Reviews by tdwctdwc

    Showing 1 to 30 of 46.
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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Faultless perfect amber goodness.

    Nothing needs to be added or tweaked in neither smell nor performance for me. No 'i wish', No 'if only'. Just perfect.

    A beautiful blend of sweet resins and herbal aromatic reinforcements laying on a golden silky bed of amber and vanilla.

    Bay leaf and myrrh are the middle name here and are key components to the uniqueness of this beauty.

    It's funny the color of the juice is orange because that's how i exactly envision the smell of this scent: Sunkissed sweet resins melting and gently swirling in a form of orange/golden liquid on my skin.

    Who needs gourmands when you got this ?

    02 August, 2014

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    Pulp by Byredo

    White flowers, apples, figs, summer, easy, balanced, just right, alluring, signature, white T-shirt. These words all ring clearly in my mind (and nose) when i wear this.

    It's nothing extraordinary but it's so well put together in a way that is very convincing and could become addicting to the wearer. And the final outcome of the blend just smells great. Period.

    I do get the infamous "rotten fruits" vibe , but only in the top notes. I would actually describe them as "smoky fruits" to be honest and i don't find them that repulsive at all.

    This really starts to blossom in the heart and in the drydown when the white flowers start to come out. Just beautiful.

    I really like this.

    Thumbs up from me !

    29 July, 2014

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    Casbah by Robert Piguet

    A very unique and extremely satisfying incense.

    The incense "compresses" the entire composition just like a musical effect an audio engineer uses on a track to keep it as loud as possible without crossing the 0 db and eventually hurting the listener's ear. It's perfectly balanced and compressed to the max.

    The incense is present from start to finish, joined by slight hints of black pepper in the beginning until the lovely angelica and orris join in to give the smell a much needed bright slightly green almost lemony lift while keeping the woody undertones present.

    I feel that there is something about this composition that is waiting to blossom, but as i sniff my wrist again i realise that It's meant to be like that : A semi-open church door with tons of incense coming from the inside mixed with the smell of organic air coming from the planted garden outside.

    Unfortunately i don't get the tobacco and that's a good thing, because i'm not really a fan of the marriage between tobacco and incense to begin with.

    A must have for me and one of the best in the genre, up there with Sahara Noir and Norma Kamali incense.

    21st July, 2014

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    Cardinal by Heeley

    Extremely similar to Avignon, which makes me acknowledge the impact that Avignon has made on the industry so almost every other incense scent wants to smell like it (except a few : Sahara Noir, Bois d'encens, Robert Piguet Casbah and Norma Kamali incense).

    I like Avignon and i also like Cardinal, but as a fan of frankincense and as a person who burns frankincense regularly at my house (for air perfuming reasons, not religious reasons), i don't find them to be role representatives of that smell. They might "remind" someone of going to church yes, but i personally see them both as very wearable perfumes with accords of incense as opposed to being representatives of the genre.

    In other words, i see myself buying them because they smell good but NOT because i want to smell like incense.

    21st July, 2014

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    Calling All Angels by April Aromatics

    Really beautiful resinous rich "edible" incense.

    The gourmands elements (Honey and vanilla) are major players here along with an unmistakable opoponax influence on the composition.

    The incense here is the same clear stark frankincense found in Norma Kamali Incense, except it's tamed by the gourmand elements.

    When first sprayed, the frankincense comes off as "dirty" and honeyed, then as the scent develops, it becomes smokey. This is the stage where memories of NK incense peek in and out but never see the full light of day because of the gourmand-ish reasons i mentioned above. I'm not saying this is supposed to smell like NK incense, i'm just stating the similarities and differences :)

    Being an all natural incense based perfume, this scent is extremely enjoyable to watch as it develops: Layers after layers of resins and edible notes peak in and out, disappear then come back again, all for the sole service to create a truly unique incense perfume.

    This might not be an instant love for the hardcore incense lovers out there who like their incense to be copal and unapologetic, but with more wearings, this all natural beauty is sure to lure them in.

