I have found quite a few quality designer fragrances for under $40.00 that I am excited to share with you. I invite you to use this list to help build your collection at an affordable price. There are many solid online sites where these fragrances can be found for a steal. Nothing listed is of poor quality. As a matter of fact every scent listed could compete with fragrances costing double sometimes triple the price. Here are the ones I use regularly.
Fragrance notes come from Fragrantica.com and Basenotes.com.
“Carven Homme” by Carven
This one dropped in 1999. It comes in two sizes 1.6 oz and 3.3 oz. This is cinnamon, sandlewood, nutmeg, and amber balmy goodness. It kinda smells like the now out of production Gucci Envy. It is a gem you should have in your collection regardless of cost.
“Club De Nuit Intense Man” by Armaf
Most folks in the Fragrance community are familiar with the cologne this copies. It is the infamous “Aventus” by Creed. Aventus is a fragrance that is considered by many to be one of the biggest compliment getting fragrances of all time? Aventus however retails between $195-$395! This is the best copy of Aventus on the market in my opinion and you can get this one under $50.00.
“Intense Black” Lomani
This is a copy of another well liked fragrance from Creed called “Royal Oud”. It is one of the closest copies I have smelled. Primary notes are cedar, pink pepper and oud. It’s a smoky upscale fragrance that is suppose to represent luxury. You can find it for about $35-$45. Royal Oud retails for about $385 – $485. Hmmh…
“Wild” Joop! Homme
This is suppose to be a new version of the original classic “Joop!” that dropped in 1989. This fragrance is criminally slept on and works for casual nights out or a date. It is a boozy tobacco composition with a woody back bone and does everything well.
Rochas Man by Rochas
Rochas Man dropped in 1999. It is categorized as a woody spicy and is a perfect date night fragrance. It is a nice mix of sandlewood, raspberry, vanilla and patchouli. If you enjoy sweet smelling fragrances and need something to satisfy that this is it.
“Avant Garde” by Lanvin
Released 2011. Perfumer; Shyamala Maisondieu. Notes: Italian bergamot, Madagascar pepper, pink peppercorn and juniper. The middle is lavender, nutmeg, cardamom and beeswax. Base; Intensive vetiver blends with benzoin, tobacco and Georgywood. Great date fragrance. When I smell it I get chocolate, tobacco, nutmeg and beeswax. I think this scent is best suited to be worn at night. Also comes in very nice looking flask. Gem!
“Voyage” by Nautica
Released 2006. Perfumer; Maurice Roucel. This is probably the best deal you can get period! I picked up a 3.4 oz for $13.99. This is a top notch aquatic fragrance. It was highly recommended by the online fragrance community and I would have to say I agree. If you like scents like Armani “Acqua Di Gio” or Issey Miyake “L’eau d’ Issey” I believe you will also like this one.
“Individuel” by Mont Blanc
Released 2003. Perfumer; Pierre Bourdon. The top notes; rosemary, pineapple, coriander, cinnamon, lavender, juniper berries, mint, bergamot and cardamom. The mid notes; orange blossom, violet, jasmine and geranium. Base notes: sandalwood, amber, patchouli, musk, raspberry, vanilla, dark chocolate, oakmoss and vetiver. Look when I smell this It reminds me of “Joop!”. However this is more refined and not as loud. So if you like “Joop!” but want a modern updated version this is it. I have even heard it smells like “Original Santal” by Creed. I can’t confirm that as I don’t own it. Just so you know Original Santal costs a minimum $119.00 for a 2.5oz!
“M” by Perry Ellis
Released 2004. Opening notes; Cinnamon peel, lily and sage. Base; vanilla, musk, tonka bean, cashmere tree and vetiver. This is a very good fragrance by Perry Ellis. I think it works best as a date fragrance but you be the judge? You can get this for $20.00 but it smells like it cost 3-4 times that. When I smell it I get the cinnamon, vanilla and tonka bean. Can’t find anything bad to say about it.
“Harmony” by Cerruti Image
Released early 2000s. Great smelling fresh scent perfect for everyday. You can’t really say anything bad about this one. Its simple and does that very well. Every guy needs one like this in their collection. If you see this one do yourself a favor and pick it up. Really cool sprayer design!
“Euphoria Intense” by Calvin Klein
Released: 2008. Perfumer; Carlos Benaim and Loc Dong. Kind of an Oriental Spicy Fragrance. I get ginger and amber. I also get some myrrh and a pepper note. I like this one better than the original Euphoria. It has some kick to it.
“Paradise” by Alfred Sung
Released 2003. Perfumer; David Apel. There are two manufactures of this fragrance. One is based out of the US and the other is based out of Canada. You want the one out of Canada (Riveria Concepts)! The US manufacture is Elizabeth Arden. Trust me there is a big difference in regards to performance. The US version lasts about 2 hours while the Canadian about 6 hours! This has a fresh green vibe to it with a tart Papaya note right in the middle. Not like a sugary Papaya drink but an actual Papaya that is not ripe yet. You can get it for $20.00 all over the internet. I got mine off of Ebay. Remember to ask who is the manufacturer!
“CK One Shock” by Calvin Klein
Released 2011. Perfumer; Ann Gottlieb and IFF. When I smell the sprayer I get a tabacco note with pepper. When I spray it on my skin I get more of a warm amber and patchouli vibe with a hint of Lavender. The musk comes through on the dry down. This is a darn good scent for the price! I have a 6.7oz I bought at Marshalls for $20.00.
“Original Penguin” by Munsingwear
Released 2011. In this one you get an apple, vanilla and musk note in the opening. In the middle you get lavender, pine, pepper and patchouli. This could be a signature scent for a lot of people. To me this is the right balance between modern and classic. I picked up a tester from Fragrancenet.com for $20.00.
“Sun Java White” by Franck Olivier
Released 2011. I picked this up because I was told it smelled like Creed “Silver Mountain Water”. It is a nice scent with almost soapy/floral vibe. Haven’t worn it enough to tell you what I think so this is a work in progress.
Update: Went to the Creed counter and sampled Silver Mountain Water. This is a dead ringer! Why is that a big deal? Well just a 1.0 oz of SMW is around $125-$175! Now SMW does smell a little fresher than Sun Java White but that is it. This fragrance is not my favorite but does have a mass appeal that many will enjoy. Do your research and you will see SMW is highly regarded and a signature scent for a lot of folks. This is a steal at about $25.00 online.
Masculine Plus Plus by Diesel
Fragrancer; Arturetto Landi. Released 1997. Believe it or not this cologne has got a milky note to it. I know that sounds extremely weird but it actually works! I get cinnamon, nutmeg, patchouli, tonka bean and anise. There are actually a lot of notes listed for this one but thats what I get. Try not to listen to the naysayers. Put your nose on it and judge for yourself. Shake up your collection!
“Black” Mandarina Duck
Fragrancer; Nathalie Lorson. Released in 2009. This is a sweet smelling fragrance. I get vanilla, tonka bean, tangerine, sandlewood and bergamot. Good performance and a great pick up for under $30.00!
Raghba Wood Intense by Lattafa Perfumes
Great high quality fragrance from the middle east. I picked this up from a seller on ebay. It took about 3 weeks to receive but it was worth it. This smells like a blend of multiple woods with caramel and a rum. With shipping this was only $40.00 straight from Kuwait. It is a EDP! Powerful impact boom!
Sitting back trying to think of something fun and challenging I could do on the site with my music collection? The idea of picking various artists and selecting five songs that capture the essence of their sound got me excited! I took a scan of my music and a few artists jumped out at me. So now I just need a name?
The Legendary Roots Crew! I first caught them live for the “Roots Come Alive” tour. For Hip-Hop they are the best I’ve ever seen live. Nothing touches live instrumentation in concert plus Black Thought is a true MC so it’s perfection. There are not many hip hop acts that can follow the Roots. I chose this picture because it represents the line-up I was first introduced to. Today most folks know them from being the house band for the “Jimmy Fallon Show” which garners them a very large audience. Yet album wise they are pretty slept on even though critically acclaimed. That has always ticked me off because bubble gum artist blow up but the real struggle many times to get props. That unfortunately is the case for many truly great artists. It’s not until after their career is over that they get the props they never received while actively putting out music. They have a ton of gems in their catalog and it was hard to pick five. I kept it clean so here are my picks…
Notic – (Men In Black Soundtrack)
Doin It Again – How I Got Over
Guns Are Drawn – The Tipping Point
One Shine – Illadelph Halftime
Complexity – Phrenology
I had to do one on Jazz Bass legend Charles Mingus. The Bass is the backbone better yet the glue to all soulful music. In Jazz cats that play Brass seems to get all the love but the Bass is huge and Jazz wouldn’t be the same without it. Mingus not only held it down on Bass but also pushed the envelope diving into styles that went against the norms of Jazz. I have read he wouldn’t compromise his music and I really admire that! A lot of performers due to financial pressure have no choice, so no compromise is not a stance everyone can take. Putting this one out there in hopes that some would search out his work and possibly add to their collection? Mingus has a pretty large catalog so start with “AH UM” or “Mingus Mingus Mingus, Mingus Mingus” and build from there.
