Reviews by foetidus

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    foetidus
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    Christian Audigier For Him by Ed Hardy [Christian Audigier]

    After a very brief berry / fruit start, the rum comes to the dominant position, and very soon after the rum I get strong indications of saffron, cinnamon, and leather. Because I so quickly lose the berry and pear, this immediately becomes a rigidly dry fragrance that screams for more sweetening up. I have an difficult time judging what’s happening here because the leather has so fully grabbed my olfactory system, as so often happens to me in cheaper scents with leather notes. And so it stays, stark, annoying, dry linearly through to its soon-to-follow finish.

    Without the sweet notes getting through, this is a pretty grim fragrance for me. The leather and spices that I smell could stand to be a better quality. Projection is poor, but it’s not a scent that I would want to have good projection. The scent is deficient in longevity.

    14 April, 2014

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    Sahara Noir by Tom Ford


    The pyramid lists 25 notes. I can’t find or identify most of them in the scent. I’m not saying that those notes are not there, I’m saying is that the accords are so rich and smooth that I have difficulty separating one note from another. What I do smell is pepper, cinnamon, and incense dominating over enough labdanum and cypress/cedar which provide compelling and complementary foundation… Besides these notes that I can definitely identify, I would admit to the probability of there being rose, beeswax, and leather somewhere in the complexity. The rest?... Well, it is a complex scent, and I find it extremely linear – the last accord I smell is about the same as the first except that it has diminished in intensity.

    Sahara is a beautiful black, woodsy, resinous fragrance – a style that has become more than a bit popular in recent years. I does remind me somewhat of a much-more-refined Donna Karan Black Cashmere. It also holds similarities to Serge Luten’s Serge Noire and CdG’s Black and several other woodsy-noir niches. Sahara Noir is probably the smoothest, most refined of all of this type that I’ve tried: Possibly because Sahara Noir doesn’t take the inexpensive way out by loading up on cheaper spice notes instead of the more expensive wood and other rich-resinous notes which are found in Sahara Noir. It’s an excellent fragrance and it should be on the to-try list of someone looking for this type of deep, dark wood fragrance. Refined, sophisticated projection and, like most of its type, a little short on longevity... It is difficult keeping those powerful but refined accords going for hours and hours, but this one does a more than adequate job.

    14 April, 2014

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    Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian


    I get an aromatic tone that is unaccounted for in the pyramid list of notes – unless the aromatic emanation is an ever-present clean musk. Otherwise, except for a short-lived citrus in the beginning, at its core this is a gentle, airy-watery, non-indole clean floral (white floral if it’s a white rose being used).

    Pristine… sophisticated white-sillage… subtle but tenacious… and a drydown that is airy-woodsy and airy-musky. Aqua Universalis Forte has good longevity and a debatable price. This is a great-performing, lovely, and unique warm weather fragrance.

    14 April, 2014

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    He Wood Rocky Mountain Wood by Dsquared2


    The violet and violet leaves of the opening are, thankfully, quite light – they and a bit of white pepper present themselves more as an aromatic emanation than as a substantial aroma. After the aromatic opening, in the heart accord I mostly get a pleasant and “natural” cedar accorded with a pleasant, less dominant vetiver which, together, continue for most of the run of the fragrance, making this another cedar dominant fragrance… and a very good one. To my nose the drydown goes mainly to a somewhat abstract amber/musk accord with an occasional hit of incense. Dsquared2 He Wood Rocky Mountain Wood is a walk in among the conifer trees. It has average projection and on my dry skin it does not have enough longevity, otherwise it is a very nice fragrance and excellent value… I think this is the first violet fragrance that I truly enjoy.

    14 April, 2014

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    Lavanda Alpina by Borsari


    I love this take on lavender… It is not a straightforward aromatic lavender: it is soft and a tiny bit sweet and yet it holds a firm presence on the skin. This lavender is airy rather than aromatic and the whole accord remains quite subtly and delicately dry. What accomplishes this unusual lavender is that it is supported by other herbs that are a bit dryer than the lavender. The result is a very comfortable lavender that remains somewhat dry and doesn’t overdo that annoying thing that lavender often does when it is left to go wild.