    06 June, 2014 (Last Edited: 07 June, 2014)

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    Blackbird by House of Matriarch

    This is a scent that will make the most devoted perfumista, who doesn't believe in signature scents nor wants to stop discovering and sniffing new ones, to pause and say : " I could easily wear this for the rest of my life and rest my fragrance journey to ease".

    This to me is Nirvana in olfactory satisfaction.

    It's so complex, rich, dense, satisfying and packed with natural aromas. It connects so personally with the skin to the point where every slight rise in body temperature triggers a hidden "note" in this impeccable modern symphony of aromas.

    Cannabis, Seaweed, leather, Aoud and frankincense are the most detectable on me.

    Amber later appears in one of the most epic, soothing and comforting drydowns i had the pleasure to experience, with the leather polishing the base smoothly in order to prevent the entire composition from "falling off".

    Perfection. The End.

    31st May, 2014

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    Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

    Another hyped scent which i'm glad i tried a sample of instead of blind buying a full bottle.

    This to me smells very similar to Armani Bois D'encens, which i already have a full bottle of.

    Both scents are heavy on somali incense, which by nature, smells like light bonfire smoke as opposed to the thick richer smell of omani frankincense.

    Funnily enough, both scents also have a sweet bite to them, which strikes me as another common feature they both share: Bois d'ascese gets it from the cinnamon dipped whiskey shades, while the armani does the same effect with the semi-sweet vetiver background.

    A pass for me, i'll stick with my Bois d'encens.

    29 May, 2014

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    Harâm by Brécourt

    This composition packs so many notes and somehow manages to stuff them all into one extremely rich and balanced tablespoon of gourmand "vitamins".

    I feel that each note mentioned in the pyramid is extremely vital and important, whether it's detectable or not. And that for me is the recipe of a winning scent.

    "Smokey" dark honey (as if someone was smoking inside a honey pot) and cinnamon are the most detectable on my skin, then it dries down into a sublime authentic dried dates accord.

    I wish the projection was a little better, but that only extracts a tiny bit of my rating.

    Full bottle worthy without a doubt in my mind.

    10th May, 2014

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    Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse

    Pear & olive does the same exact thing that Norne does to me: It connects me to a familiar place in real life.

    While Norne reminds me of a mid-forest river where i used to swim in my teenage years, Pear & olive takes me to the family gatherings in the garden outside on a beautiful late spring afternoon.

    Everyone finished lunch and now it's time for desserts, maybe some cognac, some fruits. Maybe some white grapes? "How about pears everyone?" Yes please, i'll take one ! Dad and uncles are playing cards next to us, cousin got a new story to tell, sister is yapping on how the weather is finally warm to hit the beach, while the smell of mediterranean olive oil is still lingering around from the Labneh(Yogurt)appetizers that were on the table during lunch.

    This scent is home to me. It's familiar, it's soothing yet so beautifully unique and engaging.

    07 May, 2014

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    Incense Rosé by Tauer

    This tops everything i have tried from Tauer so far, crowning itself above many of my long time favorites scents.

    This rose is hard to understand. It's an old rose with an old soul that lived through medieval times, endured the dusty winds of the indian deserts, the incense smoke of the neighboring villages, the breezy evenings of the spicy bazaars and still survived to tell its story.

    It's bitter, it's cold yet dark, it's fizzy and it's very very very tired, yet somehow manages to retain a bit of sweetness.

    A high concentration of Indian Frankincense wafting through every single one of its petals serves to calm it down, while a beautiful intoxicating base of myrrh and sweet resins persists to retain its age and longevity.

    I could have this in my collection and literally be satisfied that i finally achieved olfactory Nirvana in my fragrant journey.

    24 April, 2014

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    Norne by Slumberhouse

    No matter who wears Norne, it's bound to trigger a memory in their mind. No matter what background, pedestrian lifestyle, childhood, vacation, experience or life you've had so far, Norne will find that special sweet spot and trigger it.

    I really can't see someone disliking this scent.

    Not to be confused here mind you, I'm not talking about tropical beaches and coconut or pineapple, i'm talking about wild nature, fern forests, wet river mosses and fir trees. I'm talking about a place where we all, in reality or in our mind, have visited to seek embracement and unity with the great green mother of all.

