Perfume Reviews

Reviews by The_Cologneist

Total Reviews: 751

Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens

To me, this is all about amber, incense and patchouli, some spices there (notably nutmeg). Beautiful stuff, not for every day wear, for special occasions in cooler climate. Great sillage, but takes a few minutes to start. The opening notes are hard to detect, but it's certainly resinous. It isn't until about 10 minutes, I notice the star which is amber. It does smell oddly a little bit like crayons, but that's sometimes the case with ambers. There's a type of honey and vanilla accord keeping it a little sweet as well.
01st October, 2020

Azzaro pour Homme Naughty Leather by Azzaro

Leather? Where?

This was my last fragrance to try from the series, which I know, I went about trying them in an odd order. While looking most forward to Wild Mint, it turned out to be the biggest let down. With my least interest being in this one, and by far the winner of the bunch Amber Fever. Since now having tried them all, they really all do share a similar sort of DNA, but it smells nothing like the original Azzaro pour Homme. They all have this sort of tonka/ambery characteristic about them, with it being most noticeable in Naughty Leather.

It's especially boring in this one, because there isn't much else going on but vanilla, tonka, and amber. The amber in Amber Fever is much more interesting, as it combines with spices and cocoa, it's also more resinous, but still nothing like a heavy niche label would deliver. Amber Fever to me is CKin2U perfected: better balanced, more masculine, more modern, more sophisticated, better performance, and I think in the end, if this line does get discontinued, which it probably will, Amber Fever's dna will get its own fragrance for Azzaro, because it's a nice one.

I digress, back to Naughty Leather. I honestly get no leather in this at all. If anything it reminds me of Boss Orange (another fragrance ironically with none of its name in the fragrance), just a glorified vanilla bomb. I will say that it never gets sickly sweet, or cloying, and if you can snag a bottle for a good price, it may be ok, but for the average BN'er looking for more interesting stuff, hell even the average Joe, this may just be way too simple. Certainly the most boring of the group, and probably the most safe too.

After further testings, I do get a hint of leather in the dry down. but it's so watered down, that you wouldn't even know it's there unless someone told you.
30th September, 2020

Seduction in Black by Antonio Banderas

One of the most underrated cheapies on the planet. I have been wearing Seduction in Black since its release, as well as its prior release Blue Seduction, both are great, but Seduction in Black is better.

It has everything I want in a fragrance. It's unique, it's good for day time, but also good for night time, making it versatile. It's good for a date, or for casual use. It has fantastic performance, and is cheap. My one complaint, is after owning several bottles of this, sometimes they turn, and start to smell funky. But at what 10-20 bucks a bottle, I can throw it out and buy another. I wouldn't recommend owning a bottle of this for more than 3 years, before it starts to go bad. There must be an ingredient in here that causes this issue, as I only have it with Seduction in Black, and not Blue Seduction. My guess would be the coumarin they are using. I am pretty sure it's the same one used in Spicebomb that makes Spicebomb sometimes go bad too.

Aside from that, it's worth it regardless, because odds are it won't go bad I've only had 2 out of 6 bottles go bad - yes I've owned 6 bottles of this. I should note the 2 that went bad were both 1 oz bottles. One of them, the sprayed from the atomizer kept coming off, so perhaps the air seeping in is what turned the smell. I digress though, this stuff is phenomenal. It smells like a mix of Armani Code And Acqua di Gio. It gets tons of compliments, and when I tell people a bottle costs under $20 they can't believe it.

I've owned/tried a lot of cheapies, and this would be in my top 10 best ever, it's stunning.. and I highly recommend it. It's not at all generic by today's standards, it's actually very different. It may remind you of others, but the combination used is one of a kind. In fact, it's the only fragrance I would label as a gourmand aquatic.

Take my word, if you have my same tastes, and think we share the same preferences in fragrances, I highly recommend trying this one out!

There are a TON of flankers to this label, both Black and Blue. I have tried a handful, and found them mostly to be money grabs. None as good as the originals. Seduction in Black is the king of this label, but I do plan on eventually trying as much of the line as I can.
16th September, 2020
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Dunhill Icon Absolute by Dunhill

Not at all feeling this one. Glad I didn't buy a full bottle. The opening is slightly reminiscent of the original, but it quickly takes a turn into synthetic, spicy, woodsy territory. Where Iso E is smoother, this is a harsh screechy, peppery, and abrasive woodsy note that I just can't stand. It's common in many modern men's releases, and some what of a fake oud note. It dominates for the majority of the life of the scent.

