Reviews by foetidus

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    foetidus
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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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    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. In fact, La Fille de Berlin has become the only rose dominated fragrance that I own and wear.

    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

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    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

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    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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    Acqua de Rosa Thea by Borsari


    I think that my nose is overly sensitive to rose notes, so this is one seems to me to be a strong rose scent, and I’m not sure if it really is strong or if it is just my nose acting in its hyper-rose mode. Regardless, I can tell that it is a quality rose note… one that ranks with some of the best I’ve experienced.

    I don’t really smell anything else but rose in Rosa Thea, so to me it’s a solo fleur scent… one that is of such a quality that I am voting it two thumbs’ up even though I don’t usually care for rose scents.

    It acts as a sillage maker for about an hour or two. After that… it’s an excellent skin scent… old fashioned and lovely.

    17th February, 2015

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    Iridescence by Bob Mackie


    Very enjoyable fresh and light fragrance. Opening notes are a pleasant cassia and peach, and I get a definite hit of freesia in it, also. The freesia is the primary note I get from the freesia-iris-rose heart: I don’t actually smell the iris but I can feel its texture in the accord. I don’t get a whiff of the rose, which is not a disappointment to me. The base is a fairly generic (but enjoyable) musk, wood, and vanilla… light and pleasant.

    Iridescence is a fruity-floral fragrance – the type which I usually find too cloying; but it is cleaner and fresher than most fruity-florals I’ve experienced. It’s quite an agreeable fragrance. Clean, natural smelling, light sillage, somewhat short life span. For someone looking for an inexpensive, gentle, non-annoying fruity-floral, this is definitely worth testing.

    17th February, 2015

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    Invasion Barbare / SB by MDCI


    Invasion Barbare opens in aromatic citrus ambiance. The aromatics are due to the violet leaves, which at first provide a delightful level of aromatics, but within fifteen minutes the violet leaves have morphed into a solid, penetrating accord. Not only do I strongly dislike a piercing violet leaf note, the violet leaf in Invasion Barbare comes on so strongly that I have a difficult time smelling anything else. What I do manage to smell under the leaf (which lasts for quite a while) is thyme, cardamom, and cedar, and that part of the scent I find quite beautiful, but the annoying violet leaf moots that point. Additionally and unfortunately, I don’t get any sweet. All things considered, I recognize this as a quality fragrance that I have little interest in.

    17th February, 2015

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    Rose Praline by Les Parfums de Rosine


    I have to be very careful of rose scents because rose usually comes off much too dominant and cloying to my nose. On top of that I find most gourmands to be too sweet for my tastes. So what am I doing reviewing Rose Praline? Even its name screams “Rose Gourmand!” I don’t know why I chose this one to review, but I’m pleased that I did… this one doesn’t scream. This is one delightful fragrance. Rose Praline is discrete and sophisticated; and the way it handles the disparate elements of rose, chocolate, amber, geranium, cocoa, and sandalwood is pure inspiration… I can identify all of these discretely presented notes in their balanced accords.

    Everything in this scent is restrained… nothing goes to the dramatic or the cloying. Besides the notes already mentioned, there are the opening’s bergamot, the middle’s tea, and the drydown’s white musk that are listed in the pyramid – these meld seamlessly into the patterns.

    Rose Praline is a rose and gourmand scent for rose and gourmands non-lovers. Subtle projection, subtle but classic development, decent longevity: A confident thumb’s up for this excellent scent.

    17th February, 2015

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    A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler


    I put off testing Pure Malt and Pure Havana because I had read comments that they were both similar to the original A*Men fragrance, which I had learned to be wary of. In testing Pure Malt I do see some similarities, but mainly I experience something I find completely different from A*Men. Pure Malt is a lot less aggressive and I especially enjoy the fact that there is little or none of that dreaded birch tar that completely ruined A*Men for me.

