Neroli Portofino Acqua by Tom Ford

This is one of my absolute favourite, top 3, hot summer weather EdTs! The scent bubble I get from 3 spritzes of this is so good! For me it's aroma-therapy. So nice, clean, relaxing, and yet invigorating!

I know the original EdP of Neroli Portofino is beloved by many, and preferred by most, but I actually prefer this lighter, more effervescent "Acqua" EdT version of Neroli Portofino.

This Acqua version doesn't last as long, but it's less expensive, and projection in fantastic,and although the original smells great, I like the scent of this this version even more.

After using 40% of my 50ml bottle, I managed to get a new 100ml bottle of this for less than retail cost of the 50ml of the original beloved (and now not easy to find) Neroli Portifino EdP.

Gucci by Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

This one surprised me. One of the best, most underated, masculine designer colognes. Top-10 worthy. From opening to dry-down, and for a few hours afterwards, a masculine delight, that develops beautifully. Not at all a typical "mall scent"

I'm impressed with how multidimensional and non-linear this is. It opens with a soft citrus and fragrant herbal accords of violet and Cypress, warmed by subtle tobacco heart-notes, balanced by an uplifting Jasmine. Then in the later stages, incense, and a soft suede leather base, all dancing together in a fragrant symphony.

If I have one complaint, it's the unfortunately weak performance. Sillage is almost non existent. In less than an hour, it becomes a great skin scent on me.

Despite that, this is for me Gucci's best mens offering I've tried so far, so I'll excuse all the confusing name changing, and buy the biggest bottle I can find.

Mandarina Duck Black Extreme by Mandarina Duck

This one smells nice, but just like Missoni, my skin just seems to absorb it. It becomes barely a skin scent on me within an hour of spraying. So unfortunately, not a good one in terms of performance for me.

Zegna Uomo by Ermenegildo Zegna

I agree with most of the positive and neutral reviews of this, especially valkilmer's and kaizen's review, who described this cologne very well.

I rather like this one. It doesn't smell cheap or synthetic to me. I think this is a nice subtle, watery-woodsey, clean smelling scent with decent performance.

Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

I found this fragrance really odd smelling, and unappealing. I thought I detected a strong Iris note, so I was surprised to not find it listed in the fragrance accords. Perhaps it was the Mace that my novice nose mistook for that powdery, lipsticky scent. Anyways, this one is not for me.

K by Dolce & Gabbana by Dolce & Gabbana

I like and enjoy this more recent offering from D&G, probably their best fragrance since Light Blue Eau Intense. It's a welcome departure from the popular, but cloyingly sweet "The One" and its incessant army of flankers.

A light, charming, spicy, mildly sweet and woodsy, versitile fragrance suitable for Spring, Summer, day or night, office or leisure. I really don't agree with those who find this generic or typical. There's more complexity to this fragrance than there might initially seem to be on first impression. Give it a few wears and you'll realize it's really quite good.

Decent performance, with gentle sillage and several hours of longevity.

Legend Special Edition 2012 by Montblanc

A slightly more Freshie take on Legend, this starts off really well, smelling very nice. But half-way through the dry-down it starts to smell like there's something missing - it starts to feel like an empty shell of a fragrance, lacking any assertive base-notes to hold it together or provide any development and complexity.

Performance seems fairly middling to average. Sillage weakens quite a lot after a couple of hours, but it remains close to the skin for several hours afterwards. Too bad it doesn't maintain itself throughout its duration as well as it does in the first hour or two.

Terre d'Hermès Parfum by Hermès

I prefer the original EdT, but this one isn't bad either. More pronounced, orangey neroli note, and woodiness instead of Vetiver. It's a little more conventional, less daring, and slightly less astringent and little more juicy than the original EdT.

La Fumée Arabie by Miller Harris

This smelled just awful to my novice, untrained, inexperienced nose.
Worst smelling cologne I've tried since TF's Noir Anthracite. Whereas that smells overly "masculine" (like burnt leather) this one smells definitely "feminine" (although I certainly wouldn't want to smell this on any lady I like).

This perfume smells like someone trying to cover-up the smell of a urine soaked diaper with cheap incense, spices, rose, vanilla and oud. And it's not the clean smelling, synthetic oud, no, it's the authentic, rough anamalic smelling, genuine oud - so it has that going for it too.

All in all, this is the worst smelling niche fragrance I've tried so far. Just not for me I guess.

Déclaration by Cartier

Well, not much I can add to Zealot's detailed, comprehensive, and well-written review, other than to "declare" my appreciation for it!

