Reviews by gimmegreen

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    gimmegreen
    Netherlands Netherlands

    Showing 211 to 240 of 403.
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    Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

    First impression
    Cardamom – possibly the most abused note in Noughties perfumery – quite flattens the sprightly juniper in the opening with its lardy might. Slowly the pusillanimous woods gather muttering in demure tones, shepherded by a cross, sour-tongued resin. Subsides to a muted, gently spiced sweetness that’s barely there, before slinking back up a few hours later. Someone else’s idea of ‘sensuous’, maybe.
    Second impression
    Haunted. Forget the notes progression. This fragrance just blooms with an addictive cashmere-soft complexity. Smells like nothing else. More. Gasp. Pant. More. There goes the bank balance.
    Third impression
    Try not to trust first impressions and live for this perfumed moment. That heart of oud and black hemlock is just so otherworldly, ringed as it is by soft , powdery, blissed out sweetness. This is what rapture smells like. Close your eyes, be transported to a clearing in the woods where magic is waiting to happen.

    02 August, 2012

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    La Chasse Aux Papillons by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Were I more generously inclined towards white florals, I’d praise this for its light touch, with an opening tuberose that goes against its nature by politely demurring to swat the wearer on the head, the dancing interplay of calorie-controlled jasmine and orange blossom, a whisper of linden. But the sum of it all is a bit ho-hum and of the laundry room once it has settled. And as for chasing butterflies – after a few hours, there is that inevitable frustration: ‘Where did it go?’

    02 August, 2012

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    Givenchy Play by Givenchy

    'Clone' may have been a more accurate name. Where else have we come across synthetic citruses floated over a watered-down woodsy-vetiver base with just a hint of anisic spice? Just about every second mass-market ‘men’s’ fragrance. Focus groups were no doubt consulted.

    02 August, 2012

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    Cuba by Czech & Speake

    Turpentine, a ripe cigar, saddle leather and wild scrub on farout mesa – it’s hard not to reach for clichés of rugged cowpoke virility. (Personally, give me the silk-shirted damask rose variety any day – but that’s just taste.) The impression is confirmed by a musky crotch odour that develops over time, but somehow maddeningly sexy rather than outright rank. Maybe it’s the pristine frankincense that rings clear as a struck chime right through the evolution of this fragrance. One for those daring days...

    02 August, 2012

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    Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal

    Pure, grown-up vanilla with a slight boozy tang, that has a muddle of milky wood-spice in the middle, a bit Lutenesque. My main problem is getting it to project as far as my nose – it’s there alright just hovering a bit too close to the skin.

    30th July, 2012

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    Shams by Memo

    Piercingly resinous and dry. Cistus and cypriol are the sluggers in this one with the salty aspect of vetiver as backup. There’s a good sprinkle of warm pepper at the start. The longed for saffron and oud notes just don’t materialize. The feel is resolutely of varnished furniture in a long locked airless room in some desert lodge. That may rock some people’s boat.
    I find it a bit of a shame that a company like Memo that has got its image and branding spot on turns out such lacklustre creations. This one would have benefitted tremendously from a greater degree of daring and a bit of bolstering to its strength.

    30th July, 2012

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    Arabian Nights - Pure Oud by By Kilian

    Oud pierced by a sharp carpenter shop’s offcuts kind of wood note. This smells like one of the cheaper offerings from a bog-standard attar merchant. It has the Middle Eastern vibe alright, but you couldn’t possibly get commoner within this denominator. Points of interest: dry and not sweet.

    30th July, 2012

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    Olympic Amber by Olympic Orchids

    Why does an amber that seems to be composed mainly of turpentine, leather and shoe polish please my soul so? Maybe it’s the feel of a lived-in space that it creates, a space of comfort, free of fuss and worry. It also sits just right on the skin, not too rich or cloying. The vanilla is judged perfectly in this, lending a dusty, softening undertow and the sweetness is also barely there. I can see how this was intended as a base for other perfumes, but I’m glad it exists in its own right.

    30th July, 2012

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    Louve by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    My curiosity about Louve was piqued upon reading an interview with a French actor (I forget whom) who said words to the effect that she immediately knew this was for her and she could not be without it. That kind of diehard love is usually a signifier of a degree of individuality and Louve does not disappoint on that score.
    The opening surge of bitter almonds brought visions of Miss Marple running from the scene of the crime, a lace-edged handkerchief clasped over her nose, muttering, ‘Cyanide gas...’ It’s a pretty shocking, no-compromise start, but the transitions start almost straight away. The almond softens considerably, grows marzipan-like for a while, there’s a suggestion of pink rosiness and, in time, the overall feel becomes more and more like cherry kisses. The volume also perceptibly drains away and the skin scent that is left is mainly candied cherries, with a hint of lactones and a little soft almond. It may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed the journey immensely (particularly the stage when the floral notes come into view) and found the destination to be a place of comfort. I do wish it would project just a little bit more, though.

