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  1. #1

    Default Reviews scare me...

    I am really excited about colognes and a possible collection in the future, and want to learn about them. I'm looking for a nice summer one, but all the reviews scare me. There are positive ones...but the negative ones completely kill it for me. I don't want to wear something that smells like alcohol or piss or oil. And I also don't want to go about spending over $100 for a scent right now. (Broke college kid lol)
    Gah I wish I had someone i knew in person that could help me out =/

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Tastes are personal, so you'll never going to find consensus. You should read reviews to get ideas on types of frags that are around, what are their main characteristics, and the like. Then smell things yourself. Typically, it is wise to wait a bit before jumping into buying. Taste changes quite a bit at the beginning as you get exposed to more and more frags. Sometimes, by comparing different frags, you realize that the thing you liked at the beginning isn't as good as it could be, and there's stuff you prefer.

    Once you've smelled enough stuff, you'll know what you like. So I would just go to a store (Sephora, Macys etc) and test a few (use paperstrips to bring back home as well). You cannot really test more than 4-5 per time, your nose gets tired. Go a few times, and by then end you'll probably have good ideas on what you like.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Welcome to Basenotes!
    IMO the best thing is to go to Sephora or large department stores and test for yourself. Most modern fragrances, especially those marketed towards young consumers and Americans are very safe and don't have any of those notes. There's a reason the popular ones are top sellers like Armani Acqua di Gio, Chanel Allure Homme Sport, D&G Light Blue Pour Homme, etc. (among many others). These are all safe bets. Clean and fresh.
    Especially if you're new to fragrances, there's no need to spend top dollar (not that there's ever a NEED by anyone LOL).
    Currently wearing: Zen for Men by Shiseido

  4. #4

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Thanks cacio!
    Is there a difference between aquatics and citrus? I mean obviously, but I feel like for my age Aquatics are very mainstream. Ive never smelled a citrus but to me, anything floral seems feminine, though i know that this is ignorant and probably wrong. So I don't know what to look for concerning summer. I'll have to go to a store I guess..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    no fragrance is perfect and no fragrance will be without its scathing reviews.

  6. #6
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Coastal Massachusetts

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Basenotes can be a daunting place when you are new, especially the reviews section. If I were you, I'd pick up a bunch of samples of things you are interested in (via Sephora in store, or just try out fragrances like at Macy's) and go from there. Since you don't want to spend too much money (which is understandable), it's wise to spend your money on samples and carefully figure out what you want before purchasing anything.

  7. #7
    Sound Scents
    drseid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Northern VA/DC Area

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    All the prior recommendations for you to sample and make up your own mind are spot-on, IMO. Once you get a good handle on your tastes over time you will most likely find some particular reviewers that you find have positive and negative reviews on fragrances you have sampled that correlate to your own experience and then seek out in future for a decent read on whether a given fragrance will be to your liking. Even then it most likely will not be a perfect correlation. If you sample things yourself before buying and buy what smells good to *you* with only using reviews as a guide my guess is you will end up just fine. Hang in there...
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) Polo vintage (Ralph Lauren) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie

  8. #8
    Dependent Shiny Beast's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    You just gotta familiarize yourself with posters, figure out who's tastes closely align with yours and what not. What frags do you already have and/or which have you already decided to purchase?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Thanks for the help everyone!
    I have something called "The Golden Secret" I like it, but don't love it. Going to try something different next winter. Thats it for now, I am interested in checking out an Aquatic scent as I will be spending my summer on a beach. But I am also curious what citrus scents smell like. So for now not sure, but I have been doing a lot of research on the scents you guys have been recommending and also from other threads..

  10. #10
    Dependent Shiny Beast's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Word, here's a couple to check out if ya' want some homework:

    Dior Homme Sport
    Dior Homme Cologne
    Armani Aqua Di Gio
    Bvlgari Aqua
    Creed Millesime Imperial
    Creed Virgin Island Water

  11. #11

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    One more peice of directed advice would be to test different genres to get a baseline of what you may like. For example:

    Aquatic/citrus: Aqua Di Gio, L'eau D"issey
    Fresh/green: Platinum Egoiste, Abercrombie Fierce
    Sweet/Spicy: 1 Million, La Nuit De L'homme
    Soapy/clean: Mugler Cologne, Prada Amber
    Gourmand (food like): A*Men, Hanae Mori

    Sniff a few of those and then that will help you narrow down the list.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Citrus notes and aquatic notes often go together in a perfume. But they smell different. Citrus means exactly that: the smell of oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and the like. Marine or aquatic notes smell like the ocean, so to speak, seaweed and all the rest. I strongly dislike them, it's a personal thing, they remind me decaying shellfish, but most people find them refreshing. Shiny beast's list are mostly marine in the heart (if you really want to go overboard, the worst, ehm, most potent is perhaps D&G Light Blue). If you want to check a pure citrus without marine, you could look at Hermes Concentree d'Oranges vertes or Dior Eau Sauvage.


  13. #13
    Dependent Darjeeling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Quote Originally Posted by Long Boarder View Post
    Thanks cacio!
    Is there a difference between aquatics and citrus? I mean obviously, but I feel like for my age Aquatics are very mainstream. Ive never smelled a citrus but to me, anything floral seems feminine, though i know that this is ignorant and probably wrong.

