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  1. Fragrance Review: Etat Libre d'Orange La Fin du Monde

    Genre: Woody Oriental

    Apparently the world ends just in time for dessert. Never mind L’Etat Libre d’Orange’s characteristically loopy advertising copy; the most transgressive element at play here is a short-lived burnt popcorn top note. Otherwise, La Fin du Monde is a soft gourmand woody oriental with a powdery vanilla, amber, and iris drydown. Yes, there are a couple of oddball detours on the way: some charred woods and a bitter, inky note (the “gunpowder?”), but there’s
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  2. Fragrance Review: Hermèssence Santal Massoïa

    Genre: Woods

    I can’t say I was looking forward to the Hermèssence foray into sandalwood with any degree of enthusiasm. The wan, anemic style Jean-Claude Elléna has adopted for this line doesn’t appeal to me to begin with, and sandalwood, whether Mysore or Australian, being an assertive note, seems ill adapted to such treatment. Nonetheless, I was curious as to how an unconventionally trim and transparent sandalwood fragrance might smell. Not much like sandalwood, it turns
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    Updated 1st July 2014 at 04:16 AM by Way Off Scenter

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  3. Fragrance Review: Histoires de Parfums 1725 Casanova

    Genre: Fougère

    Citrus and lavender top notes suggest a conventional fougère is in the offing, but in the event, a plush, almondy heliotrope and anise accord wells up in place of the expected coumarin, and 1725 plays out like a batch of Après l’Ondée that stumbled through a lavender patch and came out smelling more assertive and androgynous for the trouble. The heliotrope and anise on a powdery foundation bring to mind Boucheron’s elegant Jaïpur Homme, but 1725 is a leaner,
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    Updated 26th June 2014 at 04:41 AM by Way Off Scenter

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  4. Fragrance Review: Arquiste L'Etrog

    Genre: Citrus

    “Etrog” is Hebrew for citron, a thick-skinned citrus fruit that looks like a big, warty lemon and smells divine. Citron finds outstanding expression in Guerlain’s Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat, which handily captures the lush, almost floral aroma of fresh citron rind. Arquiste’s L’Etrog is considerably less successful to my nose, settling for a generic sweet citrus top note over a foundation of soft woods. L’Etrog grows conspicuously soapy over time, as a clean
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  5. Fragrance Review: Parfums MDCI Cuir Garamante

    Genre: Leather

    Nutmeg and pepper top notes are brisk, bordering on abrasive, but they soon give way to a rich, smoky, animalic leather and labdanum accord that’s at once suave and vaguely menacing. As Cuir Garamante develops I catch flashes of cypriol and birch tar (the smoke), dry rose, and an oudh reconstruction*, but the central structure is mostly seamless. By the two hour mark, the leather has receded, leaving a labdanum-rich amber accord, some vaguely defined woods,
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