Latest Fragrance Reviews, Updated Daily

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    purecaramel's avatar
    purecaramel
    Canada Canada

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    Balenciaga pour Homme by Balenciaga

    Like Scooptn I read Jack Hunter's review and was intrigued. First blast to me reminded me of the smell of Noxzema ointment. It then bursts into a kaleidoscope of scents and flavours much like the pyramid above. I have yet to identify the caramel. I agree with Hunter, it is a brilliant blend. I love it!! My girl hates it! I wear it when alone for my own pleasure.

    31st March, 2014 (Last Edited: 02 April, 2014)

    purecaramel's avatar
    purecaramel
    Canada Canada

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    Terre d'Hermès Parfum by Hermès

    Softer and deeper than the EDT and missing the "pencil shavings" . Wears close to the skin for me. Pleasant, however I find the original 2006-2007 EDT was smarter and provided a greater break from the aquatics found everywhere at the time.
    It does, however provide a quality scent to contrast the "Vanilla" that is found everywhere else today!

    31st March, 2014 (Last Edited: 02 April, 2014)

    Midnight_lulu's avatar
    Midnight_lulu
    United States United States

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    Arpège by Lanvin

    This rich, resinous, warm glow of a fragrance, is like the olfactory interpretation of a black, velvet cocktail dress. It's a theatrical, grande dame of a fragrance, with memorable personality, while not being shrieking and era-bound. It has the distinct, signature factor of a 1980's scent, like "Poison", with the reserved, whispering softness of a hotel soap from 1933 and the flamboyant, celebratory feel of the 20's scent that it is.

    To me, the name "Arpege" couldn't be more perfect for this crackling fireside of a blend. It smells of beautiful places and joyful, social events. It smells like the dry, aged wood interior of a piano, with its polished keys. It salty-dry, yet soapy powdery scent of styrax, feels like a clean woman, dressed in a cedar-stored velvet gown or dress, warming a little, under hot lights. The creamy florals smell like the best, hard-milled, cold cream based soap. The shadowy -- almost murky -- textured greens, like herbally vetiver, evoke the feeling of standing on a veranda, looking out to the moonlit garden and grove of trees (with hidden benches, for snuggling lovers!) below. The dry, smooth, crumbly resin base notes, reminds me of the polished, sweet smell of violin rosin.

    While "Arpege" contains some truly lovely, apricot-creamy florals, it's really a scent for those who love woods, resins and shimmering aldehydes. It's similar to "Mitsouko", in that it has a mossy, layered undertone of greens, herbs and tonic but where "Mitsouko" feels more like a bouquet of greens, ferns and incense, "Arpege" is mostly just sweet woods, shimmery, metallic florals and bitter incense.

    That lovely, slightly bitter, dry bite is why I would settle on classifying "Arpege" as the quintessential "Oriental", while the wet, earthy mossiness of "Mitsouko" sets that squarely as "Chypre". Both have a similar heft and a romantic, otherworldy presence and feel curated, like a trunk of World travels but "Mitsouko" is sleek cat, mystery, while "Arpege" is glamour -- with a kick of sweetness. "Mitsouko" is Louise Brooks in "Prix de Beaute", while "Arpege" is Janet Gaynor in "A Star is Born".

    31st March, 2014

    lanvinelle's avatar
    lanvinelle


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    Brazil Nut Eau de Toilette by Body Shop

    The opening is coffee and vanilla and slightly synthetic.The drydown reminds me very much of the top notes of Prada Candy and is quite delicious. Not bad for a cheap thrill but I am disappointed as I do not get any nutty notes which I was looking for in this fragrance.

    31st March, 2014

    Mysticman's avatar
    Mysticman
    United States United States

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    Pancaldi by Hanorah

    I like this a lot. At first whiff it reminds me of Gruene's Vintage for Men, Pierre Cardin Musk, and Revillon's The French Line, but its fresh, green coniferous opening fades more quickly and becomes more subdued than any of those three. There are a lot of notes that seem to rise and fall over the life of the scent, and so well blended that even when individual notes appear, they remain as part of the whole as well. It's a leathery chypre with a prominent forest-y quality --- a genre that appears to have fallen from grace, since Pancaldi is the only one of the four still in production, and even it is hard to find.

