Everest by Avon

Starts out as a kind of cross between Cool Water (without much if any dihydromyrcenol) and Brut but quickly transitions into a Kouros type of scent (though this came first, of course). Quite strong for an aftershave and ingredient quality is great for a "super cheapo."
Apr 23, 2021

Black Soul by Ted Lapidus

This is a really nice blend that can stand up to or even surpass most recent designers. Why? It smells more natural than so many of those and it's more interesting. Why are there are more negative reviews than make sense (to me)? Perhaps it's due to the expectations of most of those who buy it. That is, they either want a party scent or something in the industrial direction, such as Gucci Homme Absolute (with aroma chemicals being used in large amounts). Instead, this is a "nice" scent with a touch of this and that (mint, something that comes across as having a hint of burnt rubber, etc.), the kind of scent that doesn't get irrritating after a short while and yet remains interesting and pleasant. Also, a new 100 ml tester with cap cost me less than $12 total. How can today's designers compete against this? Most of those I'd guess (from experience) are actually more "chemical" than cheapos like this one! But most importantly to me, can the scent be enjoyed for hours? Yes, this one can.

As to aesthetic issues, the bottle is nice, but I'd go with a deep, dark red and not black, and I'd name it something like Soul of an Artist, as Black Soul conjures up the notion that that might be along the lines of Black Tourmaline or a scent of that type.
Mar 15, 2021

Vizzari by Roberto Vizzari

This is the softest vanillic/lavender "masculine" scent I have ever encountered, but it's still got some bite to it, which prevents it from being indistinct. Some might call it powdery, but I think the citrus and perhaps another note prevents it from being too obviously powdery. It smells a bit nasty for a minute or two but then mostly settles down into the base, and it is reasonably strong. Great balance, natural smelling, fairly dynamic/complex, decent strength - what more can you ask of a 2 ounce for 10 dollar scent? Yes, if you have Caron Pour un Homme and wouldn't want something smoother, then this may not work for you, nor is it for partying, but otherwise this should be an excellent addition for those who don't already own such a scent and want some variety. Should this be considered Dior Homme's "grandfather?" You can decide for the price of a fast food meal.
Mar 12, 2021

Jaguar (new) by Jaguar

Unlike one of the other reviewers, I get an unpleasant note clash for a few minutes and then there's a dry, slightly sour, orange-ish scent with a touch of Eternity for Men hanging out in the background for a little while. Eternity doesn't want to wait an eternity for something to happen, and soon departs. Star anise then comes forward, but is never dominant, and in fact take at least an hour to become obvious. The orange then recedes and it's at its best, with good balance, though I never got much musk and it's just a bit sweet (nothing especially "synthetic," though the first few minutes is odd). No, it doesn't have the richness, dynamism, nor complexity of the vintage greats, but this is a super-cheapo "car fragrance" (apparently mine was from a 2017 or later batch), and so I have to give it a positive review. Perhaps some older batches were bad? The color of the liquid makes no sense, as I don't get calone or dihydromyrcenol. I'd say a light clay color would make more sense.
Feb 19, 2021

M de Bourbon by Marina de Bourbon

First, I agree with the_good-life's opinion, as is so often the case. However, I'm giving this one a positive rating because if this is what you are seeking you should be pleased. This isn't sweet nor vanillic, and the fruit type element doesn't last very long with any potency. The main players in the drdyown seem to be oregano or thyme and woods (pine and sandalwood perhaps), along with some dihydromyrcenol that is obvious from the beginning. It's like a less complex but more abstract Green Jeans, and features a clean smoke-ish quality (not "fresh""). It's also somewhat reminiscent of Oscar for Men (not Pour Lui). So, if you want a severe and dry pine/herbal scent and don't mind a bit of dihydromyrcenol, then I think you'll like this, as it seems strong enough not to disappoint. It doesn't change after the first few minutes and is at least reasonably strong, especially for a couple hours. Note the scent is in a transparent bottle with light green liquid; the other masculine by this house is in a dark-tinted bottle and is a different scent entirely.
Feb 17, 2021

Iris Bleu Gris by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Yes, it's a bit like Grey Flannel initially, but that doesn't last long. There's an interesting contrast between a dry, dusty quality and sharp, citrusy one. It's almost industrial smelling, so I can understand that some would not find it especially pleasant (it's got no more than a hint of sweetness). And it's not especially dynamic nor complex, though it does smell natural. All that said, my main issue is that it's not strong enough. At a considerably lower price it would be a buy for me (I obtained my bottle in a swap).
Jan 23, 2021

