Reviews

Reviews by rynegne

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Tam Dao Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

Leaps and bounds better than the synthetically charged cedar fragrance that is the Eau de Toilette version. The EdP has a very nice sandalwood base that combines quite well with a fresh lime and milky coconut to add to the creamy-fresh vibe of the sandalwood. Definitely my favorite from Diptyque.
13th May, 2015

Cuir6 by Pekji

The opening of Cuir6 is loaded with a smoky and natural birch tar that comes off super dry and somewhat stark and honestly a little weird (there's something else in here I'm not connecting the dots on - somewhat spice-like.)

Over a little bit of development time, Cuir6 warms up a ton and throws gobs and gobs of labdanum over the leather as the smoke fades to black. At this point, Cuir6 begins to smell like a hardcore amber (think TF Amber Absolute) with leathery undertones.

All-in-all a great fragrance for anyone amber lover seeking a leather or leather lover seeking a good amber fragrance...best of both worlds with Cuir6. Big thumbs up.
20th April, 2015

Kiste by Slumberhouse

Peach Tea and Cavendish Pipe Tobacco with boozy and creamy undertones throughout the life of the fragrance. Kiste is probably the most "versatile" and approachable fragrances that's been in the Slumberhouse lineup. The fragrance is bright, yet carries an Appalachia fall feel.
08th April, 2015

REALOUD by Phoenicia Perfumes

The one point I wanted to make here is to not let the price point of the 5ml splash bottle scare you. I'm wearing a small dab on the back of each hand and the fragrance smells absolutely wonderful. Anyone looking for something with a kick of real oud, earthy vetiver and rose undertones should really try this out. Such a relief to find a rose and oud combination that isn't the standard overtly sweet and synthetic combination of the two.
16th March, 2015

REALOUD Feral by Phoenicia Perfumes

The one point I wanted to make here is to not let the price point of the 5ml splash bottle scare you. I'm wearing a small dab on the back of each hand and the fragrance smells absolutely wonderful. Anyone looking for something with a kick of real oud, earthy vetiver and rose undertones should really try this out. Such a relief to find a rose and oud combination that isn't the standard overtly sweet and synthetic combination of the two.
13th March, 2015

Calling All Angels by April Aromatics

Good, but not great. Has nothing on NK Incense. Natural, sure...but not worth the money if I am to be honest. Labdanum, incense and vanilla with some light woods.
08th February, 2015

Tango by Masque

Not much else to say, other than this is a beautifully done amber fragrance with hints of culinary influences. A popular genre, but this one doesn't feel tired. Definitely my replacement for Tom Ford Amber Absolute when it runs out.
02nd February, 2015

Patchouli Absolu by Tom Ford

Typically, I really dislike patchouli, even when used in moderation. However, this scent utilizes patchouli around a series of other notes that bring out a wet earth quality of the patch coupled with a somewhat standard woody base (norlimbanol?).

Either way, this scent is really evocative of a springtime walk through a wet forest. The earth is wet from earlier rains, vegetation is starting to grow back. Your feet dredge through the damp mud and agitate some of the forest floor greens, these smells waft through the cool, crisp forest air.

I'm a bit surprised at how good this fragrance is to be quite honest. For lovers of patchouli and those simply looking for a nice scent with earthy qualities, you might want to give this a try. Patchouli Absolu is a breath of fresh air in a lineup of Tom Ford scents that have been all over the board, ranging from boring to extraordinary...this one falls somewhere in-between. A nice fragrance indeed.
30th January, 2015

Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

Naomi Goodsir Bois d'Ascese is at the pinnacle of all smokey fragrances I have tried to date and I'm a lover of the genre. Bois d'Ascese starts with loads of cade and possibly hints birch tar and/or nagamotha which creates a realistic rendition of a desert campfire billowing smoke into the crisp cool air. Oakmoss and Somali Frankincense provide a very nice smokey-green aesthetic in the middle/base of Bois d'Ascese which takes you away from the fire and inside some sort of protected shelter. Labdanum adds some blanketed warmth to the base of this fine fragrance. Definitely one of my favorite scents I've encountered so far on my fragrance journey. Although I thoroughly enjoy fragrances like Norma Kamali's Incense and Sonoma Scent Studio's Fireside Intense, I like this one a bit more - the shifts from top to base notes is nothing else out there in the dark incense and smokey genres. I cannot write gracefully enough to do this fragrance any justice; 10/10 for me.
15th August, 2014

Lampblack by Bruno Fazzolari

Lampblack starts like you might expect a new best-seller department store fragrance from Gucci to be honest a translucent blast of citrus, but, it's very quickly joined by what I assume is nagarmotha. At the point nagramotha joins the grapefruit notes, Lampblack builds its artistic identity and becomes quite unique while maintaining a sense of wearability throughout.

