Smellyicious

Mercedes-Benz Club Black by Mercedes-Benz

Early testing on this one, but very nice. The vanilla reminds me of Spice Bomb Extreme. This has the incense whereas that has the spice. I bought this because of the hype and because I love vanilla. Not disappointed.

Edit: my sprayer is a squirter and it’s really annoying. I thought after a few sprays it would settle down, but no. 3 foot stream of liquid before the juice spreads out at all. Problem is my arms aren’t 3 feet long! Contact me with a recos on repairing.
Nov 20, 2021


Lapidus pour Homme by Ted Lapidus

Freaking MONSTER! I love it! The Charlize Theron kind.

This should be assigned reading. A mandatory part of every collection. Cheep as chips. Come get some!

Its a glorious love letter to masculine perfumery. Written by a sky writer. The honey, the rose,, the patch, the jasmine! A juicy, iconic burst leads things off and it improves from there to one of the best dry-downs I can think of. Heavenly.

Closest comparison for me is Issey Miyake Intense. Also Quorum, without the ash.

Projection, duration and Sillage are off the charts. They don’t make them like this anymore, but they should.

Thumbs all the way up.
Nov 19, 2021


Polo Red Extreme by Ralph Lauren

This is neat. I never would have considered this one but happened upon a great deal and blind bought it. Took me forever to actually pop the top and try it. I brought it on a trip this week and have been using it everyday. Thumbs up!

The coffee is pronounced, but it’s a dessert coffee, not “fresh brewed”. It’s even a little “carbonated” (to steal a description from JV’s “Crimson” collab with NJ), but otherwise there’s no other connection to that other (very enjoyable) product. There’s no saffron here, for example.

There’s some toffee here, maybe a slight tiramisu connection. It connotes dessert (so a “sweetness”), but it is not overtly sweet or cloying at all to my nose. This is a nice gourmand that I can overspray and enjoy. I get no woods here.

I expected this to be a confectionary novelty that i would use situationally. But this could easily be a signature scent as the whether cools. I’ll enjoy this throughout November on days I want something light and airy and not too serious. It’s fun and smells great!

Decent projection, sillage and duration. Nothing special, but what designer is nowadays?
Nov 14, 2021


Coach Platinum by Coach

Signature scent worthy. Pleasant, mature, sophisticated and well blended. Tested it a couple times and decided to buy it. I even got a compliment on first full wearing, and I don’t get many compliments.

Pineapple is present throughout. Not very Aventus like. Good longevity and projection.

This might become a favorite.
Nov 12, 2021


Sangre De Drago by Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements

Original and captivating. It’s a dark, aromatic swashbuckling fragrance. It’s in the same vein as Clubman Special Reserve, but Drago is sweeter and brighter, with an earthy feel, instead of boozy.

When PAA gets it right they really get it right. I own the aftershave, and it’s quite satisfying after a wet shave.

I use this exclusively in fall and winter. Very rarely otherwise unless I just need to smell the awesomeness.
Oct 12, 2021


3AM by Sean John

BigBZ says it best.

This is good. Refreshing up top with the fig leaf proving character and depth throughout. Well blended and smells rich.

Name is a total misnomer. This should be named after a Greek Island, or the Isle of Capri. Fresh, fizzy and invigorating, with a touch of class. Wear this mid summer sipping a cocktail by the harbor in Mykonos. Or Cannes.

Best atomizer I’ve ever ever seen. Top notch. The bottle presentation is beautiful.

The You Tubers are right about this one. It’s cheapie gold.
Sep 8, 2021


Cool Water by Davidoff

5 Stars. Period.
Sep 2, 2021


Signature for Him by English Laundry

I quite like Signature but gave it away. My significant other said it smells of a baby’s room. In the good way but still: Way. Too. Powdery.

She’s right too. This is really fresh and light and powdery and a bit citrusy sweet as well. A fine fragrance if you’re into this sort of thing. I wear many a scent the wife doesn’t like, but decided this one wasn’t really in my lane either.

Well blended and smells rich. Projection and duration just OK, which is my experience with English Laundry. If you’re on the fence and can find cheap at Marshall’s or something, blind buy away.
Aug 28, 2021


Notting Hill for Him by English Laundry

This one sneaks up on you. I didn’t know what to make of it at first. Fresh dry cleaning indeed! Far more pepper than fruit. Really dry and piquant. Challenging.

