JManDaveJManDave's Perfume Reviews

01/21/2014
2 Awards
Bottom Line:
The 98lb weakling of the vaunted Dior Homme line. If interested in this one, find the pre-2013 version instead, which is superb. You could honestly stop here in this review, unless you’re just morbidly curious, as that’s pretty much everything you need to know.

Scent:
A generally pleasant, but noticeably artificial-smelling Lemon Pledge. That’s actually OK as I find lemons nice, but I don’t get anything else. If the Grapefruit Blossom or Musk accords really are in there, this scent doesn’t last long enough to showcase them.

The aroma is non-offensive, and simplistic, for better or worse.

Wear Performance:
This is the major deal-breaker, and the extremely poor wear performance skews the other measures to the negative.

The opening is the highlight, and not entirely bad actually. But sniff it quickly directly from your wrist if you want to enjoy your investment. That’s about all you’ll get, as the longevity is literally about 30 minutes, at least for me on repeated wearings. Based on others’ feedback, this appears to be the common experience.

Sillage is much the same, mild for the length of the opening, but it flashes off and goes away entirely in a few moments; Not becomes a skin scent, but dies, as in nada.

Wear Scenarios:
It’s hard to take the wear scenarios very seriously for this one, but in the interest of staying with my review format:
Spritz on immediately after a shower, or right out of bed in the morning, for a quick burst of lemony-freshness.

Post-gym scent.

Around-the-house wear while doing errands, re-spray liberally as needed.

Casual day-wear only, the happy bright lemons are fitting for warm weather and sunshine.

It’s not the best choice for night-time wear outside the house, or for anything else where the fragrance needs to last any non-trivial length of time, without re-spraying.

Work wear is out of the question, due to longevity issues.

Bathroom spray. Yes, really.

Other Notes:
Wow. What happened with this one, Dior? How did this one become the choice to supersede the very good previous formulation of Dior Homme Cologne? Honestly, it would’ve been better to have just killed the product, and let it be remembered fondly.

I’ve only experienced one other fragrance that suffers from the debilitating performance issues of this iteration of Dior Homme Cologne, and that’d be Clinique Happy for Men. It also happens to be a citrus cologne. They both have a promising aroma, which lasts literally minutes, and then rapidly trail off to nothing. That leads me to judge both of them “fail”, and a poor investment of funds.

There are other citrus-focused colognes that are fantastic and should be considered instead, where performance at least comes in at a mediocre level: Atelier Orange Sanguine comes to mind as being one of the better ones.

It pains me to pan a member of the Dior Homme line, which I find end-to-end to be probably the best overall men’s offering, inclusive of Dior Homme, DHI, Dior Homme Sport and even the original previous version Dior Homme Cologne (which was excellent by the way, and should be sought out instead of the 2013 formulation). Heck, I even have high hopes for the new Dior Homme Eau, based on early sniffs.

The bar is set so high by the Dior Homme line that it would be understandable for a new sibling to not “measure up”, but Dior Homme Cologne (2013) has to be judged a failure by almost any measure I can respect. I just have to write this off as an aberration, and hope this isn’t the future direction of this line.


12/23/2013
3 Awards
I always appreciate the ladies' perspective on the men's fragrances. So I wanted to return the favor and add my commentary on Addict (2012), in case one man's perspective is informative to a prospective female buyer. I'm a bit ignorant of most of the ladies' scents, as I just don't keep up with them like I do the men's. This one, however, stands out to me as very nice - in fact, only one of two that I request the girlfriend wear by name (Angel EDP being the other).

I am a fan of sweetish-gourmand fragrances; Midnight in Paris and Pure Malt for example. Addict is very similar to those in key respects, but wears so much differently on female skin, or at least for my favorite female. Vanilla is the only note in the fragrance that I'm sure I'm familiar with, the others have exotic-sounding names that I'm sure are euphemisms for atypical aroma-chemicals, and because they're new to me I can't even clearly identify them. Whatever they are though, they evoke the words "smooth", "warm" and "intoxicating" to me. I don't get this same effect from many female fragrances, which tend to be floral or fresh to my nose - all of which is nice, it's just not "woof!", like Addict.

