Saturday, April 22, 2006

REVIEW: Geir by Geir Ness

Notes: Sadly, the exact composition is kept a secret.

Pros: Completely unique; fresh and green yet sweet and warm, a very appealing and versatile fragrance.

Cons: None.

Reminds me of: Geir is incomparable, but if I had to select other scents that I personally feel could share a category with Geir, how 'bout Kenzo pour Homme (same wonderful green mossy notes) and Eau de Monteil (same dewy sweet plant and leaf essences)?

Development: There's very little development in Geir as the entire composition is so well-blended, no single note really stands apart.

Longevity: Excellent - it's an EDP concentration.

Sillage: Also, excellent. I've received numerous compliments while wearing this.

Where can I buy it: $45 for a 50ml edt spray; $65 for a 100ml edt spray at

Bottleworthy: Definitely. Without a doubt.

The Bottom Line: When I first smelled Geir in 2001, I didn't really care for it, but after receiving and testing a sample, and having the chance to do more than just spray it on my wrist, I quickly fell in love with this scent of the "crisp Norwegian mountains, blended with herbs, wetwood and natural oils." An airy green scent, with a wonderfully smooth and aromatic core, this has to be one of the most unusual aromas I've had the pleasure of discovering in men's perfumery. One of my favorite compliments was when my friend Margo exclaimed "What is that smell? Someone just smells amazing! It's like sex!" I happily volunteered my right arm, and alas, it was me.

Rating (out of 10): 10

What's your "smells like sex" scent?

BATH AND BODY: A Tale of Two Powders

So, after surviving 4 Osaka summers, I've learned the benefits of using body powder in hot weather. Since then, I've been trying a variety of powders in an attempt to find one that works best for my needs. My criteria:
  • The powder can be scented, but shouldn't clash with my fragrance.
  • The powder can contain anything. At this point, I'm not sure what is and isn't good for my skin.
  • It shouldn't be too pricey as I use this stuff pretty liberally.
My first 2 experiences:

Crabtree and Evelyn Aloe Vera Talc-Free Body Powder

Aside from being the longest title for a body product, ever, this powder is made with finely milled natural corn, rice and oats. Described as feeling like "spun silk", the un-scented product sells for $12 for 75 grams at Aside from the fact that the lid would not close properly, causing everything in the same bag to become coated with, as the customs officer put it, "a suspicious white powder," the product did go on easily and did feel quite "soft." However, it seemed to disappear from my skin quite quickly and never really helped my skin stay dry. I liked the fact that it was scentless and the fact that it's talc free must be important...though I have no idea why. It just didn't work as well as I had hoped.

Johnson Medicated Baby Powder

For my next experience, I decided to go back to basics - good old Johnson's Baby Powder. Though I felt a bit odd perusing the shelves of baby powder, me, a 31 year old man with a shaved head and army fatigues, I simply pretended as if I was shopping for darling baby, little whats-his-name, the joy of my life. I decided to try the medicated powder with Aloe and Vitamin E and zinc for its ability to heal minor skin irritations. It was $3.99 for 15 ozs at and worth every penny.

Not only did the powder smell great (I'm a sucker for powdery smells and recently received a bottle of i Profumi Talco Delicato), but the powder seemed to last forever, coated my skin (I'm now at a stage of "too many extra pounds" where I must deal with the ocasional chub rub) and helped keep my skin dry. Hands down, this was the better of the two. I'm using it daily and I LOVE that smell...

Stay tuned for more glorious adventures in the quest for the perfect powder (eeeewwww)! Have a suggestion? Please comment below!

Friday, April 21, 2006

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK: Romeo Gigli, Sud Est

Notes: Basil, begamot, thyme, jasmine, hyacinth, artemesia, rosemary, cinnamon, oakmoss, cedar, patchouli

50 ml EDT spray: Retail price $49; $14.99

The Bottom Line: A great salad of a scent, green and slightly sharp with darker herbal undertones of moss and patchouli. Reminds me of Versace Green Jeans without the lime and combined with Sisley Campagne. Great lasting power and sillage, slowly relaxes revealing softer highlights of cinnamon and cedar. At $14.99, this one is far too great to miss. I am a fan of all of the Gigli scents, and Sud Est is one of the best.

