Reviews

Reviews by gimmegreen

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Promesse de l'Aube / FK1 by MDCI

Promesse de l’Aube is solidly in the classical French abstract perfumery tradition – so much so that you may as well scrap the notes list for how much it will help you get your nose into this one. The two adjectives that come to my mind most are golden (in a yellow, pale, dawn mode, a quality of its dreamy abstraction) and peachy (as in a vintage cosmetics peach with powdery aldehydes to spare). It’s a billowing, bright, gauzy creation like a starlet’s chiffon scarf fluttering in the breeze in Cannes – but with the bite of something inkily vegetal and a dab of chlorine in its opening hours which goes a bit against the grain. Promesse de l’Aube stands apart from the tides of poor quality, vaguely fruity fragrances that have so denuded perfumery’s landscape.
Not quite a marvel – its demure personality is not a positive – but good in a hazily peachy manner. Whether that’s enough at this price point, I’m not convinced. I found the late drydown quite undistinguished.
29th May, 2015

Oropuro by Laura Tonatto

A civet-heavy perfume that’s also delicious? Laura Tonatto pulls off this trick as if it were all in a day’s work.
The civet in Oropuro is immediately recognizable as the note familiar from the bases of numerous complex vintage perfumes, but here it is paired with an airy, sweet vanilla. There is a similar juxtaposition of the musks (arguably the main theme of this creation) with a warm, animalic musk note set up with the cleaner, fresher musks that pervade modern perfumery.
The end result is a creamy and sensual creation that brings animalic notes into civilized company; it isn’t heavy or overbearing, but an assured update of some of perfumery’s more neglected classic notes.
It may not be something to wear at the office but one could wear it to a party without coming across as being on the prowl. Indeed, the mood it creates suggests evening wear. Drops significantly in volume after about a couple of hours which, depending on your taste, may be either a good or bad thing in this instance.
May now be discontinued as there is no mention of it on Tonatto’s website at the time of writing.
29th May, 2015

Juste un Rêve by Nicolaï

All washed up on a tropical beach with nowhere to go. With Juste un Rêve Patricia Nicolai delivers a fruitified tropical floral (more a queered ylang than a tuberose/jasmine to my nose) with suntan lotion creaminess. So far so dreamy, except the central floral accord is somewhat chewy and rubbery, and the projection is pants. I’ll dream another dream.
29th May, 2015

Hoggar by Yves Rocher

The Viking-sounding name* notwithstanding, Hoggar brandishes no sword. Instead it is so squarely in the noughties’ ‘masculine’ mainstream it hurts. The formula goes: overwhelm with talcy sweetness and call it tonka, give it a squeeze of citrus to remind peeps of the sting of aftershaves, round off with sugared ‘woods’ – et voila! So popular is it that even Guerlain muscled in on the act recently with its ideal bloke, though that chappie had chewed on a few almonds to appear a bit more interesting.
Alas, poor Hoggar, thou may be inoffensive, nay though wagst puppy dog tails most eagerly, but thou be lacking sorely in cojones.

* Hoggar is actually a mountain region in central Sahara.

29th May, 2015

Hedonist Iris by Viktoria Minya

A bit of a misnomer this one, as the first thing one is likely to think of when wearing it is probably not going to be iris – at least not in the various incarnations I have come across it from downright rooty to suede soft to metallic and distant. Hedonist Iris doesn’t even give you a sprinkle of powder or the slightest smear of creamy butteriness.
What one does get is an easygoing spray-and-go kind of perfume that is loaded up with clean musks and has nice sour-sweet notes of blackcurrant and bergamot to brighten it. The only nod to something deeper is a touch of cocoa but that recedes quickly. Hedonist Iris is cool and easy to wear, and gives a convincing impression of a summer-oriented designer offering. Shame about the reticent iris.
But the greater shame is a couple of hours in when the poverty of its materials becomes glaringly evident, and it starts smelling like that off-putting fug of chemical musks that linger in mainstream perfume shops. What a disgraceful climb-down from the heights of the original Hedonist – in fact it is hard to believe that this is from the same perfumer.
29th May, 2015

Hedonist Rose by Viktoria Minya

What on earth is going on with Viktoria Minya? After wowing many with the complex syrup-fest of Hedonist, it’s almost as if she’s out of ideas already. Her Eau de Hongrie was completely derivative, a lighter, less textured version of Hedonist, and then there’s this – a banal, bath gel pink rose ringed with ‘clean’ musks. If one is going to make a virtue of simplicity, one has got to have something a bit striking to convey, but this is just glorified rose water posing as high-end niche.
There’s an odd opening effect where you have the rose and something alcoholic (declared as a white wine note) emerging side by side like that Clash track off Sandinista! in which one speaker plays one thing and the other something else. Fun, but it doesn’t last long as the alcohol is a fleeting impression.
Of course, Hedonist Rose isn’t terrible – a light, clean rose just can’t be in my book – but the poverty of ambition is scary. I would be remiss if I forgot to mention some clove and wood interest in the later stages – too little, too late.


