Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Smellyicious

Total Reviews: 17

Cordovan by Banana Republic

Perhaps the most lightly regarded scent in my wardrobe. In fact, I often dismiss it with a smidge of disdain and occasionally have the urge to give it away.

Which makes no sense at all, because Cordovan is a very nice and agreeable fragrance. Maybe too much so? My first thought - when I do happen to think of Cordovan - is that itís beige and bland and boring. But thatís really unfair. Itís well blended with a nice mellow fig and smooth suede that holds things together nicely. The nutmeg adds some personality (Iím thinking ďwhat little personality it hasĒ, but darn it thatís unfair!). It really is a well crafted, mellow and discrete juice. For a leather style perfume, Cordovan is like the polar opposite of CHís Bad Boy.

Its 100% fall weather for me, and maybe cooler spring days. I donít think it could stand up to the cold and I wouldnít even consider it in heat. Very light projection and not too much duration either. But for $20, not a problem.

Itís perfect for bedtime, which is when Iíve worn it most. Itís warm, quiet and calming. Totally inoffensive and shouldnít bother your bedmate in the least. Lovely, really. In that way.

This actually would be a perfect office scent for the dignified gent (over 35) that wants to smell classy, smart, and even a little sneaky sexy, without drawing any attention to themselves. You know the dude. Mature, good looking, well dressed - swank college prof type - looks intellectual but also like he does triathlons, clean cut, silver fox (premature), wears glasses with clear, hip frames that look great on him.

Cordovan is also perfect for a romantic, late afternoon October walk in Central Park to enjoy the foliage.

Hmm. I guess I like it?
24th June, 2021 (last edited: 25th June, 2021)

Classic Green by Banana Republic

Petitgrain forward and present throughout. A little too much in my opinion, but makes it distinctive. It really is singular in its way. At least I havenít smelled anything else like it. There ainít no citrus in this, and the ginger is faint, if there at all.

Crushed green leaves, some tea. A clean, soapy, herbal freshie. Somewhat linear. Quite good, but I found it a tad redundant with Vintage Green also in the wardrobe. And Vintage Green is superior in every way, unless you donít dig fig. And love petitgrain. :-)

Good projection and lasts longer than most BRs (including Vintage Green).

Thumbs up if you like green/herbal/fresh, especially for the price. But Iíd try it first if you can.
24th June, 2021

Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Bleu de Chanel EdT: everything itís cracked up to be and more. And less?

This just smells so damn good and agreeable, and is so popular, that itís become the ďKleenexĒ or ďBand-AidĒ to sophisticated blue fragrances. Does it get any better than this? Sure, probably, but I may live my life without finding out.

Is this the best smelling thing in my wardrobe? Nope. Lots of contenders for that. But is anything as versatile? Or as easy to reach for? Or as generally satisfying? Maybe not.

A delightful elixir. One for the ages. A smooth criminal.

Donít overspray! Damn near choked myself out, and too much of this at one time will drown the ďsunshine in your eyes brightĒ citrus opening, which is magic. A couple chest sprays (make sure to get some on your shirt) brings this out perfectly. Plus a spray on the back of the neck for luck (and a gorgeous scent trail). Maybe a spray or two on the inside of each elbow would enhance. I will experiment.

Have fun with this one. I donít think you have much of a choice really. Youíd have to work hard to screw this up.
24th June, 2021
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White Gold by Lomani

White Gold by Lomani is a well kept secret I guess. Itís birth year and perfumer remain a mystery. It wasnít listed on Basenotes until now. Hard to believe that a fragrance this bright and this refreshing could go unrecognized here. But itís a French drugstore cheapie so maybe thatís why? I found 100ml unboxed at Marshallís for $13, and Iím glad I did! The bottle caught my eye immediately and is really cool. Looks kinda expensive IMO.

White Gold hits you with pure, sparkling citrus out of the bottle, whipped with a smattering of light cream, tamping down any anticipated tartness. Itís weird, actually. Not tart nor sweet. Itís like a creamsicle bursting with lemon, lime, bergamot and pineapple, not just orange. The cream more of a silver lining as opposed to ďhalf the actionĒ.