BATH AND BODY: Le Couvent des Minimes, Orange Blossom Body Cream

What is it? "Combines concentrated Mediterranean orange blossom extracts with deeply hydrating grapeseed oil to create a silky, nourishing cream that leaves your skin soft, moisturized and smooth." A lightweight cream in a jar that goes on easily and leaves an incredible, subtle aroma of orange blossom.

Why should I buy it?
Bath and Body Works currently has a "4 minis for $10 special." I bought the Orange Blossom body cream, the Lavender and Acacia body milk, an Amber and Myrh lotion, and an Almond shower gel. Anyhow, the OB mini is not quite so small - 1.7 ozs - and I was surprised how non-greasy the product is and how subtle the scent is.Where can I buy it? $28 for 8.8 ozs at

The Bottom Line: Encouraged by another blogger's review of this product (
see Victoria's Own), I decided to seek out this wonderful line and liked the body cream better than the edt. Perfect to layer with your favorite orange blossom scents like Cologne Mugler, Rochas Lui, or Czech and Speake Neroli, this moisturizing cream will leave skin soft, smell great and as a little goes a long way, will likely last you forever.

Rating (out of 10): 7

What's your favorite orange blossom-scented product?

REVIEW: Grabazzi

Notes: Pepper, Carnation, Citrus, Lavender, Jasmine, Colaberry, Musk, Bergamot, Lime, Leather, Lilac

Pros: A more dynamic scent than its predecessor, Gendarme, with brighter citrus and pepper notes.

Cons: Might remind some of their favorite baby shampoo.

Reminds me of: My favorite baby shampoo. I think it was Avon and it had a deer on the bottle and I used to stare at the "oz" for ounces and wonder if it had something to do with Dorothy and her friends, but that's another story; SMN Muschio Oro (Gold Musk); Barber Shop talc.

Development: This one does some changing, starting off similar to a classic gold musk, then slowly opening to reveal the citrus and lime. It than reverts back to its musk base before moving to the florals and finally settling back into a golden musk again.

Longevity: Pretty good - put it on at around 8am and it was still going strong around 3pm.

Sillage: I was very aware of my fragrance throughout the morning prompting me to wonder if perhaps the scent had a little too much projection.

Where can I buy it? Try a sample for $.99 at or buy the 4 oz bottle for $65

Bottleworthy? Definitely try before you buy and keep your eyes open for the 2 oz bottle for $45.

The Bottom Line: Not really a variation on Gendarme, but a similar approach and style. I like it. I like that it reminds me of my baby shampoo. I like the gold musk in the base. I like the simple packaging. Not quite as sharp as typical gold musk oils or SMN Muschio Oro. The smaller bottle isn't currently listed on the site, but I know its available on the internet should you wanna go for the 2 oz for around $45 vs the 4 oz at $65.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Is there a specific bath or body product that you wish also came as a fragrance?

IMAGE: Michel a la Freddy

Monsieur Roudnitska, showing off his Freddy Kreuger "strip-claw", actually doubles as a hairpiece from the latest Galliano collection.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

BATH AND BODY: Bigelow Almond Shower Gel

What is it? "Our skin-refreshing, body cleanser provides a rich creamy lather while effectively cleansing the skin. With the addition of super-concentrated Aloe Vera, skin feels soft, clean and conditioned. Almond Extract 2% Aloe Concentrate .5%" A bath and shower gel with a wonderful aroma of toasted almond.

Why should I buy it? I've been searching for an inexpensive, true-to-the-almond scented shower gel. A clean layer of almond makes a great accent to many of summer's citrus scents. Bath and Body Works currently has a "4 minis for $10 special." I bought the Orange Blossom body cream, the Lavender and Acacia body milk, an Amber and Myrh lotion and the Bigelow Almond Shower gel. Anyhow, the Bigelow mini is a decent size - 2 ozs - and I was surprised how wonderful the scent is.

