Amber & Cedar & Orange Blossom -- it glistens and glimmers, and is certainly endearing; it definitely has its charms, but unfortunately I just cannot see this as a very signature scent.
Stupendous and spectacular! Every time I wear it, I think this is exactly how I want to smell, this is the person I want to be, plus I receive the most emphatic and sincere compliments! It's extremely green, extremely spicy, extremely atmospheric, and extremely intriguing. Its galbanum, cardamom, nutmeg, fenugreek, and oud are absolutely always present to me -- thankfully this combination works very well on my skin, and it never grows overwhelming.
Bright and shining, bold and soaring, wicked and enchanting... Vibrating and soothing and titillating and incredible and structural and beautiful... I am crazy for the Galbanum and Fenugreek and Cardamom and Ambergris... I am wild for the Agarwood and Sandalwood and Ambroxan and Frankincense... This scent is very much for me! I love it!
I really like this fragrance, though am consistently left wanting more. It's definitely a skin-scent, so there's plenty of comforting and delectable rewards to be experienced by the wearer, but projection is rather low, so there's really no assertive presence or powerful atmosphere as a result of wearing this fine scent. "Balmy" and "musty" and "woodsy" are the three words I'd use to describe the essential character of this composition, but there's a bit of green going on as well, thankfully, in addition to the dark bitter chocolate.
Leather, Plum, Iris
I gave this a couple of tries, and my responses were consistently neither here nor there. It's nice, but there's really not a lot going on, it's not very challenging, and ultimately, it's just not very rewarding... It's fruity and woody and syrupy -- all rather simple -- not necessarily memorable... And it never left my skin!
Handsome but Expensive
As a leather fragrance, it's fine, but not really compelling or even very original. I like it, but am not at all times fond of it's sweetness or butteriness or creaminess -- I just wish that it were a bit more hectic or rancid or burnt, something to make this more exotic and less "refined," because I crave some adventure.
Salty Absinthe, Smoky Vetiver, Musky Bergamot, Minty Lavender, Grassy Ginger, Lemony Pine... This bewildering concoction (mill'ecinque LONDA) is a symphonic constellation of opposites and intricacies, but it is all very direct and straightforward... I adore its candor, but prefer something just a little "larger."
Pros: Beautifully Detailed
Cons: Heavy Cumin Effect"
Should be called "Iris Sport"
The tonka/coconut/chocolate make a nice base, but in order to make the woods distinctive they're a bit too dry, which makes the already powdery iris _extremely_ powdery and "puckery" on my skin. In a way, it's almost too simple for my tastes, it isn't very complex or challenging, and subsequently doesn't seem very rewarding... Maybe if there were more soothing rosemary, or more robust tonka, or more captivating mandarin -- but, as it is, it just sort of gives me a headache after awhile... Ultimately, I'm just not a fan...
Pros: Girls Love It!!!
Cons: I don't like girls"
A bit too floral for me...
I've been obsessing over Oud for the past year non-stop, all-day all-night every-day every-night, at this point it's verging on problematic for my finances, but it's inherent characteristics are _still_ beyond fascinating to me... As far as Ouds go, this one is very nice, it is most definitely masterfully blended, and it's anything but nondescript or generic.. Although it can come off as a bit simple and linear, and it isn't very aggressive or masculine, it is at the very least at all times pleasant and comforting and rewarding.
Pros: Delicate, but not feminine...
Cons: A bit expensive for a curiosity..."
Tart & Tantilizing!
Lumiere Noire is a fantastic fragrance! Initially, based upon its ingredients (I am typically not a fan of Rose or Patchouli), I wrongfully assumed it would be precious and common. But this isn't Rose or Patchouli of the every day, underwhelming, overbearing sort. It's simultaneously refined and refreshing, startling and comforting, luxurious and approachable. There's a whole lot going on, yet it's very simple. I find that this scent is suitable for nearly every occasion and any instance, but perhaps that's just me... As much as I love Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Oud and Absolute Pour Le Soir, this one is a real contender.
