Bourbon Cedar Cologne Olivina Men

I stumbled across this one in a kitchenware store in Boise. My expectations were not high but I was pleasantly surprised to discover in this one a fine boozy aromatic cedar wood. Very nice. So I bought a bottle as it wasn’t expensive at all.

I detect no smoke and only a hint of vanilla.

Dec
25
2019

Polo Red Extreme Ralph Lauren

Basically a creamy coffee with a hint of chocolate. No WOW factor here, but a nice, inoffensive light scent that becomes a very close skin scent on me after about an hour. I don't think I'd bother getting a bottle; it just doesn't last.

The King Polo for me is Green.

Dec
24
2019

Smoke Akro

Great stuff! Mmmmmm... cork. I used to have a cork board in my bedroom as a teen and Akro Smoke smells just like it. A very appealing scent! Even my wife likes it... she normally hates the "Grandma's ashtray" note she detects in smoky scents. She detects a boozy note that I only faintly get. For me, this is all about the smoke and cork.

Problem, though: This stuff doesn't last on my skin. After a couple of hours it's almost entirely gone - which is a problem I have with almost all modern scents.

Dec
18
2019

New York Intense Nicolai Parfumeur Createur

I bought a small bottle of this for myself for Christmas. I haven't opened it yet. It's a total blind buy since The Scent Bar in LA didn't have a tester. But I loved the New York original and so I think I shall like this, too.

----------------------------------

After a wearing: Yep, it's great! But I can't tell how it differs from the original New York; it's been too long since I had a bottle. I suppose that if I compared them side-by-side I could tell. The Intense flanker has a bit more of a pepper note, perhaps? I'm not sure. But it smells great - an old school chypre - and it lasts!

I see comparisons to Bois du Portugal (what I think is Creed's best scent)... it's of the same genre but not at all the same. Frankly, I think this stuff is better.

Dec
18
2019

Chypre-Siam Rogue Perfumery

After reading the news about this house in a Fragrantica article I had so wanted to reward Manuel Cross for sticking up a big middle finger at IFRA by buying a bottle of this, and traveled to The Scent Bar in West Hollywood to try it. Real oakmoss is back! Oh, boy!

But... sad to say, on my skin this struck me as being strongly feminine. That white floral is all to the fore here, and it's just not for me. I was very disappointed.

Don't get me wrong - it's an excellent perfume of obviously high quality and with a real retro/classic vibe. But not for a male seeking out a perfume that is masculine in character. I bet it would be gangbusters on my wife...

Dec
18
2019

Tabac Vert Rogue Perfumery

I actually bought and owned this one - for about an hour. I liked the opening tobacco-chypre notes and based on that, made a purchase. About an hour later, however, in the car, I noticed that it had turned to a sickening, overpowering soapiness on my skin. No, no, no. So back it went to The Scent Bar in West Hollywood, to be exchanged for Parfums de Nicolai New York Extreme.

Dec
18
2019

Kemi Kemi Blending Magic

I just noted that it was sweet with a very slight poopy note, but both my wife and a friend sniffed it, put thoughtful looks on their faces, and independently said the same thing, "Twizzlers!" So I guess it smells like Twizzlers. (I kind of get that.)

It doesn't seem to last especially long on me - but then, almost nothing does.

Dec
16
2019

Oajan Parfums de Marly

Sweet and warm, one of the better honey fragrances I have ever smelled. Perhaps the best! The price, however, is in the OUCH category.

Oct
15
2019

Infusion d'Iris Cèdre Prada

This appears the be the replacement for Prada Infusion d'Homme, which I really liked. It smells the same. I'm glad it's still with us, even with a different name. This stuff was just too good to go away. But, GEEZ: $160/bottle at Bloomingdales? Yikes.

Jul
20
2019

Mugler Cologne Love You All Mugler

"...blue licorice with voluptuous white amber..." Huh? Blue licorice? What's that? This is not bad, but not significantly different from the original green Mugler Cologne to my nose. Very similar.

I know what the twisted "E" note is! (1) Marketing, and (2) the original Mugler Cologne.

Jul
20
2019

Tuscan Leather Intense Tom Ford

I love the original, wear it and know its characteristics very well. How does this flanker differ? Well, the first thing I detected for a second or two after spraying on my skin was an intense lacquer note which resolved very quickly into a pronounced skank note. This has a very brief dirty smell that the original TL doesn't own. And then... green. After five minutes or so on my skin it dried down into pretty much the original Tuscan Leather. Perhaps a bit greener. After a half hour it became a skin scent, so I'm not sure this lasts as long as the original scent.

On a card I detect what my wife calls the "Grandma's ashtray" note. I don't find it objectionable as she does, but I do not believe it's in the original.

I like it - but I prefer the original

Jul
20
2019

Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Essence Aromatique Bottega Veneta

Very nice. It's clean but interesting and avoids the usual boring "freshie" (I hate that term) and sporty vibe. A simple but effective mix of citrus and pine. A good summer scent and a nice thing to wear with a crisply-ironed shirt.

Does it last? Not especially - but rarely does anything last on me.

Hey, I'd try a bottle.

Actually, I sort of did already. It reminds me very much of the bottle of Penhaligon Blenheim Bouquet I used to have. Same notes, same vibe.

Jun
16
2019

Colonia Club Acqua di Parma

I like this, but I read it as a fougere. Like Paco Rabanne DNA. And I don't smell any mint. BUT - I had my sinuses operated on last week and my sense of smell is all messed up and comes and goes! I wonder if I'll like this in a few months when I heal up? I bet I'll smell the mint then, and won't like it. Generally, mint-based frags remind me too much of toothpaste and dentistry.

Jun
15
2019

Acqua Essenziale Salvatore Ferragamo

Well, I liked the top-most citrus notes. They fairly sparkled. And then... it transitioned into the familiar stench of a blue scent on me. I do not have good luck with blue scents. One reviewer here called the drydown "rotten egg," and that's about as close as I can get to describing it. A lot of scents smell this way; it's a very common smell and it never works for me.

"This perfume reminds me of..." ...just about every other blue perfume.

May
31
2019

Spicebomb Night Vision Viktor&Rolf

I actually like the fruity top notes, which are well-wrought. Usually I don't like perfumes with an apple note, but this one works and actually does smell like an apple. For a short while. Sadly, as the lighter components evaporate (and I'm talking about five minutes or so), what happens on my skin is that the whole thing becomes sour and nasty. Ugh. From nice apple to scrubber in mere minutes.

Spicebomb Extreme (aka Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille) is the one to get.

May
29
2019

Only The Brave Street Diesel

Okay. Yet another variation of a vanilla scent. I wouldn't buy a bottle of this but then I wouldn't scrub it off if some made its way onto my flesh. I'm pretty sure I like the drydown better than the initial blast.

Interesting bottle.

May
27
2019

Only The Brave Tattoo Diesel

Not bad. Probably the best of the Diesels I have smelled. A bit too fruity for my taste, but, again, not bad.

May
27
2019

Bad Diesel

Interesting bottle, uninteresting fragrance. A total Meh of a scent. It smells like your typical "masculine" scent. I pass.

May
27
2019

Maritime Deep Blue Tommy Bahama

Ugh! Sours on my skin almost immediately. Pungent and chemical. Scrubber...

May
23
2019

Tom of Finland Etat Libre d'Orange

Lemony-solventy with a hint of skank. Long lasting... days later it's still on my paper strip.

No.

May
05
2019

Macho Man Nabeel

Tom Ford Tuscan Leather is my signature scent, so based on the rave reviews and the ridiculously low price, I bought a little roller bottle of this stuff. It arrived in the mail yesterday. However, I presently have a bad case of sinusitis and can't smell a thing!

So I got my wife and two other women to do a smell test, Macho Man on my left wrist and Tuscan Leather on my right. They all agreed that the two scents are indeed similar. My wife still prefers the Tuscan Leather, but says this stuff is good, too.

I'm now on antibiotics. When I get over this sinusitis I'll be able to judge for myself!

------------

(Sense of smell returned)

Yep! Very close to TL. There are differences but they're pretty subtle.

Apr
02
2019

Le Frenchy Guerlain

Tried this at the Guerlain Boutique in the Bellagio in Las Vegas. A wonderful, fresh citrus scent - that actually lasts! Elegant, zesty and classy. Great stuff!

Mar
06
2019

Elsha Elsha

This is the same as Elsha 1776. Go there.

Jan
31
2019

L'Envol Eau de Toilette Cartier

I like the EdP better than the parfum flanker. This is strongly woodsy, which I like, with honey notes. It's a bit odd and unusual - but I like it. I'd wear it.

Jan
29
2019

Mugler Cologne Take Me Out Mugler

"It smelled too sweet for me like an orange Popsicle."

Exactly. Too cloying, too sweet, too feminine, too soft. Not at all for me.

Jan
10
2019

Mugler Cologne Fly Away Mugler

My very first impression of this scent was not good; it smelled like a dusty citrus fruit. That is, a citrus fruit set aside in a room that has not been dusted or cleaned in a long time and takes on a dirty/musty smell.

But then I tried again with another skin spray and got a better sense of the subdued (not fresh or zingy) grapefruit note mixed with that seems like a juniper or cypress (green) note, a camphorous note and the musk. It now makes more sense.

I like it better than I did at my first whiff, but, overall, I think Atelier does a much better job with citrus and, especially, grapefruit. In no way does this grapefruit "sparkle."

But yes, I'd wear this, despite the undeniable fact that it does smell a bit institutional (like a cleanser).

Secret "C": note - oh, please. It's really an "M" note for Marketing.

Jan
06
2019

Musc Impérial Atelier Cologne

Like Creed Aventus? Not at all. People, this is far better.

But it's not really musk; the name is deceptive. It's a figgy-woody-blackcurrant thing with hints of leather. It's interesting, that's for sure. I like it - but as with nearly everything else I try, it doesn't last.

Nov
28
2018

Clémentine California Atelier Cologne

Atelier makes some great-smelling citrus scents, to be sure, and this is another one of them. The orange in this is very accurate, fresh and cheering. So much better than Clinique Happy, which is what I think they were going for. But, alas!, as is the case with just about all citrus scents based on light molecules, this one doesn't last, either.

I give them credit for coming up with a great orange scent, however...

Nov
27
2018

Terre D'Hermes Eau Intense Vetiver Hermès

I'm glad I'm not the only one who detected the likeness to Guerlain Vetiver (one of my favorite scents, btw).

A very nice scent and it smells good on me. I do detect some pepper... but it's a nice pepper and there are some orangy notes as well. It seems to last better than average, which I attribute to its EDP concentration.

Is it soapy? Perhaps a bit - but it's a good soapy.

Would I buy a bottle of this instead of Guerlain Vetiver? Possibly...

Nov
24
2018

Fucking Fabulous Tom Ford

Fucking mediocre.

Nov
15
2018

Fahrenheit Cologne Christian Dior

Not bad but not especially good, either. The top notes pack a strong citrus punch but the drydown is nothing special. It stays fresh throughout - which isn’t exactly my thing...

Oct
31
2018

Wanted Azzaro

Ugh! NOT wanted! That apple note is always a deal-killer for me!

I like the bottle, however....

Oct
31
2018

Cuir Beluga Guerlain

Another in the "yummy" category of scents, gourmands. Very vanilla. It's like vanilla was spilled on a ladies' glove. A very nice scent but... very weak. It doesn't last and it doesn't project - and for the money they're asking, it should.

Oct
29
2018

Jimmy Choo Man Ice Jimmy Choo

The top notes are strongly citrus; these are quite nice. The drydown moves into Ambroxan territory which isn't bad but hardly original. I found it... okay. "Safe for work" (the perfumery equivalent of damning with faint praise). It's also somewhat soapy.

"Ice?" Nah.

My wife is completely unimpressed. She thinks it smells too much like the cleaning agents she uses. In other words, functional perfumery instead of fine perfumery.

Sep
02
2018

Fougère d’Argent Tom Ford

SCRUBBER!

I liked the opening and could detect a sort of Tom Ford DNA in it, but, wow, when the basenotes came on it smelled like rancid Play-Doh on my arm. No, no, no.

Aug
18
2018

Cocoa Woods Nest

My wife glommed onto this one at a local Sephora and said she liked it. Always anxious to please, I got a sample. Yes, it's dry cocoa powder and some undefined woody notes. It's not bad - cuddly and likable, in fact - but as other reviewers here state, projection and longevity are tragic. I sprayed it on my shirt and an hour or so later I can barely smell it.

I don't detect any ginger at all.

Pretty, unique bottle.

Aug
15
2018

Oud Minérale Tom Ford

Wow - a Tom Ford scent with poor longevity and projection (at least on me). That's unusual.

The name had me hoping for a good agarwood scent, but this is really a somewhat wifty marine scent. It's a bit like smelling a piece of driftwood that washed up on the beach. It's not bad, but it's not really successful, either. It's too subtle to have any "wow factor," and it's not different enough from the usual collection of marine scents to convince me.

Oceanics aren't a big deal for me, and I really haven't found one I like better than Outremer Oceane.

I pass.

May
18
2018

Spicebomb Extreme Viktor&Rolf

greyhoundmom has it right: "...was surprised to find that it smells almost exactly like TF Tobacco Vanille!" Yes, I think so, too. A tamer version of TF TV but very much in the same vibe. Very strongly tobacco and vanilla - not so much spice. (The pepper note is very downplayed.) I like it. I like it better than Spicebomb, in fact.

It's also a cousin to CK Shock, I think.

My wife's comment was, "It's okay. At least it's not soapy like a lot of the others."

May
17
2018

Tabaco Latino Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia

This is one of the hands-down all time best tobacco scents I have ever smelled. "It's more like a fresh sack of blonde rolling tobacco that has just been opened." Yes - raw-umber has nailed it!

Great longevity. A pity it is discontinued.

May
08
2018

Lalique Pour Homme Lalique

Here I thought I was done with fragrances, and I get this one as a blind buy/gift. I put it on my amazon wish list based almost wholly upon people thinking that this reminds them of Creed Bois du Portugal - the only Creed I really like. Does it remind me of Bois du Portugal? No.

It opens weird - strongly citrus but also somewhat skanky. It's somewhat off-putting. But that soon dries down into a nice, traditional and classy men's scent with lavender and vanilla in the lead. (I don't really get the woodsy notes.)

I think my daughter paid less than $30 for the 100ml bottle. Wow. Well done, Lalique! (I also once had - and liked - my bottle of Encre Noire.)

---------

I'm about 20% through my bottle; I have come to like this a lot! It's a nice vanilla variation.

May
01
2018

Royall Rugby Royall Lyme Bermuda

I played rugby, so as much as I wanted to like this... no. The initial blast is quite nice and citrusy but it dries down to something somewhat soapy that smells like functional perfumery - something you spray on linen, for example. My wife thought it smelled like the dish soap she uses. It's not bad, but it's not really successful. Zero WOW factor.

I suppose you could say it's a "good work scent," which, to me, is like damning with faint praise.

The green notes make it smell like a cousin of Mugler Cologne.

What does real rugby smell like? Hot turf, sweat, blood, cotton, Ben-Gay and, sometimes, men whose hygiene needs some attention. (Especially if you're in the scrum like I was.)

Apr
21
2018

By the Fireplace Maison Martin Margiela

On paper and then wrist: Smoky wood which eventually dries down to a woody vanilla. Very, very nice. If you like the smell of campfire smoke (and I do) and you can't find or afford the Cadillac of campfire perfumes, Naomi Goodsir Bois d'Ascese, then get this. $125/bottle at the Nordstrom near me. I got a sample so I'll be trying it as soon as I use up my five year old bottle of Bogart Pour Homme this week.

---------------

I'm now wearing my Nordstrom sample. Very nice stuff, woody/smoky. I would have thought it overpowering, but no. It wears very nicely. And I don't think I'm broadcasting it... Also, I would have expected to be cloying, but, no, it's not that, either.

I'd like a bottle!

Mar
20
2018

A*Men Kryptomint Mugler

I've been waiting for a long time to smell this one; I finally found it in an Ulta store. That green bottle certainly stands out!

So do the top notes - and not in a good way. Okay, it's settled: I do not like mint scents. They all seem to remind me way too much of toothpaste. The dry down is okay - A-Men - but, yuck, those top notes. Scope, Crest, Orbit gum, etc.

I pass.

Feb
01
2018

Emporio Armani Stronger With You Giorgio Armani

Paugh! Boring, generic, unimaginative, synthetic, cheap. Smells like any number of other scents whose ultimate destination is a Ross near you.

Feb
01
2018

Collection Extraordinaire California Reverie Van Cleef & Arpels

Nice for my wife - not for me. Unisex? Nah.

We're both from L.A. If you want to invoke California (or even the *idea* of California) do it with salt, sage and eucalyptus. Juniper Ridge Big Sur does it.

Dec
30
2017

Viking Creed

Meh. It started out commendably dirty (what's causing *that?*) and interesting but turned... boring. Average.

Creed does it again. Viking is yet another example of why this House is so overrated.

Dec
30
2017

Bigarade concentree Frederic Malle

A well-wrought cologne in the signature light Ellena style... but... there are all sorts of things in this style I like better. Terre d'Hermes, Terre d'Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche, Declaration...

There's cumin in this? I don't smell it.

Price point problem!

Dec
30
2017

Musc Ravageur Frederic Malle

From the title I was expecting an animalic musk, but no - this is a cookie. It falls into the "yummy" category of scents. My wife swears there's an anise note which makes it smell like her Christmas Pizzelle. Whatever... this is a very nice gourmandy scent. Put me on the bandwagon: I like this stuff.

Dec
30
2017

Monsieur Frederic Malle

Tested on paper: Who knew a rum and patchouli accord could smell so good? Ah loves it. Wonderful. Next: On skin.

-----------

On skin: Ah, this is good stuff! I'm definitely getting more patchouli than rum on my skin. But now I'm also getting the vanilla notes. Interesting stuff!

Dec
30
2017

Russian Leather Memo Paris

Leather? And Russian leather at that? I don't think so. It smelled way too fresh to me. I didn't like this stuff at all. The concept is off the mark.

Dec
26
2017

Irish Leather Memo Paris

The greenest leather I have ever smelled. It's not bad. For a somewhat weird scent I like it, but, uh-oh... it gets soapy upon dry down. That and the price tag, whew.

Dec
26
2017

Oud Alif Shay & Blue London

I like it... but it's too much like Shay & Blue Black's Club London. Same vibe. So why repeat myself? It's quality, though.

Dec
06
2017

Blood Oranges Shay & Blue London

The knowledgeable gal at the Scent Bar in LA said this would dry down to leather - but it didn't. A pity. It's just orange that doesn't last long enough.

Dec
06
2017

Fumabat Couteau de Poche

This is the stuff! Pine, oakmoss, leather - and it lasts. (I don't get any mint from it.) Retro and masculine. But... I didn't buy it. $160/bottle at the Scent Bar in L.A. I'm kind of done with expensive scents, to be honest. But this is a good one!

Dec
06
2017

Pour Monsieur Chanel

Hooray! I finally got to try this. (It normally isn't sold in the states.) I tried it on skin at the LAX Duty Free shop.

The first blast is lemony... and then it dries down to a nice, oakmossy scent. (Indeed, oakmoss is listed on the box.) But, sadly, it is very light. Chanel meets Jo Malone. It turned into a very weak skin scent on me in less than an hour.

I get Luca Turin's love for this, but longevity and projection on this one are dire. How thoroughly disappointing!

Well... I won't be wasting my time with it as planned when I go to Paris next year. I guess I can skip the Chanel Boutique.

I prefer the Chanel Monsieur Concentree sold in the States!

Dec
06
2017

Sicilian Limes Shay & Blue London

It smells fresh and limey, but no longevity on me at all. A pity. I like it.

Dec
06
2017

Comme des Garcons 2 Comme des Garcons

Most people detect aldehydes, ink and magnolia in this one? Wow. I'll give it points for being daring and different, but... I don't like it. It's strange and way too powdery.

The very first thing I get from this is a blast of something sharp and very much like enamel or lacquer paint - that solvents nose burn. The drydown reminds me too much of the scented talcs my mother used to get from Avon when I was a little boy. It doesn't seem to last long... the long term scent here is mildly floral/woody.

No like.

Nov
22
2017

Pasha de Cartier Edition Noire Cartier

Not bad. No WOW! factor, but not bad. I like the fruity opening - that seems well-wrought. It dries down to an inoffensive, somewhat generic scent. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy this, but I wouldn't turn down a bottle if it came my way.

One of those "office scents." Projection and longevity are average for scents these days, which is another way of saying disappointing.

-----------

On a second wearing I have changed my opinion because I've detected a somewhat sour note in this. It is not prominent and I don't know how I missed it before, but it is unpleasant, so, no.

Nov
20
2017

Uomo Salvatore Ferragamo Casual Life Salvatore Ferragamo

Boring and generic. Destined for a Ross store near you.

The sample I have has "For Adult Use Only" on the card - hahahaha!

