Reviews by foetidus

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    foetidus
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    A Black by Blood Concept


    I’ve read that the concept behind Blood Concept Black A has something to do with the opposites of the “adorable” and “poison.” Mandrake root and angelica seeds represent the poison, the danger… the narcotic… captivation. I guess that the ginger, coffee, sandalwood, and benzoin represent the adorable or maybe the comfortable. Rather complex ideas and maybe even self contradictory…I have no idea how these operative concepts shape this fragrance or why they were chosen – I only wanted to review this because “A” is my blood type.

    I don’t get much “danger” out of this – actually it’s a nice fragrance: It has a unique linear texture. The combination of these some of these notes like mandrake root and Angelica seed joins with the more typical ginger, coffee, sandalwood, benzoin, and amber to form this pleasant representation of my blood type. The mandrake and angelica provide a gently resinous wildness that’s edgy and a small bit visceral. I particularly enjoy how the ginger smooths out the resins and provides a minor rooty sharpness to the accord. The coffee provides another bit of interest and I certainly connect the concept of coffe with the concept of comfort. The sandalwood provides a platform for all the actions of the other notes. The accord is not what I would call sweet – the benzene and amber add to the texture but are not at all aggressive. As I said, it’s linear… it is more like a skin lotion than a regular EdP, which it claims to be. I’ve seen this concept work well in several fragrances, but it doesn’t work here because, as pleasantly interesting as the accord is, it is weak in sillage, quite short on duration, and not at all intriguing. Most of Black A’s existence comes to me as a recessive skin scent.

    11th March, 2015

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    Versace pour Homme Oud Noir by Versace


    Very nice fragrance. Opens with wood / oud accord in which the synthetic oud strikes a nice balance with the other woods. The oud seems to project at an appropriate level, and it is the prime element of the accord. The run of this fragrance is fairly linear, typical designer type oud aroma. The aromatic oud sillage is apparent, but controlled and the longevity is could stand improvement.

    There is nothing extraordinary about Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir except that it does what it does with noticeable competence. Competent, pleasurable, a touch edgy but restrained enough for general wearings… this is very good for a designer oud, but I doubt that I’ll be buying: The only place that I can find it online is the Versace site where it sells for $150… that would put it at the price of several excellent niche ouds that are more competent, certainly more interesting, and much better values than this one. If I find this at a more realistic at a price, I’ll likely be buying.

    10th March, 2015

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    Mr Blass by Bill Blass


    Nice fragrance. Deep, rich cypress / vetiver / amber, construction spiced up the nutmeg, smoothed out with Leather and musk, and highlighted by incense. It reminds me of some of the ‘80s powerhouses, but that not really the case: Mr. Blass doesn’t have the typical development through pyramid levels… it is basically linear. Its aroma is more of a ‘90s composite scent – difficult to separate out the individual notes. The linear accord, itself is composed of lower-key materials which seem to be less synthetic than the typical ‘90s designer offering. And finally, Mr. Blass doesn’t come close to having the longevity of the old powerhouses, which is one of the main drawbacks of some linear fragrances.
    This is a very pleasant fragrance and it is offered as at an extremely economical price. Good one.

    10th March, 2015

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    Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle


    Quite aromatic opening dominated by minty emanations and strengthened by a clear geranium – this opening is impressive if you are into mint notes, and this is a upscale, non-toothpastey mint. This mint ensemble is also cleaner and more sophisticated than the mint note in… say… Roadster by Cartier. I myself am not into mint dominant accords, but this one I enjoy, probably because its strong tinge of geranium makes the mint more palatable to me. The opening has impressive longevity.

    The mints and the geranium stay on the surface of the heart notes – and its background shifts and mitigates a little. I think what is happening with the heart is that the clove oil takes over in the background making the accord a little less ethereal and a little more earth-bound than the opening. This middle accord is subtle, sophisticated, and it serves as an appropriate continuation of the opening. I had been apprehensive of the clove oil but was happy to find it quite discrete and nicely performing.

