Reviews by Mar Azul

    Mar Azul's avatar
    Mar Azul
    Bulgaria Bulgaria

    Showing 61 to 81 of 81.

    L'Essence de Déclaration by Cartier

    I seem to be hyper-sensitive to some notes, like rosewood and certain kinds of musk. So this is what I smell out of this from the beginning till end : rosewood and spices, over a certain mix of other notes which my nose prefers to call simply a "base".

    There are dark overtones in the spicy department which almost reveal themselves but never actually turn the scent into something smokey or dark oriental etc. I guess that's what they call "classy". A little more in this direction and it'd go in the "sexy" region. But no, not for this scent. Not for the modern gentleman.
    Note that I still haven't smelled the original version, so I'm not comparing.

    17th December, 2009


    Halston 1-12 by Halston

    The best lemon in the heavyweight category.
    It's always interesting to see how lemon plays a major role in darker scents. Aramis Tuscany is a brutal example. Halston 1-12 is more balanced and more interesting. While at some point it's kind of typical masculine herbal concoction, settling point is just beautiful. A friendly fragrance. I wear it a lot in the cold evenings.

    16th December, 2009


    Alien by Thierry Mugler

    All Mugler scents that I've smelled so far are tangibly sexy attractive. Don't know the secret, but I always feel physically attracted. I rediscover the notes in a different light. In this case, it's like "So, this is how jasmine could smell?". Something almost edible in the fragrance in both physical and spiritual way. Mugler perfumes always speak about some other world, maybe the future world or maybe some more conscious world. Half-human, half-superhuman.

    13th December, 2009


    Very Irrésistible for Men by Givenchy

    Yes. This is the smell of After Eight Thin Mints *before* you bite the chocolate and let the mint filling out. It's there, but just for the right balance. The most nocturnal mint/grapefruit scent and the most green gourmand scent. Wood undertones make it solid and somehow mysterious. Smells like a fantasy forest, a lot of shadows, sun rays shining through green leaves. First I was mislead by the opening: too much chocolate/coffee there. Soon it turned into something I really like. Nice aura.

    12th December, 2009


    Bazar Homme by Christian Lacroix

    Smells pleasantly synthetic. I mean, it smells a bit like plastic, but you have the feeling that it's made intentionally. Hence, I don't care that much if it's a melon or a grapefruit. It's just urban synthetic fresh. The most interesting part is where the supposed ozonic notes combine with a strong woody presence, to form what I'd call a "synthetic incense" smell. That's what robots of the future would burn to cheer up. Yet it's all very fragile, not solid. Sillage is weak and a brief description is quite enough.

    10th December, 2009


    Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    This is something you'd wear at a world ecology conference or as a UN goodwill ambassador. It's peaceful and it's strongly connected to Mother Earth. In fact that's how I imagined Terre d'Hermes before I smelled it.Smells expensive and humble at the same time. Represents absolute state of tranquility, challenged only by a beautiful spicy note. I don't imagine many occasions in my real life where I'd choose to wear Dzongkha. Thumbs up for craftsmanship, definitely.

    04th December, 2009 (Last Edited: 08th February, 2010)


    Tuscany / Etruscan by Aramis

    A heavy masculine disguised as a citrus. A lemon trapped in a leather jacket. This is one of those lemons dropped in the shadows in the paintings of the Dutch masters. It stays there for almost 6 hours. Then leather stays one day more. And I'm talking two sprays at most.

    04th December, 2009


    Lalique pour Homme Equus by Lalique

    I was swept away when I first sniffed it. This happens rarely with me as does love from first sight. So I was immediately transported to another place. A hotel lounge with dim lights and all the furniture made of the most tender and beautiful wood grown by fairies. No one had yet set foot in this place and it was the smell of this heavenly wood. And the lamps had the dark cherry color of YSL M7.
    It's a really refined combination of fruitiness and woodiness, sensual musk notes and violets. Smooth, harmonic, and painfully beautiful, as it brings sweet nostalgia, being itself sweet, but not candy-sweet.
    As mentioned, I find analogies with M7 correct, like it was lightened up, "woodened up" a little more with Gucci Pour Homme, and then refined by a heavenly touch. In fact, in a different world, Equus would have been the reference when people review M7 and not vice versa. It just seems rough compared to Equus.
    The sad part is that an hour later, I was smelling like a sole peaceful cherry. I was trying to recover the beauty that I initially felt, tenaciously sniffing the drydown, power of suggestion or not. Yet this cherry smell had already become too familiar and less interesting for me. I got used to this drydown too fast and that was it. So I realized I'd rather have DSquared Rocky Mountain Wood which is not so perfect and to my nose has a pungent vinegar note somewhere, but this makes it more playful and a bit weird, a bit upsetting, which I prefer to complete harmony. But I don't have to be able to wear something everyday to appreciate it. Both thumbs up. This smell is THE pure charm.