And then BAM! Wow, this is kind of a heavy hitter. This has real style and sophistication. This is well conceived, well blended and well, just damn good. This is a no nonsense boss of a scent. This is powerbroker stuff, but only the serious need apply.
Aug 28, 2021


cK One Summer 2021 by Calvin Klein

Absolute winner. Watery, inky, fruity, floral and luscious. As wet an aquatic as you’ll find. It’s vivid, like a Disney animated tropical sea or underwater kingdom. It smells just like the bottle looks. And the bottle looks bitchin’.

It’s to Armaf Milestone what Milestone is to Miliseme Imperial. It took me a number of wearings and tests to work up the courage to write that. But this stuff has character. I get more tropical fruit than citrus. The watermelon, sea spray and ink draw the Milestone comparisons, but this is also its own thing, with vibrant white florals and then the white woods in the base. I don’t catch the rhubarb at all, but I think it’s exactly what keeps this from become too cloying.

But there’s a catch. You gotta really spray this stuff on heavy. 3 good sprays in the same spot where you really want it to reveal itself. I do this in about 5 places, so I’m basically rocking 15 sprays. At this saturation it’s quite juicy and sweet, so you’ll need to like that.

The CK One atomizers are garbage, pure and simple. They are the most anemic I’ve seen. If you spritz yourself a few times with them it won’t do anything but disappoint. It will smell faint and uninspiring. They barely emit anything!

But jeez o peet, blast it in the same exact place a few times and smell the magic happen. The juice will then appear like a dense mist of eau de parfum on your skin. Frankly, I feel the exact same way about CK Shock*. Unless I douse myself in it, I can barely smell anything, and therefore can’t appreciate it. This juice requires saturation.

I’m sure some folks will say that this is headache inducing synthetic garbage. And maybe I just don’t know any better. But IMO this punches way above its weight (which for me was $20 at Burlington).

*Curiously, CK One Summer 2019 doesn’t require overspraying at all. It must be a stronger concentration, because the atomizer is similar. The 2019 flanker is also quite nice, with a mango/papaya top end that’s also juicy and refreshing.
Aug 28, 2021


Eternity Summer for Men 2019 by Calvin Klein

Fresh and tangy and sweet, all at once. Unusual IMO. A different kind of herbal/citrus combo which the ocean notes elevate nicely upfront and the Amber/musk softens on the way down. Surprisingly good.
Aug 20, 2021


Acqua di Giò Profumo by Giorgio Armani

As good as it gets man. Vintage AdG at first blast but then the incense kicks in, bringing a depth of sophistication that is down right intoxicating.

This is an elegant offering. Perfectly blended, gorgeous throughout with plenty of projection and staying power.
Aug 20, 2021


Light Blue pour Homme Sun by Dolce & Gabbana

Wow. Pure wow. It’s like a warm ball of sun dipped in honey - and sprinkled with coconut - hovering over a deep blue sea. Imagine one of those awesome beach days. It’s about 3pm, still hot but the light is changing. You’re picturing the adult beverage that’s got your name on it in about an hour. But maybe a quick ocean swim first.

The upfront splash of grapefruit and bergamot is delicious. It gets warm and luscious from there. It stay pretty linear all things considered, but it’s absolutely gorgeous throughout.

It’s like a warmer, richer and sunnier version of Versace Man Eau Fraiche…with coconut! And I loves me some Versace.

This just gets better and better every time I wear it. 4 stars for me. This is a keeper.

Aug 16, 2021


JV x NJ Silver by John Varvatos

I honestly can’t decide how I feel about this one.

It’s an afterthought that I return to regularly. It’s got “guilty pleasure” written all over it. I don’t have very much experience with Sauvage but that’s the main derivative I suppose. Usher He in my collection has a similar vibe, but He has an undeniable (and pleasing) citrus on top (lemon verbena? I’m such a newb, I’m still uncertain as to what a lot of these components are). I’ve considered using both Silver and He as layers with other scents, as each seem incomplete on their own yet have something nice to offer.

JV/NJ Silver smells “super modern” to me. I cannot adequately describe one note that’s in it, save for that “Sauvage accord”. Silver is the exact opposite of an OG like Aramis or Quorum or Polo or Halston. There’s nothing green or blue or sharp or funky or natural about it. Silver smells like it was created in a lab with spacedust and starshine. By an inspired, well funded, but inexperienced nose. Maybe alien AI?

So many things in my collection smell better than this, but this creates an itch that I need to scratch more than I care to admit. Maybe I’ll find something better to scratch with someday, but this does the trick fine today.