    The mint is pretty much gone by the basenotes… the geranium tenuously hangs on for the remainder, offering a subtle airiness to a discrete but solid white musk / sandalwood base which hints at a quality grey amber (“quality” is extremely important with grey amber). The pyramid says incense, and I smelled the incense at the first testing, but since it has apparently melded into the accord and I haven’t been able to separate it out. I don’t miss the incense because this light accord is solid, enjoyable, and completely fulfilling without it.

    “Geranium Pour Monsieur” could just as easily been named “Geranium for Madame” because the temper of GPM is gender neutral as far as I’m concerned… neither sensual nor sexy. GPM is not dramatic or compelling, but rather it is buoyant, unisex, and deliciously wearable.

    At my first testing of GPM I thought it was a pleasant but not very interesting scent – with that, I guess I was being unreasonably dismissive. Later with a couple of full wearings, its quiet uniqueness and almost spiritually-uplifting tenor grew on me: Instead of my oft-used comment: “Great scent but I don’t want to smell like this,” with Geranium Pour Monsieur my comment is “Subtly captivating scent and I DO wish to smell like this.”

    10th March, 2015

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    D&G La Force 11 by Dolce & Gabbana


    A sad little fragrance with a terribly ironic name… From the notes listed I would guess that this is meant to be a gourmet. I suppose it does smell a bit quasi-gourmandish because of the cinnamon and nutmeg overlaid on a weak heliotrope / sandalwood platform (Etro did the heliotrope / gormandish thing brilliantly). What’s not quasi-gourmand is the synthetic background that has an annoying oily tinge. La Force reaches its high point of synthetic gourmandness quite quickly: a high point that lasts about twenty minutes to an hour (…hard to say … hard to keep interested). From that high point it just sort of whimpers out, dragging itself to its weak vanilla / wood conclusion, mercifully dying its sad little death. Limited projection and dismal longevity. (What’s REALLY sad is that La Force is one of the better ones of D & G’s Anthology Series.)

    10th March, 2015

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    Hugo Red by Hugo Boss


    Hugo Red: as Hugo Boss fragrances go, it’s pretty good. It has a citrus / green opening with pepper for aromatic support. Nothing new here – quite typical of dozens of other fragrances. The grapefruit / pepper combination makes it seem somewhat ozonic.. The opening lasts for about 15 – 20 minutes and then moves on to the fruity middle where the combination of pineapple, rhubarb, and cedar sort of mirror the opening notes at a lesser extent and a softer vibration. The base is a generic tonka and amber – mercifully not outrageously sweet.

    Pretty good scent. The synthetics don’t bother and the accords are pleasant, which, in my humble opinion, is quite an accomplishment for a Boss fragrance. Average sillage and good longevity.

    10th March, 2015

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    L.12.12 Rouge / Red by Lacoste


    The top notes are citrus and fruity. They seem to have a serious artificial tinge to them in the manner of an aromatic aura… or else I might be picking up a bit of the rockrose from the base. Anyway, the opening is orangey and lightly mango-ish. The spices of the heart level also come across rather lightly – this is no spice cabinet fragrance even though the pyramid might lead one to think so. As usual I don’t get much pepper but the ginger and cardamom come across clearly… but without overwhelming. The base… sweet and a bit aromatic… is rather neutral and pleasant… and it is the best part of the fragrance, which is where the best part should be. Lacoste’s L.12.12 Rouge has longevity problems as a projector of sillage. It quickly moves to being a skin scent and that last stage lasts about two-three hours at the most on my dry skin. This is a pleasant fragrance – somewhat synthetic, a bit demure – I can see where it might be a decent fragrance on the right person. For me, if I wanted something that performs like this, I would buy Polo Double Black.

