Jack is a beautiful, seamlessly composed perfume. It starts cheerful and fresh-tangy, but round and full-bodied. The opening is really nice. Then the earthy-herbal character kicks in along with a distinct sweetness. From then on Jack lasts for hours and hours becoming more of an incense leather perfume that is actually quite wonderful. Jack is not a traditional unisex eau de parfum. Sometimes its sweetness bothers me on my skin when for instance towards the dry down I detect a gourmand accord I can't put my finger on. Overall though I think the Frankincense adds to Jack a touch of spirituality that I believe may be bringing the whole composition to an area of niche that many would appreciate. There is a Penhaligon's quality in Jack but this is richer more dandy and less gentlemanly. I can go on and on with this one, because it is so interesting in that non-CdG way. Silage here is very strong at first and depending on the temperature it can stay strong (so better not over-apply), and longevity is just excellent with +8 hours on my skin and probably much more on fabric. Well done!
17th July, 2015 (last edited: 22nd July, 2015)
Reading the notes listed for Siberian Shewolf I am impressed because what I got upon application of the perfume oil was surprising with a very jovial ripe citrus fruits accord that lasted for a couple of hours or so. After that stage the perfume became sweeter and mellower but that juicy tarty acidity didn't disappear altogether. I am not sure if it is a particular skin-perfume reaction. The creamy vanilla that I get was spiced-up, and tarty and made SShe a great joy to wear and smell. SShe reminds me of something else with its tarty creamy spiciness but I can not put my finger on it. It just smells familiar and soothing but not spiritual as much as happy. The opening phase reminds me of my childhood olfactory memories in the Mediterranean... playing at unattended citrus fruits tree groves, or savoring orange peel vanilla custard sprinkled with cinnamon and infused with cloves. Whatever it is, that makes this perfume so enchanting I am all for it. This is the second perfume oil I like from the three I have tested by Smell Bent. Somewhere else I have written that I doubted the niche quality of Smell Bent. I am not ready to take this back because although SShe is a perfume I gladly wear, it still does not strike me as unique. I live in northern Europe where currently we endure a pretty mild summer. Although SShe could be categorized as a winter perfume, I will wear it again this evening at a party and if I notice something special I will report it. The silage of SShe is average but longevity is quite good at 8+ hours. This though is not the kind of perfume that lingers the next day, although rubbing my skin where I had applied yesterday I can still smell it on my fingers. All and all, bravo Brent on the Siberian Shewolf which to my dismay is not available anymore from smell bent. Unless, it is now under plain Shewolf.
15th July, 2015 (last edited: 22nd July, 2015)
Ambre Noir starts heady and bitter sweet. I am not fond of the opening but thankfully it soon subsides into a sweet balsamic creamy accord that is heaven and which lasts and projects for hours. Longevity of 24+ hours is not a small accomplishment! All and all one of my favorites by Brecourt. Warning! take it easy on the application as little goes a long way with this one.
06th July, 2015 (last edited: 08th July, 2015)
Esprit Mondain or Wordly Spirit is basically a sweet, spicy woody composition that, as all Brecourt perfumes, it's seamless, of high quality ingredients, with excellent silage and great longevity. What is there not to like you may ask? Well I am afraid that there is a generic vibe to EM that is off putting. I have written before that the niche quality of Brecourt perfumes is an overstatement. EM is no exception. The twist I think is a bubble gum opening that is well made but too familiar although unusual for a "masculine" perfume. The overall impression of EM is sweetness in varying degrees and going through slightly different phases till the comforting mellow sweet dry down. Nothing spectacular but nevertheless reliable EM reminds me of another Brecourt creation, Mauvais Garcon. EM is however lighter and more wearable. I am afraid that I didn't enjoy MG and I don't particularly enjoy EM either.
Avenue Montaigne is a sweet, heady, fruity (predominantly) floral perfume with extraordinary silage (for at least 5 hours) and outstanding longevity (more than 10 hours and on fabric more than 20 hours). It is old fashioned, jammy and sour at times. Especially after 6 hours I felt the need to wash it off which I tried unsuccessfully. It was the sour tartiness that started to be disagreeable now and then after 6 hours. On my T-shirt however and after 20+ hours what I get is a sweet accord with a mellowed tartiness that is not sour. Overall, and regardless of the sourness that may be due to bad perfume-skin chemistry, AM is a (very) old-fashioned powerhouse that requires a lot of sampling before purchasing simply because it is very pungent and it can certainly be overpowering.