Solid neutral. I don’t regret spending the $20 for it one bit. I may even buy another bottle when this runs out. Just don’t know yet.
Aug 15, 2021


First Instinct Together Man by Abercrombie & Fitch

Smells good. Easy reach for the gym or just hanging out. For the price it’s pretty ok. Heard someone say it has some YSL Y going on as well.

Better than the Hollister products, which also smell good, but not as well blended.
Jul 30, 2021


Versace Man Eau Fraîche by Versace

What a lovely, refreshing and refined fragrance. A summer sensation. Simply smashing.

The glorious burst of citrus out of the bottle hangs on for a decent amount of time, drying down to a heavenly lemon custard.

Some say Azzaro Chrome Sport is an acceptable substitute. It’s not really. The Azzaro is perfectly fine in and of itself, and I own it. It’s refreshing and it’s bright citrus opening isn’t too far off from Versace’s, but it still falls short. Versace’s fruit is fresher, juicier and less metallic. And the dry downs between the two aren’t comparable. Chrome Sport is pretty linear and nothing special. Versace evolves beautifully.

Man Eau Fraiche is signature scent worthy in summer. Would work in spring and fall too, but it’s a summer masterpiece.
Jul 7, 2021


Hugo Iced by Hugo Boss

Icy cool out of the bottle. If it’s watery at all, it’s ice watery. It’s more airy to me. Birds over the ocean.

Mint into tea, for an exhilarating sense of calm. The vetiver is chill as well, lending an air of sophistication to this fairly linear scent. This has some swerve to it. Iced is not another generic “blue” take.

Great summer scent. Ideal on warm summer days. The hotter the better IMO.

What’s not to like? Well, longevity and projection aren’t the greatest. But that’s pretty par for the course these days, especially for warm weather freshies.

Works for me, on a number of levels.
Jul 6, 2021


Vince Camuto Homme by Vince Camuto

Much better than I expected. Refreshing, fizzy citrus opening. With an herbal twist. Wife doesn’t like the “veggie vibe”, so it’ll be a straight gym frag for me, which is what I intended anyway.

The opening reminds me of one of my favorite cheapies: Lomani White Gold. Which is a multi- citrus blast with a little creamyness. VCH adds some gin and tonic accord - more tonic than gin - and then the Italian herbs.

The dry down is a surprisingly nice musk. Really nice IMO, reminding me of another fave of mine, Michael Kors Blue Extreme.

Projection must be decent - at the 90 minute mark anyway - because my wife smells me from 6 feet away. Although I did over spray it, hearing it’s a weaker juice. More than a skin scent after a good workout at any rate.

One last thing is I like the packaging and the bottle! In the store on the shelf it looks kinda tacky. Same in pictures. But the blue leather - with stitching - around the bottle is well done. It’s not classy per se, but it’s not tacky in the least. It doesn’t look like a dollar store fragrance trying and failing to look better than it is.

So at 50ml for $19.99, it’s a thumbs up from me. But, if you see that Lomani for $12.99? Buy it too!
Jul 4, 2021


Cordovan by Banana Republic

Perhaps the most lightly regarded scent in my wardrobe. In fact, I often dismiss it with a smidge of disdain and occasionally have the urge to give it away.

Which makes no sense at all, because Cordovan is a very nice and agreeable fragrance. Maybe too much so? My first thought - when I do happen to think of Cordovan - is that it’s beige and bland and boring. But that’s really unfair. It’s well blended with a nice mellow fig and smooth suede that holds things together nicely. The nutmeg adds some personality (I’m thinking “what little personality it has”, but darn it that’s unfair!). It really is a well crafted, mellow and discrete juice. For a leather style perfume, Cordovan is like the polar opposite of CH’s Bad Boy.

Its 100% fall weather for me, and maybe cooler spring days. I don’t think it could stand up to the cold and I wouldn’t even consider it in heat. Very light projection and not too much duration either. But for $20, not a problem.

It’s perfect for bedtime, which is when I’ve worn it most. It’s warm, quiet and calming. Totally inoffensive and shouldn’t bother your bedmate in the least. Lovely, really. In that way.

This actually would be a perfect office scent for the dignified gent (over 35) that wants to smell classy, smart, and even a little sneaky sexy, without drawing any attention to themselves. You know the dude. Mature, good looking, well dressed - swank college prof type - looks intellectual but also like he does triathlons, clean cut, silver fox (premature), wears glasses with clear, hip frames that look great on him.

Cordovan is also perfect for a romantic, late afternoon October walk in Central Park to enjoy the foliage.

Hmm. I guess I like it?
Jun 24, 2021


Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Bleu de Chanel EdT: everything it’s cracked up to be and more. And less?