Where can I buy it? $13 for 10 ozs at

The Bottom Line: With a flip-top dispenser and a reasonable price-tag, Bigelow's almond shower gel is a must try for almond lovers. Decent suds and a great toasted almond aroma make this shower gel a gem of a find.

Rating (out of 10): 8

What's your favorite almond-scented product?

REVIEW: Cologne Mugler

Notes: Bergamot, Neroli, Petitgrain, Orange flower, White Musk, Secret Note

Pros: Light, fresh, unisex, good longevity.

Cons: There's an odd musty note that pokes its ugly head out now and then, but I don't really mind it so much...

Reminds me of: Well, I know this gets compared to 4711, and I should add that Creed's Original Vetiver and Jasper Conran Man both smell strikingly similar as well.

Development: Very little development, as the citrus fades, the white musk opens.

Longevity: Pretty good - seems to stay with me about 5-6 hours.Sillage: Considering how often I receve compliments on this, the sillage must be pretty good.

Where can I buy it? $29.95 for a 4.1 oz tester at

Bottleworthy? Definitely, a must-try, and at the price above, totally worth it! A decant just won't be enough.

The Bottom Line: An incredible unisex cologne, refreshing, light, comforting and perfect for anytime of year. The highlight of this scent in my humble opinion is the combination of neroli and white musk - comfort in a bottle. Though there are other scents that smell similar, I'll stick with my original favorite, Cologne Mugler.

Rating (out of 10): 8.5

What's your favorite "cologne"?

BATH AND BODY: Le Couvent des Minimes, Lavender and Acacia Body Milk

What is it? "Infused with calming lavender extracts, softening acacia extracts and hydrating grapeseed oil, this daily moisturizer soothes and softens skin." A lihtweight, non-greasy, moisturizing body milk with a light scent of lavender.

Why should I buy it? Bath and Body Works currently has a "4 minis for $10 special." I bought the Orange Blossom body cream, the Lavender and Acacia body milk, an Amber and Myrh lotion and one other product that I can't quite recall. Anyhow, the L&A mini is not quite so small - 2.5 ozs - and I was surprised how non-greasy the product is and how subtle the scent is.

Where can I buy it? $16 for a 250ml bottle or $2.50 for a 75ml mini when purchasing three others (see store display for details) at

The Bottom Line: A light, hydrating milk scented with lavender that employs grape seed oil and acacia extact for their moisturizing properties. This stuff would be great for layering with your favorite lavender scents - Caron pour un Homme, L'Occitane Lavender, Dior Homme Eaux des Colognes, etc.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Do you have a favorite lavender-scented product?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

MUST-READS: Trumper, Eucris review at NST

Click the bottle above to read my full review of Eucris at NowSmellThis

RANTS: Pass me the nipple refresher and some toothpaste...

I shit you not, Agent Provocateur indeed sells a Nipple Refresher as part of their Titillation duo.
Titillation has been designed to hit all the right spots, creating excitement and enhancing arousal. The duo pack features a rich and fragrant Lip Plumper, alongside partner in crime, the Nipple Refresher. Both products from Titillation, taste, smell and feel irresistible, developed as an essential addition to your seduction ritual.
I wonder, if you were to just put the lip balm on and then......nevermind.

$36 for the duo at

What's the weirdest scented product you've come across?

REVIEW: Terra Nova, Red Tea and Cocoa Blossom Cologne Mist

Notes: African Red Tea flowers, seductive cocoa blossoms, marine breezes and sparkling orange.

Pros: Light - one of the only cocoa scents that isn't overly sweet or gourmand; excellent longevity; great price tag.

Cons: Might be too simple of a composition for some; the orange note sticks out at the sides of this scent and is slightly bothersome.

Reminds me of: CSP Amour de Cacao without the powdery almond; Bvlgari Omnia, but not as well-blended or as subtle; a lighter, more watery version of the new Missoni for Women.

