AmberScentAmberScent's Perfume Reviews

1 - 10 of 29

3 Awards
I tested again this fragrance today.
The overall feeling about the scent remains unchanged. It's citrus fresh in the opening (a load of yuzu), with a fresh, sweet and green spicy development, and the suposed "strong" notes of leather, sandalwood and tobacco. What's not to like? Other remarkable scents followed the same path, namely the more complex Tom Ford for Men and the alluring The One by D&G.
Unfortunately, Vera Wang demonstrates pretending to deliver a perfume with high ambitions but unfortunately with poor performance on the performance side. A couple of hours after spraying you are already experiencing a final faint woody drydown. The inconvenience of respraying is a must if you want to stick with this perfume.
This fragrance lost a possible trendsetter fragrance ambition to become just a nice to wear only for easy short lived situations. An intense version never happened and so far this EDT remains the sole incursion of Vera Wang into the male fragrances territory.

3 Awards
I kind of fancy gourmand fragrances. When I decided to try some Ralph Lauren fragrances, I looked immediately at the trio of Reds. Polo Red Extreme is the most unique of the three, even if we deal with a linear non complex perfume with a slight above average performance.
You do have some citrus sweetness (or should I say red orange syrup) supporting a main note of coffe. It's not a coffe grain scent or an expresso flavour. It's closer to american coffee poured in a mug to make a cappuccino.
You also sense a bit of darkness that must come from the Ebony wood note.
The cappuccino analogy makes me wonder if there isn't a bit of cinnamon and/or cocoa in it.
Thinking about other perfumes Polo Red Extreme to my nose seems to have a similar scent to Boss THe Scent Private Accord. It must be because of the Givaudan ingredients used for the coffee note as there is no Maninka fruit in Ralph Lauren's perfume. On the other hand I sense cocoa in Polo Red Extreme and it's one of the main notes of the Hugo Boss fragrance. So I am not sure why, but one fragrance recalls me the other.
On the other hand if you plan to own this fragrance, there is no strong reason for you to look at the other Polo Reds, as there is a trong family resemblance between the three of them.
It's also worthy to say that usually the persons around me like to sniff this fragrance, especially the ladies. I already herd a bunch of comments saying that it's very "manly" and "seductive".

7 Awards
The Neroli note - or should I say fresh bitter-orange flower note - t's a love/hate scent for me. I love it because the bitter orange smell with the scent of fresh flowers (jasmin?), makes this note intoxicating and overwhelming. I hate it because it lasts pungent for some brief moments and then it's almost gone. Nevertheless It complements beautifully all other citrusy notes - Bergamot in Icon - allowing the original composition to last longer while keeping its true fragrance.
And that's about it. Dunhill Icon has a magnificent neroli opening note. But once the neroli-bergamot accord weakens, it becomes a mainstream spicy fougére fragrance with some woods and herbs. A nice fragrance if you like fougéres. I did not detect any oud.
Does it deserve all the hype it has received? A YES to the flask and the opening and a NO to all the remaining features.

5 Awards
"L'Heure Bleue" - The Blue Hour ... Neither time nor a scent can be blue.
However, this perfume has neither time nor haste. It is a timeless fragrance to enjoy from the moment of the first spray, till the exhaust of the extraodinary aroma.
I've never been in love with carnations. Neither the flower nor its scent. And yet, without the strong note of carnation, this Hour ran the risk of not being so Blue. The fresh, aniseed start soon gives way to the magnificent floral feminine heart. The spicy scent of carnation - similar to Indian cloves - is refreshed and sweetened with the soft neroli with orange facets.
I believe that now a bit of masculinity and sweetness is needed. This is achieved first with a powdery iris, some violet and tonka, and then further enhancing the sweetness with an oriental, slightly resinous and balsamic vanilla.
It is the scent of a calm and deep love, the love of a life.
I love to visit the "L'Heure Bleue" from time to time. And on each visit, I promise to return.
What is the concentration? Eau de Parfum, of course!