Nov
15
2017

Prada L'Homme Intense Prada

Hmmm. I'm not sure what I think about this one. Normally I like iris-based scents, but this one seems a bit too perfumey, too soft, too powdery. I don't not like it, but I'm pretty sure I prefer Infusion L'Homme best. (Or whatever they call it today.)

Aug
02
2017

Exceptional Because You Are For Men Exceptional Parfums

A FragranceNet.com sample given to me when I bought something far better. Generic, uninteresting, mass market, boring, forgettable, uninspiring. In no way, shape or form is this in any way "exceptional." About the only good thing that can be said for this is that it has a smell.

Apr
18
2017

Neroli Portofino Forte Tom Ford

This doesn't smell like fine perfumery. It smells like functional perfumery. The original Neroli Portofino smelled like Spray and Wash - this stuff even more so.

It appears that the only reasonable way to extend a light citrus scent (and keeping it light) is via Hedione, as Roudnitska did with Eau Sauvage. This stuff is like a sledgehammer. My wife sniffed my collar and made a stink face.

And, wow, $100 more than the original? I pass!

Apr
11
2017

La Collection Couturier Parfumeur Leather Oud Christian Dior

The top notes on this one are pretty hard to take (yes, "poopy"), but it dries down to a quality oud like Hayat Kemi Blending Magic. Problem is, wearing this one is going to be harder. It's just... hard to take. This is not one of those rapidly-vanishing scents. And, happily, it's also not one of those medicinal ouds. High quality oud.

Much better than M7!

Apr
10
2017

Fleur d'Oranger 27 Le Labo

Yes, it seems like a soliflore orange blossom, but does it have Hedione in it to provide a white flower note? It reminds me of Eau Sauvage - but this is still a very pleasant scent.

My favorite orange scent remains Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo - Arancia di Capri, but this is good, too. It lasts longer.

Jan
15
2017

Iris 39 Le Labo

Well, that was a surprise! I have found that I normally like men's scents with iris (Prada Infusion d'Homme being the main example), but I sure don't care for this! It's too green, too wild, too strong, too floral. Scrubber, in fact.

Unisex? No, I don't think so. I think it is very feminine. Not for me at all.

And how exactly is this a "chypre?" No oakmoss, bergamot or labdanum. Patchouli alone does not a chypre make.

Jan
15
2017

Blenheim Bouquet Penhaligon's

Oh, this is VERY nice. It may be the best citrus scent I have ever smelled. Anyway, it's up well there. It starts as citrus and dries down to... green. Greenish. I want a bottle!

My wife likes it, too.

Update: I have a bottle. Longevity and projection sucks! I like it but I won't be replacing it.

Jan
14
2017

Tom of Finland Etat Libre d'Orange

"Tom of Finland is beyond sexuality – he is sex, in all its fullness and magnitude, open and erect."

Oh, puleese.

Not a bad scent. I seem to almost automatically like scents that contain iris. And I'm no fan of the "clean/fresh" genre, but this one is tolerable.

Too soft and clean to be much of a leather scent to me.

Jan
14
2017

Narciso Rodriguez for Him Bleu Noir Narciso Rodriguez

More like Cartier Declaration than Terre d'Hermes, I think. (I have owned both.) I don't get the pronounced bitter orange note that forms such a distinctive part of the Hermes product.

I like it, but I think I'd prefer another bottle of the Cartier or the Hermes than this.

It's... okay. I'd wear it.

Jan
02
2017

Oud 27 Le Labo

Oud is almost always a miss with me. Either I can't smell it as a distinct note (Tom Ford Tobacco Oud or Oud Wood), or there's a nasty cough medicine aspect to it (M7). Or, with an oud attar, it smells like a rotting log. The only oud that I have liked thus far is Hayat Kemi Blending Magic - $400/bottle.

But this stuff is complex, wonderful and I'd wear it! It's not really me - but I'd wear it.

Like the Hayat, the top notes are a bit overwhelming and unpleasant, but that soon fades away to a deep, completely unique scent. This is oud done right.

Yes, there is some skank here, but it's a good skank, if that makes sense.

Problem: My wife gets her hated "grandma's ashtrays" note from it. (Encre Noir and Creed Royal Oud also has this for her.)

Dec
30
2016

Fortitude Robert Graham

A good sweet tobacco scent at a good price; no WOW! Factor, but it is good. I would wear this!

Dec
29
2016

Courage Robert Graham

Pure "meh." Kind of clean/fresh/sporty.

Dec
29
2016

Patchouli 24 Le Labo

I'm a smoke fan, so yes, I love this stuff! As eilismaireg pointed out, it's Autumn in a bottle! A lovely scent. To my nose it is not as campfire-smokey as Naomi Goodsir's Bois d'Ascese (which I also like a lot).

Don't be put off by the "patchouli" in title. There is indeed an earthy, potting soil aspect to this, but it's a well-blended mix of smoke and patch.

I don't detect much vanilla here... I guess it modifies the raw/soil note of the patchouli more than asserts itself as sweet. This is not sweet.

I think I like this as much or more than the Tom Ford Patchouli Absolu, which is very much a potting soil scent.

Yes - I want a bottle!

Dec
29
2016

L'Envol de Cartier Eau de Parfum Cartier

On me it starts out somewhat cloying (too sweet), and then the honeyed scent sours somewhat on my skin. And, uh-oh, it also gets unpleasantly camphorous on me. So... no.

The bottle is extraordinary.

Dec
28
2016

Loewe 001 Man Loewe

I found this plain bottle on the shelf at Nordstrom, my favorite department store. I've never seen it there before. Hm. So, Nordstrom being Nordstrom, I filled myself one of their little sample sprayer bottles to try it out.

It smells nice - musky, woodsy - but there is no WOW factor at play, here. And it doesn't really seem to assert itself on my skin - I suspect projection is virtually nil.

So while I like it, I must admit that it's kind of a personality free sort of scent. It falls into the category of "safe for work," which is the same place one of my favorite scents, Prada Infusion d'Homme, inhabits. But the Prada has a much more welcoming radiance... I always feel well-groomed wearing it.

This Loewe scent is just kind of there but doesn't really do anything for me. Once again, I like it, but, no.

Dec
27
2016

Molinard Homme II Molinard

What happened to my original review?

Anyway, I bought this and wore it only to find out, over time, it struck me as just plain weird. I tried and I tired, but no, I could not come to terms with it. So I don't really like it anymore and shall be giving it away as a white elephant exchange gift this Christmas!

Dec
19
2016

Prada L'Homme Prada

Another well-wrought scent from Prada. It's an iris scent, primarily, and as I like iris scents I like this! It works well on my skin. Maybe after I use up my bottle of Infusion d'Homme I'll buy a bottle of this...

Dec
15
2016

Essence Oud Ferrari

I suspect the oud-rose accord isn't for me. I find this floral, sweet and cloying. I'm pretty sure I couldn't bear smelling this on myself all day.

I bet it's spectacular... on somebody else.

Nov
26
2016

Eau de Rhubarbe Ecarlate Hermès

An inconsequential scent that smells nice (fruity and soft) enough upon application but very quickly dries and disappears from skin *and* clothing.

It makes a Jo Malone perfume seem like a powerhouse.

My wife's assessment was "Meh."

Oct
15
2016

Ombre Leather 16 Tom Ford

I tried this via a Nordstrom sample and, yes, I agree with everyone else: It's sort of a toned-down version of Tuscan Leather, which I own and like. As I have quickly scent-neutralizing skin, this stuff doesn't last as long as TL on me. So if it's the same price, why buy it?

It's... okay. It's a good leather scent but not one of my favorites. For Tom Ford cost I expect more Wow Factor.

----------------

Smelled it again in a big department store in Paris. Yep, same conclusion. The underwhelming little brother of Tuscan Leather.

Oct
11
2016

Vert Boheme Tom Ford

I smelled this one on paper at a Nordstrom. Yes, it is green. Very green. At times it reminded me of grass, which recalled memories of me as a child lying on grass and feeling itchy. (I think I am mildly allergic to grass.)

I agree with the reviewer who thought this not unisex. After the assertive greenness of the opening it indeed becomes floral. It's not for me. I have smelled other scents with violet leaf notes and find them to be turn-offs.

It might smell terrific on my wife, however...

Oct
09
2016

Equipage Geranium Hermès

Awful stuff. It's a good thing I test sprayed a bit of my Nordstrom sample on my arm before doing a general spray or it would have made for a long, long day. The top notes have a piercing, cloying floral note that smells like the world's worst scented candle - or unbearably soapy, I'm not sure which. This pungency only lasts for a half hour or so and then the scent settles down, but I don't care for the floral drydown, either. (Suspicion confirmed: geranium is not for me.) This is one of the least attractive Hermes scents I've ever smelled.

Scrubber.

Sep
06
2016

Dark Rebel Rider John Varvatos

When the Nordstom associate picked up the bottle to prepare a tester she noted the little leather zippered suit for the bottle and said, "That's cute." Indeed. Hot Topic cute. You know, Corporate Goth/Corporate Rebel cute.

I like the top notes! A smoky leather...very nice. The drydown, not so much. It gets kind of trashy within about a half hour... it loses its allure and character.

Longevity is indeed tragic. I sprayed two wet sprays of this stuff on my arm at 9:20 AM. By 9:55 it was a very weak skin scent and at 10:20 AM it was almost entirely gone. Why waste your money on stuff that doesn't last?

So far I have not cared for any of the Varvatos scents I have tried and this one joins the crowd. A pity. The top notes are great!

And I still maintain that the true rock and roll rebellious scent is Knize Ten.

Aug
15
2016

Mankind Hero Kenneth Cole

This stuff is meh, generic, boring and doesn't last... and even if a tanned blonde in her 40's approached me and started sniffing at me I wouldn't buy it.

And the other thing I don't buy is story about the tanned blonde.

Aug
13
2016

French Lime Blossom Jo Malone London

Wifty and way too light in the Jo Malone style. No longevity. Not for me.

Aug
10
2016

Oud Cashmere Mood Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Paper test: Interesting! Smoky and somewhat dirty. Comes off strong. I need to wear this on my skin...

Aug
10
2016

Baccarat Rouge 540 Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Meh. Forgettable. Doesn't last.

Aug
10
2016

Royal Mayfair Creed

Hm. I wonder about the notes. First of all, I don't get any eucalyptus - and bear in mind, I know what the stuff smells like because I used to play among eucalyptus trees and leaves all through my childhood in California. This doesn't smell like that. And gin? Again, hm. All of the gin scents I've smelled from Tokyomilk were sour and awful - and yet this isn't.

I read it as mildly floral. It's not bad... I could grow to like it. It smells upper crusty and British.

Aug
10
2016

Icon Alfred Dunhill

A classy citrus scent in a superlative bottle. It lasted about two hours max on my arm. There are better citrus scents out there for me - Terre d'Hermes and Terre Eau Tres Fraiche leaps to mind - but this one wasn't bad

That bottle is outstanding. Heavy and substantial. But who wears a bottle?

Aug
10
2016

Labdanum 18 Le Labo

As I sprayed this one on the adjective that came to mind was "yummy." Even gourmandy. That's the vanilla, which is quite prominent. It goes through a phase when it becomes soft and powdery, but every now and then I'd catch something else - the skank element, which, in this, is quite subtle. I couldn't call this animalic...

Labdanum is described as "deep, powerful, leathery and ambery note." I don't detect any leathery note... if I do it's a soft, powdery leather.

This is an interesting and nuanced scent of obvious quality - I like it!

Longevity is good.

Aug
04
2016

Aramis Black Aramis

Nothing very interesting going on here. My very first impression was, meh, generic. The drydown is somewhat better with a vague woody note, but, overall, forgettable. Longevity and projection are poor.

Jul
16
2016

A*Men Pure Tonka Mugler

Not a fan.

My initial impression is that it was like spraying sweetness on myself - not quite cotton candy, but not far from it. It's not my thing. I kept hoping and expecting that the rather more bitter chocolate A*Men base would emerge, but it didn't. The long term note in this is a sort of generic sweet coffee.

The lavender in this is pretty subtle to my nose.

Pure Malt is still the best of the series, in my humble opinion.

May
11
2016

Godolphin Parfums de Marly

Let's see: Rasasi La Yuquawam is like Clive Christian C is like Montale Aoud Leather is like Tom Ford Tuscan Leather is like this one, Parfums de Marly Godolphin. Yes, I definitely see a resemblance between all these. And this one is another solid leather scent contender.

If I did a wrist by wrist comparison with this and TL I suppose the differences would become more obvious, but suffice to say that, like TL I love it and it's a very luxurious leather scent. Longevity seems to be about the same as TL. Nordstrom pricing is about $65 an ounce for this vs. $88 an ounce for TL. (The Rasasi is the best value here, but it doesn't last as long on me as TL. Eventually you get what you pay for.)

Geez, that bottle cap is heavy.

May
11
2016

C for Men Clive Christian

Tuscan Leather is one of my very favorite scents - I own a bottle of it and know it well - so, mindful of the comparisons between that and Clive Christian C I tried a Nordstrom sample.

(And I bet this constant comparison with Tuscan Leather drives the Clive Christian people nuts!)

Same general vibe, yes, but TL is more of a leather scent. CCC is leather with something else. There is a somewhat astringent, medicinal note in CCC that is not in TL that puts me off a bit. It must be the oud. Also, I find that I usually don't like amber - perhaps that's what's causing me grief.

In general, I like this (it is obviously a quality scent), but... no. I wouldn't buy it. My ranking of the TL's and TL smell-alikes is as follows:

1. Tuscan Leather
2. Montale Aoud Leather
3. Rasasi La Yuquawam Homme
4. Clive Christian C

May
09
2016

1872 Men Clive Christian

The top notes are kind of dirty and richly sophisticated blend of scents, but on me it quickly turns into a very grassy smell. Grass on my skin makes me itch, so... no. I like it, but I'd never buy it.

May
07
2016

Blacks Club Leather Shay & Blue London

I was sold on this one at the Scent Bar in Los Angeles. I've smelled many of the leather scents - it's my favorite note - but this one is superlative due to the woods and booze notes. It smells like... a club. A fine club. Very, very nice. A little more sillage and longevity would be good, but...

------------------

I've been wearing this off and on for the past six months. The more I wear it, the more I like it. This is seriously good stuff! Leathery, boozy... it hits the right notes for me.

Apr
27
2016

Whiskey Commodity

Well, I sprayed on an entire 1 ml sample on myself and, after an hour or so, it was virtually gone.

When it comes to whiskey/boozy scents, I prefer Tim McGraw Southern Blend (which has longevity about as bad but is much cheaper) and, for a more complex scent, A*Men Pure Malt. This one didn't show me anything.

Apr
10
2016

Eternity Now For Men Calvin Klein

Meh. I can't decide if this smells vaguely like laundry soap or some forgettable beachy-tropical scent. Too generic, too mass-market.

Creed Virgin Island Water? Sort of. More like water.

Boring.

Apr
09
2016

Virgin Island Bay Rum Pinaud Clubman

I once owned a bottle of Royall Bay Rhum. $40 (and that was discounted), Nice bottle - didn't last. I like this stuff just as much. $7, much bigger bottle - doesn't last.

It's what I wear when I don't feel like wearing anything, or when my nose is congested and I don't want to waste my bottle of Tuscan Leather...

Apr
05
2016

Legend Spirit Montblanc

Commonplace, unoriginal, boring. Makes no real impression, has no "WOW!" factor. It has a scent, but it's almost indistinguishable from a freshly-laundered shirt. I suppose that's the musk in it.

Is it "safe for work?" Sure. If your goal is to get your co-workers to yawn in your face, this is your frag.

Apr
03
2016

Costa Azzurra Tom Ford

Yes, it invokes the sea. No, it is not pleasant. It dries down smelling like a stinky pier somewhere. The odd thing is that it is somewhat reminiscent of Outremer Oceane, which I like, but this stuff turns me off somehow. Some errant note, I guess. I would not want to smell this on myself all day.

So... not quite scrubber, but close.

Mar
22
2016

Mandarino di Amalfi Tom Ford

The top notes are zingy, citrusy, sparkly, fresh and very pleasant. Sadly, it all turns to soap on my skin. There is good soapy (Prada Infusion d'Homme, Mugler Cologne) and bad soapy. This is one of the bad ones; sniffing it irritates my nose.

A pity. I really liked those top notes.

Longevity on my skin is a couple of hours.

Mar
21
2016

Wonderwood Comme des Garcons

As the name suggests, it is a woody scent, cedar coming to the fore, then pine notes. It is quite nice - I like it. In fact, I like it better than Le Labo Chant de Bois, which was previously my woodsy favorite, and almost as much as Creed's Royal Oud, which costs more than three times as much. And it is so much better than Mugler's Pure Wood. I want a bottle someday.

However, again, longevity on me is an issue.

I detect no citrus.

Mar
18
2016

Comme des Garcons 2 Man Comme des Garcons

My local Sephora now carries some of the Comme des Garcons line, so naturally I got samples.

This is one of the relatively few incense-based scents I like. It's complex... my first take on it was woody-spicy, but then the stuff settled down and the incense came to the fore. But I read this as sort of piney-smokey. Like aromatic burning wood.

Somebody made a comparison to Encre Noire, and I agree, although this seems to be a sort of second counsin to that popular fragrance. This is more of an incense-smoke scent rather than EN's vetiver-smoke scent.

I don't detect mint at all, and any leather is very subtle.

Weird bottle!

Longevity is about the usual thing these days: disappointing. On me it's nearly gone in a few hours. On cotton, very faint. Can we please go back to making scents that last?

------------

A second test:

This and Wonderwood are two excellent woody scents. I like Comme des Garcon's use of incense... this smells mysterious and somewhat campfirey. Dry, too. Austere. And I can detect the nutmeg. I like it.

Problem, though - it doesn't seem to last at all. A pity.

Mar
16
2016

A*Men Pure Coffee Mugler

Lo and behold I found a tester of this stuff at a Nordstrom. No bottles for sale - just the tester! So I had a sample made.

I like the opening, I like the drydown. It doesn't especially smell like a coffee that I have ever had, but it does strongly suggest coffee. A sweet, milky sort of coffee, but a coffee nonetheless. And somehow it manages to avoid smelling like, say, I just spilled coffee on myself. It's a fully realized coffee scented perfume. Nice!

I don't like it as much as Pure Malt, but I like it better than Pure Havane, Pure Wood and A-Men.

Longevity is decent.

-------

Second wearing: Same overall opinion as before. Not much WOW! factor but I'd wear it.

Mar
15
2016

Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford

I wasn't sure I'd like this... It's a deep, rich, earthy, potting soil kind of scent. It reminds me of a small bottle of Tsar I once had (and traded away), but this doesn't have the geranium scent that was such a turn off. It's quite nice.

Really? This is just patchouli? Nothing else? I once smelled some patchouli essential oil and don't recall liking it much. How is this different?

Wore it for a day: Yep, I like this stuff. It smells great! Longevity is acceptable.

Mar
13
2016

Dignified House Of Sillage

Smelled on a paper strip: The note most prominent to me in this is the vetiver, but there is also a smoky note, making this a sort of second cousin to Encre Noire. I like it... but bang for the buck is questionable.

Mar
12
2016

HoS N.001 House Of Sillage

Smelled on a paper strip: This is a strong, boozy, cherry liquor scent. The oud in it is near the medicinal, cough syrup quality of the original YSL M7... My first take on it was that I liked this, but I'm not sure I could smell it on myself all day. Big WOW Factor.

Mar
12
2016

Hayat Kemi Blending Magic

A helpful perfumisto at The Scent Bar in Los Angeles showed me this one, and because I bought some fragrance I got a sample! He told me that this is what a quality oud-based scent smells like. (I really wasn't sure. I thought oud was either cough medicine or a rotting log.)

The top notes, at first, repelled me... No, I didn't care for it. And then, amazingly, it changed into a truly marvelous scent... A lovely, deep, complex wood. So *this* is oud! Ah, I can see why it is prized now!

The development of this one is the most radical and pronounced of any scent I think I have ever smelled. Truly amazing! Finally, an oud I like!

$400/bottle.

------------

I wore some of the sample and a female cop asked me what it was I was wearing. I told her and she wrote it down. I'll be very sorry to see my sample go away.

Jan
17
2016

Elixir Kemi Blending Magic

I smelled some of this at the Scent Bar in Los Angeles... Wowee. The Queen of Skank! The top notes are very, very dirty. It settles down somewhat, but wow... This is extremely difficult to like! This is the nastiest stuff I have ever smelled!

Jan
15
2016

Pi Extreme Givenchy

Wow, the top notes on this one have a kick! It soon settles down, however, in a mellow woody, gourmandy scent that smells a bit chemical and synthetic, but still, not bad at all. I like this stuff.

I'm pretty sure I like it better than original Pi.

Longevity isn't bad.

Nov
28
2015

Sauvage Christian Dior

A timid fragrance that barely makes an impression. On my skin it is almost entirely gone in under an hour. About the only thing I can say for it is that, yes, it has a scent. A flop.

