Reviews by professor goggles

    Showing 1 to 13 of 13.
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    Series 1: Illicit Sex by Jeremy Scott by Six Scents Parfums

    Surprisingly light and sweet for a perfume named Illicit Sex, it evokes cedar and rose dirty dancing together in a brightly lit room. Opens loudly with the shimmer characteristic of aldehydes and a touch of fruit. Lots of ISO E Super supporting the woods. The rose comes in clear and bright, the cedar warm and astringent. Those two are the main characters and dominate this perfume, with little development. I like the way rose is treated here. To my taste it's more wearable than a lot of rose compositions, the wood making for an unusual modern masculine. Not as much fun as its namesake, but interesting and wearable enough for a second date.

    24 March, 2014

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    Eau de Cartier : Zeste de Soleil by Cartier

    A female friend tried it on her skin at a department store while I am on holiday in Mexico. Top-note of grapefruit. On her skin, a distinct guava note. Perhaps I'm influenced by the environment? The scent is at once sweet and tart, almost sticky with the funkiness of tropical fruit which fills a room when left on the counter slightly too long. It invites nuzzling, at once warm, sticky, sweet, and fresh-citric. An interesting cologne, to be sure, with decent longevity.

    06 March, 2014

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    Iquitos by Alain Delon

    The show opens with an effervescent, winey, and sweet champagne pop. Then a lilting sheer rose, perfectly balanced by bitter resins takes the stage, approaching Bandit in her severity, and delivers the shocking news: "Men can wear rose scents too!" with some spice and a bit of creamy sweetness to soften the blow. Before the news has a chance to sink in, she's gone. The curtain slowly descends on light woods, musk, and a touch of civet. leaving only the memory of her presence.

    16 March, 2013

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    Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

    The immediate opening is indeed champagne and vodka. A slightly sour fermented grape juice and the face-flushing heat of Stoly open like a curtain within seconds to reveal a shimmering amber reminiscent of the amber drydown of Shalimar coming towards you, rich, warm and majestic. Not fun amber. Important state business amber. Tsar amber. The tea note, as they call it, an accord with smoky incense and leather brings to mind the darkness of Pascal Morabito's Or Black, without as much smoke, however here it's only a passing impression. You're left with a rich sweet amber kept from dozing off by lemony-resinous coriander and sour-peppery cumin. Excellent. A perfume made for wearing naked on a fur rug with a prince or princess of your choice, and... not sleeping.

    12 September, 2012

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    Aziyade by Parfum d'Empire

    Bubblegum! After an initial blast of fresh fruit (I get apple) it settles into a delicious spicy-sweet gourmand that smells to me like classic pink bubblegum. The combination of cinnamon, cloves, orange, something floral (ylang?) and something cool and glassy (wintergreen?) is intoxicating. I didn't think I liked sweet scents, but I seem to be discovering more that I enjoy lately. What makes this one work is the resinous incense, cistus and spicy-sour cumin that keep it warm without being cloying. I don't have a B.O. association with cumin, however. To me it's invigoratingly herbal-bitter-spicy in the same way celery is, not sour like unwashed armpit. Others feel differently.

    12 September, 2012

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    Drama Nuui 23 by Parfumerie Generale

    I wonder if I might be anosmic to something others are smelling in this? I prefer my jasmine much darker than this airy little thing, and am already frustrated by its confusing name. I only get a light jasmine and green fatty-waxy note reminiscent of cucumber. If I strain I can detect a bit of carnation and wintergreen. In the background, inoffensive creamy sandalwood, sweet vanilla and musk. It really has no development to speak of, and I can barely smell it twenty minutes after applying. About as much drama as washing your hands with cucumber soap, and as long-lasting. Not for me.

    11th September, 2012

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    Vetyver by Chantecaille

    Chantecaille's Vetyver is a breath of fresh air. Unlike many perfumes called Vetiver, this one actually smells like vetiver. High quality vetiver in a satisfyingly strong concentration is freshened with citrus on top, and presented on a discreet base of soft spices, musk and woods. Like a criminal in a movie with a shady past now walking the straight and narrow, you have to feel proud of this guy. A reliable, straightforward, honest vetiver is hard to find nowadays. Well done, Chantecaille.

    07 September, 2012

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    La Petite Robe Noire 2 / Mademoiselle Guerlain by Guerlain

    Let me start by saying I don't like usually like sweet perfumes. When I sample new releases endorsed by female entertainers, I've come to expect the smell of some kind of candy emanating from the bottle. I imagine they are supposed to be fun, cheerful and upbeat. They aim to warm the heart and comfort the soul in their nostalgia for a sweeter, more innocent time. But every time I smell that familiar sugar smell, my heart sinks a little, which is the exact opposite of the effect they are trying to elicit. Really, another one? I think to myself. Do people really like this stuff? Who are they? No one in their right mind would want to smell like this.