    A bit of internet research came up with the following list of notes, which seem very plausible to me:

    Top: Bergamot, verbena, lavender, lemon, wormwood, basil, juniper berry, neroli, thyme
    Middle: Cinnamon, carnation, clove, clary sage, fern, fir, geranium, jasmine, rose, pimento berry
    Base: Benzoin, castoreum, cedar, leather, oakmoss, patchouli, sandalwood, tonka, vetiver

    31st March, 2014

    Zenwannabee's avatar
    Zenwannabee
    United States United States

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    Polo Black by Ralph Lauren

    I don't want to knock this too much, as I wore it a lot when it first came out. I like the scent and the projection, but found myself continually waiting for the dry-down that never seemed to happen--like being served a meal with a mango appetizer, mango entree, and for dessert...more
    mango. Just felt it needed a bit more oomph. But all-in-all a safe fragrance for everyday wear.

    31st March, 2014

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    RUDOLFO512
    United States United States

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    Viaggio d'Africa by Pal Zileri

    You know the saying, "good things come to those who wait." Well I waited and Viaggio d'Africa arrived. I absolutely love this fragrance, from the moment I sprayed it on I knew it was special. The Tonka bean, vetiver and cedar come together to make this fragrance magical. I also smell chocolate in the dry down. I will be wearing it often from now on.

    31st March, 2014

    Francolino's avatar
    Francolino
    Italy Italy

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    Notturno by Meo Fusciuni

    interesting incense/rose combo..sillage and duration moderate!

    31st March, 2014

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    alfarom
    Italy Italy

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    Eau Sauvage Parfum by Christian Dior

    There are aspects of Eau Sauvage Parfum that I completely love (e.g. the incredibly good quality vetiver and the sparkling aspects during the opening) but, unfortunately, there are also several facets that I find thoroughly unpleasant. It basically shares the same marzipan quality already found in Dior's Eau Noire which, although I'm generally a big fan of immortelle, it's probably one of the very few helichrysum-centered fragrances I totally dislike. This facet is way toned down in Eau Sauvage Parfum but it is somehow still pretty remarkable together with some extra sweetness provided by the myrrh. All in all not a completely bad fragrance but way too far from matching my taste.

    Sorry.

    31st March, 2014

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    JackTwist
    United States United States

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    Hypnotique by Max Factor

    Barbara Herman notes that this was one of the most popular drugstore scents of the 1950s-1960s.

    She describes it as a floral chypre with animalic and balsamic notes in the dry down.

    Its packaging was in a bottle shaped like a cat with rhinestone eyes.

    My vintage 1/3 oz. bottle of pure parfum reveals a pleasant smelling chypre of no particular significance. It is slightly floral, warm and definitely balsamic. One of the last chypres of this genre produced before the scent fashions of the 1960s swept it away for good.

    31st March, 2014

    nonnative's avatar
    nonnative
    Italy Italy

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    Encre Noire pour Elle by Lalique

    After I read the pyramid I though this could become my signature scent. It contains all the notes I love. At the first sniff it seemed nice, and interesting. A floral with class and a hint of mystery. But after a while it turns to be a simple deodorant scent. And longevity was a disappointment. A pity, because I normally love lalique.

    31st March, 2014

    rbaker's avatar
    rbaker


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    Ode by Guerlain

    At the start I get a strong aldehyde blast that soon developed into a very nice jasmine impression. Soon the middle phase sets in with an amazingly rich, beautiful velvety dark rose, that is complemented
    with one of the most beautiful iris notes I can remember. The latter is becoming gradually dominant, with an aroma as if one is holding a bunch of the best iris in one's hand. At time the rose comes back into the foreground, with added rose leaf and stem impressions, alternating in the leading part with the super-iris - a spectacle of oscillating olfactory beauty and excitement. In the base sandalwood and, mainly, a lovely and well-balanced musk is added; he latter in the lead towards the end. The ingredients are of unsurpassed quality, the blending is sublime, silage and projection are very good and the longevity surpasses seven hours. An seminal rich floral masterpiece and one of my favourite Guerlains.

    31st March, 2014

    nonnative's avatar
    nonnative
    Italy Italy

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    Attimo by Salvatore Ferragamo

    Similar to too many other fruity, sweet, floral scents. Not original, not remarkable, not really necessary on the market. But it seems that is now a must for every stylist to have a parfume ... don't know why.