II B.S – Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
Cumbia and Jazz Fusion – Cumbia and Jazz Fusion
Ysabel’s Table Dance – New Tijuana Moods
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – AH UM
Remember Rockefeller at Attica – Changes One
Blue Six is Jay Denes. Jay Denes not only produces Blue Six but is one of the founders of the famed Naked Music Label. Blue Six and the Naked Music label has influenced House music in a major way. Blue Six puts out consistent high quality music that happens to be House. The album “Beautiful Tomorrow” was one of the first truly cohesive sexy house albums to be released…Truly a must have. Check out Blue Six and the many great releases on the Naked Music Label.
You Just Can’t Stop – Aquarian Angel
Jet Black – Signs and Wonders
Pure – Beautiful Tomorrow
You Use To Rock – Noesis
Love Yourself (Basti & Vincenzo Remix) – Beautiful Tomorrow
Miguel Migs aka Petalpusher is a DJ, Musician and Producer. Hailing from Northern California he played a huge role in blowing up the San Francisco House scene in the early 2000s. He also consistently creates high quality music that happens to be house. His diverse musical background is becoming more apparent in his production. Showing he is not just a good House Music Producer but a good Music Producer! Pick up “Colorful You” and go from there.
Breakin It Down – Colorful You
Sail On – Dim Division
Getaway – Outside The Skyline
Mesmerized – Those Things
They Don’t Know – Outside The Skyline
Probably the most influential music figure of the last century. He was a prolific artist and I can’t really do him justice with five tracks…His career spanned over 5 decades! However I will stay with the theme…Now I only own a fraction of his releases so Davis enthusiasts don’t jump all over me. I did not include his Jazz fusion work which I am a fan of…I will leave that up to you. If you know the name but not the music this is a great starting point. Jazz is a great American Art form and we should show it more LOVE!!!
Go out and dig!
All Blues – Kind of Blue
Sweet Sue, Just You – Round About Midnight
Pfrancing – Someday My Prince Will Come
Summertime – Porgy and Bess
Miles Ahead – Miles Ahead
Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley is a Legend. In the states no matter what your background most folks know Bob Marley or I would think have at least heard of him. I mean you hear his music in commercials, department stores and restaurants. But I ask the question how many folks actually own his music? Look when you collect music like me you always peep out other people’s music collection. Hey a person’s tunes/musical taste tells you something about that person. Anyway I never see his CDs /Albums at anyone’s crib unless they are a serious music fan. Why? That in itself is a whole other discussion. Look all I am saying is get some of his albums into your collection. I suggest starting out with “Kaya” or “Exodus” and go from there.
Johnny Was – Rastaman Vibration
Pimper’s Paradise – Uprising
Punky Reggae Party – Exodus
She’s Gone – Kaya
Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) – Natty Dread
I think this young cat is really good. I believe he will be a legend. I know that is high praise but he just seems to have that something special you don’t hear every day. When you get to be my age and collect as much as I do you know it when you hear it. Many that don’t know his music may know him via social media for women he has dated. Skip that stuff, check his tunes, I highly suggest it! His latest 2014 album is not my taste as leans to much towards country/folk. Not knocking country/folk…it’s just not my cup of tea. Pick up “Room for Squares” and go from there.
War of my Life – Battle Studies
City Love – Room For Squares
Something’s Missing –Heavier Things
Love is a Verb – Born and Raised
Tight band from London with front man Jay Kay. Their sound is Funk, Soul, Dance, Rhythm and Blues with a little Reggae thrown in. I bought their first album ‘Emergency on Planet Earth” the same day I bought “Brother Sister” by the Brand New Heavies. Their music has been in heavy rotation with me ever since. A well known band world-wide however in casual conversations with people it seems like folks only know “Virtual Insanity”? I don’t get that because they have a very solid music catalog and unlike other artists listed in “5 Gems” they have a ton of good remixes on various songs. So with that said I included an Acoustic remix of one of their songs in the track listing. I hope this band gets added to your rotation.
When You Gonna Learn (Digeridoo) – Emergency on Planet Earth
Mr. Moon – The Return of the Space Cowboy
Destitute Illusions – Synkronized
Love Foolosophy (Mondo Grosso Love Acoustic Mix) /Original on “A Funk Odyssey”
Everyday – Traveling Without Moving
I get it…Kravitz has a rock edge and for a lot of brothers that puts them off. Brothers open your mind and don’t be so quick to dismiss. Many would be surprised to know how much soulful, funky stuff he has in his catalog. His rock stuff isn’t bad either. Kravitz is legit and been doing it for a long time. If you have been on the fence start with the album “Are you gonna go my way” and go from there.
My Precious Love – Let Love Rule
Eleutheria – Are You Gonna Go My Way
Let’s Get High – Lenny
Beyond the 7th Sky – Circus
It’s Your Life – 5
Thievery Corporation is Rob Garza and Eric Hilton. They Produce/DJ and put their music out on their own Eighteenth Street Lounge label. I believe they have been putting out music since 1996. It’s hard to put a label on them. I often read there sound sits between Trip Hop and Acid Jazz? I just think it grooves and feels good. I have been listening to them since I picked up “Sounds from the Thievery Hi – Fi”. I am ashamed to say I have never seen them in concert but hear the shows are amazing. To start your collection I would suggest the albums “Richest Man in Babylon” and “The Mirror Conspiracy” and go from there.
All that we perceive – Richest Man in Babylon
Overstand – Culture of Fear
That Time We Lost Our Way – The Cosmic Game
Lebanese Blonde – The Mirror Conspiracy
Incident at Gate 7 – Sounds from Thievery Hi Fi
“It’s mostly the voice that get’s you up”…Guru. Her voice is unforgettable but she is more than just a voice. She is the full package; songwriter, musician, producer and vocalist. Known primarily as a jazz vocalist her range goes far beyond that. Please do yourself a favor and get up on some Cassandra Wilson. The album “Blue Light ‘Til Dawn” is a great place to start.
Sankofa – Blue Light ‘Til Dawn
Only a Dream in Rio – Belly of The Sun
Time After Time – Traveling Miles
A Little Warm Death – New Moon Daughter
Blue Light ‘Til Dawn – Blue Light ‘Til Dawn
Next to Earth Wind & Fire, Steely Dan is my favorite group from the 70s. I liked them as a kid but didn’t really know who they were? I credit my exposure to the group to my father. Their music always seemed to be playing in the background whether at home or in the car. Now for me their music is a time machine that brings back so many fond memories of my father that passed in 95. Just by chance you don’t know anything about Steely Dan; Steely Dan is Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. Their first major album release was “Can’t Buy a Thrill” in 1972. Their sound is truly a blend of Rock, Soul, Rhythm & Blues and Jazz. Sound wise some of their albums are considered the standard by which you judge a stereo system? Recording is done with the utmost fidelity and attention to sonic detail, and mixed so that all the instruments are heard and none are given undue priority. I highly suggest picking up some of their work. To start your collection I would suggest the albums “The Royal Scam” and “Aja” and then go from there.
Almost Gothic – Two Against Nature
Pearl of the Quarter – Countdown to Ecstasy
The Royal Scam – The Royal Scam
Chain Lightening – Katy Lied
The Caves of Altamira – The Royal Scam
My favorite female vocalist of all time. What can I say about her and her band that has not already been said. Her music is timeless and classic. No matter what the current trend she stays her course and puts out relevant music. If you have simply heard of Sade and never dove into her catalog I would suggest starting off with “Promise” and go from there.
I decided to make a separate page for Disco Mixes. I don’t really spin it much unless the situation calls for it. However there are still a lot of disco heads out there so here you go…
Disclaimer: Some of the transfers are from cassettes over 20yrs old. You will hear drop outs, sound changes, side changes and other things associated with cassette. Also due to my own personal upload limitations some of the mixes are in two parts.
All mixes by DJ Ville
Charleston Heston plays Moses in the landmark ” The Ten Commandments”. I believe everyone has at least seen parts of this one? Good movie that holds up well.
The French Connection
Classic American Cinema. American cop Gene Hackman and his partner try to bring down a large Heroin connection.
This is a great sports flick. I remember seeing this in like 87? This also has Gene Hackman. He is a high school basketball coach of a small school in Indiana that goes on to win the state championship. Before “Remember the Titans” there was Hoosiers!
A Time To Kill
Good movie about about a couple scum bags that brutally attack the daughter of Samual L Jackson. He kills them both and must stand trial during a very transitional time in the south. Matthew Mcconaughey must convince the jury this indeed was a “A Time to Kill”.
A story I had never heard of prior to the movie. A town in Florida called “Rosewood” was a prospering all Black community. The community was destroyed and many killed when neighboring whites accused a black male of raping a white women.
Where The Heart Is
This is one of my wife’s dvd’s. I watched it after much resistance and can’t lie…it’s good. Not something I would normally check out but good never the less. Boyfriend of Natalie Portman dumps her at a Walmart and she has to survive on her own pregnant.
Coughlin’s law… I always did like this one. Yes it is a little corny and a guilty pleasure. You’ve seen it too so don’t front!
One of the first movies I got on DVD. This is kind of a sleeper flick. David Duchovny and his girlfriend pick up Brad Pitt and his girlfriend Juliette Lewis. They are researching serial killers and don’t even know they have one in their midst.
My Family – Mi Familia
Nice flick about a family that comes to the states from Mexico and it’s survival. Good cast.
