduring on me. It is one of those perfumes that you get a lovely occassional waft of after several hours . This is a great choice for the office and IMHO a really good floral.

    05 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 06 August, 2012)

    Possum-Pie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Red Aoud by Montale

    I generally love Montale Paris scents... or hate them. Most I have to try several times before I know for sure. Red Aoud opens sweet and a bit spicy, only a trace of oud. While there is no vanilla or chocolate listed, there is a hint of them. Pepper and cinnamon hint also. It smells nice, just not for summer. This is strictly a cold weather fragrance.I wouldn't wear it often, but I would buy a small bottle for occasional use.

    05 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 28 August, 2012)

    flathorn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Muschio di Quercia / Oak Moss by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

    I can't add to Quarry's review, as it is spot on. I love chypres, so I love this, but to be honest, I don't know this is to me an oak moss fragrance. I have the essential oil and it is more the dark, dry ashy moss of vintage chypres.
    This one is much warmer, woodier and grassier. And wonderful. As Quarry said it is a walk outside in sun-warmed earth, fields and woods. I love naturalistic fragrances, and this one, with it's warm earth vibe, feels very easy-going and relaxing in the same way an actual walk might.
    Other reviews mentioned green, but it has little green ambiance to me. It's more an early spring or autumn walk, more about the other notes of the outdoors. A warm grassy vetiver is the biggest player in this to me, but what brings this alive is the feeling of sunshine warming all the notes, making them mid-tone, even that darkest and densest of wood inhabitants, oak moss. It is a companionable fragrance made more attractive by the fact of it's mostly natural ingredients. It's a linear fragrance, but as is usually said, when you love the note it is, you welcome the fact it doesn't change. Bottle worthy!

    05 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 04 January, 2013)

    tourmaline's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rumeur (original) by Lanvin

    This is of course for the vintage version.

    I have tried two concentrations: the Eau Rumeur (which is EDT) and a small official sample vial of Rumeur parfum. They are VERY different from each other. The Eau Rumeur is heavy on the aldehydes, and is a normative aldehydic floral along the lines of vtg Baghari or even vtg White Linen. Very aldehydic floral and not all that original. The fragrance in the small vial of parfum is completely different. It is a very spicy (I agree with others that it smells a bit ginger-y) suede or leather-y perfume. Somewhat medicinal smelling but quite unique and nice. I would never in a million years think that My Eau Rumeur and my Rumeur parfum sample were the same fragrance or even related. They smell totally different. I'm not sure if the parfum sample I have is in great condition or if it once smelled entirely different than it does now...

    06 August, 2012

    k8pierro's avatar

    United States United States

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    Beyond Love by By Kilian

    Having heard it so highly touted as the best tuberose since Fracas--and one of the best solifores of modern time--I ordered a sample of this a year or two ago. Out of the bottle, I thought it a little too overwhelmingly sweet tuberose and can't even recall if I tried it on or not. Yesterday, as I was dressing to attend an outdoor party on a hot day, I hit upon this as perhaps the perfect thing: sweet, fowery, tropical, lush, something that, in moderation, would not offend or seem too pretentious for day wear.

    My impression while wearing it was that it was a bit unidimensional, as others have noted, perhaps even a bit boring. But then, I must confess that I am a vintage snob and love those highly structured perfumes of yesterday that unfolded over the course of a day or two. Lately, I've been trying to open up my fragrance vocabulary and admit more modern creations, like Beyond Love.

    For the first few hours, this was all pleasant enough, and I felt it had been a good choice for the occasion. Soon, at least by three hours, it seemed to disappear on me and I thought no more of it until when, about seven hours after application (and fortunately back at home), I was assailed by the most horrid "leathery" smell. It was not a pleasant fresh kid glove leather smell, nor a rich Russian leather smell, nor even a "toe of my mistress' Patchouli-laden boot in my face" leather smell, but an inside of stinky, old shoe leather smell. I kept wondering where this offensive smell was coming from when I realized it was me! A check of my pulse points confirmed this was where the scent was strongest, and I can only assume it was the final dry down of Beyond Love and not something I ate. Looking at the list of ingredients, I am guessing it was the synthetic ambergris. I've applied other synthetic ambergris before and liked it, but who knows the provenance of this one.

