Reviews by pince_nez

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    pince_nez
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    Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

    If you are a fan of 4711 or Jean Marie Farina (by Roger & Gallet), you will mostly likely enjoy this frag. Fresh/ invigorating/ citrus-herbal-aromatic take on the "kolnisch wasser" genre, this one is quite nice.

    It is amplified chic, per Tom Ford, as housed in an aqua square bottle. A great day fragrance, and considerably overpriced and over-hyped. But if you don't mind that, this is certainly enjoyable.

    28 October, 2012

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    Eau de Sisley 2 by Sisley

    Of the trio of "eaux" by Sisley, this in my opinion is the standout. Fresh/ lemony-floral/ green fragrance that is enhanced by basil and dries down to a woody-vetiver finish.

    Not as green as their Eau de Campagne, but wonderful still nonetheless. This can be worn with equal aplomb by women and men. Eau de Sisley 3 has more a darker hue, tinged by rose. It is more feminine IMO.

    On a similar note, if you have come across Barneys New York's Route du The -- you may know right away that smell quite alike.

    20th October, 2012 (Last Edited: 28 October, 2012)

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    Balenciaga Paris L'Essence by Balenciaga

    A lovely compelling fresh green fragrance. Evocative/ distinctive/ unique/ endearing composition that highlights violet and violet stems and rooty medicinal aspect of vetiver.

    This can be worn equally well by a man.

    Recommended!

    30th April, 2012

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    Aventus by Creed

    Perhaps we are bowled over and get awe-struck when we deal with Creed fragrances. Now that Frederic Malle and others which are more niche and forward-looking (Byredo, Margiela, Kurkdjian, Tauer, etc.) -- even Kilian and Amouage -- have risen to ascendance -- this illustrious house seems to have slightly lost its cachet.

    Enter Aventus. It is expensive. It is exclusive. It is luxury personified. But ground-breaking it is not.
    If you happen to have come across Jacques Bogart's "One Man Show" in the early 80s, you'd have found Aventus. Yes, Aventus is better made. But is it worth it?

    Non, in my opinion.

    06 December, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 January, 2012)

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    Fuel For Life pour Homme by Diesel

    A fresh/spicy woody fragrance for the modern man! The grapefruit blooms first but this is quickly eclipsed by a very forceful anise note (like in le must de Cartier pour homme) tempered by the subsequent tartness of raspberries. Violet leaf then kicks in -- green/fresh/vegetal/ slightly spicy. Until finally this whole scent structure alights on a bed of doughy and sweet heliotrope and dry woods (cedar?).

    Can this be unisex? Perhaps. Imho, it's more masculine. As a tongue-in-cheek appeal, the canvas covered whisky-flask looking bottle is very apropos!

    Recommended!

    22 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 December, 2011)

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    Guerlain Homme by Guerlain

    An ice-fresh citrus-mint fragrance darkened by rum and finished off with limes that is meant to evoke -- the mojito! This is an ideal summer scent -- fresh/ young/ playful yet elegant!

    The sleek stream-lined bottle, designed by Pininfarina, obviously helps in its appeal.

    17 November, 2011

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    Bottega Veneta by Bottega Veneta

    Jasmine/ plum/ patchouli/ leather -- so says Botega Veneta's ad on their premier perfume.
    Could it really be this simple? I am sure there are other ingredients thrown in there but this scent's development follows this fragrant route. Fresh lightly indolic jasmine opens followed closely by the deepening sweet richness of plum then the dankness and spiciness of patchouli interfers until it settles into the softest animalic warmth of suede.

    A marriage of Italian chic and German precision (Tomas Maier is, after all, a German) -- this frag succeeds brilliantly. It is warm but not frilly, its development properly delienated and in its simplicity and understated elegance, it is relentlessly chic.

    Like the darker/spicier Daim Blond (its distant cousin) -- this is unisex.

    A beauty! Recommended!

    16 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 13 February, 2013)

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    Diorissimo by Christian Dior

    The scent of a field of lily of the valley shrouded in the hazy/ dewy/ cool/ evanescent veil of fog on a spring morning! Prim/ proper/ Victorian/ virginal -- Diorissomo exudes a child-like innocence in its simplicty. And that is perhaps its genius.

    This a white floral scent that floats/ light as air.

    Wonderful!

    16 November, 2011

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    Eau de Campagne by Sisley

    A vivid green fragrance that is fizzy at the top/ intense and quite legible with a mossy/earthy drydown. Tomato leaf and basil give this frag a herbaceous and vegetal vibe while the spiciness of geranium add its own kick.

    If you like the original Pour Monsieur (Chanel), Diorella, and Cristalle -- even Vent Vert, you will like this too.

    Don't complain about its longevity, just re-apply and freshen up!

    Highly recommended!

    13 November, 2011

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    No. 19 by Chanel

    An iconic/ aloof/ hissing and venomous green chypre of a fragrance that beckons admiration but only from afar. The anti-thesis of the voluptuously powdery rose-jasmine No. 5, this fragrance is for a woman now characterized by angularity and prismatic sharpness, like a crone, still beautiful but now older and "more handsome" -- even butch. Feminine still, but almost heartless.

