Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Carl999

Total Reviews: 159

Mesmerize for Men by Avon

I wanted to love this, but it just gave me a headache. Upon re-sniffing 2 weeks later, I decided I did not like it at all. Too sweet at the beginning. Too fruity. Finishes up smelling exactly like ancient Egyptian enbalming preparations. I guess its the Myrrh, and the sweet note working together.

People have equated this with Obsession. They are wrong.

Enough said, cheerio!
19th May, 2008

Royal Bain de Caron / Royal Bain de Champagne by Caron odd one.

It does indeed start off with a "poisonous" openning - and yes - somewhat akin to rat poison...just you wait for ten or fifteen minutes,!

Once you get past that initial oddness (I dont know how to describe it - sweet, but sharp at the same time - its like smelling something quite sweet and head-ache-inducing at the same time as receice a blow to the nose), you get to a unique, balmy, very bourjois, late-19th/early-20th-century evenning perfume. It smells heady, yet soft and gentle at the same time. As I said, it's balmy (incense notes), oriental, classy - with velvety lilac, plummy, incense, tonka, wisteria and mossy elements.

This was unisex in 1923 when it was ORIGINALLY created. A lot of people would find that hard to say today. But then, I am amongst the growing number of men that find Shalimar and Bois des Iles quite workable for men. Therefore I find it unisex, but if u use it this way, do it discreetly.

In the highly gender-polarised world of modern fragrance (which, ironically, is becomming harder to tell, once again), some people could easily have an adverse reaction to men using it - but used in the bath water, the shaving water, and splashed judiciously on the neck and behind the ears, it can be irresistable on us gents - as evidenced by recent experience!

Thumbs up from me, and 8/10 (so-so longevity, top notes spoil it somewhat - otherwise, close to a 9).
18th May, 2008

Pour Un Homme by Caron

Not what I was expecting: the lavander is a tad to sweet in my opinion. The sage, rosewood, cedar, rosemary and citrus don't seem to temper the very floral-sweet lavander/vanilla combo as they should.

Theoretically, they should add some dryness and restraint to the blend - which is fine as it is, but I feel it could be richer in refinement.

I guess when it comes down to it - I would have to agree with the majority of reviewers here - it is elegent, masculine, and very veryu period 30s.
18th May, 2008
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Eau de Hongrie by Fragonard

No no no. This is NOT an Eau d'Hongrie...Eau d'Hongrie is a fresh and fleeting composition of rosemary, lavander, orange, lemon, with hints of hyssop, clary sage, mint, sweet marjoram, rose, cistus and or juniper or spruce - rosemary is the basis of the fragrance, followed up by lavander, orange lemon and rosewater.

Historically, 14th and 15th German, Polish and Hungarian recipes called for additional hints of mint, rose or, for embelishment for a rich client, or for lack of proper ingredients, whatever herbs that may be distilled are to be found seasonally growing in the monastary garden, or the hill-side.

A traditional Polish-Hungarian recipe is usually typified by rosemary, lavander, a tri-citrus element, rose-water, not rose essential oil and seasonal herbal additions.

Hungary Water was originally intended to be a cosmetic, medicinal, age-defying and all-purpose preparation, like the Bay Rhum of the 14th century!

Only after the aristocracy took interest in it's perfuming qualities and potential, was it embellished beyond recognition.

Infact in those times the namesake 'Hungary Water' had a somewhat similar meaning to cologne these days, developing both general and a specific meaning.

A perfume merchant were to supply an aristocrat with a preparation of amber, incense, cinnamon and musk, and as long as its structure remotely resembled the original hungary water, it would be generically termed hungary water.

Anyways, sorry to digress.

All that being said, this fragrance is a perfectly acceptable "embellishment" of the original - although to me, it smells like something that should be name "Eau d'Aristocracie" or "Eau de Royaume" (Kingdom Water) etc.

I perceive a blend of traditional Eau de Cologne notes (lavender, citrus), Eau d'Hongrie notes (rosemary, rosewater - rosemary also found in Eau de Cologne) and warm ambery, woody and ubiquitous notes, found in the priceless blends of ambergris, musk, civet, rich dark spices and heady eastern florals that might have been possed by the uber-important aristocracy and royalty of the 14th to the 16th centuries, to cover up nasty bodily humours...

