GeorgeReid

GeorgeReid

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GeorgeReid 12 months ago 2
5
Bottle
8
Sillage
9
Longevity
8.5
Scent
A Cocoa Delight (and Another Improvement over the Original)
As someone who was not fond of the original Bad Boy, I was curious to see how this latest iteration would work.

I found the original Bad Boy to be a confused mishmash of pepper, citrus, and cocoa notes that did not quite hit the mark. It seemed to try too hard to be a gourmand, spicy, and citrus fragrance all at once, but failed to deliver on any of those fronts, instead becoming another artificial tonka bean sweet fragrance.

That said, the perfumers opted for a more straightforward approach with this iteration. Like with Bad Boy Cobalt last year, this was a wise decision, in my opinion.

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Bad Boy Extreme keeps the cocoa from the original version and it shows immediately in the opening. However, it ditches the peppers and citrus from the original version and adds a touch of ginger to give it a decisive gourmand direction.

On dry down, Bad Boy Extreme adds patchouli to the sage and vetiver to give it an earthy touch with a light freshness that compliments the cocoa.

A light tonka bean sweetness permeates throughout the fragrance. (This is the trend for fragrance flankers in 2023.) This allows the cocoa and ginger to shine through while preventing the earthy notes from going too dark.

In terms of gender, the earthy aspects make Bad Boy Extreme lean masculine and balance the unisex cocoa and ginger sweetness.

Overall, Extreme will not impress a niche enthusiast looking for something special that is a unique creation. However, excluding the fact it is a massive improvement over the original Bad Boy, Extreme balances a gourmand sweetness and fresh earthiness to something people will enjoy, but want a step out of the ordinary.

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If there is one thing I do not like at all, it is the bottle design. Like with all the Bad Boy bottles, Extreme sticks with the thunderbolt look that reminds me of the Shazam / Black Adam symbol in the DC comics and movies.

However, I prioritize functionality over aesthetics. The spray is solid, but the bottle is too tall to fit in my dresser with the rest of my fragrances.

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Bad Boy Extreme truly shines with its impressive performance.

While the sillage and projection of the fragrance are moderate for the first few hours, they are still noticeable to those around you without being overpowering. However, the scent is not strong enough to announce your presence in a room unless someone has a sensitive nose. This is the balance most people seek.

The real highlight of this fragrance, though, is its remarkable longevity. The scent lingers on the skin for the entire day and might last until the next morning (although I did not test this beyond 16 hours at the time of this review). No need to reapply the scent throughout the day.

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Seasonally, Bad Boy Extreme's cocoa-forward scent is best suited for cooler weather and fits incredibly well with the festive atmosphere of fall. However, I have reservations about how the fragrance would fare in the summer daytime heat. Based on my experiences with tonka bean-based fragrances in hot weather, this is probably a terrible idea.

Socially, the fragrance is potent enough that it is wise to apply it sparingly in shared spaces such as schools, offices, or after a workout.

The tradeoff is that Bad Boy Extreme can truly shine in intimate settings, such as a romantic date or a night out at the club. It can also be a great fragrance to unwind with on your own or during an intimate moment, as the aroma is both relaxing and alluring.

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Overall, Bad Boy Extreme is a pleasant cocoa fragrance that represents a notable improvement from its original predecessor. While it may not appeal to fragrance enthusiasts seeking unique or complex compositions, it is a viable option for those looking for a gourmand scent with longevity.

Bad Boy Extreme is not suitable for individuals who do not enjoy cocoa scents, or likes to switch to different fragrances throughout the day. Also, people who preferred the citrus and peppers in the original Bad Boy and disliked the cocoa aspects would prefer Bad Boy Cobalt (which does the opposite of Extreme, and ditches the cocoa in favor of the fruity and peppery aspects).