    I write this as a warning to anyone who may consider wearing Beyond Love to a public event before trying it at home, as I so foolishly did. If you'd like my sample of Beyond Love, I'd be happy to forward it, so you can perhaps test and see whether Beyond Love transforms you, too, into a stinky old shoe.

    06 August, 2012

    knit at nite's avatar

    United States United States

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    Allure Homme by Chanel

    To my mind, this is one where all the money went into the topnotes, which are a beautiful citrusy peppery blend. But that phase is very fleeting on my skin- the remainder feels so synthetic and chemical. Such a shame.

    06 August, 2012

    k8pierro's avatar

    United States United States

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Ouarzazate by Comme des Garçons

    I had a sample of this a year or two back and loved it. I used it nearly every day and used it up quickly! The only reason I haven't yet bought a bottle is that I'm too busy spending all my money on vintage and essential oils for my own blending.

    Like a dry, resinous wind coming over the mountains and carrying the peppery spice of the bazaar, yet never cloying or overpowering. A scent that evokes your own, lonely wanderlust. Highly recommended for men or women who love incense.

    06 August, 2012

    k8pierro's avatar

    United States United States

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    "This was my mother's perfume..." Thus probably begins many reviews of Chanel No. 5. I have seen people accuse it of being an "old lady" perfume. I can't say I find the scent to be "old lady" so much as "perfume." For me, those perfumey aldehydes just don't work. On me, it smells like hostess soap. As a young woman, just establishing herself after college, I preferred the crisp, green of No. 19.

    On my mother, however, it was lovely. She had many fine fragrances in her collection, but No. 5 was "hers." My cousin Joan wore Shalimar, her sister Irene wore Je Reviens, and their mother, my Aunt Mary, wore Joy. On each, her chosen perfume was lovely, but whereas my 20-something-cousins seemed to "wear" their perfume, my mother and my Aunt became their fragrance, or rather, it became them. After having so often complimented my cousin Irene on her Je Reviens, she gifted my mother with some. It was awful on her; it smelled like the worst possible cheap soap (even worse than No. 5 smells on me). It was hard to convince her that on her this wasn't the exquisite essence it was on my cousin, and I was left with no great opinion of Je Reviens. Thankfully, my mother returned to her No. 5.

    Many years later, as I kissed my cousin Irene good-bye after a visit, I was greeted with the most entrancing scent. "What are you wearing!?" I asked, astonished. "Je Reviens," she answered, as if to say, "what else?" I had not remembered it being so wonderful. Not long after, when I visited her sister Joan, I was greeted by the most celestial garden of spice, and after the same, shocked "What are you wearing!?" she nodded, knowingly, "Shalimar." Years earlier, I had not sensed the spiciness of that "powdery" vanilla.

    What is this long tale meant to illustrate (apart from that the women in my family have excellent taste in perfume)? That, even among the closest family members, there will be great variation in how fragrances present. We all know as much. But there is a theory I have developed from this experience as to why some people consider perfumes like No. 5 to be "old lady" perfumes--because their best expression is achieved on older women, and so we associate the scent with older women. My cousins had to grow into their perfumes; the fragrance, likewise, evolved on them. This isn't simply a matter of maturity or class. As women's body chemistry changes, as their skin density changes, so too, I believe, does their fragrance. (Not to be too sexist, here, I imagine the same happens with men, but we don't yet have a generation of mature men here in America who boldly wear what are considered "women's" perfumes to test this theory.)

    Not long before her death, as I brought my lips to my mother's cheek to kiss her goodbye, I smelled the most perfect perfume. I couldn't describe it as anything in particular--just the most wonderful and perfect scent of a woman. When I asked the inevitable "What are you wearing!?" she said, "Chanel No. 5, as always."

    06 August, 2012

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