29th May, 2015

1875 Carmen by Histoires de Parfums

Bewitching! A herbal amber that is elegant and greatly comforting at the same time. It has the appeal of a freshly risen loaf: one feels permission is given to feast and one feels at home.
The opening is not quite so inviting – I suspect there are a high proportion of naturals used in this formula and they give off an ‘Olympic Orchids in the essential oils shop’ kind of feel. But wait about fifteen minutes and the blend turns quite magical: rounded, suffused with warmth and a delicate, non-cloying sweetness spiked with hints of ginger and citrus. Davana gives it a voluptuous plumpness, supported by patchouli’s dark depth chord and guaiac’s meatiness.
There are no herbs in the listed notes and yet an air of herbal uplift hangs over this complex creation, first a suggestion of artemisia which gives way to a more non-specific tonic impression. Too many ambers collapse under their own weight, but this Carmen moves step by step towards greater energy and vibrancy. A beautiful, cool weather, special occasion perfume.

18th May, 2015

Rose 31 by Le Labo

This one throws a mighty tantrum with an angry blast of cumin before regaining its composure and heading off, cool as custard, to the soirée. Seconds after that seriously niche overdose of cumin, an aldehydic, transparent rose in the classic French manner begins to expand and push the cumin into its place – which is a little corner marked ‘animal’. This tension resolved, Rose 31 gains a formal poise, the rose staying light and floaty, the woody base (quite generic to my nose) adding pleasing warmth, and the spice contained to a level that won’t trouble civilization.
Just when I was thinking that though it’s a thoroughly decent perfume, it somehow lacked the sheen that one expects from this high end and that I’d probably be just as happy with a cheaper designer aldehydic rose, there was a further twist. The soirée a success, this rose decided to give its feet a break and take a back seat, and let a rich combination of sweetly spiced woods take over. This late stage is enticing, almost creamy, and confirmation that Rose 31 is earning its keep.
18th May, 2015

Héliotrope Blanc (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

Heliotrope is a delicate, high melancholy air. Why this should be when its odour profile of a floral vanilla, cherry pie and anise melange ought to bring joy beats me. But a wallow in introspective melancholy has its own pleasures.
This heliotrope is very, very blanc indeed; so blanc it is almost featureless. This is a bit puzzling considering it is surrounded by such sympathetic notes here – almond, iris, mimosa, musk, rice powder, tonka – all ideal partners for its limp little hand. However the overall effect is quite inert and much too subdued; this is a body lotion scent posing as perfume. It’s not quite as powdery as the notes might suggest (for people who fear such things), instead this is a heliotrope wafted up on airy musks.
I think the chief success of Héliotrope Blanc is its realization of the cherry-almond aspect in the heart phase; apart from that it just seems dull, underpowered and monochrome. Perhaps heliotrope connoisseurs will find hidden subtleties that escape me. I found myself bathing in the stuff with little to show for it.
18th May, 2015

Lale by YS Uzac

A bright apricot-osmanthus led white floral in the after-shower splash mould. Cheerful and transparent, it is far too weak to be taken seriously at Ys-Uzac prices.
The depth suggested by the volley of declared notes is not evident in what the nose smells. But what it does, it does quite well: the composition remains airy and natural throughout and the floral take on apricot is a delight. Would be a perfect fit, say, in the Roger & Gallet line-up.
18th May, 2015

Arizona by Olympic Orchids

A decent entry into the rather small club of ‘dry forest’ perfumes, Arizona gives the wearer a wonderful opening blast of the great outdoors with the inviting scent of conifers – their green needles, their resins, their wax – and the twigs and parched earth of the forest floor.
This is a cologne strength offering (unlike most others in the Olympic Orchids line), so needs liberal application. Has an unsettling mid-phase where soapy lavender tries to tame something that deserves to remain wild and free. Fortunately it morphs into something more anisic that blows better in the breeze.
Uncomplicated, perhaps simple, but satisfying nonetheless.
30th April, 2015