Nov
28
2015

Hesperides Fresh

An excellent grapefruit scent at a good price, but, uh-oh... Longevity is less than an hour on my skin...

Nov
27
2015

Polo Red Intense Ralph Lauren

I liked it better than I thought I would. I'm not sure I'm smelling any cranberries, but what I get from this one is a sort of candy scent that is approaching the Joop! line of obnoxiousness but never crossing it. This one seems to be an amber variation scent. Normally I don't care for amber scents. It's one of the better fragrances in the Polo line.

This is for a younger man than I. It doesn't really suit me.

It makes my wife sneeze.

Nov
16
2015

Luna Rossa Sport Prada

It's a tonka bean and vanilla bomb in the manner of LeMale. I like LeMale and so I like this... but it's not the vanilla scent I hanker after. I haven't found that yet. It's my favorite in the Luna Rossa series, however.

But credit goes to Prada for avoiding the usual thing and *not* making a "sport" scent clean/fresh.

HOWEVER... I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the drydown; the way this stuff ends up smelling after about two hours. It smells common and over-familiar.

More credit: this stuff lasts and projects better than average.

Nice bottle.

Nov
09
2015

Gris Clair Serge Lutens

I tried this in a Barney's store in Las Vegas. It's a good lavender scent, but, for the money, I could probably be just as happy with the less expensive Pour un Homme de Caron, which strikes me as nearly the same sort of thing. (I'm sure somebody will chime in and state that this product has subtleties that the Caron does not, and I suppose that's true.)

Note: I am not an especial fan of lavender, which, to my nose, smells bitingly of some kind of astringent lemon-limey thing. But I recognize that I could get to like it in time.

Oct
15
2015

Passion Boisee Frapin

Mildly woody, mildly spicy, mildly rummy, mildly citrus, mildly leathery. The emphasis is on mild - and this fragrance is very much in the modern style in that it is light. Sadly, it is also in the modern style in that it doesn't have much longevity or projection - and this is an Eau de Parfum concentration!

I like it, but it's nothing special and I won't be buying a (overpriced) bottle.

Oct
09
2015

The Odd Fellow Bouquet Atkinsons

I like Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille and I get the comparison to this, but I find this stuff somewhat gagging and headache-inducing, and I'm not sure why. It has a cough medicine note that reminds me of original formulation YSL M7; at first I thought there may have been some of that same synthetic oud in this. What is it that's annoying me? The benzoin? I find I almost always don't like predominantly amber scents, so that could be it.

MysteryBuff: I have and love De Nicolai New York and Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree and I love Creed Bois du Portugal, but this Odd Fellow's Bouquet doesn't appeal to me - I don't get the comparisons.

Yes, it does strike me as gourmandy... that was my first take on it until I got that it's mainly a ambery tobacco scent.

Longevity is better than average.

----------

Second wearing on my hand: Yes, it's confirmed, this stuff bugs me. That ambery benzoin note is fierce on me.

Oct
08
2015

Paradis Perdu Frapin

Wow - this one is weird! It opens with an incredible mustiness that reminds me of Salvador Dali Pour Homme, then transitions into a rotting grapefruit accord rather than a floral note like the Dali.

It's like a roll in the hay - and not clean hay, either.

I'll hand it to Frapin for coming up with something unusual, but I don't want to smell like this.

Fortunately it doesn't last long on me or my sample would have resulted in a long, long day.

Oct
07
2015

Infusion d'Iris (2015) Prada

Okay, last week I was in Las Vegas, and one day my wife and I covered eight miles of shopping walking through Caesar's Palace, the Bellagio and the Venetian.

One stop was at the Prada store. I asked the SA if Infusion d'Homme was really discontinued and she gave me a blank stare. She then resorted to her cheat book and we noted that, no, Infusion d'Homme was not listed therein.

I heard that the old Infusion d'Homme is now Iris, so I sprayed some of their tester of that on my arm. Yep - smelled just like! So the SA gave me a sample of Iris - nice.

But hang on. I put some of it on one arm just now and some Infusion d'Homme on the other to do a side-by-side test. They seem different. The new one, the d'Iris, is weak and has a brighter, more citrus top note.

Curious, I dumped more of the sample on my arm... this stuff certainly isn't Infusion d'Homme. It's far more citrusy and far less interesting than Infusion d'Homme. More floral. More feminine. less barbershoppy and powdery.

Hmf.

Oct
05
2015

12 Lacha Odin

A very fine nutmeggy-suede scent... soft and comforting. It's a bit like visiting a leather shop. It is one of the oddest fragrances I own in that when I first spray it on I'm a little annoyed by it; it seems somewhat off-putting. But then, after a little while I get used to the smell of it and realize, again, that I really like it. No other scent I have is like that.

Lacha has superior longevity - on me it survived a shower! That doesn't happen very often.

I found this one after an exhaustive try out of the scents at the Barney's store in Las Vegas. Had to have a bottle!

I do not detect any pepper, BTW.

---------

I liked it before, but after a number of wearings I got to the point where, at the end of the day, I sniffed the top of my tee shirt and went Mmmmmmmm. I cannot mentally force myself to do this. It's my final confirmation of approval and all my favorite scents have this reaction for me.

It's a very nice stablemate to my Tuscan Leather. One is assertively leather, the other is mildly suede.

Oct
04
2015

Posh on the Green Atkinsons

As the name suggests, yes, it is green - a sort of abstract, undefined green you find in Calvin Klein Truth.

I think it's okay but my wife doesn't like it.

Wow... Bad longevity, though. Lasts perhaps a half hour or so.

Oct
02
2015

Datura Noir Serge Lutens

Suggested for me by a fellow in the Las Vegas Barney's store.

Nice, but that opening is way feminine... Not for me. Not my style.

Interesting in that I saw a datura plant today on an ancient Native American rock dwelling tour. Apparently the datura leaves can cause 24 hour hallucinations!

Oct
01
2015

24 Old Bond Street Atkinsons

Pleasant, but way too timid to make much of an impression. I think the black tea note is the most prominent. Sort of a "Why bother?" scent. It barely registers.

Sep
30
2015

Dior Homme Cologne 2013 Christian Dior

A very pleasant scent, with the same sort of breezy citrus vibe as Eau Sauvage or a somewhat less soapy Mugler Cologne. I'd wear this stuff…

Now, the con: As is the case with all colognes, on me it doesn't last long.

Sep
26
2015

Red Cattleya Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes

Oh, my gosh this is horrible stuff! On my skin the top notes smell like some horrible, super-sweet candy and it dries down to a popcorny/foody smell. (And I do not mean that in a good way.)

Just awful. Scrubber!

Jul
31
2015

05 Incense Extreme Tauer Perfumes

Incense scents usually don't impress me, and this one is no exception. It goes on with the same sort of mysterious dry mustiness found in Salvador Dali Pour Homme and doesn't develop much on my skin. In fact, after about 40 minutes or so it almost entirely disappears. It's very timid. So this one isn't showing me much.

Jul
29
2015

Feminite du Bois Serge Lutens

Much more bois than feminite, I think.

This has a very nice woody vibe and is in nature, I think, really unisex. It is light (longevity and sillage are not especially good on me) but not unmasculine. I liked it, but when it comes to woodsy scents, not as much as Le Labo's Chant du Bois or Creed's Royal Oud.

I don't especially smell the cinnamon note, either.

I've never smelled the Shiseido version.

Jul
26
2015

Black Flower Mexican Vanilla Dame Perfumery

Sampled via a generous fragrantican.

On me this is too "perfumey"; what I'm probably objecting to here is the jasmine. I could detect what I thought was a white flower/indolic note right away. It reminded me a bit of the classic Guerlains: Shalimar, Jicky, L'Heure Bleu. Not in a good way on me, however - this stuff was driving me nuts all day.

But! On somebody else this is probably stellar!

The vanilla here is vanilla bean, rich and strong.

So I like it. Just not on me.

Jul
24
2015

Cologne of the Missions Le Couvent des Minimes

A very accurate and delicious vanilla scent; it reminds me of Outremer's Vanille. People seem to like this a lot and I can see why - it smells great! In the bottle there's a bit of a vanilla liqueur note; it smells a bit boozy. This isn't a part of the spray, however.

The only problem: on me it is very timid. On skin it disappears quickly. I sprayed most of my 1 ml sample on my shirt, and it was only faintly noticeable. If I got a bottle of this I'd be using a lot, I think.

Jul
23
2015

Hypnotic Poison Christian Dior

Root beer float!

I was in a Sephora one day and tried this on a paper strip out of curiosity (full disclosure: the bottle and concept lured me). Wow! This stuff smells great! Yes...a root beer float. That describes it as well as anything else. It's yummy.

After another couple of visits and re-tests on paper strips I wondered - how would this smell ON ME?

Well... it still smells great! Just like some sweet, delicious gourmet food. And there's the problem. Do I want to smell myself smelling like a sweet gourmet food? Or a root beer float? You would think this is a non-issue, but it is as it influences my self-image. Bad ass or teddy bear? (I am a big, tall guy.)

I wear A-Men Pure Malt, which is very foody/boozy just fine. But somehow that's different.

I'll have to ponder this one. I've been looking or a vanilla scent, but as things stand it's probably Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, not this. But my opinion could change!

And this stuff smells great! I need to get another sample for my wife... (Update: I did, and she agrees: root beer float. But she's not a fan.)

Jul
06
2015

Rouge Hermes Hermès

Found in the men's section of a Nordstrom - why, I have no idea. Unisex this is absolutely not!

Sorry, folks, but I fully agree with Luca Turin: this is an obnoxiously heavy and gagging floral scent that, yes, Hermes would do well to discontinue. Is it for men? Sure - if the man in question is on a stage performing dressed as Mae West or Cher.

Wary and suspicious, I sprayed one shot to my arm. It came at me for the next few hours, and alarmed my daughter-in-law who smelled it all the way up the stairs. It greeted me the following morning from my pillow, sheets and comforter. Egad.

To paraphrase David Bowie, this ain't a perfume. It's genocide.

Jun
17
2015

Amazone (1974) Hermès

A trickster at Nordstrom put a bottle of this in the men's section, so I obtained a sample.

Whew! The opening is way too perfumey, way too floral, too feminine. But wait... it dries down to what could be a second or third cousin to Bel Ami. Soft and somewhat leathery. But there are no leather notes listed... it must be a clever olfactory trick of Hermes.

And, on me, a third phase is somewhat soapy - which I do not like.

We tried a spray on my wife's arm - she doesn't like it.

So... not for me. It's a distinctive, quality scent, though, no doubt about that.

Jun
16
2015

Essence Narciso Rodriguez

Some trickster put this in the men's fragrances section of Nordstrom, and I see why. I got a sample.

It starts with a gentle iris note that reminds me a bit of Prada Infusion d'Homme. A dressy, squared away laundry scent. But after awhile it becomes sharp and bright, and here's where we part company as it strays and settles into the usual clean/fresh/sporty territory of many men's scents. If my bête noire dihydromyrcenol isn't in this, I'm smelling something very reminiscent of it. Or the same effect, anyway.

But I must say, if I were forced at gunpoint to wear a clean/fresh/sporty scent it would be this one.

Unusual bottle.

Jun
16
2015

Bvlgari Man In Black Bvlgari

Hooray! I found another Bvlgari scent I like! (In addition to Au The Vert.)

This one is very nice... the rum and spice accord is right on the money and smells great! The top notes are enchanting. I see this has iris in it... another reason I like it. I like smelling iris on myself (Dior Homme, Prada Infusion d'Homme) and on my wife (who loves Guerlain's sadly discontinued iris-heavy Shalimar Parfum Initial).

And yes, I do detect the resemblance to Spicebomb.

The only problem: as is the case with most modern fragrances, sillage and longevity is wanting. Even sprayed on cotton this becomes quite soft. On skin it's a skin scent right away on me. At the end of the day it's utterly gone, even from cotton.

This is an Eau de Parfum? Really? It has Eau de Toilette performance.

Jun
16
2015

Dolce&Gabbana Pour Homme Intenso Dolce&Gabbana

Bleah. It smells boring and generic on a paper strip, and on my skin it turns pungent and sour. Fortunately it didn't last very long.

Jun
13
2015

Luna Rossa Extreme Prada

Wow, that opening takes some getting used to! It almost smells like eraser... black pepper and vanilla? Is that what I'm smelling?

It dries down nicely, however. I can detect a soapy House DNA in this one, not unlike Infusion d'Homme, which I like.

I wasn't greatly impressed with the original Luna Rossa, which I found generic and boring. I cannot say that about this scent. I like it!

Once again, great bottle.

Jun
12
2015

Declaration d'Un Soir Intense Cartier

It had to happen eventually: I finally found a Declaration flanker I didn't like!

The original d'Un Soir is subtle and charming. This one is crass. That opening is pretty unbearable; I agree with the others - it ventures too far into gagging Tom Ford Black Orchid territory.

And yes, there is a bit of a candy accord at play early on. It reminded me a bit of a fragrance I can't stand - Joop!

The original is much better.

Jun
09
2015

Noir for Men Bath and Body Works

Ugh! I like vanilla and I like (most) musk; I think it's the amber that's the deal-breaker here for me.

Jun
06
2015

Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune Guerlain

One of the relatively few accurate grapefruit scents out there. Sadly, on me it disappears very quickly. It becomes a very subtle skin scent (nearly gone) in about an hour. A pity!

This is really unisex; men could wear this easily.

Nice bottle!

Jun
06
2015

Ikon Zirh

Well, it's bold - I have to give it points for that! But that huge incense note is a real turn off for me. On my skin, incense-heavy fragrances I have tried just smell... weird. There is only one exception: Tom Ford Sahara Noir.

I couldn't live with this scent coming at me all day.

Jun
05
2015

Aventus Creed

For the life of me, I don't know why this fragrance gets so much attention. It goes on smelling of pineapple - and if you're lucky you also get a smoke note. I did with a previous sample but I didn't with the present sample. I guess this is what's at the heart of the whole Aventus batch variation controversy.

At any rate, on me it dries down to a boring sweet/fruity thing. Also, it doesn't last. And it doesn't seem to project.

I'm convinced, when it comes to nude emperors, this is the one with its junk hanging out.

Jun
02
2015

Mandarine Glaciale Atelier Cologne

A nice orange scent with an additional zing of ginger. I like it... but longevity and sillage is pretty bad on me. I get an hour, tops, with this.

Oakmoss? In this? I don't detect any!

It's a pity it's so timid.

Actually, when I first put it on the very light white flower floral aspect of it reminded me of Eau Sauvage, except with orange instead of lemon. But Eau Sauvage lasts longer.

Jun
01
2015

Bond No. 9 Perfume Bond No 9

Is this the stuff that's being marketed now as "Signature?" Looks like the very same bottle and both are oud scents.

Anyway, a sales assistant at a Nordstrom begged and petitioned me not to walk away from the Bond No. 9 counter before I sniffed this on a paper strip. So I did. What gives? I could barely smell anything at all and so I told her this.

So she gave a sniff herself and her face betrayed her - there was nothing there. So she muttered something about it being light and changed the subject.

A weird experience. Did we get a Bond bottle full of perfumer's alcohol?

BTW, the Nordstrom at the Pentagon Center in Northern Virginia has WAY too many sales assistants. They won't leave you alone.

May
30
2015

Mankind Kenneth Cole

Pfaw. Mass market, predictable, unoriginal and not at all interesting. A tester was sitting near the cash registers at a T.J. Maxx with a Mont Blanc Legend tester. They smelled almost identical on paper.

May
30
2015

Private Label Jovoy Paris

Wow, this stuff has a punch!

The best description I've read for the opening is "acetonic." Yes - and to my nose easily confused with a camphorous note. After a very sharp fanfare, the scent settles down to a leathery patchouli. The vetiver is there, too, but this isn't as rooty or as pungent as Guerlain's 1959 vetiver. But it is intensely green. I'm reminded of a grove of bamboo near my backyard where I grew up, but this is more of a suggestion than the same literal smell.

I suppose there's sandalwood in this mix, but it's not as prominent as the patchouli or the leather. As time moves on this becomes more balsamic and softer. Or is that the sandalwood? This one's hard to read!

This fragrance is bold and individual, and not to be blind bought. Longevity and projection are above average.

I like it!

My wife, however, declares that it's somewhat "Pine-Solly."

May
18
2015

Hugo Energise Hugo Boss

A somewhat weird scent on me. Lemony/peppery. Almost, but not quite, sour. Almost, but not quite, a rancid note. I don't think this one works with my skin chemistry at all.

When offered the top of my hand where I placed it, my wife simply shook her head "no" after a sniff.

May
13
2015

Cedrat Enivrant Atelier Cologne

The topnotes on this are wonderful, a very sharp citrus.

But... uh-oh. On my skin the lemon scent is virtually gone after about a half hour (no kidding - I timed it), replaced with a very faint and somewhat unpleasant soapy smell. No sillage unless sprayed on clothing.

I think Creed's Bois de Cedrat is still my all-time fastest evaporation king, but this one's a contender.

May
13
2015

La Yuqawam Homme Rasasi

A generous fragrantican sent me an evaluation sample of the La Yuqawam; I own and greatly enjoy the Tuscan Leather. I put a little on the top of each hand and made a fool out of myself continually sniffing.

Observations:

These two scents, indeed, smell very similar, just as people claim. My wife, doing a comparison sniff, confirmed this. With more inspection, however, she claimed that she preferred the Tuscan Leather.

The La Yuquwam has a more pronounced berry note than does the Tom Ford product - it is right up there as a top note. Certainly, any jasmine or woody notes (listed as notes) are hard to detect among the heart or basenotes.

The Rasasi product has a bit more of a smoky cork note to it.

The Tuscan Leather lasts a lot longer on my skin; I'm guessing that the concentrations differ. The Rasasi behaves like most Eau de Toilettes on me.

Overall I prefer the Tom Ford Tuscan Leather - but would gladly wear the Rasasi product!

There is a considerable difference in cost!

May
12
2015

Pomelo Paradis Atelier Cologne

Atelier joins the ranks of Hermes (Eau de Pamplemousse Rose) and Guerlain (Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune) at getting the elusive grapefruit note right! There are so many nasty, synthetic efforts to create an olfactory impression of a grapefruit out there - so full credit to Atelier.

Another reviewer called the top notes of this "hyperrealistic," and I concur. It's like squeezing a grapefruit onto yourself, which I unexpectedly found to be a nice experience.

The drydown is a gentle ambery note. The same structure as the Varvatos scents, really: a citrus top end on amber. Iris? Okay, but I don't get that.

I like it a lot! A nice scent with a real zing... This kind of scent isn't normally my thing but I can see myself wearing this on warm days.

Longevity: As usual with citrus scents, a problem. I put it on at 11 AM and it's 2:30 PM now and it's pretty much gone. I can barely smell it on my cotton tee shirt top. Pity.

May
11
2015

Carven Pour Homme Carven

Sampled via test card at a Nordstrom.

Ugh! There's that nasty, sharp, synthetic, deal-breaking grapefruit note again! Sour and unpleasant. I encounter it from time to time in other scents; it appears that few fragrances get the true olfactory signature of the grapefruit right.

No!

May
10
2015

White Suede Tom Ford

Urged to try this one by somebody on this page's forum, I duly visted a Nordstrom for a paper strip and a spray.

I was hoping for a sort of distant cousin to Tuscan Leather, which I like very much. Or perhaps some variation of a light white musk of the type found in Mugler Cologne. Anyway, that was the expectation.

What I got was a sort of hard-to-define collection of notes that didn't make me think of either. Worse, it didn't play well with my skin chemistry, becoming rather sour or "off." There's a note there that is just not flattering or pleasant on me.

What's more, it's very light. I'm a big guy... this is like wearing a tie made out of Kleenex. It just doesn't work.

My wife didn't like it, either. It reminded her of a cheap musk that somebody she used to know used to wear.

So... no. Not for me.

May
10
2015

L’Homme Ideal Guerlain

Guerlain is my favorite house. But there is no getting around it, this one is disappointing. My take on it is that it's a bit too mainstream. No WOW! factor at all. It's Guerlain merely filling a market expectation, but not redefining it or doing anything really new.

It's nice, but I don't expect or want nice from Guerlain - I expect more.

It goes on "yummy"; the almond notes are certainly there. It disappears pretty quickly on my skin. In fact, longevity is awful.

This one has me wondering, if you like almonds why not find a bottle of Givenchy Pi in a Ross and get about the same thing for less?

--------------

Another try: My wife likes this one a lot on me. She thinks it's "yummy."

May
09
2015

Petite Mort (Parfum d'une Femme) Marc Atlan

If fine fragrance is an art, this is obviously a Tijuana Bible.

May
06
2015

Dirty English for Men Juicy Couture

After seeing this constantly suggested on this website's men's forum, I decided to pay for a sample to see what all the fuss was about. (It was less than two bucks and made my fragrancenet shipping free, so I consider myself as coming out ahead.)