    03rd December, 2009 (Last Edited: 08th February, 2010)


    Palais Jamais by Etro

    This is a vivid, sparkling fragrance. Although it doesn't change dramatically towards the drydown, it simply changes its face every time I try to pay deeper attention to it. "Rubber leaves", or "rubber soft floral" - is there such thing? I mean not a combination of rubber and florals, but something that smells like a single note. In fact that's what's great here: it always smells very homogeneous. I can also notice citrus and vetiver but again, they're not "natural" or "real" - more like surreal, rubberized, more classy than nature can ever be. Earl Grey tea seems the most natural reference. But once I notice it, and it turns to some expensive lemon detergent, then into a incense stick before being burned. A playful fragrance.
    I tried Palais Jamais in the summer but then some sour notes made it too heavy on my skin. I wear it now in the mild winter and it cheers up the air around me without ever settling to a tranquil state. It's light and dark at the same time and while in hot weather the dark notes seem somehow unbalanced and the green/citrusy notes can seem banal, cooler temperatures reveal its true paradoxical nature. Perfect.

    02nd December, 2009 (Last Edited: 03rd February, 2010)


    Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme by Van Cleef & Arpels

    Spray a little bit more and you can easily suffocate everyone around you. This is the very opposite of freshness. It just makes the air heavy. Well the beginning is beautiful, flowery, classic in many ways. Then it turns into an almost visible heavy aura. I'm not quite sure about all the "expensive suit" implications: a cloak would be more suitable. In fact you can wear the fragrance itself like a heavy cloak.
    I think most of the reviews of Etro's Messe de MInuit are applicable here: basements, rotten matter, cellars etc., except that this fragrance relies on heaviness of flowers, moss, castoreum and leather instead of incense. A true gothic scent, once you stop thinking of mature, rich people, luxury and the likes. It's actually unbelievable how it can poison the air. Yet this is sweet suffocation. A complex masterpiece from a different era. Every fragrance explorer should smell it just to make sure such power can actually exist.

    21st November, 2009


    Cuba Gold by Cuba Paris

    Synthetic tobacco, I would call it. Which is actually better for me, as the strong, raw tobacco note in Aramis Havana for example, almost gives me headache. This one is rounded in a sweet aura. Now, this ambience of sweetness might by itself smell as a casual Puma fragrance but the tobacco note makes it classy, gives it an edge. When it settles, it's almost perfectly combined with vanilla, never too sweet. More like raw unrefined sugar.
    Yes, it's comparable to Body Kouros in theory, I can even smell some hints of anice or benzoin. But this is tobacco. Besides, I adore BK . For me it's a category of its own, takes you much much further without having to describe the notes. It just has a ten times more clearer statement IMO. Yet Cuba Gold is interesting, definitely worth trying and very cheap. I would say it's perfect for a night club where people are dancing and sweating. It somehow reminds of an 80's macho fragrance just in the right way, without being obsolete. I give it positive because of the price.

    05th November, 2009


    Sandalo by Etro

    I don't know how to explain this, but so far all Etro fragrances that I know are in different ways true to their visual philosophy. Just look at the patterns on the fabrics. Me, they always give me the atmosphere of an antiques shop, and at the same time are so contemporary, that one can think this is what the future should look like. A "New tradition", indeed. You can almost tell it looks like your grandma's, but there's something in it... And somehow this feeling has been translated in Etro's fragrances as well.
    Quite literally, Sandalo smells almost like a box of sandalwood incense sticks and old furniture. But there's something in it....There's creaminess, there are hints of raw black smoke and patchouli, there's warmness and there is a distant challenge of something savage, which you don't find in the otherwise comforting smell of pure sandalwood incense.
    This is from 1989. Now, here there are many fragrances from that times that are praised out of respect or out of nostalgia. 20 years later, this one is completely wearable, sexy, mind-challenging. What more can be said?

