MichVaillantMichVaillant's Perfume Reviews

1 - 10 of 13

08/11/2017
3 Awards
Jagler is a very decent traditional male fougere with reasonably good performance. It starts off somewhere between Krizia Uomo and Bogart One Man Show, combining piney and floral accords; (mostly jasmine, to my nose). The drydown is mostly vanilla folded into an old-school mossy base. It is quite affordable if you can find it; more available in Europe and Mid-East than other parts of the world.


06/21/2017
4 Awards
Cabaret Homme is quite underrated, although it is hardly groundbreaking. It is somewhere between a textbook lavender/juniper/leather fougere a la Drakkar Noir and a coriander/sandalwood aromatic such as RL Safari or Cartier Pasha. Think of it as a much better Caesar’s Man, or a not-as-good Givenchy Xeryus, and you will get the picture.

Cabaret Homme possesses the baseline quality level you would expect from a Gres fragrance; so, I cannot see it disappoint anybody, even the seasoned aficionado, from a quality perspective. Disappointment, if it happens, would follow from a perceived lack of originality and “wow factor”. Obviously, the more you are familiar with the above listed fragrances, the more likely such a disappointment. For me the one thing that sets it apart from any of the others listed above is a “just right” amount of spiciness, which neither overwhelms, nor gets lost among other aspects/notes.

This would be a great buy at a reasonable price, but at the current (Summer 2017) prices, it is not a competitive buy; especially if you are buying blind.


02/27/2016
1 Awards
This is quite similar to Stetson as far as I can tell. I am comparing very recent bottles of the two, probably 2014 or 2015. However, I like (tolerate?) Stetson better, because some bitter, quasi animalic accord that for me is the link between the two seems to work well in Stetson, and not work at all in Royal Copenhagen. Anyway, not too bad, but not at all essential, either. While there is Stetson, I would go with that. It might be worthwhile to track down a vintage to find out if (or rather, how much,) it was better back in the day.


12/10/2015
2 Awards
I do not get much cinnamon from this, but something akin to a fresh tobacco accord. Of course, cinnamon is listed as a note and tobacco is not; so, take my words with a grain of salt.
As far as I can tell, people who like CK One Shock for Men might find this a good choice for fall and winter. It might be a little too sweet and dry for summer. I do not suggest that CK Shock and PE m smell alike, (or even close), but at least for me, they fill similar spots in the rotation. PE m is sweeter, and less tobacco-ey than Shock, and Shock seems to project and last somewhat better than PE m. At any rate, a pretty good choice at current prices (as of December 2015) for people who do not have anything against any of the listed notes.


11/28/2015
3 Awards
A very "American" fragrance. I would group this with Stetson Original, Mary Kay Tamerisk, and perhaps even with Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne. They are not smell-alikes, necessarily, but they all evoke a quintessentially old-school American feeling, like a meeting among founding fathers, or a visit to a barbershop in the old west. 1776 would be the best of the bunch among those; it is quite good. I guess "creamy" is the most obviously common aspect of the fragrances I mentioned. Elsha 1776 distinguishes itself from the others by being a leather fragrance, but the leather in 1776 is not too potent or animalic. So, you are not taking any social risks by wearing 1776, other than possibly being perceived as wearing an "old guy's cologne," as some people tend to say. I am beyond such worries, since I do not subscribe to the "old guy", "old lady", "high school kid", etc. frames used for fragrances, and I am not young enough to care about being perceived as old. However, the best use of 1776 for me is at home, with a robe de chambre on, and a good (preferably history) book in hand.


11/28/2015
5 Awards
Nothing can prepare you adequately for the moment when you first experience Kouros. I tried it for the first time after reading oodles about it and smelling hundreds of other fragrances, many of which were strong, vintage fragrances, and I thought Kouros (or any other fragrance for that matter) could not wow me at that point. I was wrong. I guess a good analogy would be the experience of a long-time big city dweller seeing New York City for the first time. You may have lived in big cities your whole life, but NYC still wows you at first sight; with all that is good *and* that is bad about it. You may love it or hate it, but you cannot stay indifferent; just like you cannot be indifferent about Kouros.
I have only used (semi-)vintage Kouros from early to mid 2000s, possibly the last generation of bottles with the metallic shoulders and bottoms, and have loved it ever since the first spray. It is fresh, sweet, animalic and woodsy all at the same time, and lasts long and projects well to the point of preposterousness. The basenotes are more on the sweet/woodsy side than the other aspects, and seem to last for days, especially on fabric. A couple sprays on your skin can easily survive a light shower. If you look at the right places, (mainly online, or course), you may still be able to find a reasonably priced (semi-)vintage bottle as of late 2015.