Les Déserts d'Orient - Songe d'un Bois d'Été by Guerlain

I must wade upstream here and say this is merely competent. It is not the sweaty cumin or the jaded leather that trouble me, it’s the flatness of the composition – Songe feels thick and sticky, like it has been spread on my skin like a perfumed depilatory wax. I prefer livelier perfumes. For all its naughty notes, it doesn’t feel carnal, just tired.
The early stages have a hefty glug of the sweets, almost as if Wasser’s hand slipped while he was pouring out the tonka or whatever it is to blame. Fortunately that recedes but one is left with a heavily spiced leather, which refuses to budge from its torpor. Even the myrrh, my personal catnip, suffers from the spicing and soaks it up. The scent of the thing is quite pleasant as it doesn’t have huge projection or intensity, but it’s so all of a piece there’s no danger of it bothering my wallet.
30th April, 2015

17/17 Irisss by Xerjoff

Oh, to be so fondly embraced! I wish it weren’t so (due to its completely unreasonable price), but to wear Irisss is to feel loved. I surrender.
Xerjoff have pulled something almost immaculate out of the hat.
To me this is iris perfected, the buttery, creamy, powdery, soapy, utterly luxurious gorgeousness of it played up, and the rooty and earthy elements given a backseat (despite additional bolstering by a carrot seed note). The supporting notes are handled with a deftness bordering on magic. Just a hint of bergamot to give freshness and a slight tang, so there’s no fear of this turning into a marshmallow. A soft, rounded, airy, floral accord, that accents the iris butter’s creamy beauty without distracting. Similarly the woody notes are barely there, providing hidden scaffolding.
Irisss wears light, light, light, but is there, there, there. It sets me afloat.
It drops off a bit by the 4-5 hour mark and loses some definition, resembling a subdued relative of Teint de Neige.
30th April, 2015

Opus VIII by Amouage

In the beginning, Opus VIII invites you to bask in its warmth. A cleaned up, properly-presented jasmine-led white floral with a hint of something aquatic hovering round the edges, coupled with a radiant balsamic aspect. Admittedly, the idea isn’t particularly complicated but it does have a degree of novelty and is executed with the typical Amouage richness.
The rest of the Opus line has more edge, to say nothing of peculiarity – this one is rather simple and friendly by contrast. It’s also on the demure side, with reasonable rather than blaring projection to start with and a rather disappointing tail-off in the later stages.
After initially having come under its spell, I must admit to a lessening of my affection with greater familiarity. As it is mostly linear after the top fades, I think this contributes to a waning of interest; also the balsams get a bit malty during the wear which does the overall impression no favours.
30th April, 2015

Coven by Andrea Maack

The scent of being knocked off one’s bike to land nose-first in a privet hedge, with the dry soil underneath choking one’s throat. Lord, it makes me feel alive.
The green notes here are photorealistic and exceptionally good – listed as grass but to me this is the vibrant, slightly bitter, always enlivening smell of recently cut hedges. Combine this with soil tincture of a throat-constricting dry earthiness with remnants of moss mixed in and you have a perfume that hurls you into the life of nature. Much needed in the denatured spaces of urban life. The earth tones bloom and sweeten over time and the whole creation loses its initial velocity to become much gentler and airier on one’s skin. It’s also inevitable that the green notes grow more generic after half a day’s wear, but the perfume remains compelling.
Coven should be sought out by all who value green perfumes; the first few hours make me think we are up there with the classics of contemporary perfumery. Something with such a distinct personality is clearly not for everyone – my partner recoiled upon smelling the first brisk spray. This Coven is up to thrilling, tingly things and – don’t tell anyone – I’ve joined.
30th April, 2015

Rosam by Histoires de Parfums

Who turned off all the lights? This is the most pitch-black perfume I have encountered.
The opening volley is of an endearing, transparent, almost watery rose warmed by mature woody tones. But within seconds it gets intensely inky, ferric almost, with rooty vegetal accents. You know the rose is still in there, because Rosam has soft edges, but it’s cloaked under that velvety darkness.
There are hints of other notes, a touch of zingy saffron, the depth charge of patchouli, but the abiding impression is prehistoric vegetal. The oud here is wood that is slowly liquefying under centuries of soil into a dark, highly unusual liquid.
I think Monsieur Ghislain’s oud trilogy is something else – unique, daring, but also, to me (there are those who disagree) perfectly judged in intensity, so that they are eminently wearable. In my greedier moments, I dream of owning full bottles of all three.
Rosam does shrink considerably in the later stages and the rose becomes more evident; the pleasure for me is in the black heart phase.
17th April, 2015