I'm reminded of the smell in my old art room in high school (I know I know...here we go with the art stuff...but hear me out)...citrus school cleanser for the tables, wet paper mache drying in the corner, paints being mixed, clay pots baking from a previous class as you're working on a quick ink sketch...A very abstract and slightly strange smell...but one I remember distinctly.

Lampblack changes gears again after the abstract "art class room" stage passes. In the middle I smell a very very light black pepper sitting against a note that I'm unable to recognize...I can only describe the note as light, it's evoking white images...faintly resinous and sweet.

Lampblack would fit right into the CdG lineup...an evocative shapeshifter of a fragrance.

Lampblack is a nice, very trippy wild ride of a fragrance with artistic tie-ins. Unique, inspiring and evocative; yet pleasant, in an environment with many scents that are quite the opposite.
19th June, 2014

Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio

This fragrance from Sonoma Scent Studio is definitely true to the name. Incense Pure seems to be more of a literal interpretation of incense resins. It feels very sappy, resinous and slightly piney, the fragrance feels alive...as if you're literally at a tree in Somolia smelling the Frankincense oozy down the side of the tree. The ambergris adds a freshness that amplifies the resins and woods are the backbone (I think cedar mostly and slight sandalwood.) Resins weave in and out of the other notes making the fragrance feel both cold and warm at times...if that makes sense. A vegital orris and patch give the fragrance an extremely green feel which adds another dimension to the fragrance.

If you enjoy a crisp, clean incense but hate some of the "super churchy" stuff that's out there or find some incense fragrances too smokey, you need to try Incense Pure.
21st March, 2014 (last edited: 20th March, 2014)

Bohemian Black by House of Matriarch

Starts out with limoncello up front and center accompanied by a strong herbal accord for the better part of a few hours. Bohemian Black then completely morphs into bouquet of amped up white florals lying on a bed of citrusy resins & incense, and a very warm/light/sweet amber. Intensely rich woods seem to further amplify the floral notes.

I love the opening of Bohemian Black. It's really nice for a lack of a better description...Love the sweet limoncello jockeying for position over a wonderful, intensely herbal accord. What I'm not in love with is the heart which is very long lasting and all about white floral notes. The base is a decadent, incredibly rich Mysore Sandalwood which is simply wonderful.

This is more "Bohemian" than it is "Black" to me. I would have liked a little more spice, smoke or wood with the overtly floral dry down...something to shake it up a bit in the very rich heart as the intense herbal notes do in the opening. Nice, but the heart of the fragrance wasn't for me, although unisex, this leans a little too far into feminine territory as it does get powdery with the richness of the florals (not my thing.) If I could have the opening, skip the floral notes and then jump into the Mysore base I would be buying this instantly. If you're looking for an interesting fragrance with floral notes, look no further.

One thing I will say about the line is all of the scents I've tried before have KILLER longevity and sillage. House of Matriarch Perfumes are well worth the money in terms of performance, quality of materials and uniqueness. The line exudes both quality luxury.
28th February, 2014

Blackbird by House of Matriarch

Let me just start by saying...to say I strongly dislike leather is an understatement. I really have a general distaste for fragrances with strong leather accords and this one does have a strong leather accord. HOWEVER, if leather was like this in all fragrances I would not have such strong negative feelings about "leather forward" fragrances.

Blackbird begins pretty loud as an extremely soft and mellow Italian luxury black leather with what I can only describe as "strong green notes." I don't the pot vibe, sorry. I'm guessing that's just part of the Seattle story or the pot in the Pacific NW is much different than here in Chicago. This is more plant material like a conifer forest deep in the woods of the Pacific NW. Blackbird dries down to a pronounced head shop incense with leather and the unmistakable plant material notes playing second fiddle ever so lightly in the background along with a light floral (tuberose?) Each accord seems to come back during the dry down, like a hook in a song. Definitely a wafting scent after starting off quite strong as described by other reviewers. That's to be expected of a fragrance with a 33% concentration. This is one that I think is worthy of the hefty price tag. If you've been looking for a scent and nothing has been unique enough for you or just hasn't moved you...I urge you to try this one. 10/10 in my book and I'm only 4 hours into my wearing. My wallet will hate me, but I might have to get this one.
27th February, 2014

Norma Kamali Incense by Norma Kamali

This is the epitome of a great incense fragrance. Norma Kamali Incense is other worldly and it's an absolute shame that it's been discontinued.