    Understandably, Lavanda Alpina doesn’t hold on as a sillage maker for very long. It has become a skin scent by its second or third hour. It is definitely unisex and it is one of the most interesting lavender scents I’ve come across.

    14 April, 2014

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    Bamboo Harmony by By Kilian

    I’m a fan of green fragrances – especially the ones like this one which attempt to closely represent the green of nature. As one might expect from the name, “Bamboo Harmony” presents a green identity, and it’s a unique one. I find it interesting because it neither tries for the sharp green of plant sap and tomato leaves; nor does it attempt the creamy green that is quite often presented as in, for example, the use of fig leaf. The green here is rich and full and complex, not sharp… not creamy. Bamboo Harmony primarily presents the richer green of maté and a diminutive, cream-reduced fig leaf enriched by a slightly spiced soft tea note. Another part of the richness is the sweet, floral, powdery green of mimosa. And there is also a refined oakmoss that further expands the green spectrum. I love this green and, better still, Bamboo Harmony comes across as linear and it keeps that rich green for longer than I thought possible… I would guess that weak, screechy green is easy to make long lasting because there is so many fragrances that have them. Apparently a long-lasting rich green is not easy - I met so few of them. I think it's the maté that makes this such an excellent green. Bamboo Harmony manages a decent projection and an acceptably long life on my dry skin… quite an accomplishment.

    07 April, 2014

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    Feuille de Reglisse by 06130 Zéro Six Cent-Trente


    Interesting opening – floral but it’s a floral that exhibits more breadth and depth than is usual. The muguet seems to provide the breadth, and the depth is provided by the heliotrope and orange blossom. An important reason for the feeling of depth, I think, is that the cedar, ginger, and nutmeg of the heart notes are oils, and even provide an oily tinge to the opening. I usually get a sort of distant, airy feeling in good-quality oils. The opening, because of its floral nature, lasts for a respectable length of time. It’s not a feminine floral accord – definitely unisex. The middle wood and spices take over from the florals and they provide a blunted, indistinct feeling, again because of the combination of oil joining with cistus from the base. The cistus provides an understated resinousness to the heart and base of Feuille de Réglisse. The base is actually quite impotent except for its resinousness because its cistus and musk simply do not provide very much solidity. It turns a bit powdery toward the end.

    I don’t understand the reference to “Réglisse” because I don’t smell any licorice in this fragrance. Okay, okay. I’ll admit that I think that I smell a tiny bit of anise in the opening for a few seconds – that could be a licorice leaf reference. In spite of its name, I would not consider this a gourmand. I find it a fresh floral with an undertone of resinous cistus. It’s actually pretty subtle and quite a good fragrance – just not very interesting…

    07 April, 2014

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    Scaasi by Scaasi


    I don’t think Scaasi by Scaasi EDP has improved with age since its conception in 1989 – either that or I have a bad factory sample. It’s a floral that is introduced with citrus, and ending with a drydown of musk and vanilla. The florals are not very flowery, the citrus is not very citric, and the musk and vanilla do not smell to me like a drydown of musk and vanilla. What I get is a boring texture of all the forenamed notes that is quite mundane except for being a little off. To be honest, I strongly suspect that my sample has turned, but I haven’t smelled anything in it that makes me want to find out for sure. What I am smelling is not at all noteworthy.

    07 April, 2014

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    Kinski by Escentric Molecules


    Synthetic, animalic, complex, and unique. Kinski opens with a synthetic-castoreum / conifer (juniper) / and pink pepper accord, that very quickly picks up the prominent sharp, green cannabis-like note. The strong, resinous cannabis note, contributes an awful lot to the fragrance – I find it especially enjoyable, especially since it pretty much stays on for the total run of Kinski. A+ for the opening, which holds on my skin for a forty-five minutes to an hour… during which time it gradually morphs into a significant floral tone, backed up by a softer but still resinous cannabis.

    With the heart accord, the fragrance has become a mixed floral with maybe the magnolia and orange blossom dominating. I can’t separate out the rose or orchid, and the accord of florals and backgrounding cannabis is highly enjoyable. The middle has a longer life-span than the opening accord, and I find it enjoyable and quite lasting.