This is an extremely affable & accessible "private pleasure." For some reason, I don't find this as dirty or animalic as everybody else; to me, it's very flirtatious & appetizing. It borders on voluptuous & decadent. But at the same time, it's almost softly spoken, due to its incredibly well-blended nature. But it's not linear; rather than just one waning & wavering note, I consistently find a ubiquitous trio of triplets. First, benzoin & honey & ylang ylang, (conveying various impressions of syrup, vanilla, amber, and cinnamon). Second, incense & cedar & sandalwood. Third, there's the cumin & musk & civet. It's all very breathy & earthy.
Pros: Constantly Evolving!
Cons: Lasts Forever & Ever!
Refreshing & Sophisticated!
Soothing chamomile, refined leather, luscious juniper, voluptuous bay leaf, and peaceful incense. Its initial burst of acid is more of a palette cleanser than a lasting character, which will be a bonus for many. I find this a rather beautiful and handsome fragrance, very rewarding, but not particularly bold for O'DRIÙ.
To me, this seems to be a deconstruction and reconstruction of what I know as Rum. Rather than typical molasses and scummings, this seems to be liquor derived from the purest of sugarcane in which has been steeped Vietnamese Cinnamon, Madagascar Vanilla, and highest-quality Tobacco Leaves & Laurel. There is a wonderful greenness throughout, in the sense that everything feels very clean and organic, but of course there is also a fantastic herbaceousness and unctuousness that is definitely a house signature.
"Holy cow!"is precisely what I said this morning, when applying Ladamo for the first time (to the sides of my neck and the insides of my elbow) -- I absolutely could not stop smelling myself on the commute to work, finding any excuse to bury my chin in my neck or raise my arms around my face, every possible discrete measure to get just one more whiff. "Holy cow!" is exactly what my coworker said immediately after smelling it. Miraculously, "Holy cow!" is also what my roommate said when I messaged him that he must experience this right away, and apparently even my dog went bonkers as soon as he picked up the scent... This fantastic fragrance is extremely exciting, and unique to say the least. It's delicious. It's a completely tantalizing mix of juniper and sandalwood at the base (on my skin) with ginger and cardamon and fenugreek (to my nose) sparkling around in the air. It's amazingly simple, wonderfully direct and inviting, and feels completely organic but also absolutely masculine.
Propulsive polyphony! Oud is allowed to be Oud. There's no counterfeiting or camouflaging. There are, of course, additional ingredients to make the situation a little more embracing, but none of them are meant to distract from the featured component. The star shines. Of all the Oud fragrances I've experienced, Zafar is most resemblant to the two different bottles of Oud oil with which I am sadly long since departed. Of all the Oud compositions I've encountered, this is the most respectful to the inherent qualities I'm desiring most. Again, the other aspects--Cedar, Vetiver, Neroli--are all beautiful, but this is all about Oud.
The immediate outburst of dry incense and flowery osmanthus and sweet patchouli is unattractive to me. Something about it turns my stomach. This stage lasts about two hours on my skin, and it is not a comfortable or pleasant experience, I'm sorry to say. Eventually, it becomes very beautiful, luxurious and elegant, but that phase only lasts about an hour on me, and then it completely disappears -- making the whole experience unsatisfying...
I may very well love Ambrarem more than Petroleum. As enamored and bewildered as I am with the latter, which I respect and admire immensely, I just find the former so much more approachable in its bewitching and entrancing qualities. On me, Ambrarem initially explodes with a fantastic greenness that is simultaneously oceanic (salty) and earthy (sandy grassy). It's really delicious; there are fantastic undertones of iris and elemi and sandalwood and castoreum and salty peppery light-vanilla bold-amber intense-castoreum and lovely-oud. It lasts quite awhile on my skin, and its various manifestations are all absolutely mesmerizing.