I'd place this as last in the series, behind Racing, which is also pretty bad. I haven't really spent enough time with Elite yet, but that's my next task. I think Racing is good for the price, as it's a "blue" scent, mass appealing, and will absolutely garner compliments, but it's extremely tiring and played out.
15th September, 2020

Horizon by Davidoff

To me, this smells like David Beckham Homme (rectangle bottle with circle design pattern).. which is supposed to be a relative to Terre d'Hermes.. which I get as well. Much less citrus, if any, but overall that dirty earthy vibe. Only TdH as much as I dislike, is so much better than this drek. This is so fake smelling, it kind of smells like Comet mixed with dirty dishes. Waste of $18. The Extreme version is world's better, but still not great.
11th September, 2020

Calm Lake by Zara

Not sure what's up with these notes, but they're way off. They're missing a lot, this is an aquatic fragrance, not a spicy/woodsy.

This has a massive dose of calone, and hints of ambroxan, a little bit of spice, and maybe some woods in the base notes, but nothing really distinguishable. It lasts quite long for an aquatic, albeit this is some synthetic stuff through and though. It's pretty much a clone of original Acqua di Gio, it also smells a little like CK Aqua.

I will note that one time while wearing this I got a nasty smoked cigarette, dirty ash tray smell from it, I'm hoping it wasn't the cologne itself, and just the environment I was in, although I don't hang around smokers, so I don't know. I've only worn this once, for a chance to let it develop, so if I get that smokey ashtray vibe again, I'll update this review and confirm it. I also don't like to wear fragrances only once before reviewing, however, I felt this one was so simplistic, cut and dry, a synthetic aquatic inspired by AdG.

Glad I own a bottle now since it's quite rare, but it's not worth the retail price, and certainly not worth anything above retail. But we know due to obscurity, and fragrances high turnover rates, people will definitely sell their inventory at inflated prices.
11th September, 2020

Eros Flame by Versace

A lot of hate, but it's really good. It takes all the bad with Eros and diminishes it, it gets rid of the cloying, thick, syrupy, sweetness that borders on juvenile, and replaces it with a great spicy note with smells like cardamom to me. The spice isn't just gone and past, it sticks around through most of the life of the scent. The dry down is about the same as Eros, which is awesome, cause it's mass appealing.
30th August, 2020

Aequalis by Mauboussin

Just blind bought this, I rather enjoy it. It has a Mauboussin feel/quality about it, it reminds me of M generation I think it's called, which is a fruity kind of woody frag, this is similar but not much fruity. I think the opening is fantastic, and what I get ia fat juicy black currant accord, accompanied by a chili pepper note, I realize it's not what's listed, but it's what I get, and the combination is awesome. As it dries, or quickly within 5 minutes, I start to smell mostly just iris, The same type of iris from Prada l'Homme and Dior Homme (before reformulation). The dry down kind of takes on a Michael Kors for Men style, but less intense on the notes, more subtle, and rounded out with iris. Overall though, I think it's a great buy, for under $30, it will fit well for when I don't wanna waste vintage Michael Kors, and I don't want something as neutral as Dior Homme. It seems lighter than the 2 as well, and it's mostly gone in 4-5 hours. What a lovely surprise this was!
30th August, 2020

SOUL2SOUL Vintage by Tim McGraw

Kind of smells like a weirder version of Tommy True Star for Men, but like.. more chemical? I'll have to revisit this, I now own a bottle, I just don't really like it enough to rush into wearing it.

I doubt anyone is gonna be like "we need a review of Mcgraw Soul2Soul Vintage" LOL!
26th August, 2020

Amazingreen by Comme des Garçons

Another that "I really wanted to like". The notes, the idea, the brand, the perfumer.. what's not to like? Unfortunately, this one sucks, plain and simple.

Initial opening, nice, but boring. The overall feel of green is certainly there, but it's masked behind enough citruses, that it's hard to determine the real top notes, it's just melange right now, like a fruit salad of sorts.

Fast forward 10 minutes, the notes start separating, and the first one I pick up on, is green pepper. I have only smelled this note in a few fragrances, and it's NOT good in Amazingreen! It's just weird. It kinda smells like burn green pepper, but not in a culinary way either, there is nothing savory about it. It smells like burnt synthetic green pepper note. Fast forward 20 minutes in, the green pepper is still there but it starts to take on a carrot seed or carrot sort of smell, my guess would be the orris root, which can sometimes smell like carrots. It's really just not enjoyable.