Itís pretty linear through the heart, when the white musk, telegraphed from the get go, shows up in the base. Vetiver serves to dry out what has been a lush citrus experience. Itís smooth throughout, not a harsh note to my nose. Longevity surprising decent, projection probably less so, but I was wearing it alone and sprayed with abandoned. (Edit: further testing indicates that this has decent staying power, at least on skin).

I suspect this smells synthetic as hell. Iím new to this, so still wrapping my head around that concept. If so, thatís probably why no one seems to care about White Gold. But I think itís quite nice and perfect for a summers day. Kinda cooling in very hot weather too.

Thumbs up! (Edit: Way up!)
13th June, 2021 (last edited: 18th June, 2021)

Reaction by Kenneth Cole

Eternal Beach nailed it.

Not much to this one. Smells great. Light and fresh and fuzzy. For about a minute.

This is a quick freshener, gym spray, or ďout the showerĒ juice. Canít see this holding up in any extreme weather. Which is ok, I guess. It certainly shouldnít offend.

Kinda a shame thoí, because it really is effervescent and smells just like a watermelon cooler.
13th June, 2021

Voyage by Nautica

Absolutely worthy of its popularity. I waited until Iíd plowed through 30 new fragrances to begin my fragrance journey before buying this. This should have been purchase #1. Doubly so with regards to blue frags. I bought around 4, searching for exactly what Voyage delivers, which is effervescence, energy, freshness, forward but non-cloying fruit, and a well structure musk/amber/woody dry down that just smells fantastic.

Perfect for early morning workouts, the gym, hot summer days, walks on the beach. Sailing! Lol. It definitely leans casual. I agree 100% with @Varanis Radari that this isnít an all season/all occasion affair. But it doesnít have to be. For me, it really is perfect for what it does.

If ďfreshĒ, ďblueĒ or ďaquaticĒ is the goal, Voyage is the first answer. Break out from here. I wish I had! Take the trip!

Bon Voyage!
03rd June, 2021

Dark Cherry & Amber by Banana Republic

A Cherry Coke float that becomes cherry pie ala mode. Yummy.

The cherry starts a little medicinal, like a cough drop, but brightens and sweetens up as the cola vibe fizzes in. Some effervescence here that persists as the praline enters and leaves the picture. Once the amber and vanilla enter the picture, itís cherry pie ala mode through the dry down, eventually flattening out to pale white musk. Quite pleasant. I like to wear it before bed. Itís relaxing and nice to catch wafts of whilst entering dreamland.

Not a powerhouse by any means, but thereís more here than meets the nose (at first). This deepens a little and then broadens over time, and while projection isnít great, itís still on your skin 6+ hours after you spray it.

If youíre already a little nose blind from smelling or wearing other stuff, donít spritz this. Give this your undivided attention and I think youíll find it fresh, wearable, edible, and rewarding.

01st June, 2021

Tahitian Waters by English Laundry

Knocked out by this one. I suspected this would be my LEAST favorite frag from this house, but as of now, itís my preferred. And Iím a big fan of English Laundry.

Another extremely well integrated scent. I have a lot of difficulty pulling out the individual notes. Thereís a coconut ďvibeĒ, but itís not coconut so much as a melange of coconut and musk, the brown sugar and maybe... tonka (?). I canít smell the citrus at all, but I know itís there, because something bright lifts this baby up, to help downplay its complexity. Without it TW would be a pretty serious ďisland gourmandĒ IMO. So instead, itís simply a ďdelightful island gourmandĒ.

Yeah, thatís it. Thatís what Iím going with. Recommended!

15th May, 2021

BR17: Oud Mosaic by Banana Republic

Canít get enough of this one. Itís not an everyday scent, but when you wear it you luxuriate in it.

Rose, pepper, tobacco, ash, and probably a bunch of other things I canít pick up. Itís lush and dramatic and intense and beautiful.

100% endorse.
12th May, 2021

Extreme Blue by Michael Kors

This one is quite nice. Iím surprised it doesnít have more reviews. Reminds me a bit of Eternity Air, which I really like, so it makes sense. Nice bottle and presentation too.