The aroma of Addict is feminine and classy, but sensual at the same time. I think this fragrance dresses upscale or down just fine. The projection and sillage are enough to provide a definite come-hither effect, but it's not loud, and stays composed for a lengthy wearing. I'd say it's an all-day affair. I don't think its a 4-season fragrance, but it does seem to wear fine in temperate or cold weather, anything but the heat really. Taken together I'd be inclined to say it's fairly versatile.

So, at the risk of re-stating what may already be common knowledge among the ladies' crowd on Basenotes: if you ever get a chance to try Addict, do yourself the favor. Even better, if you have a significant other, invite him along, spray and wait 5 minutes then have him smell you. Watch his face. I think the rest will sell itself :)

Solid 9/10.


11/11/2013
4 Awards
Bottom Line -
Declaration d'un Soir is a real break from the original Declaration, featuring an almost Rose soliflore structure this time around. A dark, silky Rose dominates the scent from top to bottom. The masculine categorization is just wrong, honestly; it's at a minimum unisex - and I'd argue feminine-leaning. It's beautiful taken in the right context, but has limited wearability for men. Buyer beware, and test before purchasing.

It earns moderately-high marks for purity of purpose, but comes with some cautions.

Scent -
The opening has a strong, dark Rose with a bit of generic spice as window-dressing. Within the first few minutes, the super-robust Rose all but pushes every other note aside to assert itself. The mids are essentially the same, all Rose. I know there's supposed to be pepper and nutmeg along the way, but I can't uniquely identify those notes under the heavy Rose blanket. The base introduces a meek sandalwood, which seems creamy and nice but very understated.

If you love your Rose dark, strong and in a featured position, Declaration d'un Soir is a worthy candidate. If you are looking for a more complex or balanced Rose-centric frag, this may not meet your requirements. See Other Notes below for potential alternatives.

Wear Performance -
The top notes are a bit strong, but not quite off-putting, just don't spray immediately before walking into the office. The combination of STRONG and ROSE might make you the talk of the office over lunch, but maybe not in the best way. After 10 minutes to settle though, projection and sillage are moderate to strong for a couple of hours, pulling back to a skin scent for the rest of the ride. Total longevity seems to be in the 8+hr range. It's a realistic all-day or all-night option. There's not much development, to my nose, until the very end when the basenotes make a vague appearance.

Wear Scenarios -
This is where this frag becomes tricky, and "personal satisfaction" becomes a very central measure. As usual, if you just love it, then figure out a way to wear it. However, short of that I would recommend cool days, cool nights, for up-scale dress occasions and pretty much no other times.

As this scent comes across as a bit strong and formal, I'd prefer to dress it up, rather than wearing this over jeans & t-shirt for the movies. I would both caution and encourage this one as a date fragrance. To elaborate:

From the man's perspective, I could see certain women really appreciating this as a nice Rose and lapping this up; maybe asking to borrow it. The moderate projection also works well for close-quarters enjoyment.

There's a very real possibility though that other ladies may find this a little less than masculine (not unfairly so), and discourage it's wear on future dates.

From the ladies' perspective, this should wear beautifully on feminine skin, as it really is a nice Rose and I know that I personally am looking forward to asking the GF to try it soon.

I am actually wearing this at work today, and while I'm totally enjoying the aroma in my office, I'm having second thoughts about wearing this in any closed-door meetings. Possibly an unpopular choice for conservative workplaces.

This cologne is in my opinion, as a man, more for personal enjoyment and was obviously not conceived as a general-purpose crowd-pleaser, so I think the key phrase here is "pick your spots". Maybe not to the extreme of Black Afgano, but approaching that.

Other Notes -
From the reviews I'd read, and the note breakdown, I would've expected this to be much closer to Le Labo Rose 31 - a spicy Rose. But to my nose, this is much closer to a pure Rose scent. It's a bit pricey at rack prices for a pretty common designer fragrance: $80 for 50ml or $105 for 100ml.

Other worthy competitors in this space that I've smelled, and do this at least as well, would include: Rose 31, Rose Anonyme, Lumiere Noire, Noire de Noire.