Brecourt lists these notes:
T: Saffron, Rose Bay, Cassis, Plum, Oudh
H: Tuberose, Rose, Ylang Ylang
B : Oudh, gurjan, Cipriol, Jatamansi, Amyris Sandalwood, Civet
They also categorize it as floriental fruity woody and they are quite right. Reading the list of notes it is quite amazing how well blended they all are. Agaressence is a warm sweet seamless composition. The opening (a good hour) is very potent and interesting. Silage is good for the first 3 hours when rose and plum dominate. After that Agaressence fades away substantially. 12+ hours after a generous application (a whole sample vial of 1,2ml) demonstrate outstanding longevity but they also include the time when Agaressence is a skin scent. I cannot tell if Oudh is important or not in the composition although the list of notes tells otherwise. Compared to for instance Kurdjian's, the oudh in Agaressence barely succeeds to stand out. Concluding this is not a masterpiece but it is more than decent. Still it is too sweet for me.
28th June, 2015 (last edited: 29th June, 2015)
ET is a seamless Iris centered perfume. All the notes work perfectly together from the effervescent opening to the divine smooth powdery dry down. All along what I thought was prominent was a beautifully crafted iris accord. If only Prada hadn't done it a few years earlier! From the opening of ET I had the deja vu of having layered Infusion d'Iris which was a favorite of mine. But although the two perfumes are similar, I think ET is more fun and uplifting than IdI which is drier and more austere. The vetiver and cedarwood at the dry down are mellowed by a lovely creamy mask but iris never disappears. I am not a perfume expert but ET really seems quite well crafted. Brecourt markets ET as feminine but I would say that Basenotes' characterization of it as unisex does it more justice. Although, I must admit Et is more flowery and sweet than most unisex perfumes. ET has above average silage but its longevity is outstanding well above 18 hours! This is Iris with a twist - not groundbreaking but really pleasant. For Iris lovers ET is I think a must try (not a blind buy though). A! about the name! yes what to say about this gimmicky name!? It says nothing about the perfume!
At first it's all melon! Cheerful and fun. Then it slowly dissolves into a seamless lighthearted melange of a floral fruity accord with indistinguishable notes. It is pretty fun to wear this but nowhere close to anything niche. The sillage is moderate and the longevity is average: after 7 hours Off to Ibiza has a faintly noticeable dry down of a sweet vaguely tartly mask. The ingredients must be of quite good quality; however, personally, in this category of perfumes, I would rather go for Diptyque's Eau Moheli.
I think Brent wisely decided to discontinue this one. I got the perfume oil during the last garage sale. I haven't used perfume oils since my early sandalwood-and-white-mask-Body-Shop years (late 80s early 90s). I thought that the oil would last longer and have a milder but potent silage. Mountain High started with a beautiful cannabis note that swiftly mellowed to a nice green-sweet accord. This transition took place within 15 minutes after application on my skin. Then the perfume just slowly disappeared! I used the perfume oil both in the North and in the South of Europe (dry-cold and humid-warm climates), a few times I over-applied but whatever I did the perfume just had minimal longevity and almost no projection. Neither my partner nor I could smell the perfume on me, in other words it is not that I grew anosmic to it. In effect I used the 10ml perfume-oil vial in a bit less than two weeks vexed by the fact that I could not get it last or project. I wrote to Brent enquiring if maybe that batch of Mountain High had somehow gone bad but, however polite he had been while I was ordering, he never replied. Anyway, this was a joy killer because I had "high" expectations and this perfume oil did not deliver. I also purchased Debonair, which is still in production, and I can tell you the difference is huge. Based on only the two perfumes that I have got I have started thinking that Smell Bent is not niche... maybe one day an upscale Demeter?! Well, the future will tell.
Oud Santal is such a strange thing. I am not fond of it but I truly think it is quite astonishing in some ways. It opens almost rancid with a prickly sweet leathery accord that I can't stand. The Iris is there and it is the first iris I dislike. It gives the composition a dryness which lasts well into the midlife and it might be the cause of the rancidity I get, I am not sure. Oud becomes prominent early on and it gives the whole weird and old fashioned concept a medicinal effect as well. I only like Oud Santal after 8 plus hours and even more the next morning! The further I get from the opening the better it seems. The longevity here is outstanding and the silage surely above average. I am not sure what rating to select for OS! It will be unfair for me to choose thumbs down but a thumbs up would not reflect my experience either. So a reluctant and confused neutral is my rating.
Poivre Bengale is a fresh spicy perfume with extraordinary longevity and very good silage. It is however rather old fashioned and too formal. I tried to dress it down with jeans but it still feels awkward. PB is not versatile or modern but if you happen to like this kind of composition then PB is reliable. As all the perfumes I have tried by Brecourt this one too is linear. All and all PB isn't extraordinary and if it is niche then I can only think that it may be so because of its high quality ingredients not its composition.
