Fragrance Reviews from January 2014

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    Amos Jolthead's avatar

    United States United States

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    The Queen Of Hearts by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    Lily of the Valley, Calla Lily, stephanotis and a drop of cherry are the notes listed on BPAL's website for Queen of Hearts. QH is a very nice white floral. Probably well suited for a springtime day, as the flowers remind you of a field of flowers or a country church wedding or something of that sort. It 'sounds' rather feminine, but this is wearable for a man.
    On the opening you can readily detect the lily of the valley, calla lily and stephanotis as they are rather strong and piercing. Upon application I immediately think I've poured on too much because these floral notes are just so pungent, but they settle down some after a little while. The overall impression is something like clean linen, soap or powder -- it's like a clear, cloudless day in the backyard hanging up clothes on the clothesline.
    The cherry is a good compliment to this as well. It adds a sweetness that is a nice touch.
    QH is a very nice fragrance. My only complaint is that I think the flowers are just a tad too strong. Even after they die down after first application, they're still pretty heady. Other than that, I really enjoyed this.

    01st January, 2014 (Last Edited: 31st December, 2013)

    rbaker's avatar



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    Eternity for Men Aqua by Calvin Klein

    The citrus aquatic note is a fairly bland top note mixture, and the fruity lavender drydown is not much better. The woody base does not change the overall boring-synthetic impression. Miles away from the original with which it has little in common but the name.

    01st January, 2014

    Gingersnpr's avatar



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    Elie Saab Le Parfum Intense by Elie Saab

    Amazing! I received this as a Xmas gift. Last Xmas was Elie Saab EDT now this is even better!
    The intense honey comes through but not sweet and sticky. But melts with the rose and orange. I swear I get some cinnamon but it's just me, not listed as a note. Amber is eh kinda noticeable nothing to speak of. This is just a wonderful scent and now I'm dying to try his next, out soon they say.

    01st January, 2014

    rbaker's avatar



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    Dark Obsession by Calvin Klein

    The opening of an orange/mandarin nature that similarly blandly presents in other CK scents. In the drydown a green woodsy character appears that leads to a base of vanilla, labdanum, and on my skin eventually a nice cinnamon-like aroma. This latter phase is the more interesting and complex one. Quite good silage and projection with a very respectable longevity of six hours. One of the better recent releases of this house, and nice in early autumn

    01st January, 2014

    rogalal's avatar

    United States United States

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    The Scent Of Peace For Him by Bond No. 9

    This just isn't the kind of scent I like, though I should say that it's top quality for what it is. It kicks off with fruit candy smells, like bag of tropical punch Skittles mixed with a huge shot of faux red berry (thanks to the cassis). Over this, there's a thick fog of that "woody amber" chemical smell, like a caustic mix of rubbing alcohol and ammonia. There's also a pinch of pine to give both a woody accent and a vaguely leather undertone. In essence, this smells like what you'd get if you layered a sweet fruity scent like Paris Hilton with a very dark "woody amber" aquatic like Chrome - except it's really concentrated and very strong, being a Bond No 9.

    Honestly, for many people here, this will likely be a favorite. But I just don't like that caustic ammonia smell, so I have to give a thumbs down...

    01st January, 2014

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Oudh Sensuel by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    spicy oud with warm woody notes and thick sillage, great oud interpretation!

    01st January, 2014

    Stinkpot's avatar



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    Herod by Parfums de Marly

    I've heard this compared to Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, but I like this better. Not as sweet as TV, the vanilla is more subdued and the tobacco is more up front. While TV is unisex, Herod is much more clearly masculine. Fairly linear, lasts a long time, but projection is modest.

    Pros: Great tobacco scent, masculine
    Cons: Hard to find, expensive

    01st January, 2014

    sega's avatar



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    F/P Homme Numero 002 by Fruits and Passion

    I liked the first bottle I had, and was complimented on it. However, when I ordered a larger bottle, it smelled more dilute and disappeared in minutes. I have another small bottle on the way from F/P, and hopefully it's as good as my first one. Great when it's great.

    01st January, 2014

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blue Jeans by Versace

    Fresh citrus opening.Violet dominated 90's Value..
    I still wear it occasionally..
    Powder-musky drydown. Excellent for the baller on a budget..

    01st January, 2014

    germanomio's avatar

    France France

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    Epice Marine by Hermès

    Declaration on the seashore !
    No thing new to expect from this one

    01st January, 2014

    thines01's avatar

    United States United States

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    The One for Men by Dolce & Gabbana

    This is an absolutely beautiful-smelling fragrance with no projection or longevity. I bought it in a two-bottle package and was disapponted especially because of the high price. I found there is a body-lotion that comes in a different package and might have kept this if I could have bought the lotion by itself to help with the longevity issues. Too bad.

