Puredistance Black - I’m not sure I know what I’m smelling but it’s nothing that I connect with… It’s not concrete. It’s definitely not abstract. And it’s not abstract-concrete like CdG’s Odeurs 53 or 71. Elements of the scent seem vaguely familiar, but not familiar enough to identify them. Lucky Scents’ blurb suggests that P-D black is presenting the smells of childhood… but I don’t feel it tickling anything in my deepest memory banks… Puredistance Black is warm, but I don’t really get leather, booze, aminalics… yet I certainly wouldn’t argue about those…
Now, about 45 minutes into it, I get a growingly disgusting element that hits me very much like heavy leather or birch tar does… Yes, that is definitely there filling up the background and precluding this from all possibilities of my purchasing it… yup, birch tar is there, so this will be quickly coming off my skin.
I wish I could say that this was a noble experiment – but I’m feeling neither success nor frustration – this fragrance is simply too non-intriguing for me to bother thinking about any more.
I don’t find Black at all unique or intriguing. It is simply a somewhat linear, conglomerate accord… very much in structure like the ‘90s Calvin Kline’s best sellers, except that this one is not synthetic smelling nor screechy.
What a surprise! The last Nu_be fragrance I tested – Nu_be Mercury – made me nauseous. This one, Nu_be Carbon, is not only tolerable, it’s quite desirable. It opens spicy and bright – ginger, cardamom, chili pepper, iris and resins. They are all there in an effervescent, wearable accord. It is a seriously spicy-resinous accord, and yet it is not over-the-top… and it is beautifully refined. This first accord lasts about an hour with ebbing sillage, and then continues on as a heart and base with an iris / sandalwood texture backgrounded by a soft ginger / cardamom. This subtle, elegant textured aspect lasts for another two or three hours on the skin (longer on clothing). It eventually tapers to a dry sandalwood / maybe-floral conclusion – I love the smell. I’ve smelled the heart / drydown before – it was a local product – it was my favorite body wash when I lived in Taiwan – it was called… “Carbon.”
The citruses of the opening are about the only interesting element of the fragrance. The yuzo and bergamot, nicely helped by the star anise are rather dusty (very good description, Darvant) and unclear, thanks to the combination of violet, incense, and patchouli notes already encroaching on and dominating the opening citruses. The accord is noticeably synthetic, particularly suffering from a lack of better quality material. The violet continues on into its middle level, becoming the dominant element in the remainder of the fragrance to my nose. Not at all original and boring … don’t like it at all.
Bergamot and a synthetic leather in the opening… Hard to say what else… maybe lavender and fir… very, very hard to diagnose. I can’t readily identify individual notes in Heir… it is one big blob of confusing smell. The fragrance is not very strong and it doesn’t go anywhere or do anything except get weaker and weaker in its hurried descent to a a quick death… not at all a tragedy. Anyway, it is not a disagreeable scent. Its major ailments are an incurable case of boring and an short life span.
Aromatic herbal opening – very nice accord of mint, grapefruit, tarragon and thyme, citrus and three herbs I wouldn’t have thought would work together –. It’s remarkable how fresh it is and yet warm remains warm. I guess the warmth comes from both the tarragon and leather notes. The accord is enjoyable, nondramatic, grounding.
When the leather and vetiver take over, I pretty much begin losing the fragrance. The accord becomes quite reticent to my nose, searching deeply for it, I find the accord pleasant, but I would find the accord more interesting if it came through a little more strongly for me. As a skin scent, I don’t think it’s compelling enough – a soap or moisturizing lotion could accomplish the same thing. Baladin started out well, but ends in a fizzle.
From the descriptions of Quartz pour Femme in these reviews I would guess that there have been a few reformulations since 1977: the version I am testing is, I believe, the most current version and the notes listed on the package are:
Top: Lemon, Mandarin, Bergamot, Grapefruit. Middle: Iris, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Honeysuckle, and Rose. Base: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Patchouli, and Tyrolean Moss.
