Sweet powdery gasoline mixed with a vegetal vanilla pretty much sums up my impression after several full wearings of Ambrarem. I so want to give this a thumbs up not just because HdP is one of my fav houses but also because Ambrarem is actually a truly creative and well done fragrance, yet at the same time it seems as though it was created to appear especially synthetic, thus giving it a somewhat hollow and emotionless presence. It seems less a work of art and more a "presentation" in bizarre boldness. I admire its originality and it's oddly easy to wear, yet I sometimes catch a whiff of it and squiggle my nose in that split second before I remember I'm wearing it. So yes, I don't particularly care for how the scent makes me feel yet I find myself appreciating the originality. It's definitely a polarizing scent, and while I don't consider it an amber fragrance (more like a highly mutated cousin of amber) I still recommend everyone seek out a sample of this release.
Those contending Spirituese Double Vanille smells identical to vanilla extract need only do an honest side-by-side to quickly realize how inaccurate that accusation is. SdV is simple yet bold, going on with unrestrained booziness over what is an almost aldehydic vanilla. It is not a huge, sugary, cloying, warm, bready, sticky melting vanilla like Un Bois Vanille (SL) but rather a crisp, luxurious and very wearable vanilla. I also detect the glorious spice of aromatic tobacco leaves.
I didn't care for it at first. It seemed somewhat lacking, uninteresting and linear but I slowly came to realize how complex and well done it really is. But most importantly it simply smells really, really, really good. I never regret the days I wear it, it's one of the best fragrances to keep you company all day. And while I've worn it on warmer spring nights with ease, it is best worn during autumn and winter. Longevity and projection are top notch.
I've given myself a year to fully familiarize myself with this fragrance and I find the EdP version allows the unfolding to occur slowly, allowing the opportunity to enjoy the stages all the more but scent-wise they are about identical. This is an excellent rum/saffron boozy scent with cumin and faint citrus in the top and smoked sugar/amber in the drydown with a very chic/urban/money/classy feel to it but not in a campy or loud way. Something about it just seems incredibly refined and brilliant. It is a confident scent.
Idole de Lubin is one of those fragrances that may seem too scary or challenging at first but give a few minutes for the booziness to soak in and warm up. This is the kind of fragrance that's 'spray and forget', you're going to get whiffs of yourself all night and it's always going to bring a smile in the back of your mind. Definitely a "night-out" scent.
An under-appreciated classic!
I guess I should've researched this one more. I was expecting a dark soda (cola) type fragrance, instead it's akin to smelling like Ginger Ale. "Soda" has a bright, summery feeling to it -- green and somewhat sparkly, although it dries down fairly quickly and leaves something faintly rose/musk in its wake. There are better effervescent green frags out there, but this one isn't a total disaster either.
No doubt about it, Back to Black is the masterpiece of the Kilian line - at least as of the year ending in 2009.
If you like the opening of Back to Black, the good news is that it only gets better. Personally, I'm a little iffy on the opening but it passes soon enough. The opening consists of raspberry and honeyed cocoa which is a bit too sweet for my taste but the sweetness mellows fairly quickly and leaves behind this golden smokey tobacco with undertones of tonka bean that is just to die for. It leans ever so slightly feminine but I wear it often and receive compliments, so I'd say this one is fairly unisex.
If you don't like tobacco notes or you're in the market for a totally average workplace scent, this is the last fragrance you should be looking at. This is a very special scent and the only Kilian that I think justifies its price.
Personally, as much as I like it on myself, I think it smells ten times better on a woman. It is by far the sexiest fragrance I've smelled on a woman - not in an overly sugary/annoying way but a very sultry and determined way. Probably my favorite release of 2009.
Putting all the press release silliness ("smuggled" ingredients, etc) of Black Afgano aside, this was a very highly anticipated release for me as I have been searching for a true cannabis/hashish note. Yes, I'm being serious, and yes, I love really bizarre/heavy/strange/smokey/weird fragrances. Black Afgano was highly anticipated in my world, but I must regretfully admit that Black Afgano smells pretty much nothing at all like cannabis, hash, resin, smoked cannabis, or anything even relating to that realm. It doesn't even smell like bong water, as some bloggers have written, although the juice is dyed a similar color in what I suppose is an effort to streamline the idea that B.A. is fragrant resin in a bottle.
