Reviews by heythatslife

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    heythatslife
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    Esprit du Roi by Penhaligon's

    Don't get me wrong. I don't think this is the most groundbreaking work from Duchaufour. It is built along more conventional lines, but each step of the way there are little twists that keep this fragrance interesting and separate it from the rest of the generic-fresh flock. It is quite clever - not overtly so, but in its own way. I won't list all the notes, but the tomato leaf opening leading to the ylang-ylang/geranium floral heart particularly appealed to me. The drydown is more aldehydic than I would like, but it's fairly pleasant, if somewhat demure.

    This is something I can wear to my (very conservative) workplace every day without people staring at me like" WTF?", all year round. Wearability is key here.

    17 December, 2012

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    Gris Clair by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    My favorite winter scent (though it works just as well in warmer weather).

    This one is an enigma to me - cool and warm at the same time, crisp and mellow, refreshing and comforting. It reminds me of looking out of the window from the kitchen on a bright winter morning, with a cup of tea in my hands. The mineralic-woody-oriental base is just gold. Perfect sillage & longevity.

    31st May, 2008 (Last Edited: 17 December, 2012)

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Avignon by Comme des Garçons

    You could really imagine yourself sitting in a cathedral wearing this. The whiff of incense, the ancient wooden pews, the musty smell of old Bibles and tapestries, the cold stone floors. Yup, it's all there. But as beautiful as it is, I could not wear this on a regular basis - too somber.

    10th May, 2008

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    Quercus by Penhaligon's

    Pleasant enough, but you know what, I've smelled it somewhere before. That's right folks, cK One. While the synthetic edges of cK One has been polished here and Quercus has a little more depth, I would have difficulty sorting out the two in a blind test. I don't see the point of getting this one when you can buy a bottle of cK One for 1/3 of its price.

    10th May, 2008

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    Jardin du Nil by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    How should I describe this one? A florist's compost?

    Could have been a beautiful floral & fruits composition, but the stinky note that other reviewers have mentioned is on me unmistakably present and seems to dominate. Over time, that note fades to a manageable level where it resembles overripe bananas, and at that point I can begin to appreciate the scent without my stomach churning. However, the opening is just too off-putting for me. Apparently some people have less problem with the old sock thing, so give it a go in any case. It's an educational experience.

    10th May, 2008

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    Arabie by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Unique, unmistakable (a friend of mine wears this sometimes and you can just tell from the other side of the room), cloying and heavy. Feels like someone just doused a plum pudding with even more syrup, thinking it wasn't sweet enough, and decided to shove it under my nose. Just smelling it gives me a toothache. It's something I wouldn't mind having a spoonful with some ice cream for dessert, but do I want to smell like this all day? I think not.

    10th May, 2008

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    Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

    I dig grapefruits. I always keep some in the fridge, and sometimes I rub the peels on my hands because they smell so good. And that's exactly what AA Pampleune is like, in the top notes. Forget all those shallow, two-dimensional grapefruit wannabes. This is the way to go.

    10th May, 2008

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    Castile by Penhaligon's

    Well, hirsch_duckfinder said just about everything I was going to say.

    Simple (I could pick off all the five notes that are supposed to be there, even with my unsophisticated nose) but elegant and classy. It combines the freshness of a good eau de cologne with longevity and sillage. Kind of similar to AdP Colonia, I think, but more intense, vivid and colorful.

    01st May, 2008

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    Allure Homme Sport by Chanel

    Anything "sport" is usually not a good sign and this time it proved correct also.

    Your run-of-the-mill sport fragrance, only it's made by Chanel. Actually for its genre it's pretty good, but that means little. It lacks depth, and feels somewhat synthetic. From someone like Polge I would expect better, but obviously the only intent evident here is Chanel trying to cash in on the 18-24 market using its brand name. Oh well, I guess I'd rather have people wear this than other "sport colognes" if they must have one.

    29 April, 2008

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    Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I don't know what to say. Even after a few wearings, I can't get used to this one, partly because the drydown turns sour on me (my skin does this to a few scents that would otherwise be perfect). It's a funky leather, verging on cardboard, with hay and a little sugar. It's like someone tried to put up a model stable with papier-mache and decided to make it smell vaguely like a zoo. Not to say that the overall effect is unpleasant, not at all.