Rosa Gallica is a heady woody rose with a hint of incense. The rose here is deep, and strong, too strong for my taste. Maybe it is the combination of notes but the perfume on me is at points headache inducing. I am sure that there are rose perfume lovers out there that RG would appeal to. Brecourt fragrances have exemplary silage and longevity and RG is no exception. I put on RG and after 8 hours it was still going strong. I retested it recently and this time at some point I actually had to wash it off. The result was a mellowed down RG that was much more pleasant. Despite the wash off RG was sniffable on my skin the next morning. What I miss in RG is not more silage or longevity but some short of transparency and airiness; but then again this would be a different perfume.
25th April, 2015 (last edited: 23rd July, 2015)
Beautiful citrus fragrance similar to which I cannot think of. It is not sharp/rancid or sweet and although a bit on the traditional side of niche, I really like Contre Pouvoir - although some may find it similar to washing liquid. I find the composition such an accomplishment while longevity is average and silage is a bit below average. What I get from CB on my skin is a lovely vervain accord although no vervain is listed in the notes... this is why I find this an accomplishment. For citrus lovers this is one of the best perfumes and a must try. Most of Brecourt creations I have tried are linear and CP is no exception, but in this case I don't mind at all.
L'Amoureuse is a pleasant but not sophisticated floral. The opening is almost interesting with a beautiful smokey accord, but then for most of its life the composition is a transparent rose centered floral. The silage and longevity are way above average since after 10 hours I can still detect a clear light rose note on my skin. L'Amoureuse is far from niche and compelling. I think that if there were a few more robust notes involved to ground the composition and give it depth, L'Amoureuse could have been a beautiful unisex floral. As it is, there is nothing "L'Amoureuse" about it, more of an innocent floral with little personality suitable for a lovely ingénue. In fact L'Ingénu would have been a far more accurate name for L'Amoureuse.
Mauvais Garcon is a huge let down for me. Right from the start it reminds me so much of Rochas Man. I can't stop thinking how dated and cheap MG smells although not as bad as Rochas Man. To be fair to Bouge, MG is far from horrible as the ingredients are of high quality and the sweet, herbaceous, floral, resinous, woody ... sweet, and seamless composition would not disappoint lovers of this kind of perfumes. The longevity and silage are great. Unfortunately, this is not niche, groundbreaking or even a bit interesting as an olfactory creation. MG is boringly linear and I can only like it on my skin after 4-6 hours when it just gets softer and the overall sweetness fades away. But by that time I have grown very tired of MG.
Farah is a powdery sweet composition that would be greatly appreciated by those who like the smell of old hand bags with the smell of leather, lipstick and poudre and a hint of old perfume lingering. When I received my samples from Brecourt one vial with Farah was broken and the perfume had impregnated the carton box of the packaging. When I received the box it smelled sweet and comforting. I thought that Farah in that state was rather beautiful. Alas when later I tested Farah on my skin I was let down by the unremarkable sweetness and powdery accord. Farah is much better later in the dry down, especially after 10 hours! Then the creamy sweetness of the base notes stands on its own and it is rather superb. Silage and longevity are quite extraordinary. I just don't see the point of this creation as it is really nothing new, exciting or groundbreaking. It is well blended with high quality ingredients though and those in favor of old fashioned perfumes will probably like Farah.
Eau Blanche is an exquisite transparent fragrance. The hesperedic opening is not sharp but mellow like a dream, the progression is smooth and without any radical twists (see linear), and the composition remains light all the way. If ginger is that one note that makes the main accord so interesting then let be it; I cannot be sure but at some point I smell ink but in a very captivating way. I find Eau Blanche breathtakingly beautiful and definitely unisex. I only wish there was a bit more strength in it but even as it is, it's marvelous. Too bad Brecourt sent me only one sample of EB but 3 or 4 from Eau Libre that I don't care for at all! For funs of light minimalist interesting compositions that don't smell alien but damn good, EB is a must try. Bouge got this so right!
Eau Libre reminds so much of Cool Water and that genre of aquatics that I enjoy least. Sel Marin by Heeley is still my favorite in this category. EL is well made, with good silage and longevity but as it is not my kind of fragrance I don't appreciate it at all. The mint is a joy killer as is the rosemary here, and the marine accord just doesn't subside. I could describe my olfactory experience in two words: Cool Water! Better quality and more elegant surely but not enough to justify any hype.