City of God
Good flick about the life of some in the barrio’s of Brazil. This was on a lot of lists for top movie when it came out. You can get this for a steal on blu-ray.
Blood In Blood Out
A great flick based in east la about three family members that have their lives go in three different directions.
To Live and Die in LA
I saw this shortly after it came out. A story about secret service agents that try to bring down a counterfeiter. It’s a good cat and mouse cop flick. Now I haven’t seen this in a looonng time…so I am unsure of how it has aged? It is available on blu ray.
This didn’t get the shine the original did but I find this to be the best of the first two. I have it on DVD, it looks good and holds up. This time they experience the evil spirit in physical form that was trying to take Carol Ann in the original.
Damien Omen II
Bad things happen to everyone that figures out who Damien is and plot his demise. Damien discovers who he is and hell works to insure his future as the anti-christ.
Saw this at the movies with my dad and sisters. It was a pleasant surprise as we had no idea it was a vampire flick. For its time it was a solid vampire flick, plus it was one of a very few.
I bought this on blu-ray last year as a role of the dice. I was so happy with the purchase! Some scenes seem like someone is video taping with a personal camera. For me this kinda added a sense of realism? They keep your guessing for about 1/3 of the film. Kind of reminded me of “The Mist”.
Story of the rise of the Mexican mafia in the California prison system. Its a hard core prison flick.
A young Amish boy witnesses a murder in a train station in PA. Harrison Ford protects the boy and his mother and get them back home. In the process he was hurt but doesn’t want to go to a hospital as he doesn’t know who he can trust. The mom nurses him back to health all the while he has to blend in with the Amish. This was a good flick. I saw it twice in the 80s. It is on dvd but not on blu-ray.
The Ghost and The Darkness
This was based on a true story. Two man eating lions threatened the completion of a railroad in Kenya. I saw the actual lions on display at the field museum in Chicago. This one is on dvd only.
I saw this one at the theater. It kept me guessing! You won’t figure out who the killer is until they show you. 10 strangers find themselves stranded at a remote motel in the middle of nowhere. Main characters are John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet.
Fictional story about a quiet kid that ends up writing for Rolling Stone Magazine. He is only 15 and goes on the road with a rock band. It is a pretty good flick and you should have it in your collection.
My dad introduced me to this movie. We should all know about Rambo…but if you don’t this is the original movie. Its pretty simple. John Rambo is an ex-vietnam vet that went to visit a fellow vet. When he arrives at the friends home he finds out he died from cancer/agent orange. On his way back he runs into a Brian Dennehy. Dennehy is the sheriff in a small town somewhere in the pacific northwest. Dennehy mistakes Rambo for someone up to no good and tries to give him da business. Mistake.
Maverick, Goose, Iceman…Kind of that summer block buster type of flick. Yet still classic with minimal cheese. I say you should have this in your collection. It’s now on blu-ray and sounds great on a surround system.
I know, I know… another Cruise flick. You can’t front though. They actually do a very good job with the Mission Impossible brand. The sequels are also entertaining. You can check how good your monitor can reproduce black in the beginning of the restaurant/aquarium scene. I recommend it.
This is one of my “Sleeper” picks. I highly recommend this one. Griffith and Modine get more than they bargain for when Keaton plants himself in their newly renovated Victorian house.
Enter The Dragon
Classic Bruce Lee with guest Jim Kelly and John Saxon. Bruce Lee is an undercover cop in a martial arts competition on a island owned by drug lord Han.
Cant really give details as it would give away the story. This is a nice one. This is one of my “Sleeper” flicks.
Enemy of The State
This is my favorite movie from Will Smith. Solid action from beginning to end. Big brother is watching!
I don’t always like flicks that deal with issues of slavery as they seem to stir up emotions of anger. That said “Glory is a good flick staring Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington. It’s about the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. It was the first all black unit in the Army during the Civil War.
Blade Runner (The Final Cut)
This is a sci-fi cult classic. It was visually stunning when it came out. I have it on dvd and looks great. I don’t think its a flick for everyone but felt it was worth mentioning.
This movie didn’t age well but I think it is worth checking out. I saw this when it came out. Rollie is a master of special effects. The government comes to him to stage a fake hit on a mob guy. After its done they turn on him and it’s on.
Back To The Future
Marty Mcfly, Doc, the Delorean and the Flux Capacitor. Classic!
The Sixth Sense
“I see dead people”. Its a gift not many people would want. A young kid is haunted by his gift until he realizes he can use it to help.
A classic horror flick. I must say the mother is really the craziest person in the movie. Carrie has special powers and when her class mates make her the butt of their joke they pay the consequences.
Do The Right Thing
A classic Spike Lee Joint. Tensions rise and boil over in Bed Stuy and a pizzeria is destroyed.
Rosemary is having the devils baby. A classic from 1968.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
I actually saw this on a day I took off from school! One of the biggest classics of the 80s period. Hopefully you already have this.
Boyz N The Hood
The directorial debut of John Singleton. This was huge when it dropped. A fictional story about a senseless acts of violence and revenge. The back drop is South Central LA.
A Tarantino classic. A movie uniquely all its own!
The Wizard of Oz
Is there anything that needs to be said?
I bought this for myself before I even had kids. I really got a kick out of this movie. Mr Potato and Rex were my favorites.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. I love this flick. Kill Bill was actually one flick but because of its long running time it was split in two parts. Uma is great as the Black Mamba.
Kill Bill 2
The second half of Kill Bill.
Bruce Willis is at a party for his wife when the high rise is taken over by some guys running a heist. No one knows Willis is in the building. Willis is a New York cop and picks of the opposition one by one.
One of the first movies to deal with being infected with HIV/Aids and being fired for it.
Coming to America
This was so original. Eddie and Arsenio killed this one with all the characters they played. “Sexual Chocolate”….drops the mic.
The early days of film for Eddie Murphy. I loved almost every flick Eddie did back in the day. Murphy and Aykroyd fall victim to an experiment set up by the Dukes. Then they turn the tables and pull one the Dukes. It’s classic Eddie.
Rush Hour 2
Chris Tucker must have had a million funny lines in this movie? I played this one so many times even my kids know the lines in this movie.
Let’s pour some out liquor for the brothers who ain’t here! I guess I know where that little pop culture phrase comes from?
Mark Wahlberg and Reese Whiterspoon. This was so beyond what I expected. This ended up being a really good flick! Wahlberg is a nut stalker boyfriend that terrorizes the family of Reese Whiterspoon. This is a “Sleeper”.
House of Games
I haven’t seen this since the mid 80s so I am unsure of how it aged? I remember liking it a lot when I figured out what was going on. It is not on blu-ray. However it is in the “Criterion Collection” on dvd. For those that don’t know…they follow a higher standard. The quality of the video and audio is top notch.
Nice suspense thriller that featured the late Paul Walker. I believe this will be a classic in the future? Its not a horror flick…it falls more in the suspense/thriller category.
These are quite simply some of the best I have ever seen and some of my favorites thrown in. Favorites are not necessarily the best but they touched me and I continue to watch them. These are not in any order.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
This was my favorite flick of all, from the time it came out until about 1992! Action and adventure plus a great story line.
I wanted to reach into the screen and hit Kathy Bates. It is a classic suspense thriller.
The most action I have seen in a movie to date. This will stand at the top of its Genre for many years to come.
This movie is perfect. Nothing I can add. If you haven’t seen this shame on you.
If you are in my age bracket you know this one. “Chicks cannot hold they smoke…dat’s what it is” .
A childhood fav. I prefer this one to the first. Having villains with powers equal to Superman appealed more than Lex Luther. “Kneel before Zod”.
T2 – Terminator 2
This was the first flick to take it to the next level with special effects the way we know it today! Special effects wise there was nothing before it that came close. Kinda like “Rakim”. Great movie for the time and still holds up.
I saw this one at the theater. Great flick. It is close to 3hrs. I have recently seen some negative reviews from younger viewers on various media sites. I know some folks don’t dig Spike Lee’s style of film making. This however is one of my favorite Spike Lee Joints. The story of Malcolm X is a very well known story within the African American community. It is American History and should be known by all.
Look…there was so much buzz around this one that my parents went together to see it. My parents never went to the movies together! This one changed a lot of peoples opinions about stepping out on their spouse.
National Lampoon’s Vacation
“This is crazy, This is crazy, This is crazy”. Comedy classic. Chevy Chase is great in this one. The cast is perfect. I use to put this in before I went to sleep. No matter what mood I was in, when I fell asleep it was good!
This one came out around the same time “The Matrix” came out. I thought it was a hit but was over shawdowed. They crash land on an unknown planet and realize they have stumbled upon a rare occurrence for the planet.
If you don’t know about this flick you’ve been living under a rock. So many flicks have bitten from this one. Slow motion gun battles anyone? The movie seems so original until you realize in a roundabout way it’s about God and man.
When it comes to scary flicks its “The Exorcist” and everything else. For me coming up this was the most scary flick hands down. I own the DVD and have only watched it once. This deals with the very real issue of demon possession. I know some folks don’t believe there is a God or a Devil. I say keep on living! If you can, research “the making of the exorcist” and all of the crazy stuff that happened during the making.
This movie along with “Fatal Attraction” pushed the boundaries of what was allowed in a “R” rated flick. It is a great whodunnit? But we all know who?