However, for those seeking a cocoa scent that is a daring and slightly unconventional fragrance for a long evening around the city, Bad Boy Extreme is a captivating option.
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GeorgeReid 12 months ago 3
10
Bottle
10
Sillage
9
Longevity
8.5
Scent
A Head Turning—and Refreshing—Red Sangria
During a visit to Neiman Marcus in January, I stumbled upon Rosso Pompei in the luxury fragrance section as I caught a whiff of the sample. At first, I could not quite put my finger on why it seemed so familiar, but after some reflection (and buying a decant), I finally realized what it was—a red sangria.

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The opening in the air is mostly alcohol (and possibly similar to rubbing alcohol to some), and that will turn off many people.

However, on my skin, it has a citrusy Mediterranean feel, complemented by a red wine smell that mixes an elegant booziness with a sweet and refreshing fruitiness. Combined, the opening smells like the red sangria I mentioned before. It is an exceptional opening that is not found in most fragrances.

As the fragrance dries down to the heart, the citrus fades and the wine note mixes with powdery florals, ambergris, and woods, creating a scent that combines a vineyard and coastal scent. In the base, the wine and most florals disappear, leaving a sweet woody aroma that lingers quietly.

Tiziana Terenzi fragrances are usually unisex with a feminine lean, and retail stores market Rosso Pompei more toward women. While Rosso Pompei will not appeal to people who seek a decisively masculine or feminine fragrance, the blend of masculine citrus and woods with feminine florals and a neutral wine scent makes it suitable for anyone regardless of gender.

Overall, Tiziana Terenzi's Rosso Pompei is a unique fragrance that combines a variety of scents to create a truly captivating experience. It is not overly sweet, and the overall composition is smooth.

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The bottle design is stunning, featuring a harmonious combination of red and gold that creates a luxurious feel, fitting the fragrance's price point. The main cap design is noteworthy, taking inspiration from the Luna collection's moon phases. However, it is disappointing that the moon phase (assuming the gold moon is the bright full moon), is reversed and incorrect. That said, this potential inaccuracy does not affect the bottle's solid aesthetic appeal.

Functionally, the main cap is heavy (it weighs more than the bottle) and may be a concern for people with arthritic hands. Fortunately, a small cap (that matches the color and feel of the bottle) at the bottom of the packaging is available for people to use if this is a problem.

In terms of drawbacks, there are a couple of minor issues. First, while the atomizer sprays the scent evenly and smoothly, the range of the mist is short and requires the user to hold the bottle closer to the skin than expected. Second, the leather label used a weak adhesive that could cause its removal by a child, or perhaps via natural wear and tear.
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Rosso Pompei boasts an impressive performance that is sure to leave an impact and will surprise anyone expecting a normally weaker citrus scent. With its potent projection, it can effortlessly fill up a small room for up to three hours and leave a long-lasting trail of scent that lingers for over 20 minutes.

The fragrance's overall longevity is remarkable, clocking in at an impressive 12 hours. However, it is important to note that one can become nose blind to the scent after a few hours of wear, while others can still smell you. Despite its steep price point of nearly $400 USD at luxury retailers like Neiman Marcus, Rosso Pompei offers a performance that is undoubtedly worth the investment.

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With confidence, one can state that Rosso Pompei is a perfect option for spring and summer because of its citrus and floral notes. Such scents are ideal for warm weather. The wine note adds a touch of sweetness to the fragrance without being cloying, making it suitable even in hot weather.

Interestingly, the fragrance also works well in fall and winter, where it would stand out as a unique scent. While the wine note aligns well with the festive atmosphere of autumn, the citrus and floral notes may struggle to perform against the harsh winter cold compared to the wine and wood notes. Nonetheless, this should not discourage one from wearing this scent throughout the year.

Socially, one must keep in mind the strong projection and sillage of Rosso Pompei. Wearing it in an enclosed environment, such as an office or gym, may distract others. It is best to avoid using it in these environments or to apply it sparingly.

