Fragrance Reviews from August 2012

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    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    L'Homme de Coeur by Divine

    What a joyous opening – the juniper gives an impression of crushed needles of conifers, one could be lost in a forest. This is obviously not an effect that is easy to achieve otherwise it would be much more widely prevalent, and it must certainly not be confused with what usually passes for ‘pine’ and the like in scents. This is surging, vital, rich. (There is also a faint trace of cat piss, but it doesn’t bother me in this instance.)
    The iris here is surprising too, rising gently from within, lending depth, dryness and a certain softness without any suggestion of powder. The picture shifts subtly all the while until the woods and vetiver that are the backbone of this perfume come into view.
    A refreshing, life-enhancing creation. It isn’t strong, so perhaps best for days when one hankers for a lighter perfume. Longevity around 4 hours for me, after which the barest trace lingers.

    08 August, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Nombril Immense by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Here patchouli trades in her furry velvets for chiffon and sandalwood rises from its usual metallic compactness to a mousse-like frivolité. Turning dense notes airy and light is Nombril Immense’s little trick, and it strikes one as pretty clever for about two minutes. Ultimately there’s nothing distinctive here. The base is baby powder bedding down for the night with a lavendery cologne.

    08 August, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Red Cattleya by Olympic Orchids

    I love the audacity of the tropical fruit punch opening – an unreal juiciness, a bit like those boiled sweets that are so concentrated that they embody the idea of fruit rather than the reality. An all-weather scent that will lift spirits in winter. Whereas some of the Olympic Orchids have headache-inducing projection, this one is more polite. There’s a hint of musk in the base, but I miss the subtlety a touch of wood may have added. On the whole this is a top heavy composition, with little by way of a grounding base – so when those fruity notes start to turn fuzzy some hours in, one is left with pretty indistinct sweet slop.

    08 August, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Charmes et Feuilles by Different Company

    Utterly charming. One of those ‘What is it?’ scents, but so light and breezy, you give up trying to figure it out and just go with it. The herbs are airy and abstracted and they encircle the lightest of jasmines in a cheerful green dance. What Miyake’s A Scent could have been if it had been structured better. Towards the end of its cycle a cardamom note develops that makes the wearer smell like a milky pudding; the only miss-step.

    08 August, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Womanity by Thierry Mugler

    They got so much wrong with Womanity, from the clunky name that defies attempts to pronounce it naturally, to the thrift store goth metalwork on the bottle coupled with baby pink juice, to the near-fatal blow: announcing it had a caviar note. This last truly frightened some, with kneejerk reactions of ‘Ewww, this smells of fish’. The suggestibility of the human mind even got some others to claim this was eau de pudenda; if that’s the case then I can only say, as Germaine Greer once did, ‘Lady, love your c***.’
    Unlike a creation like Secretions Magnifiques which deserves every horror heaped upon its head, Womanity appears to be quite a misunderstood thing. It breaks new ground in two ways: it is a departure from the maximalism of Angel and AMen and so strikes a different pose to what is expected of a Mugler perfume at this stage in the game, and it offers a novel pathway to the dead-end the fig note had run down after the early brilliance of creations like Philosykos which made later fig fumes seem somewhat derivative.
    In Womanity the proposition was of a fig that was clean and light to begin with, all foliage and sap, nestling on a deepening sweetness that appears to my nose to be more a fruity fortification of the enticing fig leaf smell rather than the odour of the fig fruit as such (which has vegetal characteristics that are absent here). There were no coconutty distractions, instead what lay beneath the structure was a solid but unobtrusive woody note, providing firm and inconspicuous support like an underwired bra. What appeared to be frost on its surface was fine crystalline salt, a marine tang that seemed to freeze the perfume at its various stages (though its slow evolution after the headnotes can give the impression of linearity) and yet freshen and sharpen it and make it something to savour. The salt provides Womanity’s central contrast between its luscious, tasty aspect and its abiding cool, cooked-up-in-a-lab face.
    So what we have is a cool, sweet and salty fig fume which has brilliant tenacity yet feels light and wears well in summer; a wonder no-one else thought of it before. True, it has more of the vibe of something poured from a test tube rather than plucked from a tree. It has clear, defined contours, rather than hidden depths. I recall Chandler Burr’s first reaction to it in that BBC documentary. Startled look at camera, before re-sniffing his forearm and announcing with big smile: Does [pause] Not [pause] Disappoint.