Pacino absolutely nailed this performance. He had great roles afterwards but how do you out do Face? It would be like Michael Jackson topping “Thriller” ? Greatest drug dealer movie ever put on film. It’s about more than that but you know what I am saying!
I have a small collection of movies my kids will have to watch while living in my house. This is one of them. I truly believe we have to know something about the struggles of all people. I know there is controversy surrounding “Schindler’s List” and the validity of it? Regardless… the Holocaust was a tragedy in world history and the movie gives us a glimpse of true evil.
The Godfather part II
This list has got almost every exception to the “part II not being better than the first” on it. I love the back and forth of the stories on this one. Timeless! When you hear people rave about this one…it’s true!
My dad use to rave about Alfred Hitchcock and how creative he was. My mother in law bought this one for me Christmas of 99? I had never seen it prior. I remember it coming on TV when I was a shorty and my mom saying “you like scary movies you should watch it”. Being a kid from the 70s/80s I couldn’t get over the fact it was in black and white! Wow…should have listened to mom! This flick is an example of great film making.
If you didn’t know this a remake…I never saw the original. De Niro’s character spent about 14 yrs in jail for rape. When he gets out he’s looking for payback from the attorney that defended him and withheld evidence because of his past. I think this was the first major role for Juliette Lewis?
Cool how the stories connect. This is a modern day classic. You can get this one for steal on blu-ray.
American History X
Ed Norton’s character starts off as a pretty level headed guy and then becomes a skin head. Goes to prison, skin heads turn on him and his only friend in prison is a “Brother”. Story ends with a twist.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
In pop culture I think everybody knows who “Freddie Krueger” is? This is the flick that launched the character. It has aged some…it was made in the 80s and it shows. However to its credit it is an original story. If you are into the “Horror Genre” you should check it out.
Quirky. I laughed out loud so many times on this one. It is a comedy but feels kinda dark? The Reese Witherspoon character is an over achiever that is running for student office. Broderick is annoyed with Witherspoon and doesn’t want her to win the election. There is more but you have to watch it. Check it for your self and see what you think?
This is the best in my opinion of all the current Vampire / Lycan flicks. Great cinematography and cool story. This looks great in 1080p!
Return of The Jedi
My favorite of the 6 from the Stars Wars series. You know this one, no explanations needed.
This one is so classic you should know this scene? I have this same picture on a large movie poster. When I am in a position to build me a home theater I will get this one professionally framed for that room. The dialogue is kinda corny but aged well. The score is killer.
A Simple Plan
They find a ton of money and everything that could go wrong goes wrong! Get this one on blu-ray as the DVD transfer lacks.
This came out around the time flicks like “Creepshow” and “Twilight Zone the Movie” hit. They had like 3-4 stories that make up the one flick. This one is like that, except the cat “General” is in every story. This is a personal favorite of mine. It’s not one of the greatest of all time but reminds me of my youth. It came out in 1985, the music is dated but is still solid. Drew Berrymore is in this one. I believe this came out just before or after “Firestarter” ?
Passion of The Christ
Personal favorite because it most accurately depicts the sacrifice of my Lord and Savior!
“Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.”One of the best heist flicks of all times.
This is the height of Charlie Sheen as an actor in motion pictures. Covers the nature of man in war conditions and internal conflicts that arise. Holds up well and is considered by many to be one of the best Vietnam war flicks of all time.
The ex-presidents! I always liked this one.
Once Upon a Time in America
I remember this was one of those 2 VHS tape sets! This is a long flick! Great story about life in a Jewish Ghetto and eventually organized crime. A great cast, good story. There are a few slow parts but overall great flick.
The curious case…Brad Pitt is born with the characteristics of an old person. Yet as he gets older he looks younger? When he is old he looks like a preschooler and needs someone to take care of him. The movie however is really about his life in between. This is on blu-ray and you can get it for a steal. Video quality is Five star!
I saw this instead of seeing “Avatar”. This takes place during the Mayan Kingdom. The rulers of that kingdom thought they could prosper by offering human sacrifices? They conquer villages and run up on Jaguar Paws village. He is taken captive and must escape to save everything he loves. Edge of your seat thriller. A must see!
Killer flick. This was one of the first flicks I got on DVD. Just check it out. Don’t let anyone spoil this one for you.
No County For Old Men
Javier Bardem plays one of the illest bad guys ever. Stone cold killer. The movie is simple. Prime example of when less is more. Deserved all the accolades it received.
Glengarry Glen Ross
Dark Comedy. The company sends a motivator to the office to tell the employees everyone will be fired except the two top sales reps. The quotes from this one are endless. This was not big at the box office… I actually never heard of it until I flipped to it on cable. Its one of those heavy dialogue flicks.
Not a comic book cat. I don’t know the history of the story or the characters. I saw this as a new flick with no expectation. I loved this movie, it however had mixed reviews. A lot of the negative reviews were from hard core comic purist? Great to see it in hi def! If you have a nice set up this is a great way to show it off!
“Warriors come out and play”. Great cinematography. Some of the fight scenes seem tame by today’s standards. Remember this hit in 1978. It is still classic and holds up well. Get it on blu-ray.
The original not the remake. This is Rutger Hauer and C. Thomas Howell. This move grabs you from the first five minutes. It takes you on a ride that never stops. This is in my top 20 of all time. This may seem high but the movie made a big impression on me. When you see it remember it came out in 1986! It deserves to be remastered and put on blu-ray. It is on DVD but is one of the sucky early transfers.
Not really a horror flick…more of a suspense thriller? Original story line. At least I had not seen anything like it. Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey. I actually rolled the dice and picked this up from the discount bin. Never heard anything about it prior. Really good flick.
“I’ve seen it a hundred times”…Not that many but a lot. I know this movie backwards and forwards and still laugh. Modern day comedy classic with the late Chris Farley.
I remember while watching this movie I felt disappointed. It was moving way too slow and seemed like a dud. Then it happened? The last few minutes made up for everything and now it made sense. The sequels lack and simply try to cash in on what has become the Saw brand.
A cult classic. I actually saw this at the movies in “78”. The flying silver sphere was crazzzzzy for the time. No CGI…pure creativity. The dialogue is corny in spots and sound effects are dated but holds a special place with me. It is worth checking.
With Tom Cruise either you like him or hate him. I actually like him and love him in this flick! It’s so different from any role prior for him. He makes a great bad guy and that’s what makes this movie. This also came out around the time Jamie Foxx was blowing up. He is also good in this flick. I didn’t expect it to be that good but it is.
Stand By Me
Perfect. Nothing else to say.
For me this is Pacino’s third best flick behind Godfather and Scarface. Sean Penn is his lawyer that is trying to live like a gangster while Pacino is trying to get out of that life. Pacino knows the code of the street and failed to follow that code. Doing so comes back to bite him in the end.
Based on a true story. All-star cast. Classssic!
So many Scorsese flicks are in this list. From the first scene you know this is going to be a wild ride. All the mob stereotypes are in this one. It is what it is and it’s great.
Tom Hanks nailed this role. This is in my top ten.
The Seven Deadly Sins, Kevin Spacey and a special delivery.
The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger. His last role before passing. He killed the role as the Joker. It made the movie. It will forever be known because of him.
“You got to be stupid to get fired on yo day off”. The hood comedy classic. There have been multiple sequels but none of have matched the chemistry of Cube and Tucker together.
“What this boy talking bout on the telephone”. Sci-fi comedy from 1985. Corny story line like many teeny bopper flicks. This was directed by the late John Hughes. Classic of my youth. We use to quote this one big time in high school. I have it on DVD.
Boston Irish mob flick. Familiar story done very well. Nice twist at the end.
Saving Private Ryan
The first 20 minutes of this flick are the most powerful of any flick bar none! Cinematography is killer.
Full Metal Jacket
Many consider this to be the best Vietnam based war flick of all time.
Boys Don’t Cry
Based on the murder of Brandon Teena. I didn’t know anything about the real life story until after the movie. This a really sad flick. I only saw it once but it stuck with me. Certain flicks you have to be in the mood to see…this is one of them.
The Silence of the Lambs
You know this one. Anthony Hopkins helps Jodie Foster track down serial killer Buffalo Bill. Great cat and mouse style flick.
Denzel Washington played a great bad guy. Just like Cruise, he is not known for that type of role but killed it! Denzel is a dirty cop and tries to knock off his naive partner and get money to pay off the Russian Mob.
I really wasn’t a fan of Jazz when I was younger. However as I got older and my taste developed I began to like it more and more. So being a music head I began to collect Jazz albums. Having a love of sharing music I wanted to create a list that may help a budding jazz fan make some solid choices to start his or her own collection. The range is from classic jazz to jazz fusion. I will update with album details and music snippets as time permits.
“Time Out” by The Dave Brubeck Quartet. This album contains the quintessential classic “Take Five”. Jazz fan or not you heard this somewhere before? It is a classic every jazz collector should have.
“Empyrean Isles” by Herbie Hancock. Contains “Oliloqui Valley” which was sampled during during the Hip-Hop Golden Era. It also has Cantaloupe Island which was sampled by a pop act in the early 90’s.
“Chasin The Jazz Gone By” The Five Corners Quintet. This is one of my favorite new school jazz albums. It’s actually got some serious heat for the dance floor. Overall a very good album.