English Leather Black by Dana

I think I got an early bottle so perhaps there was a reformulation, because this is not weak. It's sort of like a super cheap take on niche in the early days of niche, in that it has an abstract, "black"/industrial quality that isn't unpleasant (like so many of the iso e super and ambroxan nightmare scents). I do agree that it's not leathery in any notion most people possess, at least until it mellows out. Fragrantica has the note list as, "Top notes are Bergamot and Green Notes; middle notes are Leather and Rosemary; base notes are Musk, Woody Notes and Sandalwood." But again, it's sort of like the notes were intentionally blended to be interesting rather than legible, and I wouldn't be surprised if they used a bit of that tar note from original A*Men. There's also no obvious lavender here, for those who want a really cheap and interesting "masculine" without that note.
Jan 21, 2021

Black Agent by Pascal Morabito

Excellent "super cheapo" (mine cost about $15 total for NIB 100 ml). I think the official notes are: "Top notes are bergamot and pink pepper; middle notes are rose, tuberose and cloves; base notes are incense, tonka bean, vetiver and musk." An an EdP, though, it's weak in every way, other than for the first hour or so. Some claim it is a Bvlgari Man in Black "dupe," which seems about right, based upon reviews of that one (which I have yet to try) and my perception of the Oriental Edition flanker. In fact, layering OE with BA might be quite nice!
Apr 18, 2020

18.21 Sweet Tobacco by 18.21 Man Made

This has become one of my favorite fragrances, and in fact when I'm in the mood for a tobacco scent, I reach for this one first (ahead of "vintage" Tobacco Vanille and a bunch of others). If you like theses types of scents, you still might prefer another one over this one for some "small" reason. For example, with vintage Michael for Men by Kors, there's a white musk type of aroma chemical that really bothers me, and if it were not for that, it might be way up there with this one. So, I think it's just one you have to sample if you enjoy gourmandish tobacco scents to see how it fares against others you've tried. If you don't like it at first, give it an hour to develop.
Aug 24, 2019

Gentleman Eau de Parfum by Givenchy

This is perhaps the easiest fragrance to understand! If you enjoy Dior Homme Intense type scents but want one that is more casual, but not juvenile, this is one to consider. Longevity and projection are very good if not excellent and it smells about as natural as one can expect from non-exclusive designers these days. For me, DHI was too formal, so this one is just right, in terms of my preferences.
Jun 18, 2019

Öland by Avon

On at least one other site the notes are listed as: "The fragrance features bay leaf, spices, woody notes, tobacco and leather."

On one level it's like Kouros Lite, but it's more leather-oriented and becomes more powdery after a while. I don't get much spice here, though, unlike Kouros, and there also seems to be a hint of tobacco. I don't get much top notes but the drydown is great, if this is the kind of scent you enjoy (and it's entirely natural smelling). This is my favorite Avon fragrance, and they have made quite a few that are at least good, such as Mesmerize for Men and Clint.
Mar 29, 2019

Spirited by Perry Ellis

I didn't get a Red Delicious Men quality from this one, unlike the other two reviewers. Instead, it's got a vegetal quality one finds in Egoiste Platinum, but that doesn't last long. There's some fruitiness, woodiness, and musk. I didn't get much in the way of spice, nor is there ever much tonka (and it's not sweet). However, after an hour or so the wood totally dominates, and it's quite dry. Overall, I don't think you can expect it to be more natural-smelling at these prices. And I think it would be great for layering purposes. So, I can certainly see why an aficionado might think this one is boring, but it has its uses for some of us, and if you want a cheap but decent dry wood scent (that lasts and isn't overloaded with obvious aroma chemicals) you might be surprised at how well this one fits the bill!
Nov 30, 2018

In New York by Van Cleef & Arpels

I'm not a fan of these kinds of fragrances, so keep that in mind. I had a bottle of Bleu de Chanel EdP and swapped it off, because I hardly ever wore it. I've got others of this type too, which I acquired in lot purchases, as I did my In New York bottle. Also, I was hoping for something a bit ambery or vanillic, but never got more than the slightest hint of such a note. Still, it has a zingy citrus quality backed by some obvious, but complimentary aroma chemicals, so that I don't mind keeping it for the rare occasions when I'd like to wear it (I'd also compare it to Club de Nuit Intense for Men, at least the general idea). I can't really give it a negative or neutral because I think it does what is expected of such a scent (and it's got good projection and longevity). A good "all rounder" for the "modern man" and it didn't cost me much for a large bottle.
Nov 14, 2018