11/10/2013
4 Awards
Bottom Line -
The characterizations I've seen multiple times of Ormonde Man being "James Bond's cologne" is spot-on. It is SO good, and classy. This one goes on my must-buy list after only a couple of wearings, and although its a rarity for my ratings, it gets full marks of 100%. Men 30s and up looking for a big-boy cologne for multiple purposes, but especially for dressing up, will appreciate this one.

Scent -
Ormonde Man starts extremely green and woody, with piqcant spiciness for added character at the top. Yet it never comes across as a "look at me" scent, it is ultra-smooth and full. The mids sweeten up just a tad as the greenness from the top recedes a bit, and the woodsiness begin to exert itself. I'm not sure what hemlock smells like, but if that's part of what I smell in the heart of this fragrance, then other houses might want to avail themselves of this little morsel in future offerings as well. I don't smell much, if any smoky oud, it may be that its just supporting the woodsy notes in this implementation. The base seems to feature a nice creamy sandalwood, and spicy cedar - not overdone, as it is in many other men's fragrances. I don't get any overt vetiver or musk either, but then again it's so well blended, I probably just can't distinguish them.

Whatever is going on with the notes in each stage, the net result is pretty fantastic, I really can't deduct any points at any time during the scent life for smell.

Wear Performance -
Sillage and projection are substantial enough to make a conservative statement, but not loud, so I believe it hits the intended mark dead-on. Longevity was moderate, even though this is labeled EDP, and I might've expected a bit more. The scent projected well for 2hrs, but stays put solidly for a few more. Under typical wear conditions, it seems that longevity should see you through a full business day, 6-8hrs. The shorter-than-expected longevity as an EDP concentration is a small compromise, but if it were labeled an EDT, it would be exactly what I'd expect. In either case the smell more than makes up for this limitation, and I'll just carry an atomizer.

Wear Scenarios -
The aroma is quite flexible, and should work to dress up or down. I'd have zero issues wearing this out to a day spent shopping in jeans, and I wore it out last night to a friend's wedding, dressed to the nines - and it worked perfectly.

Not sure this is particularly a date night fragrance, like a DHI or Straight to Heaven, because it's not especially sweet or fresh. A woman that appreciates a man with top-shelf class would probably have an appreciation for it though.

Like other similar masculines in the same category, Le Labo's Poivre 23 comes to mind, I believe Ormonde Man would wear easily across at least 3 seasons, with only Summer days being questionable if it's quite hot.

Other Notes -
Unfortunately, Ormonde Man appears to be rather difficult to get ones hands on. Manufactured in London, it is available in several Euro-based boutiques, but so far I haven't found anyone in the US carrying it. I'll be in Europe again next month and will attempt to get a full bottle to add to my decant, but failing that, I will definitely pay the rather stiff shipping to have a bottle sent to my home here.


10/03/2013
2 Awards
Was wandering the Marshall's over my lunch break and ran into this frag. I remember making a mental note to check it out if I ever saw it on the shelf - thanks to the heads-up from Dan (Youtube: MyMickers), and his lovely wife Amanda.

Given that a 60ml bottle was marked at a ridiculous $6.99 USD, I grabbed a bottle off the shelf, plunked my change down and gladly walked out the door. I figured for about the price of a burger, if it didn't do anything else for me but become a room spray, it would have been worth the trouble.

Happily, this fragrance rises quite a bit above that level of wearability. It's still warm here in Houston at the moment, in the mid-80s, so it was a good day to try a fresh scent.

With 3 sprays, I get a slightly synthetic, but not terribly so, opening that smells fresh and ever so slightly woodsy and spicy. There are a few more notes than this in the pyramid, but the ones that stand out to me are the spicy top notes of Caraway and Star Anise and woodsy Cypress, heart notes of Eucalyptus and Lavender, and a bit of Sandalwood anchoring the base. I don't get anything dirty, smoky or overly green, including the Patch or Vetiver.

Sillage and projection seem moderate as I sit in my office, with just a little aura going on around me. Shouldn't be intrusive at all, and with moderate application, the scent itself should be OK for daily wear.

