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  1. Fragrance Review: Arquiste Aleksandr

    Genre: Leather

    Unlike some previous reviewers, I do not find this to be a quiet scent. Aleksandr’s huge violet top note is overwhelmingly potent – strong enough to stir memories of pre-reformulation Fahrenheit. The violets-that-ate-Tokyo are soon joined by a pungent, chilly balsam fir note and a smoky, birch tar-laden leather accord. The tripartite structure unfurls in linear fashion over the course of three or four hours, landing eventually upon a rugged woody-balsamic
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    Updated 10th July 2014 at 06:14 PM by Way Off Scenter

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  2. Fragrance Review: Diptyque 34 Boulevard St. Germain

    Genre: Oriental

    I can’t help but feel that the brief behind this anniversary release is misguided: attempting to capture the olfactory atmosphere inside the Diptyque flagship store almost guarantees a disorganized mish-mash of perfumes and scented candles. Indeed, the disparate elements thrown together here not only fail to cohere into a solid structure; they actually manage to cancel one another out. Reminders of older Diptyque scents flash by in the top notes - some
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    Updated 16th July 2014 at 12:29 PM by Way Off Scenter

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  3. BPAL of the day: Lines Written among the Euganean Hills

    This scent was a Yule 2008 limited edition and gets its inspiration, as well as its redolent moniker, from a poem by Shelley:

    Senseless is the breast and cold
    Which relenting love would fold;
    Bloodless are the veins and chill
    Which the pulse of pain did fill;
    Every little living nerve
    That from bitter words did swerve
    Round the tortur'd lips and brow,
    Are like sapless leaflets now
    Frozen upon December's bough.

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  4. Fragrance Review: Arquiste Boutonnière No. 7

    Genre: Floral

    The convincing gardenia top note alone is almost worth the price of admission; I only wish I enjoyed everything that follows half as much. The gardenia is evanescent and subsides within a few minutes on the skin. What remains is a loud, sour vetiver, citrus, and generic green floral accord, anchored by an especially abrasive woody aromachemical. This last is probably included to make the fragrance smell “masculine,” but instead grates on my sensibilities like
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  5. Fragrance Review: Histoires de Parfums 1740 Marquis de Sade

    Genre: Leather

    Immortelle (Helichrysum, everlasting flower,) is a challenging fragrance component. Some describe it as smelling of curry, some (including perfume critic Luca Turin,) say it smells of fenugreek. To me it smells inexplicably of smoked bacon and maple syrup. In any case, when used in more than homeopathic doses, immortelle tends to jump out of any composition, grab you firmly by the nose hairs, and hold on until you surrender. Perfumers often deal with it by
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