Sean Haley had a thread on Facebook where he asked people to list their favorite house cut of all time. A lot folks responded and I thought it was pretty cool idea. So I thought what if I posted my favorite house cuts from 2000 to the present? Let me tell you… It turned out to be quite the undertaking. I had to first compile the list/music and then weed out. I could have added more but this is it. Now … there are a lot of list going around and I am not trying to add to that madness. For me this is all about sharing and discovery! Most djs/collectors are up on all of these cuts. So its not really about them. At some point we have to get “regular folk” to support our music. It’s upsetting to know we have some of the best music being made in our circle with some prolific artist! Yet its reach is no further than our circle. It’s time for the music to escape from the underground into the main stream. I don’t mean that in negative way… understand I want the art to stay, I just want the artist to profit from their art!
Expected responses….Not deep enough, not enough vocals, too many vocals, too commercial, where is the disco…this ain’t house, they don’t make good music any more….
Thumbs up or thumbs and big toes down…I don’t really care. If someone discovers music and “BUYS” that music, that is what it’s about for me!
Side note: I gave Dusty Groove and Dance Tracks a lot of dough….
Favorites House Cuts 2000 – 2013
“Always” by Lisa Shaw. This is one of my favorite straight house cuts of all time. I prefer the Lovetronic vocal mix. The bass line is so on point!!! I played this one a lot.
“I Might Do Something Wrong” – Tortured Soul. This is a classic and is deserving of the title.
“Music and Wine” (remix) – Blue Six. A staple from the Naked Music label. They ran it in the early 2000’s.
“Finally” – Kings of Tomorrow
“Burning” – Pepe Bradrock
“Shades of Jae” – Moodymann. Funky energy. Only negative is it should have been longer.
“Our Music” – Trackheadz
“Cuando” (King Brit’s Summer MIx) – SI SE’. Sexy latin groove. King Brits mix is nice and perfect for the dance floor.
“Let Love Fly” (Joe Claussell Mix) – Ananda Project. Ananda Project puts out quality. This is a lush soulful house groove.
“Getaway” – Anthony Nicholson. Straight groove. Pick it up.
“Let The Record Play” – Frank I. Sexy groove for the dance floor.
“Fable” – Lil Louis.
“The Love of Music” – DJ Kawasaki
“Starlight” – Escort
“You Use To Rock” – Blue Six
“Close Your Eyes” (Yoruba Mix) – Miguel Migs
“Im Doin Fine” – Moodymann featuring Amp Fiddler on vocals.
I picked this one up from “Turntable Lab”. Turntable lab is one of my secret go to spots for tunes. I have two promo copies and put the needle to them a lot. This was one of my go to cuts for a while. It stayed in my bag for a longgggg time! I don’t know if you can still cop this new? You may have to take it back to the old school and dig!
“NJF” – Dennis Ferrer
“It’s Yours” – John Cutler ft Eman
“Tim Loves Sax” – Tim Deluxe
“Mirror Dance” – Afefe Iku
“Conquistador” – Glenn Underground. Really nice!!! Keyboard work is sick.
“Discover the World” – Lars Bartkuhn and his Passion Dance Orchestra. A lot of really good stuff came out on the Needs label.
“Like Sunshine, My Memory” – Pushim.
“Like A Star” – Alister Johnson
“Leave My Head Alone Brain” – Henrick Schwarz
“The Audience” – Matthew Hubert
“Listen To The Drums” – Outlines
“Life Is Like” (Native New Yorkers rmx) – Richard Gow
“Over Night” – Inland Knights
“People Get Up” – Vernell De Long
“Issamippi” – David Taylor & Jesse Rose
“Park Jam” – Doctor M
“Everyday” – Central Living
“Changes” – Lee Douglas
“Samurai” – Jazztronik
“Bella” – Beady Belle
“Call Me” (Yam Who Rework) – N’Dambi
“Le Champagne” – Trentmoller
“Away” (Phil Asher Restless Soul Mix) – DJ Mitsu
“Fall For You” – Kings of Tomorrow
“Get Down” (Original Whoopin Mix) – 12th Floor. Straight party cut. It may be a little slow bpm wise but has mad energy. Never heard anyone bump this.
“Bar A Thym” – Kerri Chandler. Bumpin peak time track.
“The Night” (album version) – Miguel Migs. Another groove from the Naked Music Label!
“The Colours of Love” – The Layabouts
“You” (12″ Mix)- Plej. This reminds me of a Jamiroquai cut.
“Your Colors” (Yoruba Soul Mix) – John Beltran.
“Runaway” – Moodymann. Stripped down groove.
“Festejar” – Salome De Bahia. I enjoyed playing this at parties that allowed me to play more than just the safe cuts.
“Held Him First” – Deyampert.
This is a cutttt!!! When I bought this I immediately began checking for a full length album. It never came. This track features Clover from “Amraah 8”. There is some “Jazzanova” affiliation and you can tell. Go out and dig for this one! I haven’t seen it anywhere since I bought it. Picked up the 12″ from Dusty Grooves back in “04”. It is a must have.
“The Time is Now (Can 7 Mix)” – Moloko
I love her unique voice. This an essential for your house collection.
“Keep on Making Me High” – Georg Levin. Blue eyed soul. A nice mellow house groover.
“Stronger Man” Ben Watt & Sananda Maitreya. This was the highlight of the winter music conference when it hit.
“So Far” – Miguel Migs
“I Miss The Things” (Joe DiPadova & Shea Marshall Mix) – Lars Behrenroth & Sinan Baymak. Smooth house cut.
“Holiday” (Kenny Dope Rmx) – Roy Ayers. Kenny Dope flipped this into a really nice house cut.
“Elle” (Criola Rmx) – DJ Gregory – Vega. I like the original also but its something about this breakdown that I really like.
“Brand New Feeling” (Phil Asher Mix) – Roy Ayers. Bass line is sick. Get it!
“Rock Wit U” (Yoruba Soul Mix) – Erro
I ran this one on a regular when it hit. Osunlade killed this mix.
“Ride” – Harrison Crump. Two versions on the 12″. The house version and the chill almost steppers like version? You need this in your collection.
“Tonight” – Roomsa. This was in my record bag for a while. I always thought this was a fun sexy record.
“Want You in My Soul” – Lovebirds
“Paper Chase” – Claire Hill ft Vikter Duplaix. I really like this one and it surprises me that I don’t really hear any one play this.
“Into My Life” – Elements of Life
“The Cure and The Cause” – Fish Go Deep. I mostly heard cats playing the Dennis Ferrer mix. I however preferred the original version.
“Surrender” – Seek
Seek is a soul band from Atlanta, GA and Surrender is the title cut from the first LP. The album was released in 2002. I own the album on cd, I have the 12″ single and the Giant Step compilation. I also recommend their second album “Journey Into Day”,
“Somebody New” – Georg Levin. The 12″ cover looked like a test press? I picked this up about the same time Black Satin ft Lady Sarah by Gene Farris dropped. This was the first record I bought by Georg Levin. He is a very solid artist with a few full length releases.
I would also try your local neighborhood record store. Go out and get those fingers dusty!
No matter where you stand on the different media formats if you have been collecting for some time you probably have vinyl in your collection. I think it is always cool to add pieces to your collection.
A few picks from my vinyl collection.
“Fallin” by Monday Michiru. This is a pretty cool EP. Great cover and with a cool jazzy cut. Monday Michiru makes some nice music. This an import so it will be a little pricey. Plus her works can be a little hard to find. I played this out a few times at some high end private events.
“You” is a cut from a group called Plej. It kind of reminds me of something that might have been made by Jamiroquai? I have the 12″ single and also the album “Electronic Music From The Swedish Leftcoast”. I just recently saw this album available on Traxsource. I actually bought my copy from Dusty Grooves in like “04” ? Go for the 12″ or the album. “You” is a little different on the album via the way it breaks down….not in a bad way. The album as a whole is solid.
Second cut by Deyampert is “It’s You”. This kind of has a “Seek” type sound. It’s a smooth cut that could definitely work in a house set. I recommend it highly. Again I have never seen this outside of when I bought it. I got this one at Dusty Grooves.
“Get On” is a great song from Cooly’s hot-box. It’s got this vintage mid 70s soul vibe. If you are not familiar with the group you may recognize the lead vocal as none other than John-Christian Urich. Lead vocalist and drummer from “Tortured Soul”. I use to play this one late night at “fleur de lys” in the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. It was a great place to test certain cuts. It was a really nice restaurant and people would sit near the bar, talk and listen. Always positive feedback on this one. I have the album “don’t be afraid-get on” and the 12″ which has “get on” and “touch my body”. The vinyl is in storage so here is the cd picture.
“Close To You” featuring Ernesto, (Maurice Fulton remix) has a modern 80s vibe if that makes any sense? I played this out a few times and would always get other dj’s asking “who this that” ? The group is called “Beanfield” and there first album release was called “Seek”. They were on the “Compost” label. I think I picked the 12″ up in “05”?
“Dream” is a sleeper cut by Moses Mcclean featuring Nedra. This one dropped in “06” on the “Still Music” label. I like the Patchworks Remix best. For those with an “ear” you will notice the drums are the same as “Thousand Finger Man” by Candido. This is now available on digital download via traxsource.com. I got my 12″ at Dusty Groove.