    Certainly it's like nothing I've ever smelled so far, so points for originality - in fact, this one so came out of the blue that it's humorous, like a good joke, and it made me smile. On the right person, I can imagine it would work well.

    29 April, 2008

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    Tea for Two by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    If J-C Ellena's Eau Parfumee au The Vert is the reference clean green tea scent, then at the opposite end of the spectrum we have Tea for Two.

    Sweet, smoky, a touch spicy - deceptively simple but comforting indeed. This is what I like to wear when I've got time to relax and read a good book on my bed on spring or autumn days, drinking tea or coffee with some shortbread on the side.

    29 April, 2008

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    Fleur du Male by Jean Paul Gaultier

    Death by plastic flowers.

    My complaint here is not against its being rather feminine. I enjoy florals and I have no problems wearing feminine scents. Apparently, Gaultier didn't give Kurkdjian enough money to spend on material, since it just feels so damn synthetic and artificial. Such a shame, considering that I'm usually a sucker for neroli.

    25 April, 2008

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Similarities with Eau des Merveilles? I don't think so.

    One of the best designer offerings of 2006. I read somewhere that the bottle is supposed to represent earth and sky. Well, you know, that's not far off the mark at all. Ellena skillfully juxtaposes two elements - a vibrant monster grapefruit on one side, and on the other a combination of earthy and woody notes that include vetiver and cedar. I'm not usually the one to care about compliments from others, but this does seem to elicit more positive responses than any other that I have, so I take it that it's pretty public-friendly. A summer staple in my wardrobe. The only danger seems to be that it's becoming too popular.

    25 April, 2008

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    L'Oranger Neroli by L'Occitane

    What a shame L'Occitane decided to continue this gem! It was probably the best from their lot and we should all petition to have it reissued.

    The liquid has a vivid orange color, almost verging on red - the scent itself is just as thick, dense and intense. The opening is heady, intoxicating; the drydown is smooth, creamy and seductive (I detect some sweetness as well as greenery). My search for the perfect neroli is over, but sadly, now that I have found it I shall have to use my bottle sparingly since it seems unlikely I will be able to find a replacement.

    25 April, 2008

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    DKNY Be Delicious Men by Donna Karan

    It tries to be vaguely interesting with the coffee & apple combo, but it fails miserably and ends up smelling like a chemical soup sweetened with too much aspartame. The drydown is indistinguishable from every other generic designer cologne since Cool Water.

    25 April, 2008

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    Armani Code / Black Code by Giorgio Armani

    I mean, it's okay, I had it for a while. Tvlampboy said it - better than most mainstream frags released today, but by no means groundbreaking. Especially now that I have Douce Amere, another anisic oriental but far more elegant, to compare this one with, it does feel rough around the edges - like AdG made a half-hearted attempt at becoming an oriental.

    25 April, 2008

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    Philosykos by Diptyque

    This is as figgy as it gets. I prefer this one over Giacobetti's other fig scent, Premier Figuier. To me, Philosykos is a fig that has just been picked from the tree, a touch underripe; perhaps deliberately picked at that stage to retain greenness. Then from the fig fruit, we gradually move down the tree, and get more leaves and sap on the way. PF, on the other hand, is like a fig smoothie with coconut milk and other things in it.

    Longevity and sillage is mediocre by Diptyque's usual standards, but I can live with it.

    25 April, 2008

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    Weekend for Men by Burberry

    Weekend seems to be the least mentioned and the least highly regarded Burberry fragrance among Basenoters. Well, I protest. I don't really see what the complaint here with it being too feminine is all about, but then again I wear Carnal Flower in public. The citrus opening is fresh, and effervescent really is the right adjective here. The drydown smells like good soap. It does have somewhat a weak middle stage, as others have mentioned, where things are a bit confused. But otherwise a decent light, playful scent. Not the most elegant thing out there, sure, but you could pay a lot more and do worse than this.