Everything Zealot says in his positive review (excerpt provided below) tells you everything you need to know: "Déclaration is at it's core a spicy dry leather chypre under a cumin heart, with an oakmoss base and a floral top, but it had a cologne-like neroli head with a modern ozonic citrus accord grafted on..." That pretty much sums it up, even though his following paragraph provides even more detail.

I guess this is a citrus fougere/chypre hybrid of sorts. The comparisons between Declaration and Terre D'Hermes EDT are understandable. I would say that Terre D'Hermes takes some elements from this, taking the Vetiver and Neroli (or bitter orange note) to extreme in TdH, adds the flint note, and leaves-out the fresh, mild woodiness in Declaration.

To my amateur nose, I guess this sits somewhere between Terre D'Hermes and ESP, with some subtle fruity notes that provide some light perkiness from the citrus, and some mild, fresh Cedar/woodiness and Vetiver through-out. I don't pick-up on a lot of variation or development into the dry-down, but still very nice smelling. The subtle bitter-orange notes stick-around for the duration, which is nice.

Sillage is a little on the weak side, with average longevity. I think it's an under-rated winner (especially at this price), and just different enough from other more popular fragrances in this vein that it's still worthwhile. It's a great classic Spring and Summer frag, the best I've tried from Cartier, at a very affordable price that won't break the bank.

Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

What a fantastic dark, leathery fragrance from Varvatos!
Often the most notable thing about Varvatos frags are the cool, interesting bottle designs, rather than the cologne inside. But in this case, they've managed to formulate a fragrance that surpasses the cool looking, leather-clad bottle.

Despite the dozen+ frangrance notes listed on the pyramid profile above, I mostly just get leather and incense, and maybe a little bit of cedar.

I like it a lot! I like it much better than Gucci Guilty Absolute's leathery-suede fragrance, and this is less expensive.
To me, the quality of the leather scent in this is almost at the same level of AdP Colonia Leather and TF Tuscan Leather, and perhaps closest to Ombre Leather, but much softer, more palatable, and much more wearable, due in part to the other supporting notes. Especially the incense note, which blends together so well here with the leather and other supporting notes. If there's Iris in this, it's so far in the background it's barely detectable.

Average sillage - not as potent as some leather based scents; and better than average longevity as far as I can tell so far - at least 7 to 8 hours. This is very well suited to cooler/cold Autumn, Winter, and early Spring weather.

A very impressive scent from a usually mediocre, lame-stream designer house, this is probably Varvatos' best offering to date.

Héritage Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

A very well formulated, mature, complex fragrance with interesting development. But TBH, not the greatest smelling fragrance, quite floral, I don't find it very masculine. Perhaps somewhat dated - personally, I feel it's a much older (55+) gentlemen's cologne. Or perhaps to fans, a timeless fragrance. It's nice, but there are at least a dozen other colognes I would reach for before choosing one. Perhaps it will continue to grow on me...

Explorer by Montblanc

This must be the best fragrance that Montblanc has released to date. Similar to Aventus, but not a clone -
for starters, there's no fruity pineapple in the opening. But the fragrance accords are otherwise very similar, albeit more slightly different, more synthetic, and not at the same level of performance as Aventus.

Nonetheless, a really great fragrance, I find very delightful and immensely enjoyable every time I go back to it wearing it. I enjoy smelling it on myself again and again, throughout it's duration, as I do with other top fragrances, but the biggest difference is this is at a much more affordable price! What's not to like? Thumbs way up for me.

Polo Blue Sport by Ralph Lauren

Great fresh-aquatic fragrance! Really great, a very nice improvement over the classic Polo Blue.
Nothing surprising based the fragrance notes pyramid.
Just wish it was stronger! The sillage is fairly weak, right from the start, but I could still smell this great fragrance on my skin 10 hours later. Guess I'll just have to learn to overspray this one.

Eau Sauvage Parfum (2017 version) by Christian Dior

Oh me oh my! This is one of the best fragrances I have ever had the pleasure of wearing! Just wonderful!

A nice citrus-opening, drying-down to a beautifully smoothly-blended, heavenly scent, that illicits smiles and compliments from all around! Very nice, subtle texture and development. What I love the most is that I can still smell it on myself for several hours later, and I smell SO good...

Excellent longevity, and fantastic sillage! The projection/sillage is subtle, but strong and steady. Not over-the-top, in-your-face strong - but just perfect.

