Latest Fragrance Reviews, Updated Daily

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    NickZee's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone by Giorgio Armani

    This is a mandarin dominated fragrance, but I assume it is titled as a vetiver fragrance because mandarin would not pull in as many men.

    Sure, there is vetiver, but not the sharp, earthy kind you will find in Guerlain Vetiver, Chanel Bleu or Encre Noir. This is a clean, smooth vetiver, like the roots have been washed thoroughly under water and then refrigerated for a few days so that they remain fresh but their odour is less intense. This provides the perfect fresh base upon which a beautiful citrus fragrance is constructed.

    The citrus accord is dominated by a high quality mandarin note that is paired with lemon and bergamot for balance. The mandarin note here is not the unpleasant type that remains on your hands after peeling a mandarin. Rather, the perfumer has managed to capture an echo of the beautiful taste of mandarin as it bursts open onto your pallete.

    The remaining notes of cardomom, coriander, pepper and patchouli play but parts but are present enough to stop this fragrance from being a one dimensional citrus fragrance the likes of Dior Home Cologne and the like.

    Performance is good in terms of longevity and sillage.

    The bottle and cap are very high quality and beautiful, as is the box. The spray is perfectly ok but far from the gold standard you might see on something like Chanel bleu's 100ml bottles.

    27th April, 2015

    freewheelingvagabond's avatar

    India India

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    Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme by Van Cleef & Arpels

    Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme is a fantastic leather fragrance with timeless feel and appeal. Like many fragrances from its era, VCA pH has a cacophonous array of notes and needs a few wearings to have the merest grasp about its depth and facets. It opens up on the skin with a beautiful dark green spicy soapy vibe with leather and deep woods lurking underneath; there is the citrus and the lavender, but completely overshadowed by this central green, dark spicy vibe. This opening in itself is cerebral, and arresting like few others. Then the green vibe subsides a bit. The fragrance moves into its heart phase. A dark, brooding masculine rose note presents itself, with the leather and the woods now more prominent. This rose note is almost a mystery- it takes at least 10 wearings to feel it. But once discovered, it is there every time. The fragrance is now a glorious cornucopia of leather, woods, spices and florals while simultaneously retaining its vague soapy theme. It is deep, dark, unmistakably masculine, and even brooding. The projection is good at first and then dies down, but the fragrance has great longevity. Even as the hours grow weary, its aura is perceived in the air around the skin.

    A masterpiece.

    27th April, 2015

    robinsongw's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lagerfeld Classic by Lagerfeld

    1978 was a very good year. Same year Polo launched. But Karl, Karl, Karl, Karl, Karl!!! What happened? Lagerfeld was my signature scent, for very good but not always honorable reasons. Even though I was married, original Lagerfeld created an abundance problem for me, and I ain't talking money, either. What did you do, Karl? And, why? You're old, extremely rich, and the world is still your oyster. Why did you let them mess this stuff up? It has YOUR NAME on it, for crying out loud! Though at a very dear price, the original still pops up from time to time, but the mainstream over the counter is...well, not the same. It's like tomatoes, Karl. Once upon a time, you could get good tomatoes in the store. Now, those days are over and all we get is chemical-pumped, immature, hard, pale, tasteless imitations of a distant memory. So it is with Lagerfeld for me, Karl. You broke my heart.

    27th April, 2015

    sphynxcat's avatar



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    Tabac Aurea by Sonoma Scent Studio

    I love tobacco notes but wearability is sometimes an issue. I have smelled a good number and own only Diptyque Volutes EDT. Tabac Surea, however, outshines the others for me. It is a smooth, intense honey/ambered tobacco leaf. I get little to no smokiness and smells like a good quality slightly cherried unlit pipe tobacco ala Nat Sherman's. This is my ultimate comfort scent and I find myself reaching for it often. More of a cool weather scent but since I like it so much I'd probably try it on warmer evenings as well. Will probably end up with a full bottle at some point.

    26th April, 2015 (Last Edited: 29th April, 2015)

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Eau de Cartier : Vétiver Bleu by Cartier

    Starts off very sweet and fairly spicy. Too sweet for me. The vetiver is quite forceful and has longevity.
    I find something a bit synthetic here. Wouldn't have guess liquorice was in the notes, I thought of a kind of berry-fruit note. Similarly, the mint is more in the fresh/aquatic vein than the green-leafy. Not a terrible scent, just so-so.

