Fragrance Reviews from May 2013

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    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka

    Au Masculin is sweet in the way Brit for Men is sweet, which is to say that I don't find them of the dessert variety. Neither strikes me as overly gourmand, mercifully, since I tire quickly of cookie dough note breakdowns.

    Plenty of others have captured the flavor (and aroma) of this one. As someone who does not like black licorice, I surprisingly find this lovely and wearable. Nicely done, LL.

    01st May, 2013

    rogalal's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cereus Pour Homme No. 14 by Cereus

    This is one of those perfumes where the notes list gives a completely inaccurate idea of what it should smell like.

    It owes a rather obvious debt to A*Men Pure Coffee and New Haarlem, with their butterscotch caramel and coffee topped with aromatic lavender. It's got a shot of that papery tobacco made famous by Le Male as well. Then, the whole thing is topped off by a metallic aquatic "woody amber" haze, which gives it more of a designer feel.

    Honestly, Cereus is fairly expensive. You could get a small bottle of New Haarlem for about the same price, which is better in terms of artistry, concentration, and longevity. Unless you're such a fanatic for that over-used aquatic bleach smell that you actually think it improves the perfumes that it's added to (in which case you might want to avoid my reviews...), there's not much reason to bother with No. 14

    01st May, 2013

    kaizer121's avatar



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    Midnight in Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels

    I'm reviewing the EDT, not the EDP. I like this scent, but I can't honestly put my finger on why. It definitely smells unisex, I could see a woman wearing it (I got Shalimar with it today, and while the opening is more feminine the drydown of that supposedly women's fragrance is much more masculine than this is). That's not a bad thing. I often (though not always) find overly masculine fragrances not to be my style.

    Having said that I feel like this almost smells generic. I hate to say that because this smells REALLY GOOD but I can't pick out any prominent notes. Honestly, if you asked me what it smells like, I'd probably tell you "Uhhh... cologne?" I get some vanilla, which is odd since that's not a note. I get a little bit of leather. I get some kind fo aquatic almost beachiness in the opening. But I can't really put my finger on WHAT it smells like. Ergo, it's kind of generic.

    Having said THAT, this is the best executed fragrance for the money I've ever owned. For less than $40 (4.2 OZ) there isn't a better deal than the EDT on the market to my knowledge. It smells high class, almost like a niche as opposed to a designer. Any guy can wear it because it's so generic, because that makes it a bit versatile. And I'd be remiss not to mention the gorgeous bottle.

    Overall, I'd say it's worth a buy. It's a safe and affordable blind buy option.

    01st May, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    Sandalwood by Caswell-Massey

    The top notes states with a spicy note, that soon gives way to the sandalwood core that made this scent famous. It is a clean, saturated and fairly unadulterated sandalwood, less fresh than the opening of Creed's Bois de Santal, and without the delightful lightness of Tam Dao, but a very convincing wood note nonetheless.  In the drydown after the first couple of hours it divulges a creaminess that looses the wood note a bit for a while whilst morphing into a barbershop soapy impression of the highest order.  Later whiffs of the sandalwood reappear playfully, with a greenish-herbal impression in the background adding a hint a dirtiness at times.  Silage and projection are good, longevity is an impressive seven hours on me. One of the most convincing sandalwood scents.

    01st May, 2013

    khrystyna's avatar



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    Still Life by Olfactive Studio

    i loved the smell on its own, fresh and sparkling. yet it turned too aquatic on me...

    01st May, 2013

    bookwyrmsmith's avatar

    United States United States

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    Languor by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    From the Sin & Salvation section .
    "An opiate torpor,soporific,trancelike and sublimely languid.A poet's morphine dream ,a listless journey into a gentle dream and the precipice of intoxicated madness.
    (Notes ?) Paperwhite,Black Narcissus,three lillies, Black poppy,Tuberose,and a hint of hypnotic opium den haze.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Review to come. So far quite nice ,but I am testing three things at once .I'll review after wearing it alone.

    01st May, 2013

    Gloway's avatar



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    Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    A good perfume indeed! On some website, it is said this perfume was released in 1991. If that's the case, it should be the first perfume under SL name.
    The santal here is very present. It is not all about cummin and other spicies.In the early stage, cummin and curry take a lot space. But in the middle, the woody and creamy sweet shows in full body. The cummin is still detectable in late dry down but it is very subtal. The perfume doesn't smell stink by any mean. It is just spicy and hot. Overall, it is smooth santal with a bit spicy edge.

    01st May, 2013

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fleur de Rocaille by Caron

    Glaring, raucous, loud and cheap - this is a floral medley from 1993 that smells like the proverbial "old lady" perfume and a tiny bit of it gives the impression you've bathed in a tub of it.

