Reviews by holyzoo

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    holyzoo
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    Amyris Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    It started with a 1ml sample that I quickly used up inside of a week. As I sadly used up the last drop of the sample, I knew it was bottle time. I understand the reviews that criticize the price considering its underwhelming subtlety. You would think that something so palatable would be inexpensive. However, Amyris Homme is a simple focused luxury. It never turns against me. It never goes wrong. I've never needed to fight it or wait for it to dry down or burn off or dissipate. It's comforting, invigorating, and currently my go-to scent. There's nothing crazy, stunning, or glamorous here. It's all about playing it cool, warm, focused, and confident. In a world of blaring, competitive, clamor, Amyris Homme is just the opposite. I'm glad it's expensive and not popular. I just hope they don't vault it before I can justify another bottle purchase. And lastly, I haven't found something cheaper that has such charm.

    19 April, 2014

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    Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Get ready for the Turque!

    Fumerie Turque is a long inhale of honeyed absinth, followed by a multi-hour exhale of the most luxurious smoky leather.

    I tested this out among several other tobacco scents and Fumerie is the most unique, potent, strange, and moody. I put this up against Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille, Back to Black by Kilian, and Pipe Tobacco Accord by CB I Hate Perfume. Pipe Tobacco Accord (PTA) is slightly sweet and very smooth - great for a simple skin scent on dry down. Vanille turned out to be an annoying candy scent with a simple linearity - PTA is superior to me (I don't need vanilla in my tobacco). Back to Black is PTA-like in its base, but has a sprinkling of feminine floral/spice on the top which didn't do much for me.

    Fumerie Turque on the other hand, has a very complex structure and swirling journey from top to dry down; among the most complex I've experienced in a perfume out of 200+ cross referenced. The opening blast has a stimulating tonka/coumarin/anise spike not unlike Jicky, Ange Ou Demon, Shalimar, and Musc Ravageur. Underneath this top lies a rich complex base that resonates warmly in a strange excitation. Within 30 minutes the top melts away and Fumerie progresses through a PTA-like fresh unsmoked tobacco that is much more complex and rich, with hints of the initial spices dispersing. As this impressive display continues to unfold, Fumerie simply starts to smolder and smoke, maybe more than you bargained for, but the whole ride remains luxurious from start to finish.

    At the peak of development, I must admit, this is very much like a cigarette/cigar smoke session that won't be very shocking to a smoker or ex-smoker. For me, it brings back familiar feelings, since I grew up in a household where my Father smoked cigarettes daily. And although I don't particularly like the smell of smoke, I do love the smell of the first initial lighting of a cigarette. Fumerie has elements in its peak of the most savory aspects of tobacco smoke.

    Finally, the smoke begins to clear, and the dry down is an incredibly warm, non-smoky leather/tobacco/amber skin scent that lasts well overnight. The leather doesn't really come in for me until a couple of hours of dry down, but when it arrives it's unlike anything else I've found.

    It's strange, glamorous, manly, luxurious, offensive, alluring, darkly feminine, mischievous, wise, calming, intoxicating, soothing, and enigmatic.

    29 March, 2010

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    Versace Versense by Versace

    Interesting citrus blast of a floral. This would epitomize Citrus Floral to me at this point. If there weren't so many Fruity/Florals in the collection, this would have a chance. Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic by Guerlain is similar in citrus blast, and already own it. However, Versace Versense drys down to a floral, whereas Mandarine does not.

    24 March, 2010

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    Versace pour Homme by Versace

    This was at the top of my recent trip to a dept store looking at "what's new". The opening is intoxicating for sure. But the dry down reminds me of department store, and it's too similar to others I have, Reaction by Kenneth Cole and Green Irish Tweed by Creed. Versace is damn good though. If I didn't have Reaction or Acqua di Gio, Versace would have had a chance.

    24 March, 2010

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    Tonka by Esteban

    Tonka is a remarkably focused accord of... Tonka! Surprise! However, with the smattering of other Tonka frags I have, I am left wanting more out of Esteban. The good news is that if you hang in there for a longer ride, Tonka's dry down is a glorious comforting skin scent. This leads me to think of it as either a skin scent, or a layering scent. But for $100 bottle, it's pricey for it's singularity. It's positively unisex, not femme.

    The comparisons hit from everywhere... Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro, Jicky by Guerlain, Carven Homme, Tam Dao by Diptyque, Ange ou Demon by Givenchy, Jacomo De Jacomo Rouge By Jacomo, Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle, Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens.