    26th April, 2015

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme Intenso by Dolce & Gabbana

    Love it! Ok, it is not intense and yes the name is misleading however this is everything good about fragrance wrapped into one juice. Slightly sweet, slightly flowery, slightly boozy masculine and just plain good. This one jus can replace several bottles and be the one you reach for daily. I'm in.

    26th April, 2015

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Terre d'Hermès Eau Très Fraîche by Hermès

    True to the name. It is TdH but much fresher without the heaviness of the original. I remember the first time I smelled TdH; I loved it but I knew it could induce a headache with over application. This 'very fresh' version solves that problem however it is missing that 'thing' that makes the original so addictive. Still it is absolutely worth the purchase.

    26th April, 2015

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Island Life for Him by Tommy Bahama

    I am surprised to not see pineapple in the notes. I get a sparkling pineapple surrounded in smoky woods and clean musks. Quite nice, worth a sniff and purchase too if you like pineapple.

    26th April, 2015

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Reveal Men by Calvin Klein

    A curious gourmandish oriental that is not at all well blended. I can't say I like this but it has potential. I think it will do well in extreme heat perhaps but other than that it is not worth the purchase.

    26th April, 2015

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Dior Homme Cologne (2013) by Christian Dior

    Mugler Cologne re-imagined. If you did not smell the first few iterations, you would think this is Mugler's but rebottled and reformulated. I haven't had the chance to smell 'em side by side, but my initial thought is as stated. I like.

    26th April, 2015

    sphynxcat's avatar



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    Florabellio by Diptyque

    I tried this in a boutique the other day in NYC and they were nice enough to give me a sample without buying anything. This is a fruity floral marine scent. There's some backstory about the Normandy shore that goes with the inspiration for this scent. I will say this is the quirkiest scent they've done in recent years but I can already find a comparison to Amouage Reflection.
    It opens with an aquatic apple blossom blast, both floral and fruity, fresh and pleasant. It then develops the coffee /sesame veil hovering over the opening notes. The effect is more like a leather jacket or the hot backseat of a car's leather (or even vinyl) upholstery. This persists for about 2 hours until the drydown which is a light floral, salty marine effect. I have to say the whole picture, at its most intense point, made me queasy. I don't like marine/aquatics anyway as they turn my stomach when the note is obvious. I compared it to my sample of Amouage Reflection and they are very similar with the fruity/floral aquatic tropical vibe with something coming through as rubbery or tarry. That one also makes me really queasy. But if you are a fan of marine notes, I think this is a fairly well done fragrance that is playful and interesting on the whole(and of course, cheaper than the Amouage). It's just not my personal thing which is why I gave it a "neutral"..

    26th April, 2015

    sphynxcat's avatar



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    Geranium Odorata by Diptyque

    Green, aromatic, tangy, slightly rosy, with some citrus in the opening. Fades fairly quickly leaving a faintly woody/green drydown. Slightly soapy but not cloying to my nose (I dont like soapy) No, not very interesting or complex. But I find it very refreshing in the summer heat humidity when everything else seems like too much. Geranium is an additive in some natural cleaning or soap products so I can see the association. But this smells pretty darn close to pure geranium essential oil. This fragrance would make a better cologne splash for summer. I own the roller ball version. It's overpriced for what it is an is probably easy to replicate with alcohol and geranium absolute for less $$. I know Diptyque is getting some negative responses to their more recent "boring" releases, implying selling out to the mainstream. Diptyque used to be one of the few niche lines available but now competition is much greater. I think they've compromised quirkiness for well-done wearability in order to stay afloat. I, for one, am cutting them some slack.

    26th April, 2015

    Perfumed Librarian's avatar

    United States United States

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    Coco Noir by Chanel

    I really wanted to like Coco Noir since it has such longevity on me. Unfortunately it makes me smell like a stewed prune. Much as I love stewed prunes I'd really rather eat them over oatmeal with yogurt and tahini than wear them. Sigh.

    26th April, 2015

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hatria by Angela Ciampagna

    Hatria goes on with a light airy rose and watery synthetic Oud duo with just a hint of jasmine support before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the rose turns significantly powdery as the synthetic smelling watery Oud remains as co-star adding lightly sweetened saffron spice support. During the late dry-down the rose and synthetic Oud recede, revealing slightly sweet, moderately creamy sandalwood in the base, turning into the late star through the finish. Projection is average, as is longevity at about 8 hours on skin.

