African Leather by Memo

Like others I also heard the online hype about African Leather by Memo, and my interest was piqued enough to give this fragrance a try. So I purchased a sample of African Leather and having worn it a few times my impression is that it is an okay fragrance with very strong projection. It seems to be blended with good quality ingredients, but ultimately I'm not impressed enough with it to pay the asking price for a full bottle. African Leather opens with massive and overpowering blast of cumin, the leather, musk and cardamom are also there but in the opening the cumin dominates. Fortunately as the fragrance settles the cumin dies down which is good because I don't want to walk around smelling like last nights chicken khorma. The best thing for me in this fragrance is the quality of the leather note, it is a nice masculine, aged leather, something you would smell in a good quality saddlery. The bergamot, oud and cardamom are also there in the dry-down providing a nice backdrop to the leather. I get an old school fougere vibe from African Leather, I'm getting accords from it that bring both YSL Opium pour Homme and Davidoff Zino to mind. Be aware that African Leather by Memo is a super projector, especially in the first hour, definitely not something to over-spray. Longevity is about 6 hours on my skin and then it becomes quite intimate. It's not a bad scent overall, but too heavy on the cumin for me, a little bit cloying and I feel that it adds nothing to my collection that some of the classic fougeres do with more subtlety and class. I rate African Leather by Memo 3.5/5.

Eternity for Men Aqua by Calvin Klein

Yet another of the many flankers to the classic 1990s aromatic Eternity by Calvin Klein. Eternity Aqua is a great fragrance in it's own right and the scent is more contemporary than the original Eternity. Eternity Aqua is a fresh blue scent with reasonable longevity and performance and a very wearable, pleasant scent that is suitable for most occasions in the warmer months. The opening really catches me with some nice sweet fruity and fresh notes, smells almost unisex and brings to mind a sunny spring day. As the fragrance settles on my skin I detect a little of the pepper and then later in the dry-down it settles to a nice fresh scent with prominent floral and woody notes. For a cheaper fragrance Eternity Aqua is excellent, not an outstanding composition, but a very nice fragrance that has a decent trajectory. I've really enjoyed wearing Eternity Aqua and although the original Eternity for Men is also great and has more nostalgic value for me, I think I now favour Eternity Aqua more. Eternity Aqua lasts a good 6 or 7 hours on my skin and projection is arm length, becoming a more intimate skin scent by the end of the day. A nice summer freshie and excellent value.

Présence by Montblanc

Mont Blanc Presence is a pleasant and enjoyable warm, sweet oriental scent that has reasonable performance. It opens with strong tonka and musk notes and behind those are some spicy notes, cinnamon, cardamom and a little ginger begins to peak through as the fragrance begins to settle. During the dry-down the spices become more prominent and the tonka and musk move to the background. In the later dry-down the fragrance becomes more floral and the nice spices are still there. I do get some barbershop vibes from Presence but I would say that it is more of a sweet oriental masculine fragrance. I like the scent trajectory and the spices are blended well with the early sweet and later floral notes. Mont Blanc Presence is very wearable, it is not overpowering or overtly sensual and so is suitable for most occasions. It has a nice clean vibe to it and I think it can be worn both at work or in casual settings. Mont Blanc Presence has moderate projection and lasts most of the day on my skin, it becomes a skin scent after about four or five hours. I like everything I've tried so far from the Mont Blanc stable and Presence is no exception, I'm happy to keep this in my collection.

Blue Seduction for Men by Antonio Banderas

Melon, mint, fruity fresh Blue Seduction is a nice summer scent. I'm not getting any cappuccino in this but there are hints of nutmeg and cardamon that give some nice spice undertones. I found the opening very fruity and as the scent dried on my skin the melon died down and gave way to the fresh ocean and woody notes. Blue Seduction by Antonio Banderas is a fresh aquatic cheapie and since I already own another cheapie in this genre (Nautica Voyage) I'm not sure that Blue Seduction adds anything remarkably unique to my collection. However I do like it and am happy to have tried it. I will continue to wear it during the summer. Blue Seduction lasts most of the day on my skin and has arm length projection, becoming increasingly intimate towards the end of the day.