1831 Norma by Histoires de Parfums

A beautifully turned out jasmine atop a resplendent old school powdery resinous base, 1831 oozes sophistication but none of the chill that that word implies. I have to be a bit cautious around jasmine-prominent perfumes as some trigger headaches, but this has such integrity and is so fully-formed, I’d willingly risk a passing headache to experience some of its loveliness.
The aldehyde in this instance adds a dab of something sour – a crafty touch, lightening the saturation of the combo at the heart of this perfume: jasmine supported by ylang and rose. Wears soft and long-lasting. Does get a bit tired and unwashed by the end of the day as complex perfumes sometimes do.
17th April, 2015

Angélique by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

How to get inside a tin of Danish butter cookies – that’s the opening lesson of Angélique. The butterfat accord is so soft, delicious and unique (though, I hasten to add, without the cookie sugariness), one needs to try this just for that effect alone – miles from the usual orris butteriness.
The second surprise Angélique offers in the course of its development is that it isn’t really a floral in the traditional sense at all – despite osmanthus, champaca and mimosa being listed in the notes and the perfumer’s stated inspiration being the delicate scent of the flowers in her garden which led to an attempt to make an olfactory portrait of the iris pallida flower. Well, take that with a huge pinch of salt and enjoy Angélique for what it really is – a lemony cedar with a non-smoky frankincense accent suffused with that light, buttery aura.
Delicacy is its abiding aspect, difference is its trump, and it offers instant uplift.
17th April, 2015

Bal d'Afrique by Byredo

To me Bal d’Afrique is immediately about assiduously cared for skin. From initial associations of sun tan lotions with a hint of coconut oil, I plump for a more non-specific impression of skin caressed by unguents and soothing oils which later on reveals its musky character. This is skin one wants to touch and be touched by, and it gives Bal d’Afrique a warm, inviting personality.
Upon this floats a melange of lightly handled notes – the blackcurrant-like buchu, honeyed neroli and jasmine given a fruity aspect by citrus, the greenish, almost herbal scent of marigold.
Others have commented on a similarity to Hermes’ Vetiver Tonka and I too perceive it in an almost cocoa-like depth to this creation, but the fruity, musky tones are all its own and make it sufficiently different. The later stages get woodier, a grown up cedar-vetiver accord that remains creamy rather than sharp.
A perfume of gentle sensuality, with a certain elusive quality (the notes keep shifting), I find Bal d’Afrique confidently understated.
17th April, 2015

L'Homme Idéal by Guerlain

I’ve left it late trying L’Homme Ideal properly. I had to let the howls of disappointment that were echoing across the perfumed cybersphere die down. I had to get a bit of distance from its vomitous name and tacky marketing campaign. And I had to get over an encounter with it in a department store which left me feeling I’d damaged my nose, as it came across as a screechingly synthetic sugary citrus.
Trying it at home I am of two minds. I have to balance my perception that the aura of this perfume is warm, inviting, comfortable (supremely safe), and would make me want to nuzzle up to myself if I could, against its synthetic and yawnsome aspects.
A perfectly projected aromatic sweetness (as found in certain popular daddy colognes and soaps) is constant throughout this Homme’s evolution – it’s certainly there in the gum drop citruses at the start, it’s backing the unusual almond heart phase (almost spoiling it), and it finds its home in the mild woody base that is territory marked out by numerous designer ‘masculines’. The problem, as many have pointed out, is that this base while sweet and reassuring, also comes across as overly synthetic: the citruses, though muted, still linger, resolutely gumdroppy, the appealing almond scales back to being just another player in the mix before bowing out, and the woody-tonka base seems almost completely concocted.
Here one cannot avoid a bit of interference from memory – the best Guerlain bases twinkle with a myriad mysterious facets, this one is just a radiant aromatic thing that smells generic, it belongs, one cannot help thinking, in some twinky cologne perpetrated by some sports manufacturer.
While emphasizing L’Homme Ideal’s synthetic feel, it would be wrong to suggest that this is a displeasing scent – no, despite its amped up sweetness (the taste of the times) it is well-balanced with good projection. But like the perfect man, it is a crashing bore.
Nonetheless, smelling its trail upon re-entering a room, I am struck by how broadly inviting it is – it’s the kind of thing I’d smell on someone and instantly say, ‘My, you smell good.’
If this was Guerlain’s stab at mainstream popularity, it wins on that count – and I think the sales figures are backing it up. Does it belong in the Guerlain tradition? Let’s just say we’re in different times...
17th April, 2015