    31st March, 2014

    purecaramel's avatar
    purecaramel
    Canada Canada

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    Cuir Pleine Fleur / Fine Leather by Heeley

    Now this Heeley perfume is a joy to me. It reminds me of the aroma of my grandmother's Morris Minor from the sixties. It was canary Yellow with red Leather seats. She wore a violet suede leather jacket and driving gloves and wore a wonderful floral perfume and often had Candied Violets as treats. I will be buying a bottle shortly.

    31st March, 2014

    purecaramel's avatar
    purecaramel
    Canada Canada

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    Agarwoud by Heeley

    I applied this to my wrists and my nose picked up two notes. Rose and Beer. As time passed I recognized a faint woody note and a light rose again. It was a transparent and ethereal rose and pleasant, however ultimately boring. Offered a whiff to my brother-in law to ask his impressions. Without prompting he said "Hmm, Rose and Beer" We both moved on to watching the wives ordering dinner at the KiKi Bar. Cuir Pleine Fleur is much more interesting to this kid!



    31st March, 2014

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    rogalal
    United States United States

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    Oud Fleur by Tom Ford

    I suppose it was inevitable that Tom Ford would eventually do one of these attar-inspired fragrances. It's got the requisite mix of rose, sandalwood, and patchouli, with a bit of saffron to simulate oud.

    Honestly, this is a VERY crowded corner of the niche market, including fan favorites like Portrait Of A Lady, the entire Montale oud collection, and upscale faux-ouds from almost every designer and niche line, so it really comes down to what Tom does differently from everyone else. And his answer is honey. Dry, non-sweet, plasticky, animalic, almost pee-ish honey. Overlaid with pepper and that ash note that smells kind of like clay or cement.

    The ashy honey is clever. Rose is almost always mixed with honey in perfumes, and it mixes well with the sandalwood as well. It gives a waxy, plastic sheen to the perfume which, when paired with the saffron and ash, gives an interesting sense of oud without actually smelling like oud.

    It works well, but will probably only appeal to specific tastes. It's waxy and smoky and dark, vaguely plasticky, but still floral. The patchouli gives everything a sort of red velvet richness that feels kind of "goth chick", but the spicy smokiness is brutally manly. Ultimately, I don't think this is the niche attar perfume for me - the plastic and the ash aren't really my favorite notes - but it's interestingly done. Only time will tell if this becomes a niche favorite or just another quickly-discontinued Tom Ford experiment.

    31st March, 2014

    rogalal's avatar
    rogalal
    United States United States

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    Tobacco Oud by Tom Ford

    This is essentially the pipe tobacco smell from Tobacco Vanille, played out over soapy musks instead of the vanilla.

    I can recognize the intricate mix of cedar, honey, and chrysanthemum that makes that pipe tobacco smell. Unlike Tobacco Vanille, which mixes in a huge slug of clove, Tobacco Oud uses a really strong ashy note. To be honest, it kind of smells like smoky clay, or maybe even a campfire on a hot wet cement sidewalk. There are some cinnamon-dusted pie spices, which I assume are in tribute to Tom Ford's Oud Wood, but not really anything that smells like actual oud.

    The dry-down, a few hours in is quite clever. There's an animalic civet in there, mixing with a subtle vanilla and the lingering pie spices to create a sweet musk that's clearly inspired by Musc Ravageur. Meanwhile, there's also a big dose of benzoin and soap that simultaneously smells like baby powder and church incense.

    All this is quite fun, but the real fireworks happen in the transitions - the way the honey glides into the sexy sweet musk, and the way the cedar backs up the smoky ash, while the animalics bubble underneath. This is an excellently crafted perfume, rich and complex, constantly changing but without any unfortunate combinations. Personally, I don't care much for the ashy stage, and I'm not a big musk fan, so I'll happily stick with Tobacco Vanille, but this is definitely a fine perfume.

    31st March, 2014

    purecaramel's avatar
    purecaramel
    Canada Canada

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    Leather Oud by Christian Dior

    Starts out smoky, then becomes very complex with stinky civet, oud and honey. Each component pops to the surface throughout the day as it softens slowly into a big leather pillow. I find it an extraordinarily comfortable, elegant,masculine fragrance. Thumbs up, definitely!