My nose is in agreement with the notes listed on my package. I get a light, refreshing citrus opening followed by a floral heart on a rather delicate chypre base. At all three levels of the pyramid, the feeling of the fragrance is 1) a simplicity unusual for a chypre IMO, 2) a freshness that, strangely, smells chypre-ish, and 3) a generic boredom that is very unusual for me to find in a chypre – (I usually love chypres).
Quartz is very nicely structured. It is pleasant. It has easily controlled sillage. It has decent longevity. It is not synthetic or plastic. But it could be much more interesting. It has, as Naed_Nitram says: “long, clean corridors.”
Wow! Lavender overload. A high quality lavender explodes out of the bottle. It is a little musky, I think, which contributes nicely to the quality. The lavender tones down, as a normal lavender does, to a point where it acts smoothly in conjunction with the musk and cedar. The new accord is far too normal for Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance – it is also rather generic… excellent quality and very pleasant, but not unique. Later, the woods move further into the accord, and the lavender is pretty much gone.
Antiheros lasts quite well for a lavender fragrance; the initial lavender blast is temporary... it settles down nicely. The remainder of Antiheros is quite discreet and perfect for a pleasant, quality office scent. I enjoy the fact that this fragrance doesn’t add vanilla to the lavender – I dislike that combination. Lavender isn’t my favorite, but this one deserves a thumbs up.
Rather attractive opening accord – a sharp, sweet, aquatic, plus a direct lychee note provide for a likable simplicity. I don’t get musk, per se, but there is something sweet augmenting the lychee’s sweetness. The movement to the “floral” middle makes for a bit lowering of the timbre of the opening… the scent has come to operate at a lower sharpness level. I’m not sure I can identify either the iris or the Osmanthus, and the deeper timbre doesn’t do much to lessen the aquatic character of the scent, which by now are getting a bit annoying because the aquatics are even more synthetic that most aquatic notes. The base lowers the vibrations of the fragrance even more, and to the point where I feel the scent has finally settled into a comfortable feeling… the aquatic has finally given up, much to my relief. Light Blue Living Stromboli is pretty much an average aquatic. I don't have very high expectations for aquatics, so I'm going neutral on this one.
I own and love the first Tam Dao, and I’m well aware that it is not really a sandalwood fragrance… it is a cedar fragrance. As far as sandalwood goes, this EdP is much, much closer to the real thing. This is a classic Mysore sandalwood and it is superb… Although this is not a SOLO sandalwood, it features a clean, creamy sandalwood note that plays no games. On my skin, the sandalwood rules, assisted by a quite subtle cedar. The other notes – lime coriander, ginger, musk, vanilla, and amber play only minor support roles to the sandalwood – noticeable but non-interfering with the sandalwood. The wood accord has a gentle projection and a rather short longevity. Outside of that understandable and forgivable flaw, this is pure sandalwood enjoyment. I doubt I’ll be wearing the EdT very often anymore.
I recognized this as similar to N° 5 at first sniff – must be the aldehydes… there’s quite of hit of it, but they don’t last long before the opening settles down to a more-modern-than-no. 5-tenor. The floral (rose and jasmine) heart is beautiful… and of the quality I would expect from Chanel. I think what makes the heart so outstanding is the influence of a delicate vetiver from the base upon the balanced, quality rose / jasmine accord. The base is a simple, clean vanilla and vetiver – excellent... might be a little too transparent for my tastes, still I cannot fault it. N° 5 Eau Premiere is simply beautiful and it's a more casual and wearable presentation of the original N° 5: This is how flankers should be made.
They do rock! Lively opening… aromatic and strangely rich. The listed top notes – citrus, mint, and pepper – don’t account for the depth of the opening. It must be that the patchouli and incense from the heart accord are showing up upon spraying, giving the opening a wood / resinous platform for the bergamot and mandarin to do their citrus stuff and the amazingly restricted mint to provide just enough contrast to make this rocking top of the pyramid.
Oddly enough, it’s the mint that first backs off of the top accord leaving a citrus, pepper, patchouli and restrained incense to form the dominant accord of La Vaniglia along with a clean vanilla note from the base.
