Reviews by Thebigstinque

    Showing 1 to 6 of 6.
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    Story by Paul Smith


    This stuff is dangerous!

    I bought this juice for its brilliant opening, duly praised by previous reviewers. Comparison with the top only underlines the poverty of the later notes, but, as I learned, you don’t need a lot of dynamite to blow yourself up.

    I work with a woman who has the nose of a bloodhound (although her tail is shorter). Every morning, as I walk past her door on the way to my office she jumps to her feet to give me a thumbs-up (or down) critique of my fragrance choice for the day. I pretend to care, she pretends to go back to work and all is well for the rest of the day. How she can smell something from 20 feet away that a normal person can barely detect while standing beside me is one of the deep mysteries of our age. I should invite her out to hunt truffles.

    The day I wore Story all hell broke loose. Instead of delivering the thumb verdict Ms. Noze shot out of her office at a quick waddle, followed me down the hall skipitty-trot, tackled me and parked her nostrils square on my shirt – snorrrk, snork.

    “Yummm” she says. “What’s this one?” Her move attracted spectators whom she waved off as the princess might shoo away her chambermaids before the arrival of her brother, The Tsarevitch.

    An hour later she’s back. As I take care not to let her get between me and the door she inhales and pronounces “Yup, still there!”. This goes on till about noon when the glory starts to fade. Ms. Noze demands to know what I did to the scent. She departs, crushed by the truth, not to be seen for the rest of the day.

    I wear scent to please myself, not to win friends, influence people or invite tackles. Of the 50 or so that I’ve worn, this is the only juice that has earned a yellow card.

    I don’t know whether these particular top notes are unsustainable through the usual perfumers’ alchemy or they are short-lived by design, but this stuff could be HUGE for the House of Smith if they could find a way to either string them out or compose a worthy second movement. Thumbs up for the opening. The rest? Meh!

    15th August, 2010

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    4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

    Here is another one where the scent hardly matters, even if they’d never throw you out of a theatre for wearing this.

    When I was a little kid I saved my snow shovelling money, my paper route money, my odd jobs money, whatever, in part so I could buy my dad a small bottle of 4711, the “real Cologne Water”, and my mom the smallest bottle (all I could afford) of Chanel No. 5 for Christmas.

    Christmas morning he’d make great show of shaving and splashing this on as aftershave before we hosted or visited family. The Roccoco gold-and-green label was a perfect complement to the staid citrus/herbs contents which had the good grace to disappear shortly after it lent its imprimatur to the occasion. I was awed by his ability to ensure that it ran out just before Christmas next.

    Ultimately 4711 taught me to appreciate scent, largely by making it clear that I preferred others, and for that it will have both my continued thanks and a place on my shelf.

    19th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 18th February, 2011)

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    Knize Ten by Knize

    There is no Knize Eleven for the same reason there is no eighth day - the Creator has spoken. I've never used this stuff as a spray. Instead I dip and dab with the feed tube of the sprayer. It encourages sparing use, and that, as it turns out, is good advice.

    Apparently the "leather"¯ component of the scent comes from birch tar which is rectified, reprimanded or, if unavoidable, spoken to in French to get the required note. If that's the case, then they must have burned the outhouse down (a 2-seater) to get this one. At first dab, she's a stinker! Hang in for 90 seconds or so and the smoke clears to reward you with a rich musk/citrus/floral middle and a vestige of the smoky "leather"¯ - the unpolished among us just call it "insurance fire"¯ - tone.

    It's easy to pan the napalm opening but, considering that this formula pre-dates the wheel, and probably, near-universal access to showers, bathing as a daily activity, general use of both scented and scent-reducing products and media focus on creating a "need"¯ for same, I am reminded that KT is no doubt a child of its times and had to blow something up to be heard. That said, in the modern context, it's a mix that rewards patience and a light hand with something you won't find anywhere else. Thumbs up from me.

    07th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 18th February, 2011)

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    Habit Rouge by Guerlain

    This one smells like nothing else - a citrus myrrh with a vaguely middle eastern allusion made without summoning that genie thug, aoud, from the lamp. (I swear if I see that sumbitch anytime soon, and he's not with Bob Hope, to hell with the bugle and the hounds, the shotgun is coming out of the closet...!).

    Sophisticated, steadfast, lasting, soft-spoken but will not be shouted down by either time or the nearest wet mess. It changes just enough over the course of my day to keep my interest and remind me at dinner what I sprayed at 7:00 A.M. A scent that justifies calls for its auteur.