    Pros: The smell
    Cons: The longevity and the price

    01st January, 2014

    rickbr's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Brit for Men by Burberry

    It's curious sometimes to re-sample fragrances you haven't liked so much because the results can be tottaly different from your previous impressions. I remembered Brit Men as a fresh fragrance with something acquatic that didn't last on skin more than two hours. For some reason, i couldn't detect the synthetic base that's clear to me now and i don't notice now anything acquatic anymore. On some places they listed cucumber as part of the notes which i'm not detecting on my skin. The pyramid used here makes more sens to me, altough i would say that i don't get each note individually. It seems to me much more like a modern, fine tuned concoction of fresh, spicy and woody notes that works and it's pleasant to smell.

    01st January, 2014

    rickbr's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Eau Claire des Merveilles by Hermès

    One thing that can be very interesting and very frustrating at the same time on Ellena creations under Hermès Belt is that recurrence of aromas that makes you associate a scent with other previously launched. At the same time it seems to create an identity, a sense of a collection which is unveiled a little every year, it can also be frustrating if you expecting some entirely new and different. So, i see that at least I need some time to understand if i like an Ellena creation or not, because my first reaction lately with his scents is to feel bored or disappointed, and then learn to appreciate it on the next wearings. It's what happened to me with Eau Claire des Merveilles, that at first i found weak, weird, uncomfortable on skin. But those days i wore it and was fascinated by the second rendition that Ellena gives us of a natural vanilla pod aroma. Its pods seems to have something which is sweet but slightly flowery and animalic too and Ellena used this impression of vanilla but in intense form on his Vanille Galante, pairing it with a powdery, banana-like aroma of ylang-ylang. Here he tones down both vanilla and the ylang-ylang and it's wonderful to smell that comfortable, warm and sweet vanilla juxtaposed with something more woody, dry, a sparkling opening that makes me think of aldehydes and a totally abstract floral accord that last a good time before the fragrance goes to the vanilla impression. As the name says, it's not a heavy fragrance, it seems to remain light but noticeable if you spray it more liberally. Very interesting to me.

    01st January, 2014

    rbaker's avatar



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    Exceptional Because You Are for Men by Exceptional

    This is a typical aquatic-citrus orange opening with lots of melon added to it. After the first hour a sweetish and fruity note sets in, that in the base had a wood component added to it. A whiff of mint raises its head at times. My main problems with this one are the dull quality of the clearly very synthetic notes, and how nondescript generic it is. Silage and projection are good in the first hour, but then it is very close to my skin. Longevity, on the other hand, is a respectable four hours; whilst not great this is more than I expected given its initial citrus-aquatic nature. For warmer days but very boring after the first thirty minutes, and of very mediocre quality of the ingredients.

    01st January, 2014

    vawallpa's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Silver Shadow Pure Blend by Davidoff

    This is a superb winter fragrance. The mix of saffron, cloves and cinnamon is outstanding. The original Silver Shadow was always one of my favourites but found that it was lacking longevity, and this corrects that, along with adding more spiciness and less powder. The notes are reminiscent of the smell of a cognac, maybe a smooth brandy or whiskey. It gives off a luxurious feel to the wearer and screams quality. Very hard to come by as it was limited edition and no longer in production. Why are so many great fragrances discontinued?

    01st January, 2014 (Last Edited: 07 April, 2014)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Frescoamaro by Profumi del Forte