    Ideal for those that want to project elegance tinged with masked steeliness and severity.

    Highly recommended and a masterpiece!

    10th November, 2011

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    Prada Candy by Prada

    A departure from the singularly minimalist chic that is the Prada ethos. This is a gourmand oriental that is in the vein of Angel (without Angel's angular dialetic sharpness). Having said this, I find Candy (by Prada) exactly like candy -- caramel candy to be exact. Sweet, flirty, playful -- young/ or at least in my opinion, for the young.
    Difficult to pull off if you want to present yourself with sophisticated veneer.

    The sweetness of caramel blasts you first, then it segues into a vanillic/benzoin combo, after which it finally rests on a powdery/musk combination. The caramel note is all-pervasive and it still faintly lingers in the dry-down.

    A dandy can actually pulls this off!

    09 November, 2011

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    Kiton Black by Kiton

    Like the angular and minimalist designs of Rem Koolhaas -- this too plays with light and shadow. It is elegant and classy. It opens with a fizzy top which is like soda pop infused with red berries (Kiton is after all Italian), and then it segues into a very pronounced wall of violet leaf -- fresh/ heady/ persistent/ green just touched by the spice of cardamom and rounded by the woody warmth of cedar.

    Then it darkens after an hour or so. I smell very distinctly -- pencil shavings! The earthiness of vetiver asserts itself very quickly -- slightly medicinal. Suede finally arrives -- like a soft warm caress though still colored by the lingering violet/vetiver tandem.

    Highly recommended!

    07 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 30th October, 2012)

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    Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès

    As most have already written, mine is but an iteration of the other reviews -- which I mostly agree with.

    A classic and straightforward grapefruit/rose frag that is well-executed in the inimitable Jean-Claude Ellena style. Yes, it is fresh -- like a summer drink to be had at the height of the noonday sun. Yet somehow -- despite this evanescent style/ this fizzy frothy top, it darkens and becomes spicier -- an incredible rose note appears -- dewy, dank, dark red intense and indeed beautiful! As if, having just sipped your lemonade -- you find yourself in a field of dark red roses -- its bouquet headily wafting in the breeze!

    So though configured to refresh in the classic eau de cologne style, this one intrigues, beckons, and beguiles!

    I would call this "Portrait of a Lady" light. Excellent and highly recommended!

    07 November, 2011

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    Idole d'Armani by Giorgio Armani

    The House of Armani now has 46 (and counting) fragrances in its stable. Out of that vast number, I can honestly say that I admire only three -- this would be one of them. The original Armani (a dark smoldering chypre beauty, would have sufficed as the signature house frag -- imho) is another.

    This opens with a fresh floral/fruity accord that is beguiling, then it deepens and becomes spicier and heady after which it darkens even more -- until it settles into a ravishing mix of patchouli and vetiver. This frag is well constructed and though "Italian" avoids the fruit/salad syndrome so identified with that cliche.

    Recommended!

    02 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 07 November, 2011)

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    Sweet Lime and Cedar by Jo Malone

    A splendid offering from Jo Malone that tells you straight up, without artifice or pretension, that it is -- Sweet Lime and Cedar. Yes, it does have many ingredients, but in the end it reduces to this very beautiful cologne (of average sillage), that is citrusy/ fresh/ slight sweeter (than Lime, Basil & Mandarin) and woody.
    It is unisex (as the best ones usually are) and though it breaks no ground and shatters no convention, it is nonetheless a beautiful composition that sits coyly on the left of bombast.

    Give this a spin. It is worth it!

    24 October, 2011 (Last Edited: 01st November, 2011)

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    What else could I possibly write about this fragrance that has not been written elsewhere. A one of a kind scent much imitated and copied and the grandfather of all those fresh/ozonic/watery and Calone-inspired scents!

    That said, if this was good enough for Cary Grant, this should be good enough for me (IMHO).
    Kudos to the master perfumer Pierre Bourdon!

    01st September, 2011

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    Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    A sublime rose/incense/woody scent that is masterfully blended. The name is a misnomer since this really works as a dark rose masculine. Fragrant, intense, one of a kind, heady outtake from this very discriminating niche-house.

    A++++

    01st September, 2011

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    Detchéma by Révillon

    A Sixties throwback powdery aldehyde scent that, though beautiful, hides in the shadow of the great No. 5 by Chanel. Yes this is jasmine resting on a woody base -- but really -- why opt for this when the sublime rose-jasmine Chanel counterpart beckons.

    01st September, 2011

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    A Scent by Issey Miyake

    Light, fresh green floral on the sweet side that is surprisingly modern and wearable even by a man. But this fades too soon.

    You can do better by looking elsewhere.

    23 November, 2009 (Last Edited: 01st September, 2011)

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    Nino Cerruti by Cerruti

    Opens with an overpowering smell of fresh/green/minty notes that segues into a layer of crushed white florals churned with spices. Marvelous sillage, almost outrageously so! After about an hour, it settles into a bed of musk/benzoin/cedar/amber. Beautiful scent, very 80s and likely to get you noticed very quickly! But be warned -- this frag has that pungent/reeking sweat residue (like in Kouros) that persistently lingers.