I always found AE attractive but also overwhelming for me to try it on my skin. Years after smelling it on a dear friend yesterday I came across a sample. I am wearing it 5 hours now and it is still very potent although nothing compared to the super heady opening. Everyone says that AE is a floral and/or green chypre. For me this is a sweet, floral with green undertones and a kind of dirtiness (or maybe this is the leather accord others talk about). This accord is the most staying impression I have of what I am wearing right now. The silage is really powerful and over-applying will give you and the people around you a headache. Longevity seems above average. I will keep on using my sample but I am not taken by AE. I am certainly glad that I tried it though. It is a must try for perfume lovers and although AE has lasted the test of time I do think that it is dated. Can sensuality be dated? Somehow, I think it can. This may be the holy grain for many but not for me.
Julia is a heady fruity floral. It is interesting that citrus notes are listed in the base because I could swear they were evident already on the top. The main accord as far as I can tell is cherry blossom although this is not listed at all. Another feeling I get is that of good old fashioned but refined hair spray. Julia is potent, with excellent silage and longevity. If you are in love with this creation by TC but find it too pricy, then why not try Eau des Jardins or Eau Ensoleillante by Clarins. Julia reminded me very much of one of the two but I cannot recall exactly which one. All and all Julia is another beauty by Cabanel.
Something makes this floral quite a smoky one at least for the first hour or two. Oha is absolutely divine and a must try for perfume lovers. Its enveloping powdery trail it's quite unique (or the very least uncommon). There is sweetness but not overwhelming. This is maybe hard for men to pull off... but as always fragrances are very subjective especially the good ones! The dry down is exceptional and I can't stop sniffing my wrist.
In the 70s my mother got a tiny wooden perfume vial of Bulgarian rose and the pungency of that rose is what I remembered smelling Early Roses. But ER is a much more delicately constructed rose. The initial blast is breathtaking, and after a few minutes roses turn from predominantly dusty to sugary, but not syrupy. This accord of what reminds me a good quality rose lokum lasts for approx. 4-5 hours and it is wonderful. The dry down is dominated by a subtle amber and musk, and only a shadow of rose. ER is a beautiful rose-centered composition and although it starts like a power house it is not long that it turns into a more transparent (but in no way watered down) accord. I would say that silage and longevity are pretty good but I wouldn't call this a monster perfume, which is probably a good thing. A must try for lovers of rose fragrances. Although rose is so overused in perfumery it is rarely that I come across a rose fragrance that is not heavy and suffocating. Although ER leans to feminine, I think that if worn with the right attitude and appropriately layered it could work on men too.
Méloé is a safe bet especially for men who wish to wear a floral+fresh+herbal fragrance without smelling too "frivolous" or too "old school". It is a take on the fougére or barber shop cologne with a bit of a twist but still nowhere near exceptional or innovative (some of Villoresi's creations were more niche I think). It is exactly the kind of accord that I find excellent for a soap but too generic for a fragrance. It is a good fougére but there are so many more interesting and long lasting neroli-centered or hesperidic perfumes that this, like a few other in the same category (Kafkaesque in his excellent review makes a link to Aventus), seem superfluous to me. Easy to wear ... or too easy to wear. No niche here, just expensive pleasant inoffensive and well-made airiness. Average silage and below par longevity, as expected by this category of fragrances. Still this is probably the most easily wearable and certainly unisex (masculine-leaning) offering from Cabanel; just not for me.
Ambery, sweet benzoin and a rich rose is all I get but wow isn't it powerful! Silage and longevity are well above average. I tried this and went out to an event. After some time I realized that at times I was smelling something around me that was very warm and sweet and strangely old fashioned ... somehow out of place. I could not place the source of the smell but then I thought it must be me! Alahine is not easy to carry nowadays but it is a pleasure nevertheless. Not my style but worth trying and experiencing it.
I recently purchased the sample pack by Téo Cabanel's very nice online service. I must congratulate them because the care they put in those sample packs (for 11,5€) is quite rare. Having tried only three of their perfumes I can already say that I find Barkhane quite enchanting. An oriental sweet vanillic gournand (a bit boozy even) with above average silage and longevity (more than 6 hours), and with an exceptionally pleasant almost addictive dry down. Unfortunately it is this dry down that captivates me therefore I can't say that Barkhane is an overall remarkable creation. It is not to my taste anyway. What I can say is that it shouts old school richness and depth, and it must be composed by high quality ingredients.