I guess that burnt smell I was getting was the odd "gunpowder note". If I had to guess, although CdG is known for doing weird stuff, I don't think it was the intent for this particular fragrance in this line, which does well with sticking to the name, and not getting all unorthodox. I think what happened was, they werestarting to roll these out into production, when the final test panel noticed this god awful smell. Instead of reformulating it again, because it would be way too expensive they said .. "let's just make up an imaginary note, of something it kinda, sorta resembles, and go with it, and hope they like it" exhibit a: I give to you GUNPOWDER! In other words, I don't think it was deliberate. This is something that doesn't happen too often in fragrances, but if you know people in the business, they would tell you just what I told did. Something got overdone in production, too much of the smoke enhancing molecule they were aiming for, which is probably why they also added "vetiver smoke" whatever the hell that is. Yes, I know, they have put gunpowder as a deliberate note in fragrances before, like Full Choke for example, but it seems intended, it goes with the flow there, it's not way out of place. There's also the chance I am completely wrong, and if I am, I apologize for misleading information, but nobody will really know for sure. Just as long as I've been into fragrances, and the things I've seen and heard, and when you're around fragrances for so long, and have made your own too, you can pretty much tell what was a blueprint brought to life, and what was a mistake. This was a mistake.

Amazingreen is not a bad fragrance, it just needs to be reformulated, and fixed, and then it will be safe and boring to many, and having its already somewhat bad reputation, it may not sell, and new customers may find it boring if they reformulate, so why bother, is the question to be answered.
26th August, 2020

Mauboussin pour Homme by Mauboussin

I really can't express my dislike for this one enough, bear in mind, i am not a lavender fan, and this one is very strong on the ingredient.

The opening is lavender from the start, although with a little kick of spice, I sense a earthy component in the background, which reveals to be patchouli, another note I am not fond of. The lavender goes from a fresh Snuggle fabric softener dryer sheet, to more of a makeup, powdery, borderline disgusting smell. Fortunatley, the vanilla note hits pretty fast (within 20 minutes of the fragrance on skin. In the end of this very simplistic fragrance, I'm left with sort of a barebones version of Le Male, with a more barbershop feel.

I can definitely see why some men would like this, it's certainly classy in its own right, but I think a lot of guys, such as myself will hate it. It's kind of along the lines of Caron un pour Homme, but they don't smell anything alike, just in the way they serve the same purpose, classy, vanilla and lavender combo, barbershop style fougere's.

It's not that I dislike the smell so much, as it is that it makes me actually nauseous. Lavender is one of those notes that does that to me, and with patchouli, it has to be paired well with other notes, usually something more in depth that this. Since it's so simplistic, the ingredients used are all highlighted, so if this sounds like something you would like, or enjoy lavender, vanilla, and patchouli (I also pick up on iris, and some spice in the opening) - then look no further.

Oh ya, this is a review of the EDP. I also agree with Buysblind's comparison to Jaipur, there's definitely a similarity here, but this one is like Jaipur for the day time. Jaipur is more oriental, and ironically, another fragrance I just can't stand.
23rd August, 2020

Enchanted Forest by The Vagabond Prince

I was hoping for a green fragrance with a name like Enchanted Forest, instead I was met with a somewhat unfinished, unbalanced fragrance, with lots of potential. It seems like the bloat of money that went into this fragrance was put into the beautiful bottle, and advertising, giving out free samples for people to promote this, and lastly, the top notes. The top notes are great, one of the best, if not, the best juicy black currant note I have ever smelled, authentic, and juicy! After which, it sort of just falls into what basically smells like cheap potpourri, and dries down like this. It does last a good while, but without the awesome black currant note, it's just boring.