    So many things go into scents, and there are floral elements to many mens scents that don't scream "flowers!" So don't be scared if you see the name of a flower in the note pyramid.

    There are a lot of good suggestions in this thread. Go try them in store. On paper strips first, but be sure to also try them on your own skin, because they will probably smell a little different when actually worn on skin, and how they then smell can vary from person to person.
    Currently wearing: Tam Dao by Diptyque

  14. #14
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Reside in McLean, NYC, Manuel Antonio & Búzios

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Just smell different fragrances and make your own judgment. Take reviews positive and negative with caution.

  15. #15
    Renato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    You'll find the Basenotes reviews contain heaps of rubbishing reviews made by either the highbrow types, the scents-should-be-art types or the if-it's-not-a-womens-scent-it's-rubbish types and the if-it's-synthetic-it's rubbish types. And also, by the dichotomous thinking if-I-don't-like-it-it's-utter-crap types. If you check the Fragrantica reviews, you'll see that more of them are made by your typical average types than is the case at Basenotes.

    For any scathing review, ask yourself the question - what is the probability that a perfumer came up with something vile and putrid, and the manufacturer decided to then make and market it?

    My advice is that you are right to not spend $100 on a scent until you have become fairly experienced. I've been here long enough to see hundreds of scents praised here at their release, which then didn't do so well, which then got heavily discounted, and are now referred to as "cheapies" because they wound up at your Marshall's or Walmart for $15 to $25. But they're still fabulous scents.

    By all means stay away from the real cheapie scents - either the copy ones or the made cheap to be sold cheap ones, like Lomani. Women will notice them as "cheap" instantaneously.

    The bargain bin and the internet are your friends. For under $100 you should easily be able to pick up 3 to 5 very good quality scents that will make you stand out in a good way. I can't suggest some because they seem to come on sale at different times in different parts of the world.
    Good luck,

    P.S. Beware of Ebay fakes - the only fake one I ever got (Creed MI) was in fact vile. putrid and unwearable. Curiously, even then some people who bought the same rubbish bottle thought it wasn't too bad.
    Last edited by Renato; 11th April 2013 at 04:36 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Hi, welcome to basenotes!
    There's just one thing I can tell you and that is:
    Don't rely solely on any reviews, positive or negative!
    the most reliable fact is YOUR NOSE and the experience YOU have with one scent.
    All you read and reviews give just suggestions to you, then go test YOURSELF and judge by your own style.
    Never ignore a fragrance you like just based on negative reviews, and never put on a fragrance you don't enjoy just because of the hype and multiple good reviews.
    these are just suggestions I can make you for starting this exciting journey:
    Bulgari Aqua PH
    Dior Homme Intense
    Rochas Man
    Dior Fahrenheit
    Creed Millesime Imperial
    Creed Green Irish Tweed
    Creed Aventus
    Azzaro Chrome
    YSL L'Homme
    Terre d'Hermes EDT or Pure Parfum
    D&G Pour Homme
    L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme EDT
    Costume National Scent Intense
    My all time favorite:

    Dior Fahrenheit
    Currently wearing: Oajan by Parfums de Marly

  17. #17

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Any fragrance is more or less likely to cause very personal, not necessarily irrational, but still difficult to verbalize, also very variable reactions of like or dislike. Thus, wear, purchase, test, experiment and enjoy the fragrances that work best on you.
    Currently wearing: Derrick by Orlane

  18. #18

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    I know what you mean as I was like that --- once. The first negative review I'd read would put me off, even if there were a dozen positive ones. Now, I don't give a toss (well maybe if every review was negative, I might) -- I just test them all myself and I know what I like -- you'll be like that soon, no worries.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Stop reading reviews. Go out and smell some fragrances. Get some samples if you can. Don't try too many at a time. Form your own impressions and decide which ones you like without relying on others' opinions.
    Currently wearing: Mitsouko by Guerlain

  20. #20

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Don't take it to serious you're a college student, it's not like you're taking a final exam just let your nose guide you and don't even read the reviews. The only reviews that are consistent are usually regarding longevity, they may vary here and there but if out of 136 reviews 95 say that longevity is between 8-12 hrs then that's a pretty high number that is more than like the overall experience of every user, even those who don't post reviews.

    Also for a great all around fragrance that shines in any season I recommend Hanae Mori HM, citrus, floral, gourmand. Heavy enough for winter yet light enough for summer.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    Thanks for the help everyone =D

    I just bought 4 3oz samples to try.
    I got Aqua de Gio, Cool water, Dior Homme, and Dior Homme Sport.

    Looking forward to trying these, hoping to find a solid co ice for the summer =D have not smelled any of these yet...

  22. #22
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Bend Oregon USA

    Default Re: Reviews scare me...

    The way I do it is to try two at a time : One on each hand. That way you can compare the two, and by the end of the day you will know which one you like. Then use the one you like as your "reference" frag the next day and compare it to the next one.

    Trying more than two is confusing, and trying one with nothing to compare it to can be confusing too.

    Sometimes it's going to be like comparing apples and oranges, but still, it's nice to have something to compare things to.

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