Ignatius N*6

Bandit by Robert Piguet

I've owned the EDT for about a week now--I bought it unsniffed. I had to wait to review it b/c I could tell it was a fragrance that I might grow to appreciate. I bought it based on it's historical status and how shocking people found it (and that men found it very wearable!). On first spritz I was disappointed--it struck me at aldehydic, floral, and perfectly feminine (yet both stark and complicated at the same time!). I would never have worn it. I've been trying it on my arm every night for the past week. Last night when I sprayed it I knew I had grown an infatuation--the aldehydes seemed now less overpowering, and the way they mingled with the galbanum was enchanting. The florals are still present, but delicate, understated, and haunting. I don't smell the "leather" everyone claims, but at times can picture black patent catwoman leather if I stretch my imagination. The drydown is decidedly the most male-friendly component. I look forward to proudly displaying my bottle and wearing it frequently in the spring and summer.

Comme des Garçons 2 by Comme des Garçons

I purchased a bottle of this unsniffed, which is a gamble that I find I am quite good at lately! I loved CdG2 from the moment I sprayed it, and know it will find a nice place in my wardrobe.CdG2 opens with sharp and buzzing aldehydes, but quickly settles into a less buzzing warm inky note surrounded by fruits and flowers (magnolia? blackberries? violets?). The overall feel is that of a late spring morning described by the flowing ink pen of e.e. cummings, but carefully folded and resting in the brassiere of his lover. Its that kind of abstract notion that I really appreciate about the fragrance.The amber and labdanum start to become recognizable in the basenotes, but the constant buzzing gives it a linear quality. Although listed as a unisex fragrance, I feel that more women will find it wearable than men. I myself am male and will have no problem, but know some male peers for whom this won't readily appeal.

Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna by Fendi

I remember as child smelling this on my Godmother. For the sake of scentiment I purchased it at a grocery store, and jokingly spritzed it on. Eventually I began seriously wearing it, despite the fact that it is a women's perfume, and really does "smell like an expensive fur coat" (as described by Fendi). I received a few compliments for it (once from a man at the gym, who seemed to think I had exceedingly good taste...) It was also my signature fragrance while I vacationed in Brazil. I have no idea how or if I pulled it off. Fendi's original perfume is a rich and elaborate fragrance, based in Patchouli, geranium, tobacco, spices, honey, etc., etc. The top notes are jarring and I do not like them--sharply floral. The middle notes sometimes reacted funny with my chemistry and smelled putrid--I preferred to wear it on clothing rather than have it mix with my man-oils. The basenotes, with the noticeable presence of patchouli, are what really attract me to the fragrance. But for me, as a male, it is not worth waiting for them to develop! I have since bought a patchouli cologne that spares me from walking around in the voluminous gowns, lustrious floral and mink robes of Fendi's original.

Domain by Mary Kay

My aunt, a Mary Kay rep., gave me a bottle of this for some occasion. I tried to wear it, and appreciated the gesture, but Domain is not for me. The top notes sting of medicine and wasp repellant, and certainly take their time to settle. The middle notes retain the sharpness of the top, but give rise to more approachable petigrain, green berries, ozone, juniper, and...lavender? When the EDT reaches its basenotes, it settles into a non-descript acidic and woodsy accord.When searching for Domain on this website, I came across a discussion comparing Domain to Abercrombie Woods. While the comparison had never struck me, I suppose it is relevant. I much prefer Woods with its hints of vanilla, but would never wear either.

Blue Jeans by Versace

This is a very sweet fragrance with notes of lavender (?), violet, jasmine, citrus, and some musky woods. It is also very well blended, and these notes are hard to decipher. I don't think of bards, blue jeans, or cowboys when I smell this; I think of a young man and young woman--siblings?--dressed in linen and eating muffins, but both with headaches from over-applying their heavy and sweet EDT. Still, though, I like it. For some reason I want to say it does for violet and jasmine what Fleur du male does for orange blossoms. Both fragrances have a linear development (though blue jeans may have a greater development), are well blended, and successfully androgenize a floral accord.

Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

This is the first fragrance I purchased unsniffed, basing my decision solely from online reviews and from those in magazines; many people seem to speak highly of it, and I was intrigued by how the fragrance defied gender barriers attracting both men and women. EdOV is an exquisite fragrance, one that you can tell was carefully designed. It opens with a sharp blast of an almost tangy orange, but quickly (within seconds) mellows and seems fuller thanks to the oakmoss. It clings to and sweetens the skin for several hours, but overall lacks longevity.

Escape for Men by Calvin Klein

I think this fragrance deserves more credit than it has received. I appreciate it, but I can't wear it and don't think it smells good on me. I have tried to get rid of it a few times, but can't! its just so complex--I would never think of pairing birch leaf, grapefruit, patchouli and juniper together--but here it is. I think the biggest turn-off is the synthetic sense one might get from it, and how it seems to evoke that zing of ozone characteristic of male scents of the 90s.

Joop! Homme by Joop!

When I first smelled this in an airport, I thought it reminded me of oily rubber bait worms one would use for fishing; and that was a good thing! I wore it for a little while, received a few complements, but would occasionally have it react terribly with my skin and have me reeling in the weirdest foul odor. I gave it the mostly full bottle to goodwill. When reading the list of notes, it seems like a logically good-smelling fragrance, but I feel it was the honeysuckle notes that eventually turned against me.

Nautica Classic by Nautica

Ugh! hate to provide this scent with yet another negative review...but it is awful. I bought it for my dad when I was in middle school, and he never touched it. I wore it for a little while, but then lost the bottle. When I rediscovered it, I was struck by how sour, ozone ridden, and abrasive the top and middle is. If you have the patience to wait around for the sandalwood, power to you.

Patchouli by Crabtree & Evelyn

This is patchouli from top to bottom. I love it, but I love patchouli, and though I really love when patchouli is blended with vanilla and cola, or smoothed with labdanum, this does neither. This is a tangy sharp take on patchouli that is heavy and masculine, but very wearable. I tend to wear it for more formal and wintery occasions, but can see someone wearing it just as easily in the spring.

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