Maybe I missed something? I will update this review if I notice a major difference in my future wearings.
15th August, 2020

Oxford Bleu by English Laundry

A very "blue" scent, synthetic as can be, but it does have a certain barber shop vibe that makes it a little more interesting to me, than the next blue fragrance. It's not bad, but ultimately pretty boring.
05th August, 2020
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Vetiver by Dana

This is a phenomenal vetiver for the price. It's very similar to Guerlain Vetiver, but with a stronger opening, and better longevity. I paid $12 for my bottle, which is a steal. It smells more expensive, and outperforms many niche vetiver's.
31st July, 2020 (last edited: 10th August, 2020)

Wander by Miller Harris

Not what I was expecting.. somewhat vegetal. Maybe a modern day Yatagan? Kind of a lot going on here, which I have never gotten with a Miller Harris fragrance before.
31st July, 2020

L'Homme Idéal Sport by Guerlain

Easily the most uninteresting, uninspired, money grab capitalizing off the Guerlain Ideal name. Although it's boring, it's still good, but I would never purchase a bottle, UNLESS the price goes low enough. Sadly, I wanted to complete my collection, in owning all of the bottles in the larger sizes, but this simply is not worth it. Although it is one of those "grows on you" fragrances, it's just so tiring and redundant.

The opening starts off very close to Ideal Cologne.. but within seconds it starts to take on a different character. Instead of citrus aromatic, it goes more aquatic inspired. It's aquatic and spicy, and immediately reminds me Bvlgair Aqua Amara. The juice is blue, it looks blue, it smells blue. Still though, it's classier than the typical heavy synthetic overdoses of Ambroxan, and although I get some of it here, I get more calone than anything, keeping it truly aquatic, and reminding me of old school classics like Acqua di Gio, and DG Light Blue. The almond note is the most toned down in here out of all of the flankers in my opinion. They dry down it begins to fall apart. It loses the little character it had in the first hour that made it still smell like an Ideal flanker, and falls into the slew of a thousand other designer blue fragrances, with boring, uninspired dry downs of chemicals and enough patchouli and vetiver to balance it out and keep it from being a complete scrubber.

In the end, it's definitely the worst Ideal in the series, but it's still better than most other "blue" offerings in the designer game. Why? Because it's not just an Ambroxan bomb. Although it's simplistic, it still has a lot more going on than others in this genre. Is it worth your money? If you're a potential blind buyer reading this now; if you're familiar with Guerlian Ideal's, and the DNA, the Guerlain quality, is this a good value? In my opinion, no. i would seek out something like Ideal Cologne, or Cool, which are far more superior from this label. If you come across a deal, and can have a 3.3 oz bottle for under $30, then it's a grab, but anything more is simply not worth it.

20th July, 2020

Cereus pour Homme No. 4 by Cereus

Like jrd, this turned around for me, and wound up being one of the best purchases I have ever made. Considering you could get bottles of this brand new, for about $30, it's an absolute steal. Cereus is a house that flopped horribly, and I am ok with that, because they weren't really anything special in my eyes. They were mostly overpriced, with nice streamline bottles, but just taking advantage of a niche market. They built their advertising off of Youtuber's reviews, and nobody really bought their fragrances.

But.. after trying most of the line, both men's and women's offerings, and most being pretty crappy, 2 or 3 stood out, and this one is their crown jewel. A fresh fragrance, with a signature appeal, high quality, fairly well made, and sort of unique too. The note in the opening that is highlighted is green apple, and probably the best done green apple in a men's fragrance that I have experienced. Behind it, it has this mossy, sort of leafy green feeling of being outdoors, but not in a dirty patchouli kind of way, just very green, like the grass, the leaves, etc.. very fresh and green. The papyrus note is interesting, and very noticeable. If you have smelled real papyrus, you will smell it in No 4. As the green apple dries down, the papyrus emerges, and the smell of it, to describe is kinda like marshmallows melted on top of a mahogany wood plank or shelf. It's the only way I can describe it really, and honestly I start to not really care for it at this point. While papyrus is what they're going for, I don't think it's quite authentic, as it creates these other accords of smoldering woods, marshmallow, and just kind of smells odd. It stays like this for a while. The final dry down gets better, and pretty much your standard woods/musk base.

Fortunately, this doesn't smell the same in the air as it does right up close. The papyrus note smells much more natural at a distance, or as it lingers in the air. The green apple sticks around for a good while, but may be less noticeable up close. Honestly, it kinda just smells like a mess through the middle phase, If you put your nose to your skin. If you just enjoy it though, and forget you're wearing a fragrance, and let others around you enjoy it as well. You will most likely enjoy the outcome of this hidden gem.
17th July, 2020

Red Tobacco by Mancera

The opening of Red Tobacco is extremely strong, so be careful. Overall, it just kinda smells like really strong, slightly sweet cat piss to me. Ya, I get the tobacco behind it all, but it's not enjoyable at all. It's also insanely potent, and I saw it physically make 2 people cough when I was in their vicinity. If you're like me, and care about others who have allergies to certain scents, this will bother you as it did me. Fortunately it's not a fragrance I enjoy enough to wanna wear again. The $15 or so I spent for the decant, is about the standard now a days, which is no excuse not to sample this and any other fragrance, before committing to a full bottle.