    10th March, 2015

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    Patchouli Impérial by Christian Dior

    There’s no getting around it… this is one of the best patchoulis I’ve tried. Immediately upon application I get the rich, broad-spectrum Indonesian patchouli – I believe it’s already supported by the base’s sandalwood: It is an excellent, strongly wooded patchouli fragrance. There is also an amber with the patchouli, which gives an almost gourmand lusciousness to the visceral stripped-earthiness of the patchouli and the smooth richness of the sandalwood.

    Patchouli Imperial has good sillage and excellent longevity, and I would say it’s likely the easiest patchouli to wear of all the patchoulis I’ve tested. For both patchouli lovers and patchouli middle-grounders, this is a dream fragrance.


    10th March, 2015

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    A*Men Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler


    Pure Havane is another flanker of A*men PH, and I find it, like Pure Malt, better than the original. Pure Havane adds tobacco and honey to the original A*men PH, and, more importantly, has mercifully been stripped of its progenitor’s birch tar. The result is a delicious boozy-tobacco-y patchouli / cocao / amber treat.

    Pure Havane retains the chocolate-patchouli platform of the original. It retains the lusciously rich and controlled sweetness of the labdanum / amber background. It civilizes the ungodly projection of the original but retains much of the longevity. And it adds the aforementioned richness and depth of tobacco and honey. The result is a basically linear fragrance that I find, in total, much more palatable than A*men Pour Homme.

    In my review of the original, I said that I enjoy the drydown. With this one I enjoy the entire run. This is how flankers should be done.

    10th March, 2015

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    Arabian Wood by Tom Ford


    A strongly soapy floral / wood accord opens Arabian Wood – and I agree that it does smell more like a quality English barbershop accord than an exotic Arabian fragrance. The florals of the opening exude the brightness of orange blossom and freesia, while the woods are rich and smooth; I don’t get a strong rose vibe from it. Although neither the floral aspect nor the wood aspect of the accord is extraordinary, together the florals and woods provide an excellent, attractive, and high-end introduction to the barbershop concept.

    The middle goes all floral at a richer, deeper tone than the florals of the opening. It’s an excellent alto level floral accord – strong with “white” feel of the orris, gardenia, and jasmine with a mezzo Ylang-ylang accent. As usual with the May rose, I smell primarily a rose texture rather than a strong rose note. Although this middle level is very floral, it feels acceptably masculine to me.

    The base is complex. With the waning of the middle florals, I first get a straight wood accord of sandalwood and cedar. The scant oakmoss that I manage to smell forms a minor part of the accord, or maybe I’m simply hallucinating the oakmoss. The patchouli seems to combine with the cedar to bring about an almost incense smell – an incense without the usual resinous aura. I do get lavender and a bit of a honey-like sweetness. I find the base intriguing in its quality and complexity.

    Although I’m not a strong devotee of the barbershop genre, I enjoy and respect this fragrance because it puts a high quality stamp on a genre that I usually connect with the casualness of Brut and Canoe – which are just fine in their own arenas. Arabian Wood employs excellence in its interplay of quality florals and woods without barbershop’s usual (but usually appropriate) screechiness. Arabian Wood, regardless of its complexity (which leads to several interpretations of it) is very much Tom Ford in that it boasts high quality ingredients excellently balanced and blended… and the Tom Ford genius of often taking new perspectives on the old tried and true.

    10th March, 2015

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    L.12.12 Noir / Black by Lacoste


    “Not sure about this one,” is a good way to begin a review of Lacoste Noir. I kinda like this and I kinda don’t. I don’t get clearly defined notes, I get a sort of watermelon note and a sort of lavender note… I get something like chocolate and a definite coumarin. I’m not at all sure about the patchouli; I get no verbena, or basil. What notes I perceive have something in common – their tendency to be rather synthetic, but the synthetics are not disagreeable.