    A first touch on my skin and my flashback is for the classic and marvellous Nino Cerruti by Cerruti (but with a more citrus/grass/fruity presence in here and a less floral welcome i suppose). It is just an illusion (i notice by soon) anyway since Nino Cerruti is a far more complex and elevated concoction (and finally the olfactory resemblance is probably much more with 1881 than with NC Classic). Frescoamaro means fresh and bitter at once and effectively i have to say that freshness and sourness ( i would not properly talk about bitterness) are lingering throughout in the blend (which anyway plays also in different ways a longly present game of contrasts). The first approach is indeed deeply indolic and undisputably stressed over the melon/grapefruit/cucumber/citrus side in a way being at once weirdly sharp but paradoxically at once mostly dense on a fruity/vegetal path, almost sour and "fat" at the same time (i write "fat" to mean nearly edible and musky/fleshy) as for a carnal/botanical game of contrasts. The cucumber/aromatic-minty herbs/floral leaves chord provides en incredibly vegetal aura around indeed while the note of gin enhances a "melancholic" and alcoholic (grassy, mossy, fruity/floral and in a while even woody) intensity. The violet presence is easily notable and provides a typical lymphatic floral/grassy/earthy moody sharpness to the whole composition which has turned out in the meanwhile even more "meaty" and juicy. The muskiness (a mossy and coniferous aroma from the forest) in the meanwhile keeps to rise up from the back and to impose itself as a succeeding main theme supporting the final floral rose/osmanthus (almost neutral) wave in the air. This floral evolution is not particularly discernible or luxurious and do not provide a particularly sophisticated floral spark in the air to adorn the linear mossy woodiness. The dry down pushes indeed the button over the woody/mossy/musky side retaining in a linear way the fruity/floral alcoholic wave. What does this dry down smell like? Well, it smells like a sort of alcoholic and humid vegetal galbanum (a galbanum/labdanum mossy aroma) with a moody (finally neutral/soapy) and one dimensional floral feel. A finally "steady" composition from I Profumi del Forte possibly appreciable by the lovers of such type of realistic, ambiental and indolic natural fruity/floral. Finally the aroma turns out neither bitter nor fresh but barely warm, more virile and with a touch of mossy/floral soapiness. Good longevity.

    01st January, 2014 (Last Edited: 06 May, 2014)

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin Eau de Minuit by Lolita Lempicka

    For those of you who liked the original Au Masculin alright but wished it wasn't so 'foody', here is a less mystical and more sensual blend featuring a woody backbone. It's linear, so much so that if you don't enjoy the first minute you won't like the rest of the development, and vice versa. The body is resinous and semi-sweet, much like Envy for Men. The trademark ivy and anise combo shares the spotlight with an almost medicinal oud wood a la M7. Projection and longevity are less fierce than the original, but still very good, making this a strong and unique choice for a night out. It is very pleasant, is currently at a great price-point online, and the Lady likes it, so an all around winning package here.

    02 January, 2014

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Noir by Yves Rocher

    It seems like the perfumer was aiming for The One by D&G..
    I detect no amber but a subtle woody base with no projection at all.
    It's suppose to be intense but it is not..
    I do get hints of tobacco-cedar and Tonka in the drydown but it's very weak and synthetic..
    The bottle is even similar to The One..
    This is for the Subtle Woody lovers..

    02 January, 2014

    rbaker's avatar



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    Sì by Giorgio Armani

    The bergamot top note based in an orange-like opening provides a bit of freshness that soon merges into a rose that is not particularly convincing and on my skin quite generic - Armani can make better roses than that. Further in the drydown jasmine and especially patchouli make an appearance. Overall there is a mediocre vanilla that commences after fifteen minutes and permeates everything, resulting in a sweet fruity-floral melange. Two hours longevity Not bad, but a great scent? No!

    02 January, 2014

    rickbr's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Elle by Yves Saint Laurent

    Elle is one of the few Yves Saint Laurent recent fragrances that i like. It seems to me to have the bold aroma of a classic YSL creation but shapped in a modern androginous shape. I like the spicy of pink pepper, that seems to add something slightly fruity with the litchi to the flower accord, which is more spicy than fully floral. The base is woody, with something a little bit incensed and i don't know why but wearing it today the flowers, woods, and spicy aromas made me imagine Elle as the younger sister of YSL NU Edp, one of my favorite incenses of all time.

    02 January, 2014

    lemonfreshman's avatar



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    Miel & Citron / Honey & Lemon by L'Occitane

    This review is for the shimmering edition.

    This fragrance is so incredibly happy and vibrant. I would love to smell it on a woman. Honey-lemon tea, zesty beeswax. This is an underrated fragrance. I've smelled other L'Occitane honey scented products and they deliver the best honey note in the industry in my opinion.

    02 January, 2014

    rbaker's avatar



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    Armani Privé Rose d'Arabie by Giorgio Armani

    Saffron, a sweetish rose and patchouli - I get them in that order to form a delightful blend. There is a hint of ambery spice in the base. A nice uncloying vanilla is present most of the time. Not many different notes, but of high quality and well-blended. Decent silage and projection and three hours longevity on my skin. Very nice. Spring or autumn would suit.

    02 January, 2014

    Loro's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Gold Woman by Amouage

    What a disappointment! I had read the reviews and was looking forward to sampling this, but when the time came it was an overwhelming letdown. To me this is just a decent-ish generic floral, in the vein of No. 5 or Joy, but with none of the panache or loveliness of either. Not bad, certainly, but with so few distinguishing features that I find it hard to know what to say other than firstly it didn't trouble me for long (longevity was about 90 mins on my skin) and secondly, price, hype, emperor's new clothes etc almost led me to give this a negative review, but actually that would have been unfair.