Yet, the strong sillage and projection of Rosso Pompei make it an ideal scent to receive attention, such as partying at a nightclub throughout the night. The scent is also perfect for outdoor activities, where the fresh Mediterranean vibe works in most places. In these social settings, Rosso Pompei will help you make a bold statement and leave an impression.

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Overall, Rosso Pompei is an outstanding and unique citrus and wine fragrance that has excellent performance that should work well with most people.

Notice I said most people, as this scent is not for everyone.

The fragrance is likely to receive a negative reaction from those who are not fond of citrus or alcoholic notes, such as wine. Also, the unisex nature of the scent may disappoint those who are specifically looking for a masculine or feminine fragrance. It will annoy individuals seeking a subtle summer scent as Rosso Pompei announces itself boldly rather than staying inconspicuous. Finally, the retail price tag of almost $400 USD at a store like Neiman Marcus will scare some people off.

However, if someone seeks a luxury fragrance that is both refreshing and makes heads turn, Rosso Pompei is a fantastic option.

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Writer's Note:

At the time of this review, people can find Rosso Pompei at trustworthy online discounters for around $150 USD. While the price may fluctuate, one can find the fragrance at a steep discount from the retail price.
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GeorgeReid 12 months ago 7 1
8
Bottle
10
Sillage
9
Longevity
9.5
Scent
Definitely Sweet and Bold … but Was it Worth the Hype?
Last summer, I embarked on a fragrance journey exploring scents at the Macy's flagship store in New York City. Among the vast array of fragrances, a few stood out among the various fragrances that were offered as samples. Jean Paul Gaultier's Ultra Male was one of them.

As the hype surrounding this fragrance has died down since its release in 2015, this presents the perfect opportunity to assess whether Ultra Male truly lived up to its earlier acclaim.

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Ultra Male's opening is a familiar blend of mint and lavender that is reminiscent of the original Le Male fragrance, but it comes with an added twist. The infusion of a juicy pear note adds a fruity touch to the fresh introduction that is impossible to ignore. It is a surprising, yet welcome shift.

During the dry down, Ultra Male ditches the freshness for a sweet and gourmand profile because of the cinnamon and vanilla notes. The presence of lingering amber notes adds to the fragrance's overall sweetness. None of this is a surprise, as this is also present in the original Le Male.

Overall, Ultra Male attempts to be a daringly sweeter adaptation of the iconic Le Male scent, and it succeeds beyond expectations. Whether you are a lady or a gentleman, if you have an affinity for sweet fragrances, this scent will leave you absolutely enamored. Conversely, if sweet scents annoy you, encountering Ultra Male can be a nightmare.

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It is hard to discuss the Jean Paul Gaultier Ultra Male bottle design (and by extension, every Le Male bottle) without bringing up the iconic mannequin bottles with their distinct crotch bulge. I do not have strong feelings about the bottle design, but it is notably divisive. Some individuals love the unique shape that differentiates itself from other bottles. For others, the bottle design is enough to turn them away from the fragrance. At least the midnight blue opaque coloring is a pleasant touch.

That being said, the functionality of the bottle takes precedence over its aesthetics. With Ultra Male, simply pulling the pin and pressing the nozzle produces a satisfactory mist with minimal effort.

Ultimately, while the bottle design may not have universal appeal, the functionality of the spray mechanism is commendable.

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For performance, Ultra Male is a standout among designer fragrances currently available on the market. With just two sprays, this scent projects throughout a moderate-sized room for 4-6 hours, leaving behind an impressive sillage trail that lingers for at least 15 minutes after the wearer has left the area.

Also, Ultra Male's longevity is simply unmatched, lasting on the skin for an impressive 12 hours - enough to see you through an entire night with ease.

On one hand, if someone seeks a subtle fragrance, Ultra Male is NOT that scent. However, for the attention seeker, it delivers a powerful performance and is sure to leave an impression (positive or negative) on those who experience the potent projection and remarkable longevity.