Eau de Grey Flannel is weightier than most fresh/aquatics I've tried, but its also far from gourmand or fougere territory. It strikes me as being at a midpoint between Nautica Voyage (but not as aquatic) and Perry Ellis 360 (but not as spicy). Those two are decent to very good frags for the price as well, so this is good company.

I like this one. Whereas I'm not wildly enthusiastic about really fresh/aquatic frags, this one has a bit more heft to it, making it distinctly masculine. It wears light and clean though, which I believe will be appealing to the GF as well, who favors that type of scent.

And seriously, at $6.99 for 60ml? Like most of us, I'm sure, I've occasionally spent much more and gotten less.

Solid 4.0/5.0 on it merits alone. Considering price, 4.5+/5.0, and very atypically, I would actually endorse a no-sniff blind buy if you ever have the opportunity.


09/06/2013
1 Awards
Smelled this on a strip at Sak's today, and was very favorable on it, as a fan of gentlemanly citruses. I'm generally "meh" about Le Labo releases, so this one goes near the top of my list of candidates to revisit soon.

Reminds me very much of Aqua di Parma Colonia, although maybe not quite as bright on top, or quite as barbershop in its tenor. Definitely a nice, bergamot-heavy citrus top, but with some weight behind it too. The vetiver is prominent, somewhat smoky and earthy, and makes a good pairing against the cirtus topnotes. I get no overt Clove, but I get the sense of underlying spiciness in the background.

I didn't smell it long enough to judge the drydown, or the longevity, which could be the make-or-break decisions for me on this one, if I were looking to purchase.

EDIT: I saw where someone related Limette 37 to Eau Sauvage, and that's actually not a bad analogy. I think the Le Labo is slightly weighter and may work better in cooler weather.

I Like this one initially though, and will re-visit prior to next Spring/Summer season, especially as my Colonia starts getting low.


07/01/2013
7 Awards
Actually sniffing the DHS drydown as I write this review. Despite the family relation, this scent is quite different from Dior Homme. Whereas Chanel's Allure Homme and Allure Homme Sport seem to hold a close resemblence, this is not true for the Diors.

DHS opens with very sharp, clear lemons, as the dominant note. I haven't tried them side-by-side, but I'd say this is every bit as lemony as Chanel's Allure Edition Blanche, which seems to be a pretty direct analog. DHS doesn't have that creaminess though, it is more like a juicy lemon. As a scent, this has obviously been done before, but this is about as compelling a version of it as I've smelled - although wearing it several days in a row can be fatiguing. I don't think this is an every day frag because of that.

Having said the above, this one works well in a couple of different scenarios: work (in moderation), casual and daily knockabout scent. I don't think I'd try to dress it up for anything approaching formal, its too playful. And a date scent, it is not, to me.

It is a little more sophisticated than most citrus-focused scents though, having a bit of complexity in the heart and drydown that gives it enough seriousness to not be embarrassed if you do go out amongst adult company. This one does not scream "fratboy".

Notable Comparisons: Eau Sauvage, but without the vetiver/herbals.

Differences: If you were expecting a sportier Dior Homme, with DH's great florals and powder, this will be a surprise because they don't exist.

Longevity is good, if not great, but it is a citrus-based sport frag, so you have to grade on a sliding scale. I'm at about 6 hrs now, and it's still projecting lightly. This is consistent with my previous wearings.

Sillage is good, and can be a bit much if oversprayed - don't go crazy with it or you may earn the nickname "Lemon Pledge" with your coworkers.

I rate this one a "like". I'd say the same about Allure Edition Blanche, for comparison's sake. Eau Sauvage would be my "love" in this general category.


07/01/2013
6 Awards
This review is for the EDP concentration. I want to add my voice to the group praising Philosykos, this was my entry to Diptyque, and based on its strength I suspect I'll be adding some more through this season.

Thanks to the previous reviews, I knew I'd be in for a nice treat when I went to smell this one; and a treat it was! I haven't tried any of the other fig-based frags yet, so maybe they just all smell this good, but this was a very welcome change-up from the usual cologne offerings.