An uproarious opening of Cedar and Myrrh and Saffron and Oud -- all at once -- it feels so captivatingly organic that it's almost like a love potion or a pheromone... Fantastically severe yet brutally refined... I cannot stick my nose deeply-enough into my own flesh, but not because it is faint or demure, but because it is so enticing and entrancing and exotic. It's Myrrh like I've never smelt before, it's scorching Cedar, it's blistering Saffron... Oud explosion... It reminds me of Wazamba and Al Oudh and Incense Oud, though much more drunken, yet also much more civilized. It really is enchanting, quite literally breathtaking upon initial impression, but eventually the "honeymoon phase" relaxes very luxuriously into Bay & Jasmine & Cardamom, and a heavenly luminous leathery Laurel.
30th March, 2013 (last edited: 09th May, 2013)
Yet another fragrance whose essence may be lost in translation, all in mere nomenclature -- "Good Girl Gone Bad" has a certain intrigue and mystique, giving an initial impression of nature & chaos, organic & ruination -- but I sincerely believe that this scent doesn't deliver what it promises -- it is floral and fragrant and fancy, but never really gets naughty.
20th March, 2013 (last edited: 09th May, 2013)
Walks a very fine line between "twinge" and "cringe." There are dark notes and there are bright notes, and the significance of both aren't inconsequential by any means, because this is a formula where everything matters and everything is necessary and essential -- that is to say, it's cleverly composed. It's not subtle, not by any means, but it's very well blended. I like this fragrance very much, oddly, as it is completely not "me," but it is definitely distinct, and it's definitely succinct.
20th March, 2013 (last edited: 09th May, 2013)
When I was a child, I dressed up as Charlie Chaplin for a neighborhood Halloween party -- it took little more than powdering my face, painting a mustache, wearing some baggy pants and an over-sized jacket with a piece of twine as a waist-belt, putting on some worn-out shoes and a bowler hat, and finding a plain tree-branch just long enough for me to use as a makeshift cane... Somehow, I won the competition, over all the other children and and all the other adults... Somehow, even though I'd never even seen one of his films... I like Wazamba, but I am not in love with it... Something about it seems under-developed, there is no real sense of exposition; I sincerely feel as if it just doesn't go far enough. I am interested and intrigued, but ultimately I am left unfulfilled and unsatisfied. It flirts with exoticism, but that's about it. Mimicry. Practice doesn't always make perfect. It takes a certain knack, a certain Je ne sais quoi, and I just cannot seem to find it here.
17th March, 2013 (last edited: 02nd April, 2013)
Imagine, if you will, a feral cat marking its territory inside a sun-bleached leather jacket on top of an oil-filled wooden barrel floating in the middle of an ocean during a breezy twilight. Shimmering and unctuous. Excruciating and sublime. A truly fantastic fluid.
This scrumptious solution has quickly become one of my favorite fragrances. Because it fits really well into my life. Because sometimes I like to get on people's nerves. Actually, I'd prefer to challenge them and engage in mind-expanding conversation, but sometimes any reaction will suffice. For the same reason that I listen to Daft Punk's "The Brainwasher" on repeat during my morning subway ride to work, it's just fun to illicit responses from strangers, whether perplexed or perturbed, attention is attention, I suppose; what I'm really hoping for is someone to approach me and say "That's my favorite thing in the whole world!" Because, essentially, I believe sharing is caring. And I like to be indulged at all times. And it's fun to indulge with others from time to time.
It starts with an incredibly beautiful rendition of frankincense, stark and severe, yet lush and voluptuous; there's also saffron & cardamom & geranium & nutmeg. The first impression that comes to my mind is moss growing in a cathedral. The Chartres Labyrinth. Chartreuse, malachite, verdigris. And I came to these conclusions after just sampling it from a clear glass vial. When I finally decided to see Amouage Epic in person, it was bizarre, the bottle was an eerily accurate representation of my mental associations, virtually a perfect embodiment: emerald & gold & translucent. Amazing.