    25 April, 2008

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    Platinum Égoïste by Chanel

    It's okay. I could see someone enjoying this as an everyday office scent, and for that purpose it's not bad, I suppose. I thought I liked it at first, but it gets boring. Yawn. I've no business wih fresh, clean, masculine scents, since I've no desire to become an everyday office person.

    25 April, 2008

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    Bois Farine by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Let me summarize BF in three words: peanut butter sandwich (no jam, mind you). But you could try a peanut butter sandwich and fail, in which case it would just be a sad gimmmick, whereas BF is actually a pretty decent peanut butter sandwich. Yum! I don't know if I want to go around smelling like I've come fresh out of the toaster often enough to justify buying a full bottle, but I'll surely give it points for originality.

    25 April, 2008

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    L'Eau d'Ambre Extrême / Ambre Extrême by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Nothing extreme about this one.

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but this is to me just a straight-up amber, and not much else going on. It's not bad, per se - it's actually quite pleasant, but that's only because amber is good anyway as long as you use decent material. There are better amber scents out there in the same price range that are more complex and interesting, namely Ambre Precieux and Ambre Sultan.

    24 April, 2008

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    Douce Amère by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I agree with what others have said below - it's very un-Lutens. At the same time, it's one of the more underrated gems from the house. An exercise in subtlety to prove that Sheldrake can do one, perhaps. It's kind of hard to put this one into a category, actually - for an oriental it has too little spice and amber, for a gourmand it's not that sweet, for a wood it feels too light. I get some floral in the drydown as well. The scent has okay sillage and decent longevity, but it comes and goes - you think it's gone, and then it returns to surprise you. Ethereal stuff.

    24 April, 2008

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    Please put this thing out of its misery. Yes, it was unique, yes, it's a milestone in modern perfumery, but it's past its time (particularly when about 1500 other fragrances that smell like it have now been produced. Who knows, if Cool Water hadn't been around, none of these crappy copies would ever have been made). Plus, it gives me an headache like nothing else does.

    24 April, 2008

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    Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    So no middle notes in the official description, huh. Well, that's what I'd been suspecting all along. The pine takes over exactly when the lemon and lavender begins to fade.

    BB is all about citrus, pine, pine and more pine. Gorgeous stuff, if a little reminiscent of Pine Sol. The scent reminds of those British colonels I met, who were my friends' parents. It has a sort of military precision to it, no frills, no fussing about. I don't know if I'd wear it, though, unless I want to come off as a disciplinarian.

    24 April, 2008

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

    Strange that Trebor should say that it has sillage but no longevity, because it does the exactly the opposite thing on me. A classic eau de cologne executed in a textbook manner, but more floral and lively than some of the more austere ones. It feels great especially after a bath.

    24 April, 2008

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    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

    One of my holy grails, and this is the fragrance that led me into the world of niche perfumery. For me, this is where it all started.

    The initial blast feels like a gust of dusty desert wind just blew into the room, true to the name. Words escape me, but the opening is uplifting and simply divine. There's resinous amber, supported by a hint of that tar note which Tauer seems to be fond of, and vanilla. Yet, despite the dosage of vanilla, LDDM somehow retains its wonderful driness throughout - I don't understand how it's done, it's almost like an oxymoron. Rock rose keeps things lively in the middle notes, also.

    Sillage is decent, but not overpowering. It lasts and lasts, easily endures 10-12 hours. In both respects, it's just what I want from a fragrance. Perfect.

    23 April, 2008

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    cK one by Calvin Klein

    CK One was one of the first fragrances that I bought for myself. As I began exploring the world of niche perfumery, I stopped using it gradually and eventually swapped away, in the blind belief that everything non-niche is inherently inferior.

    I sprayed it on myself one last time before I put it in the box that was to be shipped, and oh my, what have I been missing all this time? Yes, it's linear, it feels somewhat artificial and it's not the most interesting thing out there. But it's pleasant in a demure, nondescript sort of way; blandness and abstraction taken to an art form. The experience was akin to rediscovering how good your local baker's everyday bread is, after having travelled all over the world for high cuisines.

    21st April, 2008

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