“Simply So” featuring Spacek (SA RA remix). This has a nice hip-hop feel and bounce to it. I really like when the horns drop. You should have this 12″ in your collection. I can’t remember if I got this at “Big B’s” or at this Hip Hop store across the street? I can’t remember the name of the Hip Hop store but both had great selections. They both sat on Maryland Parkway in Vegas. I found a lot of hard to find disco 12″s (Mint) at Big B’s for $1.99! Big B’s like many other vinyl retailers folded when “Serato” became all the rage.
“Now I Live (And Now My Life is Done)”. Rare groove cut by Ben Sidran from the album “Putting in Time on Planet Earth”. I don’t remember ever hearing this one sampled? It is a funky slow groover! I told my friend Marcus Chapman I was looking for this and he called me and let me know he ran up on it in “Reckless Records” in Chicago. I have since picked up my second copy. It is on the Blue Thumb Label and is a Gatefold cover. If you see it pick it up.
Last but not least is “Sack Full of Dreams” a major jazz cut! This was one of my dads favorites and now mine! It’s off the album “My Way” by Gene Ammons. My dad had a copy when I was a kid and I picked up my own in 2010. Gene Ammons was a Legendary Jazz Tenor Saxophonists and one of Chicago’s own! If you’re on the fence about Jazz I suggest you try getting into it song by song vs trying to tackle whole albums. Slow and steady is how you get into Jazz. Doing this will help you determine what you like. Once you know, you can then seek out those musicians.
The music posted can be found at these locations….
When I stop and think about it I am a collector of many things. Scents are another thing I’m into. For me it started in college. I always wanted unique scents and many of them. I wanted to smell different depending on how I was feeling. Cats back then were mainly rocking Eternity by Calvin Klein, Cool Water by Davidoff and even Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche. Not the kid…I was rocking Jazz by YSL, New West by Aramis and Bijan to name a few.
Class in a bottle. My favorite release of 2015. This is an uplifting fragrance that sparkles with a hint of sweetness. The bottle looks a classic microphone and feels very solid. The presentation matches the fragrance. Highly recommended!
Terre D’ Hermes “Eau Tres Fraiche”
Categorized as a woody aromatic this fragrance is perfect for the summer, In my opinion this is an all purpose work horse you need in your fragrance tool box! It is primarily orange/citrus and woody notes.
“Amber Man” by Halston
Very nice fragrance that I highly recommend. You get Amber, Myrrh, Cedar and Musk. This is a cozy luxurious fragrance that is very slept on! If you love Amber based fragrances you need to check this out.
Dsquared2 Potion “Royal Black”
Niche quality in a designer fragrance. A Rose based fragrance with notes of Incense, Leather and Tobacco. If you are a lover of Rose based fragrances put your nose on this one.
“Roadster” by Cartier
Released 2008. Fragrancer; Mathilde Laurent. The fragrance features French Labdanum, Patchouli, Vanilla, Bergamot, Mint and Vetiver. This could be your signature scent? It has a strong clean mint smell in a very good way. I enjoy wearing this at work and seems to give me a boost. Overall good performer and is pretty versatile. Plus comes in a very nice glass container with a magnetic top!
SUMMER 2015 FRAGRANCES
“Encre Noir Sport” by Lalique
This is a much more wearable version of the original Encre Noire which was primarily an Inky, Dirty Vetiver fragrance. This one tones down the Inky vibe and adds Citrus and Watery notes to give it a very clean invigorating feel that works.
“Lalique White” by Lalique
Released 2008. Perfumer; Christine Nagel. Top notes: Tamarind, Lemon Leaf, Bergamot and Elemi. The middle notes: Nutmeg, White Pepper, Violet and Cardamom. Base notes; Amber, Musk, Cedar and Oakmoss. When I smell this I get Lemon and Pepper. This is clean with a pop! In my humble opinion this is a timeless scent and would always be in demand. For me this has “signature scent” potential.
“Geir” by Geir Ness
This fragrance lists five notes, Green, Spicy, Woody, Citrus and Floral. It does not get into specifics and that’s cool. What I do know is this is a very well made fragrance that smells great. Now it does kinda have a floral vibe to it but don’t let that scare you. The other notes shine equally and work to balance each other out.
“Opus Homme” by Armaf
This was initially tagged as a copy of Channel Allure Edition Blanche. Smelling them side by side however I can say this one has a grape soda vibe where Channel Allure Edition Blanche has more of a Lemon Pie vibe. Performance is where Channel Allure Edition Blanche fails and this one excels. This may baffle some but I prefer Opus Homme…for me at the end of the day it’s about the juice and not the name on the juice.
“Meharees di Oasi in Oasi” by L’ERBOLARIO
Cinnamon, Amber, Vanilla and Sandlewood are the primary notes in my opinion. A pretty good performing fragrance with moderate projection and is smooth like butter. A definite compliment getter!
“Infusion D’Homme” by Prada
I lived in Vegas for a number of years and would DJ at many of the Luxury Hotels. If you have ever been in a Luxury Hotel and checked out the bathrooms they all seem to smell of very expensive soap? That is what this fragrance reminds me of. No need to list the notes just think expensive soap. If you like fragrances that have that soapy vibe here you go.
L’Instant De Guerlain Pour Homme
Released 2004. The perfumer is Beatrice Piquet. Notes are Citrus, Anise, Jasmine, Patchouli, Cedar, Sandalwood, Lapsang, Cocoa Beans, Lavender, Hibiscus Seed and Musk. This has got a classic feeling to it without smelling dated. Smells like a cool blending of Orange and Chocolate. It smells wonderful on my skin but has a distinct classy vibe that may not translate to all age groups. Put your nose on it before you purchase.
“Kokorico” by Jean Paul Gaultier
Released 2011. Perfumer: Olivier Cresp & Annick Menardo. If you read the reviews this one garners that love/hate type response? This is all because of the opening. The very green Fig Leaf note for some people is off putting. I however must say it only lasts about 5 minutes and then the scent makes a u-turn and smells like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Well that’s what it smells like on me. Weird right? But it works, is off the radar and I like it! Notes: Cacao, Patchouli, Fig Leaf, Vetiver and Virginia Cedar.
“Kiton Men” by Kiton
Released 1996. Classy and Sophisticated. Great longevity and projection. You will stand out in the crowd. Notes are Violet, Lily of the Valley, Pineapple, Musk, Tonka Bean and Bergamot. A little bonus to consider, this reminds me a lot of “Green Irish Tweed” by Creed. GIT as it is called by many is $175 – $350 retail. Not saying this is a copy because they are different but have certain similarities.This is a great fragrance in its own right and a confirmed lady killer.
“Kiton Black” by Kiton
Released in 2007. Listed notes; Bergamot, Violet Leaf, Lemon, Red Berries, Cyclamen, Cedar, Cardamom, Leather, Tonka Bean, Amber and Vetiver. Versatile classy fragrance. Put your nose on it and see if you like it.
“Antidote” by Viktor & Rolf
Released 2006. Now discontinued. Perfumer Alienor Massenet & Pierre Wargnye. So many notes are listed but these are the ones that stand out in my opinion; Bergamot, Mandarin, Bitter Grapefruit, Mint, Jasmine, Lavender, Violet, Musk, Amber and Incense. This smells a lot like “Romeo Gigli Uomo” that came out in 1991. I give this one the slight edge. This is a great fragrance and it won the FIFI award in 2007 for “Best Male Niche Fragrance”. A versatile fragrance that can be worn all year. This is definitely one you should check for and soon!!! It’s becoming hard to find for a reasonable price.
“Bvlgari Black” by Bvlgari
Released in 1998. Perfumer: Annick Menardo. This is the infamous hockey puck /rubber tire bottle design. I don’t know how but this smells like a rubber tire. What? Yup I said rubber tire. This made me realize that creating fragrances is an art! The rubber note last throughout but gradually fades. As it fades a smokey vanilla and tea note moves to the front. You will either love it or hate it. This was made to be worn by the man living in a highly populated metropolitan area.
“Eau Sauvage Parfum” by Christian Dior
Released 2011. Perfumer Francois Demachy. Listed notes are Bergamot, Vetiver and Myrrh. It is a Parfum and has a very warm, creamy vibe…it’s an updated version of the 1966 Eau Sauvage edt. Yet something about it reminds me of Dior Homme? It lasts all day and almost has a barbershop feel but not in a bad way. It’s actually very classy with an upscale feel. Great for formal events but could also work in the office and some casual situations. It’s not a crowd pleaser in my opinion. You rock this because you love it! A definite signature scent.
“Man in Black” by Bvlgari
Released in 2014. This has got that warm leather and amber vibe. Plus a boozy/spicy note to it. This is a great late night out/date scent.
“Pure Havane” by Thierry Mugler
Another modern day legend. Released 2011. Perfumer: Jacques Huclier. It’s got that tobacco, honey, patchouli, vanilla and bitter cocoa vibe. You very rarely meet someone that doesn’t like this one. Don’t take my word for it…put your nose on it.
“Chic” by Carolina Herrera
Perfumer: Jean Marc Chaillan, Carlos Benaim and Ann Gottlieb. This has a really nice watermelon note with some nice citrus notes. In the dry down you get the tonka bean, amber and sandalwood. This is one for the arsenal that every one won’t have!