The fragrance itself somehow comes accross as warm, contemplative and balanced, soft andfresh at the same time. Although, I find that something is missing big time, giving an unverving quality.
26th December, 2007

Emporio Armani City Glam for Him by Giorgio Armani

Its ok...interpreted differently by other people.

Smells synthetic to begin with. Then a sort of a "new car leather" smell mingles itself in with the syntheticness. I liked it at that particular point.

Soon after, very soon, roughtly 20 minutes, that feel was washed away by a popular genericness, and turned the fragrance into a carbon-copy replica of MOST of what there is elsewhere on the "accessible" i.e. affordable mainstream market.

"Social Poison", to quote RugbyPete? No. More like a fragrant embodiment of youth trends. It's not BAD. There has been worse.

If that "new car leather" sort of smell had lingered on for a lot longer, I would wear it much more.

I'm not being a snob, but I find I receive more compliments for 6 squirts of Lagerfeld Classic on my collar than I do when I wear ANY fragrance in this youth culture genre, bar Issey Miyake and Cool Water and its Deep spin-off.
19th December, 2007

Oud Wood by Tom Ford

Rubbery, leathery, medicine water. I get it, but I am rather "bleh" about it, as with all Tom Ford frags.

I do like the Oudh aspect, but the Swiss Arabian Perfumes "Mukhalat al Maliki" ("The Blend of the King") does is so much better, and in 30mL of purfume absolute that goes for $49.99 on the net.

I think this Tom Ford smells to me more like something rubbery, synthetic leathery and medicinal, with a hint of Oudh added.

If it think of it as an Oudh based fragrance, it tarnishes my otherwise smitten relationship with Oudh - finest and costliest of all natural frgarances.
12th December, 2007

Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

Another "BLEH". Not too happy, but it's ok.

Refer to my Oudh Wood review, and minus the Oudh Wood.

Sorry, my expectations must have just been too high.

Sorry. 4/10. I can't believe I am saying this, I feel personally shocked and embarassed...I like Tabac Original much, much better than this, not that there is any connection. Just going for the dramatics.

12th December, 2007

cK In 2U Her by Calvin Klein

A number of people have already aptly pointed out the cliche-ness of this perfume.

They're not wrong.

However, I found this frangrance, whilst cliche, fresh, spicey, warm, feminine, masculine and androgenous at the same time. It roused my interest.

And compared to the men's version, which I thought was abominably plain, generic and cliche, this version is a delight.

Its not my favourite fragrance by any means; nor does it make it anywhere near the league of my favourites.

But there's soemthing about it that I 'just like'.

I'd give it about 4.5-5/10.

08th December, 2007

Desire Blue by Dunhill

Average Joe.

A weaker, aquatic, hormonal male highschool student interpretation of Desire Red. A "Blue" version of the Red, with a few other minor adjustment, simlar, but somehow the same, as a reviewer put it, when describing both Red and Blue on the D Red page.

Not a fan. I accord it a pass (only just) and would pass it for Brut. LOL.
06th December, 2007

Silvestre by Victor

I was determined to sample this; it sounded like the "holy grail" of pine scents...boy was it to be disappointed...

Cheap, sneeze-inducing, and very "household cleaner-like".

Aqua di Selva is far superior, even though I would personally award AdS nothing more than a neutral, and considering it's lack of lasting power, almost bordline with a thumbs-down.

On the other hand, I think the pervasive lasting of Silvestre was part of its downfall.

Spruce, Sandalwood, Cistus and Galbanum, a bit of Basil,and perhaps some Marjoram and Mint, with less Pine, could have balanced this perfume out more effectively.

Even if I this was marketed by Chanel, in classic Chanel bottle, with $170 put on the price tag, I would have declared loudly, to all in the perfumes department of David Jones, "This is abhorent, and smells cheap!"
06th December, 2007

Desire for a Man by Dunhill

Love it or hate it? I dunno, Im caught in between.