    08 August, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Rush by Gucci

    A message from a friendly planet with a glitterball moon. It’s odd and it’s right and it makes one yearn to travel the galaxy and search out where this came from.
    Cloaked in plastic milkiness, a heart of chemical peach and pared-down dirt-free jasmine pulses, its fluorescence filtering through the whiteout.
    This is at once etiolated and full on – the scent equivalent of Debbie Harry’s vocal on Heart of Glass. And just as swoon worthy.

    08 August, 2012

    Cecren's avatar



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    Sira des Indes by Jean Patou

    Just tried this one for the first time - I've always preferred Guerlain.

    It goes on like a fat dowager in old furs and made me gag at first - it's eyewatering stuff even in dilute format.

    But an hour later, it's sweet and warm with a prickle at the back of the nose I haven't the specialist vocabulary to describe. I might use this again for it's novelty value, but is it more of winter scent than a summer one?

    08 August, 2012

    bluehobbit's avatar



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    cK One Shock for Him by Calvin Klein

    Good stuff this.
    Starts off very sweet and strong for about an hour reminds me a bit of cough mixture maybe thats the red bull note? and then as it dries down it stops projecting as much and gets more creamy. Lasts about 4-5 hours.
    Although the bottle is a bit loud its safe to wear for work its not going to over power anyone.
    Worth trying if you want something inexpensive and sweet

    08 August, 2012

    bluehobbit's avatar



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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    Awesome. I love it. My only problem is it reminds me of shockwaves hair get from the 1990's
    I dont think its as popular in the Uk as it used to be i think the the kids have moved on to 1 million and other frags now.
    Its fairly linear which suits me fine no worrying about what its going to develop into and its strong. 2 sprays at most are all you need. Its almost like someone lets off a mint and vanilla bomb. Good for nights out, might be too cloying in summer when its hot

    08 August, 2012

    bluehobbit's avatar



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    Fuel For Life pour Homme by Diesel

    hmm somedays i really like this other i don't
    Its very very sweet to start with to the point where its sweet overkill with the Grapefuit blast and it stays like that for a good while abour 2 hours i think.
    It does eventually calm down a little but still sweet. Lasts for about 8 hrs and projects decently as well - but try it before buying cause the sweetness will be a deal breaker for some

    08 August, 2012

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Isfarkand by Ormonde Jayne

    Citrus, cardamom and peppery vetiver. This is often compared to Terre d'Hermes and I can see the similarity; it has lime in place of orange however, and it isn't as potent. I find it closer to another lime/cardamom scent, namely Kenzo Jungle pour Homme, although the latter is more lactonic. Anyway Isfarkand is rather good but too close to two scents I already own, so I shan't be picking it up. Longevity is average.

    08 August, 2012

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Zizan by Ormonde Jayne

    Tart citrus, dry cedar and pepper. Not unpleasant but a bit boring really, nothing to get excited about. Reminds me a little of Flash 'Crisp Lemons' multipurpose cleaner (which is quite good incidentally). The weakest of the Ormonde Jayne line IMO.

    08 August, 2012

    Marifragr's avatar



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    Robe d'Un Soir (original) by Carven

    Like promqueen I adore this fragrance. I've never had any better scent (and everyone who smelled me, loved it). How come they discontinue such a winner? Any suggestions?

    08 August, 2012

    rynegne's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rume by Slumberhouse

    Rume will be my go-to this winter. It's a thick resinous fragrance with a light spice and hint of clove. I really like how the clove is used in comparison to other Slumberhouse fragrances. The smell of Rume instantly reminds me of Christmas and winter. It's a very unique and powerful fragrance that I'd recommend to those that like thick, sappy resinous scents in the forefront with a sweet honey and spice note in the background. Josh has really created something special with Rume. Easily my favorite in his Slumberhouse line.

    08 August, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Alien Eau Luminescente by Thierry Mugler

    Of the four summer Alien flankers that l've tried, this is the most authentically similar to the original. The mandarin note is extremely subtle to my nose. An hour in, the tiare note becomes discernable, & from here the scent becomes creamier & almost powdery. l like this, but l'm giving it a neutral because the longevity is not so good; it fades considerably after ninety minutes, & is barely detectable after four hours. Still, a nice, light version of Alien suitable for hot weather, as long as you're prepared to reapply often.

    08 August, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Alien Aqua Chic by Thierry Mugler

    A fresh & zingy lemon in the opening, lightly spiced with ginger. Shortly after, however, l get a strangely swampy aquatic note, which to my nose does not fit with the rest of this fragrance at all. Thankfully, the familiar solar accord of the original shows up after around twenty minutes, joined a little while later by a quite lovely freesia note. This is the most floral of the summer Alien flankers that l've tried, & when the amber kicks in after two hours, it's really very nice. lt's fading after five hours, but still detectable after seven.
    lf it weren't for that weird swampy phase, this would probably be on my to-buy list as a summer version of Alien.