    The base is wood-dominant while it is in silage-producing form – I get mainly cedar, vetiver, and patchouli (and that bit of the cannabis). I pick up some of the amber and/or benzoin, but none of the labdanum or oakmoss. It’s a pleasant projection – definitely less unique and a bit weaker than the accords that preceded it in the opening and heart. It has quite good lasting performance just as the opening and heart had. This silage aspect of the base has good longevity, then it eventually changes to an almost smoky, sensual skin scent which bookends the animalic texture that was present in the opening, and lasts into tomorrow. This is a truly interesting fragrance… for the most part it might even be called blunt and aggressive, but I find it sophisticatedly so: I appreciate its directness and openness and I even find it rather elegant in its honesty.

    07 April, 2014

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    Oud Ispahan by Christian Dior


    Ispahan is an excellently balanced and presented oud / rose fragrance. It performs brilliantly on the skin. Its materials are top quality. It is beautiful.

    As a rose / oud fragrance, Ispahan is also regrettably distant from uniqueness, but perhaps its undeniable quality is enough: If I wanted a quality oud / rose fragrance (which I do not), of the dozen or so that I’ve reviewed, this would be the one I would buy because it’s the safest decision. This one can’t be wrong if one is looking for an oud / rose fragrance... but that doesn't necessarily make Ispahan right.

    07 April, 2014

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    Yuzu Man by Caron


    I was looking forward to this opening because I really enjoy yuzu and I love anything that opens with verbena… so I was sure I was going to love this…

    A Touch of yuzu, even less verbena, and a domination of basil is what I got from the opening… basil I got in my kitchen! … So much for my expectations. The opening is nice, especially if you like basil / citrus. It’s not very strong, nor is it very long lasting, and it doesn’t sparkle as a yuzu with verbena accord should.

    The fig / fruity / pistachio accord of the heart, doesn’t come across very strongly to me. …Too bad, an accord like that could have been very interesting. As it is, it seems almost dead space to me.

    The cedar / spices of the base come through more strongly than the heart, but the base accord is a bit less inspired. I like the fact that the base doesn’t list any sweet notes, and I don’t really smell any sweet notes, either. This makes the base rather unusual because the usual vanilla, musk, amber, or tonka are not there. I enjoy the base, even though it is a bit too reticent. Weak projector and below average longevity.

    24 March, 2014

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    1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums


    With birch and leather listed in its scent pyramid, I expected not to like this, but the name was just too tempting for me not to sample it. I’m very surprised – I love it in spite of the birch and leather – both of which I can identify in the accord. 1740 Marquis de Sade presents a dramatic and captivating aroma. It is complex and linear at once. It is direct and intricate at once. It is exceedingly well-balanced. It is difficult for me to describe because of its complexity: I can identify most of the listed notes – bergamot, coriander, cedar, birch, labdanum, leather, elemi, and especially immortelle; but it’s such a fascinating and enjoyable conglomerate accord that my main reaction to it is to simply sit back and enjoy it.

    1740 Marquis de Sade is a warm without emphasizing wood notes; the leather is noticeable but not dominant; if anything dominates to my nose, it is the immortelle, and the immortelle comes across as refined, airy, and maybe a nice bit boozy. I’ve never before experienced immortelle used so beautifully in a fragrance. As far as I’m concerned, the immortelle changes the fragrance from simply competent to absolutely delicious. This is a scent that can be worn for any occasion. Medium projection with decent longevity… what a remarkable fragrance.

    24 March, 2014

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    Moss Breches by Tom Ford


    The opening is an interestingly complexity… it is a bit herbal, sweet, green, spicy, with a firm earthy-mossy undertone. I would say it consciously sparkles and subconsciously seduces at once. I love it…

    But unfortunately the variety within the opening lessens and what is left for most of the remainder of the fragrance is an sweet and somewhat synthetic bees wax / moss accord. The use of moss in this fragrance starts well but becomes and then remains dull, thin, a bit unnatural, and somewhat short-lived.

    I don’t enjoy the smell of moss in modern fragrances when it’s used as a dominant element in an accord, and I think the restrictions on the use of genuine oak moss have a lot to do with the problems of this fragrance. Whatever… I find Moss Breches quite dull after the excitement of its opening.