The base is more or less, a tamed version of the opening, with a little more woods, and a lot of vanilla. It also lasts forever, easily 18 hours, with 6 hours of strong projection.

Not worth the strong pissy opening for a mediocre dry down imo.. try before you buy, for sure!
06th July, 2020

Spark Seduction for Men by Liz Claiborne

An absolutely remarkable fragrance.

I don't know where to begin with this one. It has everything I want in a fragrance. It's unique, it lasts a while, projects well, has a hefty dose of pine! It's green but also boozy. That combination sounds disgusting, but they nailed it here. The obvious reason this one hit rock bottom, is because it's too different for the average Joe buyer's and it's too cheap for the niche snob. It's sad because if you actually took the time to smell it, it's phenomenal. I always liked it from the start, but it grew and grew on me, and now it's one of my top 10 favorite designers ever.
03rd July, 2020

Azzaro pour Homme Amber Fever by Azzaro

Tried all of the line, and this one reigns supreme. Perfect date fragrance for warmer climate, but could easily work in cold weather too. Imagine CK in 2 u, but more modern, that's Amber Fever. The cocoa note is more superior here too. Surprisingly not too much chemical crap, or fake woods in this one. This won't blow anyone's socks off, but it's certainly good. It does remind me a very small bit of Azzaro pour Homme, as does most of the line, but I can't quite pinpoint what I'm smelling that recalls it.

Similar to: Ckin2u, Just Cavalli, 125 Years Your Companion For Life (Victorinox).
02nd July, 2020

Boss The Scent Private Accord for Him by Hugo Boss

This one smells great, but it's pretty boring to me. If you've smelled By the Fireplace, or Ferragamo Uomo, or any other fragrance with that sweet, gourmand, cocoa/vanilla/tonka combo accord, you have smelled this one. This is a softer version of Ferragamo Uomo, so if you find that one to be too strong, this could work. Longevity and projection are still good though. The dry down is better, not as sweet, but still pretty boring.

For the right price it's worth it, or if you're new to this genre and want a sweet frag that you could likely wear in the heat too.
01st July, 2020

Every Storm a Serenade by Imaginary Authors

My introduction to this highly praised house, brings me here. I chose this fragrance because the notes look awesome, unfortunately though, it's not what I got. Assuming you're a green fragrance lover, these notes brought you here, though I can say with confidence this is not a green fragrance, but it is a fun one. It's not green in the traditional sense: earthy, dirty, mossy, reminiscence of the outdoors. this is a highly synthetic scent, and even if the ingredients are more natural, it certainly doesn't come off that way. This is a risk the perfumer takes when making unorthodox fragrances.

This is in the same category as Oliver's Ambergreen, in fact, almost the same fragrance, but Ambergreen is the far more superior of the two. This dries down into the "imaginary note" which sort of smells like tennis balls, or something.

Performance is great though, but most synthetic fragrances are. With the clear and apparent use of ambroxan here, or as noted "ambergris", to prolong the dry down of the fragrance.

In the end: I would have much preferred a safer, green fragrance without the performance, and without the synthetic aromachemicals. I realize though, that is not the intent of the perfumer's distribution. The green notes in here are well done, but the twist of ocean air/ozonic feel, or whatever he was aiming for, although interesting, is not appealing to me. it makes this unwearable, other than to try it, wear it a couple times, and give this review, for somebody who is bored with everything else on the market, and I do mean everything.. then this is the brand for you!

To somebody who was blind smelling this fragrance, and others from this house, who knew enough about fragrances, but not enough about low key Indy houses, I would assume their conclusion to this brand would be as follows: The perfumer ran out of ingredients to source, to finish this fragrance off. The dry downs of all of his fragrances smell cheap, and synthetic, and go from smelling great, to smelling fake.

Additional notes: The only thing preventing me from a thumbs down, is the well done green notes in the fragrance.
14th June, 2020

Follow by Kerosene

Bought a decant of this recently, and thought I'd share my thoughts..

