Reviews by moltening

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    moltening
    Thailand Thailand

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    Private Collection - Bois Naufragé by Parfumerie Generale

    An aquatic "marine" fig over a familiar creamy woody-amber base that immediately evokes the "I've smelled this before!" reaction. The fig note here is sweet, rubbery, and watery -- especially when sniffed from a distance away. It's a bit on the masculine side, has average longevity, and good projection. Both the initial and final impression are that it is a very average middle-of-the-road scent, but strangely... it works.

    26 January, 2012

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    Takis by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

    The opening smells mostly of vanilla, honeyed musk, and sweet hay. It's somewhere along the lines of Chergui with a bit of Antico Caruso / Le Male, but without the complexity and artistry of Chergui. However, in just a few hours, it turns into a skeletal nondescript vanilla, musk, and a touch of green herbal something I can't really tell. It's decent but comes off as false bravado. Get the real deal instead.

    21st December, 2011

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    Cruel Intentions by By Kilian

    Think of this as Kilian's take on M7.
    Get the original.

    07 December, 2011

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    100% Love by S-Perfume

    Rose, chocolate, incense, and a bucketload of vomit from someone who had eaten spoiled fish.

    A more 'chic' and wearable scent in the same vein as Secretions Magnifiques. They both have a similar bilge note to my nose. The rest of the scent are pretty different from eachother, but I'd like to think of it as "Secretions Magnifiques pour Femme." A true scent for mermaids. Unfortunately, I am not a mermaid so this one isn't for me.

    15 November, 2011

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    Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Bois Farine is to peanut butter sandwich as Jeux de Peau is to buttered toast and maple syrup.

    This is a doughy immortelle with a sweet woody-amber drydown and a brief floral-licorice opening. Very cloying and mildly interesting at first, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly.

    10th November, 2011

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Herbal amber scent with a medicinal opening and a slightly 'culinary' heart.
    Challenging, but easy to eventually get accustomed to.
    7/10 at best in my book!

    01st November, 2011

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    Rose Poivrée by Different Company

    Thumbs up to the funky animalic cumin-loaded original!

    19 October, 2011

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    1969 Parfum de Révolte by Histoires de Parfums

    1969, to me, is not a gourmand. I honestly think it's far from what many would consider an oriental gourmand. I consider it as more of a fruity floral-rose affair laid over white musk with a few gourmand notes.

    The initial blast was sweet, fruity, sharp, cloying and VERY synthetic-smelling. Synthetic isn't always a bad thing, but I don't enjoy the messy indiscernible peach jam wall of smell -- almost a scrubber. This impression slowly wears off and in comes a pleasant white musk woven with rose. (with notes of vanillic chocolate, coffee and spice that 'try' to warm things up, but is still muted by the peach-rose-musk trio) At the final stages stages, the white musk wins.

    The problem: Throughout the scent's application, the fruity sweetness never really fades. It just smells less and less like peach with each passing hour. Kinda like a peach fading into the horizon. All in all, the sharp sweetness was too much from me. (This coming from an Arabie fan)

    A cloying opening, a decent heart, a disappointing exit, a piercing sweetness. What's there to like?

    18 October, 2011

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    Attar by Montale

    16 reviews and almost no mention of saffron?

    Attar is prominently saffron. The same one as Montale's confidential collection 'Indian Safran.' Here, it is blended with a minimal amount of roses, ultra-diluted Cambodhi oudh, and an ephemeral sandalwood down there at the bottom.

    Don't believe me? Sample Indian Safran!

    14 April, 2010

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    Felanilla 21 by Parfumerie Generale

    Felanilla is my vanilla of choice. It also happens that my favorite vanilla scent of choice is also one of my favorite iris scents, and that one of my favorite iris scents is also one of my favorite saffron scent. These are three of my favorite notes, so that's saying a lot.

    It literally purrs on the skin like the somewhat cheesy "feline" + "vanilla" name suggests. It's an exotically sensual and sexy blend that starts off with a burst of sweet and warm vanilla pods, cool iris, and a delicate saffron note that is slightly salty. All the three main notes are apparent right from the first spray, resulting in a complex and unique opening that is slightly medicinal, antiseptic, and animalic while remaining familiar and cozy. I was at first doubtful when I heard of the resinous "banana wood" note, but when it revealed itself, all my doubts were gone as it worked perfectly and added a nice quirk that made the scent even more characterful. I loved how the banana, iris, and saffron worked with each other to create something abstractedly animalic. I mean, who would have thought banana could be made into something this sexy? Felanilla dries down to a comfortable bed of powdery vanilla, amber, soft musks, and hay with the saffron and iris still present but at a much lower volume untill the scent disappears and sinks into the skin.