I still don't know why people recommend this.

A synthetic trash heap, that's what this is. It went on smelling very generic; the top notes are undoubtedly the same-old same-old stuff you constantly smell in the mass market bottles for sale at a Ross. (I'm looking at you, Usher, Giorgio and Michael Jordan.) It then dries down to a nasty, sour smell that reminds me of nothing so much as what my daughter calls "trash juice," the liquid matter that occasionally oozes out of trash cans.

Phew! Nasty.

I'm not afraid of "dirty." After all, I love the castoreum in Antaeus and the civet in my wife's perfumes. But this isn't a well-wrought dirty in any way, shape or form. It's just... trash.

Fortunately Dirty English doesn't last. (Because it's cheap, people!) This is the one time a scrubber didn't last forever on me, and boy, am I glad.

Better yet, it's discontinued.

May
04
2015

Eau Parfumee au The Blanc Bvlgari

I'm sure there's a difference between this and au the vert (which I like), but I'd have to have them on side by side paper strips to judge.

I like this one, but, wow, is it ever light! I tried a sample on myself and it just sort of disappeared. It's way too subtle and dainty for me.

May
02
2015

A*Men Ultra Zest Mugler

I get the oranges at the beginning, and it does have some zing, but I prefer the orange notes in Terre d'Hermes more. The drydown is similar to the A-Men gourmand. But this is not my preferred orange scent.

I prefer this to A-Men Pure Wood and A-Men, but I like Pure Malt better.

Longevity is so-so. A few hours.

Apr
20
2015

Monsieur Musk Houbigant

A friend of mine found a vintage bottle of this and was kind enough to make me a 1 ml sample.

I'm not a fan of the top notes... it was somewhat alarming going on me. (That, "Oh, no, what am I doing?" feeling.) It struck me at first as being overwhelmingly... floral? Can that be? It then settled down into the musk note.

Sadly... I do not care for it. It just smells too dated. I'm okay with Kiehl's Musk Oil and the white musk in Mugler Cologne, but this one comes across as being just too cloying.

I don't get the tobacco note that's supposed to be in this.

I'm not especially a musk person, I am finding out.

Mar
30
2015

Geir Ness for Men Geir Ness

I tried some of this in the Norway store at EPCOT; sprayed some on my arm. I didn't like it at all because it's way too floral for me.

When I got to the Italian section at EPCOT, the guy at the fragrance section sprayed the other arm with a sweep of Prada Infusion d'Homme. I bet you could smell me coming from a mile away that day.

Mar
27
2015

Fleurissimo Creed

I'm trying to figure out if Creed is telling the truth about this perfume's history.

So. Does anyone here definitively recall owning a bottle of this prior to 1975? Please PM me if this is the case.

Of course, if you owned *any* Creed fragrance prior to 1975, please also PM me.

If you *didn't* own a bottle prior to 1975 and wish only to take me to task for being a "Creed hater" or some such thing, don't bother. Same if you want to inform me that prior to 1975 they were only making scents for the rich and famous. I've heard that.

I am seeking evidence (not hearsay or copy from Creed's website) of Creed being producers of perfume prior to 1975.

Feb
23
2015

Cafe Rose Tom Ford

Strong, gagging and unbearable. The Rose from Hell.

I got a sample of this stuff for my wife when I bought Tuscan Leather. Ugh. She can crack open the bottle downstairs and I swear, I can smell it upstairs... why can't stuff I like have that kind of sillage?

Feb
18
2015

Witness Jacques Bogart

This is a curious one! It reminds me a little of Halston Z-14 and a little of Van Cleef and Arpels Tsar. Spice and cinnamon are the two notes I get most strongly - but then there's that x-factor that the incense also imparts for me. I'm never quite sure what to make of it. I can smell the pine/fir... it smells mildly Christmassy to me.

And there's a hint of floral, too. Is that the carnation note? Normally I don't like carnation - it's what spoiled Tsar for me - but here it's restrained.

A very nice scent!

Not a powerhouse like Bogart Pour Homme, which is nuclear strength. But I like the strength of this one.

I'll have to get a bottle!

A few hours later: No, I won't. That carnation-incense accord, which becomes pronounced with the passage of time, is a deal-breaker for me. As the hours passed that accord kept "coming at me" (to use my wife's phrase). A pity.

Feb
09
2015

Spicebomb Eau Fraiche Viktor&Rolf

One spray and I knew it had that overused and fake-smelling grapefruit note in it. I almost always react negatively to it.

I like Spicebomb but hate this.

Feb
07
2015

Wood Sage & Sea Salt Jo Malone London

A very pleasant beachy scent. I wasn't a fan of the initial blast, but the drydown was quite nice. The only problem: strength. I can tell just from a paper strip that this stuff won't last on my skin at all.

For me, the king of sea scents is Outremer's Oceane and Backpacker's Cologne Big Sur, but this one could take third place.

C'mon, Jo - up the concentration!

---------------------------

A wearing:

It's ephemeral and timid in the usual Jo Malone style. Like some perfumer dipped a piece of wood into a mildly salty alcohol solution and called it a perfume. No silage to speak of. Little longevity.

I like it, sort of, but it's just sort of not there on me. Yes... I can see why some might call it boring. Given the above and the Jo Malone price point, I won't be buying a bottle of this.

I'm not a fan of the House of Jo Malone, as you can see, and this one doesn't convert me any.

I see there's grapefruit listed as one of the notes. At least it's not that obnoxious, weird synthetic that gets used nowadays in place of a more convincing grapefruit note.

Sage? I don't get that at all. Sage is a note that never fails to invoke in me memories of the California coast and I don't detect that in this. The Sage King is Backpacker's Cologne Big Sur.

Feb
07
2015

James Bond 007 Quantum Eon Productions

Leather? I don't smell any leather at all. Just an indifferent sandalwood/generic woody smell. Not impressed at all with this one.

But at least it doesn't have that weird apple pie note the original has. (James Bond/apple pie?)

No longevity.

Nice bottle, good tactile feel. I also like the mechanism that blocks the spray opening. Now put something worthwhile in it!

Jan
19
2015

Set Sail St. Barts for Men Tommy Bahama

Meh. Aquatic, blue, somewhat sporty... doesn't last long. You could safely spill the bottle all over yourself. Very mass market, unimpressive. Not my thing at all.

Lime? Really? Okay, I guess there is some in this, but it doesn't strike me as a lime scent at all. Very synthetic.

Guerlain Homme is SO much better than this, with the same intended vibe.

I suspect that the Tommy Bahama line isn't for me at all.

Jan
05
2015

Allure Homme Edition Blanche Chanel

Hmmmm. On my arm, yes, it is a nice, lemon meringue scent. Pleasant. My wife's verdict, however, was harsh: "lemon dish soap." And, indeed, on my neck where I sprayed, a bit of perspiration seemed to have rendered it somewhat soapy.

The jury is still out on this one.

p.s. When I first put it on, it made my wife sneeze. Not good.

Dec
30
2015

Shalimar Eau de Parfum Guerlain

My mother-in-law's favorite perfume. It smells wonderful! I can see why it's so popular for women.

But for me - not so much.

I like the powdery vanilla, but I think the incense notes are the deal-breakers for me. There's something in this that kind of hits me in the side of the head. I couldn't wear it.

Dec
28
2014

Dior Homme Intense 2007 Christian Dior

After seeing "DHI" getting endlessly recommended around these parts, I finally decided to try it via a Nordstrom sample.

I can see what all the hype is about; this stuff is quite nice and one of the very few florals I am willing to wear. (Although I suppose it's really a gourmandy floral.)

The vanilla/cocoa drydown is very pleasant. And it's long-lasting! That's rare. Well done, House of Dior!

Dec
28
2014

Dior Homme Eau for Men Christian Dior

I'm not a fan. It has that nasty, unconvincing grapefruit "fresh" note that smells synthetic and somewhat sour on me.

There's nothing original or even very pleasant here. I much prefer Dior Homme Intense.

Dec
28
2014

British Sterling British Sterling Cologne

For years in stores I would spray some on myself thinking that it was classy somehow (I was subject to the marketing from my youth: "So fine a gift it's even sold in jewelry stores") and my wife would report, "I like it. It's okay." But no Mmmmmmmmmmmm from her like I got with Antaeus, Santos, Bel Ami or Tuscan Leather.

So last year I got myself a little bottle of it at a colossal discount store in North Carolina off I-95; I may have paid $3! I'm wearing it today, as it turns out.

karlovonamesti nails it: "A cheap, hollow forgettable fougere." Yeah, that's my opinion, too. I don't like it and I don't dislike it. Just sort of "meh." I have moved on.

I suppose I might say that it represents a sort of absolute minimum of acceptability for a men's fragrance. Any lower than shalt I not go.

(Actually - I can't see myself ever wearing this ever again. There are far too many better scents out there.)

Nov
24
2014

Les Exclusifs de Chanel 1932 Chanel

An overpriced, soft, cuddly, somewhat generic floral scent with poor longevity.

It reminds me of Hermes Equipage.

Not for me.

Nov
06
2014

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Jersey Chanel

I'm not a fan of this one... it smells faintly ike some kind of cleanser, or perhaps a laundry soap. When I sprayed it on my arm the very first thing I thought was, "This smells institutional!"

So... no.

Nov
01
2014

Drakkar Essence Guy Laroche

Not bad - but not especially good, either. It begins very astringent and sharp, then settles down, more or less, to the same fougere vibe as the original Drakkar. But I'm pretty sure I prefer the original.

Longevity on me is not good; in about an hour it becomes a very subtle skin scent.

Oct
18
2014

Nuit d’Issey Issey Miyake

A pleasant surprise. I was prepared not to like this because I generally find Issey scents to be too vague, too watery and too faint. This one, however, isn't bad. To me it's primarily woody/peppery and more a relative of Cartier Santos Concentree than 1 Million.

I like it.

Oct
14
2014

Pasha de Cartier Edition Noire Cartier

Yawnnnnnn.

Doesn't have much character or personality. Generic woody/ambery. And it's gone from my skin in about an hour or two.

But then, I didn't like the original Pasha, either.

"...freshness in green and fresh citruses, balanced perfectly with warm and cuddly aromas": How is this even remotely "noire?"

Fail.

Oct
11
2014

Jazz Club Maison Martin Margiela

The top notes and heart notes are pleasant enough, and this has a kind of Son of Derby/Son of Polo Green vibe going for it with additional sweet boozy notes. Nice. The basenotes begin to smell a bit cheap, synthetic and overly-familiar, however. Not a fan of those.

The real problem here is longevity and sillage, which is tragic. This stuff is just way too faint. It's still barely on my cotton shirt an hour after spraying.

So... no. If this kind of formulation is your thing try Polo Green, Derby or even Mugler Pure Malt instead. And if you're on a budget, try Tim McGraw Southern Comfort (another boozy scent that doesn't last long - but it costs less).

Oct
10
2014

Jimmy Choo Man Jimmy Choo

Inoffensive, light, safe for work - and boring. Yes, for beginners. Yes, generic. Yes, disappointing.

Soon to be found at a Ross near you.

I can understand the comparisons to Chanel Bleu; I don't care for that one, either.

Still, this one did firm up a suspicion I had: I need to avoid fragrances with pineapple notes and the great majority of the ones with grapefruit notes (exception: Hermes Pamplemousse and Rose). Those just do not work for me at all.

Oct
09
2014

Shalimar Parfum Initial Guerlain

My wife is away for a week so I'm taking this opportunity to try certain women's scents. I don't normally like them (I am not a floral person at all), but.. what the heck.

Look - there's my wife's Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial sitting on the bathroom sink. One spray, that's all. It's a powdery vanilla Guerlain; I'm sure that might be good. Smells good on her. Why not? One spray.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

Well. I won't ever make that mistake again.

p.s. It smells terrific on my wife, where it belongs.

Oct
08
2014

Chanel No 5 Eau de Toilette Chanel

At the urging of some women on the men's forum here, I tried this. (I don't normally like women's perfumes or florals.)

My wife is away for a week. I got home from work and took off my dress shirt; I could smell some of the Declaration L'Eau on it from this morning but none on my skin or tee shirt, as I suspected might be the case.

I looked at my wife's bottle of Chanel No. 5 and it looked at me. After some hesitation I sprayed one spray.

BANG! MOM. Seriously, MOM. My wife wears this all the time and she smells like my wife wearing Chanel No. 5. I wear it and I get an instant olfactory impression of my mother! At some point in my life she must have worn this - I don't remember when - but when I wear it I smell exactly like my mother.

Moral: When my daughter was a cute little four year old, she used to suck her thumb. One night, when I put her to bed, she was sucking her thumb, and I told her that that thumb was vanilla and this one - taking one thumb out of her mouth and putting in the other - was chocolate. What did she think?

She pulled the thumb out of her mouth, said, "I don't wike it," and put back in the original thumb.

Chanel No. 5 on me and smelling like my mother? I don't wike it.

Oct
08
2014

Invictus Paco Rabanne

It opens with that horrible, synthetic, not at all convincing grapefruit note I have smelled way too often in modern mainstream perfumery (Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose gets grapefruit right - this one doesn't), and closes with an equally annoying marine scent that sours on me very quickly.

This stuff is nasty and repulsive, cheap-smelling and common. It's a cacophony of unfortunate ingredients. And, what's more, its mother dressed it funny in a silly bottle that looks like the little plastic "just being there" awards my kids used to bring home from elementary school.

Paugh.

("Haters gotta hate." Translation: "I don't agree with you." Can we please retire this phrase?)

Oct
06
2014

A*Men Pure Wood Mugler

I was prepared to like this one: I own and love Pure Malt and I also like A-Men.

The initial blast of Pure Wood is nice - I get the caramel A-Men base quite strongly. But it soon subsides and one can indeed detect wood. But the notes are very quickly experienced and disappear. It dries down to... what? I'm not sure. A indefinite sort of woody note that becomes faint pretty quickly.

I am just not impressed. Not much wood here, and there's little WOW factor. And it's way too faint - on me it becomes a skin scent very quickly.

Much better woods are found in Le Labo Chant de Bois and even Tom Ford Sahara Noir. As for Mugler, I'll stick with Pure Malt.

I don't really "hate" it, but I don't especially "like" it, either.

----------

Update: I wore some again, and on the second wearing the woody notes seemed more pronounced. My daughter likes it a lot on me. I still prefer Pure Malt...

Oct
04
2014

UNTITLED No.8 by Brent Leonesio UNTITLED

After all these reviews I was really prepared to smell something, well, amazing. So I get to the Scent Bar in Los Angeles, where they have a bottle. A paper strip is dipped in and handed to me. With some wariness I raise it to my nose and... nothing. I can smell nothing. What's going on, here? So I give the strip to my wife. She, too, smells nothing. The sales assistant sniffs - nothing. Is this a joke?

Sep
12
2014

Big Sur Backpacker’s Cologne Juniper Ridge

Yes, indeed, this is what the California coast smells like! I used to work at Camp Pendleton (near San Onofre) when I was a Marine, and vividly remember this green, pungent, sagebrush and camphorous (eucalyptus) note. Takes me right back... very evocative.

It goes on quite strong, but then settles down. On cotton it will last for many hours - on skin, not so much.

$60/ounce? Not a bad price to revive one's twentysomething memories!

----------------

Update: I bought a bottle. Had to have it.

Sep
11
2014

Timbuktu L'Artisan Parfumeur

It's a very nice, unusual, exotic, woody scent which opens green and mellows into my olfactory memory of the wooden items (boxes, etc.) and oils available at The Akron, a place in my home town not unlike Pier One Imports. I can see why Luca Turin - and everyone else - rates this one so highly.

It is the smell of faraway places, of jungle woods.

Alas!, it is faint. I put it on two hours ago and it is gone, even on cotton. I'd need to use a lot more than the tester I got at the Scent Bar in L.A., I think.

----------

A different tester: Uh-oh. After a couple of hours this one got unpleasantly soapy on me. Not so good.

Sep
11
2014

Mandarino di Amalfi Tom Ford

The title suggests that it's an orange scent, and indeed it is. It's not a bad one - and it lasts somewhat better than average - but I don't think there's anything really special here to justify the $200+ price.

I do not smell civet - not at all.

If I want an orange scent that lasts at a reasonable price, I think I'd pick up a bottle of the justifiably popular Terre d'Hermes.

Pretty bottle.

Sep
02
2014

Grand Neroli Atelier Cologne

Nothing real exciting here. It's nice and I like it... is there such a thing as a neroli soliflor? If so, this is an example of one. I don't smell anything here other than citrus (but it's a good citrus!) and an undefined "green" note. No, it doesn't last long on my skin. I didn't expect it to. It's good for an hour or so, which is pretty standard for colognes and citrus-based scents.

It does not smell like Spray and Wash, which is what the sharper and more pungent Tom Ford Neroli Portofino is for me, so this neroli is a success!

Would I buy a bottle? No. I'd opt instead for Eau Sauvage, which is a more refined and longer lasting citrus scent. Or Terre d'Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche, which has the same vibe and decent longevity.

Sep
01
2014

Habit Rouge Eau de Parfum Guerlain

I have a sample of the extrait, not the EdP - but I don't see it on the database.

It smells great, but on me it's all rose, powder and vanilla. Way soft - and I usually don't care for soft. This would smell wonderful on my wife and I think I'd prefer to smell it on her than on myself.

Oud? I don't get any of that at all. A slight leather note, yes, but, again, it's very soft.

I'm somewhat conflicted about Habit Rouge and its variants, I see.

Aug
11
2014

Vetiver Extreme Guerlain

When is extreme not extreme? When the word is used in the perfume industry, that's when.

I got my sample of this from the Guerlain boutique in Toronto, so I know it's legit. Problem is, it's very timid. I have a bottle of the 1959 Guerlain Vetiver that inspired this, and it is almost an all-day fragrance, even on my fragrance-neutralizing skin. It's rooty, pungent, woody, green and all around delightful. This "extreme" flanker, however, has great top notes and that's about it.

Seriously, about an hour after I sprayed it - on cotton, yet - it's essentially gone. What gives?

What a disappointment! I'll be sticking to plain old original Guerlain Vetiver, which is a masterpiece.

Aug
07
2014

Eau de Guerlain Guerlain

I first tried this one at the Guerlain Boutique in the French section of EPCOT and was won over. It's a delightful citrus and mint scent; it reminds me a bit of Dior's Eau Sauvage and a bit of Cartier Roadster - but it smells distinctively elegant and well-wrought, like a Guerlain.

However, my fragrance-absorbing skin does it again: longevity is not good unless I spray it on my cotton tee shirt top. This is the fate of all such light cologne scents on me, I am sorry to say.

So - I'll just stick with my inexpensive 4711. Same vibe, costs little, use lots.

Aug
04
2014

Michael for Men Michael Kors

I like the top notes! Dried fruit and incense, which to me always smells woody, so I interpret this as a fruity-woody scent. Nice!

But Pure Malt it ain't. I have a bottle of that. Pure Malt is much more complex and better.

The deal-breaker arrives as it dries down about a half hour later - then I get that all too common synthetic note that I associate with the inexpensive scents always found in Ross. It's sort of a pungent "yellow" note. I suppose it's used in perfumery to suggest tobacco. Anyway, I dislike it. It says "I'm cheap."

Projection and longevity is about the usual thing, which is to say disappointing.

Jul
30
2014

Colonia Leather Eau de Cologne Concentrée Acqua di Parma

"Lovers of Tuscan Leather will be enamored by this one."

Well... not quite. I vastly prefer Tuscan Leather, which smells like sheer luxury to me. This is a good leather scent - make no mistake - but it doesn't have the amazing WOW factor that TL and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Montale Aoud Leather have. Instant Mmmmmmm.

This is a very good leather scent, but I'd rather have a bottle of the Montale or, best of all, TL.

Longevity and silage are better with TL, too.

-------------------

Subsequent wearing, years later: Yep. Exactly the same response. A good leather but no WOW factor and I don't like it as much as Tuscan Leather.

Jul
26
2014

Kokorico Jean Paul Gaultier

Very strongly cacao, very gourmandy and very nice - if you like that sort of thing. I've decided that I do; A-Men finally sold me. (I have the Pure Malt flanker.) My wife also likes it, but thinks it a bit too soft for me; she thinks it would work better as a woman's perfume. I'm inclined to agree.

Not sure whether or not I'd buy myself a bottle of this.

It reminds me somewhat of CK Shock, only without the tobacco note.

Interesting bottle!

Jul
26
2014

Declaration L'Eau Cartier

Tested on an arm: Will wonders never cease? I normally don't like fresh, clean light "blue"/"water" scents - but I like this one. It starts out citrusy and eventually makes its way to the mild spices of familiar Declaration territory.

That means that I still like the original Declaration (I have a bottle) and all of the flankers.

I'm not sure if I could wear this one, however. I suspect it's better on a younger guy. Longevity and silage are about average for a modern scent.