I love love love the bottle, bit iffy about the scent. It seems edgy and synthetic to start, but softens agreeably, but then another pervasivly unsettling note comes out to play (synthetic rather than real, natural rosewood, methinks) and ruins the whole matinee...

My assessment? The synthetic fruits need to be toned down and softened, particularly in content. Perhaps a dash of oakmoss to provide a tempering dryness? A little more musk, vanilla and labdanum? Anything to provide more grounding, and temper the synthetic, headache inducing top-notes.

Sporty indeed. Just bearable to wear out. Nice for school/uni. Needs to be re-editioned, improved. softened. tempered.
06th December, 2007

À la Nuit by Serge Lutens

Not a fan. I usually love Jasmine in fragrances, mens' and womens' alike, but the jasmine in this has an odd, unerving quality.

In fact, I find pure Jasmine essential oil much more grounding and seductive.

I am a great lover and coinesseur of fine fragrance...alas, Lutens' fragrances have failed to satisfy me.

Sorry Serge, thumbs down again...I simply can't justify hundreds of dollars for many of thy jus...
06th December, 2007

Shocking by Elsa Schiaparelli

Very sexy. In a hedonistic, 1930s way. Im not saying its too old or anything, I have enough good taste and class to see that sexy 1930s hedonism is fantastic.

Its very voluptuous, a deep, woody and heady spice, blooming into oily puffs of equally heady incense, blown gently across the room by as zephyr of honey and creamy blossoms...with aldehydes, oakmoss and syrupy sweet narcissus packing a timely but somewhat unfortunately persistant puch...

I like it, no, I love it, but it does give me a headache, to be bluntly honest...but a simple headache is bearable when my beloved Xiao Mei (half chinese gf) accompanies me wearing this voluptous heavy silk gown of powerhouse hedonism...Shocking is indeed a powerhouse perfume...

Some will find it unsettling, pervasive and sometimes "shockingly" rude...But I love. Especially on my Xiao Mei.
06th December, 2007
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Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

Classy, effeminate, powdery, sophisticated and very classical. I love it.

Although it has a very clearly motherly feel to it, I love it on my girlfriend.
06th December, 2007

Ma Griffe (original) by Carven

I like soapy, but I found this pervasively so. Perhaps I tested it from an "off" bottle?

Not quite like others have described it to me...Im not so sure how to describe it myself for that matter.

To put it simply, I truly believe that this is a fragrance where, when applied, a person's individual body chemistry either "makes or breaks" the scent.

On my skin, it's soapy, with a sizzling sharp openning. On my girlfriend, it is soapy, but also quite floral, with a warm, unsweetened cinnamon stick, fresh from the spicer's, rushing through a power-punch-packing dry, green aldehyde, creating an aldehydic, green, soapy and spicy confusion.

I can't put my finger on what exactly I think of the perfume. So until the day I can express something more substantive, I will relegate it to the purgatory that is "neutral"...
06th December, 2007

Number 3 / Le 3ème Homme / The Third Man by Caron

I was so damned disappointed with this almost broke my heart LOL.

Most reviews and advice from people who had tested it in person lead me to believe that this would be smooth, soft, creamy, warm and sweet...gentlemanly and refined - dignified in an 80s way, but not an 80s way...I had set myelf up for all this!

This was just, and I say this with great emphasis, "BLEH"...

The smell is acceptble, but the blend is too pervasively compromised by Geranium, Oakmoss, Aniseed and smells, "dry", "dusty", "run-of-the-mill 70s/80s"...blended with yet another pervasively disappointing note: SPICED GREEN APPLES... that have sat on the kitchen bench all day...

It could be a LOT better if these notes were toned down, significantly!

I am over my disappointment now, and have since taken to using it to scent my bedroom carpet before vacuuming, and spritzing over my matress before laying down fresh linen.

The old old old lady t my work loves the smell of this. This actually has nothing to do with age - but she happens to smell like spiced green apples and Tabu...

"Beau_mode_arome" is totally right - it's trying to accomplish too much.
05th December, 2007 (last edited: 18th May, 2008)

Boss Number One by Hugo Boss

This frangrance...perplexes and purturbs me...I find the back ground note sothing, masculine and enjoyable, typically late-eighties, early-nineties...