Uomo by Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli Uomo was an impulsive blind buy for me because I saw it at a cheap price, read a bit about it and the notes sounded interesting so I picked it up. I'm very happy I did. Robert Cavalli Uomo is a nice smelling masculine fragrance that carries some sexiness, warmth and class. A beautiful sweet saffron, honey and floral opening which immediately gives the vibes of a good date night fragrance. Although it has a sweet opening it is not excessively sweet and retains some maturity. As the scent dries down the lavender and woody notes are there with the faint honey in the background. I find that Roberto Cavalli Uomo projects very well for the first couple of hours of wear and then becomes a bit more settled and intimate. It lasts most of the day on me. I like this fragrance because it is one of those gems that can be obtained quite cheap but smells and performs more like a designer scent. A solid 4/5 for this fragrance.

Legend by Montblanc

Montblanc Legend is a reliable, comfortably familiar scent that is easy to wear and suitable for almost any social setting. The opening is nice, if not a bit synthetic, with sandalwood, citrus and moss notes giving a nice fresh accord. As the fragrance settles it leaves pleasant tonka and lavender notes and, behind it all are some fruity notes. Legend is not a standout, spectacular fragrance, but it is a decent everyday scent that works well in the office, at school or as something to spray on to run some errands. For occasions where you want to smell reasonable but not necessarily attract attention. On my skin Legend lasts all day with mild to moderate projection. At this price point there are certainly more interesting options available, however Montblanc Legend still holds it's own for what it is. If you want something that smells acceptable and lasts all day then this is it.

Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

Opium Pour Homme opens with blackcurrant and anise notes and there is some sweetness from the vanilla but the cedar keeps it anchored and more masculine. The fragrance dries down to a powdery floral and vanilla scent with the fruitiness of the blackcurrant still in the background. This fragrance is a strong performer, it projects very well leaving a good sillage trail so this is not one to overspray. It lasts all day on my skin. Opium Pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent smells sexy and slightly old school. This is a strong, bold fragrance that would be suitable for more dressed up occasions. I think it would work for formal occasions as well as a date night. The opening is the best part for me, that blackcurrant and anise blend well and create a nice sexy, sort of oriental accord. It's a very nice fragrance by YSL and I hope that they keep it around. 4.5/5.

Uomo Vetyver by Malizia

Malizia Uomo Vetyver Is a very likeable masculine green scent. It is a woody, herbal vetiver that has some slight floral qualities to it. It has a very classic masculine feel about it. The fragrance lasts a good 5 or 6 hours on my skin with arm length projection. A very decent scent with good performance and at this price point it is great value for money. I think it is a very versatile scent and could be a reasonable signature scent. I feel this scent can be worn casually or when one is more dressed up. A solid 4/5 for me, Malizia Uomo Vetyver fits well in my collection.

Dunhill Edition by Dunhill

Dunhill Edition is a beautiful woody aromatic fragrance. It opens with pine, oak-moss, cedar, vetiver and some citrus notes. A somewhat old school yet fresh opening. As it dries-down the geranium, lavender, jasmine come through and blend very nicely to create a nice elegant accord. The nutmeg is in the background adding a little spiciness and the citrus notes also persist. This classic masculine scent is my favourite from the house of Dunhill and I like it even more than the more recent and popular Dunhill Icon. Performance on my skin is good, it lasts most of the day and has moderate projection. Dunhill Edition is elegance and refinement in a bottle. It's probably more suited to warmer months but I think you can get away with it any time of the year and it is fairy versatile. I love the barbershop genre and Dunhill Edition is one of the favourite barbershop scents in my collection. Great scent profile, good performance, good value for money and versatile; everything a good mens fragrance needs to be. 5/5.

Zino Davidoff by Davidoff

Davidoff Zino is a very nice masculine aromatic fragrance from the 80s that carries appeal and sensuality and is still very wearable. This scent would probably appeal more to GenXers and older millennials but even younger people with a more mature mindset may enjoy it. The opening of Zino is very interesting and it has a very balsamic accord. What I find most interesting about the opening is that I get the accord of certain notes that are not actually in the fragrance so it seems to be a clever play between certain notes to give some creative accord. For example in the early opening my nose perceives anise which is a nice sharp almost gourmand opening. But of course there is no anise in Zino so I think it may be the bergamot, sage and sandalwood playing together. This accord fades and in the late opening as the scent is settling it becomes dark and there is something that gives me vibes of oud. Dark and earthy in the late dry-down it reminds me ever so slightly of Encre Noire A L'Extreme. The dry-down sits close to the skin and is a nice blend of floral notes along with vanilla and amber. It is an intimate and sexy dry-down. I think Davidoff Zino is an often overlooked classic that has stood the test of time very well. The slightly dark, warm notes and the intimate dry-down make this a suitable date night scent but it would also work in many other setting. I think Zino is perhaps more suited to mild and cooler weather and would work for a man dressed in smart casual. I get good projection for the first couple of hours with Zino and it then becomes more intimate, it lasts about 6 hours on my skin on a mild day. I love a fragrance with a good opening and an interesting trajectory and I enjoy wearing Davidoff Zino.