Development: As it relaxes on the skin, the cocoa and tea notes take turns dominating the composition. As already mentioned, there is an odd orange note that weaves in and out of the wings, but thankfully, never really makes much of a presence.

Longevity: It seems to last rather well, especially considering that it's a "cologne mist".

Sillage: Makes a presence, a little goes a long way here.

Where can I buy it? $32 for a 4 oz Cologne Mist at

Bottleworthy? If you're a chocolate fan or looking for a light, unusual summer scent, this might be perfect.

The Bottom Line: My first venture into Terra Nova territory, thanks to Deb, and I have to say, for the price and quantity, the quality is equally noteworthy. Red Tea and Cocoa Blossom is dominatd by the cocoa notes, but lightened by red tea flower - a note that reminds me of Earl Grey tea with a hint of jasmine. Perhaps it is this multi-faceted note which makes this scent so interesting.

Rating (out of 10): 7

What's your take on Terra Nova products?

REVIEW: Detaille, Escrimeur

Notes: lemon, bergamot, orange, rosemary, lavender, vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, cardamom, and musk.

Pros: Has an older, vintage feel about it; a nice take on vetiver.

Cons: A nice scent, but might be a bit simple for some tastes; prices vary wildly.

Reminds me of: L'Occitane Vetiver; L'Artisan Vetiver

Development: Opens with fresh citrus notes, develops into a predominantly vetiver and woods aroma.

Longevity: I used a roll-on decant, 2 swirls on the right wrist lasted about 3 hrs before disappearing.

Sillage: Not bad at the beginning, enjoyed the wafts of vetiver from the wrist during the first hour.

Where can I buy it? $38.94 for a 3.4 oz edt spray at

Bottleworthy: A great scent for vetiver lovers at a great price.

The Bottom Line: Vetiver lightened with lemon and citrus and anchored in the base by woods and musk. A very sophisticated take on a very popular note, beautifully packaged and presented. Make sure to read the fascinating history of Detaille at Being a more traditional composition, Escrimeur would make a great Father's Day scent, but would also be ideal for those looking for a kinder gentler vetiver than say, oh, Guerlain or Malle.

Rating (out of 10): 6.5

Make sure to check out all of the .5 oz MPG sprays at

REVIEW: Yves Rocher, Blue Cedar Eau de Cologne

Notes: Blue cedar extract, light musk

Pros: A subtle version of cedar, light, fresh, and woody; great pricetag; nice musky edge.

Cons: May be a bit too subtle for some.

Reminds me of: The musk tones the cedar, but I can't really think of comparisons...maybe Kenzo Time for Peace for Men

Development: Zero

Longevity: About 2 hours, but it is an Eau de Cologne.

Sillage: Subtle...but step-mom said I smelled good about an hour after application.

Where can I buy it? $16 for a 4.2 oz Eau de Cologne at

Bottleworthy? Absolutely, especially if you are either a musk or cedar fan.

The Bottom Line: Another winner from Yves Rocher, perfectly paired with the Blue Cedar shower gel for a mere additional $3 (8.4 ozs). It's not gonna bowl you over with sophistication, but for the price, it smells incredible, has acceptable longevity and is, ahem, a great way to wear wood for the summer. Go for it.

Rating (out of 10) 6.5

What's your favorite cedar-based scent?

EVENTS: New fragrance launches and packaging!

Release dates listed in Nordstrom's Fine Fragrances 2006 event calendar:
April 3 - Armani, Code for Women
April 14 - Michael Kors, Fiji (Island)
April 21 - Gucci, Envy Me II
April 21 - Nanette Lepore, Shanghai Butterfly
May 5 - Patou, Sirra des Indes (already in stores)
May 19 - Boss, Selection
May 26 - Valentino Homme
June 2 - Blue Sugar
June 9 - Calvin Klein, Euphoria for Men
Additional information:

  • Bvlgari pour Homme has been repackaged, still the same old grey, but a slightly new look.
  • Burberry's for Men (the older one in the red box with plaid striping at bottom) has a new modern-looking metallic, burgundy sleeve that slides over the old box - clever way to create a new look for an old scent!
  • The Boucheron summer scents are now available, love the beautiful blue men's Boucheron bottle.
  • CK One Summer 2006 is ready to launch. The composition includes notes of melon, peach, and musk and is housed in a blue and yellowish-green bottle. My favorite of the variations so far.
  • Eternity Summer has new decals on the bottles this year, but the juice is the same as last year's.
  • Versace Man has launched an Eau Fraiche version.
  • Anthony Logistics has launched a line of 4 fragrant body sprays: Energy, Courage, Spirit and Strength. Look for a review coming soon!
  • At Sephora, Lotto Man and Everlast Original 1910 are on the shelves.
  • Burberry London for Men is rumored to launch this summer - or will it merely be a relaunch of the older Burberry Men scent?
  • Don't forget to sniff the new (and boring) CSP Vanilla Citrus at Sephora, Missoni for Women, Creed Home fragrances, and L'Artisan Mandarin Tout Simplement at Niemans; Goutal's Songes (save me from the evil cumin) at Saks.
  • L'Occitane is launching their new The Vert au Jasmin to compliment their recent The Vert a la Menthe this week.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

MUST-READS: Obsession Night for Men

Click the bottle above to read my latest review at NowSmellThis,
Calvin Klein's Obsession Night for Men.


Gentleman (and Ladies, if it sparks an interest), let me introduce a great site for men's grooming products, clothing, shaving advice, etc. - Men Essentials.

This website also hosts a growing on-line community with boards for discussion of everything from fragrance to shopping discounts, from product reviews to arts and culture. There's also a place to share pics and reviews, and even a thorough selection of grooming guides:
Welcome to MenEssentials, the Internet's first male grooming site and the premiere online destination for men of style and substance. We offer the finest skin care, hair care, shave and shower products for men only — plus the grooming and skin care advice you need to use them with confidence.
Check it out today! Click the Men Essentials icon above!

REVIEW: Bond 9, Great Jones

Notes: Italian Bergamot, Sweet Orange, Cedarwood, Cardamom, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Musk

Pros: One of the lesser known Bond 9 scents, though I have no idea why....Wonderful blend of moss and citrus with a fresh airy quality juxtaposed against rich earthy tones. Stunning.

Cons: Afterall, it IS a Bond 9 scent, the pricetag is a bit steep.

Reminds me of: This is an older scent, more mature than say, New Haarlem. This scent is also a bit conservative, no outlandish notes here, no suprises. Can't really think of anything to compare this to. Maybe Molinard's Rafale?

Development: Doesn't really develop much, only relaxes.

Longevity: Not bad, 4-5 hours on my skin.

Sillage: Pretty good, I can actually smell myself....I wonder if that spells "too loud" for others?

Where can I buy it? $105 for a 50 ml spray, or $168 for a 100 ml spray at

Bottleworthy? Another one to add to the Father's Day list...that is, only if Dad would appreciate it...

The Bottom Line: I only bought this from a friend because I figured it would have good swap value, I hadn't imagined actually liking it. But now that I have it and I'm testing it, holy crap did I make a good choice. I love this stuff! Warm and wonderful with an almost coffee-like aroma, but also retaining light, fresh citrus overtones, Great Jones is one of the biggest surprises yet from Bond. The drydown is a musk-vetiver-moss trio that pretty much defines the entire composition. Cedar creates an accent in the midnotes and surprisingly, the citrus top is subtler than I had imagined.

Located in downtown Manhattan, one block from Bond and Bleecker Streets and near NYU, I'm not exactly sure that this is what I would have thought of for Great Jones Street, but nonetheless, I'm gonna suggest that this is a must try for those interested in exploring Bond 9 fragrances.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Which Bond scent took you by surprise?

Monday, April 17, 2006

RANT: Tommy T Girl, no Boy, no Girl, no Boy

So I told you I would write a review of Tommy T for Women today, as I knew my step-sister has a bottle of Tommy T and I thought I'd ask for a shpritz or two. So today I checked out her bottle and thought it looked oddly similar to mine. I know quite a few scents who share the same shaped bottles but I thought I'd check anyhow...And...nope she's got Tommy T for Men.