Top notes are brash combination of dry/cut wood and almost a pine tar/turpentine smell that subsides over quite some time and give way to a wonderful semi-sweet labdanum/frankincense/myrrh combination. NK is atomic in terms of both projection...longevity and sillage with day long staying power. Not for the faint of heart, but for every true lover of incense fragrances.
18th February, 2014

Turtle Vetiver Back by LesNez

Incredible Vetiver Fragrance

Turtle Vetiver Back is an incredible fragrance and one of my favorite vetivers. I get a totally different vetiver with this one, totally different than anything else out there and that's what I really like about this one. To my nose Back has a slightly vegital oceanic vibe, like an inlet marina. When I sniff, I can clearly smell beautiful Haitian Vetiver, which happens to be my favorite. The vetiver note is supported by coconut lacatone and what I assume to be mimosa absolute that gives it a sweet floral undertone. Turtle Vetiver Back brings to mind the most remote Caribbean island with white sand, coconut trees and copious amounts of vegitation surrounding its shores. This is one that cannot be replaced once I'm out, truly different, truly magnificent.

Pros: Raw, Beautiful, Tenacious, Thought Enducing
Cons: Not as long lasting as some vetiver fragrances"

12th September, 2013

Frank No. 2 by Frank Los Angeles

Incredible Fragrance for the Price

As drseid says this one is very hard to describe. The only thing I can really say is the Fragrance has really nice transitions from top to middle and basenotes. Throughout long life of Frank 2 LA, it stays rich, classy and bright. The silliage and longevity of Frank 2 LA is extremely good for an eau de toilette. When I'm out of my EDT I will be purchasing the updated EDP version which I'm guessing performs just as well, if not, better.

Pros: Price, Longevity and Overall Scent
Cons: Old bottle was flimsy and cheap looking which has been since updated."

09th August, 2013

Dior Homme Sport (original) by Christian Dior

My favorite Sport Fragrance to Date

A very refreshing blast of powdery citrus on top...not "old person" powdery at all the iris is done very lightly in the background. Not really anything like Dior Homme, but a good counterpart for summer wear.

Pros: Interesting take on Sport Fragrance
Cons:

31st July, 2013

Loyalty for Men by Express

Very Nice Fragrance - Similar to Chanel Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme

This stuff is actually pretty good. If you've tried Chanel's Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme, this stuff isn't too far off. It's more subdued than Eau Extreme with the addition of some very light white musk. Highly recommended for those that really enjoy Eau Extreme...it's different enough to justify owning in my opinion.

Pros: Long Lasting & Relatively Inexpensive
Cons:

03rd July, 2013

Le Vetiver Itasca by Lubin

lovely vetiver wood combination

One of my favorite fragrances after only a few wearings. What's not to love about citrus followed by a deep cedar and vetiver combination? Lovely stuff, very fresh and woody. A quite long lasting fragrance that is very popular with my girlfriend. Underrated here on Basenotes.

Pros: Fresh, Clean, Woody, Vibrant, Long Lasting
Cons: A Tad Expensive

09th June, 2013

Body Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Incredible for the Price - Way to go YSL!

The eucalyptus, cedar and benzoin creates a cool, dry fragrance that doesn't have the medicinal qualities usually associated with that combination of notes. A great price, I'm glad YSL keeps fragrances that don't sell like wild fire (Kouros/Body Kouros/M7) from being discontinued.

Pros: Great Price
Cons: The bottle is oddly shaped

24th May, 2013

Opus VI by Amouage

Opening is Disgusting...Couldn't get Past it...

Wow, this fragrance is just gross. I'm usually not thrown off by an opening, but this one is a total scrubber for me. The opening smells like someone spilled a bottle of pepper and bay leaves all over a new fake leather couch while incense burns in the background...throw way too much patchouli and presto. There you have Amouage VI. It's overly sweet amber combined with other overdosed notes has me wondering why anyone would pay $300 a bottle for this stuff.

17th May, 2013

Green Irish Tweed by Creed

Didn't Meet the Hype

I'm not saying GIT smells bad, but it falls short of the lofty expectations set by other Basenoters and high price point. It's been done before and it's nothing new or ground breaking. The longevity is just ok for an expensive fragrance. Personally, I'll pay $30 for Burberry for Men.

Pros: Smells fresh
Cons: disappointing

16th May, 2013

Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

One of the Last Great Gucci Frags

Gucci has really turned out some garbage as of late. If you run across this one, pick it up. Don't hesitate, it's a masterpiece and a must have for lovers of woody incense fragrances. The combination of cedar, incense and pepper play in harmony. Gucci, please bring back Pour Homme I and Tom Ford!

Pros: Amazing for All Wood and/or Incense Lovers
Cons: It's Discontinued

16th May, 2013

Encre Noire by Lalique

Inky Vetiver Goodness - Best Bang for your Buck!