I wonder what the EDT smells like, but even more so, I wonder what the earlier 2012 version smelled like... I would be amazed if they're as good as this.
This is probably in my all-time top-5 fragrances, along with Aventus and Oud Wood. Totally worth the $130 I shelled out for this (already dreaming of getting another bottle, before this gets impossible to find)

Chrome Aqua by Azzaro

Tbh I can't compare this to the original Azzaro Chrome classic, because I've never bothered to try it, and after this many years, I'm not convinced it's really necessary or relevant to evaluating this "flanker".

All I can tell you is, as a fan of freshie-aquatics, that this is a nice one!
If you're a fan of juicy, citrusy-freshies and in the mood for trying a new one, then you might enjoy this one

Average sillage and longevity, this would make for a nice hot summer weather cologne.

Regardless of the pedigree or label on the cool looking bottle, this is just a nice fragrance in its own right, just barely distinctive enough from the numerous other fragrances in this genre to warrant a recommendation.

Carven pour Homme by Carven

Another regrettable blind-buy. Very sweet, powdery fragrance, leaning towards unisex.

The Violet Leaf accord (I think) seems to overpower everything else. I don't detect any Cedarwood, or Sandalwood in the dry-down. This is a pretty linear, one dimensional scent, with little to no development.

Doesn't smell like Irish Spring Soap - Irish Spring doesn't smell this sweet, and this doesn't have that clean soapy smell.

This doesn't smell refined to me, it smells cheap and boring. Not my sort of thing. I'll be promptly returning the tester bottle I got.

Encre Noire by Lalique

I'm clearly in the minority here, because I don't get why most other reviewers like this fragrance so much. Maybe I'm not such a huge Vetiver fan...? But I love Terre D'Hermes EDT, which is also supposedly a Vetiver dominant fragrance, so I don't know...

Anyways, there's nothing subtle about this frag - it's strong. As other reviews have noted, you're either going to love it or not care for it. For me, there's a scent memory associated with this odour that turns me off, the same way strong iris frags remind me of an old aunty's purse.

Comparing this original with 2 of its popular flankers (L'extreme, and Sport), I found this tolerable, compared to the even stronger Encre Noir L'extreme, which amps-up the weird odour here to nauseating levels.
But I found the Encore Noir Sport flanker a little lighter, less linear, and more likable than this original.

Encre Noire Sport by Lalique

I like this lighter "sportier" version much more than the original, and the L'extreme version. I find it much more wearable, less linear, and more interesting than the original. I like how it seems to waft in and out for hours.
It's also quite affordable, just like the original.

Voyage by Nautica

Like everyone has said: Classic "ozonic" aquatic, which I really enjoy. Not too sweet, which I really appreciate.

But just a little on the weak-side performance wise - not as strong as Cool Water. Never have to worry about over-spraying - it's made for that.

Very affordable, great versatility for summer days or the gym. Great for the high school kid in your life.

He Wood Rocky Mountain Wood by Dsquared2

I adore this fragrance! One of my absolute favourites, and not easy to find a bottle of it nowadays either unfortunately, but so worth it!

This is the freshest outdoorsey scent there is! It's the smell of misty dew in the coastal mountain boreal forest early in the morning, in late Spring... I don't know how they managed to capture or recreate that great foresty-fresh, invigorating fragrance, but they did, and I thank them for it.

Dunhill Icon by Dunhill

What an enjoyable and delightful cologne! There's nothing more I can add here that hasn't already been said. The 2nd paragraph in Zealot's review details the accord notes and development of this great fragrance par excellence.
From the fresh, juicy Neroli opening, which disappears within an hour, to the smooth, suave lavender, cardamom, juniper berry, iris, oud, and soft suede leather dry-down, this is a smooth and enjoyable fragrance.
The notes here are blended together so well. This, too me, is the way iris should be done - in a supporting role, rather than being up-front-and-center in the staring-role, as it is in many popular colognes of the previous decade, which I didn't care for.

Good longevity, and moderate sillage.

Enjoyment of this frag also led me to try two of the Icon flankers: Icon Elite, a more incense emphasis, evening version, which is also nice; and the oud-heavy Icon Absolute, which I found quite cloying and synthetic smelling. Neither are as good as this original blend.

L'Homme Idéal Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

This is an example of why I don't like gourmand colognes.
No thinks, I'll pass. (but I admit, I'm tempted to try Ideal L'intense)

Gentleman Eau de Parfum by Givenchy

Another one of these lipsticky / old lady's purse smelling fragrances - just doesn't smell masculine or appealing to me in any way.
If you like LaNuit or Dior Homme, then you'll probably like this one too (I notice it mainly seems to be French Designer Houses that have all jumped on this trend...)
For me, it's a definite big thumbs down.

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