MrHonestMrHonest's Perfume Reviews

1 - 5 of 88
MrHonest 4 months ago 1
6.5
Scent
6
Longevity
5
Sillage
4
Bottle

SMell mY FiNGer.
Prepare yourself...for the weirdness. Honestly, at first, I didn't know what to think. Saw a couple of Spanish reviews on the good 'ol YT and since it was running for half price, why not have a go? It can't be that bad right? Well....

Before I get into the scent, let's just talk about the bottle. CHEAP. Is the word. Look, I'm a huge fan of Zara's regular bottles - RWA, UFS, Orange Zest, you know the one - Boss Bottled-ish with a black clicking cap and a very decent atomizer. But THIS stuff...is on another level. Just take the regular bottle, cover it in some crappy metallic nonsense with a crease down each side; then make a plastic version of that same metal for the cap - that weighs less than the standard ones btw - and doesn't even CLICK...and top it off by putting the worst atomizer you can imagine on the sucker. Awful, awful stuff. Anyway, about the scent...

Weird. It's weird ok. I don't know WHAT Zara was thinking not putting iris in the notes, because the original 9.0 base is DEFINITELY in there, right from the first blast. But what begins to happen a few seconds in is difficult to describe. First, with that 9.0 always there in the background, a cheap bergamot zing pops in with that same Tang-esque powdered mandarin orange that you get in Vibrant Leather Summer, or perhaps something like Zara's w/end till 3:00 am (which I despise). And it just doesn't fit. Like, NOT - AT - ALL. No ginger or spices to be found either.

Second, within just a few minutes of the first spray, a very strange accord begins to form that I've never smelled before. At first, it's vaguely reminiscent of fresh popcorn being made way off in the distance, but very quickly turns into what I can only describe as melted butter. You read correctly. And not the delicious, savoury stuff you might smell at the movie theater, but REAL melted butter. And if you've ever smelled it, it's nasty; almost nauseating.

So here's what we have so far - you spray 9.0 Sport on with that terrible sprayer and immediately get a whiff of 9.0 - niiice - iris, the works, no complaints. Then some cheap citruses show up that smell like they came straight out of a paper packet and don't even manage to blend into the rest of the notes...Not great, but do-able. Then quite suddenly, here comes the butter!...and I'm thinking to myself, "wtf?" Gross! Honestly, you can't make this stuff up. If I didn't know better, I swear it's like you're in the middle of baking a f*ing cake.

Just imagine getting yourself a small bowl, pour a couple ml of 9.0 in the bottom, smother it with half a stick of melted butter and then chuck some Tang crystals on the top, without even bothering to mix it. Dip your phalange into that sucker and ask someone to smell your finger. That's what this smells like. Yeah, weird. Luckily the craziness only lasts for about 45 minutes before it settles into something slightly more bareable, and eventually you just end up with a bare-bones 9.0 on your skin that projects moderately for about 4-5 hours. Think Armaf's Futura la Homme but a bit sweeter and far weaker.

But does it smell like DHS 2017? Hell no. It smells like you tried to layer 9.0 and failed. Don't know what all this creamy citrus is about either, because it certainly ain't that. More like cream PLUS citrus - like stale buttery cream...anyway I can't talk about it anymore cause it's....yuck. What can I say? If you like baking sh*tty cakes with terrible ingredients this could be your thing! Otherwise, don't bother. Really. Just go with the original 9.0 and be happy. I paid half price and it ain't worth even that. 5 bucks maybe, but that's pushing it....Significantly better on paper, but overall, still one of Zara's worst. What a GREAT birthday this has been. Just great.

Update: I figured it out!! I knew that candied citrus-and-iris combo reminded me of something! Those small multicoloured marshmallows!!! You know the ones that come in a clear plastic bag that you get at the grocery store? Bust open a bag of those suckers and take a whiff! What strange inspiration...

MrHonest 4 months ago 3
8.5
Scent
9
Longevity
8
Sillage
6
Bottle

The Golden Beauty
I can't deny that it took me a while to come around to this scent. Back when I was just starting out, I sniffed the edt along with Boucheron's Pour Homme (which immediately gave me Azzaro Pour Homme vibes) and wasn't convinced. It reminded me too much of waxy, rose lipstick. For the over 60 crowd, you know. Years later, when online reviewers began to sing its praises, I revisited the scent and finally understood my original pressumptions. The rosey lipstick association was gone...and replaced with something else...

From the first spray, it's essentially a cosmetic mish-mash of heliotrope, lemon, spices and florals. The vibe is absolutely that of a hand cream my mother used to use in her bathroom. That was the original association. Smells just like it. In a few minutes the citruses move WAY back and the cinnamon, clove and vanilla come through. And that's when I'm in heaven.