    Hatria is one of the most familiar offerings from the artisanal house Angela Ciampagna and one of the easiest to like. As soon as the composition is sprayed on skin the wearer immediately notices the seemingly ubiquitous rose and synthetic Oud combination. The composition distinguishes itself a bit in its mid-section as the rose turns quite powdery, adding in saffron spice not so unlike Aramis' superior Perfume Calligraphy Saffron flanker, but swapping in the powder for the honeyed facet found in the Aramis. To the powder averse like me, this stage was a bit unnerving, though the powder never quite reaches an intolerable level, staying *just* under the bar. The relatively dry, slightly creamy sandalwood late dry-down is a bit mundane, though certainly competent. In some respects that kind of sums up my opinion of the composition is general... Hatria is certainly appealing on some level, but one can't shake the feeling of "been there, done that," and I'll add "done better." The bottom line is Hatria is an easy enough composition to like, but it really is just too similar to other less expensive superior offerings in the crowded rose/synthetic Oud genre, earning it a "good" 3 stars out of 5, but a mild avoid recommendation. If one is looking for a superior rose/Oud composition, I recommend sampling the far superior Thirty-Three by Ex Idolo, or the two "Rose" and "Saffron" Perfume Calligraphy flankers by Aramis before opening your wallet for Hatria.

    26th April, 2015

    daisyvision's avatar



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    Lola by Marc Jacobs

    Lola is one of my favorite fruity florals (which is not typically a group I pick from often). It's soft, pretty, and unassuming. The pink pepper provides a little spiciness and intrigue to the rose, and together, they perfectly complement each other. The pear is just the right amount of fruitiness without overpowering the soft florals, musk and sweet vanilla. Lola is gentle, buoyant. Purely delightful.

    To mimic another reviewer below me: Lola absolutely has a '90s throwback quality. That's actually the entire reason I decided to try it. I think most times I see Marc Jacobs perfumes with their flamboyant toy-like bottles, I can't take them seriously. But Lola helped me gain perspective on the matter. Especially going back to that '90s mentality - Couldn't you see the kitschy Lola bottle sitting atop Lisa Turtle's dresser (from Saved by the Bell)? Or perhaps Blossom Russo's? Heck, one of my favorite perfumes in the '90s, Fetish, had a ridiculous bottle. Which is one of the reasons I tried it in the first place! Haha.

    Lastly, I have an odd story, or, perhaps a comparison to add. Lola isn't exactly a perfume I would've even taken a second look at if not for searching high and low for similar scents to Avon's discontinued 'Natori'. I recently read that a knock-off of Lola, called "Hola", was a dead ringer for the gloriously '90s Natori. I thought, "Well, what about actual Lola?" While they had a few notes in common, Lola turned out to be only vaguely similar to Natori. But I wasn't disappointed by Lola in the slightest - it's a charming scent that I'm glad I happened to stumble upon.

    26th April, 2015

    sphynxcat's avatar



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    Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio

    A beautiful resins and woody fresh incense. Just enough sweetness for my taste. Evocative of a beautiful outdoor setting with giant lush trees and clean air. Not smoky to my nose. The frankincense and myrrh are fresh and very present. Not a church incense. Has a soothing, meditative quality. I love it and it layers well with amber, vanilla, and some floral fragrances.

    26th April, 2015

    sphynxcat's avatar



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    To Dream by Sonoma Scent Studio

    I don't think I can identify individual notes but the overall vibe is antique. The atmosphere it conjures is an old attic with yellowed, dusty books, warm sun coming through a hazy window, and a bunch of dried flowers in the mix and possibly the ghosts of former tenants. It does have a dreamy, ethereal quality indeed. Fresh would not be the word I would use to describe this scent. I find it to be more on the dry side, with only hints of powdery sweetness. Not sure I would wear it but I like the imagery it evokes for me.

    26th April, 2015

    tempest moon's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Eau de Guerlain by Guerlain

    Invigorating! Fresh and Aromatic!

    Jean-Paul Guerlain's <i>Eau de Guerlain</i> is yet another take on the fresh, citrus <i>Eau de Cologne</i> style of fragrances. These were typically used for a refreshing experience at the start to someone's day. The idea is you put on an Eau de Cologne after a shower or morning ritual, and you could go on with your day ahead.

    Although Eau de Colognes came in many interpretations, they often followed a similar formula. Bright, zesty citrus at the top, light, sometimes sweet florals in the mid, and very little base (maybe some light musk). The examples are endless... <i>4711</i>, <i>Farina Cologne</i>, and even Guerlain's own <i>Eau de Cologne Impériale</i> and <i>Eau des Fluers de Cédrat</i>.