    Very sweet, overpowering and most unpleasant. If I didn't know Caron better, I'd believe it was a joke played on an unsuspecting public.

    01st May, 2013

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    A woman weighing in on Terre d'Hermes: When-o-when are we going to stop defining every scent as masculine or feminine and just wear well-made scents that smell good to us, with confidence, as that's all takes to pull any scent off with panache. Whether you're male or female, Terre d'Hermes is a great scent. I'm wearing the parfum version of it as I type this and I know that if it was bearing a Serge Luten's label, there would be more reviews from women about how wonderful it is. It's all about perception...and marketing.

    01st May, 2013

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    The One Sport by Dolce & Gabbana

    i got a steal. the 8ml bottle for 4 bucks and i have been liking it very much so. the pyramidis quite misleading though.no cardamon or patchouli but a nice overdose of aquatics and a nice musk background. this is the standout from the "one"series. don't put it off because of the other 2 frags,very nice and safe summer scent.

    01st May, 2013

    dvdlpznyc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oud Stars : Zafar by Xerjoff

    Propulsive polyphony! Oud is allowed to be Oud. There's no counterfeiting or camouflaging. There are, of course, additional ingredients to make the situation a little more embracing, but none of them are meant to distract from the featured component. The star shines. Of all the Oud fragrances I've experienced, Zafar is most resemblant to the two different bottles of Oud oil with which I am sadly long since departed. Of all the Oud compositions I've encountered, this is the most respectful to the inherent qualities I'm desiring most. Again, the other aspects--Cedar, Vetiver, Neroli--are all beautiful, but this is all about Oud.

    01st May, 2013

    Sniffmonkey's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Lys Fume by Tom Ford

    I was SO excited about this. I adore the scent of lilies, and the idea of a perfume that amps up the narcotic aspect of the flower and adds some sexy, smoky power to it was thrilling. There is no way I could not like this, so (yet again) I bought unsniffed.

    Well, this is a pretty, fairly linear lily soliflore. It's more high-pitched than I'd expected from a Tom Ford. But where is the FUME?!! I can detect no smoke, no tar, no spice... nothing to dirty it up at all. It's fine, but from this brand - the progenitor of Black Orchid, Tuscan Leather, even Tobacco Vanille, and for this amount of money, I expected something much more.

    01st May, 2013

    Card Board's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    New York by Nicolaï

    This perfume seems to embody some of the best elements of classic male citric-spicy-sweet-orientals of the 1970s-1980s, as if in 1989, Nicolai took the best of the genre for those decades and refined it all into New York. While sharing aspects with numerous other perfumes of its time, there is something about New York that I find much more warm, inviting, nuanced, self-assuredly humble, and comforting than the others. It walks a perfect line between the bitter-citric, spicy, and sweet moves one associates with the era, keeping those elements acutely balanced. It is a bit mysterious to me that while I note the warmer, sweeter elements of this fragrance, they are hardly there when sniffed close, leaving me to wonder if this smells even better from a few feet away.

    New York evokes, to me, classy menswear of the 1980s, and those who wore it with style and ease. While not entirely unique or groundbreaking, it is among the best in its class, if not the best, and could easily become a go-to perfume for practically any occasion, especially the office. If this is niche, it is more by association than smell, yet it is a step above the scents to which it is frequently compared, and in my opinion, worth the extra money. Some will say it is dated, but to me that means it does not smell like what others are wearing; and besides, my generation and those younger probably would not pick up on it anyway. A child of the 70s-80s, this strikes me as classic, timeless, and comforting.

    01st May, 2013

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Endymion by Penhaligon's

    A light, likeable gourmand/oriental of diminutive proportions. Some warm spice notes and a single coffee granule on a background of lavender & vanilla. Endymion shares some similarities with Kristiansand New York in scent, but its density is more ethereal. It also reminds me of New Haarlem by Bond No 9: nowhere near as potent - but closer to that than La Nuit de L'Homme. Sillage is low; longevity is quite good, even if it is more or less a skin scent for most of the 8 hours I get from 6 sprays. This does render it a reasonable choice for warmer weather where other scents of the same genre might prove cloying. Unisex.

    01st May, 2013

    Adrastea's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Amethyst by Bath and Body Works

    Reminds me of mens cologne. Not too over powering. I would not buy it again though because I prefer a more fruity scent.

    01st May, 2013

    Adrastea's avatar

    United States United States

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    Moonlight Path by Bath and Body Works

    Far too sweet to be uni sex although it does have a very clean smell reminding me of a lot of colognes. This is one of my favorite bath and body works collections because the smell lasts and it is not too strong, not too fruity. It reminds me of clean laundry.