    Marvelously constructed, but not for the faint of heart.

    13 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 16 November, 2010)

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    Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

    The best of Annick Goutal's much-loved lemony scents. A bracing/refreshing lemon-verbena concoction spiced by mint and basil. Lemony and subtly edible, this scent is fantastic for spring/summer -- with noticeable sillage. If Eau d'Hadrien is light/fleeting, Eau du Sud by contrast is "dense". I have read the attribution to "salt" and this is perhaps correct. A classic -- a summery lemon scent slightly intrigued by darkness. Marvelous!

    02 July, 2009

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    Lauren Style by Ralph Lauren

    A very pedestrian/artificially sweet/cotton candy-like take from Ralph Lauren that deserves mention only because of its
    pretty bottle. The juice inside is, unfortunately, deathly sweet -- like fruit compote sprinkled with saccharine. It has nice
    enough clean opening notes with a forgettable drydown. For women who think themselves stylish, but are not.

    Don't bother with this one.

    09 February, 2009

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    Fleurs de Rocaille by Caron

    A stunning classic that rivals the best of Chanel (No. 5) and Givenchy (Le De) or YSL (Paris). To some, this scent seems dated.
    Its aldehydic/floral-soapy/woody combination harkens back to bygone days when fragrance had character, instead of style.
    Fleurs de Rocaille is a floral/carnation concoction so prim and proper it almost seems destined only for well-behaved women.
    Like other Carons of its day, it reflects the common saying that "Guerlain is for kept women, Caron is for duchesses."

    09 February, 2009

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    Molinard de Molinard by Molinard

    Molinard de Molinard is a heady/fresh/fruity/white floral fragrance that is stunningly beautiful! It opens with an intoxicating mix of citrus/fruits/green notes and a beguiling black currant note. Proceeding into its heart notes of Grasse jasmine/narcissus/ylang-ylang and Bulgarian rose (which lingers for a very long time), it then settles into a sumptuous base of amber/incense and vetiver.

    The aesthetics of this perfume is pitch-perfect, with long-lasting sillage. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind floral fragrance, look no further.
    Give this a try. A whiff and you won't mistake this for anything else out there.

    04 November, 2008

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    Odeur 53 by Comme des Garçons

    If ever there was a "clean" scent executed as performance art, this would be IT. A strange/atmospheric/fresh/green anti-perfume. This is Comme des Garcons' pioneering calling card. Don't be deceived by the sillage. It can be quite strong, at least on me, mostly because at first it smells like nothing at all. This is a beautiful/artificial/futuristic/green/fresh scent that is not, mind you, for everyone. Still, this is worth a try simply because it is unique.

    22 September, 2008 (Last Edited: 14 June, 2011)

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    Infusion d'Homme by Prada

    A whisper of a fragrance. Elegant/subtle/subdued/ephemeral iris scent opened by citrusy/clean notes and anchored in a woody/mossy base,
    with traces of green notes in-between (vetiver and galbanum). The sillage is medium at best. If you expect this to shout, you'll be very disappointed. But if a subtle murmur of a scent is all you want, do give this a try. It is just about perfect. The female version called Infusion d'Iris can actually be worn by a man. It is less green, more powdery -- it works just as well.

    If you prefer a more niche scent, L'eau d'Hiver by Frederic Malle is the way to go -- A warm iris scent so cool, it's chilling!

    22 September, 2008

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    Sensi by Giorgio Armani

    A beautiful, refined, and warm floral/woody fragrace for the sophisticated career woman. This scent is versatile enough to carry one from the office straight on to dinner. Very nice indeed. Not really for girls, IMO. This opens with a blast of florals highlighted by powdery aldehydes, then settles into a very warm woody/vanilla/musky base. Excellent sillage.

    20th September, 2008

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    Magie Noire by Lancôme

    A riveting/sensual/mysterious/melancholy fragrance. A true oriental scent. Think sandalwood/incense/musk/civet with the allure of deep rose
    thrown in. This is an intense fragrance and not for the faint of heart. None of that lame fruit salad-ozonic-fresh-floral-air freshener stuff. This is fragrance with a capital F. A scent befitting a femme fatale.

    16 July, 2008

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    Bigarade Concentrée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    This is possibly Jean-Claude Ellena at his best in men's cologne. A trail-blazer, iconic, different, unique among citrus scents -- this is bitter orange at its superb best. A dialectic of a fragrance, its hesperidic top notes express an icy freshness unlike any other, tempered by a touch of rose -- which dries down to a warm base of sumptious cedar and hay. A class act. C'est un parfum tres soigne!

    15 June, 2008 (Last Edited: 24 February, 2010)

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    Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

    A stunning green/spicy chypre that highlights an incredible galbanum/violet/sage combination drying down to a beautiful woody/rooty base of cedar/oakmoss/vetiver. Excellent sillage! This scent is so distinct, you won't mistake it for anything else. Ideally suited for fall/winter. This is a classic and worth a try.

    07 June, 2008 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2008)

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