    Every single one of these other fragrances is remarkably constructed with sophistication and complexity. Tonka is decisively not.

    24 March, 2010

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    Princess by Vera Wang

    Yes, it's awesome and scrumptious. If you find this first before others, grab it and cherish it. However, I found this after finding Midnight Fantasy and felt like Princess is too full of what hits me as a cherry accord. Love Midnight Fantasy much more, although it's a bit darker than Princess. For a lighter perfume, D&G 18 beat many others for floral fruity. Princess is more fruity floral. Again, very well done but easily redundant depending on what you have, and it's likely you already have something like this.

    24 March, 2010

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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Kyoto by Comme des Garçons

    Kyoto came in to peacefully outshine many other incense and woody scents. It came in favored over all of the uber expensive Amouage perfumes like Jubilation and Epic Woman/Man. And it does way more for me than Tam Dao by Diptyque. Tamboti Wood by Susanne Lang is also similar to Kyoto but is much more dominant in the woods and much less incense. Both are very calming. Tamboti more grounding; Kyoto more flying.

    For a milkier, creamier, vanilla version of Kyoto, Cadjmere by Parfumerie Generale is an amazing find. I also found comparison to Bois Marocain by Tom Ford, which is more woody, more active, less zen and focused. Black Cashmere was also remotely in likeness but significantly more floral, and no woods. Kyoto is much more serene and welcoming than Black Cashmere.

    Kyoto is an ethereal zen invention that is subtle yet a powerful influence. Cypress, Incense, Light Woods, and it never gets bogged down or flat from the wood element. It's unisex in my opinion, and I found that its best to wear when you're not too busy or in aggressive situations. I'm also careful now not to wear it if I'm actually wanting it to do more. Kyoto rides high and atmospheric, so make sure you're able to go there and not fight with it.

    24 March, 2010

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    Escape for Men by Calvin Klein

    I had to relearn Escape from when I bought it in the late 90s. Since then, it comes across as quite sweet and honey based - not unlike Angel actually. However, there's a masculine base that's undeniable that reminds me of it's gruff earthy aromatic heritage. When I found Reaction by Kenneth Cole, it quickly replaced Escape. I have yet to figure out how to wear Escape once again. I'll keep trying here and there since I loved it at one time. I'm more apt to wear Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger at this point.

    24 March, 2010

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    Angel Sunessence by Thierry Mugler

    Not much said about this, but I like the flankers way more than the original. I think people are giving up on figuring out the differences at this point. But the 2009 version of Sunessence is a more citrus take on Angel, with hints of A*Men to my nose. I think of it as step towards unisex.

    The 2010 version, Bleu Lagon is more floral fruity and incredibly electrified and definitely feminine. It's my favorite out of the 2 Sunessences. But I have a small 15ml of the 2009 version for the fun of it.

    23 March, 2010

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    Absinth by Nasomatto

    Nasomatto Absinthe strikes me in an annoying way. I can see the allure, and it's a bold aggressive scent you can't dismiss for being boring. It is significantly present. However, I have had hundreds of other things to compare this to, and in this arena, I'd quickly choose Fou d`Absinthe by L Artisan Parfumeur over this. Coze by Parfumerie Generale is the other scent to compare this to, and Coze would also get my vote above Nasomatto. Coze has more of a signature and diversity to it's ganja spice woods action. With Nasomatto, I suppose ultimately that Absinthe + Vetiver = Nausea.

    23 March, 2010

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    Jubilation XXV by Amouage

    Jubilation XXV opens with a sweeter construction than Epic Man - my only other Amouage to compare to besides Tribute (totally different). And the opening is definitely mesmerizing. My problem with Jubilation is within 30 minutes into the drydown where it turns to dusty smothering woods on my skin. What I have come to love more than any other incense-like fragrance is Kyoto by Comme des Garcons, which opens clean, atmospheric, transcendent, and stays true for an entire day.

    23 March, 2010

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    Cadjméré 18 by Parfumerie Generale

    Cadjmere is one of my favorites that I can see getting a full bottle of once the decant runs out. It's a soothing peaceful creation that starts with an intoxicating slightly powdery spritz of creamy citrus woods, floating on a carefully blended bed of warm woods, amber, sandlewood, and vanilla. The coconut milk has been described very well below as being a woody husk coconut. It's the most subtle coconut accent I've come across.