As Sawira by Penhaligon's

I have the EdP and got a great deal on a bottle. I'm glad to have it, but I do have a lot of similar fragrances that didn't cost much. What's nice about this one is how it's never harsh or one-dimensional (though I do try to avoid most of the top notes), and the balance is excellent. The drydown seems to be dominated by an ambery/oud quality. The oud isn't the cheapest type I've experienced, but it's not up there with what was supposedly better quality or real (that I've tried). The projection isn't massive, but the longevity is very good. I look forward to wearing it again (I usually discover new facets on the second or third wearing). If you can't get a good deal on a bottle or if you already have several others and it sounds like this would be similar (or dislike these kinds of scents, of course), I think a blind buy is a bad idea.
Sep 12, 2018

Explorer by Boadicea the Victorious

I'll give this a qualified positive review, the caveats being the price and one's preferences. For example, if a combination of vintage 1-12 (Halston), Yatagan, and Jovan's Intense Oud sounds great to you, this might be "Holy Grail" material. Of course if you only enjoy fresh, sport, and aquatic type fragrances, this one might make you nauseous. What is weird is that I have yet to read a review that mentions lavender, and it's not listed as a note, but it plays a fairly major role here. It's not "Irish Spring" soapy, nor herbal, but rather powdery (I guess in conjunction with the orris). Because of this, it has a retro quality, though it has a kind of industrial quality that one doesn't find in vintage until we get to Fahrenheit (not that it's the same type of industrial). The lavender seems to clash a bit with the other notes, so I wish they had used a different note, or just taken it down substantially. It's not sweet or syrupy, but I don't get much in the way of wood or citrus either. In terms of composition, it reminds me a bit of Horizon Extreme (Davidoff), though that one is missing the lavender and isn't as strong. I intend to try Explorer again, with only half a spritz just above the navel, to see if I get a different impression, and I'll update this review at that point.
Aug 17, 2018

Sandalwood by Yardley

I think of this as a cross between vintage Brut and Egoiste. Also, I think Colours for Men by Alexander Julian wasn't too far from this one. As another reviewer said, it has the dry/sandalwood element but also a creamy one that is a bit "dirty" and there's some minty type lavender in here too. I don't get strong citrus so that may be just in the top notes. Overall, it's nicely done but definitely "mature." It lasts well, with a bit of a musky quality providing at least decent projection. I doubt this will be made again, other than in a drastic reformulation, so if you see it at a good price I wouldn't hesitate, if you enjoy these kinds of fragrances.
Jul 31, 2018

Dark Rebel by John Varvatos

Wow! Just like Dark Rebel Rider, some of the reviews for this are far removed from my perceptions. First, I don't get much "darkness" here, nor anything medicinal or industrial. And while I get the tobacco note, it's not of the cherry pipe tobacco variety. It's dry and "brown." Mostly I get the sugar note and tobacco, along with some aroma chemicals, possibly a bit of iso e super and one or more "woody/ambers." And it's not weak at all, leading me to think that those who think it is are anosmic to the long-lasting aroma chemicals used. The closest scent I can think of to DR is Joop! Homme Wild, in terms of the far drydown. It is niche-like, and I got a great deal in a swap for the large size bottle, so I'm quite content, though I thought it would be more complex (I don't get the castoreum, for example). I think DRR is superior, though, because it's more unique, more natural smelling, and more complex. The two are quite different from each other, so I think DRR should have been called something unique, Dirty Rider or whatever.
Jul 22, 2018

Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

I find the negative reviews to be amusing, sort of a version of the old story of the three blind men touching the elephant in different areas and coming to wildly different conclusions about what it is. Here, we have a scent with quite a bit of marjoram, as is listed in the notes, and I suspect that is what is confusing people. If you haven't smelled marjoram, I suggest you do before buying this fragrance. It's quite strong at first and then it balanced out with a "dirty" gourmand type base, very interesting and I can't think of anything remotely like this. I disagree that there is a lot of patchouli here, nor do I think it is anything like Dirty English (at least the vintage bottle I had). And I have no idea why someone would call it headache inducing, because it's not that strong - just use one spray to begin with! Also, how about looking at the bottle and the name, and asking yourself if this is the kind of scent you want. Don't assume it's some lame/generic/bland woody/oriental that you've smell a million times before. And why is someone saying they want a campfire type note? We've got that already in several other releases, but we don't have a dirty oriental with a clear marjoram note. This is a niche type scent which is selling for very little now - do you really want to look this gift horse in the mouth? And it's got decent longevity too!
Jun 30, 2018