Violettes du Czar by Oriza L. Legrand

A complex (but subtle) perfume that opens like one of those overly vegetal irises that are easier to admire than to love. There are minty tones, suede accents, something a bit sharp and sweaty (the tolu?), old school spicy wood – this Czar is no simpleton. Surrounded by these rather butch companions, the sweet violets that have the starring role are quite transformed – ‘heart of gold, fist of steel’ clichés come to my mind.
This is yet another perfume that Oriza have resurrected that seems to be calling from a bygone age and, once one has adjusted to its complexity, it’s a winner. The powders, shimmery wood notes, melancholy heliotrope create an aura that is reminiscent of many a refined long-gone offering. They offer magic to the central accord of violet-iris-suede.
Wears light and lingering – just as I want it to.
10th April, 2015

Royal Oud by Creed

Radiating sophistication, this seems the zenith of bracing aftershaves. If you think that’s a backhanded compliment, it’s not – good aftershaves have that ‘close your eyes and lean into the wind’ quality that eludes perfumes that take themselves more seriously.
Essentially a quality cedar brightened with sparkling pepper and citrus and lifted by the abiding herbal freshness of angelica, Royal Oud is full of life and energy and would be a great choice for social occasions. It’s not an oud by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems finicky to complain when the finished product is so dashing.
Flattens and thins after about four hours, so not an unqualified success.
10th April, 2015

Rose Infernale by Terry de Gunzburg

A dry, rich, almost salty rose with a purring myrrh* backing that is great in its own right but is far too derivative of the Caron classic Parfum Sacre for my taste. If you haven’t tried the silkier Caron this may wow you. The points of divergence are a brief burst of something green at the top and a much more dominant rose (which turns juicier) in the late stages. For a perfume that comes on quite strong, it fades quite considerably after about the four hour mark.
* Not a note mentioned in the brief lists available – instead there’s nutmeg and frankincense, but it sure smells like a good quality myrrh.
10th April, 2015

Kanz by So Oud

Kanz delivers honeyed florals in a hairspray haze. SoOud claim this perfume is ‘black as coal’. I don’t get that; it’s far too clean for a start. And the cypriol that is supposed to be in here is doing a good job of hiding its smokiness.
The floral elements are the stars here and they are presented in quite a jammy way, the flowers seem almost to be turning to fruit. But this rich, sweet accord has great depth and a hint of a lactonic base. Offset against a discreet, smooth, shimmery, wood backdrop (more sandalwood than oud to my nose), the result is a perfume of considerable charm. (The hairspray musks die back over time.)
One does have to spray liberally to get Kanz to project which is a negative at this price point.
10th April, 2015

Pentachord Auburn by Tauer

The Pentachords trio is about Tauer’s presentation of unusual accords using just five synthetic ingredients each. If Verdant was surprisingly evocative of rain-drenched nature at its most inviting, and White was a study in porcelain aloofness, then Auburn is Tauer coming right up to your nose to blow a mighty synthetic raspberry.
Boy, does he chuck his toys out of the pram with this one, with a perfume that rolls into one bubble gum, frooty scented erasers and those sachets of purple powder that when mixed with water yielded a tongue-tickling concoction the manufacturers chose to label as ‘grape’ (though it tasted like no grape that graces this planet). Tauer takes all this magical childhood tat and presents it to grown-ups. The problem is, it is transportive for a few hours after which it outstays its welcome; one can tire quickly of too much fun.
The main player is a seriously morphed orange blossom note romping about in dayglo nappies which, I suspect, gives the impression of all that manic fruitiness. There’s a rather nice sandalwood glimpsed at the start, which subsides into the background too soon. I get a whiff of cinnamon, next to none of tobacco, and the amber could be anywhere, being an idea rather than a defined scent to begin with.
Worth a go if you can last the course.
10th April, 2015

A Midsummer Day's Dream / Elektra by Olympic Orchids

Smelling the fruitsick over menthol opening unfold one thinks one can guess why this Midsummer Day’s Dream was cut short. But it hasn’t vanished – it now goes by the name Elektra in the Olympic Orchids line-up.
Wait, however, until the drydown which does interesting things. It reminds me most of an innocent’s armpit – undeodorized but alive with fruity pheromonal nuance. There are shades of the always-overripe slightly sweaty scent of guava here mingling with something green and leafy, with an odd pine-like accent.
The actual notes are: blackcurrant, figs, green fig leaves, over an amber base. It’s likely the blackcurrant that is prompting the guava associations. The Olympic Orchids website calls it ‘a sensual oriental gourmand’ – I find it much too wide open and green to be an oriental and, despite the fruit tones, there’s little about it that makes my tongue water either (those figs are just not ready to eat). But what it does have in spades is a certain innocent and nerdy sensuality that makes you want to go right up and lick that proffered armpit.
Out there in a wonky orbit all its own, this perfume is a clear demonstration of the independence of the artisanal perfumer. Bafflingly, it works splendidly for me.
10th April, 2015