    31st March, 2014

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    rogalal
    United States United States

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    L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

    This is more of a story than a review, but about 5 years ago, when I first discovered Basenotes, I was confused that Guerlain, a company I'd never heard of at the malls where I'd shopped, seemed to be considered the most important house in perfumery. This led me to the San Francisco Guerlain boutique where, with newbie enthusiasm, I walked in and said "I collect scents and I've read that you're the best - Can you show me what the big deal is about Guerlain?" Lucky for me, I had chanced upon Josie, the legendary SF Guerlain rep at the time, who took me at my word and expounded the joys of Guerlain. I walked out with a bottle of Cologne du 68 and little samples of pretty much everything I'd liked.

    She also made me a little decant of L'Heure Bleue extrait, and said "I know you didn't really like this one, but you will eventually. When you're ready, you'll understand that this is the best perfume here for you." Realizing that I had possibly just met a true perfume Jedi, I set about trying to love L'Heure Bleue.

    For years, I found it powdery and confusing, kind of like dough - bready but inedible. Eventually, I smelled the chemical methyl ionone (the doughy suede smell) and part of L'Heure Bleue fell into place. Feeling a little more grounded, I started to appreciate it, especially the way the ionones mixed with vanilla and iris and all sorts of greens and ambers to form possibly the best expression of the legendary Guerlinade base.

    Then, just recently, I smelled it again and it was like fireworks went off. For the first time, I smelled the sandalwood. It's everywhere in there, like a shifting river filling in all the impossibly intricate spaces left by everything I'd smelled before. It was like I'd been hearing an opera in another language, appreciating its technical beauty without really understanding it, and then suddenly comprehending all the words and truly connecting with it. Even so, it has mysteries I haven't even realized are there yet - just reading the other reviews before writing this was the first time I'd had my attention called to the carnation.

    L'Heure Bleue is one of the reasons I think of perfume as fine art. Even though my focus is usually on the smells themselves, there's a whole world of symbolism and depth in here as well. I'm so glad I took the time to fall in love with L'Heure Bleue, and I suppose my advice is to not write off confusingly complex perfumes that are over your head. Instead, if you have reason to believe they're worth the effort, try to climb up and reach their level...

    31st March, 2014

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    Oddfello
    United States United States

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    Joop! Homme by Joop!

    I was completely hooked on this fragrance the moment I smelled it. This screams 90's, but there is just something about it that keeps me coming back. I ordered my (lost count) bottle this week. Like others have said, go easy on this one and I would probably stick to wearing on cooler days.

    31st March, 2014

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    Zenwannabee
    United States United States

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    Royal Copenhagen by Royal Copenhagen

    My apologies first to those who like this scent. I'm normally a defender of classic, drugstore variety fragrances, even some like Tabac that are quite powdery. And usually my memory of scents doesn't betray me. I thought originally that my father wore this, but now I think perhaps I confused it with British Sterling. As I read through the earlier reviews here I thought, "now calling this something you'd smell in a nursing home is a bit harsh." So I promptly ordered a bottle and eagerly anticipated its arrival. I excitedly opened it up, splashed some on--and blanched. I showered--maybe twice. I threw the bottle out. And still the smell lingered horribly for the rest of the day, like some dank, ill-vented parlor. It was definitely not my cup of tea.

    30th March, 2014

    Zenwannabee's avatar
    Zenwannabee
    United States United States

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    Classic Vanilla by Pinaud

    I love this every bit as much as the original Clubman. Lighter than the original, and without the deep moss chord of that fragrance. It's fresh and has a great honey topnote that lasts for a bit and then promptly sits down--just like a good aftershave should. And, as always with the Clubman line, you can spoil yourself for less than $10 bucks.

    30th March, 2014

    Captain's avatar
    Captain
    Canada Canada

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    Queen of Hearts by Queen Latifah

    This is gorgeous. If you like Angel but feel it can overwhelm, this is the fragrance for you. If you feel the same about the cloying and imo unwearable La Vie Est Belle by Lancome, the original Queen (red bottle) is for you.

    I love Queen of Hearts. Sweet incense and patchouli - infinitely wearable and interesting. I can't sense the fruit at all. Not in a syrupy sweet way most fruity fragrances seem to me. The dry down reminds me of Angel so much so I might just buy this instead of Angel in the future as, while I adore Angel, I can't seem to find that sweet spot between not enough and silage beast.

