Posts Tagged ‘Male’

Paul Smith Man Review

September 17, 2009

Paul Smith Man, not to be confused with Paul Smith Men (which was the first fragrance released), is the latest release from Paul Smith. The London based designer is famous for his stripy motif. The advertising was shot by Sir Smith himself, and the bottle is a basic black bottle reminiscent of Jil Sander and Comme des Garcons Luxe Patchouli.

paulsmithmanMan opens with a tiny hint of Bergamot-citrus, but is mostly dominated by Anise & Iris – the Iris is carroty, rooty and dry, and persists throughout the life of the fragrance. It feels that it is very ‘Paul Smith’ in style, and reminds me of Men and London.
Behind the Iris is a sweet and light Patchouli note, as well as a warm-dry, resinous-smokeless Incense and Violet (which is the whole plant – leaf and flower, rather than just ‘part’ of it), all appear and do not overpower. The “Spicy Accord” mentioned reminds me of Kenzo Power, with Cardamom and other notes giving a slightly sweet edge to the Violet.
The drydown is Tonka heavy, and the Iris remains present to the bitter end.
Paul Smith Man, although not wildly original (fans of Fahrenheit would probably like this), is still a departure from most mainstream releases and very pleasing, with good longevity and moderate sillage.

Top: Yuzu, Bergamot, Anise
Middle: Incense, Patchouli, Spicy Accord
Base: Orris, Violet, Tonka Bean

BNTBTBB Dirty Review

July 24, 2009

Dirty is apparently inspired by the phenomenon of an “Italian shower”, otherwise known as using deodorant instead washing. It explains why the fragrance smells so clean. The picture is actually of the matching body spray, but I thought it was too entertaining not to use.

DirtyA highly mentholated Mint and Lemon are the top notes. Surprisingly minty-fresh, it’s the Spearmint smell of Wrigley’s chewing gum, except toned down a lot. Also present is the same Oakmoss dustiness as Eau Sauvage.
It warms into an aromatic, light Lavender with herbal notes and the mint still present. It’s not toothpasty, as you would expect from the top, but it’s a fantastic solid Lavender fougere without any aquatic notes. On a card, it is more anisic than it is on skin, and could fool you into thinking it was a replacement for Yohji Homme.
The soft quiet Sandalwood drydown is acres more complex than the synthetics you normally smell in mainstream designer fragrances. It reminds me of warm bark. The problem I have with Dirty is that it doesn’t smell unclean or dirty. I want my fragrances dirty, not the man!

Notes: Spearmint, Tarragon, Sandalwood, Lavender, Neroli, Thyme, Oakmoss

Lacoste Challenge Review

July 19, 2009

Challenge is Lacoste’s most recent release, fronted by Hayden Christensen, best known as the second worst thing about the Star Wars prequels (Jar Jar Binks takes the crown). The bottle is coated with a soft rubbery material, and is meant to go back to Lacoste’s roots as a tennis accessories brand – and apparently Christensen plays tennis. Tenuous.

ChallengeChallenge opens with a citrus, herbal, green ‘smell’. It doesn’t smell particularly like any of citrus fruit I can think of, and the aromatic notes are quite disappointing too – Challenge doesn’t really grab attention. It does however remind me of a shower gel, rather than a fragrance.
As the heart appears, there is something vaguely sweaty or dirty behind a quiet and slightly peppery Ginger note. As usual, the Violet here isn’t floral, but rather Violet Leaf, which smells sharp and synthetic. It smells like YSL L’Homme, but missing a magical something. Challenge is made more tolerable by a surprising Pine needle note throughout the heart, and the wonderful drydown which is soft, creamy and woodsy – and actually smells very good! The problem is that the journey to the base is quite difficult, and then the base doesn’t last long enough on skin to justify it.

Top: Lemon, Bergamot, Orange
Middle: Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Violet Blossom
Base: Teakwood, Ebonywood

BNTBTBB Dear John Review

July 17, 2009

Dear John is the first BNTBTBB fragrance I smelled. A friend of mine worked for Lush, and was wearing it on Christmas Eve last year at a get together. I thought it smelled good at the time, and it piqued my interest in the line, but it took me forever to order the sampler set. The problem with ordering that sample set is that I now really love some of their scents.