I don’t smell much of the pepper of the opening – I never do. I don’t smell the heart’s listed ginger– I don’t miss it. I don’t get much incense, but I would swear that there’s more than a touch of labdanum or myrrh with amber shadowing the whole fragrance – I haven’t decided which, but it is there!
Such a pleasant, satisfying scent this is. My first thought was that an accord this pleasant, light, and clean can’t possibly last very long, but its longevity is average – more proof of the myrrh.
Very fruity opening. And the fruity nature sort of continues into the floral heart notes by means of the passion flower and orchid, so it remains sweet and rather yummy. This is pretty much of a pleasant linear scent from the opening to the base where it turns patchouli / cedar woody and generically but pleasantly sweet. Nothing extraordinary about Duo Women except its unusual bottle. Nice fragrance.
Temptation begins with an enjoyable citrus / coniferous accord accented by a clean lavender. Nice… but after fifteen minutes, there’s a dry period when not much seems to be happening… I suspect it’s when the musk has moved in (I am anosmic to some musks). The fragrance basically dies for me at that point, only to be picked up again about twenty minutes later when a peppery wood scent takes over the aroma duties. I guess this accord is the “exotic woods” accord – it’s quite nice, but it is extremely reticent. This base accord hangs on for an hour or so as a subtle skin scent.
Temptation would have been a good scent if it had a bit more substance at its core and a little better projection at the end.
A pleasant woody, spicy, amber reinforced by a quality (but recessive) frankincense note in a non-distinctive fougere structure: If you think that’s worth $350, go for it. Me… I’ll pass…
I don’t know… Opus I comes to me as one big glob of miscellaneous fragrance. Yes, it’s rich – might even say “opulent,” but I don’t sense any distinct form or function to its presence – it’s a big glob of a what I have come to feel is a disagreeable aroma. As hard as I’ve tried, I can’t ascribe an identifiable persona to the fragrance. It’s like Opus I is saying “opulence is enough…” I have problems with several notes in fragrances – leathers, birch, violet, and water lily – but there is nothing in the list of ingredients of Opus I that I tend to dislike. I can’t explain my aversion to this particular smell. Opus I is quite sweet; it is not really pleasant smelling; it is strong; but mainly for me it’s 350 dollars worth of “no thank you, I prefer not”…
Now I have to go and wash this off now…
Woods, resins, deeply dry spices, frankincense, absinth, and cistus… this is serious stuff – about a serious as I’ve experienced in years. I’m rather intellectually awed by the opening, but as interesting as it is, it’s also a bit intimidating, I find that the saffron makes the undertone a tad too grungy for my tastes – but, unlike some of the other reviewers, it isn’t the cumin that I dislike – it’s the saffron… I still appreciate the depth, spiciness, and resins, but I’d enjoy the excellent Absinth note even more without the saffron.
The middle accord cleans up things for me. Again the accord is resinous, but this is the smoother resin. The aggression of the opening has ameliorated in the presence of everlasting flower, frankincense, lavandin, and copahu which come through cleanly, clearly, and richly. The accord is more intimidating that loveable, but it keeps drawing me back into its miasma.
The base presents more variety and depth and less resin than that which preceded. First there is a controlled sweetness that arrives by means of tonka bean and licorice, providing just enough sweet to broaden the diminishing resin. Then the excellent labdanum, cedarwood, sandalwood, and musk join in to complete the basenotes. The drydown is extremely long lasting and one of the best accord I’ve smelled in ages. I love the concept of this scent… but I’m not so sure about wearing it. I feel it might be too intimidating.
When I saw the note pyramid which included almost everything but the kitchen sink, I expected a synthetic bomb and I cringed before I applied it to my skin. I didn’t need to cringe – it’s not that bad… in fact, it comes across as a more or less pleasant scent. It’s synthetic but the synthetics are tolerable.
In spite of the seventeen ingredients mentioned in the pyramid, Curve Kicks seems a bit thin to me. If all those notes are there, you can’t prove it by me. The top accord depends on aquatics, mint, and ginger with a tiny help from some citrus synthetic. It’s not bad… but I can tell immediately that there is not enough substance in the accord to keep it going very long – in fact, “lack of substance” is the main problem or the entire fragrance.