    08 August, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Alien: Le Gôut du Parfum / The Taste of Fragrance [Salted Butter Caramel] by Thierry Mugler

    Does exactly what it says on the tin; it's Alien with a sweet, salty, boozy aspect, like caramelised pecans with a dash of amaretto, yum! The amber base is sweeter & much more prominent than in the original, & the jasmine less obvious. lt mellows to a skin scent after six hours, but is still traceable after twelve. A delicious gourmand, although l think it may prove a little too sweet for me over time.

    08 August, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Alien: Liqueur de Parfum by Thierry Mugler

    This is a sweetened-up Alien with a soft almond note. lt progresses in linear fashion, as a warmer, more golden & ambery version of the original, with a honeyed rather than boozy character, to my nose. The jasmine is far less "supersonic" here, & it fades to an almondy, ambery skin scent after four hours, lasting altogether around seven.
    This was a successful blind buy for me, & l will enjoy it while it lasts as a "friendlier" version of my soon-to-be-finished bottle of the original. lt falls around halfway between the original & the new Essence Absolue in terms of difference, & l prefer it to the Taste of Fragrance version, which is a little too sweet for me. Essence Absolue will be reserved for "special" nights, while this will be my more casual option.

    08 August, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Alien Essence Absolue by Thierry Mugler

    This is recognisably Alien, with a spicy, peppery edge to the opening, & the woods apparent quite early on. A few minutes in, a strong, marzipan-like note of heliotrope emerges, persisting for a good while, & almost veering a little powdery when the orris makes it's appearance. Through it all though, there's an intoxicating whiff of smoke, becoming stronger in the drydown of a rich, dark & smoky vanilla. l don't detect any animalic notes, but l've yet to wear this in the heat, which usually brings them out on my skin.
    This is very much an oriental version of Alien, & l would say, much easier for a man to wear than the original. lt's warmer, woodier, more golden, & more complex with its nuances of smoke & spice. Sillage & longevity are excellent. lt's deliciously plush & velvety, (with a nod to Mimi for her use of two of my favourite words!) & in my opinion the most swoon-worthy Alien flanker yet. Absolutely no regrets on this blind buy; an absolute must-try for all you Alien lovers out there!

    08 August, 2012

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Urban Edge by Avon

    The bottle is great but the fragrance isn't. Totally generic in every way, this is a metallic, sour suede and violet leaf woody fragrance, like a million others. The violet leaf adds nothing of value to this scent, and when it combines with the so-called suede note, the fragrance smells like gasoline and metal. I smell none of the patchouli that Avon says is the showcase note in here.

    The one good thing I can say is that it's somewhat pleasant to wear if you apply it lightly.

    MY RATING: 5/10

    08 August, 2012

    Str8_SHAVER's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Oud Stars : Alexandria by Xerjoff

    well ok, 1st impressions... on application everything is exploding, before finding a resting place... you can smell the sweetness, the florals, the woodiness(?) nothing appears to dominate... it reminds my wife of toffee apples... it settles to become not overly sweet or floral, due to the oud giving it a certain 'darkness' and depth, which at times has that Gao feel to it.... for those that feel the notes suggest a more 'feminine' fragrance can rest at ease, because as it progresses, it becomes an entirely different beast....the lavender when it appears, gives it a burnt 'feel', which adds a very unexpected edge....All of this within the 1st hour.... this is one of those fragrances which will reveal more and more with each wearing..... so all can say is that so far, this is my kind of fragrance.... it has plenty going on, and delights me with its journey... a risky blind buy, some might say, but for me .... I'm loving it!!

    08 August, 2012

    SirScent's avatar

    United States United States

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    Curve Crush for Men by Liz Claiborne

    It just goes to show, beauty is in the eye of the beholder or the wearer in this case.
    Poor Curve Crush has received a bad rap according to the reviews here.

    Curve Crush is synthetic yes, but this formula works much better for me than the Original Curve for Men.

    Curve Crush is fresher and fruitier and not cloying.

    The original Curve for Men smells great on others but not on me. I just get a synthetic fresh cut grass vibe that is not pleasing to my nose.

    Curve Crush however works well for me and is enjoyable and receives complements.

    Don't count this one out if the Original Curve doesn't work for you.
    To my nose it is a keeper for casual wear.