Misqaal by Tola

An oomphy oddity which opens with a powerful blast of what I imagine dozens of fruity florals boiled up with Charlie might smell like – jammy, overdone, with a synthetic rictus about it. And then things get even odder, a surge of notes – mushrooms, shed skin, old paper, dry earth and herbs – rush up to jostle the mix. Before – wait for it – ta-daaa, the curtains part and on comes a luscious pineapple going chikichikiboomchik.
Now Misqaal begins to settle and the elements finally achieve some kind of balance – or should that be truce? The dry notes here offer an accord that reads like papyrus or drought-hit vegetation (even the usually dank wormwood succumbs), which coupled with subtle animalics and powdery sandal is the best part of this perfume. The counterpart is the boingboing fruitiness, which, while scaling down over time, always seems a bit on edge with that base.
Runs out of steam after a few hours and becomes a nondescript, sweetish skin scent.
Whatever else one may say about the Tola line, the perfumes have wayward personalities which pique my interest. I may never own a bottle, but I sure as hell want to try them all.
02nd April, 2015

Nejma Two by Nejma

A rose so rich that were it a sauce it would have been reduced down to a thimbleful from a bathtub of stock. This concentration creates quite a hypnotic distortion, the sweetness bringing to mind those discoveries from the plant world that are supposedly umpteen times sweeter than sugar. No rose smells like this in nature but they sure do in Arabic perfumery; this is essence of rose compounded to diamantine intensity.
The opening is seriously musked up with a touch of aldehydic lift, but these are distractions from the dynamite rose which is supported wonderfully by much softer oud and sandal tones and a perfectly complementary bitter marzipan-like note (perhaps patchouli).
If roses of an almost choking potency (a la Nahema or Black Aoud) are your thing then it’s well worth seeking out this burst of operatic ecstasy. Forget ‘noir’ offerings that are about as dark as a gooseberry, this is the real deal – down the mineshaft on a moonless night.
Curiously, the wood notes don’t persist into the deep drydown in any recognizable form, so the overall feel becomes softer but also a bit less special.
02nd April, 2015

T. Habanero by Rania J

The first impression T Habanero gives is of a spiced leather but buffed to the extent it seems to skip into the ranks of refined barbershop colognes. Partly this has to do with fresh aromatic notes at the start – something that registers as mossy and green, and possibly also cardamom skins which have an altogether livelier scent than the seeds they contain.
Although it is named after the black tobacco heart note, for me the leather-oud pairing in its base is the main proposition in the heart phase: discretely handled, almost subdued, but it’s the floor upon which the herbal and resinous elements dance. To my nose the tobacco is moist, slightly bitter, but far too light to invite much attention. Eventually it’s that herbal mossiness backed by powdery wood notes that lingers.
In T Habanero Rania J has produced a well turned-out perfume, but one that is a tad too modest in expressing itself. It also seems to run its course in about 3 to 4 hours, after which all one is left with is something dried out and vaguely mossy, an odour rather than a perfume.
02nd April, 2015

Oud 27 by Le Labo

Newly felled logs left in a pile get rained on overnight. A cat that has eaten something it shouldn’t have comes by and voids its bowels. The following morning, the work of stripping the logs begins: bark and woodchips fly, sap flows, a cloud of damp and earthy wood scents hang in the air. Next they are sawn into planks and left in the golden sun to dry, before being brought indoors, where they ooze their inviting, new-minted odour, driving you back again and again to where they are stored. Their scent changes in shades all the time, deepening, getting more and more civilized, picking up traces of honeyed floor wax, but keeping the rush of fresh sawdust about it.
This is Oud 27 for me – the wood is mainly an inviting sappy, sweet cedar which gains sandal accents over time as the aroma profile ‘dries out’. The oud could be the faecal emanation at the start (soon gone), or it could be the peppery dryness that lingers over the whole, but it’s not the focal point, in fact it seems not to be the point at all. As a straight up woody, this is a strong offering.
02nd April, 2015