The middle accord hands itself over primarily to the cedar note – and, oh yes, there’s a little labdanum synthetic underscoring the cedar. Very little amber there – it’s not too sweet, and I applaud that, what sweetness appears, seems to come from a light, pleasant musk. Again, the main problem with this accord is its lack of solid olfactory substance.
The base peters out way too quickly. What I can catch of it is a neutral wood base sweetened by a mild musk. It’s okay, but very generic, quite synthetic, and a bit too short-lived. I would think that this should probably be more than a skin scent. I noticed what sentimus said about Iceberg Twice, so I got out my bottle of that… He’s right on all accounts – Curve Kicks is similar to Iceberg Twice; it is less complex, with poorer sillage, and less lasting power than Iceberg Twice; and Iceberg Twice does not have the synthetic aura that Curve Kicks has. Still Curve Kicks is not terrible – but there are many, many better ones out there.
To say the least, Ocean Rain is very interesting scent. It is green, citrus, lavender, artemisia, and three-day-old sweat. I’m not sure how I respond to it except to say I am a tiny bit disgusted and a lot intrigued. After a couple minutes, when I pick up the marine notes of the middle accord, it’s fairly clear that the sweat comes from some combination of those marine notes in conjunction with the thyme, cyclamen, and artemisia. It’s not pretty… but I am still intrigued.
The marine notes grow to prominence for a while in the middle accord but relatively soon backs off to a spice / floral accord. Here’s another built-in conflict: the thyme and to a lesser extent, the recently introduced fir seem to contradict the tone-value of the florals – rose and cyclamen. The conflict is very real when sniffed on the skin but the sillage reacts differently… it carries a shifting pattern of florals and dry spice with the marine notes faded a bit into a cool background – it’s actually an impressive experience.
Ocean Rain’s drydown is a light amber / leather /moss affair that eventually becomes a slightly resinous skin scent: rather rich, rather masculine with moderate sillage and moderate longevity.
Yes, it does smell like clean skin – clean skin that hasn’t been rinsed completely after a bath or shower – there’s still a trace of soap there – not that I mind the soap. I smell mainly a combination of orange and white rose, and it is remarkable how it smells like skin. The scent is very light and lasts for about forty-five minutes or an hour. I enjoy this one. (Using the perfume oil version.)
The first thing I smell is a combination of cumin and cinnamon – a rather unusual combination that I would have a difficult time getting used to if it remained for very long, but no problem there. Then the Artemisia enters in along with the patchouli and the accord becomes downright enjoyable: and this turns out to be primary accord.
Five notes – cumin, artemisia, rose, cinnamon, and patchouli – dominate an accord that holds elements of each in an excellent balance. To me one of the sides of the aromatic pentagon is lesser that the other four – I find the rose side lacking in intensity, it is hit and miss in performance on my skin. The other four form a shimmering interplay that unfortunately doesn’t last very long.
The projection of the middle accord is a little shallow and the fragrance has longevity problems: Lumiere Noire PH simply doesn’t last very long before it’s a skin scent which lasts a couple of hours. It is an intriguing accord… translucent, warm, sensual, and a bit mysterious. It is the thumbs-up kind of aroma I would be able to enjoy over an extended period… too bad its longevity is so it's a neutral for me.
I like several of these inexpensive fragrances – but this isn’t one of them. I think it’s the combination pineapple / watery note in the opening that turns me off – just too plastic for my taste. And then there’s the gingerlily… I never did get along with them. These synthetic ambiances hang around for the total run of the fragrance, so I pretty much have to sign this one off on Lucky Number 6. I guess “6” isn’t my lucky number. One thing about it: it smells much better on my clothes than on my skin.