What I do get is oud and tobacco absolute, from start to finish, in the most linear form possible. The sillage is rather weak but the duration is a monster. Oud and tobacco absolute, however, are some of my favorite notes - and I love ashen/tobacco type scents so this one still should be a winner for me, but it's not. Why? Because, frankly, it's just not that interesting to smell. It doesn't whisk me away anywhere or paint my imagination with scenes - it simply smells like oud and tobacco, and that's how it smells from the moment it hits my skin to the moment it leaves. It smells like perfume notes in an unfinished work, an incomplete fragrance... the base upon which something great could be built - but instead it was left as is.
Nothing about it really stands out for me, and that's the saddest part. The press releases, the juice color, the descriptions of "smuggled" ingredients, etc, etc all suggest one thing, but the actual odor of the juice itself is quite different. The concept was great, but it wasn't really fleshed out accurately.
chromatone wrote in an earlier review of Chêne: "sun-baked car seat cushion and dry-rotted dashboard vinyl, with a healthy side serving of faded "pine tree" car freshener, rust, and antifreeze. Essentially it shared many tonal qualities with the interior of an older, unclean automobile left in the sun."
Upon reading this, I let out an "ohhhhhhhh yeah!"
Despite me being a shameless Lutens fanatic, I could never get into Chêne. It reminded me of -something- but I couldn't pinpoint what it was until I read the above excerpt because that is absolutely and precisely what Chêne smells like: a disgusting car that has been parked in the sunlight all day with the windows up. It is a nauseating smell. Sunbaked car seat cushion, that's all Chêne manages to evoke for me.
This is one of the finest tobacco notes I've ever come across - powder-ish sweet/dry smoke.. almost the feel of being surrounded by a circle of smoke machines all going full blast. Very mysterious and nocturnal feeling without coming off as alarming. Unisex with ever so slightly below average sillage/duration compared to other Lutens fragrances. I find it incredibly impressive.
This is horrible, the first scent I've had to scrub off in a very long time. All I get is one big sweet chemical that is overwhelmingly nauseating. It is slightly cucumberish/licorice as others have mentioned, but it has this sickening synthetic sweetness that almost feels like it stains my throat with its smell. As with most truly bad fragrances, the sillage and longevity is extreme.
The oud and castoreum blend to create something very unique and, in my opinion, drop dead sexy. Not cute/lovingly sexy, but aggressive and borderline cruel sexy, yet there is a sense of refined sophistication bordering the entire fragrance. It is fantastic for the first few minutes, but then it does a virtual disappearing act. Sillage and longevity are freakishly minimal, but if you're looking for a very sexy (dominatrix style?) skin scent, something only to be smelled up-close and intimately, this could be almost narcotic in that aspect. Thumbs up, despite the virtual absence of any sillage.
The Serge Lutens website sums Rousse up with one word: Racy. I think that's about as fitting as it gets. It's so unique, especially for a Lutens. Rousse starts with a candied cinnamon spice (think Red Hot candies) and pretty much stays that way for quite sometime before fading to a soft, amber/floral base that is linear/minimalist. It's simply a good smelling, well rounded, unobtrusive yet nowhere near boring, predictable or average smelling perfume. Racy and red.
Gourmand for a tea scent. Smoky sweet Lapsang Souchong tea with a dense slab of moist gingerbread leaning against the cup, inhaling the vapors of it all. It smells entirely pleasant but it's not something I'd really want to wear. It is a bit straightforward and lacking the complexity that turns good fragrances into wardrobe staples, yet the simplicity is what makes this a cozy and comfortable scent. It requires no dissection or analysis, it simply cradles your sense of smell. Ideal for cooler weather.
Neutral but leaning toward a thumbs up.