A straight amber with all it's sweetness and warmth tempered by herbs, very much in the tradition of Arab flavours: this has a very familiar Moroccan orange/cinnamon sweet tea aspect that lulls me into comfort, as it gets rounder and smoother with time.
Excellent longevity and no feminine predisposition.
Pros: Wonderful herbal warmth
A good and entirely genderless vanilla that finds a balance between the many aspects of the ingredient, and then flicks on the force field and floats about the room (vanilla pod in zero G mentioned below is exactly correct).
It starts with a medicinal bitterness familiar to anyone smelling vanilla extract from a bottle, and proceeds to somehow get smoother and drier while simultaneously gaining sillage and volume, like a souffle rising in the oven, only instead of seven minutes this great rise and gentle fall happen over a good 12-15 hours. The bitter opening gradually hums its way into a steady neutral position, giving the illusion of added sweetness without having done so, which I find fascinating.
Vanille Absolument places vanilla under a miscrocope, with no sense of time or gravity, only a Brownian motion. Wonderful!
Pros: Outstanding longevity and development, excellent for layering
Cons: If you are not a vanilla addict, this will not convert you."
Crisp, juicy, fruit vetiver
This is not Encre Noire. This is not Sycomore.
This is a bright, happy, laid-back green-fresh-fruit smell wrapped around a peppered-wood core. This is a clean vetiver. This is very suitable for a young woman, too.
Lasts about 5 hours in ~30 degrees Celsius weather, so decent longevity.
Delightful confectionery experience. Milky iris.
There is an Iranian sweet by the name of gaz, a white nougat with nuts and dusted with flour. Bois Farine is reminiscent of it, in many aspects: the milk, flour, iris, sweet notes. Not a grand symphony, but not the one-liner many reviews would lead you to expect.
Bright powdery opening, sweet woody-iris heart, clean drydown. Lasts 6-8 hours in moderate/cool weather. Has the iris caveat: smells like delicious make-up.
So far, the only perfume that has made me recline and laugh. Recommended!
Intense and intelligent
Arabie's first impression of a souk (marketplace) is instant and forceful, and the coarseness of the spicy/sweet and completely inedible opening gives way to a wonderful tension held up on the one side by the sweet and on the other by the astringent, all underscored by harmonic, ever-so-slightly smoky woods.
That tension, delicious yet inedible, sweet yet astringent, is maintained throughout with a melodic intensity (little more now, then a little less) and slowly fades until only the woods remain, with some fruity sweetness.
Arabie fulfills many of the Serge Lutens perfume criteria (the evocation of a time and place, an abstract work of art, a focus on a primary ingredient) and like many Lutens works best when worn completely out of context (for me, as black-tie perfume). Infinitely alluring. Lasts 10+ hours on skin.
Pros: unique, geographically accurate, maintains tension
Cons: restricted usage, requires some love of warm, un-peppery spices"
An opening like somebody popped one of those little oil-containing bumps on the surface of grapefruit peel right infront of you, then followed through by rubbing some rose petals on your chest. Sharp fresh and green, it's there and then its gone, leaving a meek little woodsy-rosy base. Will last almost an hour, so take small divided doses throughout the day!
Calm and composed. A warm, humid night. A crisp white shirt, no tie. This hermes is hard to like and even harder to stop liking once you get used to it. Initially my least favourite of the 'cologne hermes' trio, Gentian Blanche opens with a mildly bitter-peppery-flowery taste that settles well and shows each phase in short succession: the bitter green, the soft flower, the light incense and then leaving an imprint of each on skin. With reasonably liberal application, will last around 6 hours. Quiet conservative brilliance from a quiet, conservative, brilliant man.
A smooth, sweet mint with what is essentially A*Men Light. Some tar, some chocolate (After Eightish, though it won't immediately strike you as that) and even some patchouli later in the day, especially in colder weather. Lasts ok (though ok in Mugler terms is well above average by other perfume standards). The best bit is it doesn't get cloying, even in the sweltering 90 degree heat here. Kudos for taking it easy on a classic, Thierry.
A long time ago i got the cologne hermes travel pack, 15ml each of Orange Verte, Pamplemousse Rose and Gentian Blanche. it was the first i'd heard of hermes and with summer just around i thought might as well try something 'expensive' for a change.
Loved all three, and when they ran out got the Concentre (which i thought too bitter at first but it grew on me) as a full bottle. Incredibly fresh bitter-green orange/mint scent, stings a little as one reviewer says, but by far my favourite cologne in this category. Chose it over the original EdOV simply because of the longevity on this one (get 6ish hours out of this on a hot day, drydown included)
Great for everyday wear, a simple, natural, raw citrus.
A fresh and light scent, does remind one of light, sweet tea (but not milky tea).
Starts off like kahva (a sweet black tea with ginger/mint/cardamom, which i see listed in the notes), spices emerge roughly half hour in, holds steady for a few hours before fading.
Supremely cool and sophisticated, works best in spring/summer and in the daytime. Doesn't last into the evening but long enough to make it worth it.
Amazing. They don't make them like this anymore, especially not Gucci.
sweet/spicy woody, but overall very thick and smooth. Settles over you like a dark skin. Excellent for formal/evening occasions. Bottle also makes for excellent murder weapon.
It's a shame this is discontinued. Stock up while you can.
Got this last year as a present for my dad (who's ~60) based on a quick sniff on skin. Started using it myself soon enough.
A full-bodied citrus/pepper opening (reminiscent of fresh orange juice bazaar-style, where they add salt n pepper to give it an extra kick) shifting into a smooth, sweet wood and staying that way for the rest of it's 18-hour-plus duration. Vetiver and patchouli undertones present throughout. The patchouli/cedar sweetness becomes far more dominant in cooler weather (as i've found recently) while the earth-radiating-heat accord needs more warmth to fully reveal itself.
Outstanding longevity, and if it had any more sillage you'd collide into it, yet feels lightweight, clean and fills you with confidence.