    24 March, 2014

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    Coco Noir by Chanel


    For the first 12 or 15 seconds I thought something wonderful was happening in this fragrance. There were a couple of seconds when I almost went weak in the knees it smelled so good. But when I realized that the excellence of the accord started dulling, and nothing else appeared to be happening, I began a search some sort of directional intent or progress. It didn’t appear. Instead of a signature Chanel accord, which I usually look forward to, Coco Noir vaguely reminds me of Ormonde Man, which has an signature accord that I don’t enjoy. Unfortunately, this second accord that I perceive is pretty much the whole progression for the fragrance.

    I was expecting to enjoy this, but that didn’t happen. I don’t understand it – especially in relation to previous Chanels and Cocos that I have reviewed. I don’t see a relationship with any of the Coco’s and I don’t see this as a noir… I can see a bit of Chanel in it – the dominant accord is smooth, complex, and it has that touch of elegant-but-distant thing that usually signifies Chanels for me. But I don’t really enjoy the use of geranium leaf, vanilla, and patchouli in Coco Noir. I’m disappointed in the averageness of this scent – not what I expected from a “Coco” or a Chanel.

    24 March, 2014

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    Dior Homme Intense by Christian Dior


    I have a decant of the original Dior Homme 2005. When I compare it side by side with the present Dior Homme Intense I can see a very close relationship between the two. The three main differences that I find are 1) DH 2005 opens with a strange sharpness for a few seconds and DHI doesn’t. 2) Unsurprisingly, Homme Intense comes across more potently than the original formulation of Dior Homme – although the original is no slouch in that regard. 3) DHI is smoother than DH 2005. With Homme Intense, I get about the same accords that I had experienced in Homme 2005: the make-up (lipstick) accord, the chocolate note, the powdery iris note, the quietly-refined leather base, the touch of wood, the touch of sweet. I also get the notable longevity in both. All in all, I see DHI as an improvement of the excellent Dior Homme 2005.

    Dior Homme Intense is an excellent scent – it is sophisticated and it’s beautifully constructed out of quality elements. When I run out of Dior Homme 2005, I will definitely replace it with Dior Homme Intense.

    24 March, 2014

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    Cologne pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian


    Intriguing scent – unique. Apparently it’s a skin-scent variation on the cologne concept. And instead of citrus and fresh green, it builds itself around incense absolute, benzoin, honey and rose – obviously it is an evening scent. I was thrown off-track with the first spray when for a couple of seconds it reminded me of an ‘80s powerhouse but then it settled down in a minute or two to the subtle incense absolute which smelled like an incense odor that doesn’t have a resinous emanation. By five or ten minutes into it, Cologne pour le Soir had settled into its skin scent persona, and stayed there for an two or three hours: It is a gentle infusion of benzoin, rose, and incense; it is airy and stays close to the skin; and every once in a while I think I smell a bit of civet or indoles floating off the skin. Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Cologne pour le Soir is sophisticated, subtle and incredibly sensual.

    24 March, 2014

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    Santal Majuscule by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido


    I can tell that rose is an element of the opening accord, but I cannot pick out the rose note per se – I smell it only in combination. The opening accord that I get includes most of the elements in the fragrance: rose, tonka bean, rosewood, and sandalwood, and Santal Majuscule makes little pretense about its linearity. And it is linear both in aroma and intensity, which makes it an easy decision for purchasing – if one like the smell and impact of it in the first couple minutes, he/she will likely enjoy the performance and smell of it all the way through. Toward the end, the rose does lessen in intensity and the cocoa note strengthens, but the basic wood accord that appeared in the opening flash remains pretty much the same all the way through. As for the wood note, I don’t get very much sandalwood; it is much more of a rosewood fragrance, so if you don’t care for rosewood, you probably won’t like this one. As for me, rosewood is one of my favorites, but I was unsure of the rosewood sweetened by tonka emanations. I purchased Santal Majuscule anyway and I find myself wearing it more often than I thought I would.