4 Awards
Bois d'Arménie by Guerlain, Royal White by Charriol, Xeryus Rouge by Givenchy, Au Masculin Parfum Intense by Lolita Lempicka, 67 Artemisia by Pomellato, Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani, Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent, Bois d'Argent by Christian Dior, Bois d'Arménie by Guerlain, Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss, Bvlgari Black by Bvlgari, Potion by Dsquared², Roma Uomo by Laura Biagiotti... Annick Ménardo gave us either marvelous perfumes or sales successes for men (or at least unisex successes for men).
All the names I referenced are probably better known than VISIT for Man by Azzaro. This is one very pleasant spicy / woody fragrance. If nothing else it's one pretty straightforward about its mission on earth. It's all about fresh spices to begin with to later confort you with fragrant woods.
It open reasonably fresh, a bit sweet and very spicy with heavy cardamom, nutmeg and pink pepper; then it let's you take a big breath with an oriental frame heart of incense and amber, to later offer you manly crisp cedar with lightly smoked guaiac. It's really almost all about spices and woods, but done in a very elegant way, without being to faint or becoming cloying.
It leaves an aura of the discontinued Gucci Rush in the air. If you long for that Gucci scent you may have found a damn good substitute.
It's very versatile for a big number of situations but I would elect it as one of the best office scents I have ever tried. It builds an image of trust around its wearer. It's suitable for Spring and Fall, but Winter days and Summer nights are not out of the question as well. The performance is average, good enough for six hours of longevity and more than one arm length sillage. It projects almost for two hours but it's a calm and educated woody projection as a masculine office fragrance should have.
I do recommend this fragrance as a perfect solution for those work days where you are not sure about what to wear, or for the practical man who wants to have a single fragrance in his wardrobe.
With close to two hundred flasks in my closet I wear VISIT at least a couple of times each month and sometimes a lot more when I am travelling.
I give it a general rate of 85/100.

3 Awards
My wife asked:
- You seem different tonight. Are you using Explorer?
- No, I am using Chrome! - said I.
- Chrome? Chrome Legend?
- Nope! the stuff I started to use last week instead of Explorer!
- Is there already a look alike for Explorer?
- Yes, it's lighter! I prefer it this way!
- How come Explorer has been copyed in such a short time?
- Short time? Explorer dates from 1995!
- Is that old? So it has been re-edited again?
- Uhmmm! Maybe! I supose so. Since 95 there has been several different versions of it!
- So you mean that Aventus is a look alike of Explorer?
- Aventus?
- Yes, from Creed!
- Creed doesn't make any software.... does it?
- I suppose it doesn't, but who's talking about software?
- I am, aren't you?
- No, I am talking about scents, and asking you about the new Montblanc!
- You mean the new Montblanc you bought me?
- Yes, the new one you were wondering about!
- Ahh! I don't care much for it. Explorer turns out to be a clone!
- A clone? of what? of Opera?
- Opera? What is Opera?

As the nth version of an Aventus clone, Explorer does not have much to offer. It misses the pineapple opening, lacks the strenght of the smoky birch note, and gives you some unnecessary synthetic impressions. For me, those are the main different accords that distinguish Montblanc Explorer from Creed Aventus, besides performance.
As a fresh fruity EDT, it's a nice offer but a bit mainstream and not really an unique proposal. It opens fresh and peppery, more Sauvage like than Aventus like, to later propose hearthy accords of vetiver and leather, trying to mimic the smokiness of Aventus. Explorer ambroxan and akigalawood notes are also not a match for the ambergris, patchouli and moss notes used by the Creed's creation.
As a final verdict and forgetting the Aventus (average) similarity, it has an acomplished presentation, but this is also the ennesime offering of a versatile semi fresh man cologne. It has an agreeable pleasant scent that will attract some attention. Prices will come down in a near future and Explorer will join the ranks of Starwalker, Presence, Individuel and Emblem as another "not pricey but nicey" Montblanc versatile masculine scent offer.
Men pretending not to have more than a couple of perfume flasks in their wardrobe will value it highly for Fall and Spring wear. Collectors will just ignore it.