I don't normally gravitate to blind buying coffee frags anymore for 2 reasons. 1, they all tend to smell the same. There's pretty much only 2 ways that coffee can be done in frags (until trying this) - 1 dry, like the coffee bean in raw form, or 2, creamy, sweet, and more like a Starbucks Frappuccino, focusing on the sweet vanilla and tonka notes than coffee itself. The 2nd reason is that fragrances with coffee listed in the notes, 70% of the time, I won't even smell coffee at all, or it's there and gone before I can even notice it.

Now moving along, Follow is a rare breed and it follows none of the above stereotypes that I am used to with coffee notes. I mean, it actually smells like coffee, and the coffee note lasts a good while. It's taking my perception of what I thought was a money grab house, built up from Youtube hype into a legitimate niche brand.

The fragrance itself.. it opens with a strong, dark roasted coffee note. I do mean strong, 1 spray from a sample decant, and it projects like a monster. I suppose the note is similar to that in Pure Coffee, but to me, Pure Coffee smells more like pure patchouli, Follow actually smells like the initial first minute of Pure Coffee, where it really smells like coffee. Where Pure Coffee becomes a patchouli bomb, Follow turns into a woody scent, although the woods smell synthetic to me. Synthetic woods notes tend to smell peppery to me, and that's what I get here, but since the coffee note is so strong and robust, it balances out the woods. There is some sharpness at this stage in the middle of the fragrance. The base becomes a bit sweeter with tonka.

Lastly, it's one of the few coffee frags that I wouldn't call gourmand, it's not foody, it doesn't remind me of breakfast, or desserts. It reminds me of what I would imagine picking coffee beans in the Colombian country side is like, although I have never been there, that is the image I get. Coffee is in the air, a gust of wind and on a rainy day.
13th June, 2020

Knize Ten Golden Edition by Knize

After having Golden Edition a few days now, I really like it. I think I like it better than the original for a couple reasons. One, it's more subtle and better balanced. Although I love the power of the original, even in its current formulation, it can be overwhelming, and I notice that heavy leather notes tend to go down people's throats a lot, and cause a bad reaction. To me, there is nothing worse than someone getting a whiff of my frag, and being uncomfortable, coughing, itchy/watering eyes, or sometimes even choking. Although this is more subtle, I still get a full bodied leather note, like in the original. Two, the dry down is fantastic! It's a sweet vanilla-ish incense, and it's just awesome. 3. It's well made and well blended. I think even better blended than the original, more refined, more smooth, and even more masculine, with more restrained florals. I really only get jasmine in the middle. As someone who doesn't like jasmine, it smells great here. The bad.. one.. I'm gonna go through this bottle really fast. For the price per ml, it's pretty expensive. The performance is good, but not as good as Knize Ten. Two, it's limited availability makes it harder to find. I never knew this even existed, let alone came out about 2 decades ago. It's not readily available (nor is Knize Ten, but still much easier to find). Though knowing a little bit about the Knize brand, and their devotion to staying loyal to their fans, I don't think it will ever be discontinued, unless there's an apocalypse or something, but it will be limited.

Bottom line.. it's a very good leather dominated frag, with an old school leather smell, without the powerhouse feel. It's strong but if you do 2 sprays, you shouldn't bother anyone who is sensitive to leather notes. It's overpriced, but tbh, there really just aren't many good authentic smelling leather frags out there, very few in designers, and not many niche either. Knize knocks it out of the ball park, not once, but twice. I also think I might wind up buying a bottle of Knize Ten too, because I find them different enough to own both.

Additional notes: This is not just a "watered down" Knize Ten, it is a different formula/blend, and I find it especially noticeable in the dry down.

12th June, 2020

Saint Julep by Imaginary Authors

This is my second stab at an Imaginary Authors fragrance, but I'm not as impressed as my peers here.

To be fair, the opening is phenomenal, one of the best, most interesting, fresh, and new things I've smelled. It has a niche feel, but it's safe enough to be designer. The lemon note I get in the opening is accompanied by a fresh mint note, and a noticeable sugary quality. reminds me of Sugar in the Raw, if you have ever tasted/smelled that. When I dig my nose deep though, the sugary note just sort of smells like tonka. As it dries, the tonka/sugar accord just takes over, the quick burst of lemon or tangerine as others are calling it, and the mint are both gone, nowhere to be found, and not in sight. As it gets into the middle which comes relatively fast, I'm met with a strange smell. It kind of smells like Creme Brulee, that has been overheated and burned, or better yet, if you have ever had a Baked Alaska, it smells identical to that, which some other added notes going on. It's sweet, it's smokey, yet it's also savory. It's really unique and different, but do I wanna smell like this? It kind of just follows this theme and dies down this way. the lasting power is good, at about 8 hours or so, but projection is not too good for a fresh scent.