    I don't believe in having a single penultimate holy grail, but if were forced to choose the "one and only," Felanilla would be one of the top candidates. I have gone through over 50ml's and still find myself reaching out for it, and it never fails to satisfy. My only complaint is that I wished it lasted longer, but it is okay as it is. Highly recommended for you to sink your teeth into!

    05 November, 2009 (Last Edited: 03 November, 2011)

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    I am King by Sean John

    You are not king.
    You are not special.
    You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else
    ... and with this you will certainly smell like billions of other guys, only more synthetic.

    05 November, 2009

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    Japon Noir by Tom Ford

    With Japon Noir, I get a sweet and smoky accord of jasmine and patchouli that is accented with spices, mostly cinnamon. There's ginger and citrus up there in the top notes too, but it's fleeting. The drydown is dominantly earthy patchouli and amber that is quite leathery and powdery. Not bad at all.

    18 October, 2009 (Last Edited: 04 November, 2011)

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    Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

    This is the second time I gave it a full wearing till the dry-down in hopes that something might just 'click'. Applied it about 15 hours a go and I am smelling like an oily fish lying on the beach with a coconut! IMO, ELDO has some of the most honest and accurate list of notes around, but last I checked, my blood and semen doesn't smell like this. It starts out very fishy, 'iode-ic,' watery, and oily with some sweet cloying florals around, accented with a lactonic coconut note. As it progresses, it gets saltier and more metallic. Very persistent and strangely sensual. It turns out to be just an above average soft milky sweet-salty floral though. I have something to confess too... I actually found it quite enjoyable - though not revolutionary. I'd give it a C+ grade.

    If it's an artistic statement they wanted to make, well, they've done it. Bravo - thumbs up for having the guts to release this!

    13 October, 2009 (Last Edited: 18 October, 2009)

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    Tom of Finland by Etat Libre d'Orange

    The other reviews have been a great and interesting read, ranging from condoms to coconuts to homo-eroticism, so here's my ultra-dull concise input for a change:

    Take safraleine, the leathery-saffron aromachemical, blend it with some iris, add a tiny bit of lemon plus the "ghost of a traditional cologne," dump in some fatty aldehydes -- and you get Tom of Finland. Soft, but excellent longevity. A genius vibrant second-skin scent.

    30th September, 2009 (Last Edited: 07 October, 2009)

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    Gaïac by Martine Micallef

    Micallef's astoundingly solid offering is true to its name. Gaiac is a warm and enveloping woody-spicy blend of guaiacwood and cloves that are accented by a smoky vanillaic sweetness that lasts till the drydown. The slightly boozy opening morphs into a medicinal undertone in the heart that combined with the smokiness of gaiac and a touch of vetiver, creates an effect similar to the burning of the vanillaic variety of incense sticks. With excellent longevity and decent sillage, Gaiac is simply a joy to wear, especially in cooler weather.

    After testing it against Le Labo's uber-exclusive Gaiac 10 and Giacobetti's "gone-in-60-seconds" clove and gaiac-prominent Chaman's Party, Micallef's Gaiac is clearly still the winner. Highly recommended for sampling, though it may not be a good thing for your wallet.

    12 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 09 December, 2011)

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    Absolument Absinthe Le Parfum D'Interdits by Liquoristerie de Provence

    I'm surprised no one mentioned this yet. Absolument Absinthe is basically a slightly more floral interpretation of CK One. Try sampling them side by side! This is overpriced crap -- avoid!

    31st August, 2009

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    Jailia by Profumi di Pantelleria

    What Vibert and Moss said, except that I find it to be very patchouli-prominent as well.

    24 August, 2009

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    Noble by Boadicea the Victorious

    Noble - patchouli and rose, but for little girls (and first ladies)

    Throughout its progression, Noble is predominantly rose and patchouli with a backdrop of what smells like vanillin and ethylmaltol like you may have encountered before in L'artisan's Vanilia and Profumum's Vanitas. The bergamot is very present at the top and lasts longer than most other scents, but eventually fades away. Sniffed far away, the sillage is very liquor-like and inebriating in a good way. Not too dark like other scents in this category, and more feminine than other patchouli-rose combinations.

    It's okay but there is a synthetic plasticky note that annoys me. Still, at $450 for 100ml, you could instead purchase Noir de Noir, Black Aoud, and Voleur de Roses and still have lots of spare change. Considering the ridiculous price, Noble deserves a thumbs down. Someone should send Obama a sample of Black Aoud though. We'd have her swooning.

    List of notes: Bergamot, rose, vanilla, patchouli

    10th August, 2009

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    Intense by Boadicea the Victorious

    Intense - honeyed fruity floral

    Remember how too much of honey could make frags like Miel de Bois suddenly conjure up images and memories of the men's bathroom? (or in a better case -- noble rot in Ginestet's Botrytis) Well, it's back this time in Boadicea's fruity floral, and it's pissed off. Intense is a very sweet concoction of roses, jasmine, and lily with patchouli and vanilla at the base with honey (unlisted) poured all over it. The phenolic honey note is very persistent and remains present until the drydown. Not too loud, excellent longevity -- perfect one for Winnie the Pooh's wife.