    30th July, 2012

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    Kyphi by Olympic Orchids

    The entire medicine cabinet or Pharaoh’s tomb – this all-natural mix is off-beat and pushes my button. Chockfull of incense ingredients and hints of greens, this is musty, far-from-fresh and yet (allowing for my sometimes strange tastes) compelling because of this ancient vibe. The kind of perfume that emerges like a long-dormant genie.

    30th July, 2012

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    Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    The density of white florals can often cloy. Serge Lutens’s Fleur d’Oranger offers one way out – make the flowers so real that despite the thickness of the scent the feel will still be fresh. The orange blossom is mainly in the opening, after that this is a bowl of garden fresh jasmine centre stage with a vase of tuberose some distance in the background. This is a living, breathing thing and even the indoles natural to these blossoms are alive and dancing, unlike the saggy, unwashed creatures that languish in other perfumes. I rarely choose to wear white florals, but this one is beautifully done.
    The edges on this do blur about 3-4 hours in, but apart from the loss of the feeling that one is smelling real flowers, the notes don’t distort much.

    30th July, 2012

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    Clair Matin by Les Parfums de Rosine

    A really sweet and quite oomphy opening of rose and peony notes which had me wondering why this was being called an ‘Eau Fraiche’ by the company. I imagine it’s to do with a certain leafiness in the mix and just a tiny touch of citrus – so far so enjoyable. But as things progress this becomes yet another rose soliflore where the white musk base gradually overtakes any remaining interest. How many of those does one need? Also suffers from a common Rosine problem of dropping to a skin scent within minutes.

    30th July, 2012

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    Chamade by Guerlain

    A perfect, imaginary spring meadow – well, one rarely finds hyacinths in meadows and there is a dryness throughout that doesn’t fit either. But the feeling of space, light fresh floral airs drifting through, a green shade, that’s all there. Along with a smooth, powdery vanillic Guerlain base right from the start. The hyacinth is beautifully realized – soft and will-o-wispy, rather than blaring and headachy. There is a butteriness suggestive of the narcissus family. Everything is serenely in place.
    Major problem with the EDT is that you are left with the base within about two hours – it’s beautifully done, but not that distinctive. Now to try and score some EDP…

    23 July, 2012

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    Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

    Is my mind playing tricks, or did so many women really wear this when I was a child? On first spraying, this perfume greeted me like a long lost friend – instant familiarity and comfort.
    Regardless of the (un)reliability of olfactory memories, this is my experience of Vol de Nuit. It beams out of the bottle with such glorious springlike radiance, everything transparent, sunlit and shimmering, resistance is futile. Even though this phase is fleeting, with the solid Guerlain base of sandalwood and vanilla becoming noticeable very early (this time with a pinch of the smoothest spices in the mix), the perfume doesn’t lose its light character, with glimpses of narcissus peeking out now and then. Given, projection is subtler than Guerlain heavy-hitters, but it’s still worth every penny when it sets the senses waltzing the way it does (this from someone who couldn’t waltz to save his life). Absolutely the touchstone of perfection – and of joy.

    23 July, 2012

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    Shem-el-Nessim by Grossmith

    There’s no denying that this and L’Heure Bleue spring from the same gene pool – they both have the same melancholy sweet subtlety born of the heliotrope-sandal notes that are their foundation. This is great for reveries, introspective days when its quiet sophistication will prompt the mind to slip away to an ever-so-tempting elsewhere. One of those scents that play with time, stretching the mental experience of it to a lovely stasis. Lovely twinkly, powdery fadeout.

    23 July, 2012

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    Putain des Palaces by Etat Libre d'Orange

    A conventional sweet almost fruity floral top with a tantalizing and rapidly evaporating almond note is quickly ruptured by what my nose first mistook for cumin, but actually seems to be a salty cedar/dried out sandalwood note. This putain has been trolling the restaurant bins for scraps. Where’s the leather? – maybe a bit of zizz-crack would have helped this. Seriously muddled.

