Perfume Reviews

Reviews by matterjam

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Serge Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

Ok, so maybe I have different sensors in my nose because I pretty much hate the opening on this... Cloves? Cinnamon? Nutmeg? I don't know what the right descriptor would be (and it wouldn't be dry, either) but I get this sort of semi-gag inducing head-full of an exotic and vaguely food-related spice. It smells like a dish of something I don't ever want to eat. BUT! Then it dries down into an A-OK incense thingy, which I could totally live with if I could wipe the memory of what came before. And it lasts for a pretty long time as far as I can tell. Yep.
14th February, 2010

Silver Bond / Andy Warhol Silver Factory by Bond No. 9

As I'm sure someone has mentioned, this could easily slot right into the CdG incense series. It's certainly well-made and, with the slight metallic tang, conceptually coherent... For some reason it just doesn't hang around on my skin with any kind of tenacity so, while it starts out nicely, after about an hour the bottom falls and I'm left underwhelmed.
14th February, 2010

MoslBuddJewChristHinDao (Unifaith) by Elternhaus

Well, I nearly always like Mark Buxton's way with incense and this stuff is no exception. Due to its jaw-droppingly stupid name and needlessly exclusive pricing, I can't see this juice having much market life, which is too bad because it is a really nice scent. I'm not super sold on the brash dill note in the opening, but it sort of works once you accept the idea, and then anyway steps back into the middle ground fairly quickly once things settle down to a really warm woody-incense glow. It's another scent where the drydown is worth the price of admission... Or would be, if the price were somewhere within the realm of sanity, that is.
14th February, 2010
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Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

This is a really distinctive scent. I like the peppery opening a lot, and that note never seems to completely disappear. It just smells very sophisticated and elegant to me. As others have mentioned, it lasts forever, which I'm assuming is a function of the oud working in a more supportive, rather than lead, role. The oud is really well-integrated and doesn't make its presence obvious, which is a very good thing as far as I am concerned. The fragrance as a whole really wears well and while certainly assertive, it is by no means overwhelming. Once it dries down it retains its characteristic dark and spicy woodiness. Sensual and evocative, Ormonde Man is a great fragrance.
14th February, 2010

L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Jean-Claude Ellena is definitely a brilliant parfumeur, but my admiration often tends to manifest itself more intellectually than emotionally. As a connoisseur I'm always keen to sample his work, but when I take stock of my most worn fragrances, his juice doesn't really rank very highly. L'Eau d'Hiver epitomizes this situation as I really appreciate the quiet but distinct cool-warm tug-of-war. And the overall technical artistry is stellar, but I cannot see myself ever really wanting to wear it that often. I do really enjoy the way he implements the cool, peppery angelica as it gradually asserts itself, but I would honestly rather wear his other, better Frederic Malle showcase of that material, Angeliques Sous la Pluie.
14th February, 2010

gs02 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke

This fragrance always makes me think of pineapples. Not that it smells like that particular fruit, but it does smell like an abstraction of something like that fruit. Once that settles down it becomes apparent that gs02 is meant to be a sort of avant-garde leather scent. Geza Schoen really does the minimalist abstract thing well, as epitomized by his Escentric Molecule work. I like those, but I can't say I really like this. I find it interesting and like having a reference decant on hand for occasional sampling, but I don't really want to wear it around. It's a bit too cold and technical for that.
13th February, 2010

mb03 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke

I am mostly a big fan of Mark Buxton's work, and it all started with this scent. It's pretty linear, and I can't distinguish much in the way of individual notes, but it is without doubt my favorite incense fragrance. I really like the CdG Incense series, as well, but there was something not quite there for me with all of them, whereas mb03 seems to find just the right balance. Good persistance, nice sillage. It's a bit pricey, but I got my money's worth.
12th February, 2010

eo02 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke

The Biehl line-up is a real mixed bag, from what I can tell. Some don't work at all for me, but this one really does. EO02 is a rich, unctuous melange of spice and wood that sits pretty close to the skin. It doesn't shout, but hums a haunting tune that beckons and compels one deeper into the simmering forest.
12th February, 2010

Cadjméré 18 by Parfumerie Generale

PG scents often take a little bit of time to kick in for me. Much like truly great music, there is too much going on to understand fully in one sitting. Cadjmere was no different. At first I found it too sweet and creamy, but eventually I came around to liking it. Now I see that what at first registered as cloying was actually cognitive dissonance between the sweetness of the coconut contrasting with the pungency of the Cypress resin. Once that discord was resolved my appreciation blossomed. Pierre Guillaume has a knack for this kind of thing, and frankly I think he is a genius.
12th February, 2010

Tom Ford Extreme by Tom Ford

I bought this on a whim and then promptly regretted it. Then one day I went back and loved it. Strange because I originally found it cloying and short-lived, but once I gave it a chance I really enjoyed the dark, but zesty opening that dries down to something warm and sexy, like sharing a blanket in front of a fire, in an old log cabin in the middle of a tobacco-plum grove (use your imagination). And it actually lasts a respectably long time. Dreamy.
12th February, 2010

Hermèssence Poivre Samarcande by Hermès

I know this fragrance is supposed to be all about the pepper, but the image that always jumps to mind for me when I smell it is that of very high-quality leather. I always figured that was what Ellena was going for here. It's as if a lady standing next to me has just opened her brand-new Hermes handbag and I'm getting a little waft of that elegance.

I love this stuff.
12th February, 2010