    For me, Norne reminds me exactly of this:

    When i used to be a teenager, we had this river crossing a very deep valley. It had the cleanest coldest water. It was very narrow with fern plants, fir trees, pine trees, mosses, crystal white big rocks and all sort of "green" species surrounding it on both sides.
    We used to dive and swim there and right after we got out of the water, that exact moment, i could smell this beautiful organic aroma. It had the mixture smell of the water, wet rocks, mosses and everything "green" surrounding the area.
    So fresh, so green, so wet, so amazing, i could never forget that smell.

    Norne takes me to that place and recreates it with one single green stainy spritz (lol).

    I'm happy to oblige.

    26 March, 2014

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    Jeke by Slumberhouse

    The benzoin was brilliantly planted in this one.

    The main players in this are definitely Tobacco and labdanum, but the way the benzoin pokes and plays with this unapologetic dry composition is funny and genius.

    Imagine a pack of wolves :
    The tobacco is the alpha male and the leader of the pack.
    The labdanum is the alpha male's favorite female in the pack to mate with.

    But then you have one member in the pack who is playful, goofy and always seeking attention, but no matter how much he pushes the alpha male's limits, the alpha male never lets him cross the line. He tolerates him yes but never takes him seriously. The goofy wolf knows that and it kills him, but there is nothing he can do about it.

    That's how i would describe Jeke: A powerful wolf pack with a little secret.

    25 March, 2014

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    Ore by Slumberhouse

    My favorite from what i tried so far from his line.

    Slumberhouse took an olfactory genre (gourmand) and added unprecedented richness and authenticity to it which i have yet to smell in any other gourmand composition.

    Extremely smooth shades of whiskey wafting through thick realistic cocoa and guaiac wood.

    Scarily balanced, tied with a golden knot and an extra bragging smirk to finish it off.

    Incredible.

    25 March, 2014

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    Armani Privé Bois d'Encens by Giorgio Armani

    This is what every incense scent should be like.

    I'm not talking about the smell but about the way the scent aura envelops the skin and transports the wearer to a calm ethereal place (in this case, it's the inside of an old stone church in Italy).

    Incense itself when burned, is light in volume, airy and never overwhelming. This is exactly what bois d'encens is all about.

    While other scents mix the incense with patchouli or amber to give it more volume and thickness, Bois d'encens gives it to you like it is and that's what i love about it .

    Whenever i wear this, i feel like everyone and everything around me should be quite and calm. I know this sounds selfish but it's the truth and i can't help but feel that way.

    Bois D'encens: Selfish incense.

    23 March, 2014 (Last Edited: 05 April, 2014)

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    Incense Extrême by Tauer

    White, futuristic, hopeful, pure and serene.

    Incense extreme is based on indian Frankincense, which is a resin i'm not familiar with since all we burn here as middle eastern christian orthodox is somali and omani frankincense.

    I was eagerly anticipating to try this, especially since Andy mentions that this scent is a pure interpretation of the indian resin itself.

    After giving it two full wearings from a sample, I can safely say that this is my favorite incense scent (along with Bois D'encens which is based on somali frankincense).

    Incense extreme is so simplistic yet filled with architectural open spaces.

    It even inspired me to write and mingle new melodies on my piano.

    22 March, 2014

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    Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio

    Sonoma scent studio's approach of using all natural ingredients in their scents is brilliantly showcased in this one.

    This is beautiful, sandalwood-y beautiful that is.

    I feel that this scent revolves more around sandalwood rather than incense, but i'm not complaining!

    The incense here is not the burning smokey churchy-like incense, but rather the smell of the resin itself.

    To be more exact, this smells like a forest filled with frankincense trees with a lot more going on than just those trees.

    I'll explain: The composition has a lovely "herbal" vibe that stays with me during the entire journey, with tons of oakmoss and labdanum as well.

    Two "natural" thumbs up !

    21st March, 2014 (Last Edited: 22 March, 2014)

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    Aoud Mayyas by Montale

    I wanted to take some time before i review this, because i felt that if i have reviewed it earlier, i would have probably written it off, as my first 2 wearings consisted of nothing more than sweet nauseating iso-E and the orange was literally vanishing on my skin within 10 seconds of application.