You see, for a couple years now, I've been searching for a perfume that smells just like my favourite brand of organic chai tea (which will remain nameless) as it has the absolute perfect balance between vanilla, cinnamon, clove, pepper, cardamom and ginger. For a long time, nothing had really come close; but when I sprayed on Jaipur edp, within a couple minutes I recognized that vanilla-and-spice combo. It wasn't the same as my beloved chai, but it damn near nailed 40% of it, adding a good dollop of flowers, tonka and some crystalline candy sparkle.

And it's that benzoin sparkle that keeps it from entering the aged waxy territory usually created from a combo of florals, vanilla and patchouli. Within about 20 minutes, a bit of the woods come through as the spices remain in harmony with the sweeter notes, but the fragrance never really wears flat. For the entire duration of the scent (which is considerable >>> 10 hours+) you get a decent pop of warm vanilla, with a few notes thrown in here and there. And it's classy stuff. Bit 90s-ish, very elegant and perhaps leaning more feminine than most masculine-targetted fragrances, but it's an absolute gem of a blend. 100% unisex and superb value; nothing short of what I would expect from Menardo.

In all honesty, I'm disappointed I never gave Jaipur edp a fair shot in the past. It's a real winner for the cool weather and a delight to wear with a sweater or turtleneck. Head and shoulders above nearly all designer releases these days, and currently available for an incredible price. I'll be sad to see this one eventually disappear from the market, probably because it doesn't smell like shampoo or bubble gum. But looking past the cheap, plastic cap that fits way too tight on the collar (a common complaint and one I heartedly agree with), it's a fantastic fragrance. Just don't tighten the cap all the way and you're golden. Autumn here we come!

MrHonest 4 months ago 1
8.5
Scent
7
Longevity
6
Sillage
8
Bottle

The DReaM tea.
Easily one of the best inexpensive designer freshies made in the last decade. Opens up with such a wonderful Ellena-esque, crisp bergamot and sweet fig that the comparison with Un Jardin en Mediterranee is unmistakable. Although the quality isn't exact, it's pretty close. Definitely a step above the usual designer level.

In a few minutes, the bergamot takes a backseat and a superbly comforting combo of jasmine, green tea and musk blend in with the sweet fig to give it a luxury soap vibe. I don't know why, but it has this unusual calming effect on me, as if I was 3 years old again and my grandmother was reading me a bedtime story. And although I would consider it 100% unisex, I can certainly see some men placing it in the feminine category owing to that sweet fig.

Personally, I would consider this a sweet tea scent. The bergamot is the kind you would find in earl grey tea; but flavour it with fig and add a dash of musk and you've got it. Absolutely no vetiver or woods to my nose. More aromatic, crisp, sweet and lovely. Very happy to say that performance is well above average when sprayed on clothing, because with 6-8 sprays, it projects well into the next DAY. Amazing stuff from a designer brand that isn't normally known for creating such great fragrances. This collection basically came out of left field. And to borrow the baseball analogy, 78VG is a homerun. Sucks that it's already been discontinued, because Banana Republic had a winner on their hands. Quality bottle, heavy cap, superb scent. Nuff said.

MrHonest 4 months ago 5
9
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
6
Bottle

A rare stunner from Zara ( ⚆ _ ⚆ )
Apart from its popular current association with Dior's Homme Parfum (which I personally can't confirm), this has got to be one of the best fragrances that Zara has ever released. In fact, if you lined up 10-20 seasoned fragrance professionals/critics in a row and had them sniff this fragrance blindly, I would be willing to bet that NOT A SINGLE ONE would guess that it came from the popular Spanish designer.

Years ago, before the country exclusives line or brilliant collaboration with Jo Malone, Zara was known to take "inspiration" from popular designer fragrances and turn them into bargain alternatives for the common consumer. However, in recent years, I've been noticing that more and more of their releases were starting to smell eerily similar to more expensive, niche scents ala Tom Ford, Kilian Paris, Parfums de Marly and Mancera. Heartened by this turn of events, I've been keeping a vigilant eye out for another fantastic release that would renew my hope in the brand's unpredictably revolving repetoire. And lo and behold, I found one.

From the first spray, it's absolutely a trip to the Jo Malone section of the niche boutique. No designer vibe here. Not a trace of bergamot despite the name, but a heady, almost powdery, liquid amber and perfumey iris opening. Very quickly though, the iris disappears and the oud comes out to play - and it's oh so slightly medicinal. Ditto with a bare-bones leather accord that's clearly made from labdanum, but blends so well with the oud that it's magical. And here's the kicker - nothing about this scent is heavy, dense, exceedingly rich or cloying, making it great for just about any season of the year.

But without a doubt, my favourite part is how the accords meld into a single waft of what can only be described as a sticky and salty honey dribbling over the outside of a leather purse. Nothing too animalic or overtly leathery like Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather, but certainly rougher than a suede jacket. If you've ever smelled Kilian's Back to Black, it's a very similar honey accord, albeit significantly and deliciously diluted. What a great balance, and absolutely, 100% unisex. The down side - if you were looking for an iris-dominant fragrance ala DH/DHI, this ain't it. Best go with the original 9.0.

