Reviews by Indie_Guy

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    Indie_Guy
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    Narciso Rodriguez for Him by Narciso Rodriguez

    This is a violet leaf disaster.

    It smells like a five year old made a taco out of grass and banana peels.

    EDIT: I stand by my original review, but for some strange reason, I love this stuff now. It can be weird and difficult, but so unique and there are times when nothing else will do.

    29th April, 2008 (Last Edited: 05th June, 2011)

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    Vintage by John Varvatos

    This has been one of my biggest turn-arounds. Initially I found it a confusing and uninspiring mix of Polo and Michael Jordan Cologne. Like an old-timer's chypre got mixed up with some calone infused Abercrombie brew. It was like looking AT a pair of 3-D glasses and wondering why the hell there is one blue lens and one red lens. Makes no sense. Then you put the glasses on, and everything jumps out at you in startling detail. That's what John Varvatos Vintage does with its "red" lens (the old school, warm mossy chypre) and its "blue" lens (the cool calone aquatic). The total effect is really good, once you've perceived it properly-- which is actually probably most difficult for scent aficionados, who are likely to see the juxtapositions as incongruities-- whereas your typical coworker, friend, date, etc. will only think "wow, that smells incredible."

    There are a lot of things going on in this scent. I like the very dry tobacco notes-- very much like the smell of going into one of those historical general store type places where everything is antique and there are strings of dried herbs hanging to dry on clotheslines. Honestly, I don't even try to sit and figure out what all is in this one, because the overall result is just so evocative of sitting in an old study or drawing room-- though it's also somehow hip and modern. The snakeskin encircled bottle is a great touch.

    This one is all about depth perception. Now that I view it the way I do, I can't imagine how off-base my initial thoughts on Vintage were. A top ten for me.

    28th April, 2008

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Terre D'Hermes makes me think of the works of a certain writer/director/actor... a certain auteur... The late Coleman Francis. I'm thinking of such films as "Red Zone Cuba" and "Skydivers." These films are on a general level just terrible B-movies. They were made fun of in episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. They were bad, yet compelling.

    Even though these movies were by all accounts "bad", man there is just something about the starkness of these black and white films that just resonates with me. First of all they take place in the early '60's and most of the scenes are shot outdoors with the hapless "stars" jumping out of airplanes, driving around in rusty pickup trucks, hiding in drainpipes, assaulting sandy beaches, climbing up rocky crags, crawling through the dirt, digging for pitchblende... Even in the worst of these movies, there is just a glimpse of a simpler, better time than that of today's overstuffed blockbuster films. I don't know if the world of "Red Zone Cuba" ever existed, but man, I'd trade all the modern conveniences to sleep under the stars and pine trees in the America that Coleman Francis portrayed. Yes, I want to live in a 1963 B-movie.

    Anyway, I wear Terre D'Hermes... and I feel like I've LIVED "Red Zone Cuba." I've crawled under barbed wire fences. I've stormed the beaches of Cuba (or was it Arizona?). I've climbed the mineral cliffs with a stiff breeze blowing through me. I've ducked hot lead. I've had my face buried for hours under the hood of a rusted out F-150 that I later sold for 35 bucks. I've eaten frog legs at Cliff Weismeyers place. I've gone out looking for pitchblende on Chasteen's property. I've run all the way to hell with nothing but a penny and a broken cigarette... OK, I'm poking a little fun at the movie.

    BUT if you've seen "Red Zone Cuba"... it might make sense. Aside from the fleeting orange citrus note, I find Terre D'Hermes to be a very stark, no-nonsense black and white B-movie of a scent. And a manly one at that. The outdoors. Open Roads. Hills. Mountains. Rocks. Cedar forests. It does something very unique. It captures the outdoors and it does it without being green! It's the outdoors as seen in black and white. It manages to evoke rolling hills fo grass, but not green grass. Black and white grass! A grey sky with grey clouds, a sawtoothed black horizon that stretches far and relaxed.