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With seasonal use, Ultra Male presents an interesting dichotomy. The scent profile is a fascinating blend of sweet and fresh notes should make it a versatile fragrance across different seasons, but that is not the full story.

Its strength and intensity make it ideal for cold weather, and it works exceptionally well in winter. However, the fresh and fruity aroma of Ultra Male also makes it an excellent choice for spring or during summer nights, where it can add a touch of sweetness to the warm weather.

That said, Ultra Male's sweetness can be overpowering and cloying when worn during the summer daytime when it is hottest. Similarly, the fresh scent can work in the fall, but even as a sweet scent, it can feel somewhat out of place with the autumnal atmosphere.

While using a strong fragrance like Ultra Male in certain social situations such as the office or the gym might not be the brightest idea because of the strong sillage, it truly comes into its own in other settings. For instance, during leisure time spent outdoors or at a large indoor party, this fragrance is an absolute showstopper that draws attention and helps create a vibrant atmosphere. Perfect for people who want to stand out.

And while Ultra Male might not always be a surefire hit on a date night. It is a winner if your partner loves sweet fragrances. (If not, well, you have a charming personality, right?)

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I must note that the fragrance world is currently moving towards fresher, more subtle scents, which is why Ultra Male fell to the wayside. However, in my opinion, the hype behind the fragrance was genuine.

However, the hype is meaningless if you are not a fan of sweet fragrances, or you seek a scent that is more intimate than attention-grabbing. In these instances, Ultra Male is not the right scent for you.

That said, if you are in the market for a year-round sweet and fresh evening fragrance that will turn heads when you enter a room, then Ultra Male may be just what you are looking for. Those who appreciate this bold, attention-grabbing scent are sure to be equally impressed by its longevity and impressive performance.
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GeorgeReid 12 months ago 4
6
Bottle
7
Sillage
7
Longevity
8.5
Scent
Reliable and Versatile? Yes! Spectacular and Innovative? No!
As a self-proclaimed fragrance enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for my next olfactory adventure. After falling in love with the surprisingly sophisticated Dunhill Icon, I knew I needed to explore the world of designer neroli fragrances more.

That is when I stumbled upon Bvlgari's Wood Neroli - a fragrance that promises to blend the bright, citrusy notes of neroli with the earthy warmth of wood. As a fan of both scent families, I knew I had to try it.

After a few days of wear and letting it work its magic, this is my experience with Wood Neroli.
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Wood Neroli opens with a refreshing combination of citrus and neroli that is perfectly in line with its name. While the attempt to add a hint of salt for an aquatic touch may not be entirely successful, the strong opening presence of neroli will please fans of this note.

As the fragrance develops, the floral notes of orange blossom and musk add a pleasing touch, while the cedarwood, amber, and ambroxan blend to create a slightly sweet and warm woodsy scent. The florals eventually fade, leaving the woodsy aspects close to the skin. The drydown works fine, but the combination of notes is nothing special for people with an experienced nose.

While Wood Neroli leans masculine because of its woody notes, the addition of florals makes it a versatile fragrance that works for anyone regardless of gender.

Overall, Wood Neroli is a solid fragrance that is sure to appeal to many. While it may not be a head-turner, or something unique that garners the attention of the fragrance community, it is still a suitable smell for a typical person looking for a fragrance.

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The bottle design of Wood Neroli looks appealing with its gradient glass and the fluid seemingly matching in unison. However, this is ultimately superficial, and the practicality of the product is more important.

Unfortunately, the unique atomizer is a huge letdown. Unless you apply a significant amount of pressure in a swift motion, you are more likely to get a stream reminiscent of a fire hose rather than a fine mist. This is not only a frustrating experience, but also potentially problematic for people with arthritic hands who may struggle to apply the necessary pressure. It is a shame that a seemingly well-designed bottle disappoints with a fundamental flaw.

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In terms of performance, Wood Neroli falls squarely in the middle of the spectrum. The scent's longevity is about average, with wearers able to enjoy the fragrance for around 6-8 hours before it fades away. The projection is also moderate, with a strong initial burst that lasts for about 2-3 hours before settling close to the skin.