-------

All day wearing via a Nordstrom sample: Scratch that last part about longevity. I own a bottle of Declaration - it's one of my "go to" frags - but the longevity on this flanker is just not as good. I'll stick with the original Declaration, thank you very much.

Pretty bottle hue, though.

I prefer Terre d'Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche or Eau Sauvage for the same sort of vibe.

Jul
26
2014

Eau de Narcisse Bleu Hermès

Like Hermes Equipage, this is one of those soft, cuddly, reassuring scents. It's... okay. Not really my thing. (Yes - we need an "indifferent" selection. I don't like this but I don't dislike it, either.) I suppose there might be a situation where I'd want to wear this - but it's not coming to mind. Sunday in a suit? I'm a hard sell when it comes to florals, even understated florals such as this.

Still, I might revisit this fragrance.

I think my favorite in this Hermes series of colognes is the d'Orange Verte.

Longevity is pretty bad unless you spray on cotton.

------

Second wearing: Even on cotton it's pretty bad. I get, maybe, two hours.

Jul
14
2014

Eau de Cade L'Occitane en Provence

Not bad. No wow factor here, but not bad. I read it as primarily as a juniper berry scent. It doesn't last very long on my skin, but you can also use the Cade bath gel, shampoo and all the other associated products to boost the scent, I suppose.

I get the impression this is good for men who don't especially care about fragrance, or for very young men.

I prefer Eau des Baux from this house. I suspect most do as well.

Jul
05
2014

Acqua di Gio Essenza Giorgio Armani

Very much like AdG except it seems to last somewhat longer on my skin. I'd have to do a direct comparison... they smell pretty much the same. Maybe this one has a tad more spice notes?

I think I prefer this to the original - but that's not saying a lot. I'd probably never buy a bottle of either.

Jul
05
2014

Hermes Terre d'Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche Hermès

Apparently most people smell orange in this, some get grapefruit, but to me it's more lemony. Whatever they are, the citrus top notes are really zingy and nice - precisely the thing you'd want on a hot, summery day. It dries down to a cedary note (the Iso E Super, I'd imagine) and a light floral base. (Wait. There's geranium in this? Geranium was what was objectionable to me with Tsar, or so I thought - but I don't detect anything here I don't like. Perhaps it wasn't the geranium after all...) A wonderful scent!

It is more reminiscent of Eau Sauvage to me than Declaration, but I suppose I'd need to try both on subsequent days to test.

An excellent summer fragrance! I think I need a bottle...

---------------

Second test wearing (on an incredibly hot day); Yep, this is the stuff I want for days like this. This one now goes into my "want" list.

Jun
17
2014

Grey Flannel Geoffrey Beene

I got violet but no oakmoss; my guess is that they've eliminated it in a reformulation. Anyway, it starts with an interesting vintagy fougere vibe but, sadly, turns unbearably soapy on me. (I really dislike soapy notes.) I couldn't wear this - had to scrub.

May
30
2014

I Love New York for Marriage Equality Bond No 9

Yet another blah, way overpriced Bond No. 9 scent. This one is woody, but is not very interesting. On me it's rather timid.

Much better to my nose is the woody incense of Tom Ford Sahara Noir or Le Labo's Chant de Bois.

Not a supporter of same sex marriage so... not a fan of the concept, either.

May
12
2014

Hugo Hugo Boss

It doesn't smell fresh, spicy, floral, interesting, intriguing, original or even natural. It smells like a hodge-podge of synthetic notes which I suppose *could* be an apple, or mint or lavender if one exercised a suspension of disbelief. But to me it's just a jumble of unidentifiable smelly things.

It's just sort of generic and BLAH.

It could work for a very young man, I suppose; the ad video suggests that. A young man who is handsome enough or wealthy enough not to need to smell especially interesting.

Apr
27
2014

New York Oud Bond No 9

I was going to wear this for a day via a sample, but I got suspicious and sprayed some on the back of my hand first. Good thing! This is a loathsome and gagging medicinal rose scent; it would have been a very long day if I had to smell this on myself for eight hours or more.

Simply put, it is the worst rose scent I have ever smelled. Way too floral, way too sickening. People write that some fragrances give them headaches... that has never happened to me, but if it could, this is probably the one to do it.

Awful.

Apr
17
2014

Hamptons Bond No 9

A very timid fragrance... on me it's almost not there. It's mildly suggestive of a summer oceanside, but, sorry, it really doesn't make much of an impression.

Much more bang for the buck with the same sort of vibe can be gained with one of Guerlain's superlative L'Homme mojito fragrances. This is summer done right!

This reminds people of Creed's Silver Mountain Water - I suppose I agree. I thought that was a nebbish, indifferent fragrance as well.

Apr
16
2014

Brooklyn Bond No 9

This is one of the better Bond No. 9 scents I've tried; on me it's primarily a wood scent. It's not the clean pine plank note of Tom Ford Sahara Noir nor is it the strongly woodsy note of Le Labo's Chant de Bois - it's more subtle than those two. I don't detect any gin, which is probably a good thing because in the Tokyo milk gin scents it sours on my skin. I also don't detect any grapefruit - once again, probably a good thing. The only respectably real grapefruit scent I've ever smelled is Hermes' Eau de Pamplemouse Rose. The others just smell badly synthetic and common to me.

Unfortunately it's not so good with longevity. It turns into a skin scent rather quickly, and then is apparent only on cotton after a couple of hours - which causes me to question the value of this rather expensive fragrance.

The bottle is... interesting. If you like grafitti.

My Dad was from Brooklyn. I suppose, were he alive, he'd wear this simply because of that fact.

Apr
15
2014

The Game Davidoff

Not especially interesting or attractive.

It smells a bit like the underside of a piece of furniture I have.

Meh.

Apr
14
2014

Eau Sauvage Extreme Christian Dior

Extreme what, exactly? I pass on this one. The original or the Parfum flanker are both better than this.

Apr
14
2014

Herrera For Men Carolina Herrera

It smells too common for me. But it's one of the better common smelling scents out there, if that makes any sense.

Apr
14
2014

Habit Rouge Sport Guerlain

Sort of a vanilla, citrus, floral kind of thing. I like it, and I'd wear it, but if my olfactory memory is correct, I think I prefer plain old Habit Rouge - which I struggled to understand.

The drydown on this is all Guerlain... Which is to say, elegant and first-class.

Apr
14
2014

Pleasures For Men Estée Lauder

The citrus top notes started out with some promise, but it quickly turned into that nasty synthetic blandness I have smelled too often elsewhere.

Scrubber.

Apr
08
2014

I Love New York for Him Bond No 9

Somewhat suspicious of this house, I tried this on my wrist before spraying the sample all over myself and having to live with it a for a day. I'm very glad I did! That generic clean fresh note smells just like a dozen other fragrances I have tried. There is nothing interesting or unique in this at all. Boring. I'm giving my sample away.

Apr
03
2014

I Love New York Earth Day Bond No 9

The girl at Sephora assured me that this is a unisex scent when she made up the sample. It isn't, not at all.

It's a white flower scent - and a mediocre one at that. There are any number of better white flower/tuberose fragrances: Chanel #5, Alien, and Amarige spring to mind... this is way too flowery for my use. By the way, as other reviewers have pointed out, there is no discernable green notes in this green bottle.

Fortunately, longevity and sillage aren't all that great, so I didn't have to live with this for long.

I must confess a certain degree of bias against this perfume house and its politically correct, sloganized concept fragrances. How come no "I (Heart) High Taxes" or "I (Heart) the Nanny State?"

Apr
02
2014

Jaipur Homme Boucheron

Spraying this on myself I was immediately taken back to an impression of the flowery powders (Here's My Heart? Topaze? I forget.) my mother used to buy from Avon when I was a small child. At the risk of insult to describe exactly what I mean, this therefore smells old-ladyish to me. I can see how others might describe this as "elegant" on a gentleman, but this just isn't for me at all. Too fussy.

Another problem: Unlike all other fragrances I have sprayed on myself after shaving, this one burned my neck. There is apparently something in here that my skin has a mild reaction to.

If I have to wear something powdery I much prefer Royal Copenhagen Cologne.

Apr
01
2014

Valentino Uomo Valentino

I like this one! The nutmeat note isn't as obnoxious as Parfumerie Generale's Praline de Santal, it's subdued and pleasant, and the rest of the gourmand mix makes for a nice drydown. (I think I get somewhat more leather than chocolate, however. I just barely smell the coffee notes.)

Given that, at first, I didn't care for gourmands I've obviously come a long way in liking this one. It's persuasive.

The bottle is pleasant to hold, too.

Mar
31
2014

He Wood DSQUARED²

I didn't smell any wood - I just smelled a fresh note that is common in too many fragrances. This is uninteresting and boring. Also - it didn't last very long on my arm. I am not impressed.

Mar
29
2014

Body Kouros Yves Saint Laurent

Eucalyptus? Really? I'm from Southern California and I used to play among eucalyptus trees and leaves all the time when I was a kid. I know very well what they smell like, and I detected none in this. On me this was a very subtle, mild incense note and that's about it. It's barely there, it doesn't project and it doesn't last long.

I was really underwhelmed.

Mar
29
2014

Agua Brava Antonio Puig

Smelled on a paper strip: I can't make up my mind whether or not I like this. It's very herbal - a cousin to Pino Sylvestre. I need to wear this for a day to decide.

It does smell vintagey... I like that.

Mar
23
2014

Narciso Rodriguez for Him Narciso Rodriguez

Intensely green - awful. The Patchouli from Hell. It reminds me of grass. Since grass makes me itch, this is not a good fragrance for me at all.

Scrubber!

Mar
23
2014

Aramis 900 Aramis

Whoa! WAY too rosy and floral for me! I didn't see this coming at all, from an Aramis. I don't get oakmoss, or civit or anything else - just flowers.

Mar
23
2014

Inis the Energy of the Sea Fragrances of Ireland

I got a sample of this and it stood out for two reasons: 1.) It's made in Ireland, and 2.) It's sold in Hallmark stores in the U.S.

It's... nice. Yes, it is evocative of the breezy, salty sea. This supposedly has oakmoss in it, but, nahhh. I don't detect that at all. For me it is a linear sea smell.

But of all the oceanics/aquatics I've tried, I still like Outremer's French-made "Oceane" best, which is available (in the U.S.) in Anthopologie stores for a pittance. ($18 large bottle, $10 small bottle.)

Oceane also wins the sillage and longevity award.

NOTE: It has now been about four hours since I applied this, and the basenote on my cotton tee shirt has turned decidedly nasty. Oceane doesn't do that. I am changing this from "like" to "dislike."

Mar
04
2014

Virgin Island Water Creed

I like it - the top notes are very fresh, citrusy and nice - but the basenotes just don't last. This scent is gone in about an hour, even on cotton. (And I'm not playing that Creed Aventus "If you can't smell it it must be olfactory fatigue" game.)

If it comes to a summery, beach-invoking boozy scent, I am far more impressed with Guerlain l'Homme, Guerlain l'Homme Intense and Guerlain l'Homme l'Eau Boisee. Those mojito scents have the same summery, beachy vibes and last far longer.

The cost differential gives the win to Guerlain.

Feb
28
2014

Tom Ford for Men Extreme Tom Ford

Extreme? Really? This reminds me of Inigo Montoya's celebrated quote in "The Princess Bride": "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

The original Tom Ford for Men was promising, but ridiculously faint and timid. One would suppose that for an "extreme" flanker Ford organized a focus group or two, learned that his original stuff evaporated to nothingness in an hour or so and decided that a stronger juice would be a marketable idea. Hence, "extreme."

But no. As is stated elswhere here by other reviewers, this stuff is also timid and has little longevity and no sillage.

A pity.

It reminds me of one of those Gucci scents, faintly leathery. It's nice - but it really doesn't justify its cost - or the word "extreme."

Feb
27
2014

Black Orchid Tom Ford

Nasty, gagging and loathsome. That chocolate-patchouli-incense-orchid accord is Satan-spawned. Nauseating.

Feb
26
2014

Royal Copenhagen Royal Copenhagen

While at JR, the big discount place alongside I-95 in North Carolina, I smelled this on a paper strip for the first time.

I have been avoiding the Copenhagen line for no good reason, really. I have it in my head that they probably smell badly dated and are fit only for older men who have gone to seed, or do not possess the mental dexterity to try something else after a few decades of dedicated use. (You know, you've seen old men wearing vinyl shoes. Those guys.) And, besides, this stuff is blue. Experience teaches me again and again that I don't like scents for men which are blue.

And doesn't the Royal Copenhagen line have a rather bad reputation among perfumistos and perfumistas?

But, hey. It's... kind of nice. Very soft, very powdery. I suppose merely spraying a liquid baby powder on myself is not advisable, but... I need to give this a better try.

---------------

Tried on wrist: Wow - liquid vanilla baby powder! I like this, but I'd probably never wear it. It smells too much like baby powder. It's in the same category as the cuddly Hermes Equipage, the soft Hermes Narcisse Bleu and Avon Wild Country, which smells not wild but like baby wipes.

Feb
25
2014

Guerlain Homme L'Eau Boisée Guerlain

I'm greatly impressed with the Guerlain Homme and Guerlain Homme Intense versions, so it stands to reason I like this as well. It's the same mint-lime-rum mix as the other two but with a bit more vetiver notes, which means it's greener and somewhat more pungently woody on the top. Quite nice! I got my bottle in the winter, and it's great now - but I'm sure this will really shine as a summer/hot weather scent.

A Guerlain masterpiece!

Come to think about it - have I encountered a Guerlain that I haven't liked? I don't think so...

Feb
11
2014

Pure Nautica Discovery Nautica

Pfew, scrubber!

In the past decades I have gotten good at being able to judge whether or not I'd like a film just by the cast, plot, advertising, etc. I'm beginning to attain that ability with fragrances. I put off trying Nautica scents because I suspected I wouldn't like them. I couldn't be more accurate with this one! On me it smells pissy and cheap. (My daughter agrees: cheap.)

I can't imagine any man that this would smell good on.

And the usual law applies: Because I hate it, longevity seems to be excellent.

Feb
10
2014

Armani Mania Giorgio Armani

Nothing to become maniacal about, but not bad. It doesn't strike me as being especially unique or individual, and went on smelling somewhat mass market and uninteresting. The key is in the drydown, when it eventually arrives at a nice, understated woodsy note. At least it does on my skin.

This is one of those countless "safe for office" scents which I normally scorn. But on me it smells calculatedly pleasant, like one of those Jack Black "Mark" scents.

I wouldn't run out and buy a bottle, but I wouldn't spurn one, either.

No sillage to speak of, longevity is a few hours.

Feb
10
2014

Aqva Amara Bvlgari

This is an odd one; I sprayed it on my wrist but had a difficult time detecting it from my skin. It almost seems like it replicates my skin to some extent. There seemed to be no real scent here, other than a somewhat shabby and faded patchouli of some variety.

Whatever it costs, it's not worth it to me. It just doesn't stand out as a separate fragrance from my skin - as odd as that sounds.

I didn't detect any strong citrus notes.

-----------------

Worn for a day: My initial impression was correct. This is yet another one of those Bvlgari scents that pretty much just isn't there. It's too timid to make much of an impression on me. On spraying I can detect the faintest of citrus notes, then it pretty much just disappears until the long term scent arrives, which is a rather blah aquatic - and that only on cotton, not skin.

So... I say no to Bvlgari's copper hockey puck.

Feb
08
2014

Fan di Fendi pour Homme Acqua Fendi

It's blue, it smells generically blue in a crowded genre, nothing new here for me.

Feb
08
2014

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri Acqua di Parma

A delightful scent that is a perfect olfactory impression of oranges. I don't know if these are, in fact, oranges from Capri, but they don't smell like oranges from Florida, so I'm buying the whole Italian pitch. This stuff is great!

Sadly, like 90% of all the fragrances I try these days (and almost 100% of the citrus-based ones) it lasts a hour or two then, pow, it's gone, like the clutch on a Fiat.

Caramel basenotes? No... I don't get any caramel basenotes.

Feb
08
2014

Stetson Black Coty

I was looking for the suede notes, but all I really got was a sort of sour, pungent note on my skin right away with this one. My wife thought it smelled cheap on me.

Original Stetson is much better.

Feb
07
2014

Eau de Cartier Essence d'Orange Cartier

This is a subtle orange scent. It doesn't knock you off your feet with the full force and weight of a sunny orange grove like Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri, and it doesn't linger as a note like Terre d'Hermes. It also doesn't have an ambery orange haze like a Varvatos fragrance. On me this juice is about half orange and half cedar - and sadly, timid and faint. It seems to disappear quickly on my skin and remains as an elusive note on cotton.

So... I like it. But if I'm in the mood for orange-cedar I'd select the Terre d'Hermes variation, which is apparently strengthened by vetiver. (It's worth noting that, like this, TdH also has a cedar note - the Iso E Super.)

My wife, when queried, made a "Meh" face after leaning over for a sniff.

Feb
07
2014

Guerlain Homme Guerlain

I don't drink, so I don't know what a Mojhito is or what it tastes like, but I know that I greatly like this fragrance! It is a delightfully fresh citrus and mint scent that smells very good on me, indeed. It's a nice break away from the heavy leathers and animalics I normally favor. An excellent warm weather fragrance that also works in cold weather. (I am testing it on a very cold day, indeed.)

I also like the Intense flanker, but I'm not sure which I like better. I'd have to smell them side by side. But Guerlain does it once again. This stuff is heavenly. I want a bottle!

Note: I detect nothing animalic or peppery in it at all. For me it is a bright citrus-mint-vetiver scent.

Jan
30
2014

Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Bottega Veneta

At first I detected really nice woodsy notes that became smoky/leathery/piney - very pleasant! Promising! However, this phase lasted for all of about a half hour, then it got faint. I'm writing just over an hour after I sprayed it on, and I can barely smell it on my shirt. This stuff doesn't even last on fabric, let alone skin.

Bottega Veneta: I barely knew ye!

As another reviewer wrote, this has tragically bad projection and longevity. It's yet another timid fragrance in a market saturated with fragrances that don't project and don't last. Punch up the concentration a bit and maybe we'll have something to work with...

Jan
24
2014

Noir Eau de Toilette Tom Ford

I find this blah and forgettable. It goes on smelling vaguely spicy/gourmandy and just sort of barely exists, leaving not much of an impression. Timid, unimpressive and overpriced. Is it "safe for work?" Yes. Very much so. In fact, corporations could issue it to employees.

And come on... the juice color... an albino noir?

Jan
17
2014

Nautica Voyage Nautica

I really dislike that apple note - it smells cheap and unconvincing. Boring... the usual thing... blue... not for me. Smells like a generic body gel.

Jan
11
2014

Gold Jay Z

Unoriginal, mass market and smells like a hundred other fragrances. I don't like it at all, and my wife made a stink face when she smelled it.

Jan
11
2014

Marines - Devil Dog Parfumologie

Well... I like the bottle. I was in the Marines... sure, I'll try it. Where does one find this stuff? It's not in the National Museum of the Marine Corps (Quantico, VA) gift shop, where one might expect it to be. So if not there, then where?

Jan
08
2014

C for Men Clive Christian

No getting around it: this and Tuscan Leather smell very much alike. (And they are both first cousins to Montal's Aoud Leather.)

But this is way overpriced, compared to Tuscan Leather which is merely overpriced.

The stuff smells great, however. Fantastic. $375/bottle great? No.

Dec
26
2013

Molinard Homme I Molinard

I read this mostly as a patchouli scent with a little oakmoss. Longevity is, indeed, poor. I suspect this will be a much more successful scent for the spring or summer than in the dead of winter.

It's kind of blah; it doesn't really stand out from the crowd.

It was a blind buy - in fact, a Christmas present. I won't do a blind buy ever again, so this was probably worth the money.

I "like" it - but just barely.

---------

I traded this and some Halston 1-12 I didn't like for some vintage Antaeus. MUCH better. No more blind buys!

Dec
26
2013

Duc de Vervins Houbigant

Hey, the Seventies called: they want their aromatic fougeres back!

This stuff, in addition to having a pretentious name, is badly dated. Think disco. Yes, it smells like Drakkar Noir. (But I actually like current formulation Drakkar.)

In a word, this is obnoxious. Up to this point I thought that, being a 57 year old guy, I'd like just about any fragrance for men from my youth. Wrong.

When I was more or less freshly sprayed and walking around like Pepe LePew this morning, a guy plunked himself down in the seat next to me on the Metro. I wanted to turn to him and say, "Do you want to reconsider? You'll be sorry."

Today I shall ape the aristos and require people to refer to me as "Vervins," as if I were landed gentry.

Dec
20
2013

Himalaya Creed

Hideous. It has that awful, screechy, fake grapefruit note I hate amid a din of clean/fresh stuff. People smell musk, sandalwood and cedar in this? I certainly don't.

Scrubber.

Dec
19
2013

Sung Homme Alfred Sung

I love Quorum, so I tried this one. Yes - it goes on smelling pleasantly like Quorum, but then quickly goes horribly astray with the geranium and carnation floral notes. (I don't like carnation at all.)