What I read on the open is a very fresh, fruity (fig), leafy top. This part is fantastic, and lasted around 30 minutes. I noticed that the fig retreated a bit after that and the coconut note came a bit more to the forefront afterward, providing a counterbalancing scent, as well as just a touch of sweetness. Based on other reviews, it seems that the EDT may have a more pronounced fig note, just as an FYI, but fig is definitely noticeable in the EDP as well.

This one did evolve some during the heart and drydown, but never resorting to the tried-and-true powdery or musky notes I get in so many other scents - which can be boring. I honestly think I'd have a hard time describing this drydown precisely, because it's well-blended. In any event, it evolved "nicely", I'll settle for that.

I know the "natural-smelling" catch-phrase is overused, but this one definitely strikes my nose as being more like something I'd smell outdoors in the Summer, than something that comes out of a beaker. Scent-wise it's top-shelf.

Given that the concentration on this bottle is EDP, it had the expected, to maybe slightly less longevity, sillage and projection than I'd expect. It wore fine, but it's not a beast by any stretch. Probably 5 hrs good wear for me on the first couple of wearings in hot Houston, TX weather.

The scent is unisex to slightly feminine, I'd say. No issues pulling it off, I think in a casual scenario any guy could, really. However, much to my dismay the GF didn't like this at all. Which was surprising, because she likes fresh/sweetish scents normally, likes coconut, and she's part Greek. Silly me, I figured this would be a homerun - just a word to the guys who are looking for a date day/night frag - this one might need GF approval first :)

I wouldn't recommend this for workplace wear, it sure presents itself as a personal, casual scent.

Recommended, and highly enough that I will be back at the Diptyque counter again, smelling some of the other little gems.


07/01/2013
2 Awards
I made a visit to a great little fragrance shop in Houston, TX named Kuhl-Linscomb on Saturday and smelled this one on a strip. I wanted to like this frag and buy it, based on my previous test wearing of its Mediterraneo cousin Mirto di Panarea. Even though I was looking for the excuse to make this an impulse buy, and I'm sort of an Acqua di Parma fanboy to start with, I couldn't quite justify it.

While Bergamotto di Calabria is a nice enough bright, citrus scent, it didn't do anything special for me - at least while standing in the store with it on a strip. Definitely a nice bergamot scent, quite bright and cheery, but very little body to it, and nothing that made it stand up on its hind legs and ask to be purchased. I would've been happier if I'd read any add'l aquatic notes, woodsiness or just something to make it a bit more complex.

Given its reputation for short longevity and sillage, and this slightly lackluster smell test, I didn't pull the trigger. The Colonia flankers (e.g. Essenza, Assoluta) are much stronger offerings, IMO.

I would compare this, in spirit, to several other nice but mediocre offerings that feature a citrus core - Clinique Happy, Eau d'Hadrien come to mind.

This may work great for someone looking for their first summery citrus fragrance, that's willing to accept a very light wear longevity. Unfortunately, this is a category that has many competitors, so I will keep the ones I have already and try other AdP offerings in the meantime.


06/24/2013
2 Awards
AdG Essenza is a good example of a cologne that has been done many times over: aquatic woods, with adornments added for a small twist. Nothing particularly wrong with it, but its been done somewhat better, and at a more economical price point in many cases. It also suffers collateral damage from being the sibling of the original, over-exposed, AdG, despite the fact that it stands on its own as a separate fragrance.

The fact that it ships in an EDP concentration is one of the few things that make it stand apart from the crowded field of aquatic/woody fragrances. The strength is as expected for an EDP, and it lasts accordingly. This at least gives it real viability as an all-day work fragrance. I get full day wears out of it, with no touch-ups.

As for the fragrance itself, it opens with aquatic, slight citrus and woody notes. This transitions to a stage where the woody notes come to the fore and it remains pretty linear from that point to conclusion. Thankfully, it maintains a nice dryness throughout, nothing sweet or gourmandish sneaks in late on the game.

It is work-safe, flexible enough (read that: mainstream) to function "ok" in a number of scenarios.

I'll continue to rotate it with my other fragrances, mostly for work-wear, but won't buy again. Alternatives at a much more favorable price point, with similar scents include Polo Blue, various Issey Miyakes and Nautica Voyage. Between them all, I'll only re-buy the Nautica again.