    There are a few other scents that I've since compared to Cadjmere like Tam Dao by Diptyque, Dior Addict, Oriental Lounge by The Different Company.

    Cadjmere is superior to anything else I've compared it to, setting it apart as the best of its kind - a milky mildly oriental cypress/vanilla/tropical/woods.

    It is a touch on the feminine side, but not overly so. I wear it for a zen-like mood, that has more of a foody/milky powder element than Kyoto by Comme des Garcons which is much more incense woods with no vanilla or coconut.

    23 March, 2010

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    Sushi Imperiale by Bois 1920

    Sushi Imperiale is a deliciously spicy pepper/nutmeg/cinnamon juice, which I found to be very much like al02 by biehl parfumkunstwerke. Between the two of them, I bought a bottle of al02, and decided to get a small decant of Sushi. I later started reading about Opium PH, wondering if I should get a hold of it, but since these are apparently similar, I'll stick to Sushi. It's a top shelf spicy frag that is light enough to welcome using it for layering on others.

    23 March, 2010

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    Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

    I wish I could go for this because I know it has an infinite depth to it. It's one of the thickest concoctions I've ever smelled. And at first it intrigues me, and then it chokes me. I try not to throw away my samples, but the smell of the slightest residue on the sample glass was taking over too much of a space, and had me hating on it within a few days. I ended up trying Patchouly by Profumum as well, and I think it's probably superior, but I'm not into that either.

    23 March, 2010

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    Patchouly by Profumum

    I just can't do this. If I locked myself away in seclusion to mediate in a forced ritualistic earthy soul search, I'd dig out my sample of this. Otherwise, I'll do myself and the world a favor and keep it in the do-not-use pile.

    23 March, 2010

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    Black Violet by Tom Ford

    What I love about Black Violet is its bold claim in my collection as being the darkest of feminine perfumes. Sure it could be unisex, but Black Violet is more towards feminine than Tom Ford's Japon Noir, which I also own. After being charmed by Black Violet, I was curious about its more popular cousin, Black Orchid. I suppose, my tastes have gotten pretty skewed, but Black Orchid just comes off as noxious goo to me. I'm far more enchanted by the classic Opium Extrait than Black Orchid. If I wanted to layer Opium even darker, Black Violet is a clever potion to have in the bag of tricks, as it is focused enough to be nearly an accord, and can layer quite well.

    With all that, what does it smell like? It's an uber dark luxuriously inky floral with some earthy bite from the oakmoss. Not for the timid, not for daytime, not for a summer dress or bright happy colors. Black Violet is mysteriously dark and deep, elegantly assertive, and potentially naughty in sophisticated ways.

    23 March, 2010

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    Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

    I was looking forward to my sampling of this, but Tobacco Vanille had heavy competition which it usually doesn't when it's hanging out at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. I had it up against Fumerie Turque, Back to Black, Spiritueuse Double Vanille, and Amber Russe. What a duke out. Well the champion of smokey tobacco for me is Fumerie Turque. If I need more vanilla that's easy to throw in the mix. Even throw something like A*Men on top. Fumerie begs to be layered on. Tobacco Vanille? I guess so, but it doesn't really give what I want from the tobacco side. So I picked up CBIHatePerfume's Pipe Tobacco Accord for cheap, and that isolates the tobacco accord to whatever I want with. Next up, Spiritueuse Double Vanille is probably the closest competition to Tom Ford's, and I think its done better - it's better balanced and less sweet. Back to Black is the most mellow out of the bunch, has very little vanilla, has none of the overly sweetness, and employs some feminine oriental spices on the top - if that's your kind of thing. Lastly, Amber Russe has the tobacco blast, but warmed by Amber not Vanilla, and as similarly sweet as Amber Russe is to Tobacco Vanille, I think it's far smoother, without the cloying sweetness, and the dry down with Russe puts Tobacco Vanille to shame.

    23 March, 2010

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    Nina (new) by Nina Ricci

    One of my favorites out of hundreds. Just wanted to mention - it's a fruity floral with some candy spicy edge to it. It has a sweetness without being little girl, and is incredibly versatile, gorgeous, and sexy, while having a sophistication beyond many other fruity florals. It got the closest comparison to Coco Mademoiselle and Dior Miss Cherie. It's distinct from both with it's candied accent. The dressier aspect related to Coco Madem the most, while Miss Cherie seemed more frivolous compared to the other 2. Nina is deliciously sexy but not as dark as Midnight Fantasy or Lauren Love; and less fruity and more dressed up than Vera Wang Princess.