This isnít a light, ďsplashyĒ blue scent. I donít consider this sporty or aquatic. Its gentlemanly. Itís got some depth and sophistication. Itís suave.

You donít wear this to the beach, or the pool. Unless itís evening and cocktails by the pool. You wear it to an outdoor brunch, or sporting event. A garden party, this would play very nice with smart clothes, even a blazer. The kind youíd wear in the tropics or at the Beverly Hills hotel. Not formal.

Sillage is nice. Ok projection.

Starts out citrusy and ends up Amber/musk/woods. Itís got a little BdC vibe going too, but not nearly that complicated.

It smells good, ok? Isnít that why we do this?
07th May, 2021 (last edited: 23rd May, 2021)

JV x NJ by John Varvatos

Someone needs to thumb this up.

Reviews have equated this to a mash up of Bleu de Chanel, Invictus and Eros. With a little Givenchy sprinkled in. To which I say ďOK!Ē.

As I begin my fragrance journey, I appreciate being able to sample and access fresh, modern smells at an approachable price point. JV/NJ can be had for $25 at the rack stores. Or, you can drop $250 to get the other ones. I guess it all depends on your sensibilities and frag maturity and sophistication. Iím quite fine with this, although I do, indeed, aspire to BdC at some point. Just not yet. JV/NJ gets me what I want out of this for the moment. And yes, there are other ďcloneĒ types presenting similar, but this one works better than others Iíve come across.

Methinks that if Nick Jonas wasnít affiliated with this juice it would be better regarded. Frankly donít care. Stuff smells good and lasts a good few hours on my skin.
03rd May, 2021

Black Walnut Legend by Banana Republic

I purchased this thinking it was the original Black Walnut (which Iíve never smelled). Much to my disappointment, I discovered this is another spin on Aventus. And Iím not interested in Aventus.

So, if Aventus is your thing, you may dig this. The usual suspects are present here, and it certainly doesnít smell cheap. The big difference here is the ďblack walnutĒ. Which I would almost take to mean ďdeadĒ or at least past its prime. This has a very dusty, musty nutty thing going on that is just there the whole time, intermingling with the fruit and mild smoke. This musty smell (minus the nutty) must be part of some common synthetic, because Iíve picked up traces of it in other things (for example Riviera by English Laundry). Point is, I donít like this musty thing, and itís prominent here. Combined with an analogue of Aventus, Iím out.

Like most BR frags, projection and sillage are average. I doubt even a liberal application of this will last 6 hours. Probably less.

YMMV. The price is right in the rack stores. TJ Maxx was nice enough to take it back, even though thatís against their policy (in my store at least).
25th April, 2021

Chrome Legend by Azzaro

No brainer for me. Dumb reach, blind buy, done deal.

First blue scent Iíve tried (and Iím new to this) that actually smells aquatic. Itís fizzy, salty, breezy and ďblueĒ. Some apple, some mint, cucumber, tonic, and then a soft honeycomb dry down.

Easy gym scent. Beach, lake, boat, dock, whatever. In spring and summer itís canít miss.

Edit: upon trying and testing a number of other aquatics, I stand by this review. Chrome Legends initial blast is very oceanic, and a good wake up call. It is a little harsh out of the bottle, but it gets better and better as it calms down. The dry down is smooth and pleasant.

I know enough now not to elevate this above Voyage or Cool Water or probably any number of blue juices, but this is still worth having. Especially when you want something less sweet and a little more astringent.
22nd April, 2021 (last edited: 05th June, 2021)
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BR90: Pure White by Banana Republic

This is about as fresh and clean as it gets, without any real soap thing going on. You wear Pure White to an outdoor wedding. To church on Easter Sunday. To the botanical gardens or Shakespeare in the Park. Brunch at the Four Seasons. Or just with your love on a perfect spring morning with bright sunshine and pure blue skies at a constant 72 degrees. Maybe even to hold your baby for the first time. Although now Iím getting carried away. I mean, itís not ALL THAT! But itís pretty good.