BUT...there is this Bergamot, Honey, Jasmine, Patchouli accord that produces a "urine" and "sweaty", "dirty", "body-odour" complex that does a LOT of damage to the fragrance...just makes it smell aweful...

For the lovely supporting background notes, I give it a neutral. Be that as it may, the unerving quality of the "dirty", "sweaty" "b/o" and "urine" smelling accord that I elaborated above, makes it tempting to give it a out-right thumbs down...
05th December, 2007

Sun Moon Stars by Lagerfeld

Its ok. I happen to get a both Peach and Pineapple at the openning, sweet, syrupy and synthetic.

Freesia and other soft white flowers begin to take the reigns; the sweetness is still undoubtably there, but the blow is softened by the progress of white flowers.

Indeed, this is a sweet perfume, incase u haven't already guessed, but this is one sweet perfume, perhaps one of only a handful, that I can truly stand to bear...

Still sweet, but yet again, slightly less so, the must begins to sink in, but the last of the Heliotrope, Orange Blossom, Narcissus, not ulike the sweet narcissus in Yardley's Narcissus and sweet-ish chinese-smelling Jasmine kick of their heavy veil of sweetness, and blend into the soft must - sweet, still, at this stage, as in every stage of the perfume, but subdued, soft and comforting.
05th December, 2007

Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden

Sorry, but meh. I had been built up to expect a good classic.

Smells like a "just acceptable" run-of-the-mill everyday chores-around-the home and going-to-do-the-groceries scent.

Just very "bleh"...

Does remind me feintly of L'air du Temps, and the largely white floral heart dominates too loudly and too proudly.

This perfume would be a greatd deal better, had it been more oportunely balanced.
05th December, 2007

Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

Light and fresh, but with reasonable staying power, sillage and accessability.

Light, clean and citrusy. Fresh, and yes, it does have a light tea quality.

This is one of those trend-setter fragrances - that so many other companies copy, and very poorly I might add, flooding the market with headache- and sinus-inducing, overly sweet "me-toos"...and yes, a multitude of people wear it, and it is generic in the same sense as Cool Water, CK One and Issey Miyake, insofar as they are TREND-SETTERS and generic ORIGINATORS...not the crap that floats around every department store corner...

04th August, 2007

Dolce & Gabbana by Dolce & Gabbana

Mmmm...this one is soooooooooooo nice!

It's sweet, warm, calm and feminine, sensual, homely, yet somewhat exotic...It manages to be all of this, plus more, without being overbearingly sweet. In addition, I find it to smell equally casual and romantic, soft and timeless. I also find that it is a much a spring/summer fragrance as it is a fall/winter fragrance - but I do prefer the way it smells in the depth of winter...

It reminds me faintly of a flan my Nanna used to make, but in that capacity, it also reminds me, and I re-iterate, reminds me, as it is certainly nothing the same, as the sweet, creamy, warm and sensual smell of Chanel No. 5 - after 5 hours drying down...In addition, it contains a lovely balance of soft white florals, exotic incense, vanilla and musk, a hint of amber, and a dash of essence of butter-cookie - it is NOT, however, gourmand. So if you want a gourmand, do NOT purchase this...

But if you want to smell feminine and sensuous, by all means go ahead!

Plus, it won't break the piggy bank!
25th July, 2007

Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

This is one of those never-failing ones that I can go back to when I am having trouble selecting a fragrance from my wardrobe; it is a fragrance very much of the 70s AND 80s, but there is something, maybe the anise/lavander/petit-grain/geranium accord in the top, that makes it simultaneously modernist and classic.

I don't know - but this smells masculine and timeless in a way that few others, perhaps 18/19/20 in the masculine genre, do.

It has the elements that may lead one to place this in communion with Paco Rabanne - however, whereas Paco Rabanne has that human sweat-leather-honey-muskyness that makes it smell dirty, both in good and bad ways, Azzaro, whilst it certainly does have it's animalic elements, shares more of the herbal and woody notes found in Paco.