    The name is another story. Apparently this stuff is named after the "hunting pinks"¯ (actually reds - the French are so much better at colors) worn by the fox hunting crowd - with apologies to Oscar Wilde - the unspeakable who pursue the inedible. I'd like this scent much better if it didn't associate me with these "hunters"¯ (methinks it's the horses, hounds and servants who do whatever little bit of hunting is done amid the clatter, petty trespass and frequent sips from a hip flask). In the meanwhile, I'll just spray it, and, if anyone asks, mumble the name. An enthusiastic thumbs up!

    06th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 18th February, 2011)

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    Canoé by Dana

    Way back, when Christ was a corporal, this scent changed my life – no joke.

    I was downtown with a buddy to meet up with 2 hot girls for a (first) double date. Me in a cool shirt I’d scrimped to buy, my best slacks, all washed, waxed and detailed, sitting on a bench with my buddy waiting for the girls, fashionably late, but, hey, they’re girls…

    Buddy is coming back with 2 coffees to drink while we wait. 2 gigolos walk by (I learned later. If you asked me then what a gigolo was, I’d have said “a fishing lure”) wearing Canoe - apparently, low-end gigolos. I don’t care for the smell. I say nothing but think “what kind of pussy would wear THAT!?”. I fan the air under my nose with my hand. Apparently fanning offends gigolos. Both fancy gents start towards me. This no-account hood rat had earned himself a beating sho’ nuff.

    These clowns must have had a choreographer! They come at me single file. I feel like Bruce friggin’ Lee! I kick the first one in the plums, and as soon as he assumes the foetal position on the ground I crank the second one in the nose. No. 2 won’t need scent of any kind for a while because his nose is now on the side of his face. Buddy’s watching, sipping his coffee thoughtfully and waiting for the plot to thicken but I’m prepared to consider the matter settled.

    That is, until I notice that No. 2 has gone and bled on my special shirt. I go nuts, feed him a few more, until buddy suggests either I call it an evening or risk some badinage with the police. Now my shirt is a sorry mess. Gigolos stumble off and girls arrive a minute later. Mine says “You show up for a date like that!!?? Did you just get off shift at the abattoir? Forget it!!!” and stomps off.

    It must have been my day; I should have bought a lottery ticket. Last I heard, “my” girl winds up with 2 kids and a guy who beats her. I wind up much better. Canoe? I still don’t care for the stuff, but keep a bottle and take a whiff every now and then to remember how things might have turned out. Sometimes the smell of a scent is the least of it.

    I later learned that otherwise perfectly good dudes wear Canoe. Ed. Pinaud’s 10-bucks-per-liter Clubman “Special Reserve” aftershave smells much the same only it’s about 100 times more concentrated, if you really want to piss someone off.

    09th February, 2010 (Last Edited: 18th February, 2011)

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    Muscs Koublaļ Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I’m a newbie both to BN and to writing fragrance reviews so I’m appreciative of the effort put forth by Basenoters. Since I’m barely smart enough to realize that personal taste factors into all reviews, I was intrigued by some of the criticisms of Lutens’ Muscs Koublai Khan.

    I have to confess to not having the experience required to compare anything to “the fecal note...”, “unwiped backside…” or “unwashed genitalia doused in rose oil…” cited by critics of this scent – I guess I’m just hanging with the wrong people. In my addled mind these appraisals made MKK a “must try” product. I figured , what the hell, worst case, I take one whiff, my toupee starts to flap, steam comes out of my ears, my eyes pinwheel, my nose twitches, the dog lifts a leg on me…at least I can remonstrate with my (imaginary) friend Ollie about another fine osmic mess he’s gotten us into.

    So I break into the package, dip the dipper thingamajiggy, go stand next to the shower, slap the juice on my chest and assume the civil defense position expecting my hide to blister, to be raped by a horny Chihuahua or both. I wait and I wait…nothing! Bupkis! No urge to take a wire brush to my person, no flooding of the nostrils, no loss of consciousness. Instead, up floats a warm, vaguely floral/oriental note over a benign musk, subtle and complex enough to remain interesting. Now, 5 hours later, I have to stick my beak down my shirt (now THAT takes a nose!) to get a whiff of a funkier musk, but still nothing that would attract maggots.

    So what’s with the arm waving, or is it nose-pinching? My skin chemistry, as a native of this planet, can’t be all that different. “Feces”? “Genitalia”? C’mon folks, take a deep breath (yes, it’s safe to breathe now, really). If ya don’t like the stuff, that’s cool, but why shoot your own review in the foot with hyperbole? Besides, didn’t Napoleon tell Josephine not to bathe when he was coming home?

    Since this is supposed to be about the juice, MKK is worth a try, interesting, but not my favourite – a conditional thumbs up.

    09th February, 2010 (Last Edited: 18th February, 2011)

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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000