The only thing that perplexes me a bit about B&LS, is the non-uniform projection. At 2 inches, it's poetry. Salty honeyed leather with an indistinct floral somewhere in the background. At a foot, the leather is signifcantly less prominent and the honey becomes a very thin sweet amber. At an arm's length and beyond, the leather is nowhere to be found, and the amber is about all that I can detect. I suppose this is characteristic of the materials used? I dunno. All I know is that I friggin' enjoy the stuff. And yeah, I've gotten more than one comment about its potency from across the room (it'll blast for about an hour), but I wouldn't classify it as beastmode. On the contrary, after the first hour, the bulk of the scent stays within a good bubble and lasts on me for 9 hours plus. Good luck washing it off after 5 hours. Nuh-uh. Excellent performance for Zara fragrance.

All that's left to say is that I'm terribly disappointed that it's going to get axed and will likely never come back. But if it, or something similar DOES manage to make a triumphant comeback (I'm looking at you Zara ಠ_ಠ ), please please please fix the crappy atomizer. Reminds me of the one on Proraso's Wood and Spice that gives out a dismal little puff with no control over the amount. Everything else is fine - the bottle, the cap, the packaging, the price and most of all, the scent.

As a loyal supporter of great budget fragrances, it would be a shame if burgeoning enthusiasts were bereft of an opportunity to experience something of this caliber at this price point. Stunning value. And with the general designer market tanking day by day, I'm very much hoping that the trend of higher quality releases from Zara continues. Because it's stuff like THIS that gives me hope. Well done.

MrHonest 5 months ago 3
7.5
Scent
7
Longevity
7
Sillage
8
Bottle

Her Sweeeet, Sw, Sw, Sweeeet can...
Having been a fan of the original Au Masculin, this was an easy transition for me. Couldn't be happier with how Lempicka modernized this one. Absolutely still has the original DNA, but they've somehow managed to simultaneously tame and concentrate it. If you're familiar with audio compression in sound engineering, the concept is similar. Take the resolution of the original formula, reduce the dynamic range of the notes by squeezing them at both ends and normalize. In this case, the result is an extraordinarily well-balanced composition that doesn't stray much from a single and persistent accord - and it's sweeeeeet.

To sum up the fragrance in one sentence, it's basically a straight line of incredibly tantilizing sweetness that hovers somewhere between fennel-flavoured woody sugar water and boozy syrup. On paper, the opening is an absolute BLAST of sugary apple, syrup and vanilla, followed by an expertly blended licorice and some kind of weak cinnamon-esque spice. In fact, the woody apple somehow reminds me of fragrances in the style of Boss No. 6 or Lacoste Pour Homme - both of which would easily fall into the same category of casual sweeties. Don't be fooled though, Lempicka Homme is FAR sweeter than both, with an obvious emphasis on the saccharine-laden base notes mingled with a wonderful TOUCH of anise.

Sure enough, on skin it's a bit of a different story. Almost immediately you get the anise and booze, but within minutes everything settles into a Le Male-esque woody sweetness that I swear, permeates quantum dimensions of reality, it's really quite astonishing. Like a smooth and tantilizing finger of liquid syrup, it reaches out to tickle the pleasure receptors of noses that come anywhere near it. In essence, it's a very simple scent - almost generic - but boy is it lovely. In fact, when I purchased the bottle, it came in a gift set with an aftershave balm and when I picked up the box, I could smell the damn thing right through the packaging. Super pleasing, easy to like and subtley addictive. Immediate approval, despite the reform.

And if you think about it, it's not really that much of a surprise. Modern formulations are almost always tamer, weaker and sweeter, and this one is no exception. BUT - and it's a big but(t) - Lempicka Homme still manages to balance the notes really well and maintain decent longevity - something that really surprised me the first couple times I wore it. I even tested it in incredibly hot weather and during workouts with no problems whatsoever. Morever, despite the incessant sweetness, it's thin enough to be worn all year long without becoming cloying - a rare attribute among sweet or gourmand leaning fragrances.

But if there's one area in which this stuff excels, it's layering. Combine it with any fruity, woody, smoky, boozy or gourmand scent and it can add that extra ingredient (SUGAR!) that draws people in like flies to a piece of sh.......ugary icing. And maybe it's just me, but I think it's a bit sensual. As in...the sexy kind. A thin, understated woody sweetness with just a dash of spice...that makes existence extra nice, wink wink. Maybe Belle was onto something. Thumbs up from me. Great atomizer too. A very solid release from Lempicka for someone looking to please the masses. Or themselves. Not judging. Now it's time for some sweeeeeeet....
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