    01st May, 2013

    Adrastea's avatar

    United States United States

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    Carried Away by Bath and Body Works

    Not really impressed. To me it smells too sweet and reminds me of barbie perfume.

    01st May, 2013

    Adrastea's avatar

    United States United States

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    Velvet Tuberose by Bath and Body Works

    I'm sure I would love this on someone else but I find it way too overpowering. A very old timey smell.

    01st May, 2013

    directinprint's avatar



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    Santal Blush by Tom Ford

    If you like Crabtree & Evelyn's Sandalwood collection, you will like this. I'm not sure how different TF Santal Blush is from C&E's EdT Sandalwood, but in my memory, it's a near exact match.

    For fun, I tested side by side TF Santal Blush, Tam Dao by Diptyque, and Santal Sacre by Lucky Scents. This is what I found - the person who said this isn't a dry scent was right... it's "juicier" than the others; where TD is warm as a sandalwood, almost a gourmand, and SS is spicy and dry, TF is moister. It is longer lasting than SS, and more bitter than TD. The cedar seems to come out in the heart note, it's not immediate.

    For reference, my favourite sandalwood so far is Santal Sacre, but this one's definitely worth a bottle (for me). I also waited several hours for the base note to come out. (Dude's right who says it's mostly linear, but it does lighten) and layered some Serge Luten's Feminte du Bois. Yes, we have a winner.

    Today I applied Tom Ford SB to my arms, with some tiny dabs of Bond No9 I love New York on the wrists. This afternoon, after those are dried down, I'll add FdB... By the time I get home I'm going to smell like I've been sitting in a cedar sauna, burning sandalwood incense and chewing on vanilla beans all day :)

    01st May, 2013

    insomniac's avatar

    United States United States

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    New York by Nicolaï

    Some scents are timeless. Others should be shoved back into the time machine, and PdN NY is one of them.

    The vision I get from smelling NY (after the initial headache) is that of an elderly undertaker spritzing it on the corpse of an even more elderly woman, and then using a few sprays on himself to use up the almost-empty bottle. Our undertaker began his craft during the Great Depression, after all, and would never waste anything.

    01st May, 2013

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Lilac Vegetal by Pinaud

    People who think Kouros smells like a urinal cake can't have tried this. It does mellow somewhat after an hour or so but tolerating it was a torture, not to be repeated. Good for a gag only (in both senses of the word).

    01st May, 2013

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Luna Rossa by Prada

    Don't care for this fragrance at at. The opening has a sharp synthetic orange when combined with the mint smells like those orange baby aspirin. It does improve in the heart, but isn't interesting enough to even warrant a decant. Turns into a powdery orange/lavender with a bit of soap. Doesn't stand out except for the bottle. If that's worth $60 then by all means, but if your looking to buy a fragrance because of the juice inside you can do better and spend less than $15.

    01st May, 2013

    tropicalstorm's avatar



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    Silver Black / Onyx by Azzaro

    Don't be fooled by the citrus/fruity opening. This is hard core old school stuff masquerading as a contemporary frag. The fruity opening quickly reveals some interesting spices and the dry-down actually resembles it's older successful sibling, AzPH. While Silver Black may not be the legend that AzPH is, it definitely commands my respect.

    01st May, 2013 (Last Edited: 02 May, 2013)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Cannabis by Il Profumo

    Nice aldehydic (just a touch of aldehydes i suppose) floral-oriental with an heady undiscerned floral bouquet (Osmanthus, Tuberose??), a structuring ambery background (by soon noticeable in the top by its smooth soapiness) and a typical touch of cannabis oil you can perceive at distance in its unique sort of simil rubbery vibe. At the beginning the ambery soapiness is uncompromising and precedes the floral burst. The note of amber nails down the mail characteristic of the juice, something that at the beginning conjures up a bit an ideal blend of Lou Lou Cacharel and Chanel N. 5. That before another standout trait of the scent (i mean a sort of gummy/resinous floral effect) comes out. The cannabis oil is well calibrated, cleverly appointed in dosage and never cloying (despite an inner claustrophobic/stale temperament is in its nature) while the intense floral bouquet produces a sophisticated feminine vibe around, conjuring a more than vaguely decadent/potpourri Old Century's atmosphere. There is a touch of fruitiness (a simil apricot type of smell) in the middle of the resinous/ambery floral atmosphere. Any sort of narcotic rhapsody but after 4-5 hours you can finally be able to detect more clearly the joint in its sticky/smokey undertone in the middle of the fruity/floral and ambery (vaguely boozy) sweetness. A must try by the lovers of amber.