While this may not be the most long-lasting or attention-grabbing fragrance on the market, it still offers a decent performance that doesn’t overwhelm others. This should satisfy most users.

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Wood Neroli is an incredibly versatile scent that is perfect for spring. Its well-balanced blend of wood, florals, and citrus notes allows it to blend in seamlessly with the season's bright and vibrant energy. The fragrance also works wonderfully in the summer, where the light sweetness of the scent is never overpowering, and the citrusy notes are more prominent and refreshing.

While the scent can still work well in autumn and winter, it may have a harder time standing out. Wood Neroli is not as bold or distinctive as some of the more traditional scents associated with those seasons.

Socially, Wood Neroli is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a scent that can keep up with their active lifestyle.

One of the best points about Wood Neroli is how versatile it is as a daily scent. While it can certainly work well for evening events, dates, or downtime activities, it really shines as an office scent or gym scent. The scent's overall brightness and uplifting qualities can help to keep a person in a positive mindset throughout the workday, making it an excellent choice for professional environments. Furthermore, the scent's invigorating qualities make it an excellent choice for post-workout use.

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Overall, I have mixed impressions of Wood Neroli. While the scent is not innovative or unique, it does not fall short in any significant way (outside of bottle functionality).

If you are looking for a neroli fragrance that really stands out and offers a more complex olfactory experience, I recommend looking at other options available on the market.

However, if you are simply looking for a reliable and versatile warm-weather scent that you can wear in a variety of social scenarios, Wood Neroli is worth considering.

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[Edited on March 9, 2023 for word clarity.]
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GeorgeReid 1 year ago 2
9
Bottle
6
Sillage
7
Longevity
9.5
Scent
A Tropical Beach Party, Minus the Sand in the Swimsuit
Imagine sipping on a creamy tropical drink at a beach party, but instead of getting drunk, you just smell amazing. The coconut and lime notes hit you like a beach breeze, while the rum creates a positive atmosphere. When the party gets lively, the tropical florals show up fashionably late, leaving you with a sweet, boozy scent that's sure to turn heads as the rum sweetness parties until it's time to leave.

The most impressive aspect by far is that Virgin Island Water smells like real coconut, not the artificial smell one may find in sunscreen or hair products. It's one of the best coconut fragrances I've ever smelled!

Virgin Island Water is a unisex scent (it's booze and coconut), so most men and women can wear it with no problem. However, someone emulating an alpha male or a macho personality may want to steer clear, as smelling like a cocktail drink probably isn't appealing.

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With performance, Virgin Island Water lasts around 4-6 hours. It starts off moderately strong, but then settles down and stays closer to your skin after an hour or two. The performance might let some folks down, especially considering how pricey a bottle is.

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Virgin Island Water is the perfect scent for hot summers and tropical getaways, and it also works well in the spring. If you're bold enough to wear it in the fall or winter, it might not perform as well in the cooler air. On the bright side, at least you'll potentially smell like you’re in a tropical paradise in the middle of a snowstorm.

If you want to turn heads, Virgin Island Water is an easy reach for evenings and date nights. Yet, it is also versatile enough to wear to work or even after a gym session. You can smell like a tropical paradise daily with this refreshing, versatile scent.

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Virgin Island Water is a scent that's almost perfect. It smells amazing, but there are a few deal-breakers.

First, if you're frugal, this fragrance might not be for you, as the retail price of a bottle exceeds $300 USD. Also, if you're not into boozy or fruity scents, sit this one out.

However, if you're looking for a coconut-forward fragrance that'll make you stand out all summer long, and the price is no object, then Virgin Island Water is worthy of your consideration.

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Writer's Note:

The notes have changed on Virgin Island Water after this review. Namely, the rum and sugar cane were replaced with Tonka Bean.

Recent bottles may not reflect this review.
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