    The truth is, I don't like cheerful and upbeat people. I don't trust them. I assume they are fighting for their sanity against some horrible inner demon they cannot face. Their saccharine smile hides rotten teeth. Their approach is at best unrealistic, at worst profoundly stupid and dangerous. I feel similarly about sweet perfumes. I feel oppressed and suffocated by them. They force themselves upon me. They insist that everybody get along when we all know they don't but it's okay.

    Occasionally, a sweet perfume comes along that I can trust. It has a natural sweetness. It doesn't particularly care if I like it or not. It's not being sweet for me. It just is. La Petite Robe Noire 2 is such a perfume. There's a cooling lemon candy top-note which gives way to a sweetness that never becomes sticky. The enduring green facet keeps it from sliding into caramel territory. It smells like bubblegum if bubblegum was a product of nature. Out of the three models of little black dress released thus far, this is the only one that I feel remotely comfortable in. If the idea was to create an indispensable wardrobe staple that you can throw on without thinking, I believe they've succeeded with this one, and I'm a man.

    06 September, 2012

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    Esencia Loewe by Loewe

    From Off-Scenter's review, the notes are as follows: Lavender, artemisia, juniper berry, galbanum, geranium, clary sage, pine, basil, oakmoss, fir, leather, tonka bean.

    I sprayed some on paper a few hours ago and came back to the strip just now. I thought I smelled cedar, but I'm guessing that's the fir. Wonderful woody cedar/fir drydown, one of my favorite notes in the base, sweetened by coumarin (tonka).

    Interesting there are no negative reviews (yet?) To me, Esencia falls into the category of natural-smelling aromatic herbal perfumes, which may not necessarily agree with different people, but don't have any of the really off-putting synthetic notes that some others have. You may not like it, but you would have to agree that it smells nice, at least after a few minutes.

    Yes, the opening is almost sour, it's so green. Probably best to leave it a bit before whiffing. The lavender, geranium and clary sage might be what give the soapy impression, to me not unpleasant. It seems in order to put everything in it which is necessary for the composition, the perfumer has sacrificed the first impression out of the bottle, which we should remember is not the basis on which any true perfume ought to be assessed, despite what celeb fragrance marketing would have us believe. There's a remarkable freshness in the middle notes, hard for me to identify individual notes, a minty note (basil?) lingering around.

    Yatagan does come to mind for me as well. There's a lot of crossover in the notes in Yatagan and Esencia. I find Yatagan very herbal and pleasant, not at the all the raunchy beast others seem to find in that bottle. As for the supposed leather note in Esencia, I don't get any leather at all.

    This one really does get better with time. It's a top-notch aromatic herbal chypre, very natural-smelling, a complement to clean skin, masculine and eminently wearable.

    04 April, 2012

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    Potion by Dsquared2

    The total unoriginality of a perfume as a love potion aside, this one is pretty good. Potion is a rosy, peppery wood with a pleasant disposition. It's not unlike other recent masculines (Marc Jacob's Bang comes to mind,) another member in the growing family of sweet, spicy woods verging on gourmand. Not the fierce piney citrus woods for the outdoorsmen of the past, but a softer, gentler forest creature for today's sensitive young man. There's an opening of pepper and a lovely licorice mint which fades to a sweet woody amber base. The personality of Potion is pleasant and comforting. The wood is soft and creamy, sweetened nicely by the cinnamon and rose. The herbal and spice notes bring it into edible territory, without being cloyingly sweet or candy-like. Comparisons that come to mind Lolita Lempicka au Masculin, Artisan Parfumeur's Fou D'Absinthe or Mechant Loup, and Comme des Garcons Wonderwood. I'm a big fan of sweet woody fragrances and I'm pleased to welcome Potion to the club. Now if they would just do something about the name.

    16 March, 2012

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    YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration by Yves Saint Laurent

    This is a very dry straightforward chypre with a fresh resinous lemon top, similar to Homme de Grés, cousins with the Monsieurs of Givenchy and Chanel. How much different modern masculine perfumes would be had these tasteful, natural-smelling, refined French masterpieces become the model for men's scents instead of Cool Water? If Axe body sprays and every second shower gel smelled like this the world would be a better place indeed. Perfect for day or evening and every level of formality, these are my go-to fragrances when I want to smell great but not draw attention to myself. I urge other men to do the same. True tastefulness is in scarce supply these days. Bring on the Monsieurs!