    17 March, 2014

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    Montana Parfum d'Elle (new) by Montana


    Pretty floral and apple opening already backed by a burnt vanilla background; it’s quite nice but also rather ordinary… pretty though it is. From the opening, the fragrance moves to a somewhat weak mixed floral middle in a bouquet accord... meaning that I can’t separate the individual floral notes. I would think I might at least be able to pick out the peony and jasmine, but no, that doesn’t happen. To my nose the florals seem overwhelmed by the still light burnt vanilla background.

    The base adds wood notes to the vanilla. Again, I am unable to separate out the individual notes – I get a mixed wood slightly dominated by the vanilla. I don’t really get amber or musk. To my nose I’d say that this is a nice, pleasant, uninspired vanilla fragrance which might perform much better with another’s skin chemistry. Normal projection and longevity.

    17 March, 2014

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    Silver Scent Intense by Jacques Bogart


    This one, like its un-intense version, is a scrubber. I can’t leave it on my skin for more than thirty minutes because it smells so disagreeably synthetic. The opening is a poor –grade synthetic citrus. The middle is a conglomeration of floral, spice, and herbal notes whose main output is plastic. For the base I can’t break through the strong synthetics to determine the supposedly wood / tonka accord / oak moss, so the scent is a complete loser for me and I don’t really know what happens after thirty minutes – it’s been scrubbed. A sure thumbs down.

    17 March, 2014

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    Royal Oud by Creed


    Very nice fragrance… It’s balanced and progresses nicely. It has quality materials (is certainly not synthetic). It doesn’t have much oud so it primarily depends on its angelica for its aromatic ambiance… It gives the impression of being a bit edgy, but it’s safe.

    As far as being “Royal Oud” …I see it more as “Middle-class Angelica” …it does a great job of keeping the angelica going for the length of the fragrance. It’s a good scent – quite enjoyable, decent sillage and longevity. As a fragrance it deserves a thumbs up, but for its cost, it doesn’t. But it’s definitely enjoyable, somewhat edgy, and safe.

    17 March, 2014

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    Mitzah by Christian Dior


    A spicy rose in a strong labdanum accord opens Dior’s Mitzah. It’s a dramatic, exotic, and interesting opening, but its drama doesn’t last very long because it quickly loses the labdanum… soon after that the spicy rose wanes to become almost forgotten character until the subtle changes to the base enters in as a light incense / patchouli / honey takes over the final throes of the fragrance.

    I’m quite unsure of what the basic nature of this fragrance is: I began by thinking that this might be a labdanum fragrance, a little later I switched to maybe it is a rose fragrance, and finally I thought it might turn out to be an incense fragrance. None of these turned out to be true. I’ve come to the see it as a very nicely performing spicy / rose with resinous and honey undertones. I enjoy it… it smells good to me... it smells good on me. I think it’s pretty much of a thumb’s up, except that its price demands more than it actually delevers. In all, Mitzah is an enjoyable fragrance that initially shows a deceiving promise of exoticism. However, what it delivers is unique and enjoyable enough for me to, for a while, consider purchasing it. Light to medium sillage – light to medium longevity.

    17 March, 2014

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    Les Nuits d'Izu by Keiko Mecheri

    The name surprises me: Instead of Yuzu, the first sniff gave me rose dominating the citrus (yuzu) accord – but whether rose or yuzu, the accord is unique and impressive. The yuzu, as is its nature, does not last long and what is left for the remainder of the run of the fragrance is a soft subtle rose note that combines with moss in a very pleasant accord that has excellent longevity. At times in the accord, hinoki, a light conifer note, joins the rose-moss intermittently. The fragrance ends with a sweet musk that joins in with the traces-of-rose drydown. I enjoy this fragrance: It is rather unique and very subtle; it is well designed and structured; and it performs beautifully.

    13 March, 2014

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    Water Calligraphy by By Kilian


    I had thought that the inclusion of “water” in the title suggests that this would be either a light, watery fragrance or an aquatic… the former is the better description. Water Calligraphy has a floral character – the first two times I tested it, I got a sharpness to the accords, which I accepted because I related the sharpness to the ink used in calligraphy. Through subsequent trials, the sharpness has disappeared and the floral character has become floral with its subtle, mixed-flower notes.