03/06/2015
3 Awards
This is as close to the beach as you can get without actually being there: lime, coconut, and everything beachy and summery. I find the women's version of Set Sail St. Barts to be very close to the men's version, so much so that one can be used instead of the other. Both the men's and women's versions are quite summery and unisex, quite fun to wear in warm weather. Not much longevity and projection, but given the low price tag, that may not be a huge problem, as long as you do not mind reapplying every few hours.


03/06/2015
2 Awards
I came across a body lotion of this quite recently, and it smelled exquisite. Strong white floral notes mixing with spices and vanilla left a sultry, creamy and almost animalic impression on me; kind of like Ungaro pour L'Homme II, if you are familiar with that fragrance. If I didn’t know better, I would say there must be some civet in it. If the perfume counterpart is as good as the lotion I experienced, it can become a deadly “weapon of mass attraction” on the right woman.


01/30/2015
2 Awards
(A general word of caution about my impressions of fragrances: I apply on clothes and not on skin.)

This is like those undiluted coolants that you need to mix 50/50 with water before putting in your car's radiator. Silage is enormous, and longevity is preposterous. This stays on clothes virtually forever. Having said that, it is quite possible to control this beast with careful application. And frankly, I would rather use a single-careful-spray-only fragrance than a gone-in-an-hour-after-20-sprays fragrance. Contemporary Bogart fragrances, (as well as the current offerings of a few other affordable men’s lines such as Lapidus,) are real anomalies in today's fragrance market when you consider the performance you get for the money you spent on them. This beauty here can be had for as little as $15 for a 100 ml bottle, and can last you years at couple sprays a day. This is the kind of performance you would only expect to get from an old-school powerhouse in its vintage formulation. I love Bogart for keeping the old-school powerhouse tradition and gusto alive. “Bogart, the house of powerhouse,” indeed!

Performance aside, this is not my favorite Bogart fragrance, although I like and quite enjoy it. This is quite a sweet fragrance. I would say it is fruity-sweet, rather than spicy-sweet or floral-sweet. To my nose, honey is a dominant theme in this fragrance, and I was surprised to see that it is not among the official notes. Actually, I get a distinct “honey smell” from this fragrance as opposed to just a “honey note” as you would find in several other fragrances that include honey as a note, such as Bijan and Alain Delon. But then again, Bogart is known for creating impressions of notes without actually using them in a fragrance, but instead through interaction of other notes. For example, consider the incense impression in Furyo without the use of incense as a note, or the tobacco impression in Bogart pour Homme (2004, not the 1975 original) without the use of tobacco. Beside the sweetness, this fragrance has the trademark “dirty+soapy” aspect you find in most Bogart fragrances, which gives it an extra old-school macho appeal. The “dirty+soapy” aspect becomes quite pronounced if you smell the fragrance up close after application. I believe what I call the “dirty+soapy” aspect is the "thin balance" between clean and dirty Rickbr talks about in his review below. I like that in a fragrance.


01/30/2015
5 Awards
I find Tenere quite close to Rochas Globe. Both have that old-timey, low-key, melancholy herbal-floral vibe, which I recognize instantly, but find quite hard to put into words. They take you back to another time and another place with a few sprays. Another fragrance that gives me a similar feeling is Balenciaga’s Ho Hang Club, which I find more old-school than both Tenere and Globe, but not as good as either, (although I still like Ho Hang Club quite a bit.) Tenere and Globe are lighter and brighter, while I find Ho Hang Club a bit heavy and blunt (if that word makes sense).

Having suggested a similarity between Tenere and Globe, I am having a hard time trying to find the exact connection between them by looking at the official lists of the notes for the two fragrances. However, my nose insists that there indeed is a strong connection. Is it the rose or the carnation? No, I would not say so. I find the connection to be more along the herbal dimension than the floral. Perhaps artemisia, or the restrained and refined use of patchouli? Possibly. Between the two, Globe is the smoother, while Tenere is the harsher one. Tenere has some additional animalic aspect to it, while Globe comes across quite "clean".

Are far as recommendations go, Tenere is not something I would suggest for people who do not usually enjoy old-school fragrances. However, if you do enjoy such fragrances, you may want to give Tenere a try. The problem of course is that Tenere is discontinued and can no longer be sampled in department stores or chain perfumeries. So, you probably will have to take the risk of making a blind buy, unless you have access to an independent brick-and-mortar perfumery that carries discontinued fragrances. As you make your buying decision, consider Rochas Globe and Ho Hang Club as possible alternatives to Tenere; Globe being a very close, and Ho Hang Club a distant substitute. Among the three, Ho Hang Club seems to be the most affordable as of early 2015, and Tenere the most expensive.


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