    And today, i decided to give it a last 3rd chance, before i officially label it as a really bad buy and not even remotely close to the other fantastic new Montale releases in 2013.

    I was wrong:

    Now i can clearly smell the orange. It's the smell of the exact pulp juice that you squeeze out of an orange.

    Nothing bitter here, nothing artificially unsweetened or dried, no orange skins, no orange trees, no orange leaves, no hide and seek. This takes you right inside the fruit itself and yes it's sweet.

    The cedar adds a much fitting and needed cooling spicy effect to the composition and it does it so well.

    The scent stays almost linear the whole time, and trust me, you will like it this way.

    Thumbs up.

    21st February, 2014

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    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

    Delicious bright sun warming amber and a breathtaking aroma of incense soaked in a barrel of cedar, coriander and jasmine.

    It doesn't take me to any bazaar (despite the name), but what it does is: put me at peace and infinite serenity.

    Magic.

    15 February, 2014 (Last Edited: 19 February, 2014)

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    24 Gold Oud Edition by ScentStory FZE

    To sum it up in a few words: This is spicier, woodier, more balanced and more masculine than the original 24 Gold.

    I really didn't think they could pull this off but they did. Nothing but respect for Scentstory's house perfumer, whoever he/she is.

    Opening: The raspberry blast is now toned down(but not completely gone) and replaced by sweet cinnamon rolls and spicy nutmeg.

    Heart: It's all about the birch. Imagine the same woody heart of the original 24 gold but with added birch.

    Drydown: The vanilla/amber sweetness in the original is still there but toned down, woodier, a little spicy and much better balanced. It has more of a toffee vibe in it which i absolutely love (maybe it's the vanilla beans, as opposed to vanilla ?).

    Longevity and Sillage, as expected, are both fantastic.

    This could be the solution for the people who liked the original but found it to be too sweet and feminine.

    29 January, 2014 (Last Edited: 30th January, 2014)

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    Aoud & Pine by Montale

    Aoud & Pine is my favorite scent from Montale.

    It's edible, it's sweet, it's woody, it's smokey, it's fresh, it's green. It teases on all olfactory calibers and i find it absolutely perfect.

    Starts off with a blast of red apple, then the rose subtly takes over, while the aoud sits way in the background.

    Make no mistake though, this one is all about pine, but the pine here never crosses the line in being in your face, as it acknowledges and blends so well with all the other supporting notes.

    The combination of amber/rose/aoud gives this beauty a chocolaty incensy vibe, with a backbone of pine always lingering around, that makes me want to eat my arm !

    It's simply delicious.

    This could be a perfect match for someone looking for a signature scent.

    20th January, 2014 (Last Edited: 22 January, 2014)

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    Aoud Samarkand by Montale

    Stunning!

    An addictive combo of citrus, geranium and musk.

    The musk can get a little bit too intense during the first hour, but once it settles, the scent blossoms and truly shows its beauty.

    I can also detect some dry tobacco leaves, but i think it's the geranium plant that's playing tricks on my nose.

    Dries down into a citrus/geranium comforting and addictive aroma.

    One of the best recent releases by Montale.

    20th January, 2014 (Last Edited: 21st January, 2014)

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    Aoud Legacy by Montale

    Spicy delicious citrus.

    Starts off with a blast of nutmeg, adding a woody and slightly fruity appeal to the scent, then the nutmeg takes backstage as the citron and saffron take over.

    Lasts a very long time.

    I consider this to be Montale's take on the fresh/sport genre. If i had to rename it, i would easily call it "Montale Sport".

    Thumbs up.

    20th January, 2014

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    Armani Code Sport Athlete by Giorgio Armani

    Starts off lemony, and just as you think this might end up like Armani code Sport, it doesn't, as the mint takes a background role here to support the citrus.

    The citrus stays throughout the scent, gets a little zesty in the heart when it mixes with the ginger.

    The base is all about incense, lemon and vetiver and it's my favorite part.

    This thing will keep delivering for more than 10+ hours on the skin.