    L.12.12 Noir is a bit of an enigma to me. I can’t place it in any kind of logical pattern or design or purpose, unless it was meant to be everything for everyone of a certain age (but certainly not mine!). I don’t find much to like about it, but then I have no inclination to rail about how bad it is, either – because it certainly isn’t bad. Guess I have to go neutral… moderate sillage and OK longevity.

    10th March, 2015

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    Daddy Yankee by Daddy Yankee


    Daddy Yankee is a simple, straight-forward scent with basically two levels: It has an opening accord and a base accord, but, even thus, it doesn’t change much in aroma… except it diminishes in strength. The accorded individual notes are conglomerate rather than individually identifiable, and they form a quite pleasant aromatic journey. As basic as the scent is, it gives some good smells and shows some good moves: The primary accord is a soft leather / wood, and is composed of redwood and suede. To back up the redwood and suede, there is a somewhat green basil-sage herbal set with a little sweet supplied by an apple note. There is supposed to be ginger in there somewhere, but I don’t smell it. The movement to drydown is long and smooth because the middle level of the pyramid is eliminated altogether. The drydown continues the suede / redwood, loses the apple, and its original herbal green changes to a coniferous green by means of a casual cedar note.

    For its price Daddy Yankee delivers more than adequately: It is a pleasant, modern scent; it smells good, it has decent sillage, and it has good longevity. Daddy Yankee can join the ranks of Thallium, Thallium Black, the original RL Chaps, Michael Jordan Legend, and several others where good fragrances can be had for unbelievably reasonable prices.

    10th March, 2015

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    Vikt by Slumberhouse


    Advertised as a “dark rich sap.” Slumberhouse says of Vikt: “Dark balsamic woods slowly oozing sweet metallic oils – motions of soft smokey black agar woods through syrupy bronze resins. Incredibly deep & well rounded fragrance with a mellow darkness at its heart.”

    The reason I quote the product description of Vikt is that, for probably the first time in my reviewing of 2000+ fragrances, the fragrance company, Slumberhouse, delivers, in spades, exactly what they say they are delivering. The fragrance is dark, balsamically smoky, oudy, and resinous. It is well rounded, metallic and boasts a certain mellow darkness –I don’t need to review it, you can trust Slumberhouse’s blurb.

    Actually Vikt is too syrupy-dark (I could take either one but not both) for me, so I would have personally been voting a neutral, but the fact that the company has delivered precisely what they said they would and it is an unquestionably dramatic and creative fragrance… Well, Slumberhouse has me uber impressed. This fragrance is anything but a compromise with the bean counters and/or the marketing departments. This is love-it and/or hate-it creativity. Vikt is what I wish more “niche” purveyors would be about.

    10th March, 2015

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    Boss Bottled Sport by Hugo Boss


    Citrus with some lavender in the opening accord… I don’t get the pepper note. This accord smells quite synthetic – and the synthetic ambiance is even magnified by the aldehydes. I don’t get much of a change in the middle – I’m not sure that I smell any cardamom, but I continue to smell lavender and aldehydes. When the base arrives I get a synthetic vetiver that is so dominant that I think the aldehydes are still going strong. The screechy vetiver hangs on for a long time with a little growing sweetness and finally mellows a little with the entrance of the patchouli. Another typical Boss fragrance that you can go wrong with.

    10th March, 2015

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    La Fille De Berlin by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This fragrance breaks my own rules – I avoid most rose fragrances and I strongly despise violet notes: In spite of that, I actually enjoy this violet / rose EDP. Usually rose notes over-power everything else in a fragrance for me; but the La Fille de Berlin rose comes across as restrained and sophisticated – more of a symbolic metallic rose than the kind of rose notes I am accustomed to finding in many of the usual rose offerings. This soapy rose IS strong enough to overpower the citrus and pepper notes, but having citrus and pepper overpowered is normal for me. The La Fille de Berlin metallic rose is one that I actually enjoy and am willing to wear. I'm excited that the violet note in La Fille de Berlin doesn’t disgust me as violet usually does. Here the violet note is responsible for providing that compelling metallic edge to the restrained rose accord. Technically this is a fragrance that I should hate, but I don’t... I've actually purchased it.