    05th November, 2009


    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    Many wood fragrances contain at least traces of smoke or resins. Not in this case. This is fresh cut wooden board. Nothing aged, nothing dry, nothing exotic. I don't get much more than this literal reference except some hints of sweetness, vanilla, amber something in the drydown, but only when it's too late.Besides this hints that never really dominate, it's quite the same till the end. If fresh cut wooden board triggers something special for you, then it works fine. For me it's just too basic: nothing else to challenge it or to make you wonder. If mistery lies in some unusual combination - balanced or paradoxical, or in a note that you cannot recognize or don't expect, or in the metamorphosis of a smell in time, there's no mistery at all in this smell. Nice idea, but too easy to decode. A one trick pony. Yet there are much more complex fragrances which you just can't wear everywhere and on every occasion, while this one can easily be someone's signature scent

    22nd October, 2009 (Last Edited: 04th December, 2009)


    Hot Water by Davidoff

    There's really something in the beginning that gives the impression of "hot" - not in the sense of high temperature but in the sense of "chilly": some spices, pimento, mixed with some fresh citrusy note. Although I'm not sure what is a chilly smell, it just made me think like this.. for some minutes, before it settles down to a little more sensual/oriental Cool Water and finally, for a quite long time a powdery quite synthetic base in the style of Kenzo Power (without the originality) or Dior Homme (missing its character) or some outdated Joop scent like Night Flight or Joop Homme.
    I recently had the same experience with Black XS: great beginning which then rapidly turns into something so generic and without character/ obsolete /banal, that onje really starts to think that this scent are made with the idea to simply provoke an impulsive buy in the first five minutes, giving imaginary 'character' to the scent and connecting it with the name. First five minutes, then it's gone and then you start asking yourself which Davidoff exactly was it on your left wrist, or was it the new CK, or a Joop from the 90's.
    I get the point. Many things happen in the first five minutes.But then...

    20th September, 2009


    Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma

    It's green like the leaves of the fig tree, or the newly grown branches, or the figs when they're still not too ripe. I think that's why people say that it smells simple - because it smells so real, every note in it is partto the same landscape, same idyllic picture, so natural, that it's hard to think of it as someone's creation. Yet, there's no such exact smell in nature and there are many things happening in this scent. Especially when it settles, I can't stop smelling it on my skin and it always lifts my mood and makes me think of beautiful things, not only fruits or trees but people, and sun, and happy life. Favourite for the summer, even when it's rainy. Even more favourite on very hot skin, mixed with sea salt at the beach.

    19th September, 2009


    Black XS by Paco Rabanne

    In the beginning, it's fruits, spices and fresh mint, mixed on top of the original XS, or at least something quite similar to it. This two worlds don't seem to coexist in natural harmony and for me it's more like I layered two different perfumes one on top of the other and can still recognize each of them. One is playful, original and surprising, the other is boring and typical masculine 90's. That could be an interesting statement, too.
    However, on my skin, the mint goes away in 20 minutes. Pity.
    Still some darker character is revealed, close to the image of the bottle with its black rose. Fruits and spices dominate for a while and evoke mistery. Half an hour later, fruits are somehow gone or at least the playfulness, mistery and emotion that they give. Pity.
    Then eventually everything else that was original in this pyramid goes in the shadows already and starts to support this typically "modern" designer masculine scent, so close to the original XS that it smells a little outdated. Maybe it was the success of XS in its time which made scents like this "typical".. anyway, it was a pity to lose such a promising start. Maybe it's just my skin, maybe I have just smelled too much Paco Rabanne in my life, so I pay too much attention to the similarities and neglect the original part.
    Nevertheless, I'm sure for fans of XS it'll still be a pleasant surprise and a nice upgrade.

    15th September, 2009


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

    I pretty much like the description of this scent as "a modulation of vetiver into another key". Especially talking about "dry" and "earthy", except that here we're talking about oil, petroleum, coal, asphalt, rubber, almost pungent, very heavy and not aided by any "pleasant" note in whatever sense you may put into this word.For the first one or two hours I almost got headache wearing this. It's like you've put on a brand new cheap plastic/rubber/whatever synthetic raincoat or - to be literal - you're in the center of a renovated street with the asphalt still melting. I don't mind making strange impression or a strong statement to the world around me wearing this, if it wasn't that I myself would get dizzy wearing it. Still, I should add that I'm actually not a big fan of 'earthy' scents in general, if that makes little more sense.
    Anyway, after this pungent phase some surprisingly wearable synthetic notes come to light, more vynil than tar. They don't have any depth but still, after the initial torture it was a nice surprise to have them. This 'base' is quite resistant on clothes, I would say. Makes your cotton t-shirts smell like rubber boots. It just depends whether you want this effect or not.
    Speaking of complexity, smells to me like a single note which you cannot divide. I guess that's the concept.
    It might be a good idea to mix this scent with some floral/fruity/green or whatever more or less "naturally" smelling perfume comes to mind, just to add a bit of alien groove to it. But then, it's pretty much possible that you'll end up with something similar to Bulgari Black. Which leads me to the following description:
    Remove everything sweet, smokey, vegetal, flowery, profound and complex from Bulgari Black and you'd pretty much have CdG Tar.

