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This is my favorite lavender-vanilla fragrance, by far. For me, this easily surpasses Caron pour un Homme which is too minty for my taste and Jicky which is, well,..too Jicky. A Taste of Heaven is deceptively simple and silky smooth. Foetidus describes the progression of A Taste of Heaven perfectly. The lavender, bergamot, floral and vanilla notes blend very well and the transition from the top notes to the mid notes is flawless. There is nothing forced. The lavender recedes a bit during the drydown. It is there, but tonka and vanilla rule the base, with a slight tinge of burnt sugar. I also detect light patchouli and oak moss in the dry down. This is one of those "I can't separate my nose from my wrist" fragrances. It smells equally fabulous on a man or a woman.
11th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 14 May, 2011)
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I recently added Canoe to my wardrobe in honor of its iconic status as a reference aromatic fougere per Michael Edwards. I find the top notes to be a bit unsettling, alcohol, lemon and I'm not sure what else. Hairspray comes to mind. Fortunately, this fades fairly quickly. I get a definite Brut vibe with this one. The mid notes pass me by entirely. The tonka and vanilla base notes emerge and dominate early in the progression with a noticeable heliotrope note. No oakmoss to my nose. I rate this a neutral for its pleasant, persistent dry down and its long history of making guys smell pretty good. The new formulation, which is now (according to the box) "Made in China with Fragrance Oil Made in the USA", is the only version I've tried. I've smelled it on others years ago but never gave it much thought. I'd love to get my hands on the "Made in France" version.
10th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 30th November, 2011)
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Creed got this one right. Pineapple and apples right out of the gate. These notes dominate the opening with the blackcurrant and bergamot scrambling to reach the top. The dry birch and patchouli bring a pleasant depth to the fruit powered top notes. Very nice transition into the mid notes. The base notes of musk, ambregris and vanilla are prominent, but the dry birch and patchouli never really leave. I detect a faint dose of oak moss in the base. Aventus lasts forever on my skin, with very good sillage. I perceive this to be a dark scent, even with the bright fruity opening. It reminds me of a crisp fall day in the woods, slightly overcast, sun beginning to slip away, Green Irish Tweed nipping at its heels.
10th May, 2011
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I really wanted to like Cypres-Musc. Unfortunately, this fragrance smells like soap. I waited for it to develop and still, soap. I asked my wife, "What does this smell like to you?" She said, "Ivory soap." To my nose, case closed. I can't recommend this one.
04 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 14 May, 2011)
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In general, I am not a fan of lavender fragrances. However, with Gris Clair I throw my previous aversions aside. The lavender/smoky/amber core of this fragrance is stunning. The amber and smoky accord tame the lavender enough to make this a pleasure to wear. It far surpasses Caron pour un Homme which my nose rejects immediately and my brain does likewise. When I first wore Gris Clair, I wasn't overwhelmed, in fact, I wasn't all that impressed. I set it aside for three years, even tried to sell the bottle. I'm sure glad I didn't. This is a masculine, elegant, sophisticated fragrance. My nose has changed over time and after years of sniffing, I can now appreciate fragrances I quickly gave up on in the past. You've got to give this one a try (or two). Gris Clair is quickly moving up my list of favorites. I suspect it will stay there awhile.
04 May, 2011
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Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme is a classical fougere that starts with a brisk citrus opening that quickly belnds with the lavender and pepper middle notes, followed by a distinct sage note. The citrus never really leaves the progression, holding on all the way into the light musk base. Tobacco and tonka bean are also prominent in the base, with the tobacco never quite taking center stage. Soft woods round out the dry down. Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme is a very versatile fragrance that is suitable for work or jeans and a tee shirt. This fragrance projects well and has excellent longevity. This is a fragrance I wear quite often. When in doubt, I reach for this one (must be the velvety blue box). I highly recommend Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme.
27 April, 2011 (Last Edited: 10th May, 2011)
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If you've ever spent time in the great pine forests of northern Wisconsin, you know Fou d'Absinthe. This is my favorite confierous fragrance by far. It is a unique fougere-- resinous, spicy in the middle, slightly earthy and hauntingly evocative in its pine-fir base. This is not Polo, not Pino, not Blenheim Bouquet. If it is confierous you want, you've got to try Fou d'Absinthe. Longevity is very good if the scent is properly applied. Two sprays at the neckline, below a shirt will hold Fou d'Absinthe on my skin for at least 8 hours. A spray on the wrist only gets me about 4 hours. This is a great cool weather frangrance, which I find very versatile. The Holy Grail is in sight, but there are miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep...
23 April, 2011
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XS is a fruity fougere that is versatile, smooth and a pleasure to wear. After a green, minty, spicy, and somewhat fruity opening that I find similar to Eternity, XS transitions nicely into the juniper, floral heart that still holds a touch of green before settling into a light musk and wood base. Longevity is good and sillage is moderate. XS is suitable for office wear and is also a fine casual scent. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first sampled this. The top notes are my least favorite stage of the fragrance, especially during the first few minutes after take off. I almost gave up on this one before I gave it a full wear. I recommend XS. Not a classic, but it smells great. Yes, this is XS and let's not "trim it" as was suggested by one esteemed critic who shall not be named.
21st April, 2011
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Tsar is the first fragrance I fell in love with upon initial sampling in the early 1990's. I bought a gift set that included the EDTand after shave. This fresh fougere has a crisp green opening that develops a slightly spicy and fruity character within the first 30 minutes of application. I find a distinct tartness as it transitions into the heart notes, but the fruity, green notes remain throughout the life of the fragrance, though they take a less prominent role over time. As the base develops, the oak moss note emerges accompanied by a dash of pathchouli. This lasts for quite some time until the sandal enters the progression. I detect a restrained leather note in the base. Tsar is an elegant fragrance that starts strong and mellows to a pleasant skin scent that invites wrist sniffs. Tsar has been reformulated at least twice since its launch in the late 1980s. I do not recommend the first reformulation which is packaged in the ribbed bottle with the gold top. In my opinion, it is not even close to the original. If you can't obtain a bottle of the original, I recommend the current version in the dark green, opaque bottle with the black top. This is the new version that is shown on the VC&A website. It is very close to the original formulation. A side by side comaprison confirms that. Tsar is an excellent choice for formal occassions, but it can also be worn at the office. One of my favorites. I will always have a bottle in my wardrobe.
16 April, 2011 (Last Edited: 07 December, 2011)