    The grapefruit rind opening is smooth, pleasant, and short lasting. After the grapefruit zest, I get the floral accord with a prominent water lily and a backgrounded jasmine. Later I think I might be experiencing the magnolia, but I’m not sure. As far as I’m concerned it’s pretty much a water lily heart and water lily / vetiver base, and that is a problem because this particular water lily presentation is rather unspectacular … which is to say it smells like a good quality shampoo. I don’t think of the water lily note as synthetic or juvenile or annoying or unpleasant. It is well-done and enjoyable… but it is not premium. This fragrance could well be a designer offering. I like its aroma, its subtlety, and its excellent longevity ... just not enough to pay niche prices for it.

    11th March, 2014

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    Ambre Nuit Cologne by Christian Dior


    Quite a stirring fragrance. I’m a bit surprised because I didn’t care for any of the first three offerings of Dior’s exclusive line. This one is different – it immediately captures my attention and appreciation, and it manages to hold my interest, possibly because it starts out intriguing and doesn’t change very much in its progression and movement. The bergamot and grapefruit, combined with the aromatic pink pepper and backgrounded by rose and amber, is the first accord and is simply captivating (and captivatingly simple). There is something about the citrus/pepper accord that is almost rough - almost rustic - almost visceral... except that it is also sophisticated. As others have pointed out, the opening feels berryish and boozy. I agree, but I think it also comes across as classy and elegant.

    The loss of the pink pepper and an increasing strength of the rose makes the remainder of the fragrance sweeter and less complex, but still enjoyable. The fragrance lasts as a sillage producer for about two or three hours and then lasts as a skin scent for another few hours.

    I have not mentioned AMBER often in this review. The amber is there – it is always there, but to me it serves as an elegant background to the other things going on in the fragrance. This is not to say that this is not an amber fragrance… it IS an amber fragrance and it deserves to be considered as a highly desirable amber option. Excellent!

    11th March, 2014

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    Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido


    I don’t get very much sweet in the opening, I get medium-impact pine and vetiver accord with an caramel-like sweetness in the background taking the place of what would ordinarily be a deep, shadowy resin note – the scent itself at first seems a bit uninspired but it has a rather interesting interchange of relationships – there’s more depth to it than there is surface. Relatively soon the pine/vetiver couples with an incense persona, but not a typical incense note – it’s an incense a bit heavy on density but low on resinousness. Smelling close to the skin, this entry into the heart notes could stand to be a little more interesting, but away from the skin it projects an excellent sillage that is sweeter than I expected the sillage to be… the projection effect is quite enjoyable, rich, and impressive and for the first time it crosses my mind that this could very well become my next purchase. Unlike most of the other reviewers, I don’t experience a firm, relatively-sweet note because wood notes normally dominate over the other notes in an accord for me.

    The woods and frankincense accord lightens up in the basenotes: I get a stronger proportion of candied fruit and spice in the base, and this lightening up is a timely change and delightful movement from the density and drama of the frankincense. The base is quite Serge Lutens but at a lesser intensity and with the same stellar longevity… I love the duration and intensity that it presents and I find the entire fragrance well-proportioned, elegant, wearable, and warming. Fille en Aiguilles iis a for-sure purchase for me.

    11th March, 2014

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    Luna Rossa by Prada


    This is one of the more interesting pseudo-aquatic-style scents I’ve encountered. In the opening it provides an ozonic base with a citrus/ lavender/ mint bent. I find the lavender to be a bit synthetic but quite pleasant, and it’s combinations with the bitter orange and the mint / clary sage form interesting abstractions which come across as suggestively full-bodied, aromatic, and ozonic. I love the combinations of notes used in Luna Rossa: The lavender manages to hang on for a long time; the bergamot note disappears relatively quickly, to be replaced by the sage / mint… this is quieter and less aromatic with almost all the ozonics expended. It is a textured accord that is fresh, relaxing, cool, but short lived (1 – 2 hours). The amber (ambroxan?) base is quite reticent. Off my skin it has limited projection and longevity, which presents the main problem I find with Luna Rosa: It doesn’t last very long. I find the base a disappointment… It is not as original as the opening; also, it doesn’t project very well from my dry skin. It is soapy in nature, and I quite enjoy its soapiness.