    Pros: not unpleasant.
    Cons: poor longevity, price.

    02 January, 2014

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Balahé by Léonard

    With its melange of at least 21 ingredients, Balahe is certainly a complex floral that is quite pleasant. One wants to find something about this most popular of the house of Leonard's few productions, but I can't rise above the feeling it is just "okay," not in any way unusual or outstanding.

    As a mixed floral it is perfectly decent, but not worth going out of one's way to locate.

    02 January, 2014

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Casbah by Robert Piguet

    One of the best incenses out there, very churcy vibe...

    02 January, 2014

    Vit's avatar



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    cK one by Calvin Klein

    I receive compliments every time I wear it. Just apply in once a day in the morning and people still complement me on the smell late afternoon. The perfect blend between floral, sweet and clean they have achieved a master piece in the floral oriental category. I have been wearing this scent ever since it came out and I feel absolutely incomplete without it. It's my signature fragrance and I can't imagine being without it! My favorite spring scent.

    02 January, 2014

    TokyobyKenzo's avatar



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    Kenzo Homme Sport by Kenzo

    Kenzo Sport Extreme it's not Kenzo Sport but I write here because there is no such review.
    Kenzo Sport Extreme is the same as Adidas Ice Dive. It's much cheaper than Kenzo.

    02 January, 2014

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kinski by Escentric Molecules

    Very animalistic powerhouse..
    Like riding a Harley through a tornado..
    Too many notes to mention but the major players are vegetal/leather and moss..
    Very deep and dark..
    Somehow floral and patchouli break through also giving it the vegetal/earthy quality.
    I respect it but would never buy or wear in public..

    02 January, 2014

    danieq's avatar

    United States United States

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    Shalimar is a scent I'd been avoiding. Somehow, it had 'old lady' tones in my mind. However, I've been progressing in my journey, I've discarded the idea that a scent fits with a particular age group. Yes, some scents are classic and have been worn for many years by people and so you may know an older woman whose been wearing Shalimar for 5 decades, however, that doesn't define the character of the scent.

    In the case of Shalimar, it's been around for so long because it is that good. I've been wearing the current EDT with great pleasure. It's a scent that envelopes me like a fur coat, in fact, a bit like fur that remains on the leather which has been sueded and worn soft. This scent is warm, familiar and full of smooth vanilla laden leather. I recently acquired a bottle of the vintage EdC and find that it is creamier still. It's got the typical feel of Guerlain, a powdery feel, but I don't feel like that is as strong as in some of the Guerlains, it is more creamy than powdery to my nose.

    This is a wonderful scent for most any occasion, though I suspect it will perform less well in a hot and humid climiate. It is a powerful scent to my nose, not something that the wall-flower would want and I believe a man could easily wear it as well.

    02 January, 2014

    The Bark's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ferrari Silver Essence by Ferrari

    I'm not going to say I'm blown away by this, but for the price I obtained it for, I'd consider it a steal ($27 shipped for 3.4oz tester).

    This starts out with an icy blast - wait a minute, that might be because the bottle arrived during -8 temperatures with wind chill factor at -38 here in Upstate New York - no, actually "Silver" seems appropriate as it's the first thing that comes to mind.

    The first notes I notice are pepper and coconut, an interesting combination to start though the coconut turns rather sweet for a little while while other spices (I detect nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon, though neither are listed here), start to mingle before it delves into something woodier.

    It's here that the sweetness of the coconut starts to take a backseat (though still present, it's not as sweet) and the spices come forth along with the birch and a bit of a smokiness/incense vibe. This is probably the most enjoyable phase as there's a lot of elements at play with this metallic "silver" vibe running throughout, giving it an interplay between cool and warm notes that's effect is somewhat reminiscent of Creed's Himalaya.

    By the time it gets to the basenotes, everything has settled down and it's like somebody took a bottle of Azzaro's Visit, removed the "blue" and replaced it with "silver" while keeping the spices amped up a bit with coconut lingering in the background. As an EDP, this feels like it'll hang around on skin for quite a number of hours (I myself having only sprayed it about 40 minutes ago at this point so I'll have to wait and see).

    This is the first Ferrari fragrance I've tried so I can't compare it to the quality of the others, but will say the Essence line piqued my curiosity as they appear to be of higher quality (I personally haven't much interest in trying any of the scents outside the Essence line). It's definitely a fall/winter scent and a fairly good buy for the price.

    02 January, 2014

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