Additional Notes: It kind of smells bad as it dries down, similar to others I have tried from this house, the "imaginary note" is very chemical smelling, and here no different, as it smells like plastic.

Received one reaction from a beautiful woman, but I couldn't tell if it was bad or good, and felt perplexed to ask. She didn't ask what I was wearing either, but she said "you smell different" I said "thanks, I guess".. it was definitely awkward. It was within the first 30 minutes of application.

I may revisit this one, but thus far, like others from this house, overhyped, interesting, but ultimately unwearable fragrances. Artistic, and not for most people.
11th June, 2020

Knize Forest by Knize

Although nice, and almost interesting, anything but green..

The opening immediately reminds me of Jacomo Paradox Blue, I mean it's spot on.. but Paradox Blue is discontinued, and could once be a cheap alternative. Not only is it discontinued, it's near impossible to find.

So instinctively, since it compares to a fragrance with "Blue" it its name, it makes me think this is a blue fragrance. Not blue, like it current stuff, rather old school blue frags, think Polo Sport, Cool Water, Paradox Blue, Navy for Men, and stuff of that nature.

This opens with a lavender, laundry fresh, but also exotic inky vibe. An array of citrus notes underneath, but it mostly smells like a candied orange. I get a little bit of mint in the background as well. Moss comes in the middle, but it's not a very good moss note, and I doubt it's real oakmoss too.

The dry down is where the forest aspect sets in, but not even fully. I get the herbs and green notes, but it's very faint, it's more still about the lavender.

Honestly, I am a bit disappointed here. Knize Ten and Golden Edition are both phenomenal, while Forest is just pretty boring, and lackluster. I would have never thought it was a Knize fragrance, if I was blind smelling it.

Additional notes:

It does really remind me of Cool Water, I mean the lavender, and the green notes, maybe a bit like Green Irish Tweed too. The metallic edge gives it the GIT vibe, but the lavender yells Cool Water. I haven't smelled Kiton Man in a while either, but it reminds me strongly of that one as well.

Not worth a blind buy, not really a forest fragrance, barely a green fragrance. Almost a thumbs down honestly, but that's because I had high expectations and feel let down.

Performance is around the 6 hour mark for me, with average projection.
11th June, 2020

1001 by Nobile 1942

Starts of smelling boring, I get a tropical vibe in the opening. As it dries, around the 5 minute mark, I don't really get any of the notes listed. I do get a spicy, very spicy, yet sweet fig sort of smell, with a lavender undertone. Now looking at the note break down, I could see where I am met with saffron and ginger in the opening. The saffron in this is more spicy, more like a red pepper kind of vibe, than a traditional saffron. What I initially perceived as lavender is still my feeling. At the 10-15 minute mark, it just kind of smells like Le Male with a ton of spice.

Into the middle, it smalls like a very subtle Rose 31, with a ton more cumin, even though I don't see cumin as a note. The final base, or around the 4 hour point, is faint, but enjoyable. I think it's better than the rest of this rather confusing fragrance. A sweet ambery musk base, though overall lackluster, but still exceeds the real spice bomb of an opening.

I don't think this is a good fragrance at all, and my introduction to this house/brand. Then again.. never knew they existed, just was looking through my sample drawers one weekend, and found a small sample of this from Luckyscent, that I must have gotten in the past. As for 1001, it just seems like too much is going on. It doesn't really conjure an image, or take me to a place like many niche fragrances do.. it's just what seems like a money grab to me, with a lot of notes thrown together, but no decisive path.

The price doesn't help its cause either. I'm hoping there are better offerings from this house that I can try in the future.

Update - Performance is quite poor on me, I don't smell it after 4 hours anymore.
23rd May, 2020

Méharées by L'Erbolario

An excellent MR alternative!

Finally got the honor to sample this, and as I thought, it pretty much made my wish list instantaneously!

The opening is a creamy amber/musk combo with a hefty amount of cinnamon. In the middle, I get all the woods listed in the notes, dominated with sandalwood. Sandalwood remains into the base, accompanied by amber and vanilla making it creamy again. This is basically Musc Ravageur, without the heaviness, and without the overdose of clove. There's also far less musk in this, and it leans more into gourmand territory.