    05th September, 2009


    Messe de Minuit by Etro

    On my skin it's dark orange in the beginning. It's pervertedly fresh.
    Like orange and lemon jam which has been in the cellar for very long time and you just open it. Honey and incense combine for the sweetness. Trails of spices? Whis description I can easily picture the cupboard in my grandmother's kitchen.
    Just a little later, it's like you have the same notes, but rearranged. I start to smell old-fashioned amber and, yes, the frankincense. Sweetness, but not like something that you would eat; more likely a heavy air in a closed space.
    ..and hints of orange, still somehow throwing lightrays in this mystical picture, which is what makes this fragrance so unique. For me, the color is brown, with an orange circle in the center.
    There's this paradox about incenses: they fill the air, making it heavy to inhale, but in the same time you can feel elevated, purified: various states that you can as well connect to "fresh" smells. On a different level, though: spiritually, not bodily.
    This perfume speaks about personal experience. There are other incense fragrance like Jubilation XXV that give the idea of public places and lot of people. This one is about something happening to you personally. For me, it was important to have it, although I really don't know how it speaks to people around me. I'd rather wear it when I think about something, when I write, when I have to make my thoughts clear. Gives comfort, spiritual confidence, faith.

    01st September, 2009


    cK be by Calvin Klein

    If it was Comme De Garcons they would have named it "Artificial Leather", "Pink Plastic", "Matchstick", "Condom", whatever... And it would receive quite a different bundle of reviews with a different set of associations. But Since it's CK, and since the bottle is the same as the mainstream CK One, there's always a bit of confusion involved... What's that smell anyway?
    When I first smelled, I thought there was too little to smell at all, like some kind of very light chemical. Some days later I already knew this perfume has a certain statement... Peach, lavender, mint, whatever is in the list, they're mixed in a way that creates something that barely connects to the human world... maybe just some kind of musk plays its usual role . Yet my overall impression is that it's not made for humans at all. At times it reminds me of a frigid Bulgari Black, without the passion and warmness. Rubber, face tonic, shaving foam, plastic, medicine and a lot of similar references.
    Strange enough, on my skin the smell disappears very quickly but then after an hour or so, returns stronger than in the beginning.
    For me this is quite an interesting experiment and I respect it, but it's sometimes emotionally disturbing, Can't figure out the appropriate situation to wear this... reminds me of rainy and wind day in Dresden, when I was waiting in a laundromat. Maybe they should have made a grey bottle instead of black.

    01st June, 2009


    Gaultier² by Jean Paul Gaultier

    Quite a linear smell. Somehow sexless, rather than unisex. Not for passionate persons, imho... too kind and good-hearted. Lacks something that you would like to appear at some point, like when you've had enough sweets and you'd like something to spice it up.Maybe it's the vanilla which defies all cotradiction possible; it's vanilla for grown-up kids, which still want to see only the bright side. If I should compare it to something else, this would be a feminine fragrance: Ma Dame. Yet, where Ma Dame is seductive, this one is settled, harmless, like lovers already used to each other, knowing each other's sweet spots. I wouldn't imagine this fragrance speaking to a stranger.
    As there's nothing to challenge the sweet - vanilla - caramel positiveness, this fragrance actually works depressing for me. It's nice, creamy, soft, and not inspiring. Tranquility in the romantic way: whispering to the beloved one, candle lights in the summer evenings at home.

    16th April, 2009


    Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

    Seems that your nose has to get used to it. At first spray some might say it resembles a citrusy room fragrance: fresh, well made, but quite cheap. Then it rapidly changes, leaving a powerful musky aura, that I myself wouldn't even consider "green"... Its much much deeper! Really reminds me of those brown Moroccan soaps... You can feel some of this smell in an Arab store. Clean smell, but not in the sense of Procter & Gamble... I would say, it actually bears just a little connection to the Western world.Modern, yet by no means would I it become fashionable, as it's not about clubs, parties or haute couture; it's about open spaces scorched by the sun... or the shadows of the marketplaces. Think "The English Patient" or "The Sheltering Sky".

    16th April, 2009

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