Dear JohnDear John opens on Cloves with Limes. And is nothing else at first- then some Coriander appears, and it creates some much needed warmth. Some Coffee comes along, with a hint of Pine. It is green and friendly. Cool to smell, but inviting.
An almost hazelnutty Vetiver note, as well as something I read as Lavender are present for the heart, alongside a potent Anisic note. The Anise is dense and camphoraceous, and nothing like the transparent Anise from Kenzoair. The Lime is incredibly persistent, which is strange because I always expect citrus notes to evaporate rapidly, especially natural versions of them.
Dries to a powdery, but vegetal Cedar, which smells very good. There aren’t many words to describe the Cedar, in fact the only one I can think of is quality.

Notes: Coffee, Lime, Pine, Cedarwood, Coriander, Vetiver, Clove Leaf

Terre d’Hermes Review

July 12, 2009

Terre d’Hermes is meant to be an olfactory journey through the elements of earth, air and water (wait, no fire?). It was composed by Hermes Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, famous for his transparent fragrance structures and launched in 2006. TdH has been massively popular and is the second most reviewed fragrance over at Basenotes (behind A*Men). It famously contains 55% Iso E Super in it’s formula.

Terre d'HermesOpens as a harsh and loud bitter Orange with a tiny hint of Grapefruit. Fortunately, this part is shortlived.
As the citrus subsides, earthy, scorched, dry Vetiver appears, but is dominated by the Pepper notes – which are just lightly spicy and nose-tingling. Soft and elegant, with a tiny hint of Patchouli, which has also been given the Ellena touch (a ghostly presence). There is also a minty-herbal note, which is possibly Geranium, and Benzoin, dry, resionous and vanillic, making me think “smoke”.
After this comes the ‘mineral’ smell, a cold, sharp crystalline note. Like breeze over a rocky desert (the advertising for Terre d’Hermes is perfect in this regard). The sparkling clear-ness reminds me of Paul Smith Story.
The long drydown remains crystal clear and Cedar like, projecting for miles with fantastic longevity. It performs particularly well in the heat of summer.

Top: Grapefruit, Orange, Flint
Middle: Pepper, Pink Pepper, Geranium leaves, Patchouli
Base: Cedar, Vetiver, Benzoin

BNTBTBB Ladyboy Review

July 10, 2009

Ladyboy is BNTBTBB’s ‘punk’ fragrance. It is apparently loved by “fiercely good looking” gay guys, as well as straight guys and girls (so everyone but Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenders?) Words I would use to describe it are ‘flamboyant’ and ‘unconventional’ – especially as this in their Men’s offering.

LadyboyLadyboy opens with a brash, radioactive Banana. On a card it smells more like “refreshers” sweets, but on me it reminds me of the flavouring used in antibiotic syrup that I had to take when I was 6. The Banana is stood, rather unashamedly in front of the lush Violet Leaf (very good quality, not frustratingly synthetic) and Chamomile – a combination that smells like Raspberry leaf to me.
The Seaweed in the drydown is almost unrecognisable (I spent an entire weekend sniffing seaweed last week, I know what it smells like) – it isn’t salty or briny, but it does suggest the seaside. It’s strangely powdery, smoky and sweet but somewhat like the breeze. If the Banana wasn’t still so potent, it would probably save the fragrance for me.
My dislike of Banana as a flavouring/smell/taste/texture doesn’t make me dislike Ladyboy. What makes me dislike Ladyboy is that it all smells too strange together. Though the sugariness gives it a similar feel to Black XS, it is very unconventional, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily a good thing.

Notes: Banana, Violet Leaf, Seaweed, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Chamomile

Dior Dune pour Homme Review

July 6, 2009

Saturday was the Green Sniff n Speak day over at Basenotes. I took the opportunity to revisit one of my favourite summer scents, Dior’s fantastic Dune pour Homme, first launched in 1997.

Dune pour HommeDune opens on sharp Bergamot, and wet green leaves. It’s like leaves that still have raindrops on them. The sharpness is left behind quickly, and it becomes smooth.
There is a distinct Fig note in the heart, creamy and milky (like when you cut a leaf open and the milky looking liquid comes out) and rich, as well as perfectly ripe – just taken off the tree. The Fig is surrounded by an aquatic, watery feeling note – the effect Hedione helps creates in fragrances.
The verdant “green-ness” is maintained throughout the fragrance, is somewhat tart and reminds me of Rhubarb leaves.
The aquatic note recedes for the drydown and Dune is left as a soft, fuzzy and comfy Cedarwood and Tonka combination, which although not innovative, is very pleasant and enjoyable

Top: Fig Leaves, Basil Leaves, Blackcurrant Leaves, Mandarin
Middle: Hedione, Rose, Moss, Sage
Base: Fig Tree, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

Paul Smith Story Review

June 22, 2009

Paul Smith Story is the fourth offering from Paul Smith, after Men (clean soapy Iris-Vetiver), Extreme (Transparent Woody-Musk), and London (Mint-Jam weirdness). Inter Parfums, who own the license to Paul Smith, said Story was “too intellectual”, which would explain why it doesn’t sell as well as the others did (London is discontinued), but it does have it’s fans. The bottle is the shape of a book, the font on the box apparently came from Smith’s old typewriter, and the box opens out like a book too.