This just smells so damn good and agreeable, and is so popular, that it’s become the “Kleenex” or “Band-Aid” to sophisticated blue fragrances. Does it get any better than this? Sure, probably, but I may live my life without finding out.

Is this the best smelling thing in my wardrobe? Nope. Lots of contenders for that. But is anything as versatile? Or as easy to reach for? Or as generally satisfying? Maybe not.

A delightful elixir. One for the ages. A smooth criminal.

Don’t overspray! Damn near choked myself out, and too much of this at one time will drown the “sunshine in your eyes bright” citrus opening, which is magic. A couple chest sprays (make sure to get some on your shirt) brings this out perfectly. Plus a spray on the back of the neck for luck (and a gorgeous scent trail). Maybe a spray or two on the inside of each elbow would enhance. I will experiment.

Have fun with this one. I don’t think you have much of a choice really. You’d have to work hard to screw this up.
Jun 24, 2021


Classic Green by Banana Republic

Petitgrain forward and present throughout. A little too much in my opinion, but makes it distinctive. It really is singular in its way. At least I haven’t smelled anything else like it. There ain’t no citrus in this, and the ginger is faint, if there at all.

Crushed green leaves, some tea. A clean, soapy, herbal freshie. Somewhat linear. Quite good, but I found it a tad redundant with Vintage Green also in the wardrobe. And Vintage Green is superior in every way, unless you don’t dig fig. And love petitgrain. :-)

Good projection and lasts longer than most BRs (including Vintage Green).

Thumbs up if you like green/herbal/fresh, especially for the price. But I’d try it first if you can.
Jun 24, 2021


White Gold by Lomani

White Gold by Lomani is a well kept secret I guess. It’s birth year and perfumer remain a mystery. It wasn’t listed on Basenotes until now. Hard to believe that a fragrance this bright and this refreshing could go unrecognized here. But it’s a French drugstore cheapie so maybe that’s why? I found 100ml unboxed at Marshall’s for $13, and I’m glad I did! The bottle caught my eye immediately and is really cool. Looks kinda expensive IMO.

White Gold hits you with pure, sparkling citrus out of the bottle, whipped with a smattering of light cream, tamping down any anticipated tartness. It’s weird, actually. Not tart nor sweet. It’s like a creamsicle bursting with lemon, lime, bergamot and pineapple, not just orange. The cream more of a silver lining as opposed to “half the action”.

It’s pretty linear through the heart, when the white musk, telegraphed from the get go, shows up in the base. Vetiver serves to dry out what has been a lush citrus experience. It’s smooth throughout, not a harsh note to my nose. Longevity surprising decent, projection probably less so, but I was wearing it alone and sprayed with abandoned. (Edit: further testing indicates that this has decent staying power, at least on skin).

I suspect this smells synthetic as hell. I’m new to this, so still wrapping my head around that concept. If so, that’s probably why no one seems to care about White Gold. But I think it’s quite nice and perfect for a summers day. Kinda cooling in very hot weather too.

Thumbs up!

Edit: I recently determined that there’s a relationship here to Versace Pour Homme: compress all the top notes and base notes of Versace Pour Homme together to leave a mashed up linear scent. Change out the bright lemony citrus to a musty orange, and there you go, Lomani White Gold. Worth a look IMO.
Jun 13, 2021


Reaction by Kenneth Cole

Eternal Beach nailed it.

Not much to this one. Smells great. Light and fresh and fuzzy. For about a minute.

This is a quick freshener, gym spray, or “out the shower” juice. Can’t see this holding up in any extreme weather. Which is ok, I guess. It certainly shouldn’t offend.

Kinda a shame tho’, because it really is effervescent and smells just like a watermelon cooler.
Jun 13, 2021


Voyage by Nautica

Absolutely worthy of its popularity. I waited until I’d plowed through 30 new fragrances to begin my fragrance journey before buying this. This should have been purchase #1. Doubly so with regards to blue frags. I bought around 4, searching for exactly what Voyage delivers, which is effervescence, energy, freshness, forward but non-cloying fruit, and a well structure musk/amber/woody dry down that just smells fantastic.

Perfect for early morning workouts, the gym, hot summer days, walks on the beach. Sailing! Lol. It definitely leans casual. I agree 100% with @Varanis Radari that this isn’t an all season/all occasion affair. But it doesn’t have to be. For me, it really is perfect for what it does.

If “fresh”, “blue” or “aquatic” is the goal, Voyage is the first answer. Break out from here. I wish I had! Take the trip!

Bon Voyage!
Jun 3, 2021

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