    23 July, 2012

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    Orange Star by Tauer

    The opening of this has more edge than a head shop full of orange fractals. I enjoy Tauer’s audacity; the upfront blast that says, ‘Dammit, I love wearing fumes.’ Here we have tangy, bitter citrus peel, the slight gingeryness of lemongrass and what to my nose read as a spectrum of orangey aromachemicals ranging from the cleaning product to the juicy gumdrop. I know most swear how natural this one is, but to me the combination of the verité and the chemically enhanced is what makes this opening so extraordinary.
    The volume drops pretty quickly on this one, though longevity is excellent. And when the scent settles, there is a slight violet-like powderiness, the citrusy notes relax and get smoothed by a restrained almost-not-there sweetness nudging up from the base. An orange like no other, and one no-one should fear wearing.

    23 July, 2012

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    Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has a Gun

    Good quality soapy rose with a slight curl of jasmine in the top which morphs into a hint of green. Fresh, light yet persistent, this is well-done if nothing new (reminds me of a few Rosines) and somewhat one-dimensional. An everyday kind of affair rather than a vengeful fury.

    23 July, 2012

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    Hilfiger Est. 1985 by Tommy Hilfiger

    Another generic criminal – fortunately this one does not get away with murder, expiring mercifully instead after about an hour. Synthetic citrus-spice dime-a-dozen ‘gents’ combo. The pale blue colour of this stuff says it all; another loser reliant on marketing to snare the gullible. Close inspection reveals a few miniscule points of interest – a sharp little stab of sandal, a recalcitrant bubblegum hiding in the wings. Disregard all the exotic ingredients listed – they’re not part of the olfactory experience of this one.

    23 July, 2012

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    Elie Saab Le Parfum by Elie Saab

    Open blue skies, a branch of orange blossom waving gently in the breeze – I’ll file this one under simple ideas beautifully executed. The orange blossom start is everything one wants – light, natural, lilting, forming a lazy swirl around the wearer. Gently the bolstering of the honey and jasmine is introduced, thus prolonging the orange blossom’s dance in this particular breeze. Personally, I could have done with a touch less honey. But this is an eminently wearable perfume – noticeably present without being a lung filler.

    23 July, 2012

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    Breath of God by B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful

    BOG’s opening salvo is like a squirt of squid ink in a clear pool: all blacks, greys and smoky swirls. This is one of the few perfumes that has the courage to actually bolster the dragged through soil and smoking huts quality of vetiver instead of playing it down. The feel is predominantly of woodsmoke, clumps of earth, iodine tincture, creosote, all delicious ‘non-perfume’ things which wrap the wearer in an olfactory bear hug.
    But already there’s an oceanic, ozonic lightness rising in the mix, which should be completely at odds with the rest but instead seems integral to its panorama. The sweetness of melon likewise, despite being a startling juxtaposition, is instantly comfortable among the elements here and gives the mid-stage its constantly shifting quality. My one concern with BOG is that this melon centre wears a bit brash in cooler weather, but the balance seems just right when the sun is shining. Yes, this does have rough edges which perhaps could have been treated better by another pair of hands – but the overall air of daring paying off that surrounds this perfume is exhilarating. Another plus in my book is that it seems to hang on to some trace of smokiness through its life.

    23 July, 2012

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    City Love by Dueto Parfums

    Oh dear, this is one of those hog bliss, utterly subjective loves. What can I say about a perfume that gives the impression that it will put inches on my waistline with just a spray, which revels in a drenched-in-syrup vulgarity, and which is probably as synthetic as nylon? How about: Give it to me.
    It has a humid sultriness in keeping with the ‘urban’ theme; for some reason a speeding cab with agarbattis lit and windows up in Bombay during the monsoon comes to mind. It has a carnal familiarity, breathing down your neck wearing sweet rose attar (and possibly a medallion). There’s also a slight underlying raspberryish fruitiness, an oud note, some candied patchouli and traces of some other woody element (probably the nagarmota mentioned in the notes list).
    There is an ayurvedic treatment in which a thin stream of oil is poured continually over the recipient’s body. Wearing City Love gives the feel of the same being done with rose syrup. Objectively speaking, this would probably be considered a car crash. But I have a sweet tooth and a weakness for guilty pleasures. I may just buckle and get a bottle.

    19 July, 2012

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    Zen (new) by Shiseido

    Soft yellow fruit skating on a marine-ozonic-anisic vibe. Freshened-up ferment. A little too baldly chemical for my taste.