    19 January, 2012

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    (Untitled) by Martin Margiela

    Definitely a unisex fragrance, and not feminine as listed here in the Directory, (Untitled) is not as interesting as I would have hoped from MMM, although I should have known, considering the recent step-down of Martin Margiela as head of the house he founded. The very fact they're releasing a perfume at all is a step in the wrong direction, in my opinion. Seeking a larger appeal through a more accessible product runs counter to the whole project begun by Martin Margiela, whose hallmarks have always been rigorous material-driven experimentation, serious craftsmanship and a fantastic sense of humor. The fragrance just doesn't quite carry this forward, but they're really striving hard to market it as if it does, except the humor part. Their ad campaign presents it as if it's some kind of chemical miracle. All perfumes rely on chemistry, and they don't need to beat us over the head with it as if it's something brand new. What next, a perfume in a test tube called (ExPeRiMeNt)? That's the kind of heavy-handedness they're resorting to in their ad campaign. MMM has never done that. Always they've insisted that their clothes speak for themselves, and the trompe l'oeil effects they achieve and the curiosity aroused by their very appearance have allowed them to do exactly that. Perhaps with a liquid scent, which cannot rely on visual appeal alone, other tricks are necessary to get the point accross, but I fear they've taken it too far and in the wrong direction.

    It's nice, and that's its whole problem. L'Oreal helped them make it. It's a clean, green money-making machine.. It starts very fresh and soapy, but then there's a weird kind of sweet chocolate fruitiness that I found cloying, and then it disappears. Nothing sticks out. It doesn't last at all. For an expensive product, I'd hoped it would have some staying power or something that really distinguished it as new. That's all I'm looking for from them, and them especially: something new. And it's not. There's so many ways they could have played with the whole idea of perfume to create something more interesting, but they chose to play it safe and produce a very slickly marketed and accessible product with mass appeal, branding it with some clichés of minimalism and conceptualism. And frankly, where's the fun in that? As a perfume it's okay, and I'll definitely rotate it as a fresh spring and summer scent, so it gets a neutral rating from me. But as the début fragrance from one of my favorite fashion houses, I have to say I'm disappointed to say the least.

    UPDATE: My expectations were simply too high, and I've had time to get to know the fragrance as it is. After several wearings, I've warmed to it. The chocolate accord in the opening is quirky. Chocolate has lots of tannins which have a bitter, astringent quality which lead naturally into the green galbanum heart of the thing. It's an odd take on chocolate, giving a flash of comforting warmth, which instantly switches into herbaceous green high gear. It fades to a wam comforting balsamic drydown. It's actually more complex than I gave it credit for and evokes that particularly French innocent fondness for sweet pâtisserie with a green accord that is actually quite sophisticated, an effect similarly achieved in L'Artisan's Mechant Loup with its hazelnut and woods. Sweet but smart.

    01st October, 2010 (Last Edited: 27 June, 2011)

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    I had read about it here on Basenotes and found it at an old department store about a year ago, where the clerk said there were regular customers who would come in for it. From the reviews here, I expected it to be quite a controversial fragrance. Upon smelling it, I immediately had memories of an uncle from Paris who would visit my family in Canada from time to time, rather an old pervert, if I'm not mistaken, and I mean that in a good way. I'm pretty sure he wore it. As he was, Kouros is unique and maybe a bit eccentric. At first I found it almost too strong. It has a very powerful solvent note, something boldly camphorous like turpentine or permanent marker or yes, urinal cakes. I was cautious, and thought I wouldn't be able to wear it. Once it's on, like some of the best experiences, there's really no going back. Underneath the first blast, there is so much more. It becomes a banquet of spice and sweetness and mystery and through it all the animal note so many complain of which I can't get enough of. For me it symbolizes the difference between North America and Europe, squatting as it does in a dirty Parisian toilet perhaps. It conjures up the difference between real cheese and American processed cheese, between people who don't take a shower after sex and people who can't continue their day without one, between a shopping mall in Salt Lake City and a kasbah in Tunis. Sure it stinks, that's what we do, we're animals. It touches the very dichotomy inherent in wearing perfume to cover our socially unacceptable body odours. I for one prefer unshaved armpits that smell like a human being to waxed ones hidden under aluminum salts that smell like "the great outdoors" and taste bad, to boot. That's why I like Kouros. I'll leave the clean chemical marines that smell like hand sanitizer to the mall rats.

    01st October, 2010

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