    I'm sure that Jean Claude Ellena has never seen "Red Zone Cuba"-- because if he had intended to create an homage to this film, coffee would be a central note. I digress. Anyway, regardless of what the auteurs Mr. Ellena and Mr. Francis intended to create, to me, what they captured a kind of beauty in quiet breezy blacks, whites, greys, slates, charcoals. But with that orange note like the sun on a cloudy cold day, as your collar flaps against your neck on the open range.

    Masterful creation. It smells like an Ansel Adams photograph.

    28th April, 2008

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 6 Synthetic: Tar by Comme des Garçons

    I just recently completed my collection of the entire Synthetic Series. While I already was a fan of Skai, Dry Clean and Soda, I'd always mentally partitioned off Tar and Garage as "those other two." Basically I liked the concept behind Tar and Garage, but didn't think either would be wearable. That changed today when I wore Tar for the first time. I sprayed some Tar under my shirt and ran some errands (the sprayers on the Synthetic Series dispense a lot of juice). I was standing in line at the bookstore, and the person in front of me was holding up the line. Some people walked up behind me and I was starting to get self conscious about the Tar. Suddenly I heard the girl tell her boyfriend "Hey, something smells good!" And I eavesdropped as they talked about their favorite perfumes. Not even a "that guy in front of us REEKS" or anything. They seemed to enjoy it--even though I don't think they had any clue as to who or what they were actually smelling.

    The think about Tar is that it has an olfactive effect similar to vetiver. It's like a modulation of vetiver into another key. Similar range of facets and textures--dry, arid, earthy, sharp, salty. Different ingredients, similar effect.

    In comparison, Garage is similar to Tar, but with the addition of some other notes that make it more of a literal translation of "garage" to Tar's somewhat abstract rendering of "tar." Of the two, I definitely prefer Tar and find it more wearable. As for garage/car/gasoline scents-- Santa Maria Novella's Nostalgia beats out Garage handily, in my book. Garage is complex, unusual and smells of all kinds of solvents and vapors, but it also smells strongly of olive juice-- and I've never seen a gearhead sipping a dirty martini while performing an oil change.

    It may take a little courage to wear Tar, but it's actually very pleasant in a strange unplaceable way. Everyone with an eccentric side should try it.

    11th April, 2008

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    Eau de Badian by L'Occitane

    I enjoy anise fragrances and this one is very good and it smells completely natural. My mother and grandmother would often make Italian anise cookies called "pizzelles", and I loved those growing up. This reminds me very much of those cookies. When I was in the L'Occitane store trying their fragrances, there was an attractive married woman who was watching me-- she was curious as to what fragrance to get her husband. I would try each fragrance on my skin, and then this woman would give her opinion. When I got to the Eau du Badian, she grabbed a hold of my arm firmly and didn't want to let go. It definitely met her approval! I have noticed that this does seem to be a bit weaker and shorter lived than I'd hoped. It doesn't have a lot of musk/fixatives in the base, and as such it feels more like an Eau de Cologne than an Eau de Toilette-- not a problem though, because for many situations I prefer a cologne to have modest sillage. It does smell great. Aside from the wonderfully prominent anise note, Eau du Badian is also a good grapefruit scent. I also heartily recommend the Eau du Badian shower gel. I've often wondered what all was in this scent, and I've just seen the list of notes for the first time-- I can definitely smell the maté and green tea. But the anise is tops.

    Now I need a Harvey Wallbanger!

    03rd April, 2008

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    Hollywood for Men by Fred Hayman

    Maybe one of the tackiest bottles ever released. When this stuff was launched it was hard not to look at it sitting there competing with the Polos and Armanis and not laugh. However, I had brought a chick with me to the counter to test stuff with me and she wasn't put off by the stupid marketing. She sniffed it and liked it. We took a sample with us and later she kept saying how good it was.

    She said it smelled even just a little bit like popcorn-- which suddenly made sense with the cinematic theme in marketing. Very clever inside joke. Though it smells a bit "90's", it's also a very striking and attractive scent. Almost has a hint of a pine note against a whole bunch of stuff that I can't even describe. I never could bring myself to buy a bottle yet I could never forget it.