    08 August, 2012

    crono38's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chrome by Azzaro

    Smells like an aquatic but is very weak on me. You should buy this if you want a fresh, smooth scent. I like it but it disappeared within an hour on me.

    Sillage- 3
    Scent -7

    Test this before you buy. It might last better on you. If this is your first fragrance you won't be disappointed, I think it's pretty modern and smells good to many young people.

    08 August, 2012

    crono38's avatar

    United States United States

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    H.M. by Hanae Mori

    Of the 4 fragrences I tested today this is the sweetest. People keep saying it smells like lemon. Maybe it does, but to me it smells sweet like sugar. Maybe it's lemon, think pink lemonade without the bitterness, just sweet lemonade.

    You ever try Aqualina's Sugar? Neither have I, but this might be what it smells like, a sweet sugar bordering on girly. But still I think it's a decent scent. Test before you buy.

    Slilage 5
    Scent 7

    08 August, 2012

    Backtable's avatar

    United States United States

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    Musgo Real No. 1 Orange Amber by Claus & Schweder

    Immediately upon application I was struck by a strong sense of deja vu....I had smelled this somewhere before...nice orange floral and bergamont at the opening...and then it hit me: 4711. This smells very much like 4711 except stronger and more tightly formulated and with far less alcohol in the mix.

    I don't really care much for 4711, but for me this somehow succeeds were 4711 doesn't. It lasts longer although less so than I would have anticipated for the money, and it has a light yet distinctive hint of musk in it, which mixed with the amber and orange spice also produces an underlying dry down reminiscent of Acqua Classica by Borsari. I like it and suspect it will grow on me. Seems a very good choice for a summer scent.

    08 August, 2012

    crono38's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aramis by Aramis

    My skin has a tendency to tone down fragrances. But while testing 4 different fragrences most of them fresh on my 2 hands this smelled the weakest. But while it lasted it smelled first like leather and dried down to something ok. On a tester strip and clothing it smells stronger and proably lasts longer. Doesn't work on my skin, but I'm willing to bet it smells good on someone else.

    Sillage 3
    Scent 4.5

    08 August, 2012

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Mayotte / Mahora by Guerlain

    Mayotte apparently replaced Mahora in 2006, & is supposed to be the same fragrance. However, according to Surrender to Chance, there are slight differences between them. Their site lists Mahora's notes as orange, almond blossom, ylang-ylang, neroli, tuberose, jasmine, sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla. The list for Mayotte is the same, except that the orange & almond blossom are replaced by frangipani. l was curious to try both, & so here are my impressions of each;
    Mahora begins with a sustained burst of aldehydes, with the "snuffed candle" aspect very much to the fore, & a sweetish, burnt coconut edge. lt takes about an hour for this burnt note to subside completely, allowing centre stage to the hothouse flowers, mainly tuberose & jasmine to my nose. A warm, creamy, tropical floriental follows, drying down into a gorgeously milky sandalwood & vanilla base, given interest by just a whisper of vetiver. lt fades to a skin scent around four hours in. After that first hour, this is right up my street, being a lover of both tropical & oriental perfumes. To find the two genres combined is something quite unique in my experience. l'm not sure l'd buy this, but l will enjoy using up my sample.
    Mayotte has the same burnt-smelling opening, but with less sweetness, & it seems to recede more quickly. The florals feel a little more tropical, l guess because of the frangipani, but the difference is very subtle indeed. Where this version is lacking is in the base, which is far less rich & full, & fades to almost nothing after only two & a half hours!
    Of course these differences may be partly due to ageing, etc., but based on my testing, Mahora is hands down the winner, because of that luscious drydown. Four stars for Mahora, only two for Mayotte.

    08 August, 2012

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Antica Acqua di Colonia by Ai Monasteri

    This is a charming little old-school EdC. It has light citrus, lavender, herbal and musk notes. It is not as crisp and assertive as Aqua di Parma, but it is in that style. It has a round, slightly soapy quality in the dry-down. It sits very close to the skin and smells very natural throughout. No one would be offended by this.

    08 August, 2012

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    28 La Pausa by Chanel

    A bright, impeccable iris-vetiver. It is fleeting – consider this a sort of iris cologne – but delightful while it lasts. The iris is alternately doughy, steely and a touch leathery, with woody undertones throughout. The drydown is less plush than that of other Chanels, its floral chorus dimmed considerably. This is one of those fragrances that I want to spray from arm-length height, half a dozen times, and then twirl in the descending mist.

    08 August, 2012

    jujy54's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chunga by Weil

    A quality Weil from the late 70s, leathery yet aldehydic and floral. Fleeting, alas.

    08 August, 2012

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