    Personally, for me, I think it's quite pleasant, but very mundane and boring.

    List of notes: Citrus, rose, lily, jasmine, patchouli, vanilla

    10th August, 2009

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    Complex by Boadicea the Victorious

    Complex - heavy and sharp animalic violets and leather

    Complex is a mess.

    It starts out sharply with animalic (in your face civet) and tarry violets accented by some bitter-sour labdanum. At this point, I get both the basil and sage together all at once.... and it pretty much stays the same with the ingredients in this chaotic blend fighting for your attention, but at the end, the violet, civet/musk, and birch tar wins. Here, the birch tar and labdanum together help create a smoky-leathery effect. It's not as sensual and enveloping as MKK, it's not a 'second-skin' scent like L'ombre Fauve, and in no way is it nuanced or multi-faceted. It's pretty surprising how it remains sharp from top to base the whole time as well. The overall impression is that the creation is rather confused, unstructured, and just chooses to go with brute force rather than intelligence. (which is just a nice way of saying "It's a stupid crap scent.")

    List of notes: Violet, labdanum, leather, musk, civet, basil, sage

    10th August, 2009 (Last Edited: 12 August, 2009)

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    Exotic by Boadicea the Victorious

    Exotic - aromatic blackcurrant over a conventional base

    Exotic starts off promisingly with sharp and mentholated blackcurrant (aka 'a bunch of synthetic fruity aromachemicals') that slowly calms down to a fairly traditional creamy but airy melange of patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, and just a pinch of vetiver with some dirty musk. A bit chocolate-y in texture, but comes off as synthetic. Exotic lacks depth and isn't lush at all as the name might suggest. Still, it's one of the better scents in this disappointing line.

    Sills well, great longevity.

    List of notes: Musk, black truffle, ylang-ylang, bergamot, blackcurrant, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla tears, sandalwood

    10th August, 2009 (Last Edited: 12 August, 2009)

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    Explorer by Boadicea the Victorious

    Explorer - grim citrus

    Explorer is a dark, medicinal, camphoraceous, and leathery twist on the cologne genre, but ends up feeling extremely muddied and grim. It starts off with a lasting bitter citrus and is predominant with cypress and violets. (yet again) Initially similar in feel to Complex, but goes a totally different direction with an emphasis on leather accented by tobacco.

    The press release said this was an "acidic enervating citrus." I thought it was just bad writing, but now I'd have to agree -- all the life and vitality of the citrus has been sucked out of Explorer, which may be a good thing for many people as fresh and bracing citruses are commonplace. Good sillage and longevity.

    List of notes: Sicilian lemon, citron, cypress, orris, violet, tobacco, Tuscan leather, oud

    10th August, 2009

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    White Aoud by Montale

    I'm surprised there is very little mention of saffron. White Aoud is predominantly oud and saffron with creamy vanilla-amber undertones and a small amount of florals. Lighter than other offerings in the Montale stable, but still very rich and satisfying.

    As a side note, Aoud Safran is basically a stripped-down version of White Aoud with a higher price tag -- so get this one instead. Also, it is better in the extra concentration.

    06 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 24 August, 2009)

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    Aomassaï 10 by Parfumerie Generale

    Aomassai is a distinctive gourmand that opens up complexly with roasted hazelnuts, caramel, and a melange of spices, drying down to a simple accord of vanilla and woods. It's an EDT, so longevity and sillage is just average despite the strong start.

    29 July, 2009

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    Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior

    I'm usually lazy and not the type to often write up long winding reviews with flowery language, but I felt the need to point out that this is an excellent unisex gourmand/oriental, especially in the EDP Intense concentration.

    Anyways, this pretty much has nothing to do with the original Poison. The regular EDT version of Hypnotic Poison, made by Annick Menardo who also gave us the wonderful and weird Patchouli 24, Bvlgari Black, and Bois d'Armenie, is a velvety bittersweet vanilla-almond oriental with coumarin, heliotrope, and some oakmoss to stop it from falling into the sweet-toothed-girl category. (Don't get me wrong though, HP *IS* very sweet, but it is so in an intelligent way and not teeny-sweet) I found the EDT to fall short and turn quite thin on the dry-down too quickly as well as being quite bland after a while.

