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  1. #1

    Default My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    I welcome your opinions on my opinions, or on the fragrances themselves. Of course we can't all have the same taste, and that's okay. This is a quick list, will add more later.

    A bit of context is important I believe, so let me offer it so you have a frame of reference. The best frag I've ever had was RUEHL No. 925. I still have an empty bottle that smell great. I love rich musky frags, in general.

    Polo Red Rush Ralph Lauren: From the moment I wore this one, I knew it was going on my list of daytime casuals. A couple of sprays and you feel confident and ready to take on the day. You can't go wrong with this one. I only lament that I can't wear it at night. I don't know if it's just me, but I wouldn't wear citrus at night.

    Polo Blue by Ralph Lauren: Three letters best describe this one: WTF. What even is this? I'd love to know what this frag is trying to be, so I can tell it how it is failing miserably. I am generally not a fan of aquas, admittedly, and this one makes no effort to change that. I rarely, if ever, wear this.

    Acqua di Gio: A pedestrian abomination. This is what you wear when you want to advertise to the world that you went to the mall and spent money on a designer fragrance "from Italy," and therefore you are now "dressed up." The act is the equivalent of dressing a small child in a suit and tie.

    Acqua di Gio Absolu: Its existence is a proper punishment for anyone who's ever liked or bought Acqua di Gio. They should be forced to buy and wear Absolu every day until they repent.

    Y by Yves Saint Laurent: There's a level of warmth and sophistication that makes this one pretty decent.

    L'Homme Ultime by Yves Saint Laurent: It smells like the beginning of a great night out with friends. You know it's gonna be a good time no matter what. Nothing groundbreaking, but a decently successful concoction nonetheless.

    1 Million Lucky by Paco Rabanne: The unisex is strong with this one, so I normally would steer clear. Yet, I don't dislike it. The cedar provides a safe space for the hazelnut and prune to come out and play. This one doesn't earn any seduction points, but its creativity and sweetness make it wholly redeemable, even enjoyable when the right occasion presents.

    Eros by Versace: A name like Eros sets expectations vertiginously high, and the juice delivers. The notes come thick and fast and turn into an amusing guessing game for your shnozz. Yet it all can be a bit overwhelming; the signal can turn into noise for me, especially in the absence of a strong musky base. I acknowledge that this is a good one, but I don't wear it often.

    Sauvage by Dior: I tried very hard to fall in love with this one. I really wanted to love it. But its overall scent is a strangely wandering sentiment, and leaves the senses searching for a finality that never materializes. There's a vague romantic exoticism that beckons in the distance, but it's just a mirage hiding in its harsh synthetic character.

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by location1111 View Post
    Acqua di Gio Absolu: Its existence is a proper punishment for anyone who's ever liked or bought Acqua di Gio. They should be forced to buy and wear Absolu every day until they repent.
    This made me laugh!
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    Basenotes Junkie painted_klown's Avatar
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Interesting thoughts. When it comes to fragrances, the opinions are wildly varied, especially with designer releases. Some people don’t like designer stuff because there is quite a lot of overlap in modern releases. Meaning, there’s seemingly not a whole lot of stuff that really stands out from the pack.

    Out of curiosity, do you generally favor niche fragrances, or mostly designer?

  4. #4

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    This made me laugh!


    Quote Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    Interesting thoughts. When it comes to fragrances, the opinions are wildly varied, especially with designer releases. Some people don’t like designer stuff because there is quite a lot of overlap in modern releases. Meaning, there’s seemingly not a whole lot of stuff that really stands out from the pack.

    Out of curiosity, do you generally favor niche fragrances, or mostly designer?
    You are right, the field is crowded.

    To be honest, I've never tried any niche fragrances. But I might at some point down the line once I become a more seasoned aficionado. That being said, all I ever wanted in life was a little bit of real deer musk. Too bad the stuff is impossible to get.

    A big part of the fun for me when it comes to fragrances is reading people's opinions and reviews. I like how one man's trash can be another man's treasure.

  5. #5
    Basenotes Junkie painted_klown's Avatar
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by location1111 View Post




    You are right, the field is crowded.

    To be honest, I've never tried any niche fragrances. But I might at some point down the line once I become a more seasoned aficionado. That being said, all I ever wanted in life was a little bit of real deer musk. Too bad the stuff is impossible to get.

    A big part of the fun for me when it comes to fragrances is reading people's opinions and reviews. I like how one man's trash can be another man's treasure.
    I have just started getting into niche myself, and personally, I feel there is some stuff out there that will blow your socks off, depending on your taste.