    The opening of Pure Malt is a pleasure. Those malt and woody notes (with a semi-sweet background of fruity notes) make a sniffably compelling accord for me. It’s a rich, neutral texture that very much smells like malt (I am more reminded of malt powder used for malted milk than of malt liquor or malt whisky.) I would like to sniff it for hours, but that won’t happen because the malt aspect of the accord lessens somewhat quickly for me, and the remaining woody and fruity aspects are very pleasant, but not as compelling. Still, it is one of the more original accords I have experienced in recent years, and it is an accord that is very easy to live with for an extended period of time… the top & heart lasts beautifully.

    The base to me is a less powerful version of the dry down of the original A*Men. It is, like its progenitor’s, a beautiful accord, but in Pure Malt it is presented with a much lower decibel level, and I don’t even smell the dreaded birch tar note. Pure Malt is excellent and I’m sorry I didn’t try it sooner. It’s creative and enjoyable, and its projection and longevity are wonderfully adaptable according to application.

    17th February, 2015

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    Back to Black by By Kilian


    Several different notes come across in the opening… It’s a little citrusy and a bit spicier, and it has a definite raspberry aura. It is aromatic, and there’s a strong element of sweet in the opening too, mainly because of the heart accord’s honey note. A little later I get just a touch of a high quality castoreum (or leather or birch tar) that is not strong enough to annoy me, but it is strong enough to keep the sweetness (and almost everything else) from reaching me. I get lots of patchouli. I don’t get the tobacco, the amber, the labdanum, the vanilla, or even the cedar, my nose is overwhelmed by the castoreum.

    And that’s what I’m left with for the almost interminable remainder of the fragrance. I can recognize Back to Black as an excellent and dramatic fragrance, but the castoreum (or leather or birch tar) has neutralized all the drama for me and left me with a very expensive, high-quality fragrance that I can confidently call… “not annoying.” Its performance on my skin certainly isn’t that of an aphrodisiac as it boasts on the bottle’s label.

    17th February, 2015

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    Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal


    I think that Vanille Exquise is very well named: It is an beautiful rendition of vanilla – a slightly burnt version of a rich, mostly dry vanilla. “Sweetness” is not the keyword for this fragrance… “delicacy” would be the better description. It is certainly not a solo vanilla… it is quite well adorned with other light, delicate notes: I can clearly identify the almond; I willingly accept that there is benzoin partnering with the vanilla; there’s a believably probable white musk / sandalwood accord in the mixture; and, although I can’t specifically pick them out of the accord, I can believe that there is a touch angelica and gaïac providing even more lightness, airiness, and delicacy to the non-powdery vanilla accord.

    Vanille Exquise is a sophisticated fragrance… full, complex, and delicate. On my skin it has appropriately limited projection; and it has excellent longevity, especially as an exquisite skin scent.

    04th July, 2014

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    Epic Man by Amouage

    The spicy introduction is spectacular – all those spices – six listed in the pyramid along with a rich frankincense, and the result is not at all confused or over the top. The opening is complex and dramatic and with all this complexity and drama, the accord is balanced, and elegant… There is no harshness or run-away resins blasting the nose, just a delicious, bold, and elegant masculinity. After the opening tapers off, the fragrance moves to a subtle and elegant wood / myrrh / leather accord taking equal share with a floral accord of myrtle and geranium. The drama is gone but the elegant perfection remains… Such excellence is achieved, I think, by the geranium, myrrh, oud, and sandalwood, and it is an answer to a prayer for one who loves a sophisticated wood accord, and this is as good as it gets. The base I get is a quiet wood, leather, and musk still augmented by myrrh, myrtle, and geranium from the heart accord. It is still a rich accord – not much of a sillage producer but more than a skin scent… and still good enough for for me to sniff it for hours.

    I haven’t been much of a fan of Amouage fragrances these several years, but I have to say that this one is… perfect.

    04th May, 2014

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    Eccelso by Profumum

    Not too sure about the opening: About my only definite recognition is labdanum and I have to do some projecting and parsing to get that. The situation is that there is musk, sandalwood, patchouli, and nutmeg listed and they all have smooth, middle level vibrations as far as I’m concerned. I can, with effort, pick out the labdanum because of a slight resinousness that I’m detecting.

