Reviews by rynegne

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    rynegne
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    Lampblack by Bruno Fazzolarri

    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.

    19 June, 2014

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    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)

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    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.

    28 February, 2014

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    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.

    27 February, 2014

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    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.

    18 February, 2014

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    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"

    12 September, 2013

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    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."

    09 August, 2013

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    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

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    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:

    03 July, 2013

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    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

    09 June, 2013

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    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

    24 May, 2013

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    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.

    17 May, 2013

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    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

    16 May, 2013

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    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

    16 May, 2013

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    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...

    16 May, 2013

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    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.

    09 May, 2013

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    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.

    02 May, 2013

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    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?

    22 August, 2012

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    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

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    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.

    08 August, 2012

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    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.

    06 August, 2012

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    Wall Street by Bond No. 9

    Way too oceanic for me. It literally smells like you swam through an inlet ocean cover that's over-grown with seaweed. All I'm getting is salt, seaweed and cucumber on my skin. I want to like it, it's so different than anything out there. It's just too over-the-top oceanic for me. I'm sure it may smell better to others around but it's giving me a headache as this doesn't seem to have a different scent in the dry down...at least on me.
    ****
    Edit 3/15/13
    ****
    I came around to Wall Street. My initial review was neutral due to over-application using the small bon bons.

    03 August, 2012 (Last Edited: 15 March, 2013)

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    Sycomore (new) by Chanel

    Wow is all I have to say. This fragrance is magnificent, I wouldn't consider Sycomore a female fragrance by any means. I'm not sure as to why this isn't promoted under the Chanel pour homme products, I guess they're like to keep it a hidden gem amongst the Exlusifs line.

    Imagine a cypress forest that was stuck by lightning. A small fire sets in a small portion of the forest. Where the ash of the slightly burnt trees lies is new grass and vegetation that's begun to grow in the now slightly damp forest. This smell wafts though the forest from miles away and finds your nose.

    Great longevity and amazing woody frag..very light smoky hint with a very very clean crisp vetiver. No dirty quality here. I guess what surprised me most about this scent is the versatility. I wore it to the pool today and got a few compliments. The dry down is slightly similar to Bleu de Chanel, has anyone else detected that?

    28 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 29 July, 2012)

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    Bois des Îles by Chanel

    Wow is all I have to say about Bois des Iles. This was my first nice blind buy and I was quite worried it'd smell too feminine. To start BDI comes off with a hard punch of Chanel aldehydes and spiced floral, which had me a bit worried. The smell between the top and middle notes reminded me of the smell of my Grandmother's Chanel lipstick back in the day. When the top wafted away the sandalwood and light woods shined though. My girlfriend told me I smelled good, not Aqua Di Gio good...a you smell you like you have money good. You smell like a doctor or lawyer she stated. I've never sniffed Egoiste but I'm guessing that's what she was smelling at this point based on reviews. A more refined exclusive version of course. Overall, this turned out to be a great fragrance. I look forward to hearing more feedback from others that smell it on myself. Also, for those with longevity issues..I've noticed this doesn't stick long on my skin. However, the portion that was sprayed on my shirt lasted about 7 hours.

    28 July, 2012

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    Armani Code Sport by Giorgio Armani

    First, I am not a fan of Armani Code. As a flanker, I'm not sure as to why this frag carries the same name. If you're looking for a sportier version of the original code, I'd look elsewhere. The initial blast from this EDT is very spicy (pepper) and citrusy, this wonderful smell only lasts about an hour. The dry-down, which happens very quickly very sweet, almost bubble gum esque with a hint of pepper and mint. Overall, not worth a hefty price tag but it's a great versatile fragrance. I'd consider this in humid and warmer climates where you'll get more out of the fragrance.

    25 July, 2012 (Last Edited: 15 August, 2012)

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    Givenchy Play Intense by Givenchy

    I love the smell of this one minus the patchouli. One thing to note...you don't need to spray this more than once or twice. Intense, Play definitely is.

    25 July, 2012

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    Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

    Bleu de Chanel opens with the citrus that everyone here speaks of. For me that lasts about 45 minutes. The dry-down is a beautiful wood/musk that reminds me of a walk on a cold beach. I would classify this as a more manly aquatic that has all the appeal of an intensely marketed aquatic with complexities of a modern fragrance. The projection on my skin is great I get about 10+ hours. I don't get why there's no love for this scent, maybe the over-the-top marketing or the Chanel label. However, I give Bleu de Chanel a 9.5/10 based on projection and the beautiful cloudy beach it takes me to on a dark autumn day.

    25 July, 2012

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