    The great thing about niche (IMO) is there is something for everyone. It doesn’t matter If you like mass appealing, old school fougere type stuff, artisanal stuff, avante garde, orientals, florals, aquatics, ouds, naturals, vegan friendly, gourmand, incense, animalics, etc. The niche world can provide what you seek.

    You’re correct about real deer musk. It’s simply not used anymore, due to regulations. I’m fairly certain the same goes for almost all natural ingredients sourced from animals though. I’m not sure about that, however. There may be some stuff still available that uses real civet, castoreum, ambergris, etc. I’m just not educated enough to know what all is out there.

    Good luck and follow your nose.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    I have just started getting into niche myself, and personally, I feel there is some stuff out there that will blow your socks off, depending on your taste.

    The great thing about niche (IMO) is there is something for everyone. It doesn’t matter If you like mass appealing, old school fougere type stuff, artisanal stuff, avante garde, orientals, florals, aquatics, ouds, naturals, vegan friendly, gourmand, incense, animalics, etc. The niche world can provide what you seek.

    You’re correct about real deer musk. It’s simply not used anymore, due to regulations. I’m fairly certain the same goes for almost all natural ingredients sourced from animals though. I’m not sure about that, however. There may be some stuff still available that uses real civet, castoreum, ambergris, etc. I’m just not educated enough to know what all is out there.

    Good luck and follow your nose.
    Thanks. I am open to trying all. That being said, at this point I know what I normally like, and it's always rooted in musk. I've never truly loved anything non-musky. There must be some amazing niche stuff with musk.

    I imagine niche is quite expensive and I don't know if they do samples, so I've been too lazy to explore. I think I will gradually cross over to the niche side. It's part of the journey.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Try areej le Doré or bortnikoff, they use real musk. Also ensar oud. You can find samples under the spits section.

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    Basenotes Junkie painted_klown's Avatar
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyboi View Post
    Try areej le Doré or bortnikoff, they use real musk. Also ensar oud. You can find samples under the spits section.
    Hello my friend. I hope life is treating you well. )

    +1 to this.

    Lucky Scent is the best place to shop for niche that I have found online. They also sell samples on their site, if you see something you’d like to try.

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    Basenotes Junkie oudaddict's Avatar
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by location1111 View Post
    all I ever wanted in life was a little bit of real deer musk. Too bad the stuff is impossible to get.
    It's not impossible whatsoever, in fact, it is easier now than before thanks to the internet. The main thing is that you buy it from trustworthy sources.

    https://sibermusk.com/shop/

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    Super Member the blood on 530 27's Avatar
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    + 1
    The French have a phrase for it. The bastards have a phrase for everything.

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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by location1111 View Post
    Acqua di Gio: A pedestrian abomination. This is what you wear when you want to advertise to the world that you went to the mall and spent money on a designer fragrance "from Italy," and therefore you are now "dressed up." The act is the equivalent of dressing a small child in a suit and tie.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these. While I don't necessarily agree with all of what you said, I did find this amusing!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Very interesting impressions.
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Haven’t smelled Aqua di Gio Pour Homme in recent years but FWIW this ‘pedestrian abomination’ has been propping up Armani’s bottom line for years. But I’m not all that surprised with your disdain, considering you found Eros to be a ‘good one’. Keep ‘em coming.
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances


  15. #15

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Alright, here's the rest:

    Perry Ellis Pure Blue by Perry Ellis: A decent acqua that won't offend too many people. This one values a sure bet and runs the gamut of its palette safely to blossom into a very average accord, and there's nothing wrong with that. To dive into an architectural analogy, it's your good ol' backyard pool, good enough for an occasional 10-minute splash before you get bored and wonder whether it was ever worth the cost of construction and maintenance. As your brain starts to taunt you with the hopes and dreams you once had, you feel the crushing angst of your middle-class existence. You head inside, take a shower, and think about what's for dinner. It's the perfect acqua for anyone who's been stuck at that average-person plateau for years but nurses a dimming hope of escaping upwards.

    JV x NJ [Crimson] by John Varvatos: Let us not go into the obvious celebrity associations (Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers) or the merits of Disney-flavored rock. This one opens with a strong, spicy cloud that captives and intrigues. Anticipation builds. Soon, the opening falls back away into the dark shadows it had surged from, making way for a flat, one-dimensional composition. It perhaps even phones in the blueprint of its creation. One imagines Mr. Jonas getting on the phone and providing a list of what he imagines would make good perfume, and the poor goon tasked with pleasing him happily obliging. This feels like a perfume-by-the-numbers performance, and serves as a reminder that talent doesn't carry from one field to another. Hey, anyone remember Michael Jordan the baseball player? No, you say? Well that's why making perfume is best left to the pros.