    I don’t know why but on my skin Profumo’s Eccelso doesn’t have the typical movements that most other fragrances have. I get everything at once – I smelled almost every note when I explored the opening. The only listed note I didn’t get right away was the magnolia note, and I never was able to separate that one out from the accord, which seemed to me very simply textured and linear. I think this is the kind of scent that, through use, I would learn to love but it’s a bit expensive to experiment with.

    04th May, 2014

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    Artek Standard by Comme des Garçons

    Delightfully aromatic top notes. Airy and clean and I don’t recognize the cause: Previous reviewers said synthetic… cleaning fluid… Finnish Labrador tea… metallic… lemon, cedar, ginger, incense. All these descriptions are true, and yet they are not exactly true. But don’t look to me, either… I don’t have the vocabulary for what is exactly the true description of this fragrance. Lucky Scent calls it “highly diffusive” and that is a very good description of what impresses me most about this fragrance.

    CdG’s Standard is anything but standard. It is a genius abstraction, a “natural” synthetic, a bizarre familiarity. As peculiar as it is, it is subtle and an easy wear. I love it.

    04th May, 2014

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    Cannabis Flower by Demeter Fragrance Library

    When it is first applied, Cannabis Flower does smell like cannabis to me. I recognize those sharp, alto-resinous, wild-green notes – they smell very relaxing to me. And since this is a review of a Demeter fragrance, that’s about the only point there is to discuss. Of course, being a Demeter it is not at all shocking that the scent has little longevity, and, knowing that when I plunked down the money for a pick-me-up bottle, I can’t complain about the longevity… it’s a Demeter.

    I guess that completes my review: I believe it smells like it is supposed to smell, and it lasts just about as long as I expected it would, and I think it smells really good, so this has to be a thumb’s up. I truly enjoy this one – makes me wish I lived in Washington state or Colorado or, possibly… the Netherlands.

    04th May, 2014

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    Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

    A pretty fragrance – natural smelling and rather retro I think. The opening is bright, lively, straightforward, and proportioned – basically citrus with a perfect amount of basil and violet leaf to keep it from citrus boredom. The heart adds more complexity with a fuller citrus of orange - grapefruit, pepper, and tobacco for depth and breadth. The heart, like the opening, is pleasant and non-synthetic – it, too, is notable for its proportion and balance.

    The base is an agreeable amber, cedar, patchouli. Oakmoss is listed in the pyramid but I don’t smell it. Again, the accord is non-synthetic, extremely pleasant, and beautifully balanced… I’m thinking that maybe Tom Ford for Men is TOO balanced: It smells really good, but it’s not to-die-for.

    I feel that this fragrance is more than adequate – very nice smell, excellent ambiance, normal projection, almost normal longevity as a sillage maker, very good longevity as a skin scent. Extraordinary balance and structure, but I can’t find a hook – there’s not anything that really grabs me even though I appreciate its competence. It’s the Honda Civic of the men’s fragrance world, except that Civics get much better mileage. Since it’s not one of Tom Ford’s exclusives, it’s reasonably priced. Me personally?… I prefer a more challenging scent.

    04th May, 2014

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    Zagara by Borsari

    I think that I have a questionable Borsari mini-bottle: Zagara or Orange Blossom has been long discontinued and my 3.5 ml mini does not seem to me to be exactly right. I detect an offness (offity?) to the orange blossom, which is unusual according to my previous experience with Borsari’s fragrances – an unpleasant note just never happened before in the twelve Bosari fragrances I’ve tried – they are consistently clear, subtle (OK, one or two were dramatic), and well balanced.

    I’m assuming that this is a pretty much a orange blossom solofleur, because the orange blossom is mostly what I smell. This orange blossom does not smell quite clear, and it has less of a citus smell that I usually get in orange blossom. Besides that, there is an off note that accompanies the flower. The off note is a bit sharp, a bit resinous… but not an attractive resinousness. Besides that touch of resin, the orange blossom note seems well done – orangey… blossomy – but not as citrusy as the orange blossom usually is. It has decent projection, and it has a bit more longevity than usual for a orange blossom scent (a common benefit I’ve found in Borsari’s fragrances). I think that I would like this scent very much if it were from a more recent production or the mini had been better taken care of.

    04th May, 2014

    rating


    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.

    14th April, 2014

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