    22nd February, 2015 (Last Edited: 25th April, 2015)

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    Amber Oud by Nicolaï

    Lots of notes listed in the pyramid of Amber Oud, and they are presented in a blended accord. The first time I tested the fragrance I was hit by a bomb of dark spices… after that the spice bomb didn’t happen and the opening accord had had changed from aggressive spice to an aggressive amber / lavender accord. Lying under the lavender / amber there is a wood platform that comes as a blended accord: there is an aromatic (not creamy) sandalwood, an obligatory (also aromatic) cedar, a strong suspicion of patchouli, and maybe some Agarwood – after all, the name of the fragrance is “Amber Oud” so there is likely to be some oud in there… or not. The spices I experienced in my first testing and the castoreum and styrax from the base also took part in forming the counterpointal platform under the lavender and amber.

    Amber Oud does not seem to have a traditional fragrance pyramid: It is primarily linear, about the only movement that I can determine is the lessening of the drama primary accord and, with that lessening, the increasing sweetness of the wood – spice – resin platform. The sweetness stays as a more or less neutral level. On some of my tests I thought that the lavender was pushing too hard and at others it seemed to be behaving properly, and I don’t know what to make of that irregularity other that possibly the fragrance is highly responsive to my skin. On my dry skin longevity is about four to five hours, but it lasts longer as a continuingly attractive skin scent.

    I have reviewed seventeen Parfums de Nicolai fragrances and I don’t recall any of them that I was overwhelmed by – not even the highly respected New York. My record remains clean: The ho-hum-ness of the lavender/amber, the AWOL oud, the linearity of an uninspired accord just doesn’t do it for me.

    22nd February, 2015

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    Blue Santal by Comme des Garçons


    Definitely a wood scent worthy of consideration. The opening wood note, according to the scent pyramid, is pine; and I have no reason to disagree that it’s there, but I get a soft, dry, not-quite-natural sandalwood right from the start. The sandalwood is not “natural” because it has a bit of a metallic tinge to it.. I think it’s the juniper berry note that is responsible for the metallic – possibly the “boozy” – tone that Darvant mentions. I thoroughly enjoy this version of sandalwood.

    I find that Blue Santal is pretty much linear. It is a subtly unusual fragrance – a creative rebel that disguises itself as a conformist sandalwood. I enjoy sniffing it, and in the course of the scent, I smell mostly sandalwood in its different guises… it is sandalwood-light… it is metallic sandalwood… it is boozy sandalwood. It’s not as creamy as the sandalwood I smell in… say… Tam Dao. The metallic tinge of the sandalwood isn’t the only difference: Blue Santal has less cedar than Tam Dao, which I think is a good thing if one is looking to buy a sandalwood fragrance.

    Perhaps exaggerated by its linearity, Blue Santal has very good longevity. Its sillage is light to average, and when it stops as a sillage-maker, it continues for a few more hours as an enjoyably sniffable skin scent. I’ve already purchased Blue Encens; this one may soon be on my shelf too.

    22nd February, 2015

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    Altamir by Ted Lapidus


    Sweet and floral, but it manages to retain a masculine feel to it. Altamir has a non-annoying synthetic feel to it and it’s not badly put together. I’m not sure which ingredient makes for the strong sweetness of the fragrance – the pyramid lists musk and amber, but I don’t smell amber until the base, (and I never smell any musk from it). Of the florals, the orange blossom seems to dominate and its synthetic tinge just may be responsible for the early sweetness. The base is a bit too nondescript… it’s quite difficult for me to pick out the individual notes or even identify their categories... The pyramid lists a lot of woods. It’s a conglomerate woodiness from which I can’t identify any individual wood notes. There’s a presence of amber in the base, and it remains as non-annoyingly synthetically sweet as the earlier levels.