Scrubber.

Dec
19
2013

Oud Wood Tom Ford

Smelled on a paper strip: Nice, but somewhat indifferent. It didn't make much of an impression on me. My take on what I've smelled from these newer Tom Ford scents in the smoky bottles is that Tobacco Oud is the star, but I need to wear a sample of this for a day.

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Update

I'm not sure I get this one at all. It's just kind of... BLAH. It doesn't smell woody to my nose as much as it smells faintly of tobacco notes. It doesn't seem to evolve much, either - it seems quite linear. One reviewer detected a sort of coconut oil... I'm almost getting that, but this really doesn't smell like anything I'm familiar with. As for an oud scent, okay, this smells like a first or second cousin to a bottle of oud attar I once smelled, but, once again, it doesn't strike me as remarkable in any way.

This is not one of the stars of the Tom Ford line up as far as I'm concerned. I like Tobacco Vanille, Oud Tobacco, Tuscan Leather and Italian Cypress best.

Oud Wood seems to have little sillage on me and longevity is disappointing.

Dec
15
2013

Tobacco Oud Tom Ford

Smelled on a paper strip: My first take was that, 1.) Tom Ford seems to do tobacco scents well (Tobacco Vanille is great), and 2.) He managed to avoid the nasty medicinal note that oud scents sometimes have. I need to wear a sample of this for a day.

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Update wearing sample:

Mmmmmmmmm. In attempting to figure out what fragrances I like I've developed what I call my "Mmmmmm Test." It is simply this: Spray on. Wait. Smell skin and shirt. If you spontaneously go "Mmmmmmm" you have a winner. If you do not, try again.

I got my Tom Ford Tobacco Oud sample from - where else? - Nordstrom. It was Mmmmmmm at first sniff. This is a wonderfully evocative tobacco scent, more suggestive of a cigar than pipe tobacco, I think. It is fairly strong and linear. If there is a change over time it is that the tobacco notes fade a bit and the oud becomes apparent.

But I'll be honest: I write this not knowing precisely what oud smells like! As I have smelled it in many fragrances it varies to the point to almost unrecognizability. But I will say this: the oud in this Tom Ford scent is not the nasty cough medicine note that it is in vintage M7. (Thank goodness.) And it's also not the rotting wood note found in oud attar.

No, what we get here is something that reminds me of my favorite tobacco scent, the now sadly discontinued Monotheme Tabaco Latino (not on the fragrantica database). A deep and sweet cigar note. Very nice. I don't know to what extent the (almost certainly synthetic) oud influences the overall presentation - but this is great stuff.

And - sigh - as usual with Tom Ford fragrances, it's overpriced. What I'd rather do is find an old bottle of Tabaco Latino. Anybody got some they hate and simply cannot abide having on their bathroom shelf?

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Update: I found a bottle of Monotheme (Mavive) Tabaco Latino for sale on amazon and got a bottle. TOBACCO HEAVEN. This is the stuff! Beats Aramis Havane, Mugler Pure Havane, Tabac, the two Tom Ford scents listed above and CK Shock.

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Update: I sprayed some of this on my arm and it was coming at me for the next couple of hours. Strong and loud tobacco. I like this less than the first time I tried it. Not sure I could live with it

-------

Another sample wearing: I love this one, and now I fully appreciate the whiskey notes, but do I need it? I've decided: No. It doesn't do any tobacco things for me that Tabaco Latino doesn't do.

Dec
15
2013

Tam Dao Diptyque

Like Guerlain Heritage, this is one of the great sandalwood scents. Very woody and yet... it's also delicious, like a gourmand. I get a nutmeatty, praline note from it. Very, very nice.

Longevity on me isn't bad - about four hours. Not much sillage. And I don't smell roses, either. But perhaps they're in there playing an invisible part. A success!

Dec
09
2013

Fleur d’Or & Acacia L'Occitane en Provence

I've smelled some faint and timid scents before, but this one takes first prize! My wife could barely smell anything and neither could I. It barely has a scent.

Essentially - this is perfumer's alcohol. That's it.

Okay, perfume industry: are you done atoning for the 70's and 80's yet? Can we go back to fragrances which actually have some smell, longevity and sillage again?

Dec
07
2013

Eau de Vétyver L'Occitane en Provence

This is not a bad scent, but compared to Guerlain's Vetiver (1959), it's a disappointment. It just doesn't have that zingy vetiver pungent brightness. In fact, on me it smells more like a vanilla scent or a gourmand than it does anything green.

I am increasingly finding out that Luca Turin is correct: Guerlain's is the reference vetiver.

Dec
07
2013

Royall Lyme Royall Lyme Bermuda

When I was a kid I remember lime scents for men smelled wonderful; they smelled like you had just sliced one open. This does not. It smells more like a gently limed soap, or even a bit like key lime pie. In other words, there's something getting in the way of the citric freshness. There's no slap.

Longevity is not good - on my skin it's gone in under an hour. (Not unlike the bottle of Royall Bay Rhum I once had.) And silage on me is non-existent.

So... no.

Dec
07
2013

Musk Fire Avon

Just sort of sweet and indiscernable. To quote Luca Turin about some other fragrance, about the only thing one can say for this is that it has a smell.

If you want a musk, please bypass this and get Kiehl's.

Dec
05
2013

Black Suede Leather Avon

Is there leather in this? Not that I can smell. In fact, I'm having a difficult time picking out any real notes in this. It's just sort of generically "masculine." Kind of ambery. Boring. Projection is poor, and as for longevity, it becomes weak pretty quickly.

"This rebellious scent..." Haw! Hahahahaha!

Dec
05
2013

Hilfiger Man Sport Tommy Hilfiger

It goes on smelling sweet like a cake, which is kind of nice. Then, after about twenty minutes, there's a period when it begins to sour a bit on my skin, then mellows out acceptably. All this in about an hour. Poor longevity, no sillage. Another one of those modern frags that has me wondering, "What's the point?"

Green is my favorite color so I must admit to liking the bottle and the simple typeface!

Dec
03
2013

Swiss Army Mountain Water Victorinox Swiss Army

All I get out of this is a very subtle mint of no sillage and poor longevity. (It's almost entirely gone from my arm in about a half hour.) This stuff is okay, I suppose, but I might just as well spill some mouthwash on myself and let it dry. So... dislike because, what's the point?

Dec
03
2013

F by Ferragamo Pour Homme Salvatore Ferragamo

It starts out nice, with a mildly leather note that reminded me of some Gucci scents. Masculine and deep.

Then, after about an hour, that miserable apple note takes over. At least I *think* it's an apple note, or, probably more accurately, the aroma molecule that's intended to be an apple note. But to me it smells synthetic and unnatural. I've smelled it before in too many other scents and I just don't like it. So that ruins this fragrance for me.

Dec
03
2013

A*Men Pure Malt Mugler

Earlier this year I hated A-Men. Then it grew on me, and I got to like it. So I wasn't sure what I'd get from this. I see it talked about a lot on the fragrantica forum - almost always in a good sense - so I gave it a try.

I like it! Love it, even! Actually, I think I prefer it to A-Men. Yes... it's malty/woody with a bit of the A-Men caramel base. (Or am I just imagining this, since it isn't listed as a note?) It's an unusual scent, but a good one. I don't get any pronounced fruit notes, which is all to the good since I don't care for fruity scents.

I think I shall get a bottle someday!

-----

Update: I got a bottle of this for Christmas! It's wonderful... a lovely boozy/woody/peaty/caramel fragrance. My favorite gourmand scent by far! What's more, everyone I've asked likes it on me.

Longevity is about average for scents these days: a few hours. This is this scent's biggest drawback.

Dec
02
2013

Le Beau Male Jean Paul Gaultier

"Beau," my foot. It's Mal. Pungent, sour and nasty. I gave it a half hour before scrubbing it off.

Dec
02
2013

Charles Street Mark Birley

Is this the Tuscan Leather beater/alternative? Well... perhaps. As the numerical scores on the user-perceived notes suggest, this could be considered a berry-leather scent while Tuscan Leather is a leather-berry scent. Charles Street is sweeter. It goes on with an interesting, boozy, berry liqueur note that lasts for only a few moments - very interesting. And I like the subtle coffee note.

A winner!

But. Truth to tell? I prefer Tuscan Leather.

Dec
02
2013

Dzing! L'Artisan Parfumeur

It's claimed to be for women but is really unisex, I think. It's meant to invoke the smells of the circus: hay, candy apple, caramel. Does it? I have no idea; I've never been to a circus. It's sweet and very odd, I'll give it that. The notes are hard to place. Is that a sweet leather I'm getting? Or a slightly woody caramel? I like it - but probably not enough to buy it.

Nov
29
2013

Bois d'Ascese Naomi Goodsir

I told luckyscents that I was interested in a fragrance that suggested a campfire, and they told me about this one. So I bought a sample. Yep - campfire it is! Smoke and wood. Since I love the smell of a campfire I quite like this one.

I see one of the basenotes is described as incense, and to my nose it smells like the same clean wood/pine plank smell I detect in Tom Ford Sahara Noir and Tauer 02 L'Air du desert Marocain. (To Catholics it smells like Mass, to me it smells like pine plank.) This fragrance goes on very smoky but after about an hour the main note is this one.

I barely detect a tobacco scent and for me there is no whiskey note.

My wife hates it, and gives it the same verdict she gives to the smoky notes in Encre Noire: "Dirty ashtrays at Grandma and Tony's!"

Nov
27
2013

New York Nicolai Parfumeur Createur

It's amazing how a perfumer of talent can take the usual suspects - bergamot, amber, cinnamon, pepper, lavender, cloves - and create something that stands head and shoulders above the usual crowd containing exactly the same ingredients!

Simply put, this is one of the best, if not THE best, spicy men's fragrances I have ever smelled. Wonderful.

Yes, it is somewhat reminiscent of Creed Bois du Portugal and, yes, some of the notes are like the ones in Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree (which I wear and love). And yes, this can be considered an upmarket Old Spice. But so what? I love it!

UPDATE: I bought a bottle. This stuff is wonderful. I can see why Luca Turin wore it for ten years.

Nov
26
2013

Knize Ten Knize

My search for the perfect leather fragrance continues with a wearing of the very well-regarded Knize Ten. I like how it says "Toilet Water" on the label.

I'm not sure I like it. I certainly don't understand it! The reviewers who don't like it claim this has a public washroom and oily leather jacket vibe, and I get that. That is to say that there's some institutional cleaner notes in here which suggest a public washroom. There is a mildly skanky note to this stuff that's throwing the whole fragrance off for me.

OR, conversely, it can also smell vintagey, old school and and elegant.

This was reportedly worn by James Dean and David Niven - which captures the dichotomy of this fragrance nicely.

It doesn't pass my Mmmmm test. (That is, after a while putting my nose to where I sprayed it and going Mmmmm.) So I won't be buying a bottle.

-----------

Well, on a visit to the Scent Bar in Los Angeles I did buy a small bottle. But with it on my hand and repeatedly sniffing, I realized that I couldn't live with this stuff and returned it for a Shay and Blue leather scent. So my experimentation with this famous scent is over. No. Done. I don't like it at all.

Nov
25
2013

Swiss Army Forest Victorinox Swiss Army

It smells too much like the pine trees people hang from their rear-view windows, or the stuff in the can you spray on artificial Christmas trees. It's kind of crass. Needs more oakmoss or herbs, maybe. A little less literal representation, a little more art is what's called for.

Pino Silvestre does a much better job with the pine idea; so does Tom Ford Italian Cypress and D&G Anthology L'Amoureux #6.

Still, it doesn't jam a pine tree up your nostrils like Slumberhouse Norne, so that's something.

Nov
07
2013

Man Calvin Klein

Not a fan of the violet notes, here. I like the way they're modulated in Dior Fahrenheit, but not with this one. I guess it's the spice-violet mix which leaves me cold. Not for me.

Nov
07
2013

Essenza di Colonia Acqua di Parma

I'd be able to tell the difference between this and the regular classic Colonia if I were to smell them side by side, but my memory of them is that they are similar. Both are wonderful citrus colognes in the grand old fashion. This is quite nice.

Perhaps there is a more prominent rose note in this than usual.

As was noted elsewhere, this one seems to last like an EdT, at least on clothing.

Oct
25
2013

Midnight in Paris Van Cleef & Arpels

I've seen this recommended so often on this page's forum that I had to smell it.

It's... softly ambery. That's all I read. I need to try it again to really appreciate and understand it.

Longevity on my skin is mediocre.

I really like the bottle!

Bvlgari Black?!? Really? I don't get that at all. BB smells like rubber, then nothing. This is much better than that!

---------

Okay, I tried another shot on my arm. It's vaguely gourmandy; I must be getting the Tonka bean note. I don't smell much leather in this one, and it smells somewhat citrusy/bright. This one is hard to figure!

Oct
24
2013

Impeccable Aramis

I was curious to see if this would smell like a cousin to Aramis (which I don't like); it doesn't. I sprayed it on paper and within an hour after getting home it was mostly gone. I need to test it on skin to really appreciate it

Longevity isn't promising.

Oct
23
2013

Photo Karl Lagerfeld

Pissy-lemony-aldehydic. Not good. I'm fairly sure what I smelled was the reformulated stuff.

Oct
23
2013

Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme Yves Saint Laurent

I got a vintage bottle of this (marked cologne - made in the US) at a yard sale. It goes on smelling like Lemon Pledge, strident and nasty. My wife thinks it smells like Scrubbing Bubbles. The basenotes are mainly okay, but there are some clunkers in there.

In preparation for a day's wearing I put some on my wrist. No - I do not think I can endure this on myself all day.

It has a skunky, sour off-note that reminds me of Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne (YUCK) or a sweaty old man. I rarely use this term because I like most old scents, but this stuff smells dated.

"Swept floor": Hahaha! Yes, it smells like that as well.

I'm glad I only paid 75 cents for the bottle!

UPDATE: I gave it away.

Oct
23
2013

Eau de Mandarine Ambrée Hermès

I liked the initial orange blast but not the impermanence of the scent, which only existed on my cotton shirt after about a half hour. Poor longevity. I was hoping the amber would extend the experience, but it didn't.

My daughter and wife both agreed: "Too citrusy."

Oct
23
2013

Dirty English for Men Juicy Couture

What a disappointment this was! After seeing it continually suggested in the "Club" postings I was hoping for something good. What I got instead on my arm was an initial blast of interesting mildly skanky notes, followed by a drydown of some nasty, overused synthetic chemical smell. This is an oud scent? Nahhhh.

The whole thing disappeared within an hour.

It has been discontinued in the Juicy stores in the U.S. No big loss.

Oct
23
2013

Oxygene Homme Lanvin

It's... okay. An indifferent scent, not bad. It didn't make much of an impression on me for either good or bad. I guess I like it.

Oct
19
2013

Faconnable Faconnable

It goes on pleasantly citrusy but then takes a wrong turn down a chemical back alley and smells really synthetic.

Oct
16
2013

Tommy Bahama for Men Tommy Bahama

Bleah. A watery-fruity thing. At first it smells like some fruit spill you might wipe up from a kitchen counter, then it turns synthetic and chemical.

Oct
16
2013

Burberry Brit Rhythm Burberry

Nasty, cheap-smelling and unoriginal. It covers all the bases.

The bottle is nice to hold, however. Nice tactile quality.

Oct
16
2013

Guerlain Homme Intense Guerlain

I was already a Guerlain admirer, but this one further cements the relationship! A nice lime-minty-rum-cedar concoction which smells very good indeed on my skin. A great summer scent, but it also takes me places in the winter.

I want a bottle!

Oct
16
2013

Halloween Man Halloween

Goes on interestingly spicy, but on my skin there's a nasty sour note that takes over for a while. Then it settles down to a very mild leather mixed with a cheap, synthetic note I smell way too often in modern perfumery.

No. Scrub, scrub.

Oct
16
2013

Bois de Cedrat Creed

A nice lemon scent, but, golly, on my skin it was gone in a half hour. No lie. $300+ ? No.

Oct
16
2013

White Musk Montale

Smells soapy, like a powdered detergent. Not a fan of this at any price.

Oct
12
2013

Encre Noire Sport Lalique

A perfectly-conceived and executed product turned into a joke.

Encre Noire is not about "sport." It's like Porsche coming out with an SUV (which, by the way, I call the Porsche Bandwagon): "Let's jump on this trend, whether it fits the product's concept or not!"

Bad idea, Lalique.

--------

I suppose I'll smell it when it comes out, but it's not something I'm looking forward to. I am indifferent to this bit of marketing.

Oct
10
2013

McGraw Silver Tim McGraw

This one is in the clean/fresh segment of the olfactory spectrum, with a sort of metallic sharpness. I don't care for it; I think the Southern Blend flanker is more my style of the Tim McGraws.

Oct
08
2013

CK One Shock For Him Calvin Klein

The shock for me was that I liked this! I had low expectations - Calvin Klein scents are generally not favorites - and the spray paint graffiti on the bottle didn't suggest a quality mix, but, as is sometimes the case, the juice triumphs over the marketing.

This is nothing more nor less than a decent tobacco/gourmand scent. You can get a 100 ml bottle at a Ross for $25.

-------

I bought a bottle. My wife isn't a fan, but I like it. At first it's very gourmandy, then it turns into a pretty good tobacco scent. Once again, a surprise considering the bottle and how it's marketed.

Longevity is not especially good - at about the two hour point this stuff starts disappearing - even on a cotton tee shirt. As always, one gets what one pays for.

Oct
08
2013

Made to Measure Gucci

One of the most timid fragrances I have tried so far; it barely registers on me at all - and that's with spraying a healthy amount on cotton! It seems to be taking the industry's current passion for faint scents to a new extreme.

Perhaps it's just as well... if they cranked up the concentration level it would smell undistinguished and conventional. It smells like a leather jacket and perhaps some lavender from about a mile away, caught on the briefest of breezes.

Don't bother. If you have to have a Gucci scent, get the inifinitely better Pour Homme II.

Oct
08
2013

Versace Man Eau Fraiche Versace

Citrus and a bit of cedar wood... It's not bad, but it's not especially good, either. An indifferent scent; not distinctive at all. I think it's really designed for a younger guy.

Problem: After some hours that overly-familiar and nastily synthetic smelling citrus aroma molecule comes to the fore - bleah. That ruins it for me.

Oct
07
2013

Evolution Rocawear

Timid and nondescript. To me it has an indifferent, not well defined gourmand note that doesn't project.

Oct
05
2013

Bandit Robert Piguet

Bandit is a well-known women's perfume that celebrated perfume reviewer Luca Turin claims is butch enough for a man to wear. And it is. It's a mossy, dirty chypre... it's okay. I like it. However, I find it rather soft despite its well-known skankiness.

I prefer Estee Lauder Azuree Pure, which people claim Bandit reminds them of. That's the one for me, I think.

Aramis? People think this reminds them of Aramis? I don't see that at all!

Note: My favorite leather scent is Tom Ford Tuscan Leather - but in cold weather Elsha works very well, too.

I wish I could get my florals-only wife to wear this...

----------

Tried it again on a paper strip. This stuff is the Oakmoss Queen! I'm liking it more and more.

Sep
30
2013

Sagamore Lancome

This isn't the worse scrubber I've ever tried (that would be Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne) but it's not far from it.

Holy Mackerel! On me it opens with an intense cat pee/bitter pungency and dries with an overbearing jasmine soapiness. I could only take so much of it before I ran into the bathroom and scrubbed my arm down with soap and water.

Wow. Haven't had that kind of response in a while!

Sep
29
2013

212 Men Carolina Herrera

Paugh. Synthetic and cheap - it smells like a hundred other poorly-composed fragrances. Somebody called it piss on a haystack; that's pretty accurate. This stuff is awful. I totally don't understand the love for it.

A scrubber.

Sep
26
2013

Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme Chanel

Smelled good going on but after about twenty minutes it began to take on a pissy, acrid, sour note on my arm.

Surprise! After a few hours everything sort of modulated and that edge went away and it smelled good. But, no, I can't deal with that middle section.

I don't care for this, and it reinforces my opinion that most "sport" scents aren't for me.

Sep
25
2013

Gucci Pour Homme II Gucci

At first I thought this was mainly a tobacco scent, but, yes, I can detect the black tea in it now. A nice mix of both. The best Gucci fragrance for me - I like this stuff.

Also, in addition to Outremer Oceane, one of my favorite blue-colored fragrances. (Those tend to be clean/fresh/sporty/acquatic, which I don't care for.)

Sits close to the skin on me, like 95% of the stuff I try.

The bottle has a very nice heft - feels solid. Good work, there!

My wife did a prolonged Mmmmmmm when she smelled it on me. She doesn't do that very often. Maybe I should get a bottle of this, huh?

---------

Second wearing: I like this stuff even more. For a recent scent, it's unusual. Not the same old thing at all. Lasts on my skin, too - a notable feat for a newer fragrance.