    Imagine my delight when years later I found a new bottle of this at Marshalls for like $15! It doesn't get mentioned often, but it's actually quite unlike anything else I've ever smelled.

    21st December, 2007 (Last Edited: 11th April, 2008)

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    Baldessarini by Baldessarini

    Like another reviewer said, bottles of this were floating around for $20, so I snagged one.

    Baldessarini didn't impress me much on a paper strip, but when I just decided to wear it one day, I was really taken aback by it. Some fragrances are really good but they get old fast. This one on the other hand just gets better as the day goes on. My favorite part of this scent is the fir note-- really refreshing like the outdoors. And the orange note is soft and chewy like orange bubble-gum. It almost reminds me of Boss in Motion, which I dislike, but this one is much better.

    This is kind of a simple scent, but I find something extremely satisfying about it. Everytime I wear it, I feel like I've made the right choice. I've found the longevity to be pretty good-- it lasts all throughout an eight to ten hour shift.

    The solid metal bottle is high quality-- and really heavy. They really put some care into the packaging of this.

    09th November, 2007

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    "Vintage" Tabaróme by Creed

    For a while, I just didn't understand the Tabaromes (both Vintage and Millesime). Then one night I sat down to watch "The Remains of the Day". As I was drawn into the period of the film, I heard a voice in my head and it said "hey, go put some Tabarome on. Vintage on the back of your right hand and Millesime on your left."

    So I did, and as I watched the movie my experience was enormously enhanced by these two fragrances. I found myself sniffing my right hand during some of the scenes where the old order was represented-- the scenes with the master of the house in his study, redolent with the smell of something like Vintage Tabarome. Then, during the scenes with Christopher Reeve's character representing the new order, I found myself sniffing the Tabarome Millesime on the left hand.

    Last night I watched another Merchant/Ivory film, "Howard's End" and again, not long into the film I realized that again my Tabaromes would be needed to add to the experience.

    At first I thought Vintage Tab and New Tab were nothing alike. True, initially in an A/B test they are worlds apart. Funny though, as time goes on, their direct lineage becomes apparent. Vintage Tab is a bone dry, somewhat stuffy tobacco leaf scent, with a leathery feeling to it. New Tab is a fresher, lighter, less dry update on the original. Both scents are uncompromising. Neither one is something to wear to impress the ladies, though the ladies might love you despite that-- for having the character to wear something that is such an unapologetical throwback to patriarchal times when it was a "man's world."

    I've become a believer in Tabarome Millesime, and now I'm sold on Vintage Tabarome as well. I wish it would be available in 2.5 oz bottles-- there's no way I could ever use a whole flask of this. You have to be careful because it can be intoxicating-- too many sniffs of the wrist and you'll get that feeling of smoking too many cigars. It's a bit out of time, unless you're wearing a suit-- in which case, it's perfect and it makes everyone else in the room come across like shabbily dressed embodiments of the wrong time and place.

    A fragrance like Tabarome makes you realize it's great to be a man!

    06th November, 2007

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    Epicéa by Creed

    I bought a bottle of this blind, and I have to say that I was surprised to find it was quite different than I had imagined it. I was relieved to find that it was not some "air freshener/floor cleaner" pine smell. The pine is quite nice. But it is married to a HEAVY cardamom note-- it's almost a bit sweaty. I wore it to work one day and was surprised that it wasn't as fresh, cool and crisp as I had thought it would be. It reminded me a little of the effect of Eau d"Hermes (though Eau d'Hermes has cumin and a mega-dose of cinnamon). I think I detect geranium in Epicea. But again, that cardamom note sets the tone for the texture of this scent. There's also a nice lemony citrus topnote.

    As others have said, the longevity may not be the best. I agree on that point, but as is often the compromise of perfumes-- if they were made to last longer, they wouldn't smell the same.

    Like many of the other Creed EDT's, this does smell like something from another era. The smell of the masculine gentleman circa the mid-20th century. It's a fragrance that is quaint, humble and sorely missed in these modern times where clueless, classless businessmen too often finish putting on a three-piece suit with a spritz of (gasp) Aqua di Gio.