“Dior Homme” & “Dior Homme Intense” by Christian Dior
Released 2007. Two modern day legends! You can’t go wrong with either one. They have that make up bag, almost waxy iris note that everyone talks about! Dior Homme is the people pleaser and Dior Homme Intense for the individual that wears the fragrance for themself. It is a masculine fragrance but some argue not masculine enough? You have been warned…It also has the title of lady killer! Let your lady decide?
“Men” by Marc Jacobs
Released 2002. Perfumer; Ralph Schwieger. Notes: Italian Bergamot, Tuscan Cypress, Cumin, Cardamom, Ginger, Fig Leaves, Rose de Mai, Cyclamen, Tonka Bean, Cedarwood, Nirvanolide Musk, Provence Fig, Indonesian Patchouli, Musk.
“L’Homme Libre” by Yves Saint Laurent
Released 2006. Perfumer; Olivier Polge and Carlos Benaim. A recent addition to my collection. I wasn’t up on this one until 2010. I think you can wear this for dress up/night out, office and even casual. This is a woody/fresh scent. Notes: Calabrian Bergamot, Violet Leaves, Basil, Patchouli, Vetiver. Star Anise, Nutmeg, Pink Pepper, Leather Accord. Great smelling scent that last all day.
“Armani Eau Pour Homme” by Giorgio Armani
Released 1984. Perfumer; Roger Pellegrino. Timeless classic. This is a staple in my collection and I will own it as long as they make it. Top notes; sicilian mandarin, californian green lemon, bergamot, citrus leaf, orange blossom, jasmine, lavender, nut, coriander, cinnamon and clove. The base; sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, oakmoss and patchouli.
“Romeo Gigli Uomo” by Romeo Gigli
Released 1991. This has been discontinued but can still be found. Notes; Grapefruit, Clove, Rosewood, Ginger Patchouli and Sandlewood. I first bought this one back in 95. I have picked up a few bottles since then. It is now out of production. What comes around goes around…I recently picked up samples of “Antidote” by Viktor & Rolf and personally believe it is a copy of this one? It also is now out of production. This scent lasts all day and is great for work or casual occasions.
“Joseph Abboud” by Joseph Abboud
Released in 1993. I picked this one up at Marshall Fields back in the day. I had totally forgotten about this one until I saw an add for Joseph Abboud. This is a very slept on vintage fragrance. I think I first got up on this at “Mark Shale” in Oakbrook Mall in IL. It’s a combination of citrus, woods and musk. It didn’t smell like anything else when it was released and still smells very modern. No matter what negative reviews you may read from the fragrance snobs I say “put your nose on it”.
“Body Kouros” by Yves Saint Laurent
Released 2000. Perfumer; Annick Menardo. One of my all time favorites! I first picked it up in Cancun Mexico in 2000. Notes; Camphor wood, Benzoin, Cedar, Sage, Incense and Eucalyptus. The Incense and Eucalyptus come through but not in a bad way. People notice this one. Note: Try to get the bottle in this picture. The fragrance has been reformulated and the new version is weaker than the original.
Aficionado by Cigar
Released 1997. My sister bought this for me some years ago and I just found another bottle last year. I remember this dropped around the time when Cigar Bars were the rage and popping up all over the place. This is Tobacco done well in a fragrance! It is hard to find…so more than likely when you see it, it’s going to be the aftershave. So know if you run across the cologne, snatch it!!! Notes; Patchouli, Tobacco, Chocolate and Amber. This one performs well and projects so easy on the sprayer. I recommend this for night wear but you decide?
“Feeling Man” by Jil Sander
Released 1989. Notes; Top notes are fruity notes, lavender, green notes, tarragon, anise and bergamot; middle notes are cyclamen, raspberry, balsam fir, orris root, jasmine and geranium; base notes are sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, oakmoss, cedar and tobacco.. This is a great casual scent.
“DKMen Unleaded” by Donna Karen
Released 1995. In my humble opinion this is the modern day originator of the Tobacco/Leather note fragrances. Notes; Basil, Cardamom, Suede and Tobacco. This one has been discontinued and I really don’t understand why? It can still be found but you will pay loot for it. Wear this one anytime. One of my all time favorites.
“Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme” by Dolce & Gabbana
Released 1994. This is a classic and you should have it in your collection. This one projects…so be easy when you put it on. Notes; Lavender, Orange, Lemon, Cedar, Tobacco and Sage. This is a dress up or night out scent. If possible grab the bottle with the sticker, that is the original version of this fragrance. I say that because it has been reformulated and is a little different from the original. You may have to get it on ebay?
“Platinum Edition” by John Varvatos
I got this one recently for my birthday. It is already one of my favorites. I was dragging my feet on picking up “Vintage” or “Artisan”. I chose this one instead. Notes; Woods, Citrus, Black Leather and Amber. This is for leaders and not followers. I don’t really believe it has mass appeal but will become popular for those in the know…
“Xeryus Rouge” by Givenchy
Released 1995. Perfumer; Annick Menardo. Notes; Sandalwood, Cedar, White Musk, Pimento, African Geranium, Chinese Orange, Cactus and Tarragon. Projection on this one is beast mode so go easy on the sprayer. This smells so good!
“Le Male” by Jean Paul Gaultier
Released 1995. Perfumer; Francis Kurkdjian. This is a classic and an essential for your collection. You can wear this one anytime for any occasion. Notes; Mint, Artemesia, Cardamom, Bergamot, Lavender, Orange Blossom, Cinnamon, Cuman, Sandlewood, Vanilla, Cedar, Tonka Bean, Amber.
“Dunhill for Men” by Alfred Dunhill
Released 2003. Perfumer; Michel Almairac. Notes: Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Moss, Musk, Orris, Cedarwood, Lemon, Geranium. Great smelling casual scent.
“Iquitos” by Alain Delon
Released 1987. Very unique scent…very complex scent. This is not a scent for everyone. I haven’t really smelled anything that smells like it and struggle on giving examples of what it smells like? To me that’s a good thing! Notes; Coriander, Mandarin orange, Nutmeg, Lemon, Honey, Ginger, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Cardamom, Leather, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Coconut, Civet, Oakmoss, Vanilla, Vetiver and Cedar. I just recently ran out of my latest 3.4 oz bottle. I have over 30 bottles of colognes so that speaks volumes on how much I like it. I even managed to pick this up twice at “Marshalls” for about $30.00. Biggest steal for a designer scent that is “Niche” quality. First time I found this it was in “96”. It has been discontinued but can be found for a small mint 😉
“Man Eau Fraiche” by Versace
Released 2006. Perfumer; Olivier Cresp. Notes; Lemon, Rosewood, Carambola, Cedar Leaves, Tarragon, Sage, Musk, Amber and Sycamore Wood. This is my new go to clean scent. For me it’s that “fresh cut, jeans, t- shirt and new pair of kicks” scent. It won’t knock your socks off…but you don’t always need that! Sometimes a really fresh clean scent is enough!
“Kenzo Pour Homme” by Kenzo
Released 1991. Perfumer; Christian Mathieu. Top notes are mahogany, sage, bergamot, lemon and sea notes; middle notes are nutmeg, carnation, juniper berries, orris root, peach, jasmine, caraway, lily-of-the-valley, rose and pine; base notes are sandalwood, amber, musk, balsam fir, oakmoss, vetiver, cedar and labdanum.
“Hollywood” by Fred Hayman
Released 1998. The fragrance features rosemary, carnation, leather, lavender, green leaves, sage, cedar, bergamot, tobacco, amber, lemon, orange, sandalwood, musk and patchouli. This is so slept on. Another scent my sister got me for Christmas. Nice smelling scent and versatile. I wear it often and is one of my go to scents. Note: this fragrance has been reformulated. The newer version is weaker. You want the bottom to say Parlux Fragrances.
“1881” by Nino Cerutti
Released 1990. Perfumer; Martin Gras. Top notes are lavender, carnation, galbanum, bergamot, juniper, cypress and elemi resin. Middle notes are vetiver, ylang-ylang, rose, lily-of-the-valley and cassia; base notes are musk, sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss, cedar, pepper and pine tree. This was my signature scent from about 96 – 99! Just bought a new bottle for $20.00. Smells just the way I remember. It is a clean, fresh, classy scent with a hint of pine. If you been sleeping check it out.
“PI” by Givenchy
Released 1998. Perfumer; Alberto Morillas. Notes: Opens with aromas of basil, rosemary, tarragon and mandarin. A heart encompasses neroli, geranium, lily of the valley and anise, while base notes include: vanilla, tonka, cedar, benzoin, almond and yellow sugar.
“Quasar” by Jesus Del Pozo
Released 1994. Perfumer; Christopher Sheldrake. Top notes; banana leaf, fruity notes and banana. Middle notes; rosemary, lavender, sage and geranium. Base notes; sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss and cedar. I picked this up in late 1995 at Marshal Fields. For those that don’t know that was a Chicago staple before being purchased by Macy’s. Macy’s will never be Fields! Just saying…Anyway this dropped in my opinion right around the time everyone jumped on the “Sport” bandwagon. It’s funny for years I have worn this and could never tell what I smelled in the opening until now. Banana Leaf! This is a unique sport like scent but is not labeled as one. There is to this day nothing exactly like it. When you spray it give it time to dry down.