I guess you can say, it's more practical and versatile, and takes everything good about MR, and makes it even better. An absolute winner in my book. Now, if only I can find a bottle in the US for a reasonable price!
20th May, 2020

Dior Homme Parfum by Christian Dior

Easily the most interesting of the Dior Homme men's line, but definitely not the best.

This takes the exotic part of DHI, and the practicality of DH, mixes them together, adds more depth, more unique, and definitely more intense. This should really be called Dior Homme Intense, because it doesn't have much DHI in it, it's more of an intense version of DH.

The opening.. it's loud, very strong, very potent. It's like a full bodied Dior Homme, with a sweetness that I get from DHI, but I don't really get any cocoa here. It's more of a Rochas Man sweetness, like a vanilla/tonka combination.. I think because I am so used to DHI, I wanna say it smells like cocoa, but it really doesn't, at all. The middle is where it starts to get weird. A noticeable rose note creeps in, but it's not that nice jammy rose I'm used to, it's more of a old school rose, feminine smelling rose. The only other fragrance I own that reminds me of the same rose note, is Calligraphy Rose, with a rose/saffron combo, that's what it smells like. It then gets smokey, very, very smokey, so smokey that it started to smell like grilled barbecued meats (if you know the infamous bbq meat smell from Voyage d'Hermes, and Sel Marin - also the cocoa fragrance from Slumberhouse - not sure the name). It sort of becomes a turn off for a good hour through the middle. A couple hours past, I am left with a fantastic vanilla and iris dry down. Iris, in the base?? Works for me! The iris here comes off the same as it does in many other men's iris fragrances, as more of orris root, than iris flower itself, creating a woody sort of smell. Ambrette adds a boozy, oak barrel sort of whisky-ish and oud like note. Every time I have smelled this note of ambrette, I think of a very subtle oud, mixed with some sort of boozy aroma.. but it's usually more of just a faint oud. Add it all up, and the dry down is fantastic here, probably the best dry down out of all the Dior Homme's, but not the best overall.

To me, it isn't worth seeking out, with how rare it is to find in the US market. It's literally just a stronger Dior Homme with a different dry down, and big hit of grilled meats in the middle. Maybe the middle will grow on me. The positives outweigh the negatives for me, enough to warrant a thumbs up review, but I doubt I will spring for a bottle. I will enjoy this sample I have, and see if my perception changes with future wearings.

After wearing this more.. I am not particularly fond of it. The rose is too dry and smokey. The BBQ meats smell lasts way too long, during most of the beginning and all of the middle of the scent, it makes it unappealing to me, and also being as strong as it is, it's hard to avoid this smell. I almost don't like this one at all.. but the first 15 minutes, and the last few hours make are redeeming. Overall though, it's certainly not worth seeking out, with how hard it is to find. It's like a mix of DHI and Calligraphy Rose, or maybe even the old school Tea Rose fragrance from Perfumer's Workshop.

Sorry for this review being more of a brainstorm, than an actual well though out reviewed, I must have revisited it several times, and just added to, or changed something. In due time I will give this another full wearing and finalize my thoughts with an affirmative review. This review/summary was however based on 4 full wearings, but I usually like to do 5 as a personal thing before writing a review.
17th May, 2020 (last edited: 03rd June, 2020)

Kenneth Cole Signature by Kenneth Cole

Sadly underrated, discontinued, but still available at reasonable prices. I guess demand isn't too high on this.. YET. I feel with the right review(s), this will become a big hit.

In ways, it reminds me of Aventus, far before Aventus was a thing. I think the closest comparable fragrance though, is another from the house called KC New York. The papyrus and grapefruit combo give off the aroma of a tangy pineapple note, and it's fantastic! Underneath it, a creamy vanilla undertone. Sadly. performance is pretty weak, and it's gone off the skin within 4 hours tops.

Appropriately named though, I can see this easily being the signature scent of a working man, perhaps in health care, or in a professional setting that deals with a lot of people. It's good in that regard because it's unique enough to be a signature fragrance, and yet calm enough to not offend anyone.

While bottles can still be found on websites for under $30, I would say this is a safe blind buy for anyone looking for a good signature fragrance, that won't break the bank. Just be sure that if you like it, to stock up, because I'm telling ya.. in a couple more years when it's scarce, it's gonna be commanding $200 a bottle.
16th May, 2020