Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Noblesse Oblige

Total Reviews: 12

Sycomore Eau de Toilette by Chanel

This is a wonderful fragrance. Sophisticated and dynamic, it goes through a series of metamorphoses before settling down to its warm sandalwood-forward base with vetiver backdrop. Until now I have never been a sandalwood fan, but Chanel has done something to take the cloy out of it for me, leaving me to make a fool out of myself sniffing my arm repeatedly. There are hints of other pleasantries that I can't place, perhaps a fleeting hint of orange is there? But the package is too harmonious for me to identify components confidently. I am impressed with how this scent changes but is always harmonious, and the vetiver is always there.

The marketers at Chanel must know what they are doing but to me there is nothing feminine about it. Nor is it boisterously masculine laden with musk and earth. It is just different.

Expensive, of course. The price structure is set so that you really do have to invest in the 6.8 oz size. I make it as 36% less per ounce relative to the 2.5 oz bottle. If you get swing it, get it.

20th November, 2014

Ciel Man by Amouage

Flowers to spices to grasses. This is very linear and predictable once you understand it. At no point until the base comes on could one think that this is a masculine perfume. It is far too sweet and flowery. At the end of the day one has the sense that this scent is too easily described as, "Hey, lets add some vetiver and patchouli to our women's scent to make it more masculine."
22nd November, 2013

Theseus by Lorenzo Villoresi

Theseus is really an unexpected pleasure. It takes a masculine EdT in a new and unexpected direction. It is a harmonious and subtle blend of great complexity. Spices are there, as are woods and a bit of citrus. There is vetiver to be sensed as a backdrop that adds some austerity to the warmth. It is too complex to dissect, but its harmony speaks for itself. I find it sophisticated and masculine, with nothing powdery, soapy, or flowery to dominate. There is really no single word to describe Theseus. It is what it is.

The sillage is relatively mild, in keeping with its sophistication. This EdT embraces the wearer. Bravo.
21st December, 2012
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Uomo by Lorenzo Villoresi

After living with Uomo, it has evolved to one of my favorites. At the opening it seemed like a variant of Aqua di Colonia in its citrusness (and I confess to not being a great fan of citrus). I was so sure that it was close to AdC that I sprayed some of it on my other arm and did an A-B comparo. While they are indeed both citrus-laden at the outset, AdV seemed more over on the lime side while U was more orange.

As the herbs take over, it seems to move more toward LV Vetiver but lacking its austerity and dryness (which I love). In the end it is tamed by the sandalwood and patchouli, and it becomes far more mellow than LV Vetiver. However, unlike LV Vetiver, its longevity is somewhat shorter, perhaps because of the predominance of natural components.

I give it a strong thumbs up. It is a complex interpretation of a citrus-vetiver, is extremely sophisticated and attractive. I really do like it a lot.
17th December, 2012 (last edited: 23rd November, 2013)

Vetiver by Etro

I liked EV and bought it. Once the opening rapidly dissipates, it becomes a warm, almost creamy interpretation of the vetiver idea. Somehow the warmth and "cream" offsets what could have been animalistic and aggressive like Route du Vetiver (which I also like). It is linear in that it morphs very little once it enters drydown. Woody and spicey without a trace of citrus, I find it honest and sophisticated. The vetiver is there in the background seemingly preventing it from being too subdued.

When your mood is serious but gentle, EV will reinforce that.
17th December, 2012

Sandalo by Lorenzo Villoresi

This is an exquisite rendition of the sandalwood idea. Somehow it manages to simultaneously project warmth, freshness, and exotica. It opens with a bright fresh note, then quickly transits to a lavender-laced woody presence. The dry vetiver adds a slight pungency to the exotic sandalwood.

Frankly I have never liked any sandalwood fragrances until this. I would buy this and probably will. 5 stars out of 5.
04th December, 2012

Yerbamate by Lorenzo Villoresi

Quite powdery overlay on a refreshing greeness. I find myself wanting more green and less -- much less -- powder. It opens with a very fresh and inviting green, rich in complexity, but soon gives way to the powder. It is reminiscent of LV Musk in its powderiness. It is just not my style. I rate neutral because I know that there are people who like this kind of sweetness. I give it two out of fives stars.
01st December, 2012

Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi

I tried this a few times from a sample. As with all LV offerings, Piper Nigrum is innovative and interesting ... and makes you stop and think:"Wow, this is something. Do I like it?" The spice, mint, and pepper make for a stimulating and unique fragrance ... witty, and happy, absolutely delightful. My problem with Piper Negrum is the dry down to a kind of ambery and clovey base, with some overtones that are not altogether pleasant. My wife noted it and said she didn't like it, which is unusual for her. Two stars out of five.
10th November, 2012 (last edited: 06th December, 2012)

Acqua di Colonia by Lorenzo Villoresi

This scent transforms itself mightily from a start that is just too much citrus for me to an interesting and inviting herbal musk blended with more subdued citrus. Would that there were more wood in the opening, I would really enjoy AdC all the way through (sorry for this). As it is, it is just too lemony and candyish in its early stages, though it is undeniably high quality.

This may be an example of a fine attempt that falls short because it tries to be unisex. Please make scents for the guys and scents for the gals, but spare us from trying to please both.

I give it 3 stars out of 5. Neutral to a mild positive.
06th November, 2012 (last edited: 16th November, 2012)

Musk by Lorenzo Villoresi

It arrives with a statement that is far too powdery, floral, and sweet for me. However it evolves to something more woody and slightly pungent that is interesting and mysterious -- and thankfully less flowery. In some ways it is evocative of a woman's perfume of some decades ago. A lady might enjoy this and I might enjoy her for wearing it, but not on me.

I have to say that whether you like any particular scent, LV is always interesting and innovative... and worth checking out.
03rd November, 2012

Vetiver by Lorenzo Villoresi

An extremely sophisticated and very different interpretation of the vetiver idea. It is evocative of piney woods and lavender with a whiff of nutty character from time to time. There is nothing sweet, citrusy, spicey or powdery to upset the mix. And then there is the celery, which may seem stronger than its actual proportion in the mix. It is really quite unique. The whole thing comes off as mysterious and masculine. It is long lasting on me, and I find myself returning to sniff my arm as the hours go on.

A hat tip to Lorenzo Villoresi. This is pure artistry. Five stars out of five.
29th July, 2012 (last edited: 11th December, 2012)

Vetiver by Guerlain

My initial review is below the line. Since I wrote it, I tried the juice in the "new" traditional bottle, still green but much more like the original 1961 version. It has much less citrus and more of that woodsy/tobacco note that made the original so wonderful. I am sure that Guerlain will deny changing anything, as they did when they switched away from the original mix. The problem of course is that one cannot be sure what one is getting when one plunks down the fare for one of these bottles. But I can now give the version in the rediscovered bottle a thumbs up.

I really should give a split vote. An enthusiastic thumbs up for the original, now extinct, Guerlain masterpiece, recognizable by its yellow color. A resounding thumbs down for its green replacement.

Whereas the original was always a love affair to wear and for others to sense and compliment on, the new formulation is simply bitter lemon, over citrused in the extreme and completely uninteresting. I had worn the original exclusively since I first discovered it and still have a few bottles which I will horde for as long as I can.

I see that the bottle has been changed again but the juice remains green. Packaging won't save this loser.
25th July, 2012 (last edited: 27th September, 2012)