Paul Smith StoryStory doesn’t smell of books or ink. Instead, it opens with a tart, green Bergamot and what the marketing machine called “Ivy Leaves”, though to me it smells more like Nettles, and a little bit of Citron in the background, which adds a little sting to the nettle.
Then a mentholated, almost camphor-like “fresh” Anise note appears. Clear, crisp and cool, with a very quiet and transparent Jasmine – which is present but very much see through – slightly buttery and dirty, develops quickly to the Vetiver. Smoky, salty, creamy and nutty all at once. There is Cedar, very light, with what I can only describe as “almost” the pencil shavings smell from Gucci pour Homme, a dash of Green Tea and Violet Leaf (but not the grating synthetic Violet leaf that I hate). It’s mostly a light clear Vetiver in the drydown – which is achieved surprisingly quickly. If you need a Vetiver that isn’t Guerlain’s, Story is a fantastic modernized alternative with impressive sillage and longevity (10 hours and it’s still on the back of my hand).

Top: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Green Ivy Accord
Middle: Rosy notes, Jasmine
Base: Vetiver, Cedarwood, Musk, Amber

Armani Attitude Extreme Review

June 14, 2009

Armani’s newest release, Attitude Extreme is a flanker to 2007’s Attitude. Attitude is possibly Armani’s least successful mainstream launch.
Attitude is almost entirely Coffee and Patchouli. The Patchouli is very woody, but not particularly earthy. It smells very similar to Mugler’s Ice*Men, but even more potent and without the frothy icy quality.

Attitude ExtremeExtreme is instantly sweeter, almost chocolatey, the Coffee note is not as potent as the original. The Patchouli note is also softer than in the original. There is also a somewhat smoky note up top, possibly a suggestion of the Benzoin, but it never comes to anything before the smokiness disappears.
The heart and drydown is almost entirely the Amber note, the same icing-sugar Amber that has featured recently in Only the Brave and Ultrared. It is powdery and soft. While the Amber note is prominent up close, Extreme doesn’t project very well. The Amber is backed up by a quiet Coffee/wood accord, which is much more noticeable on card than it is on skin. It is much closer to Armani Code than it is Attitude.

Top: Lemon, Anise, Cardamom
Middle: Cedar, Coffee, Benzoin
Base: Amber, Patchouli

Diesel Only The Brave Review

May 25, 2009

Only The Brave is Diesel’s newest offering, and is their second main Masculine release. The fragrance was developed by 3 perfumers at IFF – AliĆ©nor Massenet, Pierre Wargnye, and Olivier Polge. Polge is adept at making scents that smell better on skin than they do on card – Only The Brave needs to be tested on the skin.

onlythebraveThe opening is fresh: Lemon, sea breeze and Calone. Lasts for roughly 20 seconds and instantly forgettable. Which is good, because it isn’t remotely related to the rest of the fragrance. On a card, the top note remains for an age – and smells like any generic aquatic. On skin, it comes to life.
The heart is the most impressive part of the fragrance. The “freshness” recedes into a sweet and powdery Chocolate and Praline, with hints of Ambrette. It reminds me of Dior Homme Intense, from the Chocolate, and Paco Rabanne Ultrared, with it’s Icing Sugar and Orange notes, all underneath a light ozone-like note. Almost like a combination of Allure Homme Sport and Ultrared. A slightly smoky note hangs around, at the ‘edges’ of the fragrance, and eventually decides that it won’t come onto the stage, so that the momentary hairspray Violet note from Kenzo Power can appear.
The ‘drydown’, if you can call it that, is the combination of sweetness, Vanilla, Icing Sugar coated Amber notes with a hint of Patchouli, and feels somewhat similar to Guerlain’s L’Instant pour Homme.
Even though it’s a case of “smelled it all before”, it’s still quite a novel combination and is easily wearable for summer.

Top: Lemon, Mandarin
Middle: Cedar, Coriander, Violet
Base: Amber, Styrax, Labdanum