I can immediately tell that this is a Jean-Claude Elena fragrance. The opening citrus bears the classic Jean-Claude Elena citrus aura so apparent in so many of his fragrances. For some reason I’m liking this citrus opening better than as usual for me. Come to think of it, I’ve enjoyed several of Hermes' latest men’s offerings: Jardin Sur le Toit, Gentiane Blanche, Voyage…
This parfum version Terre d’Hermes comes across quite strongly. The opening is not as cool as the original TdH because the flint accord holds off for a while longer than in the original, I guess it gives the opening citrus a longer period to shine. When the stony flint note takes over, the scent shows the cool earthiness that TdH is famous for, only richer and more full than in the original. This flinty / citrus accord forms the core of Terre d’Hermes Parfum and has excellent longevity. The drydown goes woody with a hint of the citrus / flint remaining.
I find this a rather linear fragrance which is centered around some genuinely interesting and enjoyable accords. It is quite seductive.
03rd May, 2015 (last edited: 17th May, 2015)
Dramatic, visceral opening… certainly not my idea of typical-Chanel. The accord settles a little to a rich benzoin / floral / wood with a strong undercurrent of incense. This opening accord is one of those that do not reveal the individual elements that compose them: Except for the resinous undercurrent of incense and the stabilizing foundation of elegant patchouli (more of a presumption on my part than an obvious experience), I cannot pick out the individual notes but I can accept everything the pyramid tells me: citrus, rose, jasmine, patchouli, spice. The accord is full and sumptuous as I expect of Chanel, and a good bit edgier than what I would normally consider for “Chanel,” but it never passes the tricky boundaries of its own perfection. With an added plus, the opening accord holds on for a good deal longer than most fragrance openings, cementing its visceral ecstacy…
I realize the mid-level when I first get a hint of florals (rose, actually). The heart accord is a reminder that this is truly a Chanel fragrance: That combination of florals (jasmine, rose, orris) and patchouli rings several bells of Chanel fragrance-memory for me. To my nose this less visceral but more refined and elegant movement is true to both its opening and to its Chanel origins… and, to further prove both origins, the middle accord also exhibits very good longevity. This is Chanel at its most enduring-creative best.
The base accounts for the resinousness of Coromandel with its quality incense. The remainder of the base is traditional wood, musk and vanilla in a dense and rich combination – this level is also very rich in Chanel-ness and is a fitting way to close on the superb beginnings.
This is a fragrance that, on first sniff, I thought would be perfect... In a very real sense, it is perfect – I don’t find one element at all discordant in Coromandel not one chink in its splender. Its opening is captivating. It is an elegant, refined, and beautifully structured-and-performing fragrance. But so much more than that, it is passionate and poignant and dream-worthy. And while the heart and base are excellent, for me they don’t reach the visceral intensity and satisfaction of the opening and I kind of miss that. Still… two thumbs-way, way up – perfection is perfection.
03rd May, 2015 (last edited: 05th May, 2015)
Impressive opening – the aromatics are spectacular. The opening is a traditional bergamot, chamomile, lavender, and green, but I don’t remember an accord with such impressive aromatics. When the aromatics subside, what remains is a rather traditional fougere opening complete with bergamot, lavender, geranium, and rose. The ingredients are top quality.
The middle continues the heart note florals into the opening. In addition to the mentioned rose and geranium, the florals are filed out with spicy carnations and lilac. To my nose the rose has already disappeared from the floral and the accord has been filled out with cinnamon, with patchouli and oakmoss already rising up from the base.
The base continues with patchouli, oakmoss, sage, and a bit of sweetener provided by tonka bean – those are the notes that I can identify, anyway.
Fougere Royale: Classic construction, excellent blending, quality ingredients, and distinguished history. What’s not to love?
I like several inexpensive fragrances – but this isn’t one of them. I think it’s the combination pineapple / watery note in the opening that turns me off – just too plastic for my taste. And then there’s the gingerlily… I never did get along with gingerlily and this one's worse than usual. These synthetic ambiances hang around for the total run of the fragrance, so I pretty much have to sign off on Lucky Number 6. I guess “6” isn’t my lucky number. But there is one good thing about it: it smells much better on my clothes than on my skin.