    Two thumbs up for Epicea.

    28th October, 2007

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    Sport Jil Sander for Men by Jil Sander

    The reviews for this one have been typically negative. I think it masquerades as your typical dime-a-dozen fresh scent-- but really I think it's better than the reputation it has received.

    This is a very transparent, peppery smelling fragrance that shares something with the heartnotes of the old Boss #1. This fragrance doesn't try to tell a big longwinded story-- it keeps things brief. You smell it and it smells "clear"-- you don't associate any colors with the smell. This makes it a bit hard to describe. It also reminds me of a more stripped down version of one of my personal favorites, Joop Rococo for Men (from another German house, as is Boss). I find a commonality between these three German scents.

    The bottle is cool. I think it's a sleeper.

    27th October, 2007

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    Néroli Sauvage by Creed

    It's hard to put into words how breathtaking Neroli Sauvage is. The topnotes are warm, sunny and full. A richness you don't get with many citrus fragrances. When you close your eyes and sniff your arm, you will get so many nuances out of this composition-- so many shifting facets. Oranges, Greens and Yellows blurring over and over in the theater of your imagination.

    When the middle notes arrive, there is a lemon custard sweetness-- like a rich pastry with powdered sugar. Very edible quality. You will go from wanting to drink this scent with breakfast, to wanting to eat it for dessert.

    Then comes that familiar and wonderful ambergris and sandalwood combo that is also so much a part of Green Irish Tweed's drydown. As it dries down, I find it stays somewhat close to skin, though the longevity is good.

    When this hits your nose, it can transport you to any carefree summer of your youth. And it seems so real, even though you know it isn't possible to travel back in time. Just for a minute you almost believe it could actually happen.

    To wear something this beautiful-- it isn't easy to live up to it. Almost too perfect. But you've got to wear it anyway. It's all you can do.

    27th October, 2007

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    Virgin Island Water by Creed

    I've had a bottle of this for a month now and now I think I can properly review it. I was kind of mad at myself for paying retail price for it, since it's a bit less versatile than some of my other Creeds that I've bought for less. But since I wanted to be the first kid on my block to get this, it goes with the territory...

    OK, this is a unique fragrance. The notes I get are lime, white rum, coconut, and musk predominantly. This scent doesn't drydown in pyramid fashion, nor is it linear. The notes each come and go and come and go almost randomly--as if each was carried by its own independent breeze.

    This scent goes on a bit oily, which does give it a slight buttery suntan lotion feel. But the real upside is the amazing longevity I get from this. I applied one spray to the upper chest over 12 hours ago, and it's still going strong. And I bet I'll still be able to smell it several hours later. Amazing balance of sillage/longevity and at the same time-- never overpowering. The perfect balance is achieved.

    As far as versatility-- this is a summer/spring vacation scent-- It's not something you'd probably want to wear to a funeral, under any circumstances. It's very unisex, and though there is the ylang-ylang note, it doesn't smell feminine. It does smell a bit "thematic"--you probably won't want to smell like a Malibu and Coke with lime every day, even in the summer... but on those days when you do decide to wear it, you are going to make friends fast!

    Again, the longevity I get out of this is tops! Sure there's coconut, but where some people think this smells like a pina colada--for me, with the prominent fresh lime and rum, I get more of a cuba libré vibe from this on my skin. The lime note in this is a force to be reckoned with. Quite a different style for a Creed, but the Creed quality is evident.

    Thumbs up!

    30th May, 2007

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    Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

    I know a woman that works with me who wears this and I really enjoy it. It's a little strange at first, but I like women to wear proper perfume and not just body-shop lotion smelling crap all the time, so on the occasion that she wears this, I just enjoy it.

    From a male perspective, just know that men find this an attractive smell on a woman. I see some thumbs down for this one but I have to disagree. This one pushes my buttons.