    Altamir is a pleasant fragrance – nothing great, but it’s much, much better than its low cost would suggest.

    22nd February, 2015

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    Tarifa by Keiko Mecheri


    For some reason that escapes me, I think I have anosmia with most of the notes in Tarifa. It doesn’t smell of orange blossom to me and I don’t get any bergamot or amber. What I get is petit grain with some dusty smelling spices and possibly a generic green note. The aroma is certainly not something that I’ve smelled before, and I don’t have much of a desire to smell it again. I do not dislike it, but it presents me with nothing but the stale, pseudo-citrus petit grain texture.

    22nd February, 2015

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    S.T. Dupont Intense pour Homme by S.T. Dupont


    Not exactly what I think of as an intense version. Actually Dupont Homme Intense is rather a light and subtle fragrance. The opening is a very typical lavender /bergamot / lemon. Not much different from a couple of dozen other EdTs except that it is more natural smelling than most of the ‘90s crowd, although the lavender note in this one lacks some authenticity. I don’t get much floral from the heart notes because, to my nose, the heart’s saffron overwhelms the orange blossom. The base is surprising because it doesn’t come across very strongly to me, and I have difficulty being sure of what I’m smelling. I get a little sweet which I assume is amber and/or musk. I get a wood note which the pyramid says is cedar – I won’t argue. I don’t get even the suspicion that tonka and leather are there in the base. This base is quite weak to my nose… even weaker than the first two levels of the scent pyramid.

    In spite of my cold description of it, I rather like Homme Intense. It’s very much on the subtle side of “Intense.” Except for the lavender, the notes seem more natural than in so many similarly priced frags. Homme Intense is nicely balanced. And in spite of its weak sillage, its longevity is strangely quite good.

    22nd February, 2015

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    Gelsomino by Santa Maria Novella


    Jasmine is my favorite floral aroma and has been since I first smelled the flower ages and ages ago. I have tried almost every jasmine-dominated fragrance that I’ve come across and all of them left me disappointed: many greatly disappointed, some slightly disappointed…

    That is… until now: Santa Maria Novella’s Gelsomine is unquestionably the best jasmine I’ve encountered outside of smelling the real thing on an temperate evening in the south of Spain…

    This is a soft green-jasmine soliflore (extrait, I would guess) with an almost-hidden indole lightly wafting up from its foundation. It has modest sillage and excellent longevity. Superb... just superb...

    22nd February, 2015

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    Royal Vintage by Martine Micallef


    I can always tell the best leather fragrances… they are the ones that I dislike the most. Hoping that the leather in Royal Vintage would be light in intensity, I purchased two samples only to find that what-should-be a bright, well-balanced opening is a bright, well-balanced opening messed up (to my nose) by a strong leather (birch?) from the base. The opening berry / bergamot accord shows signs of being quite catching and fruity-bright, but its brightness is useless to me because it is already neutered by the base’s leather attack … I hate it... which tells me that this would probably be a fragrance that leather lovers would approve of.

    So goes the rest of the fragrance – a fine patchouli / coniferous heart dulled by my aberrant reaction to leather notes. But the base goes off the scales with its smoky, tarry, repugnant leather overcoming an ambry-musky-somewhat-like-Creed drydown. I believe that Royal Vintage is the kind of fragrance that a leather lover will enjoy. I can smell enough of the ancillary notes in the accord to recognize it as a fragrance with quality materials and excellent construction. But it’s not for me!

    22nd February, 2015

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    Close Your Eyes and... by Miller et Bertaux


    A citrus / floral opening – its lemon / rose character is augmented with heliotrope and oud which appear immediately after the first flash of citrus. It is actually quite a traditional opening, and it seems to be quite lasting – probably because the scent is rather linear and the opening and heart notes are pretty much the same. A few minutes into the fragrance it appears to be simply another rose/oud fragrance that isn’t very much different from other rose/oud's… except that this one doesn’t scream… this is a rose that uses its indoor voice.