Black is Black Modern Oud by Nuparfums

This begins with an obvious and old type synthetic element but that then dissipates over time. It's a little sweet and definitely powdery, but that does seem natural (unlike, say, a "laundry musk" type of quality). The spice and lavender are light, and there's not much of anything else here, except for something that does make it work (almost oakmoss-ish). I paid around $6.50 for a new 100 ml bottle so I can't complain, as the drydown could pass for a niche scent, albeit not of the most interesting or unique sort. Strength is at least reasonable. Overall, if you don't need "nice" top notes and the drydown sounds good to you, there's not much risk involved. You might have something with a similar drydown, but for me that's not necessarily bad, because it allows one to swap or sell off something that costs a lot more, thereby maximizing value of your rotation, in terms of what you are seeking.
Jan 24, 2018

Viking by Creed

This is a "busy" fragrance, reminding me of vintage Zino in that way. Mint and what I call a "chemical wood" element are most obvious at first. There's a bit of sharpness, which I assume is the pepper, along with vague florals, citrus, and amber. There isn't much sweetness nor muskiness now. The wood continues in strength but the mint more or less disappears within several minutes. Saltiness makes itself felt, and after that (not sure how long), there's the resemblance to Pasha, though with the saltiness added (good call by the person who first suggested this!), but the "chemical wood" remains strong. I had no idea I was sampling Viking when I first did, because someone had sent me the sample and I thought it was a unisex scent, which was likely enhanced by the fact that I had sampled vintage Born Wild Men by Ed Hardy a few days earlier (and that one has a monstrous wood note of a similar charter, though it's missing the several minutes of mint and the saltiness). The claims about this being a fougere are likely from the Pasha type quality, but as someone who tends to dislike fougeres, I don't consider Viking to be one. The next day I smelled the clothing that had come into contact with where I sprayed Viking and it reminded me of VC&A's In New York (citrus, pepper, spice, "chemical wood"), and I found it to be most pleasant in this way. Aside from telling people you are wearing Creed's Viking, I don't understand why someone would pay more than say $70 per 100 ml for this, though I wouldn't pay that much, mostly because these kinds of scents don't appeal to me and I wear them very rarely (and already have a few bottles, such as 125 ml of In New York, 100 ml of Born Wild, etc.). I don't think many people are wearing In New York these days, so if you want to be "unique" that one much function just as well as Viking. I'm not giving it a neutral because it's so expensive but rather because it moves around so much and yet doesn't do anything novel, along with how strong and "chemical" smelling that wood note is.
Dec 5, 2017

Black is Black by Nuparfums

This review is for Red is Black, same company and bottle design. There's a cherry-ish quality and it's not too sweet, nor ambery, nor vanillic. It's linear and thoroughly blended, so you might not be able to detect more than a few notes. The wood is just slight background texture, at best. However, this smells natural and is pleasant, so while it likely won't interest the niche crowd, it can be used for layering purposes, which is how I intend to use it for a while (with scents that are too weak especially). Overall, considering the really low prices, I'm very glad to have 100 ml of it!
Nov 5, 2017

Black is Black Sport for Men by Nuparfums

I've seen it selling for around $7 for 100 ml so keep that in mind. The drydown is mostly mint and a vetiver/woody quality, very dry, "chemical dry" I'd say. It's almost like a really weak niche scent, but spraying more definitely helps a lot, so if this is what you want, it's a bargain. If you are very sensitive to iso e super or dry woody aroma chemicals, this might not be for you, though.
Nov 4, 2017

Aventus by Creed

The French apples really makes this scent. If the apples were from anywhere else, there's no way anyone would like this one, I'm convinced. Have you ever eaten a French apple? If not, you are missing one of the greatest experiences of your life! Seriously, it's okay. I've got some clones of it and a decant, not sure which batch, but don't care. Do I rate it higher than something like the humble (and vintage formulation) of Uomo? Moschino? No, that's a lot more interesting/dynamic and they are both similar in terms of the occasions, weather, etc. in which I'd wear these types of scents. It's the ultimate "hype train" scent, but that doesn't bother me, and I understand that few people want to do a lot of sampling/comparing. I'd give it a neutral if retail price is taken into account, at best, but I'll rate it a weak positive for the scent itself.
Jul 22, 2017

Les Copains L'Homme by Les Copains

This is a review for Les Copains Homme, which was released in 1990. The Estonia fragrance site has the notes for that one as:

Basil, thyme, artemisia, bergamot.

Laurel, carnation, coriander, peru balsam, geranium, jasmine, rose.

Amber, castoreum, leather, moss, patchouli, incense.

It's very similar to my "semi-vintage" Yatagan, and my guess is that vintage Yatagan was like this, as it comes across as deeper and richer than the Yatagan bottle I have now. It's not exactly the same but it's so close I wonder how many would care; some may prefer this one to any formulation of Yatagan! This is really strong stuff, so don't let the floral notes fool you, as these are rather mild compared to the other notes.
Apr 22, 2017

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