“Jungle Pour Homme” by Kenzo
Released in 1998. There are a lot of notes listed for this one. However what I get is cedar, a hint of nutmeg and cardamon. This is a very fresh woody scent. I highly recommend it.
Back in 90s I thought about starting my own company installing Home Theater. Oh well…Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Today everyone wants a Home Theater to watch movies, sports, play video games or just watch TV. However the average Joe doesn’t know much about picking a TV, Blu Ray player or Surround Sound system. Then with the new streaming capabilities that now come built in, it can be downright overwhelming. I have heard friends and strangers speak on how intimidating it can be when you go to a box store and you’re looking at a wall of TVs! Where do you even begin? Many folks would simply buy whatever is on sale. Nothing wrong with that, just make sure you are buying a quality product! I always tell people when they try to go the cheap route, It can cost more to pay less. Just think about how much time you will spend using your TV, Blu Ray and Surround system? Wouldn’t it be nice to get the purchase right the first time?
We can start with TVs…When it comes to TV’s there are basically three types out there now. There is Plasma, LED and LCD. Many will say get the TV with the best picture in your price range? However since picture quality is subjective I fell it is more important to focus on what you watch and where your TV/Monitor will go.
A plasma TV might be for you if:
You like rich, warm colors and deep black levels.
You do most of your viewing with low or modest room lighting.
You or others will be sitting off-axis when watching TV or movies.
You want the smoothest, most natural motion with fast on-screen action, like sports or video games.
Pros: excellent contrast and black levels; effortless motion; uniform illumination over the entire screen area, good picture depth; often priced lower than LED-LCD models with similar screen size and features
Cons: limited screen sizes: 42″-65″; some models not as bright as most LED-LCD TVs; not as energy-efficient as LED-LCDs and typically generate more heat; a plasma panel is usually a bit heavier and thicker than an LED-LCD panel
An LED-LCD TV might be for you if:
You want an ultra-thin TV — LCD TVs, especially LED-backlit models, tend to be thinner than plasmas.
You do a lot of daytime viewing in a room with windows lacking blinds, curtains or drapes. An LED-LCD’s bright picture will still look crisp and colorful in bright light; some LCD screens also resist glare.
Low power consumption is a priority — LCD TVs are more energy efficient than plasma models with the same screen size.
Pros: models with advanced local dimming backlights can have black levels rivaling plasma; LED-LCD panels are thin and lightweight — especially models with edge-lit backlights; this is the most energy-efficient display technology
Cons: picture may look a bit flat and less “film like” than plasmas; when viewed off-axis the picture may lose some contrast and color.
Details to pay attention to;
Resolution. Most current TV’s either show 720 or 1080 lines of resolution. You will see it listed as 720p, 1080p. These are the lines of resolution and the higher the better. I would only go with 720p if you are going with a 40inch or smaller. In my humble opinion I think 720p is fine for a small space. While looking you will also see 4k, which is the latest technology. With 4k we are talking 4,000 lines of resolution! That’s about 4 x the resolution of High Definition video and Blu Ray. The only problem…it’s still new and there is not really any content yet. Stay tuned!
Refresh rate. You will hear different things; I will just say you want at least 120 Hz. If you can get higher do it, even though they say your cable signal is only at 60 Hz.
Keep this in mind when trying to determine the size of TV/Monitor;
Viewing distance range
Here are a few I would recommend;
Panasonic 60” Plasma #TCP60ST50 Viera 1080P 600Hz $1,699.99
Next is the Surround Receiver. This is a key part of your set up because it’s the brains. Make sure it provides the features you are looking for and is compatible with current and future technology. More than likely you will use its remote to control all your devices and switch between various media. It will power all your speakers except your sub woofer and likely be in the family longer than other electronic purchases. The surround receiver was created to present the movie audio the way its creators intended. Movie Theaters use them with front/center/rear speakers and sub woofers to give you that incredible sound! The sound of something flying over your head, a rushing river in the distance or a loud explosion. Many surround receivers can even provide sound to multiple rooms. There are a lot of choices out there. Make a list of the media/devices you use most often and pick a receiver that will best work for you. Here are some I would recommend…
Cambridge Audio 751R
Emotiva UMC 200/UPA 500
Denon AVR – 4520CI
Denon AVR 3805 7.1
Yamaha RX A3020
Yamaha RX Z1 5.1
Sony STR – DN840
Denon AVR – E400
Next is the Blu Ray player. I think they are pretty self explanatory but just in case you don’t know. Blu Ray is the latest form of media that movies are placed on for home viewing. All blu ray players play DVDs and CDs. Some players even play HDCD (Hi Definition CD) and SACD (Super Audio CD). Visually blu ray players can deliver 1080 lines of resolution. Lately I have been seeing blu ray players as cheap as $50.00. I tend to believe this is because of the new 4k technology? Even still I say you get what you pay for. A Geo Metro drives like a Geo Metro and an S Class Benz well…like an S Class Benz. The better the technology and build quality, the better it is at accurately reproducing the video on disc.
Blu Ray Players:
Oppo BDP 105 $1,200.00
Denon DBP – 1611 UD $499.00
Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD $799.99
Panasonic DMP – BDT500 $300.00
Samsung BD F7500 $179.99
Sony BDP S5100 $99.99
This is too large of a topic to really tackle now so briefly…
6 speaker set up
Fronts Speakers: Music and special effects.
Surround: Ambient sound, Moving sound.
Subwoofer: Bass! Rumble and Explosions.
These are starting to get popular. If you are short on space and want to keep it minimal this is for you. You won’t get the same level of sound but is a decent substitute.
Vizio S4221w-C4 $249.00
Pioneer SP-SB23W $399.00
JBL Cinema SB400 $549.00
I give props to all my sources…Sound & Vision, Home Theater and Crutchfield.
In today’s modern world where convenience trumps all, some things still hold true. You get the best sound from a quality stereo set up! Yup a good old fashion stereo. Many folks out there have traded in their systems for an all in one desk top mp3 player. That’s cool. However if you can why not do it right? Trust me you will enjoy your music that much more.
This is actually a great time to pick up the pieces necessary to build your own killer system. Being a DJ at heart my pleasure comes from sharing with others. I will share some model information you can research for yourself to build your own killer system.
You can go new or pick up some classic vintage pieces for a great price. First you need to decide whether you want to go with separates or a receiver? For those that don’t know separate’s are: separate amplifier, pre-amplifier and tuner. A receiver is basically all 3 in one or Integrated (amplifier and pre-amplifier only). Keep in mind you get better sound with separate’s and they are typically more expensive.
This list is not the best of the best by any means. It is however my attempt to point you in the right direction so you may begin your quest of building a great system! Keep in mind a lot of the pieces recommended are vintage and you will have to pick them up used. You can find most of this stuff on ebay or stores that sell vintage audio equipment. If you buy something on ebay unless noted, you probably want to have it Bench Tested by a qualified service technician. They can make any necessary part replacements to ensure your purchase performs at the level the manufacturer intended. Try not to let the idea of buying used equipment discourage you. So here you go…
Recommended Key components:
Adcom GFA 555II
Adcom GFA 5802
McIntosh MC 2300
McIntosh MC 2205
Adcom GFP 750
Creek 5350SE (Integrated)
Sansui AU919 (Integrated)
Pioneer SX 1250
Thorens TD 125 MKII.
Technics 1200 MKII
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable
Mcintosh MCD 205
Music Hall CD 25.2
Ah! NjoeTjoeb 4000 (Can be found new at upscaleaudio.com)
Sennheiser HD 600
A good pair of speakers is mandatory yet it’s something I can’t recommend. I can tell you what I like sonically but your taste may be different? Do your own research. Think about speakers you’ve heard and what you liked about them?
What are your musical preferences? Is it House or do you listen to everything from Blues to Classical? It makes a difference as all speakers don’t reproduce all music well. Speakers with a larger woofer usually reproduce House, Hip Hop and Rock well. However that is not always the case, some bookshelf speaks handle those genres fine. Some manufactures include a chart to show what genres the speaker does well with and where it may struggle. I have a pair of NHT SB3 bookshelf speakers. They sound great with Jazz and Downtempo stuff but struggle with more bass heavy material. Most importantly it’s about the overall construction and quality!
Then think about your space. Is space an issue? You could go with a Book Shelf Speaker, if not go with a Floor Standing speaker. Most importantly get speakers that make you and your ears smile! Here’s what I have learned; a lot of companies make good speakers. Find out what model/speaker put them on the map? When did they make it? Are they still making speakers on that level? Sometimes they do and many times not! Like with many businesses, when the bottom line becomes the main focus and ownership changes, you can see a drop in the level of quality. Check out reviews on current and past models. Reviews are a useful tool to help you sift through the mountain of choices out there.
Don’t rush the process! Take your time and if possible listen to the speaker multiple times with music you know well. Hopefully this will net you a pair of speakers you can enjoy for a while.
When the time is right I hope to snag a pair of these;
These were in many of the recording studios back in the day.
Turntable cartridges: This is a choice you have to make yourself. Almost like speakers, do your research and pick up what will work for your tastes. You will probably run across a lot of DJ cartridges in your quest. Keep in mind that they are typically made for loudness, back cueing and to scratch. You want a cartridge that specializes in overall fidelity casually listening.
Last but not least invest in some quality connects. The audio connects that come in the box are usually cheap. It is worth it and contributes to the overall sound!
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”