Absolument Absinthe offers a great value for money sample pack. From the samples I received and tried Le Parfum D' Interdits (AALePdI) is my favorite. I also tried their classic creations for men, women, as well as the gendered 13th Note offerings. AALePdI is a green flowery light composition that it is pleasant and wearable and unisex enough. It has average silage and above average longevity. For much greater longevity and silage I would recommend the oriental gourmand of the series which I think is the 13th Note for women. In general the offerings I tried from this house demonstrate the use of high quality ingredients, seamless compositions, and an unmistakable old school vibe. None of the perfumes I tried is to my taste but I am sure plenty of people appreciate the old fashion feeling of Absolument Absinthe. These are definitely not ground breaking perfumes and expectations from the "mystical" Absinthe connection aren't fulfilled. But at least AALePdI is pleasantly unisex and wearable just don't expect too many compliments ... or looks of horror and disgust. I strongly suggest to try a few times before you buy.
Eau de Gaga: An initial blast of citrus-limes and later a floral accord that gives hesperides an airy feeling. Then I think some herbal notes kick in and spoil it for me. Like Declaration there is something that I really dislike. If I had to describe this accord I would say that it reminds me of aniseed. If there is leather I can't detect it. What I do get midway is a light smell of rubber. The longevity is ok and the silage is not so weak but to me the whole composition is such a copy/cut that I can only describe it as generic … or to be honest just cheap. Even if right now it is going for 13€ at Helsinki's main department store with a bonus shower gel, I could not bring myself to buy this. I thought that even for free I wouldn’t wear it. Indeed it is definitely quite masculine (in a generic kind of way) and I can imagine most women would stay away from this. This said this fragrance has a serious marketing problem ... unless all of the sudden men will start appreciating Gaga's entrepreneurial endeavors into the fragrance world. Anyway, I saw online that at some places Eau de Gaga was sold for 100$ and I can only say that paying anything more than 20$ for this fragrance is just nonsensical.
I purchased Lavandula a few days ago from Penhaligon's after testing it a couple of times. This is an extraordinary fragrance but since it is marketed as feminine and it is Lavender centered after all, I suggest to any man interested in fougeres not to shy away. It is a herbaceous, fresh and rather dry composition with a bit of floral sweetness (depending on the temperature), all of this making it soothing, gentle and well balanced. It leaves a gorgeous discreet trail in the air around the wearer. Be aware not to over-apply because it may turn cloying. It is a perfume that I would have never considered if I hadn't tested it. I admit that the 60% discount was very advantageous and so I am quite pleased as this is a very distinct and well-crafted day scent which was what I was looking for. It is an edp but it is not a monster of silage ... in fact it has that certain Penhaligon's soapiness and transparency. If you consider Lavandula apart from the somewhat conservative pedigree of Penhaligon's, you may too find it to be a very well executed and even eccentric fougere. Overall, as pleasing as this perfume may be to me, it certainly is a try-before-you-buy.
I am pretty sure my bottle is not from 1978 as I purchased it online a few months ago. From an online search I did I think it is from 2004. This eau de parfum is such a euphemism! I have been using it for 3 months and I can't wait for it to be finished and done. I don't hate it but I really think that it is a superfluous fragrance. The connection with Channel 19 was the main motivation to blind buy it from Allbeauty.com for all together 40 something euros. When I first opened the box the smell was beautiful but then wearing the actual juice has been a continuous let down. It starts sharp and just a bit tarty and then it quickly mellows into a thin green mossy skin scent. The alleged eau de parfum concentration here is super weak. I mean at first it seems overpowering but in 30 minutes it's so toned down.. which may be not so bad after all because it is also quite generic to my nose. The reference to Channel 19 is misleading and I urge prospective blind buyers to reconsider. I have again now been wearing it for almost two hours and I have to stick my nose on my skin to be able to get a good whiff of this still irrelevant concoction. Based on this fragrance I gave up on Jacomo eaux de parfum all together. I am so glad Silences is soon over because while it is not good it is not bad enough either to just through it away.
V&BT starts gorgeously with a bright blast of freshness. It reminds me quite a lot of a watered down version of the classic Bulgaris for men. Within an hour or less V&BT becomes a linear vetiver quite thin I must add with a subdued tea (is this black tea really?). After a couple of hours I detect a sharp accord that I find unpleasant and overly synthetic ... it almost gives me a headache. The dry down though is pleasant enough with a tangy vetiver and a hint of sweetness. The projection is below average but the longevity is ok ... very close to the skin (after 4 and a half hours). As an EdT this is thin, overly casual and generic. An uninspiring fragrance with not a drop of niche in its DNA, but still wearable. If one compares MUSK by Kiehl's and V&BT it feels like Kiehl's transmuted into Roger et Gallet.