Encre Noire was one of my first blind buys. At only $35 for a 3.3oz bottle, it wasn't much of a risk. Turns out, this is one would become one of my favorites. This one comes off as smoky and dark...but it's not a burnt kind of smokiness. The combination of woods and vetiver a nice ink note on top. Although a bit sharp, Encre Noire smooths out over the course of the wear into a light wood that's dry and warm. This won't be for everyone, but lovers of woody and/or vetiver fragrances need to at least check this one out.

Pros: Price Point and Quality
Cons: Some will say it's synthetic - most fragrances are though...

16th May, 2013

Esprit Mondain by Brécourt

Esprit Mondain is a very nice, very safe fragrance. It opens with a more well composed version of boss bottled with variation in notes of course...just giving you an idea of what this smells like overall.

Opens with a nice, citrus top and black pepper - Most like Hugo Boss Bottled here.

Middle of this one Lavender and Cabernet Sauvignon are detectable. - I quite like the cab...really nicely done.

Base of this is listed Cedarwood, ambroxan, Myrrh, Musks. - I mostly smell cedar, ambroxan and light musks, no myrrh really, if there is it's overpowered by the musk/wood combo which is quite nice.

At first, I'll admit. I thought this was a copy of Hugo Boss Bottled. I was kind of upset about it considering I paid so much more than I would for a Boss cheapie. However, it was really my nose being under-developed at the time. I had just started exploring fragrances and it was my own ignorance thinking this was just a rip off.

Esprit Mondain from Brecourt is a very nice scent, a very safe fragrance. Something that's not going to blow your socks off, but you get what you pay for and I think it's a good one at the current price point. Also, there are some really different notes in this one... I do enjoy the mix of citrus, pepper, wood and wine.

My girlfriend literally wants to jump on top of me when I wear this stuff. It's like to exaggerated Axe body spray commercials, seriously. I guess if any of you are looking for a niche "panty dropper," this guy is it.
09th May, 2013

M Génération by Mauboussin

Mauboussin M Generation is an absolutely stunning bargain of a fragrance. This woody/spicy hidden gem would fit right in with the much loved CDG Incense Series. I would even venture to say that it holds its own with most of the CDG Incense Series fragrances. The longevity on this one easily beats all within the CDG Series, and it's on par with Avignon in terms of Strength/Longevity combination. If you love Ouarzazate and hate the fact that it lasts 2 hours, buy a bottle of M Generation, thank me later.

M Generation starts out super warm on top with a fruit spicy incense vibe that just radiates off your body. In the middle the spice and wood starts to play the tango with labdanum, giving an incredibly wonderful vibe that can be compared to Ouarzazate, just less spicy in the middle. The wood base is very nice and clean without any smoke, incense still plays gently in the background at the base.

Do yourself a favor, pick up a bottle of M Generation. It can be found on eBay for around $30...it's well worth it, trust me.
02nd May, 2013

Maine by MCMC Fragrances

Tone down the strength of Bond's Wall Street by 25%, remove the salty cucumber notes and replace with Bulgarian Rose. This fragrance is everything I thought Wall Street would be. It's a delightful twist on an aquatic with Bulgarian Rose absolute, what's not to love?
22nd August, 2012

Baque by Slumberhouse

Talk about scent memory with Slumberhouse. Baque reminds me of the exact smell of the Maker's Mark distillery just outside Louisville. When I put it on this morning, I was instantly transformed back to the Black buildings, wooden barrels, whiskey and smell of the woods and outdoors. Baque is very unique with the smell of sweet hay and tobacco, a hint of apricot upon launch. Very masculine for a unisex fragrance, Lutens-esque. This stuff lasts quite a while, 12+ hours no problem. Baque is a great, non-traditional fall or autumn fragrance. I give this a 5/5 and would put this right behind Rume and side-by-side with Vikt in terms of overall quality. Big thumbs up for Slumberhouse.
21st August, 2012

Rume by Slumberhouse

Rume will be my go-to this winter. It's a thick resinous fragrance with a light spice and hint of clove. I really like how the clove is used in comparison to other Slumberhouse fragrances. The smell of Rume instantly reminds me of Christmas and winter. It's a very unique and powerful fragrance that I'd recommend to those that like thick, sappy resinous scents in the forefront with a sweet honey and spice note in the background. Josh has really created something special with Rume. Easily my favorite in his Slumberhouse line.
08th August, 2012

Grev by Slumberhouse

Unfortunately, the cloves are the prominent note in Grev. I wish the clove were toned down a bit for the beautiful fir and birch that's lingering in the background to shine through.
06th August, 2012