    Invictus by Paco Rabanne: This one could have been called Perfume by Committee, by Paco Rabanne. It's a confused scent-of-all-trades that grasps at every cliche in the hopes of appealing to the largest number of customers. Invictus is identity crisis in a bottle. If I were to guess, I'd peg it as a lowest-common-denominator effort born during a dry Powerpoint presentation where executives sip water from a pitcher infused with strawberries and slices of cucumber. Competitors are analyzed, and the most successful notes are voted on and thrown into a mix. Ironically, my respect for Paco Rabanne only grows because when they make mistakes, their magnitude is simply spectacular.

    Coach for Men (2017) by Coach: This one announces itself with full confidence and makes no secret of its high-street associations. The drydown makes way for a respectable follow-up that offers more context and legitimizes the upmarket sensibility. The overall tonality carries the conceit fairly well, but in typical Coach fashion, it finds a way to trip on its own devices. Over time, it becomes cloyingly heavy, like a guest that hangs around too long and won't leave. It loses its charm, and you get antsy and start to explore ways to terminate the interaction and resume your normal life.

    Gentleman (2017) by Givenchy: This one makes you pause and carefully scan your surroundings because you can't be completely sure you aren't on a Truman Show-like stage. It's a howling demon of a scent. It is to your nose what a beeping smoke detector is to your ears: absolutely jarring. Putting it on is like force-hugging a feral cat that wants nothing to do with you and is trying desperately to get away. I lasted a few minutes before running to the bathroom and washing it off with soap. But that only seemed to make the demon angrier, as the scent somehow came back even stronger. I washed it off a second time to no avail, so I reached for acetone and rubbed some on the spot I had sprayed, and that finally seemed to exorcise it out of my skin. Wearing this in crowded areas, or on planes, where people have no way to escape from you, should count as an act of terrorism. Nonetheless, the harrowing tale is worth experiencing at least, and at most, once. Any self-respecting colognoisseur must have this in their collection just to know what pure evil smells like.

    Euphoria Men (2006) by Calvin Klein: Calvin Klein often gets it right and it's definitely the case with Euphoria. The fragrance is a breath of fresh air in a sea of also-rans. Euphoria strikes a rare balance that makes it abundantly age-appropriate and occasion-appropriate without diluting its essence. Interestingly, it radiates a jolly barbershoppy sentiment around the edges that complements the bright and shiny topline. There's also a certain joie de vivre in there that echoes CK One. Surely, this is a generalist scent, and perfume lovers constantly living on the olfactory edge won't find too much excitement here, but that's because their serotonin receptors are fried. Take a 30-day break and come back to appreciate this little gem.

    Fierce Ultimate (2014) by Abercrombie & Fitch: Radioactive waste seeking to capitalize on the brand's name and the Fierce line. For whatever reason, they thought they'd make this one smell soapy to conjure a dynamic freshness fitting of the 'Ultimate' tagline.

    Fierce Confidence (2014) by Abercrombie & Fitch: Radioactive waste seeking to capitalize on the brand's name and the Fierce line. It registers in the vein of throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

    Fierce Icon (2015) by Abercrombie & Fitch: Radioactive waste seeking to capitalize on the brand's name and the Fierce line. Make it stop. God, please, make it stop.

    1892 (2018) by Abercrombie & Fitch: Radioactive waste seeking to capitalize on the brand's name, with spicy notes thrown in for good measure. The name is meant to conjure some kind of historicity and by definition a return to tried-and-true formulas of old. Supposedly, the "good stuff." If only.

    Woods (new) by Abercrombie & Fitch: Radioactive waste seeking to capitalize on the brand's name and perhaps by association the original Woods fragrance that preceded Fierce. An insult to anyone with a nose.

    First Instinct (2016) by Abercrombie & Fitch: Radioactive waste seeking to capitalize on the brand's name and pull a little cash-grab on unsuspecting victims.

    Ellwood (2017) by Abercrombie & Fitch: Radioactive waste seeking to capitalize on the brand's name. If you care to know, you will be shrouded in an insufferable powdery smell. Imagine a drug addict who goes on an all-night bender of whisky and cocaine, and in the cold light of early morning, with the stupor of intoxication peaking, runs out of the white stuff and talks himself into snorting talcum powder instead. I have never indulged in any intoxicating substance, but that's the best approximation I can dream up.