    An absolute gem and while it was released as limited edition, some retailers still carry it in stock at a decent price.

    A winner in my fresh/citrus rotation !

    19 January, 2014

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    Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Coconut and vanilla heaven.

    The licorice plays a brilliant role in toning down the sweetness and adding a slightly bitter aura around the scent. Sandalwood joins forces to balance things even more.

    2-3 sprays on the chest is all you need and it will last all day. Spray too much and it will suffocate you.

    One of my favorite gourmands and arguably my favorite Serge Lutens.

    06 January, 2014

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    Serge Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Incense mixed with burned woods.

    Luscious, dark, gothic...

    When first applied, i get the smell of the incense resin itself , the raw dry resin. Add some pepper and wood..... and Voila , here's your opening.

    After 20 -30 minutes, those same incense resins i smelled on top seem to start burning now along with the wood, as if some code inside the scent lit them up. Amazing.

    The drydown is more like the aftermath of the room where all this "fire" took place.

    Highly recommended for cold days.

    This is a masterpiece.

    13 December, 2013 (Last Edited: 14 December, 2013)

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    24 Gold by ScentStory FZE

    Been wearing and enjoying this beauty ever since its release. It's my N'1 cold weather scent and will never be without a bottle.

    The way i would describe this:

    A vanilla sphere glazed with amber. As it rolls, it radiates whiffs of sandalwood, jasmine and Ylang-Ylang.

    The woody elements in this scent give it such an irresistible complexity, while the floral elements calm it down.

    This is complex yet beautiful. Strong yet soft.

    This will give your favorite niche scent a run for its money and then some.

    12 December, 2013 (Last Edited: 19 December, 2013)

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    Aventus by Creed

    The brilliancy in this is how the birch wood affects the entire composition. Yes the pineapple is there, but i adore the birch effect in this.

    Whenever i wear this, i feel like i am sitting beside a remote wooden cabinet located on a mountain, where the air is crystal clean and the breeze is bringing along the smell of birch trees surrounding the area, while i cut myself a nice fresh pineapple and enjoy the scenery.

    This deserves all the praise. Period.

    24 November, 2013

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    Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

    This is it. I have found my incense fix that will transport me away from this world.

    This is all about Frankincense(olibanum).

    Other notes are there, but one needs to wear this for at least two times in order to see what's beyond the frankincense.

    For example: The beeswax and amber are there, but only giving accentuated highlights to the scent. That's where the "almost" sweet vibe comes from, especially in the first hour.

    The cypress is also there. It adds a tiny bit of a spicy character to the frankincense, which gives it more depth and mystery.

    The drydown is strictly all about that churchy olibanum frankincense, but it never gets too sharp or "cold". It stays smooth, soft and heavenly...

    "Masterpiece" doesn't do justice to this.

    This is an addictive scent that should be purchased with a prescription! A narcotic in a bottle!

    24 November, 2013

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    Bentley for Men Intense by Bentley

    Rich and masterfully blended

    This is such a great oriental scent. The blend is so well made, and to my surprise, smells very rich with not one single hint of cheap chemical additives in it.

    The scent is dominated by Labdanum resins which give it that sweet ambery appeal. The incense surrounds the resins to give it a mysterious addictive personality.

    African Geranium (known for its spicy aromatic smell) gives the scent another dimension in depth. It's more present in the top and the heart.

    The drydown is simply beautiful : Incense and Cedarwood blending so beautifully , one cannot get enough!

    Projection : Moderate

    Longevity : 12+ hours

    Fantastic, rich and masterfully blended.

    27 October, 2013

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    Back to Black by By Kilian

    Absolutely gorgeous.

    Initial spray : I get a mix of saffron, raspberry and almonds, then the honey starts to kick in.

    Heart: Honey honey honey. I do still get the almonds, but this time they smell roasted and smoky, blending just beautifully with the honey honey honey! Absolutely delicious!

    Drydown: That's when the tobacco starts to appear for me, but it's glazed with honey.

    As you can see, "honey" was mentioned 8 times in my review....maybe because i love it !

    A "sweet" and modern take on perfection.

    30th September, 2013 (Last Edited: 07 January, 2014)

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