So here's the question, I'm not sure she knows that she's wearing the men's scent, do I tell her or not?

IMAGES: The Current Rotation

Keeping in mind that there are some decants mixed in and a mirror behind, can you name the scents in the current rotation?

Thanks to all my friends who helped make these images possible.


Ahh, coriander, I know it well...or do I? Here's my take on it: Coriander is a small seed from the coriander plant that has a lemony aroma and is used in cooking and perfumery.

So let's Wikipedia "coriander" and see how far off I am...

Ok, well, most interesting is that the name is derived from the similarity of the crushed leaves, also known as, surprise, surprise, cilantro, to the scent of bedbugs, in Greek, corys. Cilantro? Really? Well, yes, Cilantro, Dhania or Mexican/Chinese Parsley. Interesting.

The leaves are known to be similar to parsley but "soapier" and with a distinctive citrus aroma. But the seeds, ah-hah!, are warm, nutty, spicy, and lemony/orangey flavored and are commonly referred to as coriander.

Ok, so here are a list of some of my favorite scents that use coriander as a main note:
  • Agent Provocateur (with rose and vetiver)
  • Balenciaga pour Homme (with honey and incense)
  • Egoiste (with warm woods)
  • Chevalier d'Orsay (with leather)
  • L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme (with citrus and cypress)
  • Romeo Gigli Sud Est (with green herbs)
  • Paco Rabanne XS pour Homme (with mint and watermelon)
  • Dolce and Gabbana for Women (with floral and oriental notes)
What's your favorite fragrance with coriander?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

WEBSITES and E-TAILERS: A new look for

Take a peek at and checkout the changes in layout, and new items in the Products section.

FOR THE HOME: Yves Rocher, Neonatura Incense Sticks

What is it: Incense sticks and holder, pack of 20, medium length.

What do they smell like? A wonderful chocolate and patchouli aroma, similar to Angel for Men.

Why should I buy them? Because the price is great and the aroma is too! Low-smoke, and decent throw.

Where can I buy them? $6.50 at

The Bottom Line: A great incense that won't break the bank. Add them to your next Yves Rocher order and enjoy! They're worth it!

Rating (out of 10): 7

REVIEW: Tommy Hilfilger, Tommy T for Men

Notes: Orange, bachu, rosemary, Cedar Wood and Musk.

Pros: Just the kind of thing you want to spray on as you're out the door to the beach or gym.

Cons: Not terribly original or longlasting; what the Hell is bachu?

Reminds me of: Moschino Friends for Men, CK One Summer 2005, Paco Rabanne Energy, need I go on?

Development: Non-existent.

Longevity: Average to poor.

Sillage: Not bad...I get faint whiffs of it after a couple of hours, though skin presence is minimal.

Where can I buy it? $34.89 for a 100ml edt spray at

Bottleworthy? No, not really...

The Bottom Line: I heard a lot of hype and swapped blindly for this, imagining it to be another fresh, clean, fabric softener type of scent that smelled like freshly washed linens. Well, yes it is clean and fresh, but disappointing in its medicority. Of course, it is a Tommy fragrance, but I thought the first two releases from Tommy Hilfilger were actually pretty good - Tommy and Tommy Girl. For $35, it's not gonna break the bank for a summer fragrance, but there are certainly more interesting scents available. I'll pass and see if I can find this one a good home. Pleasant and easy-to-wear, but boring. Tomorrow - Tommy T for Women.

Rating (out of 10): 5

What's you casual, going food shopping, going to the fitness center type of scent?

FAVORITE BOTTLES: Geo F Trumper, Eucris

From the traditional black glass bottle to the small silver crown stopper, Eucris is every bit the blast from the past, looking like something from the turn of the century, yet smelling like the very epitome of sophistication.

$60 for a 3.5 oz edt splash, bottle shown as above, at