Sep
25
2013

Fahrenheit Absolute Christian Dior

I like the way this one smells simultaneously like violets, (synthetic) oud and incense without any one of the notes predominating with a sort of smoky suggestion overall; a skilled blend! I'm also happy to note that the medicinal note that synthetic oud can take on (YSL M7) is absent from this creation.

It's not quite my thing, but I like this one better than the Fahrenheit original... Very pleasant and very wearable with good longevity.

Sep
24
2013

Silver Scent Jacques Bogart

Well named, this is a very bright fragrance (but not as bright as Egoiste Platinum) - but I don't care for it. Smells clean/fresh/sporty. Not my thing.

Sep
21
2013

Hommage a L'Homme Lalique

I tried this on an arm. Interesting, but I'm not sure whether or not I like it! Given all these reviews I'm surprised that I'm indifferent to it - but I am.

I need to wear this for a day.

Sep
21
2013

One Man Show Jacques Bogart

I wanted to like this one, and I liked the top notes. It smelled great going on! But after about 30-40 minutes on me the whole thing heads south and turns sour. Scrubber.

Sep
21
2013

Uomo Ermenegildo Zegna

Not bad, but not original at all. It starts out with citrus and becomes woody, like a million other scents. Inoffensive, understated, safe for work. But I think I'd rather wear one of the Jack Black "Mark" scents, which seem to be the best of the inoffensive-understated-safe for work legion.

In terms of this being a vetiver scent, Guerlain Vetiver and Encre Noire are light years better.

Sep
10
2013

Bijan Wicked for Men Bijan

Nasty and cheap. It goes on promisingly enough, but after about twenty minutes it dries down to a synthetic note I have smelled before in poorly wrought scents that represents nothing in nature I am familiar with. The basenotes are mildly sour, mildewy and awful; it smells like I've splashed some kind of - I don't know - commercial fabric cleaner on myself.

Sep
09
2013

Carlos Santana for Men Carlos Santana

As gourmand (food) scents go, it's not bad upon a first spraying. It has cinnamon-apple notes with a hint of cocoa.

But what kills the deal for me is that, after about an hour, as it wears down it begins to smell cheap and common.

Sep
05
2013

Christian Lacroix Noir Avon

Not very impressive. It's an overly subtle and undistinguished woody/spicy thing. I can smell it every now and then during the day, but it's too common, too little, too seldom.

Unobtrusive, inoffensive - boring.

And, a side note: I am now convinced that the term "noir" in perfumery means nothing. It's a marketing gimmick.

Interesting bottle, however...

Sep
04
2013

Obsession for Men Calvin Klein

Calvin and I don't normally get along, but this one is well wrought and suits me. It's spicy/dirty... there's a touch of Estee Lauder Azuree Pure in this one. At first I thought it was a bit oakmossy or animalic, but, no, it's something else. What am I smelling? The musk or patchouli? I don't know... but I like it. It has an austere, understated vibe. It smells mature but not old, vintage but not dated.

A good fragrance... but the only thing that keeps me from loving it instead of merely liking it is that it turns mildly soapy after an hour or so.

Aug
26
2013

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Eau de Cologne Chanel

A straight up traditional cologne that, on me, lasts about ten or twenty minutes. It's nice - but it's nothing spectacular and I agree with the reviewer who suggested that Guerlain du Coq is a better deal. So is Acqua di Parma's Colonia.

Aug
18
2013

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Coromandel Chanel

A warm ambery scent my wife likes but, alas, I do not. It reminds me too much of John Varvatos Platinum, a sample of which got on my nerves during the day. This will, too.

--------

Second wearing: This is probably the highest quality amber scent I have ever smelled - and now I get the white chocolate notes... very nice.

But... no. I just can't accommodate myself to amber scents, even good ones. I'd probably love them on other people, but I don't enjoy smelling it on myself.

Aug
17
2013

Original Penguin for Men Original Penguin

I don't care for this. It smells too much like too many other scents. Generically woody, generically sweet apple, generically spicy. I'm really not smelling any artfulness, here.

However, that being said I suspect this might make a suitable starter scent for a very young man...

My son-in-law has a bottle of this. I bet it works for him a lot better than it would for me!

Aug
09
2013

Moonshine A Gentleman's Cologne EastWest Bottlers

The first time I tried this I couldn't smell much. As it's not in a spray bottle I simply wasn't getting enough on myself to judge. So I revisited.

Essentially, it's pine sawdust with, if I'm not mistaken, some Iso E Super (with its very mild cedar note that can also be interpreted as warm skin in flannel). As is noted elsewhere on the web, it mildly resembles Terre d'Hermes. It might be a cross of Tom Ford Sahara Noir (pine) and Terre d'Hermes (cedar).

It doesn't project much...

It's not bad - but it's not exceptional, either.

Aug
07
2013

Aoud Leather Montale

A wonderful, deeply aromatic scent - the oud puts it over the top and lends a woody, ever so slightly medicinal (but medicinal in a good way) note. But I'm not sure whether I like this more as a leather scent or as an oud scent - it's both at the same time. A skilful mix and one of the best oud scents I've ever tried.

Yes, it reminds me of Tuscan Leather.

Aug
07
2013

Costume National Homme CoSTUME NATIONAL

I dislike the foody/camphorous basenotes to this one. A pity, since it smelled pretty good going on...

Aug
07
2013

Original Musk Kiehl's

Now THIS is a good musk! I well remember the musk-mania of the 1970's - a female friend of mine used to wear it heavily - and I always thought it smelled great. But for some reason I haven't smelled anything as good since until I smelled this stuff on paper.

I need to get a sample for a test wearing for a day. I don't have any musks in my collection of fragrances; I think this will be the one.

Worn on my wrist: Initial opinion confirmed - this is a great musk! Good longevity - and is only forty some odd bucks for a bottle.

Update: I got a sample to wear and it's as good as I thought it would be. A very pleasant, animalic-but-civilized musk. Nobody will think you've just tramped in from a week with the animals with this. The best on the market. The only downside is that my wife smells it and thinks it's soapy, or like an ingredient in a detergent. (They put musks in detergents sometimes, don't they?)

Sillage on me is that it's a skin scent, like just about everything else I've tried.

Aug
01
2013

Erolfa Creed

An undistinguished clean/bright/fresh fragrance. Not my thing at all.

Jul
31
2013

Sencha Bleu Tokyo Milk Parfumerie Curiosite

Yet another nasty, sour-smelling Tokyo Milk fragrance. I don't know if it's my skin with some kind of reaction or if it's the scent itself, but this house and I are not a successful pairing.

Jul
26
2013

Straight to Heaven By Kilian

I liked the boozy rum top notes - which were gone all too quickly. The rest of it... I wasn't a fan. I didn't like the fruity notes at all.

My wife sniffed me and made a face.

And with those simple lines I dismiss this much-loved frag. Sorry.

Jul
20
2013

Richwood Xerjoff

That opening was pretty fierce, but I didn't get citrus out of it. I was mentally taken back to when I worked maintenance jobs at Lockheed Aircraft. This smelled like some kind of solvent I used to use. (Methyl ethyl ketone, perhaps.)

Then it turns into a strong, hideous, sickening floral... by then I realized that I'd had enough.

Scrubber.

This stuff is expensive? Hm. I have learned that the worst fragrances aren't the cheapest ones and the best fragrances aren't the most expensive ones.

Jul
17
2013

Lotus Sake Tokyo Milk Parfumerie Curiosite

Scrubber! Starts out okay but then turns sour and unpleasant.

Yes, it does smell like cat pee.

Jul
17
2013

Aramis Devin Aramis

A very nice leather scent; I can barely detect the pine notes. I could wear this, easily. Along with Havana, my favorites of the Aramis line.

Sadly, my wife made a stink face when I offered my arm - which means I won't be wearing it.

Jul
16
2013

Sculpture pour Homme Nikos

On me this is sickeningly sweet, or, to be precise, a rather cloying citrus/sweet note. It's unique, I'll give it that. I have yet to smell anything quite like it. But it's not for me at all.

When I offered my wrist, my wife made a stink face.

Jul
16
2013

Eau de Jade Giorgio Armani

What's not to like? It's a refreshing citrus scent that lasts for more than an hour. Very nice - especially on hot days.

Weird bottle and ad campaign, however. C'mon, Armani, what's so dramatic about a citrus scent?

(What's not to like? I just answered my own question when I saw what they're asking for it. Overpriced!)

Jul
16
2013

Chant De Bois Le Labo

It's okay. Mildly cedar/woodsy. Obviously, it didn't make much of an impression on me.

Second wearing: Okay, I now like this stuff. It's a clean wood smell somewhere between pine boards and pencil shavings. It's not quite like opening a cedar chest or box, but it's not far from it. It's casual, wearable and pleasant. One of the better woody scents I've tried.

Third wearing: I guess I need to get down to an Anthropologie and get a bottle - assuming it's still available...

Jul
15
2013

Kabuki Tokyo Milk Parfumerie Curiosite

I don't smell any citrus or sugar, just a nondescript food smell that is not especially pleasant. The only way I can describe this on my skin is that it smells like the very last dregs of a cup of coffee that had a lot of creamer in it. I don't like this at all.

Jul
14
2013

Insense Givenchy

A floral for men? Either there's something wrong with my nose or my sample didn't really have this in it. I didn't get the floral notes at all - to me it is primarily musky/animalic. Something's wrong, here! Maybe the perfume went "off."

Jul
13
2013

02 L'Air du Desert Marocain Tauer Perfumes

I see that nobody else yet has drawn the comparison, but I will: this smells very much like Tom Ford's Sahara Noir. (That is, Sahara Noir smells like this since this is the earlier launch.)

It's got the very same incense note that reminds Catholics of mass but makes me think of nothing so much as a clean, dry pine plank. (I'm not Catholic so I don't get the reference.) For me this is very woody. Actually, it takes me right back to junior high wood shop class.

My nose doesn't detect much difference between the two scents... I suppose if I had them sprayed side by side on paper strips it would be a different matter.

That being said - I like this!

Jul
12
2013

Praline de Santal Pierre Guillaume Paris

An odd and somewhat disconcerting scent. On me it is mostly all nutmeat - far more praline than santal. (Will I be pursued by squirrels?) Any woody notes are very subtle. It represents a interesting change of pace for the gourmand scent lover, but since I am not one of those, this isn't for me.

Still, as I've tried a sequence of boring, unoriginal scents recently, I have to give the house credit for originality!

Jul
11
2013

Dead Sexy Tokyo Milk Parfumerie Curiosite

NICE. My favorite Tokyo Milk thus far. I like the engagingly woody scent, the skull and crossbones on the back of the bottle and the modest price. Successful all around!

Well...not quite. Longevity isn't great.

(Like Bvlgari Black? Rubbery? Never! Isn't it funny how we all read scents differently?)

Jul
10
2013

Marc Jacobs Men Marc Jacobs

Very mildly coconut or woody. It's hard to tell because this is so timid.

It's boring, has no longevity at all (it's gone on me within an hour) and no sillage. To quote Luca Turin about another fragrance, about the most you can say for this is that it has a smell.

Why are there so many of these glutting up the market?

Jul
10
2013

Let Them Eat Cake Tokyo Milk Parfumerie Curiosite

Yep, it goes on smelling like cake and dries down to a mild coconut scent. You only get this for about an hour or so, then it's gone.

I'm not a fan of sweet gourmand scents, and this one doesn't make a believer out of me.

Jul
09
2013

London for Men Burberry

My favorite of the Burberrys I have tried thus far.

This is primarily a tobacco scent, but one could be forgiven for also detecting it as a woody scent - for me the woody notes make somewhat more of an impression than the tobacco notes.

This reminds me of Tom Ford's Sahara Noir, which has a nice pine plank/cut wood/sawdust note to it. (Others think it smells like the incense used in a Catholic mass.)

A nice scent! Sadly, longevity is bad. On me it's gone in a couple of hours; I can just barely smell it on my cotton tee shirt after then. Sillage is pretty low, too.

A note about that distinctive Burberry plaid or tartan used to cover this bottle: at a Trademark Expo in Alexandria, VA, where the Patent and Trademark Office is located, I once chatted with a Burberry representative. She said that the company calls it a Burberry "cheque," and that they not only hold a Trademark on it for the tan and black color scheme, but also for any other colors used in that particular pattern. So perhaps someday you may see a Burberry Green, Red or Pink flanker.

Jul
09
2013

Eau Parfumee au The Vert Bvlgari

At last! A Bvlgari scent I like! I knew there had to be one.

This one smells like an Hermes, which is hardly surprising since it's one of (Hermes head perfumer) Jean-Claude Ellena's characteristic light, transparent constructions.

I get the tea smell and I get the green notes... and it's also a wee bit floral as well. A good, summery scent, quite nice.

--------

Second wearing: It's awfully light. Seems I have to use a lot to make it "register."

Jul
08
2013

Sexual Pour Homme Michel Germain

A woody/clean fragrance that is like many other scents out there. I've smelled this or something very like it before and didn't care for it then, either. The usual thing with the usual sour basenotes.

The most remarkable aspect of this fragrance is the name - which I find to be a mere marketing ploy.

Jul
06
2013

Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumerie Curiosite

Opens with a sharp citrus scent which quickly moves to a woody, light mossy smell. Not bad at all!

Jul
05
2013

Gin & Rosewater Tokyo Milk Parfumerie Curiosite

No gin, no rosewater. Just an awful sour/metallic smell.

A scrubber!

Jul
05
2013

1776 Elsha

I found this one in the men's store in my university's bookstore; it's the only fragrance they sell! $20 a bottle! My friend's grandfather wore this so I bought him a bottle. I'm told it's something of a favorite among a certain class of men in Utah...

It's a nice, creamy leather scent - same as it always was, apparently. It compares favorably, I think, with Chanel's Cuir de Russie (which I find too floral) and Hermes' Bel Ami - that's how good this is. What's more, it lasts a lot longer. It is absolutely not one of those reformulated into nothingness scents. On my wrist I can spray it and seven hours later it's still there - this is rare for me. It's built with good, old-fashioned longevity.

I agree with the reviewer who stated that Elsha 1776 decanted into an expensive bottle with fancier labeling, etc. would make a great showing.

I have decanted some from the splash bottle into an atomizer - it goes on better that way.

The only con: It gets unbearably soapy after a few hours in summer heat. So this is definitely not a warm weather scent. Cold weather only - fall and winter. Maybe sweat spoils it? I don't know. But it wears MUCH better when it's cold.

---

Update: This is really a marvelous winter fragrance. (It's been an unusually cold winter.) The more I use it, the happier I am with it. Longevity is old school great, and in cold weather it smells just delightful.

Jul
02
2013

John Varvatos Platinum Edition John Varvatos

It seems to be more or less the same orange and amber scent that forms the base notes for the tenth anniversary edition, except without that nasty opening blast. I do not detect much leather or cinnamon here, mostly amber. My wife likes it more than I do. I think it's okay, if a tiny bit cloying.

It lasts! Good longevity. I've gotten 12+ hours on my tee shirt.

Jul
02
2013

Sienna Crabtree & Evelyn

A good, wearable leather scent. The very first time I smelled it, it reminded me a bit of Chanel Antaeus - but it's less complicated. Longevity is good, sillage isn't, particularly.

Jul
01
2013

Truth For Men Calvin Klein

I'm not normally a fan of Calvin Klein scents; I also like CK One Shock, but that's it. This one, however, is not bad! It's green - a synthetic green, but, overall, a wearable scent with (on me, with my scent-eating skin) good longevity. What's especially notable about it is that it's light and transparent in the style of a Jean-Claude Ellena-designed Hermes scent.

This is really a warm weather fragrance. It seems to come alive when it's hot. When it's cold, it just sort of - sullenly lurks.

My son wears it - fortunately for me he has two bottles and gave me one!

Jul
01
2013

Oceane Outremer

Aquatic - yes, it does indeed smell like the ocean. Nice, inexpensive. Lasts longer than the Bath and Body Works ocean scent. I bought myself a little bottle for the summer.

----

A later wearing: For what it claims to do, what it does and how little it costs, it's probably the best fragrance made. As the title suggests, it is a straight up ocean ("marine") scent. When I sprayed it on my chest this morning it was a perfect olfactory representation of being slapped in the chest by a cold wave. A total success. Made in France. You can get a small bottle at an Anthropologie store for $10 U.S.; a larger one is $18.

---

Update: For me, this is primarily a warm weather fragrance. When it's warm it invokes the ocean. When it's cold it smells indistinctly floral, not so much oceanic.

Jun
26
2013

Citron de Vigne Fresh

I could have sworn this was a screechy ginger, but I don't see ginger in the notes. Whatever it was, it was searing my nasal passages.

Scrubber.

Jun
25
2013

Cannabis Santal Fresh

It went on smelling okay but then, after about a half hour, that patchouli/vetiver/cannabis note (I'm not entirely certain which or all) started to really get on my nerves.

Scrubber!

Jun
25
2013

Armani Code Ultimate Giorgio Armani

Normally I don't like Armani scents, but this one's not bad. It's a mildly sweet gourmand scent, claimed to be woody, but I'm not getting that as much as the tonka bean and vanilla. Nothing really special, but nice.

Jun
25
2013

Grand Cuir Parfums Retro

It went on with a pleasant, if somewhat strong, leathery scent and then became unbearably soapy after about an hour. Not the leather scent I'm looking for - not at all.

Jun
24
2013

Royal Vintage M. Micallef

Generic woodsy. I don't find this scent in any way unique or interesting - it's very mild and timid - and longevity is awful. On my skin it's gone within the hour.

Jun
24
2013

Back to Black By Kilian

Well, it's unique, I'll give it that!

Fruity, sweet gourmand. Major kitchen smell. It's complex, yes... and I'm not sure I'm getting all the notes. But it's just too much food for me. If I wear a gourmand (not a genre I really like) I want it more spare than this. I smell like a fruit cake.

Jun
23
2013

Voyage d'Hermes Parfum Hermès

Strongly citrus, and it does indeed last better than Voyage EDT. I barely get the spice note, and I don't smell cardamom at all. But this is a very nice fragrance.

I do have a peeve about this, however... You have to pay more money to get a Voyage citrus scent that lasts more than an hour or so? Why not simply make the fragrance work at the EdT concentration?

It's kind of like buying a car with a two gallon gas tank. You have to pay more for the model with the twelve gallon gas tank so you can actually go places.

Jun
23
2013

Pure Oud By Kilian

It's okay - but I still prefer Creed Royal Oud the best of all the oud scents I've tried.

Jun
23
2013

Armani Eau de Nuit Giorgio Armani

I'm not a fan of Armani fragrances, but this one smells pretty good on a test card. I'll have to try it on skin... so this isn't a review, it's a placeholder.

Jun
23
2013

Les Exclusifs de Chanel 31 Rue Cambon Chanel

I wasn't at all impressed with the top notes or the heart notes on this - they seemed pretty generic - but the basenotes smell sour on my paper card.

I don't see what all the praise is about.

Jun
23
2013

Eau d'Ikar Sisley

"It took twenty years to make this new launch by Sisley..."

It did? WHY? It begins with a mildly citrus note and proceeds to an odd, indifferent milky basenote. Hardly earth-shattering.

Not impressed.

Jun
23
2013

Aqua Universalis Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Meh.

A cleanish cotton sheet smell that you can find just about anywhere else for far less.

I am totally unimpressed with this one.

Jun
23
2013

EIGHT & BOB EIGHT & BOB

I keep smelling this to try to figure out the love for it. To me it smells utterly BLAH. Not really woody, not really spicy, not really citrus - there are no notes here I like. It's a smell. That's about the best I can say for it.

Jun
23
2013

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Sycomore Chanel

This is Encre Noir - except the Encre Noir lasts a lot longer and costs far less.

-------

Sample wearing for a day: Count me as really unimpressed. It smells fine going on, but, really, it's Encre Noire with major longevity and silage problems.

Jun
23
2013

Amber Oud By Kilian

On me this is awful, just awful. I smell like some kind of sweet baked product: buttery, foody - just a horrible note. This is the most expensive scrubber I have yet to try on my arm!

I can't smell any oud, either.

Jun
23
2013

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Cuir de Russie Chanel

What a disappointment this was!

I was prepared to like it based on my reading about it, but when I finally tried it on my arm I was put off by how thoroughly feminine and flowery the top notes are. It takes about a half hour for it to dry to the basenotes, which remind me powerfully of Estee Lauder Azuree Pure. (Which is, by the way, $44 at Macy's.)

Sadly, this is almost gone off my arm in about an hour - the same cannot be said for the Lauder product, which lasts for hours and hours.

I'd wear the Estee Lauder product except that it smells just a little too feminine. (My wife disagrees.) But it's way more butch than this is!

I suspect my desire for a quality leather fragrance will result in the purchase of a bottle of Hermes Bel Ami.