    23 March, 2010

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    Ange ou Démon by Givenchy

    My wife brought home a sample of this after being charmed by Ange ou Demon Le Secret, but finding out it's too much like a whole lot of other fruity florals. So with the original to sample, I was immediately intrigued and going to the collection to find what it was reminding me of. Oddly enough, first guess was Polo Double Black. However, that was a stretch. Then I picked up Jicky and Shalimar to compare. Now we're close.

    What I'd say now is that Ange ou Démon is cleaner, more gourmand, and more dynamic than Jicky. It's more modern than Shalimar, but not as formal. Demon has a punchy top end, with a really luxuriously rich base. If Jicky is the punky bob cut girl, and Shalimar is the glam retro flapper girl, Ange ou Démon is the woman who has been there, done that, and is now up to something new, but without any reservations to play those games again.

    23 March, 2010

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    Polo Double Black by Ralph Lauren

    Polo Double Black is a warmly spicy invigorating deal. My main complaint is that it doesn't keep up with what it starts out with on the top. The dry down isn't unpleasant - it's warm and comforting. But it leaves you wishing the open would ride longer, for at least another hour. Could try spraying this over heavily moisturized/vaseline'd skin. My strange olfactory connectivity had me also making comparisons to Tom Ford's Japon Noir, and Ange Ou Demon by Givenchy. I'm happy with Double Black, but it leaves something to be desired. The fragrance that I put right in back of Double Black is Zirh Ikon - similar, but darker, yet greener, more complex, and has a linearity and longevity that blows Double Black away.

    23 March, 2010

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    Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    This is some potent everlasting juice. It's a bit on the tangy green side until it winds down a little. But make no mistake, this is a massive floral bomb. And it accomplishes this without being powdery. Notes list citrus up on the top, but I don't get much of it. Carnal Flower is devoid of fruitiness which is why I was testing it out, in the attempt to find pure florals.

    The other florals I put this up against was Datura Noir, and Narcisse Noir. Datura Noir is less loud, richer, smoother. Narcisse Noir is higher pitched, more feminine, and ultimately more sexy to me. Neither one can compete with Carnal Flower's nuclear lasting power.

    23 March, 2010

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    Italian Cypress by Tom Ford

    Italian Cypress is a mature masculine construction, with a striking pine/cinnamon open, and a dry down to warm cinnamon like incense woods. It's a refreshing bear hug. It's a cozy comforting scent in a fatherly like way. It's the wise, handsome, gentleman/brother who'll take care of you.

    I compare this to Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain, Fou d`Absinthe by L Artisan Parfumeur, Kyoto by Comme des Garcons, and the other Tom Ford scent, Bois Marocain. Italian Cypress is more masculine than all of these, yet smoother than Fou d`Absinthe. It's most like Winter Delice. And it's sister is Bois Marocain. The more distant relative is Kyoto which is more transcendent, meditative, weightless, and genderless. They are all Cypress-like woods of some variation, and I love them all.

    Italian Cypress has some awesome dispersion and longevity. Wear this with pride and confidence or you'll have to wait it out for a couple of hours till it goes to the incense woods area.

    23 March, 2010

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    Miss Dior Chérie (original) by Christian Dior

    You can throw Miss Dior Cherie into a giant bin of fruity florals that are rampant at all corners of the retail fragrant world. However, I'd say it's a top notch offering. Cherie's longevity is superior. We were pitting it against D&G Anthology La Lune 18, Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, Squeeze by Lilly Pulitzer, etc. Coco won for having a more dressed up elegant edge. D&G 18 won for having a more distinct floral top end, although it underperforms in longevity. Squeeze beat Cherie for being the declarative uber fruity parfum. Throw in Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy for a dark fruity sexy parfum, and Ralph Lauren Love which has a moodier sophisticated dark construction, and Cherie just comes up not only redundant, but not voicing anything unique other than it is the same quality as Coco Madem, but perhaps more playful.

    If you don't have any of the others, it's a thumbs up in my book.