    With <i>Eau de Guerlain</i>, I feel like it stands out from the others. By including a few unique notes. Aromatic notes such as caraway and zesty spearmint. When I spray this, it reminds me of freshly cut herbs in the kitchen, coupled with fresh, ripe lemon. It has a bitterness and a freshness that is undeniable, and very unique. It's like a cool gin-and-tonic drink which has carbonated water and slices of fresh lemon & lime. It really lifts me up and refreshes me. Almost like hiking in the mountains where you find mountain streams where the water is pure and full of minerals. I would describe it as very "mineral" like. I really love it!

    I think that out of all the Guerlain "Eaux", such as <i>Impériale</i>, <i>Cédrat</i> etc. This one is the most unique, has the strongest lasting power (it's in Eau de Toilette, whereas the others were Eau de Cologne), and ultimately... is the one worth your money. If you have to buy one, buy this one. Definitely worth trying out, especially in spring!

    26th April, 2015

    sphynxcat's avatar



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    Wood Violet by Sonoma Scent Studio

    This smells strikingly similar to Serge Lutens Bois de Violette. To me it is a plummet, sweet violet with hints of spices and woods. I've like the SL but it has poor longevity(like 1-2 hours) This lasts a good deal longer, about 4 hours before drydown. I like sweet violet. I find it cheerful and uplifting and good for any season. To me, this fragrance is more complex and "natural" feeling than the SL. The difference is that this frag has a sharpness and pungency that the SL lacks. I find this aspect somewhat difficult at times and even vaguely uncomfortable in the earlier part of its wear. But I think it's this aspect ths t makes it more long-lasting Whitmore projection than the SL. On the whole, I like this fragrance but not sure yet if I would committ to a full bottle.



    26th April, 2015

    Kain's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    Rouge Avignon by Phaedon

    This is a pleasant semi sweet musky floral scent with some woodsy notes as the backbone of the fragrance but it has a completely familiar vibe.

    At the opening I can smell a strong woodsy note right in your face that has a synthetic vibe and smells kind of like oud (is that Hinoki Wood?!) while semi sweet rose and musk surrounding it.

    As time passes scent gets a little better where sharp woodsy note settles down and it gets sweeter plus stronger rose and now I can smell a pleasant mellow raspberry beside this sweet floral musky and slightly woody scent.
    Smells nice. I admit that. but there is nothing to get excited about.
    Projection is average and longevity is around 4-5 hours on my skin.

    26th April, 2015

    daisyvision's avatar



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    Ex'cla.ma'tion Noir by Coty

    I stumbled across Exclamation Noir after snagging a Coty Winter Nights gift set on eBay (along with my beloved Dark Vanilla & Nokomis). I was particularly excited to try this one because I'll try anything at all with 'Noir' in the name!

    Whew.. this one sure has bite. Don't let the silly bottle fool you - this is one serious scent. Right off the bat, I get a stinging whiff of overwhelming moss, smoky woods, and bitter vetiver. It's quite masculine. Exclamation Noir is like being lost deep in the woods. It's earthy and green, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it fresh. It's actually the complete opposite of fresh. It's... decaying leaves with a dash of petrichor. There's absolutely nothing sweet about it.

    Noir? Well.. maybe. I guess it's dark, per se... but, I think that in my head I've associated the word 'noir' with 'mysterious' or 'sexy' when it comes to fragrances. This is neither, nor is it reminiscent of original Exclamation, aside from the musk (and perhaps apricot, which is a note I can't detect in this. I'd say cedar as well, but it isn't listed in the notes for Noir, much to my surprise!).

    Bottom line: It's so pungeant and woody that it kind of makes my stomach churn. I really wanted to like it because it's so bizarre and unlike anything I've smelled before.

    26th April, 2015

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Florentine Iris by Ermenegildo Zegna

    A fresh transparent woody iris and clean musk fragrance rendered in the razor-sharply tailored style of the Essenze line. Perfectly suited for the office or a day of fun in the sun, Fiorentine Iris is extremely wearable, seemingly calibrated for the iris-phobic guy who shies away from lipstick-ish Dior Homme.

    26th April, 2015

    kyl77's avatar



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    Hypnôse by Lancôme

    Hypnose is my favorite Lancome fragrance. It's a quiet oriental; very transparent. The licorice tinged vanilla supported by soft florals smells uniquely modern, because it isn't a sweet vanilla. Rather any sweetness comes across more as warmth than sugar. Hypnose is one of those rare fragrances that feels appropriate anytime.