    24th May, 2007

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    Bois de Cédrat by Creed

    Bois de Cédrat is a scent i couldn't fully discern nor appreciate until I bought a bottle of Creed's Néroli Sauvage. Citrus fragrances don't usually excite me too much, so I don't wear them that often nor do I pay much attention to the composition.

    So I did an A/B test with Bois de Cédrat on one arm and Néroli Sauvage on the other.

    Néroli Sauvage strikes me as a "warm citrus". It's sunny and a tad floral. As the basenotes come out on the skin, there is a bit of a custard sweetness that is attractive. Much later, I notice the sandalwood. Néroli Sauvage also seems shorter lived than my other Creeds--though I don't have longevity issues-- one shot of Silver Mountain Water to the chest can go for at least 15 hours on me. Néroli Sauvage lasts a decent while, but it remains very close to the skin.

    Bois de Cédrat on the other hand seems more like a "cool citrus". It's very refreshing, like cool rain on a hot summer evening. While it seems straightforward with few notes other than lemon and cedar, it smells very full and complete. I get a kind of herbal waxy note as well--it kind of reminds me of the smell of original chapstick (black labelled tube). I get more sillage from Bois de Cédrat then I get from Néroli Sauvage, plus I do think it lasts longer--especially the cool fresh topnotes. Néroli Sauvage has more of a "fade to musk" thing going on underneath (which is a nice evolution), while Bois de Cédrat remains crisp.

    It's worth it for me to have bottles of each. Some days you want something warm and inviting. Other days you need something cool and invigorating.

    Bois de Cédrat is perfect for any occasion. Great for a spritz when leaving the gym, and just as good for a big night out.

    An underrated Creed gem.

    09th April, 2007

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    Rococo Homme by Joop!

    Joop Rococo for Men is a real sleeper of a fragrance. I've worn it the past seven days straight and it's compelled me to post this postive review.

    Initially when I bought it, I thought it was not really my type, but it really grew on me. Here's what sold me on it and made me give it another look--once, I was in an elevator and I had just applied Rococo. When the door closed, this strange girl leaned in and sniffed me. Then she kind of went limp and just collapsed into my arms (I think she had been drinking). She remained there with her head on my shoulder until my floor came and I had to leave. A pretty nice moment we had. No words really, just a brief encounter.

    So that got me thinking more about Rococo, and how much I like it. It does ginger notes really nicely--in fact it kind of reminds me of red fruit punch and ginger cookies. It's well balanced, seductive, and offbeat. Kind of makes me think of something a friend from Europe would be wearing. It's just slightly quirky enough to be mysterious. Complete antithesis to the hordes of Aqua di Gio type scents. This scent works anywhere, and would be a really good first-date scent, as it is well rounded and yet still has that air of mystery.

    The bottle is cool as hell too!

    15th March, 2007 (Last Edited: 11th April, 2008)

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    Chypre Rouge by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    OK, did a complete 180 on Chypre Rouge. Here is my first review:


    Man, I think Chypre Rouge is terrible!

    It smells like this jello dish my relatives used to make and bring to gatherings. This dish contained pureed celery, pecans and red jello. Not all that great. It's like there are two or three things going on in this scent that don't really go together.

    Also, there's something about this that smells like a "nosebleed." Do you know that feeling when somebody punches you in the face and suddenly you are in a bar fight and your adrenaline kicks in, and there's that metallic smell of blood in your nose? That's what this scent conjures. Another scent that does this is Diptyque's Eau D' Elide (I think that's the one).

    I got samples of several Lutens and all were interesting and some were great. Chypre Rouge was the only one I found to be just plain awful. Godawful.


    ------------


    And now?

    I stumbled across a sample of Daim Blond recently and was shocked at how much I liked it-- and I remembered that Chypre Rouge and Daim Blond share a certain something and are like brother and sister to me, and I began to recall Chypre Rouge in a different light. I decided to buy a bottle since it's left the export line and stocks in the US are starting to dwindle. I'm glad I did. What was so weird and goofy about it the first time is still weird and goofy-- but I like it now! I still get the jello, celery, pecans and kool-aid, and it's an incredibly crazy composition, but I find it attractive and extremely exotic-- even for a Lutens.