    On the other hand, is the EDP Intense aka Hypnotic Poison Elixir, an EU-exclusive rework done by Francois Demachy. (Eau Sauvage Fraîcheur Cuir, Dior Homme Cologne, etc) In addition to the extra longevity and sillage along with the original base of HP, there is added notes of salty licorice and star anise. This new element makes the scent more complex, deeper, darker, slightly smokier, and more interesting -- making it formidable competition to heliotrope-heavy niche scents like Cuir Beluga. Overall, compared to the EDT, this is much more satisfying, especially for those of us who are deep into niche territory.

    29 July, 2009

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    Oud 27 by Le Labo

    Oud 27 roaringly starts right off the bat in an animalic fecal fashion that is both deep, dirty, and compelling -- overwhelming the senses with labdanum, amber, patchouli, cedar, saffron, and of course, that hip note of the moment, oudh. The dirty note then gradually retreats, revealing the scent's other more sensual and oriental-esque facets along with faint traces of tobacco, rose, and a tiny amount of fruits. It lastly dries down to a musky, but clean and smooth blend of cedar and gaiac, a very pleasant and subtle finale like a soft meow.

    The first hour or so is the stage that may be too much for most people. I've read many comments where people mention that the beginning is close to being repulsive, with the drydown being heavenly. Personally, I find the first two hours to be much more enjoyable and far more interesting than the drydown, which is just as I wrote earlier, a "pleasant meow."

    Hardcore fans of MKK and such would be disappointed that Oud 27 just shows its fangs then wimps out, while lovers of sensual woody orientals would be put off by the initial scarefest before arriving at the heart. Regardless of what category you fall into, Oud 27 is a strange beast indeed and should at least be sampled. Admittedly, it IS flawed and would most likely be a let down for many who expected something more different and distinctive.

    19 May, 2009 (Last Edited: 05 March, 2010)

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    Invasion Barbare / SB by MDCI

    Invasion Barbare is my definite favorite from the MDCI stable. It pillages the only other masculine offering, Ambre Topkapi, and its feeble peasants into oblivion with ease.

    IB is a mesmerizing deep aromatic blend of lavender, warm spices, a cool dash of well-mannered violets (not like NR PH), citrus to balance things out, and sweet cedar mixed with a light vanillaesque white-musk base. Sounds boring doesn't it? Well, it isn't going to go anywhere near 'unique territory' and explore new horizons, but it's definitely not boring and 'run-of-the-mill' either.

    Claude Marchal (MDCI) summarizes it as an "oriental fern," which I think is a very appropriate description for what it is. It's somewhere between the realm of the oriental and the fougere, while also being more at the same time. It's not syurpy and sticky, but instead -- devoid of amber and very sleek + contemporary in feel. (Makes 'New York' look ancient) Most reviews say that the scent itself is warming, but I find it to be pretty cool due to the violets with the spices creating a balancing warmth. (less so)

    In the end, Invasion Barbare is very refined, well-mannered, elegant, with appeal through the roof. It's admittedly a scent that is very easy to fall in like or love with. Can be easily pulled off by women too IMO. It's easy and pleasing on the nose so it would be an excellent choice as a "versatile everyday all-purpose scent" for anyone that can be appreciated not only by the wearer, but also people lucky enough to be near by.

    November '11 Update: I *finally* got myself a full bottle. No regrets - this is worth every single cent.

    16 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 06 November, 2011)

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    Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Animalic leather? Not really. 'Mineralic aldehyde and woods' would be a more appropriate summary of Rien WITH a brooding animalic undertone made by my current pal and ex-enemy, Civet. As for sweetness, there is barely a hint of it here.

    Rien starts off with a burst of very intense aldehydes and a dry airy mineralic/metallic incense accord. (The one you can detect in L'ombre Fauve in minute amounts) It then 'calms down' to leathery peppery woods and patchouli. (What I smell as "wood" is probably the leather) Altogether, my favorite from ELDO.

    14 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 29 July, 2009)

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Chergui is undoubtedly the epitome of the Lutenesque style.

    A smooth, deep, and honeyed blend of hay, spices, tobacco, tea, light florals (I smell a bit of iris) and the usual oriental suspects -- vanilla and amber. Altogether a top-notch oriental. Highly recommended, especially as an introduction to the Serge Lutens brand.

    The head gives this four stars, as that is what it deserves -- but my heart gives it five, as I am in love with this concoction.

    10th March, 2009

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    Kenzoair by Kenzo

    Very promising start that is a combination of vetiver and anise/licorice -- but falls flat on its face a little while later as it settles down to a thin and unsatisfying drydown. When compared to other vetiver-prominent scents like Encre Noire and in unfair comparisons -- to Vetiver Tonka and Malle's VE, Air is just not up to the task.

    Well, if you're looking for a transparent vetiver scent that is even more transparent than JCE's works, then this may be the perfect choice. Have to credit it for being somewhat "different" when compared to most run of the mill designer fragrances though.

    08 February, 2009

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