    I would say that Bois de Gaiac el Poire AKA “Close your eyes and…” is a competent oud scent that, except for the oud itself, doesn’t smell very woody. And I can’t smell the spice, the almond, or the pear, either – just oud and florals. The oud is subtle but tenacious and I agree that it makes the scent seem sweet when it actually isn’t very sweet.

    I find this to be a competent but somewhat uninteresting rose/oud scent… but then, rose is hardly ever a favorite of mine. It is made up of very good quality materials and it has decent projection and less than average longevity… “Close your eyes and…” AKA Bois de Gaiac et Poire has quality ingredients – its delicate subtlety is its outstanding virtue. I am voting it a reluctant thumb’s up.

    22nd February, 2015

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    Mercury by Nu_Be


    The first few times I tested this I found it disgusting – somewhat comparable to Secretions Magnifique, but much worse. The synthetic / metallic / animalic ambiance of nu_be Hg I is, I think, caused by the combination of violet, aldehydes, sandalwood plus who-knows-what-else. There are just way too many aldehydes here magnifying the sickly combination of violet and creamy sandalwood.

    With several testings, my queasiness at the smell has dramatically disappeared and at this point my primary feeling about this concoction it that it is rather expensive and annoying boredom… when I smell it close to the skin. However, nu_be Hg has an almost-intriguing sillage – fresh and highly unusual… still synthetic and metallic, but at a distance the animalness (and disgust) seems to have disappeared. I find the sillage quite interesting but I still don’t want to smell like this. Its interesting sillage has saved this from a thumbs down.

    22nd February, 2015

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    L'Hommage à L'Homme by Lalique


    The saffron dims the sharpness of the violet leaf in the opening… It makes the violet a little more palatable for me even though I don’t usually care for either violet or saffron. It’s strange how two despised notes can become something likable if used together. This opening is subtle and has a stronger element of refinement than I usually look for in fragrances priced like this. The middle accord basically morphs into a somewhat characterless sweet accord… subtle and discreet but characterless. The pepper doesn’t come through very firmly for me. The base presents musk along with labdanum and oud that are definitely present, but the rather synthetic oud is quite weak. Even so, the base is the part of the fragrance that I appreciate the most because the musk / labdanum combination forms a warmth that is missing from the previous levels of the fragrance.

    I get the initial violet throughout Homage á l’homme, so I have no intention of purchasing it, but it is, like most Laliques, a well-constructed fragrance with the kind of quality and uniqueness that belies its very reasonable price. Excellent fragrance… but lose the violet.

    22nd February, 2015

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    Papyrus de Ciane by Parfumerie Generale


    Definitively green in opening – a unabashed galbanum joined with fresh-cut grass which is, in turn, broadened with broom and moss… Freshly present… alkaline… even bitter. The soft undertone of sweet straw from the broom is one of the several tiny elements that make for a balance of the bitter sharpness of the galbanum… totally, viscerally, organically green. The heart refines the opening’s natural green a bit with a touch of lily of the valley and lavender. The main reason I found the lavender is that I had looked for it… I might not have noticed it because the lavender and the lily of the valley shadow the green accords so subtly. With the base, the bitter/civilized green of the heart enters into the ethereal territory with incense, vetiver, white musk, and an excellent moss.

    I agree with Way Off Scenter that the nature of this fragrance is ascetic, pensive, and cerebral. I like that in a fragrance, and I find that this fragrance performs extremely well on my skin. I actually wasn’t looking for another green, but I’m pretty sure Papyrus de Ciane will end up alongside of Eau de Campagne, Calamus, and Yerbamate on my fragrance shelf.