    A lot of people comment on how this does or doesn't fit the definition of a chypre-- and to that, I really can't comment. Chypre Rouge, to me, is almost beyond any kind of label. I'll clarify this review some more after I've had more time to understand how it performs over repeated wearings, but for now I'm really impressed by this weird one.

    15th February, 2007 (Last Edited: 21st September, 2011)

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    Baie de Genièvre by Creed

    I just bought a bottle of this blind. The price was good so I went for it based on the positive reviews. The first blast of it was kind of a shock. I'm used to mainly the more recent Creeds--the Millesimes. At first it smelled very dense and hard. Kind of dated, but at the same time, a very exquisite, powerful kind of smell.

    After about five minutes on the skin, it's really interesting. It smells very formal. It reminds me of the Rat Pack for some reason. Kind of reminds me a bit of Versace L'Homme, but this is much much better--this is more tightly wound than L'Homme. I was afraid of two things when trying Baie de Genievre: that it would smell like pine trees or that it would smell too much like cinnamon. It reeks of neither. Its minimalism is a virtue. Actually upon drydown I'm picking up a similarity to Vintage Tabarome--except VT I don't care for all that much, while this stuff I could definitely wear.

    I'd have to wear a suit with this probably. It smells too formal to pull off with jeans. Because of the description, I was expecting this to be raw and a little crude--well, I can see that but to me it seems extremely refined as well. An early 80's power scent as done by Creed. Interesting. I can't wait for an opportunity to wear this.

    11th January, 2007

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    Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

    I initially hated this. But now, I like it. I had thought it was too feminine. The main shock I got when I sampled it for the first time was that it smelled like the liquid soap you wash your hands with after visiting an interstate rest area. Seriously it does smell like a rest stop--though one reason could be that the nature of saffron sometimes takes on a cherry-like aroma not unlike air fresheners used in such places.

    But after revisiting the sample, I really enjoy it. What I like about it is that it is relaxing and completely smooth. No rough edges. I have a gift card I have to use at a certain store, and I think I'm going to get a bottle of this.

    08th January, 2007

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    Erolfa by Creed

    I got a bottle of Erolfa last week. It's just what I hoped it would be-- a darker, moodier cousin to Millesime Imperial. It's herbal and fresh and yes, there is that prominent sea-salt accord. Erolfa while being a marine fragrance, has a kind of an "old soul"--like the patina of brass fittings on an old galleon.

    While MI is sunny, bright and outgoing, Erolfa is darker, more mysterious, and introverted. The yin to MI's yang. And I almost find Erolfa to be somewhat "goth" in a way, I suppose depending upon the rest of the wearer's presentation.

    Definitely a good choice for evening wear. It's kind a kind of macho roughness about it. A lot of depth as well. When I sniff it, I get all kind of daydreams about ships. pirates, maps, seas, and the like.

    Definitely the best fragrance a person could wear to see a Decemberists concert!

    Everything I'd hoped it would be.

    07th January, 2007

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    I bought a bottle of Green Irish Tweed a month ago. I was fully expecting it to smell like Cool Water, but I bought it anyway--My reasoning being that Original Vetiver smelled identical to Mugler's Cologne at first, but after a while I could detect a world of difference.

    Well... When I got my bottle of GIT, sure enough it smelled like Cool Water. I was slightly saddened because I liked the way GIT smelled, but I was certain that anyone who smelled it would identify me as a guy who wears Cool Water.

    But you know what? I can't stop wearing this stuff regardless! At first it seemed kind of mediocre, but the quality is first rate and the multifaceted drydown is addicting. I almost don't care if people think it IS Cool Water, because it just smells incredible.

    Just last night I stopped in a Sephora and did a quick spritz of Cool Water on a paper strip--I should have put it on skin... But yep, it was similar in smell to GIT. But while they smell similar, Green Irish Tweed has much more complexity and allure about it.

    To enjoy it, you really have to divorce yourself from thoughts of Cool Water, and just enjoy it for the masterpiece that it is. And if you must recall Cool Water, remember, Green Irish Tweed was created first and Cool Water was the plagiarist.