    30th March, 2014

    Captain's avatar
    Captain
    Canada Canada

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    La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme

    Very sweet, sickly sweet. It doesn't have the uniqueness of Angel though is certainly has its silage and longevity. It's just basically an overly sweet chocolate caramel (praline) patchouli scent. There's fruit there and it just makes it more syrupy sweet. The patchouli tries hard to reign it all in, but, ultimately fails. I can't wear this - it just smells like a bad food accident that could be in the Rihanna line easily. For the cost, what a joke.

    30th March, 2014

    Captain's avatar
    Captain
    Canada Canada

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    Queen by Queen Latifah

    This reminds me of La Vie Est Belle by Lancome only it's more wearable than that fragrance. It's very sweet but it's a milder boozy vanilla and patchouli compared to the muddled monster praline and patchouli in LVEB. It also has an Angel vibe, so fans of those fragrances might appreciate this.

    I love Queen of Hearts and like this. There's no plastic note, it has pretty decent longevity and silage. I honestly can't find anything wrong with it other than it's too sweet for me personally.

    30th March, 2014

    mspa's avatar
    mspa
    United States United States

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    Fusion Sacrée Lui by Majda Bekkali

    a cacophonic bomb of notes. it is like an olfactory fusion of dozen home fragrances. it gets finer and more personal parfum like only towards the end of the dry down.
    not sure who needs an essay-like long list of notes blended.
    it is made obvioulsy of very high quality ingredients since it does smell very natural, but i remain in wonder how could one of the best perfumers ever let this on the market.
    after all, if you are looking for a natural smelling scent with a great longevity and projection, there is nothing else like this i know of... but the loudness and richness here do not click right to me

    30th March, 2014

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    rimesparse
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Blu Mediterraneo Ginepro di Sardegna / Juniper of Sardinia by Acqua di Parma

    Not a proper review, per se, as it's only based on a sample a young lady pressed on me in John Lewis yesterday, but I found it pleasant, and unusual, though perhaps not quite me.
    It bears a close visual resemblance to mouthwash, though, which is a little off-putting.

    30th March, 2014

    teardrop's avatar
    teardrop
    England England

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    Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford

    The sweet, aldehydic floral opening quickly turns green & crisp, like a fresh spring morning, complete with hints of leaves & stems, earth & wood. After an hour, it settles into a cool, green, spring floral with a mentholated feel. There's magnolia in the heart, & a sweet benzoin in the base. The projection & longevity are slightly better here than in Jonquille de Nuit & Lys Fume.
    This is by far my favourite of the three "twisted florals" that l tried, & the only one for me that truly delivers what it promised. Had l the funds, l would seriously consider getting a bottle.

    30th March, 2014

    teardrop's avatar
    teardrop
    England England

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    Lys Fume by Tom Ford

    This has a cool, fresh, almost minty opening; much less aldehydic than Jonquille de Nuit & Ombre de Hyacinth. There's a subtle hint of dirt, & l also get the plasticky note that others here have mentioned, as well as the "bad breath" type of indolic jasmine. Twenty minutes in a peppery lily emerges, but after an hour it all settles very close to the skin. There's a faint vanilla & a little ylang in the base, but l get no smoke or amber at all.
    l'm giving this a neutral because l don't altogether dislike it, but l'm disappointed that it didn't deliver the hypnotic, smoky lily that l hoped for.

    30th March, 2014

    teardrop's avatar
    teardrop
    England England

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    Jonquille de Nuit by Tom Ford

    This has a sharp, aldehydic floral opening, brighter & slightly fruitier than Ombre de Hyacinth, & less green. As it settles, there's a definite lily note, along with a little powder & amber, & at this stage it smells exactly like Donna Karan Gold to me, far more so than Lys Fume does. ln the heart there's a hint of the "bad breath"-type of indolic jasmine, & later on there's vanilla in the base. After the first hour, it all fades very close to the skin, although it lasts several hours.
    l'm giving this a neutral because although l don't hate it, l get pretty much the same scent, but done better, from my bottle of DK Gold. And it doesn't really suggest the wonderful scent of real daffodils to me, either.

    30th March, 2014

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