    Luna Rosa is an interesting, pleasant, original fragrance. If it could have retained the opening / middle accords longer, I would buy it, but the most interesting aspects of it are short-lived as is its longevity on my skin.

    11th March, 2014

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    Tom Ford Noir by Tom Ford


    I think it’s a safe guess that this is not a selection from Tom Ford’s Private Collection – TF Noir is a competent fragrance but it is quite ordinary and uninspired. Except for the prominent civet, it is early-‘90s fragrance dressed up through the use of higher quality (more natural smelling) materials. The notes themselves are very good; for example, the rose note is one of the better I have experienced in designer level men’s fragrances. The civet note is a very nice blast from the past, but it seems to be rather fly-by. The combinations of iris, opoponax, amber, and vanilla make for a nice powdery effect – very nice if you are into powder. The dominant notes have good projection and longevity.

    I think that Tom Ford Noir is a good fragrance: it has some excellent characteristics… particularly in reference to its decent-quality materials and its better than average performance. But I’m not voting thumb’s up because I find it lacking in direction and inspiration.

    11th March, 2014

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    Vétiver by Christian Dior


    Not the usual vetiver scent – especially in the sense that it has notes in it that dominate more than vetiver does. Unlike some other reviewers, I don’t get much, if any, citrus in the opening – I get mostly lavender. After the lavender settles down, I get leather. It’s not a strong leather, it’s not even annoying to me as most leathers are… still it overwhelms most of vetiver that is present. I do get a soft, grassy vetiver note as a background note through most of the fragrance, but the primary impact of this fragrance comes across to me as a dull, uninspired lavender / leather fragrance. To be fair, I have to say that my dislike of the accord has nothing to do with the quality of the lavender or leather – the quality is fine. My reaction to this does not surprise me – I have had problems with most of Dior’s exclusive line.

    In spite of my dislike of the particular notes of Dior’s Vétiver, I must say that when the dominant lavender and leather accords tone down, it becomes a subtle, elegant, more-than-skin-scent that is quite catching and extremely easy to live with. It’s a quality fragrance.

    11th March, 2014

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    Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

    What I know about the gentian flower is that William Cullen Bryant wrote a poem about it… I don’t know what a gentian smells like. From testing this fragrance, I’m still not sure what the gentian smells like unless it smells like a combination of iris and dandelion. The floral / green note I get smells very much like the bitter smell from many a wild plant. The pyramid lists incense, but I do not smell any, just a more-or-less linear bitter green smell.

    Eau de Gentiane Blanche is calming, natural, and minimalist, but I’m not sure it’s for me, at least when I think of Sisley’s Eau de Campagne, which is a much lusher version of a multiple-green concept… or more especially CdG’s Calamus, which is more minimal and delicate than Campagne, but Calamus centers itself around a natural rustic milky-green accord rather than a bitter accord.

    I respect and enjoy Gentiane Blanche even though I’m not into minimalism. If I didn’t own Eau de Campagne and Calamus, I would pursue purchasing this – it’s an interesting and quality fragrance, and what it does, it does very well.

    01st March, 2014

    rating


    Colonia Intensa Oud Concentrée by Acqua di Parma

    Not what I was expecting at all. I envisioned this as Colonia Intensa with oud added, but that is not what I’ve found. In the first place I get no citruses – but I seldom get citrus in the presence of strong wood notes, so I’m not saying there are no citruses. What I get throughout the whole fragrance is a strong aromatic effect in the form of oud and coriander; unfortunately the coriander seems to dominate over the oud to the point when I’m thinking “cilantro”… which is wonderful in salsas but I don’t want to smell like… squashed bugs, some people say. If the accord was stronger with oud, I would love it, but there is enough coriander here that I know I’ll never get the squashed bugs thought out of my mind.

    Before testing Colonia Intensa Oud, I had been apprehensive about the listed leather note; I do smell the leather and it comes across as a smooth, rich undertone to the aromatic accord, but this particular leather is not at all bothersome to me.

    I can well understand why many love this fragrance: It is interesting – rather unique, well-constructed, has excellent-quality materials, and has good longevity. I find it linear, but that is apparently my fault and I would love its linearity if I loved its aroma. But I don’t.

    01st March, 2014

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