    Green Irish Tweed doesn't need to reinvent the wheel. It already invented it in the first place...

    06th January, 2007

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    Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

    I don't know what to think of Tabarome Millesime (New Tabarome)...

    I bought a bottle of it blind. I'd heard some people say it was just like Bulgari Blu. Well, it wasn't--which was nice, because I didn't want to have another Creed deja vu moment--but I think Tabarome Millesime is more than just a little weird.

    The ginger blast can be overwhelming. I agree with CoL that it can be almost nauseating. The initial impression is something like a tart, sour gingery, slightly powdery, aldehydic pineapple smell. I think I hate the opening. Kind of a clammy sensation, the warm and cold at the same time. There is perhaps too much bergamot in the top.

    However after a mere ten minutes, it gets much better. The ginger/pineapple recedes and I get a kind of butterscotch note that starts to peek out. I really wish the initial topnote weirdness could be avoided totally, because it gives perhaps a false impression of the scent.

    I was expecting something more earthy and opaque--it's hard for me to judge because the opening blast colors my impressions of it so heavily--if I could have just started it further into its drydown the first time I smelled it, my opinion would be different. Also, for some reason I keep expecting to get some leather out of this fragrance and never get any. I've smelled Vintage Tabarome and while it's not for me (reminds me of mothballs), I can see its richness and leathery contours. New Tabarome on the other hand feels a bit underpowered and wet behind the ears.

    I'm going to keep wearing it and see if it grows on me-- as it is, this is one of the few times where I am pretty neutral on a scent.

    26th December, 2006

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    Déclaration Bois Bleu by Cartier

    OK, let me preface this by saying I have a bottle of the original Declaration and also Declaration Essence, and I love them both.

    But... Bois Bleu is probably THE most disgusting scent I've ever tried. I sniffed it briefly once and thought I liked it. The other day I got a sample and when I got home and sprayed some on, I couldn't believe how bad it was. It actually has the distinction of being the ONLY fragrance that nearly makes me vomit. Seriously, I smell it, and I get that same ache in my stomach etc.

    It smells OK for about 20 seconds and then the bottom drops out and there is just a nasty muddled foul note in there that just comes galloping out, bringing all kinds of other funk with it. They tried to make this scent "cool and wet". They succeeded in making it clammy. Seriously, I would sum this fragrance up in only one word, "clammy". Plus it smells really badly of "wet dog". It stinks. Also I get the impression of walking through a damp woods and sinking my teeth into a giant slug. There is something of mollusk slime in this scent that is just revolting. So, it's clammy in two senses of the word. And as it dries down on skin, there is something even worse-- Oh, jeez, how do I say this... well, there's kind of a note of metallic blood and saltiness, kind of like planting your face somewhere you'd rather not, purely out of...ahem, obligation.

    The other two versions of Declaration are nice. I think they work because they have a real dryness to them. They're arid. Something about trying to take this scent accord, and make it wet and fresh actually just makes it really gross.

    #1 Worst fragrance ever in my book!

    27th July, 2006

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 4 Cologne: Anbar by Comme des Garçons

    I got a sample of this when I bought my bottle of Vettiveru. I'm really impressed with all three. Anbar is fresh, clean, a bit sweet, and as a dab of musk. I've worn this to work a few times and it's really an ideal work scent Something in it reminds me of the smell of Gobstoppers jawbreakers candy. And new leather. Wonderful stuff. Getting used to this series, EDCs' as they are, can be a bit strange at first. But you come to realize that scents like these have their place and can be worn everyday in every situation.

    24th February, 2006

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 4 Cologne: Citrico by Comme des Garçons

    Just had to add that I meant to give it a thumbs up with my review!

    24th February, 2006

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    B*Men by Thierry Mugler

    I bought this for myself over a year ago. I just rediscovered it. It smells a little like maple syrup oatmeal, to my nose. Also it seems to have a "reversed" scent pyramid, because the sweet, heavy notes seem to be the top notes, and after they burn off, what remains are the tangy citrus notes- This is the opposite of what usually happens.