    23 March, 2010

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    Alien by Thierry Mugler

    Supersonic metallic jasmine that resonates in floral harmony for hours and hours. This is 1 out of 2 scents that I feel are incredible independent feminine frags. Black Cashmere is the other. Both are beautiful, stunning, and gorgeous. They also have a feeling of "look but don't touch". However, I must admit, this is one of my wife's favorites and I fell in love with her as Alien being her go-to perfume. What does that mean then? Alien is perfect for a performer type of personality. And on the other side, if you want to wear something that selectively attracts only people who are genuinely confident in what it takes to get to know you, Alien might be your calling. If you want a fragrance that beckons the world to snuggle up to you, I don't think Alien was born to do any such thing. With all that said, Alien is not for the timid. It is for the driven.

    23 March, 2010

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    New Haarlem by Bond No. 9

    Good stuff!! I blind bought 10 samples off eBay for the fun of it. Closest comparisons are to A*Men Pure Coffee, and a more distant comparison to A*Men. I welcome another masculine leaning gourmand. None of these are actually pure coffee, espresso, or latte, etc. There's a coffee influence, and the rest is a savory sum of the parts.

    23 March, 2010

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    Tam Dao by Diptyque

    I love this, but I'm still waiting for it to push me into buying a bottle. The problem is that after the initial hypnotizing zen rush of an opening, the dry down inside of 10 minutes becomes rather dull and flat. What I've ended up loving much more than Tam Dao is Cadjmere by Parfumerie Generale, Kyoto by Comme des Garcons, and Tamboti Wood by Susanne Lang. Cadjmere is the closest to Tam Dao, but is far better crafted on the dry down - it sparkles with sheen, while Tam Dao echos a resounding "duhhhh". Kyoto sings an ethereal atmospheric accord that rides for a good 8 hours of uplift. And Tamboti Wood is closer to Tam Dao in the wood sense, but is closer to Kyoto in having a construction that has enough interest in the top/middle that gives it a "polish", where Tam Dao has none.

    Tam Dao's other competitor is Tonka by Esteban, which is far less woods, way more tonka.

    23 March, 2010

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    Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella

    Nostalgia is an enigmatic showoff with a grand blast of industrially fresh liquid leather, gasoline, and electronics. The dry down becomes the best leather scent I've found anywhere. I admit that Nostalgia is not an everyday wear. And I have to force myself to wear it since I kinda fear the opening, but I never regret the ride, and I have yet to perfect the art of wearing this. I see so much potential. Bottle worthy from the standpoint of pushing myself in totally uncharted territory.

    The more wearable leather I love is Donna Karan Fuel for Men. It has a fruity opening instead, and drys down to a similar leather as Nostalgia, but with a more approachable complexity. The others I ended up finding similarity to is Lonestar Memories and Fahrenheit.

    Nostalgia actually begs to be layered with an unknown number of scents that are bound to be substantially redefined as a result.

    23 March, 2010

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    Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Nasty sexy kinky leather for bad girls. In non-sexual terms, it's for a ranch ridin ho down circus carnival of a time. Yes, it's dirty. Yes it drys down to barnyard fun with fecal matter included.

    But I don't know who would reach for this if they weren't in a rebellious, crazy, extreme, or porno-rific mood. So that's D'zing. It does what very few "perfumes" even dare think of. Wear it when you want a wild ride. And if D'zing wasn't extreme or butch enough for you, try Lonestar Memories and get ready to raise serious hell.

    23 March, 2010

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    Jacomo de Jacomo Rouge by Jacomo

    Yes! Thank you basenoters for steering me towards this blind buy. Can be had for super cheap, and I like this way better than Le Male. Jacomo Rouge comes on in a sheer uplifting sexy way, almost reminds me distantly of A*Men, but then it drys down to something super cool, subtly delicious, and groovin.

    23 March, 2010

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    In a short 2 months I've been down a long road with Musc Ravageur being a pillar of comparison, and a glorious example of originality. Back to Black by Kilian came up to compete and fell flat with its injection of ambiguous feminine notes. MR is smoother and more focused. Jicky has a similar opening, but goes nowhere and quickly outstays its welcome, while MR brilliantly reveals a luxurious warmth. Fumerie Turque also shares some of the Tonka like boost, but goes off to a place unique all its own that had me buying a bottle. Shalimar treads similar territory as MR as well, but comes across as too retro to be worn in a modern sense.

    It's "the" musk in the collection. No need for any others. Musc Ravageur also begs to be layered upon. I'll have fun exploring the combinations.

    23 March, 2010

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