    18 July, 2012

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    Tilda Swinton Like This by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Creamy and breezy, this opens with a flourish of old-school sophistication, all chiffon scarf and sunglasses. It has the pleasure of being like nothing else, incorporating the burnt sugar meatiness of immortelle perfectly in a beautifully foamy surround. The ginger is unobtrusive, the pumpkin mellow and a bit boozy – really this fragrance is not about the notes at all but the overall effect which is light yet lingering, and poised but also playful. Slight nuances (mere hints, really) of vegetal and earthy tones embellish its sweet mousse without distracting. When the perfume has settled, it seems like a notion of what a godlike person’s skin must smell like. (You know, the kind of radiant person who makes you inhale deeply as you pass them on the street just to experience their aura.) Confidence in a bottle, and subtle about it.
    This drove at least one acquaintance mad with joy when she smelled it on me.
    Disclaimer: About 8 hours in, most of the distinctiveness is gone and a somewhat mushy sweetness is left, but that’s pretty good going.

    18 July, 2012

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    Roadster Sport by Cartier

    Has the clarity of intention of a Heeley (which can be no compliment as he slips into banal mode from time to time). Fundamentally this is a mega-citrus (orange, lemon, bergamot) sweetened with a touch of orange blossom and patchouli: the appeal lies in the cleanness of the notes and their safe distance from air-freshener. If one is paying particular attention there are herbal hints in there, but their effect is mainly to round out the citruses rather than drive this thing into a grassy verge. If one is into crisp colognes, suppress the gag reflex brought on by the ‘sport’ appellation and make a small detour to try this out. Things get more woody two hours in (although the earlier notes do persist) and this is, alas, a turn in the direction of the generic. Does it make my heart beat a little faster? No.

    18 July, 2012

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    Parfum Sacré by Caron

    The luxuriousness of some Caron blends prompts a ‘just can’t get enough’ urge. What is it about Parfum Sacre that makes me want to bathe in it, regardless of whether this would actually be a good idea? I don’t know. It’s like an exquisitely crafted object which has been meticulously polished and burnished until it’s difficult to believe human hands were involved in the making. Here we have a balmy, woody, myrrh which radiates comfort; there are satiny powders lurking and delicate spices that please even my low tolerance; the floral elements sing off-stage (I can’t spot a rose or jasmine note, just the breath of something fresh and sweet); the whole is like an aura cocooning the wearer. Glorious exhilarating stuff. Has risen swiftly into the ranks of my all time favourites.
    (Review is for EDP.)

    18 July, 2012

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    Not a Perfume by Juliette Has a Gun

    Like it says on the tin.
    Ricci got so excited by the synthetic amber Ambroxan that he decided to bottle it (in the right dilution, of course). Now Ambroxan is not without its virtues. Andy Tauer writes of it thus: ‘Ambroxan is a single molecule, but is smells very complex (amber, vibrant wood, floral tobacco) and not cheap like other synthetic ambers that you find in washing powder.’ It has a soft and polished satin-like feel about it. So far so good.
    However, most synthetics on their own – even fairly complex ones – don’t have the variability over time that makes naturals exciting and lively. This is like a musical chord prolonged for hours on end stripped off any of the harmonics that would normally begin to dance around it. Or as my non-perfume-wearing partner announced rather bluntly: ‘quite insipid’.

    18 July, 2012

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    Live Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

    Glorified citric urinal tablet. Has that headache-inducing hypersynthetic piercingly-citric canned ‘freshness’ that blights far too many masculines. Boredom in a bottle. My most regretted blind buy – even the person who took it off me for free did so grudgingly.
    Jazz? Muzak for public lavatories more like.

    18 July, 2012

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    Kingston Ferry by Olympic Orchids

    Quite a few of the Olympic Orchids perfumes start off as if someone has opened the door of a cabinet of essential oils – this is no exception. The effect is a bit like Nico’s harmonium, an all-encompassing but rather shapeless drone. However, out of the embrocation-like qualities of this offering there emerged for a brief burst a fully-fledged sandalwood accord (no, it’s not in the notes), after which the fragrance hit its stride. Mainly a somewhat herby-resinous green ringed with sappy wildflowers, I cannot perceive an aquatic theme. Most seaweed (a listed note) I’ve smelled stank, and I’m glad this does not. Instead this is intriguing and fairly light. The deep drydown (about three hours in) is almost purely resinous and returns us to that essential oils cabinet; something of a disappointment.

    18 July, 2012

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