In addition, the slight, albeit very much present floral-amber accord that features in Obsession for men may also be found in Azzaro. Indeed, the spicier, arid elements of Aramis can also be found in this fragrance...Not to mention the woody-slightly burnt-bronzed-incense featured by L'Occitane's Eau Baux...with its prominent ambroxin-cyprus-vetiver-incense accord...however not to the extent of the previously mentioned fragrances.

All in all, quite an acceptable fragrance - certainly not the greatest in the world - but it is herbal, green, woody, animalic and ambery, without being questionably dirty in the sense of Paco Rabanne, so floral, spicy and ambery as Obsession, or so uber-masculine as Aramis, whilst maintaining an acceptable balance of each, not over-doing it.

Go ahead, and spritz a little Azzaro.

23rd July, 2007

Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

Ergh...I don't even know how to describe this other than synthetic smelling, off and out-dated.

Now I wear many classics - Aramis, Lagerfeld, Lauder for Men, Givenchy Gentleman, etc...Indeed, many find these drastically out-dated - but I happen to wear them all very, very well, and get many compliments - but not from Tsar...I imagined it to be smooth, comforting, masculine and aromatic/chypre, borderline oriental in style...Powerful and classic in a romanticised sense...

All I got was "bleh"...No compliments - instead, after I wore it to my mum's place last week, my sis, girl friend, both brothers, my dad, an uncle, and my mum, all of whom usually love the way I smell - all asked me never to wear this again.

Sure enough, I will avoid this like the plague - I myself can't stand it, and still have trouble trying to describe and define the smell itself...

I just can't bring myself to like it. Sorry. 2/10 for sillage and longevity, and thumbs down...

P.S. At first I thought I might have received an off bottle, but after having tried it at various department stores since, I discovered, unfortunately, that I hadn't.
12th July, 2007

Michael for Men by Michael Kors

I love it, but a little too boozy for me. I actually smell a fair bit of bourbon in it, and I HATE bourbon.

That being said, I do love it, just that I have trouble wearing it.

Very heavy, very warm. To be worn in snow-covered countries. Doesn't go down too well in Singapore, where I first tried it, or in the Australian tropics/sub-tropics...However, I did wear it quite well in Sydney, which is much cooler.

I won't add anything else, coz other basenoters here are pretty much spot-on, except for not noting the "bourbon-ness" of it.

6/10, and thumbs up.
09th July, 2007

Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

Definitely cologne-ish and soapy, clean and soft - fresh and Spring-like in nature.

Kinda reminds me a little of Irish spring.

I think I would have prefered it if it had more herbaceous-sharp notes, but whatcha gunna do? LOL.

I definitely think some more lavander and rosemary would have hit the spot - and even some vetiver and sandal, or maybe cedar. Bu then that would be me telling people how to do their jobs. I'm good at that. LOL.

But as it is, it is a great fragrance. I got a decent sized bottle for only $30 Australian Dollars, but wouldn't pay the usual $80 price-tag.

Still, I give it 7/10 (that good for me), and a thumbs up.
09th July, 2007

Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana

LOL - I totally agree with what a few other people here seem to point out - over the past few years, it has indeed become a stocking-filler sort of fragrance.

This perfume, along with Brut cologne spray, Piere Cardin, Lagerfeld Classic (a fantastic men's fragrance), Chloe and Anais-Anais, has indeed become a Christmas stocking filler perfume - well at least within my family.

That being said, everyone in my immediate family, including myself, have quite expensive tastes in fragrance, usually steering clear of stocking-filler fragrances - but this is one that everyone I know enjoys waking up to on Christmas morning!

Fresh, dynamic, relatively clean, sporty and quite unisex. Freshly natural smelling, not laiden with synthetic-smelling crap. The bamboo note is clear and harmonious - almost cerebral in nature - like unto pure mysore sandal essence, yet absolutely nothing like it! And the Granny Smith is clear and fresh smelling, never stuffy and sweet, as it quite often is in other perfumes.

The cedar and musk is light, and sticks very well to its name sake.

And for some odd reason, maybe coz of the name, maybe coz of the notes, I associate this with Baby Blue Jeans.

But anyway, I am a guy, I like wearing it, I get lots of compliments from wearing it in Spring and Summer, and can't wait to try the men's version, but I haven't seen it anywhere here in Brisbane, yet. But I can't wait - and I truly hope it resembles the original.