    26th April, 2015

    RobbieX's avatar



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    Urban Edge by Avon

    Just about a thumbs up. An OK green soapy fragrance. Dries down woody, herby and soapy. Not very strong but it IS cheap. Urban Edge is OK.

    26th April, 2015

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Peruvian Ambrette by Ermenegildo Zegna

    Cashmeran or cashmere woods almost always gets a bad press in reviews but here it is more judiciously used, meshing seamlessly with the starring ambrette seed to create a transparent woodsy musk, with faintly animalic nuances and an oddly compelling glue-like note. The featured iris is regretfully too transient but it offers a suede-like introduction to this unconventionally attractive scent. A sexy sleeper IMO.

    26th April, 2015

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Javanese Patchouli by Ermenegildo Zegna

    Somewhat reminiscent of Ulrich Lang Nightscape, Javanese Patchouli is another urbane take on patchouli. Scrubbed and stripped of its dirt and earth, the sanitized patchouli thankfully retains its faintly musky facet albeit one laced with the same bergamot that runs like a luminous vein through most of the Essenze line. Warm hints of pepper act as a suitable counterpoint to the cool kiss of bergamot, keeping it comfortably smooth and dry, pretty much like a freshly pressed dress shirt I suppose.

    Modest projection, decent staying power, impeccably office-appropriate. Another confident outing by a sartorial powerhouse.

    26th April, 2015

    kyl77's avatar



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    Miracle by Lancôme

    Miracle is a gentle pretty fragrance. It's fresh and feminine with freesia and magnolia. A peppery note keeps things interesting. It's not overly complicated, and it's suitable for any occasion. It fills my desire for quieter fragrances at the moment.

    26th April, 2015

    Tonyprince's avatar

    United States United States

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    A City On Fire by Imaginary Authors

    I think this is the best thing Josh Meyer has done yet. I own many smokey fragrances, and this one manages to balance the line between being undeniably smokey but also nuanced enough to smell like a personal fragrance and not simply like burning wood. It's extremely wearable. Some of the other smokey fragrances I love, like Fumidus and Jeke, can be a bit challenging in their severity. This one is much more friendly and approachable. It should definitely be a must try for anyone who is interested in the smokey genre.

    26th April, 2015

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Interlude Man by Amouage

    Not as bad as the first time I tried it. I got a real good 4 spray wearing out of my sample the other day, and I do think it's a nice fragrance.

    The opening is a bit confusing. Cotton candy.. seriously, yes Amouage does cotton candy. Actually a few Amouage's I have tried have surprised me with very synthetic candy-like openings, and this is one of them. Within 20 minutes or so it settles down into more of a birch tar, smokey incense. I pick up on the oud later on in the dry down, especially when I spray it on clothing, that's where the oud really shines.

    Overall, I give it a hesitant thumbs up, because of its unique style, power, and longevity. It takes risks, but it doesn't go too out of bounds with it, like another fragrance that's sort of in its same league, which is Jeke by Slumberhouse. They mouth have this weird "barbeque meat/old tea bag" note, but in Interlude Man, it works well!

    This is would be a sure thumbs up if the price was lower. I understand niche is a luxury item, but some of these companies really gouge you for what you get, no bottle of any fragrance should cost more than 150 bucks direct from the manufacturer. I've dabbled in fragrance making quite a bit, and have made some good high quality stuff that smelled comparable to the high end niche stuff, and it didn't cost me more than $20 to make, and that's for 10 oz worth. Unfortunately sometimes a fragrance is just that damn good, and there's no way to avoid the cost, and while I should practice what I preach, I myself have succumbed to the gouging, for fragrances that I really wanted.

    26th April, 2015

    hedonist222's avatar



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    Esprit du Tigre / Spirit of the Tiger by Heeley

    Inigo, Lisa, thanks.
    I've been wanting a menthol/confirous/camforous perfume for a while now.
    Tried many.
    Some were too weird - Fille en Aiguilles

    Tubereuse Criminelle came close but veered off into tuberose territory

    Others were ok but veered off into an herbal prospective (Geoffrey Beene bowling green)

    Others started out nice but ended up flaking away - Richard Lüscher Britos 46°N 08°E - Valais

    Norne is ughh .. nauseating

    Blenheim Bouquet is a good alternative -

    Between this & Granville , my tiger balm needs are satiated.
    Granville and Esprit du Tigre are like Coromandel & Borneo 1834.
    The former are elegant, polished, regal & everything that a St.Regis calls for.
    The latter are the rugged, utilitarian & unadulterated complementary specimens.

    26th April, 2015

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