Delicate florals up front that linger throughout, with a white ray of citrus eventually shining through and creating a wonderful balance. Vetiver tamps down the sweetness, airing things out. Demure. Austere. Virginal. There is nothing strident or off color or off beat here. Just the bright, clear clean goodness of white flowers and light citrus, neither of which over assert themselves but are simply in harmony for your pleasure.

The white musk dry down is predictably soft, airy and comfy. Like a cloud. Just as youíd expect and it doesnít disappoint.

This is a relaxed, elegant fragrance that doesnít try or pretend to be anything but what it is. Projection and sillage are light and duration is just OK.

22nd April, 2021

Oxford Bleu by English Laundry

This. Just. Smells. Gooooooooooooood.

Iíve heard people suggest that this starts like Versace Eros and finishes like Bleu de Chanel. It kinda does, and therefore, I donít see a problem here!

The sweetness up front is just a soft little reminder of last Saturday night. Or maybe 30 years ago Saturday night, for us more mature men. Itís pleasant and warm and sexy. Comforting. Then after an hour or so, a smooth transition to the more sophisticated stage, with the woods and the herbs and whatever make BdC so damn intoxicating. The dry down smells what I imagine niche smells like. Whatís the problem again?

Oh, maybe that I had to keep spraying, because these EL frags donít seem to sillage up my own nose very well. And projection doesnít seem great but again, itís not as bad as I sense personally. But itís inexpensive, so spray until your nose is content. Then spray some more, because hey, this smells like two of the best frags of the 2000ís in one.

Oxford Bleu is a way to smell great, smell rich, and experience a desirable end of the fragrance spectrum without breaking the bank. I see no downside whatsoever.
22nd April, 2021

Arrogant by English Laundry

My wife said I smelled like a baby. Thatís right. A baby. That is actually kind of a good thing generally, but she didnít mean it to be flattering. Not that she doesnít like babies or their smell. She does. She just doesnít want her man smelling like one.

Then she said it started smelling like a babyís room. Powdery, fresh diaper-ery, baby ointment-ery. A fresh smell, but not one associated with how a man should smell.

And finally, that it smelled feminine. And itís called ďArrogantĒ. Go figure.

I kinda know what she means. And I agree. Itís not disagreeable in anyway, but there doesnít seem to be much going on with this one. Soapy, clean, powdery, linen, but thereís no there there.

I smelled a hint of citrus when spraying some on a card. It was nice but I couldnít pick it up on me. Some citrus or a sweet floral note would make an impact, and lift the scent into something richer. Also no projection on me. I sprayed it on pretty thick, but it wears very faint on me for my nose. I had trouble smelling it without my nose on my arm, although my wife says it projects fine, at least in the first two hours.

I wanted to like this, but ďit was just ok, for me dogĒ. I have plenty more left to spray from my 20 mil sampler. So as I wear it in the future, if my opinion changes Iíll update this review.

For something similar but much better IMO, try Pure White by Banana Republic. Pure White has a similar ďclean, whiteĒ vibe but has distinct, forward florals, giving it some personality that Arrogant, ironically, lacks.
22nd April, 2021

Eternity Air for Men by Calvin Klein

Purchased this recently looking for a nice blue fragrance. I like Eternity for Men, itís EdP, and Iíve even worn the womenís edp. Itís all good. Itís also better than Aqua, which is more ďaquaticĒ to be sure, but whereas Aqua lasts all of 10 minutes, Air stays with you.

The ďblueĒness of this scent is really saturated, feeling - not smelling - like Versace Eros or Dylan Blue. A lush, sweetness permeates Eternity Air. Thereís green apple and mint up front and through the heart, with something rich I donít know how to define giving it backbone. It dries down to a soft golden sunset of a scent. Warm, a little cinnamon. Itís not ďsplashyĒ. Nor ďfreshieĒ. But itís certainly light hearted.

Itís a more grown up blue composition, and one that Iíd be comfortable wearing almost anywhere in any weather.

The upfront strength dies down in a couple hours, but I fell asleep with skin scent and woke up 7 hours later with some still there.

Ride the friendly skies. Recommended.
21st April, 2021 (last edited: 25th May, 2021)