Cheers, and enjoy. 6/10 from me, and thumbs up.

09th July, 2007

Santos by Cartier

Wow - I'd never have thought it possible, but I smell two classics in this - Aramis-like notes at the top, and Lagerfeld-reminiscent notes at the bottom - infact, after ten or 20 minutes, it smells like those almost stuffy turkish tobacco, vanilla and sandal notes in Richard James that Lagerfeld Classic originated...Those notes remind me especially of Richard James...But my opinion is that Lagerfeld does them in a far, far superior fashion, despite the formula having changed somewhat - they smell less stuffy, more sensual.

But to me, Lagerfeld and Aramis are wonderful on their own...I love each, and seek both out when not readily available...however, whilst Santos is 'different', it certainly doesn't smell like something I'd go hunting for like I do with others.

I dunno why. It fits the description of a new cologne to add to my growing collection - but it just doesn't make me feel that I should just go ahead and buy it...I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe its the semi-stuffy basenotes? Maybe its that it doesn't smell entirely original?

Maybe its because in Santos, I smell Lagerfeld Classic, Antaeus, Aramis and Richard James all at once - all fragrances that I own in my personal collection (not in my wardrobe here - that needs a good updating!).

I'm not entirely certain, but I can't seem to bring myself to purchase it, even though I like it...

I have very mixed feelings 'bout it, and don't know what to think - it confuses me a bit! lol.

Well, that's my 2 cents worth. And I'd say I'd give it about 5.5/10, mainly because of the confusion it has caused me.

Cheers, and happy smellin'.
07th July, 2007

Onyx by Lenthéric

Nice, fresh, clean and masculine.

It like a soft, smooth, clean and very green-smelling Aramis.

I also get a Shaving-Cream note in it.

To me, the closest thing to a "barber-shop" scent - mainly because of its slightly spicey, semi-green, semi-sweet Aramis-like Shaving-Cream-like smell.

In my Nan and Pop's bathroom, this has been sitting in their Victorian-style wall-mounted shaving cabinet for 16 years (the same bottle). Every time I have been to their home on vacations I have given it a good sniff - and it hasn't changed one bit in 16 years! So obviously, it has kept very well.

I only wish they'd put it back into production! I love it love it love it!!!!

A very refreshing change to most crap on the market today.

Masculine and gentlemanly. Very nice stuff!
06th July, 2007

Dune pour Homme by Christian Dior

Oh my...I don't get what so many people appear to adore with this one...One of my aunts has been buying this for me for Christmas every years since its release...

I've given away 9 bottles and I still have 3 left, only because they are redundant in my collection - I rarely use it! It just ends up giving me an aweful headache in the first ten minutes!

I totally agree with 'nout' on the whole shoe shine thing - I got that too.

Just reading the notes, one might expect to find in this fragrance qualities similar to Goodlife for men, and even Cool Water. I found none of that.

Infact, all I could smell in it was a powerful blast of alcohol, shoe shine and synthetic notes. Yes, it smelled very synthetic to me. Not sophisticated or masculine, but VERY ordinary and synthetic.

And it smelled no different on anyone else I gave bottles away to.

Sorry, but 2/10 for effort, and thumbs down.

06th July, 2007

Black by Bulgari

Meh...Its alright...simply doesn't smell as wonderful as a lot of people like to make out...

A lightly vanillic semi-smoked black tea (or hong cha, red tea in Mandarin). Not special.

I have mixed feelings about this one: whilst the rubberish note makes it somewhat unique, it also ruins it for me...should replace this with some white tea notes, and maybe perhaps some guaiac - it would suit the fragrance better.

Its very urbane-smelling, a modern take on a tea perfume, quite palatable, and very acceptable.

Something about it screams out "MAINSTREAM"; I'm by no means a niche devotee - there are plenty of fantastic mass-market and semi-exclusives out there, particularly in classics, but there's something in this that just says to me "I'm mainstream, but its ok, coz I'm not 'usual'..."LOL.

Well, thats my honest opinion. spot on 5/10.

06th July, 2007