Music: Mark Knopfler - "Brothers In Arms"

5 Awards
Oud it's not just a fashion any longer. The western market looks at oud scents as a different type of perfume. We now talk about oud perfumes as a group of fragrances and no longer just a type of olfactory note. The same phenomena happened in different occasions with lavender, florals, musk, patchouli and lemon. There is a market pressure, for every designer or niche wizard, to have at least one oud fragrance with their brand name. Some perfume houses, like Montale and Mancera, specialized in producing almost every scent with oud.
What all that has in common with Ferrari (the perfumes, not the cars) ? - Ferrari sells fragrances as fashion acessories, all of them displaying the "cavalino rampante", and , as a business - not so different from polos, T-shirts and watches merchandising.
After some mainstream and vulgar colognes, unexpectedly Ferrari started launching "varietal" fragrances, with a very good quality standard. It's the case of Amber, Cedar, Musk, Vetiver, Bergamot, Leather, Neroli, Fig, Lavender... and "Essence Oud". The differentiated sports car company decided to differentiate their own fragrance business, getting a position half way between being one designer more or an innovative niche player. So, in the Ferrari range, this oud fragrance pop up naturally and not only to follow the steps of company X or Y that desperately needed to add an oud scent to their portfolio.All of the above mentioned "varietal" Ferrari fragrances have a surprising very pleasant scent, and essence oud has a shiny place in that elite range.
Another fragrance market dogma it's the generelized idea that a good differentiated perfume is necessarely expensive. Well, Ferrari broke that unveiled code and offers all of their "semi-niche" offer under 30 Euros per 100 ml flask.

The juice...
A strong untamed oud note is simply to pungent for the Western nose. In order not to intoxicate their customers, the oud perfumists do blend the different types of oud oils with either florals for smoothness, or leather for eartiness, or Rose for elegance, or saffron for earthiness, or Labdanun for added amber, or frankincense for woodiness and smokiness. Nathalie Feisthauer just added all of them and the final result is great.
Before buying my first bottle of Ferrari Oud Essence, I was a bit suspicious about its list of notes. I feared a blind buy to avoid the disapointement of smelling an oud cacophonie due to all those strong matching notes. I could not be more wrong. I overcome that fear with a couple of arguments:
- The bottle is gorgeous;
- It's inexpensive;
- Nathalie Feisthauer made perfumes for Clarins, Amouage, Comme de Garçons, Versace, Etat Libre d'Orange and so on.
Instead of the notes cacophonie, I got was a fine tunned symphony. The resinous floral opening gives way to smoky oud that is later on amplified with leather and animalic tones before the long and pleasant drydown. No hiding defects sweetness is present here, making it a more masculine scent than feminine. It's one of the best Western ouds I have tried.
Longevity is great with more than 9 hours after two good sprays. Sillage is less impressive with a top of six feet and 2.5 hours projection.
I truly recommend it. I already ordered my third bottle in less than a two years time frame.

Keep your scent high!

4 Awards
Gabriel Chami, owner of ScentStory, set up an interesting and simple perfumes business model. When this company started in 2008, he proposed the "customer availability of niche fragrances without having to rob a Bank". With a strong belief that fragrances are a perfect media for story telling as well as expressing true feelings and emotions. The scents concocted by ScentStory are powerful and obsessive. Its 24 range of fragrances offers us a burst of intense scents created by artisan perfumers, but developed in the pure tradition of French fine perfumery.
The proposed fragrances are positioned halfway between a Niche behaviour and a Designer one.Undoubtedly their "Elixir" line of fragrances is niche and unique, while others could populate a shelf of most medium and top designers.