Aventus by Creed

Creed Aventus is a masculine, fruity, woody scent that is a very inspired fragrance and beautifully blended. When it came out in 2010 it was a very creative game changer. 12 years later, having been cloned and copied so many times it is starting to feel aged but there is no denying that Creed Aventus is a very good fragrance and has become a classic of masculine perfumery. Aventus opens with oakmoss, fruity notes (the pineapple is there) and ambergris. As the scent dries down the fruity notes become slightly more citrusy and the musk come more to the fore. It is an appealing and very versatile fragrance. Aventus lasts most of the day on my skin although by the end of the day it is a close skin scent. So I would say longevity is good and it projects moderately well for the first few hours. I also have a bottle of the much hyped CDNIM and from my experience it is not anywhere near as nice and refined as Aventus. Montblanc Explorer however, based on my nose, is much closer to Aventus and I actually favour the scent profile of Explorer a bit more than Aventus. Therefore I simply cannot justify the price of Creed Aventus, it is a very good fragrance, but it is definitely not worth the asking price for me. Overpricing aside, I like Creed Aventus and rate it 4/5.

Blue Jeans by Versace

Blue Jeans by Versace is a powdery aromatic, masculine fragrance. Overall it is a nice scent, it opens with musk, tonka and woody notes. As Blue Jeans begins to settle on the skin I get the sage and heliotrope notes. During the dry down Blue Jeans becomes increasingly floral with musk and vanilla undertones. I don't perceive the citrus notes in this very well. It is a nice, pleasant fragrance, not a wow fragrance but a standard, nice masculine aromatic scent that is reasonably versatile and suitable for most settings. Blue Jeans would make a good signature scent for daily use at work etc. The longevity is very ordinary, I get about 4 hours of longevity with mild projection. A nice, acceptable fragrance, something that I put on and forget about so it's not particularly exciting but something reasonable to reach for when you don't feel like thinking too much about the scent you want to wear. I'm glad I had a chance to try it. 3.5/5

Versace l'Homme by Versace

Versace L'Homme is a beautiful masculine, warm, woody aromatic scent. It is a classic barbershop scent of the 1980s and is still very wearable and able to garner compliments today. The opening is great and catches my attention with strong wood and moss elements tampered with patchouli and the labdanum bringing it together and giving it some warmth. There is a soapie accord in the opening that gives a very nice clean feel. As Versace L'Homme begins to dry down the soapiness gives way to a more leather scent with some nice herbal elements. I'm a fairly recent user of Versace L'Homme and I wish that I had discovered it years ago. This is becoming one of my favourite fragrances in this genre. Very enjoyable, great longevity, good sillage and good value. I find Versace L'Homme to be a fairly versatile fragrance and would be a good signature scent for a man over 50. Younger men (30s & 40s) can get away with it too on occasions where they want something masculine and elegant; something different from the typical sweet vanilla scents that are so ubiquitous today. Versace L'Homme is an excellent chypre and I'm very happy that I added it to my collection.

Rochas Man by Rochas

If you already own Uomo by Salvatore Ferragamo then there is no need to buy Rochas Man as they are both very similar. I prefer the dry-down of Ferragamo Uomo, but Rochas Man has a nicer opening with a more distinct coffee note. Rochas Man is a nice fragrance, it is definitely unisex and has broad appeal. It opens with coffee, vanilla and some raspberry notes. The notes are subtle and well blended and don't come off as too synthetic in the opening. During the dry-down I notice some floral notes that add a little complexity. Overall a nice fragrance that has moderate projection for the first couple of hours and then becomes a more intimate skin scent. I think it would be a reasonable date night fragrance if you wanted something that smells tempting but not too bold. This fragrance didn't have the wow factor for me that it has for some reviewers, but I do like it. However I think I'll stick with Ferragamo Uomo that has a sexy dry-down and better performance. But if you want a more intimate scent with a nice, sweet coffee note and great value for money then Rochas Man is a fantastic option.

Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

1990s nostalgia in a bottle. Calvin Klein Eternity for Men is a fresh, citrusy, aromatic fragrance that is great for daytime, warm weather use and is suitable for for work, school, college, general daytime wear, out with friends etc. So it's reasonably versatile. The scent has been around for awhile but even after 30 years is still an acceptable fresh fragrance. Eternity for Men opens with citrus notes. The dry-down brings out some floral and fruity notes with a hint of woodiness underpinned by a warm musk. A nice green, fresh fragrance with a moderate performance, lasts about 4 hours on my skin and gives arm length projection. Perhaps it is the nostalgic effect but Eternity for Men gives me a vibe of unperturbed confidence while also conveying some carefree abandon. A classic that I'm glad to have in my collection.

Imperial Leather by Cussons

A nice classic fougere with a slightly sweet opening. Cussons Imperial Leather Aftershave has been around since the 1970s, complimenting the companies range of hygiene products, the best known of which is the Imperial Leather soap. This aftershave has it's own DNA and it has a nice fresh opening with notes of vanilla, musk and moss. The lavender comes through early and as it blends with the vanilla it gives me a vague reminder of Caron Pour un Homme. As it begins to dry down there is a sweet citrus note that lingers for a short while, then the dry down becomes warm, more woody and mossy. The later dry-down sees this fragrance become a warm, classic barbershop scent with what I perceive as a faint leather accord. Cussons Imperial Leather Aftershave is a mild projecting fragrance and lasts as a skin scent for about 3 or 4 hours, not unreasonable for a supermarket brand aftershave. Also given that this is an aftershave in a splash bottle there is a good amount of rubbing alcohol which is noted in the opening, but it is not harsh or overpowering. Cussons Imperial Leather Aftershave is a very decent fresh, classic men's scent. Though it's release in this product range dates from the 1970s, this scent definitely links back to an earlier age of subtle, yet masculine mens fragrances. It is not as bold and heavy on the moss like typical masculine fougeres of the 70s. A good scent for an older gent and a nice change from Old Spice. In the context of what it is, a cheap, supermarket brand classic aftershave, I rate Cussons Imperial Leather Aftershave 4/5.

Dunhill Fresh by Dunhill

Dunhill Fresh is a green fragrance that is suitable for those who want a fresh scent that is good to wear at school or work on hot days. Indeed Dunhill Fresh would be great for those warm days if only the performance wasn't so meek. The opening is almost medicinal with coumarin giving an interesting accord. The dry-down is a nice fresh floral scent that brings to mind hand cream or moisturiser. Performance wise Dunhill Fresh has slight projection, consistent with fresh fragrances however the longevity is poor. It barely lasts two hours on my skin. My overall impression is that Dunhill Fresh is a reasonable scent with poor performance. This is the work of perfumer Maurice Roucel, the same perfumer who created Nautica Voyage which is a bit cheaper than Dunhill Fresh, has a better scent profile and much better performance. I rate Dunhill Fresh 3/5.

Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

Azzaro pour Homme is an old-school masculine barbershop fragrance. This fragrance has a strong warm opening with with sandalwood, musk, caraway and anise providing an interesting spicy/aromatic opening. The dry-down remains warm musky and woody with floral notes, particularly geranium becoming more evident. All over a very masculine scent, very barbershop with a strong men's grooming product accord. To me it does not smell particularly refined or expensive, I still prefer Paco Rabanne Pour Homme or Aramis but I like the warmth and some of the complexity of the blend of Azzaro pour Homme. If you enjoy the classic, masculine fougeres and barbershop scents then this is definitely worth trying. Azzaro pour Homme has good projection, at least arm length or a little beyond, for the first hour then it settles a bit more intimately. Longevity on my skin was around 5 hours. So I would say an interesting old-school masculine scent with reasonable performance.

Aura for Men by Jacomo

This one took me by surprise. A blind buy, I was purchasing a few designer fragrances from an online discounter and I decided to add a cheapie to the cart just to round the price up and get something extra for fun. Aura for Men caught my eye due to the distinctive bottle so I took it. I didn't have high expectations for it, but it turned out to be a gem. Aura for Men is a very nice aromatic green fragrance. It has a woody and musk opening and as it begins to dry down some nice spice notes come to the fore and I detect the green tea and ginger here. As Aura for men dries on the skin it settles with warm, musky, tonka notes with tobacco and hint of spice in the background. A nice warm, confident, masculine scent, not too bold, not particularly unique or amazing but very much a decent, peasant scent. Aura for Men is great value, it lasts about 4 or 5 hours and projects moderately well and it is around $12 or less for a 40mL bottle. A good fragrance for a young man, as a school scent during autumn, Aura for Men could be a reasonable budget signature scent for everyday use, office, school, college etc. Cheap and synthetic yes, but a nice scent and good performance to price ratio, 3.5/5.