As soon as I have the space, and as soon as I can afford it, I am going to buy a full-size bottle. It may be awhile, but I am so incredibly intrigued by this beautiful composition. It's so much more than just primary & secondary & tertiary impressions. I am hooked on its constant onslaught of beguiling bewilderments. "Epic" is almost an understatement.
The poem and children's game "Oranges and Lemons" is about being surrounded and captured. Bells everywhere, chiming away, and how their tolling influences everything. There's no escaping. And I have absolutely no idea how either the poem or children's game actually inspired this fragrance or even how this fragrance is reminiscent of either. Why? Because rather than being enveloping or encapsulating, Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St. Clement's is elusive and evasive. Spray after spray, it doesn't stay, it goes away, it's never there, it's just not fair. When I try really hard, I can smell green tea and bergamot and ylang ylang, but the oranges and lemons are rarely if not barely detectable.
Startling! Captivating! Upon first inhalation, I laughed, it completely caught me off guard, even though I'd read a lot of reviews in anticipation, I was still somehow totally unprepared! And the liquid itself is surprisingly thick, it adheres to the skin, it's actually green on contact! I cannot wait to own a full bottle of this, because even the bottle itself is unique and stunning, but for the time being--fortunately and unfortunately--I have about 60 samples to work through before I have any space!
The fragrance itself is sort of ineffable, the obvious ingredients are pine and fir and fern and balsam and moss, but there's just so much of an identity and a presence than mere resin & incense, it's somehow nostalgic & futuristic, provocative & soothing, utterly unique. This juice is everything I've been looking for and more -- I can't wait to call it my very own.
25th February, 2013 (last edited: 13th March, 2013)
For some reason, Sova reminds me of Icelandic Brennivín and Aceto Balsamico Di Modena. It doesn't actually smell like either, of course, but that's the initial impression I receive. Or perhaps Root Beer and Champagne. It has a wonderful tartness that is never abrasive, always mellowed by honey and amber. And it exudes a certain warmth, exuberance, self-assurance that is always incredibly attractive... Leaves floating in a cool breeze, grasses swaying on a hillside, tumbleweeds...
23rd February, 2013 (last edited: 23rd March, 2013)
Handsome, distinct, reserved, calculated, brief, but incredibly intriguing. I have received a lot of compliments with each wearing, mostly at work, surprisingly mostly from people who generally don't go out of their way to speak when it's not particularly necessary. Which says something to me. For an Oud, it's remarkably safe for a relatively conservative work-place, which is refreshing, especially considering the fact that I also really enjoyed wearing this at home, and also "out on the town." Not having to stop and reconfigure in between places is most welcome. However, since it is, after all, an Oud, I wish there were just more "oomph."
21st February, 2013 (last edited: 07th March, 2013)
Cumin, Coriander, Cardamom, Castoreum, Cedar, Civet.
The Oud is very light, more of an implication than a truth.
I really like this fragrance. It is delicious, and enchanting.
I like it so much, that I wish other people could smell it!!!
I wish that there were an option to buy it concentrated.
An "extreme" version of this would be much appreciated.
Thankfully, it is not overpriced like other supposed Ouds.
As a scent, I really like it, but I just wish it were stronger.
Thankfully, I can detect Oud! It has a nice presence, but the overall fragrance is too faint. The vetiver is demure. The leather is discreet. The musk is understated. Combined, the experience is underwhelming. With a name like "Agar Musk" I was expecting a beautiful savage, but instead it's just a distant pleasant calm muted scent. I'm not at all thrilled.
I like the sharp, tangy opening. It's stimulating. But after that passes, all I can detect on myself is sugar, lemon, cardamom, and patchouli. It smells clean and medicinal, but is not very challenging, and is definitely not inspiring. I wish there were more moss, incense, and rosewood. There is virtually zero Oud. Overall, it lasts forever, but in a generic way.