ScentStory exudes confidence with 24 Go Dark through a spirited and oriental masculine cologne. This scent sits upon an animalistic base of rich leather, earthy musk and sweet strong vanilla that mark the scent perceived by the surrounding people during the dry down. An aromatic heart notes of spicy pepper and exotic patchouli characterize the middle evolution and present a good blending with top and bottom notes. The opening is kind of short lived, presenting a zesty lemon and bitter bergamot together with other citrus and apple.
As a general sentiment, the fragrance is enchanting, sophisticated and distinctly mysterious. Its general aroma is of a smoky, dark, earthy and sweet perfume. To my liking, it's a jewal that fulfills my deepest requisits for a fragrance that I really may enjoy wearing. It has an unmistakable ressemblance with the lesser dark D&G The One and The One Gentleman, but with better performance.
24 Go Dark is packaged in a simple yet sleek square black bottle with a chunky black cap and front vivid red numbered detail. It's similar to other "24" ScentStory flasks, but with a sleek "noir" colour that fits well this fragrance. It seems to have been discontinued but it is easy to purchase in Web Providers, at a very inviting price.

Really recommended!

3 Awards
This new baby from Zara, with a vowel-less name, smells good, but looks a bit weak in terms of projection. The first time I tried this fragrance I suspected of some olfactory boredom, but the surrounding people confirmed that the projection was kind of faint.
Scentwise it's a natural pleaser with a short-lived, earthy and rosy spicy opening, that gains smoky and tar-like facets later on.
Before the drydown, fragrance evolutes to a musky warm background frame with a strong, sweet and resinous amber tone, without loosing some of the smoke and earlier spiciness.
It's a very safe Oriental perfume to wear, and probably a crowd pleasing base for Zara to develop future flankers.

Keep your scent high!

5 Awards
Zara should have probably two lines of perfume business. No, I am not talking about Zara Home which for me is a totally different perfume maker. I am talking about having a different Zara perfume company for clones and another Zara for non Clones.
Zara does make average to good clones, but as far as I am concerned, I find myself buying Zara perfumes for two reasons only:
1 - The scent is very good, so I buy it. Both online and in the store the purchasing is easy and affordable.
2 - The scent is very good, and even if I feel that I will not use it, and just want to play with the fragrance a bit, I buy it anyway because it is inexpensive. To make a decant would be costier.
So in my case I don't see any compelling reason to buy a Zara fragrance because of it being a clone of some upscale fragrance.
Zara already produced some very good fragrances like Zara 9.0, Hi-Lo Country, Exclusive Oud and Vibrant Leather EDT and EDP. All this examples have been perceived as clones of upscale perfumes, namely Valentino Uomo/Dior Homme, JPG Ultra Mâle, Armani Privé Oud Royal and Creed Aventus in the same order.
This clone chasing behavior is making us fragrance lovers lose the opportunity of buying/using some very good Zara fragrances by sheer unawareness of its value as a scent. In a recent past some Zara fragrances like Ambre Noble, Tone Indéterminée and Ganache Tonka lost the opportunity of a deserved market hype, just because they were not clones of a flashy expensive perfume... And almost anybody cared to use them.

Having said (written) that, I would like to present you a very good Zara fragrance, not a clone of any perfume I know: Zara Winter Collection!
It's a fougère EDT for men (no, not unisex to me) aiming to be used in Autumn, Winter and early Spring.
It seems to be preety linear (not a defect) and even if it has a citrus accord, this one does not pretend to be fresh (remember it's for cold weather), but nevertheless fullfills its aromatic function.
To the main accord I would like to label it as pleasant forest scent with the woodiness and the herbal greenness of cypress, eucalyptus, cedar, lavender and patchouli. What a magnific clean and dew moist forest scent! It's really a please everybody manly scent that you may use on a daily basis, at leisure or in the office.
There is also a bit of earthy spiciness to frame mother earth in this forest scent, and a bit of amber to round any edges that could exist. You may also feel some brightness, with a hint of sweetness, from the orange blossom note.
It's not really the scent of a dark gloomy wood filled with trolls, orcs and gnomes. It's the aroma of a bright forest with chirping birds, funny rabbits, beautiful deers and bright flowery glades, where probably sleeping beauty lived with her fairy godmothers.

It's not a long lasting or heavy projecting fragrance but do reaply at will or keep a bottle in the office, besides one at home. I paid €10.00 for my Zara Winter Collection flask and certainly everyone can afford two bottles.

Keep your scent high!

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