    17th February, 2015

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    Series 2: Solar Donkey Power by Henrik Vibskov by Six Scents Parfums


    Bergamot-heavy opening notes: not at all subtle, not at all delicate, presenting a big bergamot that quickly gets even bigger when it is joined by a big geranium note. For a while the bergamot / geranium is powerfully aromatic. This opening doesn’t smell synthetic but, like many big bergamot notes, flirts with being a bit too close to Lemon Pledge. Besides LP, it also reminds me of a bit of those inexpensive perfumes young girls wore when I was young – loud, pleasant, and over-applied. Possibly also working the accord is the sage… I don’t get a solid sage aroma, just the aromatics from it. The strength of the opening does settle down to normal in due time but the opening is quite lengthy.

    It takes a while for the basenotes to appear, and the wait ends in disappointment… moss. Nice but I just can’t find it fulfilling. The pyramid says patchouli, incense, and pine, but to my nose those are suggestions rather than actualities. I wish they had even a bit more presence… #3: Solar Donkey Power ends up being a bergamot / moss disappointment.

    17th February, 2015

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    Antaeus Sport by Chanel


    A true relative of Antaeus… I love it, but I’m not at all sure it’s a sport fragrance. I mean… Castoreum and leather in a sports fragrance? …Takes a lot of believing!

    Antaeus Sport joins the ranks of the best masculine fragrances I’ve experienced. It is a less dense version of the classic, vintage Antaeus (not the present Antaeus, which is a shadow of its former self). Antaeus Sport makes vintage Antaeus more wearable and a little bit cleaner without removing the quality and panache of the original… yet it retains the vintage Antaeus’s sophisticated sillage and lasting longevity. I didn’t think it possible but I like this one better than the vintage Antaeus.

    A big thank you to the generosity of the lover of power scents / former Basenoter who provided me with this excellent experience of sampling of Antaeus Sport Cologne, and I’m treasuring every drop of it. Two thumbs way, way up!

    17th February, 2015

    rating


    Passenger pour Homme by S.T. Dupont


    A strong but fresh opening of citrus and violet leaf… with the violet leaf being primarily a subtle support of the citruses. The violet note is quite potent but pleasant and I don’t often say that about anything with violet leaf. Adding to this freshness and potency is a ginger note, not exactly keeping at a low intensity, but not intensive enough to be annoying. The opening subsides relatively quickly moving into a richer and bit more discreet heart level of spices and lavender… This heart level is packed with potentially loud and excessive notes but the ginger, cardamom, red pepper, and lavender are used judiciously enough to keep them palatable. The accord is varied, warm, and controlled. The base is simpler than the two levels that proceeded, but not quite as rich. It has a woodsy aura to it but it is not your typical wood accord – it’s airier and thinner than usual for wood.

    Passenger is rather a paradox: Its notes are strong and carry weight, but it doesn’t have strong sillage or longevity. I myself would not buy it because of the violet note, but this is a decent fragrance with ingredients of acceptable quality and it is unqiue enough to have its own individuality. I would consider Passenger PH a more-interesting-than-usual office scent.

    17th February, 2015

    rating


    Thallium by Jacques Evard


    The opening, a fruity lavender accord, is rather bland, but it is not the screechy synthetic mess that so often accompanies the openings of EDTs as inexpensive as Thallium: Though a bit dull, this opening is definitely on the plus side of “adequate.”

    Not much to say about the rest of the fragrance because I find Thallium quite linear: What I smell in the opening is pretty much what I get through the run of the fragrance. The fruity lavender of the opening more or less remains the dominant accord, but a little bit of floral (an adequate jasmine) is added in the heart notes, and a definite musk and cedar is working the texture of the base. I personally don’t get a lot of sweet from this fragrance, but it is not what I would call “dry” either. Thallium has a gentle sillage and unimpressive longevity, but its price makes it a real deal – you don’t often get competence such as this in an inexpensive fragrance. If cost is an important consideration, this is surely one to consider.

    17th February, 2015

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