    01st May, 2013 (Last Edited: 22 December, 2013)

    teadot's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Very Irresistible for Men Fresh Attitude by Givenchy

    Fresh? Attitude? Aplenty !

    No need to analyze notes here. Lest you fall for any marketing ploy about "coffee" (???). Simply, this well-balanced tropical fruit punch, set against woody, balsamic basil, has got GAME ! True, a flirty head-turner like this, may not be for everyone, but this is nevertheless both novel for once, and appealing... Due in part to it's surprising potency, and depth. A stand-out in a sea of wan puppy-dog juice aimed at a younger audience. (Anne)Flippo and (Pierre)Wargnye inject just the right nuance of mint -To buoy this otherwise "strident" mix, atop the cool stratosphere of Givenchy luxury... Giving it exceptional cross-over appeal for the more sophisticated.

    This is a big step (IMO), above other comparable fresh/sweet but banal confections -like Gaultier's Le Beau Male, Lacoste L12.12. Red, or any cK1summer2000and-whatevs. This under-dog of a fragrance is more than worthy of an adoption.

    The (literally) edgy bottle design seals the deal !


    Longevity: 6/10 (in base)
    Projection (Spring temperatures): 8/10 (in mid)
    Art/Creatives: 8/10 (bottle, concept, and scent)
    -Bottle carried over from the original.
    How: Spring and Summer -but wearable
    all seasons, both night or day, casual,
    style conscious, dates, parties, flirting.

    01st May, 2013 (Last Edited: 04 June, 2014)

    Jeszra's avatar

    United States United States

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    Osmanthus Blossom by Jo Malone

    This was light and refreshing, simple but very beautiful.This one is fairly straightforward so it would lend well to layering, but I enjoyed it quite a bit on its own. I may regret only buying a small bottle.

    02 May, 2013

    jbthorpe's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I am normally not a big amber fan - heavy amber fragrances tend to nauseate me and give me a migraine. Having said that, to this day I'm not sure why I like Ambre Sultan so much. It is a gorgeous amber/incense fragrance that would smell equally as good on a man or woman. The amber is sweet and smooth and I find myself really enjoying the wafts of it that hit my nose throughout the day. Rather than running and scrubbing the amber off my arm like I normally do with other fragrances, I find myself really attracted to the Ambre Sultan. It is a bit pricey but I think it is worth worth the cost.

    Sillage: 9/10
    Longevity: 9/10
    Price: 7/10

    02 May, 2013

    Marathon Alchemist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Luna Rossa by Prada

    It's funny. I dismissed this one as generic, fresh and boring. I gave it a full wearing from the sample I received at Macy's and thought it was kinda nice. Kinda. I didn't pay attention to it again until the next day when I was gathering my clothes from the night before to put in the hamper. I got my shirt, sniffed it and decided to give Luna Rossa another shot. Several wears later I decided that, although it might be fresh, it is definitely not generic or boring, at least not after the first impression.

    02 May, 2013

    michailG's avatar



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    Calypso by Robert Piguet

    ... maybe you have heard that the "Traversee du Bosphore" by L´Artisan smells like Turkish delight? Well it doesn't, while Calypso it does. And it is quite delicious too! The Rose here is very pleasant and together with the opening citrus and the powdery Iris they make for this accord of lokum, I think, that it is quite special. I may be totally wrong but on my skin Calypso is like an ode to rose. Calypso is not overly sweet and overall this is not a gourmand fragrance. Its projection is quite ok although for an Eau de Parfum I would expect a bit better performance. BUT Calypso lasts and lasts... on my skin well above 3 and a half hours after application. I don't know how to explain it but while I keep on smelling my wrist and find Calypso interesting and nice I still can't imagine this to be MY fragrance. Calypso is just a bit more floral/powdery than I could bear. For you guys who are a bit more adventurous ... at least give this a go. Calypso may be labeled as feminine but it is in fact quite unisex and so enduring. This review was written after trying Calypso from a 100 ml bottle of Eau de Parfum that is most likely the re-formulation.

    02 May, 2013

    Superlekker13's avatar



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    Orange Star by Tauer

    I am not sure about this one - I want to love it, but when first sprayed, it has a rsther overpowering cheap bath bubble/soapy top note that stays on for an hour or so. It is very, very strong. Then it settles to spicy very sweet orange, violet and fizzy pop. A very femininine scent, too feminine for me, and perhaps a bit too overpowering for my workplace. A nice date scecnt, though.

    02 May, 2013

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