    I think by calling it B*Men, they set this up as a kind of "also-ran", The name conjures up associations with "B-Lists." This is unfortunate because I think it is superb. Granted, there are similarities with A*Men, but B*Men has its own shiny dance moves as well... And with the way the pyramid seems to go in reverse- B*men busts out with "the moonwalk."

    21st February, 2006

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    Comme des Garçons Parfum by Comme des Garçons

    I'm a huge Comme des Garçons fanatic...but THIS...

    This stuff smells like a "life-support machine!"

    15th February, 2006

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    l'eau de parfum #2 Spiritus / land by Miller et Bertaux

    I just bought a bottle of this after having a sample for a while, not being able to make up my mind if i liked this stuff or not. It's VERY different. Avant- garde.

    It begins with a kind of pickled-ginger note, and it has a note not unlike bread crusts. There is also an incense note. A kind of "off-white" incense smell. A bit of dust. But at the heart, there is a tobacco note and all kinds of stuff I can't identify. It's heavy on exotic spices and has kind of an all-spice character.

    I describe it like this. Imagine a giant framed art print. Like a test pattern on a TV screen- nothing but vertical lines...this scent is like that. Here is the color scheme for the lines: White, off-white, yellow, tan, beige, grey, and grey that is just a tad darker.

    It took me forever before I decided that I really love this scent, and it is QUITE wearable. Very mysterious, calm, rebellious, and not even close to smelling mainstream. Almost impossible for me to describe. It doesn't fit into any of the fragrance families. Really an odd duck.

    On a side note, the bottle and packaging are really great concept-wise. The bottle has two little glass pebbles that slide around on the bottom. Well done.

    Even though I'm a fan of this one, buying blind may be risky, because it's so "out-there"- try it first!

    09th February, 2006

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Palisander by Comme des Garçons

    This stuff has more wood than Beavis and Butthead on a morning school bus ride.

    But seriously this is the purest wood scent I've ever encountered. It smells just like "Lincoln Logs"-those wooden toy logs that kids build little log cabins out of. I could smell it all day. Palisander is a wonderful fragrance. Never mind the sillage, people around you will get SPLINTERS! Woodpeckers will circle like vultures and people will call you Pinnochio. But kidding aside, its a very intense yet sober rendering of an old wood smell. And the myrrh and hot spices around the corners are so well crafted. Its smells very deep, and very red, and at times, very much like a 2x4.

    BTW this one has some similarities with Sequoia, if you like one, be sure to try the other.

    17th January, 2006

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Sequoia by Comme des Garçons

    Sequoia begins a bit tart and spicy. A bit like candy apple. A leafy green flits around in the red. In the topnotes, you can really pick up the rum note- kind of a mouthwatering, intoxicating quality. Then you start to get the mulchy red wood smells. There is a nice Agarwood note in there too and it reminds me of an incense I like to burn. This scent has some similarities with Palisander, But while Palisander is a palpable plank of wood across the nose (in a good way), Sequoia is more of an ambient headspace of the aura of a forest. Very wearable. It smells very relaxed, like napping in a log cabin or lying back in a canoe in the middle of a quiet lake on a sunny day.

    It's like summer camp in a bottle!

    15th January, 2006

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 1 Leaves: Calamus by Comme des Garçons

    Calamus is one of the most natural smelling green scents I've ever smelled. Its a milky kind of green. I read somewhere that the calamus plant is one of those tall plants like those that grow on the edge of ponds. People used to chew on its roots and supposedly Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" was inspired by calamus.

    I was expecting this Comme des Garcons fragrance to be really odd, but I was astounded at the positive comments by people who picked up the bottle and smelled it. They loved it. My brother wears it all the time. One friend was impressed with it and asked if it contained pheromones.

    milky, powdery, and green like the dew on morning leaves- If you were an active child who loved playing outdoors in the grass, whacking your way through the tall weeds with a whiffle-ball bat, I promise you Calamus will be a very nostalgic fragrance for you.

    15th January, 2006

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