    Fierce (2002) by Abercrombie & Fitch: The one and only. The original. The fragrance that launched a thousand stores. Or, the signature scent that helped drive tens of billions of dollars in gross sales at A&F stores. This one's impossible to appraise objectively, be it only because every mall in America reeks of the stuff. If you've ever walked by A&F's old shuttered stores, you've likely been arrested by the pungent smell of Fierce, forcefully inviting you to discover a world of suspended youthfulness and aesthetic perfection. You may even have wandered inside and acquiesced to the sense of kinship offered by oversized posters of male models expressing the apparent hilarity of pulling each other's short down. But, casting aside the erotic gallivanting of fresh-faced models and their practiced thousand-yard stares, Fierce remains a perfumery tour de force. If it had been a niche fragrance, or another house's work, it would have been lauded as one of the best creations bar none. It's a glorious scent that got me more compliments than any other, despite its unfortunate history and associations. For whatever reason, girls love it. I also appreciate it on its own. Sadly, its popularity precludes its use for anyone over a certain age, unless you can pull off the A&F look to some extent.
    Last edited by location1111; 26th August 2019 at 12:35 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Can't wait to read what you got to say about Bleu de Chanel and the unnecessary 50 versions of it

  17. #17

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Schnitter View Post
    Can't wait to read what you got to say about Bleu de Chanel and the unnecessary 50 versions of it
    Sadly I've never tried it, the above is pretty much my entire collection. I heard a lot about the seminal Bleu de Chanel and if I get my hands on it I'll share my feelings.

  18. #18

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    So, if the above is all in your collection... are you repenting yet with Gio Absolu?hahaha

  19. #19

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Schnitter View Post
    So, if the above is all in your collection... are you repenting yet with Gio Absolu?hahaha
    Luckily that one is just a sample size, so I could do my penance in one week.

    You should pick up a bottle of Gentleman by Givenchy, the 2017 before it was reformulated, and see if you can go through the whole bottle without ruining your life.

  20. #20

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    I don't agree with hardly anything you say, but Gosh Darnit, you are funny while saying it!
    Current Rotation
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    *Mancera Cedrat Boise
    *Parfums de Marly Pegasus
    *Mancera Wild Fruits
    *Dior Sauvage edT
    *Chanel Allure Homme Sport eau extreme

  21. #21
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    I don't muchly agree either, but I agree that I enjoyed reading your post. Musk is awesome. I'm on your side there.
    It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Thank you for sharing these very extensive, documented and fascinating to read impressions.

    So far, could particularly relate to and agree with the impressions about: ADG, Y and YSL l'Homme Ultime, Coach for Men, 2017 Givenchy Gentleman, mainly thanks to the accuracy and the detailed, nuanced and on topic descriptions of each.
    Currently wearing: Open by Roger & Gallet

  23. #23

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    Thank you for sharing these very extensive, documented and fascinating to read impressions.

    So far, could particularly relate to and agree with the impressions about: ADG, Y and YSL l'Homme Ultime, Coach for Men, 2017 Givenchy Gentleman, mainly thanks to the accuracy and the detailed, nuanced and on topic descriptions of each.
    Thanks, not many were agreeing with the bulk of what I said, I was starting to think I was crazy

  24. #24
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    I'd love to see your reaction to some 80's powerhouses like Lapidus Pour Homme (87), Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent (81) or Bogart One Man Show (1980).
    oh look, I have a signature

  25. #25

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Ha ha. I think ADG is a great scent but unfortunately so many wear or have worn it that it lost most of its charm

  26. #26

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    I'd love to see your reaction to some 80's powerhouses like Lapidus Pour Homme (87), Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent (81) or Bogart One Man Show (1980).
    100% this.

    Get him a sample of Bijan for Men.

    It will be epic.
    Currently wearing: Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss

  27. #27
    Dependent Mr. Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Heawns View Post
    Ha ha. I think ADG is a great scent but unfortunately so many wear or have worn it that it lost most of its charm
    I feel the same about it.

  28. #28

    Default Re: My opinion on several mainstream fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    I'd love to see your reaction to some 80's powerhouses like Lapidus Pour Homme (87), Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent (81) or Bogart One Man Show (1980).
    I'd love to too, though I put anything made in the 1980s and before in a different league because I believe they used real musk and ambergris. So naturally they'd be superior to recent offerings.

    Also, what is the best musky fragrance you can recommend? Something easily available, mainstream or niche.

    By the way, I read many of your reviews. You're a talented writer.




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