Cool Britannia by English Blazer by Key Sun Laboratories

A mossy fougere made by the same house (Key Sun Laboratories) that makes English Blazer; and Cool Britannia continues the babershop genre that English Blazer is known for. Unfortunately this flanker doesn't do it as well or add anything partifularly interesting. Cool Britannia opens with moss and the slightly sweet citrusy note of linalool. After the fragrance dries down it immediately becomes a skin scent and I had to sniff my arm carefully to detect that the dry-down is moss with some faint floral notes. An hour after dry-down and the scent has pretty much disappeared. Cool Britannia is a simple barbershop scent with very poor performance. Although it is a cheapie, at less than $12 for a 100mL bottle, there are other cheapies in the same genre that are more interesting and have better performance. Think Old Spice or Blue Stratos. I rate Cool Britannia 2/5.

English Blazer by Parfums Bleu

I tried this classic fragrance for the first time recently so I don't have the nostalgic connection to the scent that some users may have. However I have worn English Blazer for a few days and as someone who enjoys the masculine fougere/barbershop genre I think English Blazer is a reasonable cheap fragrance. I do remember this fragrance being advertised in the early 1990s as Yardley English Blazer, but today this fragrance is bottled and distributed by Key Sun Laboratories. It is available as an aftershave and an EDT, I have tried both. English Blazer opens with a distinct clove note, clove is not one of my favourite notes, but as the scent dries down it takes on a more woody, mossy vibe with some hint of citrus in the background. Overall a reasonable, old school scent and a good value cheapie. Moderate projection for the first hour or so and lasts at least 4 hours as a skin scent. Those who are into clove may enjoy it. I rate it 3/5.

181 Fathoms by Blue Stratos by Key Sun Laboratories

181 Fathoms is a blue aromatic fragrance with a soap accord in the opening. This cheapie is made by the same house that produce the classics Blue Stratos and English Blazer. 181 Fathoms provides a blue fresh twist to Blue Stratos. The EDT opens with musk, citrus and woody notes that blend to make an accord that I perceive to be a bit soapie. During the dry-down the scent remains musky and over that the floral notes become more noticeable, particularly the jasmine. I like the way this is blended, in my view it is a fragrance that would appeal more to men who like the old-school barbershop genre. It's not a spectacular or groundbreaking scent by any means, but it is a reasonable fresh aromatic/floral cheapie. Performance is about 4 hours longevity with slight projection, this is an $8 fragrance. Not something I would wear very often but something that would be good as a cheap Kris Kringle gift for an older man. 3/5.

Big Pony 3 by Ralph Lauren

Big Pony 3 by Ralph Lauren is an aromatic fragrance with very ordinary scent and a below average performance. On opening it smells slightly sweet to my nose and I get more of a citrus and rubbing alcohol accord from it. I think this accord actually comes from what may be a synthetic mint. As the fragrance dries down there is a spiciness there but it doesn't smell of a very distinct ginger to me. Overall it's a pretty linear, slightly sweet green, spicy scent. Not bad but nothing special this could easily be some generic cheapie fragrance that one may pick up in a discount pharmacy. It lasts about 2 or 3 hours mostly as a skin scent. I give it 2.5/5.

Big Pony 2 by Ralph Lauren

Big Pony 2 for Men by Ralph Lauren is a slightly sweet, almost Oriental, warm, musky and spicy fragrance. The opening is warm musk with a hint of chocolate, the fragrance dries down quickly and the chocolate note fades somewhat and leaves more of a spicy, sweet musk accord. Big Pony 2 gives moderate projection for the first hour and then it becomes a very intimate skin scent. It remains a close skin scent for the next 3 hours or so before it is pretty much undetectable. Big Pony 2 for Men is a reasonable scent, nothing spectacular, but a pleasant versatile scent with a timid performance. Scent-wise Big Pony 2 and Big Pony 1 are probably the better fragrances out of this collection as far as my olfactory preferences are concerned. I'd give Big Pony 2 a 3/5, it's what I would regard an ordinary, satisfactory fragrance at a price that reflects the designer name rather than the quality of the fragrance.

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