Jun
23
2013

Mr. Blass Bill Blass

I sprayed at bit of this on my arm at a Sears (!). I suspect that some reviewers will claim it's a dated, old school scent - and I couldn't really disagree. Problem is I don't remember what notes it had. As I recall it was a woody/spicy.

I suspect that if you like and wear, say, Aramis, you might like this.

Jun
23
2013

No 7 English Laundry

Smelled on a paper strip: Has the same hideous aromatic notes as Aramis, which it resembles. I couldn't wear it.

Jun
22
2013

Arsenic Tokyo Milk Parfumerie Curiosite

The top notes elude me, but it dried down to something that reminds me very strongly of sweet milk. Or is it the power of suggestion? ("Tokyo Milk.")

This is an odd one!

Jun
22
2013

Wild Fig & Cassis Jo Malone London

Wild, indeed, and very green. The minute I smelled this it reminded me very strongly of a vacant lot in Los Angeles where me and my childhood friend Jimmy used to play. The lot was full of weeds and grasses, and more often than not we'd come home dirty smelling just like this.

That being said, I wouldn't want to wear it as a fragrance.

Jun
22
2013

Outrageous! Frederic Malle

This has the very same citrus opening and what Luca Turin calls a "hissy steam iron" aroma molecule and light white musk basenote in common with Mugler Cologne. It reminds me very strongly of that successful fragrance.

So - you can pay more for this (it was $140 retail where I saw it) or simply get the Mugler Cologne for less than half the price.

Jun
22
2013

Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men Giorgio Armani

Same-o same-o trendy gourmand scent. If you want to smell reminiscent of a chocolate bar, go for it. Undistinguished, unoriginal. Not for me.

Jun
22
2013

Burberry Men Burberry

A generic sort of woody/spicy scent that smells just fine on my skin for the first hour or two, but the scent molecule that persists on my cotton tee shirt is a mildly nasty lemony/clean scent that, for me, ruins its use.

Nothing unusual about this, no WOW factor. So not for me.

Jun
21
2013

Sandalwood Caswell Massey

I sprayed some of this on my arm today. Is this really what sandalwood smells like? For some reason the note is SO much more appealing in Guerlain Heritage...

Longevity is good. Not sure I liked this scent, however.

Jun
20
2013

Eau de Lacoste L.12.12. Noir Lacoste Fragrances

I don't like the usual trendy clean/fresh notes I'm detecting; I've smelled them way too often and so it doesn't interest me here. I agree with the reviewer who stated that the notes don't resemble the smell - they don't to me, either.

"Noir?" How is this noir?

Jun
20
2013

John Varvatos 10th Anniversary Special Edition John Varvatos

I'm wondering if this is a bad batch issue, a tester bottle gone bad or just a joke. (But the reviews preceding mine suggest that it isn't an isolated bad tester.)

What I got was an unbelievably vile opening blast, very animalic. It's the famous Guerlin Jicky vomit/fecal/cat urine note times twenty. "Off the chart pungent" in the words of one reviewer, indeed. Then - nothing. Or almost noting. A faint orange-amber note of no projection but good longevity remains. I didn't mind it but my friend whom I tried it on tells me it has the cat urine smell to him.

If that was the celebratory anniversary fragrance, I wonder what the party was like. Happy anniversary!

Jun
19
2013

Adam Levine for Men Adam Levine

The opening is a wonderfully accurate citrus smell; it was almost like I split open a fruit upon my arm. A very convincing olfactory impression. Then it just sort of turned into a fruity mess that did not mix well with my skin.

I don't care for fruity scents and this doesn't convert me.

Interesting bottle, though.

Jun
18
2013

4711 Original Eau de Cologne 4711

A rapidly evaporating citrus; I don't even get a half hour on my skin. I like it but I haven't bought any because I wonder what the point is. When I want to be refreshed I open a can of Diet Coke and lay under a ceiling fan - I'm positive that works better than splashing my face with smelly water and trying to psych myself out that I feel cooler.

----------

Bought a bottle anyway. It's not pricey at all and smells great for summer. Besides - I need more summer scents. And I just like the idea of having something formulated in 1792, okay?

Jun
18
2013

Canoe Dana

First cousin to Avon Wild County, second cousin to Stetson.

A soft, powdery, barbershoppy vanilla scent. It doesn't last long at all and stays close to the skin. It smells... cheap.

It's funny... thirty years ago or so I thought this stuff was desirable. How far I've come. Well... at least you get the nice Art Deco label and bottle.

Jun
18
2013

Givenchy Play Eau de Toilette Givenchy

This smells more or less like you spilled a Starbucks product upon yourself. In other words, it has a mild, creamy, coffee note. It's okay... nice. It doesn't project much, however. The bottle is meant to excite the imaginations of modern twentysomethings: it looks vaguely like an mp3 player.

Former boybander Justin Timberlake was selected as the face of the ad campaign; be still my beating heart.

From the ad copy, about the bottle: "It is made of milky glass, with cafalonium frame and rubber button to press." As near as I can tell from a google search, cafalonium (if it exists at all) simply means "plastic" and the button doesn't do anything.

Play!

Jun
18
2013

Norne Slumberhouse

A clinker-built Viking long boat pulls out of the fjord, bent for pillage and conquest. NORNE!

Merciful HEAVENS, this stuff is strong! I've yet to classify a fragrance as being "headache-inducing," but this comes close. I put less than a drop on my wrist and that was driving me nuts. Scrub, scrub, scrub.

A tall blond man, his beard in braids, sharpens his battle-axe. NORNE!

It's unbearably coniferous and makes me think of institutional use compounds rather than perfumery. It reminds me of some industrial grade pine-scented degreaser I once had to work with when I was a maintenance worker at Lockheed. My wife took one sniff and issued her verdict: "Vicks Vapo-Rub" (picking up on the camphorous notes, obviously).

The monks scatter as the berserkers emerge from the ship, plug their guitars into the amps and begin playing. It's loud, hate-filled and obnoxious. It's NORNE!

Not safe for work, certainly not a safe blind buy and since this stuff is greenish-black like the goo issuing from Woden's wounded eye, probably not safe to be sprayed upon clothing, either.

NORNE!

Unless I was dressed as a pine tree for some Halloween party I'd never ever wear it, but, actually, I have a use for Norne. Climb into the infrastructure where the heating/air conditioning system is located at some concert hall just before the orchestra plays a piece by Sibelius - preferably "Tapiola" op. 112 - and dump a few milliliters onto the filters to invoke the terrifyingly endless northwoods of Finland.

NORNE!

Jun
17
2013

Eau de Cartier Concentree Cartier

Nice, but not very interesting. For me it's a generic sort of woodsy/spicy/green smell. "Safe for work" and, no, it won't offend anyone.

It's better than the Bvlgari and Gucci generically woodsy/spicy fragrances I have tried, I'll give it that. But I won't be running out to buy a bottle of it.

Speaking of the bottle, what's with that clear plastic washer at the top? Odd.

Jun
15
2013

Cherry Blossom L'Occitane en Provence

I didn't think I'd like this and wasn't fast enough to halt the young woman from putting it on a paper strip. I'm glad - it was a pleasant surprise. Yep, it's a cherry blossom, and if I could render the smell as a color it would be the very pale pink of the trees around the Tidal Basin in D.C. for an all-too-short week or so every March or April.

A nice scent. More of a body spray than a formal perfume, but, whatever. Spritzy spritz spritz.

Jun
14
2013

Vanillary Lush

I've smelled a number of variations upon a vanilla scent, and this is yet another: CRASS vanilla. Or NASTY VANILLA. Or even THE VANILLA FROM HELL.

But it fits in well with the Lush house aesthetic. (This is not an endorsement.)

Awful stuff. I don't think I'd even spray this on my worst enemy. There would be too much danger of his slugging me in response, and then I might get some transferred onto my clothing, or, worse, body.

Jun
14
2013

Eau Captivante L'Occitane en Provence

I was far more captivated with the Art Nouveau bottle than with the scent.

Jun
14
2013

Citrus Verbena Summer L'Occitane en Provence

Yep. it's citrus, all right. It's somewhat boring, but you could certainly pay a lot more and do worse.

I agree with the reviewer who said that it's not really a perfume, but more of a body mist - putting us firmly in Bath and Body Works territory.

Jun
14
2013

L'Occitan Eau de Toilette L'Occitane en Provence

I'm not a big fan of lavender, but this stuff is okay. Not at all blow-you-away good, but wearable. As others have noted, it has an old school feel to it (Guerlain Lite?) and is presentable.

Now that I think about it, it beats many of the larger, more better known house's current offerings for men. (I'm looking at you, Bvlgari, Calvin Klein and YSL.)

After a tour of L'Occitane's scents I came away concluding that the best of the lot was Eau des Baux, which is unique. But this is good.

Jun
14
2013

The Bug Lush

Skank, not bug. Skank.

A "protest perfume," indeed. I would strongly protest if my wife were to find within her a sudden desire to smell like this.

Here's what Bug smells like: When I was a twelve year old living in Los Angeles in 1968, my best friend Jimmy lived just off of Sunset Boulevard more or less behind the Egyptian Theater. He lived in a rather shabby apartment with his mother and grandmother. Next door to him was an even shabbier apartment building recently vacated by some hippies. They left the door open one day and we went inside to explore.

Within was old dog food, newspapers flung about, a cigarette and full ashtray smell, 1950's Mad magazines, patchouli oil, discarded tee shirts and the flotsam and jetsam of drug use. The place smelled like Lush Bug. It was such an objectionable odor that we didn't even take the old Mad magazines.

Yeah, it's different. But so was Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" - who listens to it? Yeah, it's avant garde. But so is Yoko Ono - how many multi-CD sets of her music does anyone own?

Jun
14
2013

Karma Lush

You know that animated youtube character Annoying Orange? (Basically, an orange with a face superimposed thereupon.) This is his scent. It is crass and in your face, which seems to be very much the Lush house style.

And this is one of the *better* ones...

My guess is that these Lush Gorilla perfumes would ideally suit an edgy young woman with spiky hair and a sort of early 1980's Joan Jett persona. Or, conversely, a matron with a the-hell-with-you attitude who is badly in need of sensible style advice. There seems to be no subtlety to these scents at all.

Jun
14
2013

The Voice of Reason Lush

Apparently the talkers and bards of the Beat Era ate a lot of barbeque sauce, because that's what I get off of this stuff: straight up barbeque sauce. For hours. It doesn't develop into anything else any more than a side of pork can unbarbeque itself.

No, thanks.

Jun
14
2013

Jicky Guerlain

A legendary fragrance!

It starts out decidedly nasty, with the infamous animalic Guerlain cat pee/vomit/fecal note. I am not certain why Aimee Guerlain designed this into it. The French have entirely different aesthetic ideas about scents than do Anglo-Saxons. But - be patient! - it soon develops into a lavender/vanilla/powder accord, which is sometimes called "barbershoppy."

I'm not a big fan of it. There are other Guerlains I like better (Heritage, Bois d"Armenie), and I do not especially like lavender scents, which I consider dandyish. It ain't me. But I tried this on as a sort of historical experience. It's like saying you're interested in classical music but have never heard Beethoven's Ninth... you have to hear it. Likewise, if you say you're interested in fragrances you have to try Jicky.

----

Second wearing: It's growing on me. I like lavender scents more now than I did a year ago...

Jun
14
2013

Silver Mountain Water Creed

Wore it on my arm; I'm not impressed with it at all. A nebbish fragrance.

Jun
13
2013

1000 Jean Patou

Luca Turin describes this as a "best feminine for men," but, no. It's too feminine and reminds me too much of my wife's Joy.

It smells great, however.... bet it's wonderful on her! So I filled a little Nordstrom sample bottle to take home to find out.

Jun
13
2013

Ambré Baldessarini

Not a bad scent, but not quite my thing. My wife likes it on me, but I think it smells too much like some food I can't place - and I really don't care for gourmands. Not much longevity.

Second try: I am indifferent to this one. Not for me.

Jun
13
2013

Eau des Baux L'Occitane en Provence

I kept seeing this recommended by reviewers whose opinions I respected, and so I became curious as to why. Having sprayed some on my arm, now I know.

It's a lovely, unusual scent. At first spray it smelled like a coconutty suntan oil (or am I being persuaded by the look of the bottle, which looks like it contains suntan oil?), and took on what I thought were some camphor or eucalyptus notes, which must have been the incense. Finally it dried down to a nice vanilla. A very clever take on a vanilla scent!

My wife likes it on me, too, but we both agree that, at first, it's Coppertone.

Jun
13
2013

Colonia Intensa Oud Eau de Cologne Concentree Acqua di Parma

I wasn't immediately impressed with this upon a spraying on a card - too feminine, too floral, not woodsy enough - but some hours later it smells quite nice.

However... having tried this, the Tom Ford oud, the Jo Malone oud and the Creed oud, I still like Creed Royal Oud the best.

Jun
13
2013

Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme Gucci

A timid tobacco note. It's boring.

It doesn't last long and it doesn't project.

Jun
13
2013

Versace Pour Homme Versace

It goes on citrusy and dries down mildly sweet and somewhat rosy. It's boring - like any number of other mass market fragrances for men. I agree with benzippo: "...this is just another safe composition in tried and tested safe territory."

295 reviewers think this smells like Chanel Allure Homme Sport? Good - then I don't have to bother with that one.

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Second wearing: I'm struck by just how much the citrus notes predominate, which makes this an acceptable warm weather scent. But, other than that - it's still boring.

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Third wearing: Okay, I like it somewhat better. But it's really not my thing and I'll probably never buy a bottle. Still... I can recommend it for others...

Jun
12
2013

The One Gentleman Dolce&Gabbana

It went on with a woody/spicy note, so I thought that's what I was getting. (Oh, no - another boring generic woody/spicy scent.) But then it morphed into a vanilla fragrance, which was a mild surprise akin to learning that your aunt is now playing bingo across town rather than where she was.

Jun
11
2013

HM Hanae Mori

I'm not a fan of this one at all; it smells like some food combination I wouldn't want to eat. (I should mention that I am not fond of gourmand scents - and this one doesn't convert me.) The notes are sort of an unharmonious mess - I get the feeling that perhaps the lavender is in the way, or is souring things.

I much prefer HiM.

Jun
10
2013

Chemistry Clinique

Dihydromyrcenol scrubber.

Jun
08
2013

Vince Camuto for Men Vince Camuto

I find this absolutely undistinguished - it's generic and boring. And I agree with the very first review, here, that of Junior Halston's - it's very timid. It has little to no projection and not much longevity.

Jun
08
2013

Aqva Pour Homme Bvlgari

I was trying to figure out what the heck I was smelling with this one... seaweed? Okay....

I liked it better than Aqua Marine - but I didn't really care for it. Longevity on me was awful.

My search for a Bvlgari I like continues.

Jun
06
2013

Aqva Pour Homme Marine Bvlgari

I keep looking for a Bvlgari I like - but this isn't it, either. (Can't say as how I was surprised as I'm not a big fan of aquatics.)

Yes, it smells marine/oceanic for a while, then it kind of... goes off. I couldn't figure out if I was smelling candy or herbs or what after about a half hour. And then it disappeared... it didn't last long.

The M&M bottle is interesting.

Jun
06
2013

Bois du Portugal Creed

Oh, this is nice stuff!

It goes on unremarkably and I'm thinking, "Another ho hum generic fragrance." But in about an hour it takes on the woodsy/spicy notes I recall from the way men's fragrances used to smell in the 1960's. (Could it be that once, long ago, Old Spice smelled this good?) Not dated - classic. Very nice, very masculine.

I understand that Frank Sinatra used this fragrance, so there's a bit of Rat Pack at the Sands 1962 Ring a Ding Ding to this. (To paraphrase a quote another reviewer used.)

But wait! In the best tradition of the Chairman of the Board, the show's not over. At the three or four hour mark it morphs into what smells a lot like a Guerlain to me: a powdery lavender sandalwood scent that reminds me a lot of Heritage. And that's great, too!

Did I finally find a Creed that's worth what they're asking?

Jun
06
2013

Tabarome Creed

I tried Tabarone Millesime via a 1 ml Nordstom sample.

I'm not impressed with it. I get the tobacco, ginger and tea notes (more tea than ginger, I think); it's very soft. But, sadly, it fades very quickly. It's not an especially memorable scent and, frankly, I don't think it's worth Creed's asking price.

Jun
05
2013

Bvlgari Man Extreme Bvlgari

I tried Bvlgari Man some months ago and found it timid and watery. Not much scent there. Seeing this flanker on the shelf at Ulta, I decided to give it a whirl. Perhaps making it extreme improves it.

No, it doesn't... I'm sorry, calling this stuff "extreme" in any way, shape or form does injustice to the word. Words, after all, have meaning.

This stuff is as timid and as forgettable as anything I have ever smelled. What, precisely, is "extreme" about it?

For me these Bvlgaris are unimpressive, period.

Needless to say, not much sillage.

Jun
04
2013

BLV Pour Homme Bvlgari

It makes an imposing bottle on the shelf in Ulta, all blue with "BLV" (pronounced "bliv") thereupon in Roman caps. So I tried some on my arm.

For me it smells of my wife's meat marinade. Not a bad smell, but I'm overweight and my appetite needs no further inducements. When I offered my arm to my wife she made a stink face and said, "Hot metal."

So number us among the unconverted.

Not much sillage, and it's nearly gone on me after about an hour.

Jun
04
2013

Eau de Gentiane Blanche Hermès

From the ad copy: "...the Eau de gentiane blanche revisits freshness with a mixture of boldness and delicacy." No, it doesn't. There's no boldness at this address. This is a floral that's way too fey and faint for me. I do not understand how anyone can claim this is masculine.

And I don't understand the "blanche" in the title. Doesn't that refer to white flowers? Gentiana are blue. Or is it the musk?

And, confusingly, reviewers here assert that this is a green fragrance - or redolent of brown earth. Will the real color please stand up?

I don't understand this; I don't like it.

Jun
04
2013

Eau de Cologne du Coq Guerlain

I think I prefer Guerlain's L'Eau de Cologne Imperiale somewhat better, but that's probably because I'm attracted to the whole product (the bee bottle, the Napoleonic connection, the 1860 historicity of it) rather than by a purely olfactory preference. But this is also quite nice. A classic cologne.

Fact is, I'm not a big fan of the cologne genre. They all disappear within an hour or so leaving me to wonder, "What's the point?" My wife says, "Just smear yourself with a cut lemon."

But that being said, yes, this is another winner from Guerlain and yes, this is a noble scent.

Jun
03
2013

Boss Bottled Hugo Boss

Mass market, undistinguished, boring.

My wife: "Eh."

Jun
01
2013

Azuree Estée Lauder

A reviewer suggested this to me as a good inexpensive leather fragrance. I tried it at the local Macy's: $46 for 2 oz. Price is great!

This is far more oakmossy to my nose than leather. (I confirmed by looking at the ingredients on the box, yep - oakmoss is in there.) And, I hate to use this word, I truly do, but upon spraying it on my arm it smelled "perfumey" and not as masculine as I was led to believe it was. So - not for me. But it's a good, distinctive woman's scent! I do like it. This is a long-lasting scent and a good buy.

Note: My wife sniffed the Bel Ami I'm wearing on my neck and this on my arm and declared that they smell similar. She's getting something I'm not.

I like the upper part of the bottle; it looks like a crescent wrench is needed there.

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I tried it again on my arm while my wife was with me. She says it doesn't smell feminine at all on me. Three other women behind the counter agree. (One took a look at me and said "Nothing could be feminine on you.") One other women thought it was too feminine. So that's 4 against 1.

But, to me, I just can't rid myself of that perfumey note I associate with feminine scents from my youth.

So... no. But I might come around some day.

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Tried it yet again! This stuff is really growing on me. I wish my wife would wear it. It is a seriously good perfume...

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Tried it again on an arm. Okay, I'm sold. I want a bottle.

May
31
2013

Fan di Fendi pour Homme Fendi

What leather notes? I don't smell any.

Undistinguished, unoriginal.

I'm not a fan di Fendi.

May
31
2013

Havana Aramis

A nice tobacco scent - and I agree with the reviewer who claims that it smells more of cigar than pipe tobacco.

This is the scent to accompany one of those white, short-sleeved cotton Cuban tobacco plantation owner shirts, you know, the ones with all the white embroidery thereupon. Wear a beard while you wear this, too, to complete the effect.

My favorite of the Aramis line thus far.

May
31
2013

Declaration Cologne Cartier

A very pleasant cologne, which means that I like all of the Cartier Declaration line.

But, alas!, it's the usual cologne thing. On me it's gone within the hour.

May
31
2013

25:43 Lush

This fragrance starts out promisingly enough, with lime and lemongrass so persistent that you'll be lulled into believing you might have found a cologne that will last for more than a hour. Then there's a really inept transition to a horrible caramel note. The two co-exist for a time - which is a real stink.

Strong and nasty stuff.

Question: What kind of a perfumer brags about the short amount of time it took him to throw together a fragrance?

Answer: One who is being way too clever for his own good.

May
31
2013

Pi Neo Givenchy