Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Catalyst for Men by Halston

Total Reviews: 7
Genre: Woody Oriental
Catalyst’s spiced apple pie top notes are at once foody and a mite chemical in a car air freshener/cheap scented candle sort of way. The fruit component bows out quickly, leaving the stage to a straightforward nutmeg and clove accord. Clove, being clove, (which is to say loathe to share the spotlight,) soon dominates, so how you feel about Catalyst will depend mostly upon how much you like clove. Woe betide you if you don’t, because Catalyst is extremely potent, and even a dab is enough to fill the room.

Catalyst ultimately winds up smelling like part of a fragrance. More precisely, it smells like part of Michel Roudnitska’s Noir Epices for Frédéric Malle. I realize it must seem both unfair and elitist to compare a bargain-priced scent like Catalyst with an expensive, limited distribution niche fragrance, but Noir Epices is so apt a demonstration of what Catalyst could have been that I can’t help myself. The Malle smells like US $135 retail, and Catalyst smells like every one of its fifteen dollars. Do I sound churlish? Just remember, a bottle of McCormick’s clove extract costs even less.
11th June, 2014
man114 Show all reviews
United States
Odd. The Clove overpowers most of the top notes when you first apply it citrus lasts for 30 seconds then its cloves and sage. This strikes me as having a strange discord amongst the notes up front. Then it turns into musky woody cloves with a dash of nutmeg that reminds me of some sort of cheap bay rum aftershave but much more concentrated, doesn't let up and is on the sweeter side, like spiced cookies. Only reason I give it a neutral as opposed to a thumbs down as it is at least an attempt at something somewhat different, just not in a good way.
04th May, 2011
shamu1 Show all reviews
United States
I don't agree that Catalyst is a spice lover's dream, because I don't find this to be a particularly good spice fragrance. I like most of the notes that comprise this scent, but I don't like this combination of them.

My biggest problem with this is that it is poorly blended, and unfortunately the less desirable notes - i.e., the synthetic wood notes - stick out like a sore thumb and don't balance well with the spice notes. I find Catalyst to be irritating and unpleasant. It smells like liquid soap and sharp wood notes blended with cinnamon and nutmeg. It sounds a lot better on paper than it actually smells.

I can't give Catalyst a thumbs down because it is a somewhat daring fragrance, and I respect that. It's just that it contains a combination of notes that should work well together, but they don't. I'll be wearing JHL when I want my spice fix.

26th April, 2011
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Swanky Show all reviews
United States
Catalyst shares bone structure with its siblings I-12 and Z-14. If Aramis' Havana or Stetson's Sierra were evaporated, leaving only their spice elements behind, the result might smell something like Catalyst. If you hate cooking spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, I can't imagine Catalyst is for you.

Not especially original, but not bad for the low, low prices for which this can be had. Longevity is measured with a calendar, not a clock.
11th March, 2011 (last edited: 26th November, 2015)
Tried it from an old bottle; it has not been imported in the last ten years. Thus, my opinions must be taken with caution.

In my case, the "spicey" description most reviewers mention was limited to a very marked bergamot note that reminded me of Calvin Klein's Eternity, thus I am tempted to say that it might be Halston's version of Calvin Klein's classic 1990's scent.

It might be a good choice if you are fond of a spicy bergamot notes.
17th April, 2009
Hmmm what to say what to say...? Well, I smell sandalwood. It's sweet and spicy in the opening but lacks longevity. It's spicy throughout with sage and nutmeg (which in this case smells more like cinnamon) but it kicks the bucket in the long run. Semmed like it was filled with promise.
15th June, 2008
This is a spicy scent. I Mostly wear it on cold days and nights. I like it but does not seem to attract any ladies and no men ask what it is either. I will continue to use, but wouldn't use it for clubbing or special occasions.
05th December, 2007