The opening smells very much like the smell of aromatic sap from a broken plant stem melded with a quality citrus note... I like it… natural and calming. The pyramid lists a whole lot of citrus, but I get a green / "citrus" combination. Looking at the pyramid, I don’t understand where the green comes from. I get a rather strong petit grain note. Although I can’t pick out the thyme, I think it is there working with the wormwood to balance the overdose of citrus load. In any case, I’m smelling a complex, nicely designed accord. This is not your typical citrus opening, nor do I think it is your run-of-the-mill suntan lotion offering, although it resembles more the later than the former. I’m impressed by the opening, and it seems to merge seamlessly into the floral heart accord.
The heart is floral dominated by the Ylang Ylang. It is of good quality but rather unspectacular – especially after following the interesting opening. It either doesn’t last very long, or else its lack of intrigue dulls my sense of smell a bit. The base moves into even more unspectacular territory… it completes the “run-of-the-mill suntan lotion” potential of the opening. I’m surprised how it lost so much interest is such a short time. I’m also surprised that Eau Soliel was introduced in 2013… I’ve seen better versions of this suntan lotion concept ten years ago. Excellent quality – not very original… if you enjoy it, its quality makes it worth owning.
I kept waiting for the blatant synthetics, the sticky sweetness, and the the boring, predictable movements. They didn’t come. Can this one really be a Hugo Boss fragrance? I have my doubts…
Boss Orange opens with a very nice green / fruity accord (what kind of fruit, I don’t know… but I doubt it's apple) that contains a warm, pleasant note in it. I am supposing that the warmth comes from the Bubinga wood… but there’s a slight aromatic feeling in the background that could be the incense. Those are the possibilities; otherwise, I don’t smell either the wood or the incense. And I don’t get the vanilla. Other reviewers call Orange Man "sweet" but it doesn’t seem overly sweet to me; I suppose it could be my dry skin minimizing the sweetness.
I kind of like this one, which would make it the second or third Boss fragrance I can enjoy. That happens so seldom with this maker and I just am forced to give Orange Man a thumbs up. Because it's a Boss fragrance, and with so many negative votes... I could be missing something.
I liked Prada Amber Pour Homme but not enough to buy it. But I enjoy the Intense version so much that I have purchased two bottles… I don’t want to run out of this. I don’t get much of the bergamot opening – my nose is immediately drawn to the ambry-sweet patchouli accord. I usually prefer rougher versions of patchouli, but this sweet version captivates me – perhaps because of the almost-implied myrrh enriching it. On my skin Intense is linear because I miss most of the opening’s bergamot and the drydown seems like an extension of the ambry-patchouli heart of the fragrance. Some other reviewers refer to the fragrance as soapy and I can understand that, but the subtle incense-resin pulls me away from the soapy interpretation. This is a rich and elegant fragrance.
I was addicted to dragon fruit in the years I lived in Taiwan – I liked the ones with the white flesh, but I loved the ones with the red flesh, except that the red ones were less consistent in quality – sometimes they weren’t as yummy as they should be. The white one didn’t have much of a scent that I remember, but the red one had a bit stronger scent – slightly tropical... or maybe I’m just thinking it had a stronger smell because it had a stronger taste.
I can’t quite identify this Demeter Dragon Fruit as the scent of the dragon fruit – it’s been seven years since I’ve eaten one, but this doesn’t really smell familiar to me except in a slightly-tropical semi-generic sort of way, and I’m fairly sure that I have eaten enough of them to remember their aroma if I were to smell it again. Anyway, this Demeter smells a bit tropical and it is not unpleasant, and I’m making my neutral vote for its value to me as a fragrance, not for its accuracy in the depiction of the odiferous reality or lack thereof of the dragon fruit.
Excellent reviews here on Norne. Like other reviewers, I find Norne quite similar to Serge Lutens’ Fille en Aiguilles, which I own. Compared one to one, I think Norne is more complex and a bit better smelling. Norne has even fewer of the sweet references than Fille en Aiguilles has, and Norne is more realistic – I know because I live in a pine-spruce-fir forest. Norne is an excellent fragrance... quality materials, noteworthy performance... a daring composition. It is a must try for anyone interested in conifer fragrances.