A really successful blind buy for me for once. You can safely trust the positive reviews, it is a really nice scent indeed. Solid, masculine, really elegant. Although I don’t get some of the notes listed, what I do get is surely coffee (pungent, dry, austere and earthy coffee beans – don’t think of any diabete-inducing Mugler’s type of coffee), a really well-crafted angelica note smelling leafy and bittersweet (better say bitter-“aqueous” actually), a pungent fruity accord which is actually more boozy than fruity (think of the smell of wine corks) and a really nice, robust leather accord. Now, the comparison to Tuscan Leather is surely correct, although Mark Birley smells decidedly more “virile” and dry for me. But surely that’s the ballpark. Smooth, slightly sweet leather. The thing is Birley costs a fraction of that, and is also quite more interesting, creative and complex, so it’s really easy to see the winner here.
Other comparisons came to my head, basically many recent fruity-leather scents – from Cuir X by La Parfumerie Moderne, to a sort of drier, darker, “gentleman” version of Parfum d’Empire’s Cuir Ottoman and so on. I really, really appreciate the mood of Charles Street, as it brilliantly manages to smell at once contemporary (even “trendy” for its “polished leather & fruity notes” structure) and austere, sophisticatedly echoing vintage dark leather fougères. This is what makes it better than most of the modern leathers mentioned, this really elegant sort of “mature” vibe perfectly fitting the concept (a tribute to Birley’s club?). I think Bourdon did a really good job in blending classic and modern leather inspirations. As regard of the general mood and style, also Bentley for Men Intense came to my mind at some point – the notes are quite different (not completely though, the ambery booziness is quite here too), but I think they share some similar mood, really nailing it in terms of self-confident class and quality. Projection and longevity aren’t really top notch, but apart from this... really good!
I enjoyed the original Mark Birley for Men, and the first sniff of Charles Street does remind me of the original… but Charles Street also messages a more complex and serious scent than the original. There are darker, drier, and deeper notes in this mixture – coffee, mace oil, angelica and leather. I think that the mace oil and Angelica are the most responsible for Charles Street’s restrained depth. I’ll take their word for it that there is coffee in the mix, but I would rather smell it than have faith in the pyramid writer. The absence of the original’s carrot note removes that bit of whimsy that lightened the original... a “lightening up” that I don’t think necessary.
The drydown retains some of the resinousness of the opening and middle, and it comes across to me primarily as a dark patchouli presentation, along with that raspberry-like note that I don’t pick up until halfway into the drydown. Charles Street is as transparent and subtle as the original, and it is certainly as masculine. Like the original Mark Birley, Charles Street, has very light sillage and limited longevity. I’ve long enjoyed the original… I think I like Charles Street even better, and they are different enough to perhaps warrant owning both.
In my reverie, I'm seeing myself enter a room of moderate temperature with grey, luxuriously padded walls of suede and a crimson carpet. There are gentle wisps of raspberry scent being piped into this room through the air vents. Mixed with the grey suede padding on the walls, one gets the feeling that an elegant event is about to take place in this room......in my reverie. Jolted awake, I realize how much I appreciate this exquisite, sophisticated cologne and will ALWAYS have it in my collection. Charles Street is an excellent complement to my TF Tuscan Leather when I'm attending lighter events and people LUV IT!
A leather / berry combo that sits a little too close to others in its genre
Starts out recklessly close to Blood Concept's O, but adds coffee and spares us the cheese-ball metallic effect of the latter. There's an herbal bitterness at the helm that sweetens to reveal a pleasant saffron; but as the auxiliary notes gestate, it's the leather / berry combo that stands tallest. The problem is that the leather lacks any real subtlety, instead casting a stiff shadow across the berries, and resulting the kind of grating effect of the Tom Ford leather. I want to like it so much more than I actually do.
Pros: It's a solid enough composition, with good tenacity and staying power
Cons: It doesn't do a whole lot, and what it does do has been done"
What a note list that i do not agree upon. Charles Street is a leather fragrance that starts very harsh imo. Slight whiffs of saffron and raspberry do not help the smell to be soft.
When you think that it will smooth down in an hour and become a musk-leather skin scent, whoop it is totally gone.
One of the greatest regrets of blind buying.
This is a lot like Tuscan leather but has a stronger raspberry note and the leather dialed down. This gets too sweet for my tastes and unyieldingly annoying with that raspberry accord. I did not mind it in Tuscan leather as it was not overwhelming as it is here.
It's not a bad scent but I was thankfull that it was gone in four hours.