I can solemnly assert that Zoologist Civet is a contemporary gem, really, a cult fragrance (by now a modern classic), a pretty gorgeous creation which, while paying tribute to a classic baroque french honeyed-mossy-spicy chypre tradition (civet= Coco Chanel, Guerlain Djedi, Rochas Mystere, Must de Cartier, Estee Lauder Knowing etc), manages at same time to strum the (wilder fruity-spicy) strings of the Indie's
dodgy creative underworld, succeeding in the aim to conjugate (exactly a la House of Matriarch Bohemian Black, a far Civet's cousin) classic and contemporary, baroquely structural and the wild cozy countryside-farm's universe (just to be better intended: ideally the classic Roccobarocco woman or Ungaro Diva interpenetrate their classic substance with the visceral Slumberhouse Sova or Rundholz 03.Apr.1968). A proudly synth note of civet is in here connected to roasted coffee, resinous plummy-figgy spices, tropical flowers and "forest" in order to disclose a bold bloody (salty-plummy) effluvium which is all at once sapiently (with balance) alluring and wildly rural. Opening is quite visceral, a blast of sultry-spicy indescribable emotions (dark, sparkling, multicolored, equatorial, dry-fruity and dirty/sweated). I detect by soon a dark resinous-peppery-woodsy/mossy-liquorous classically chypre background enveloping the brisk sultry elements of the piquant night and overall is supported by a toasted accord of earthy patchouli, burnt dried fruits and roasted coffee. I can pick up dried figs, tropical flowers (kind of orchid, tuberose, ylang-ylang), salty leather, toasted tobacco, liqueur, sugary nuts, impenetrable spices, woods, misty resins and tasty balsams (the culinary-boozy-bloody carnality of this opening "recalls" to me an ideal combination of Les Liquides Imaginaires Belo Rabello and several of the spiciest/more syrupy/honeyed Slumberhouse's creations a la Jeke and Sova). Apart toasted coffee I detect a general (typically Indie in style) burnt-sugar's effect as mastering (resins galore). The core of this juice is represented by this central mysterious connection of toasted coffee and a sort of animalic black (salty-acid) musk (the synth civet's effect). I don't get the civet's typical fecal vibe, while I surely detect (as background and after many hours) an erotic sort of "stale - vaguely acid - pungent sweat of the body recesses-effect" combined with wax and honey (which is typical of vintage animalic chypres). Along the way various balsams seem to go soothing the elements and a muskier-lighter more "polished" chypre (mossy-woody-honeyed) vibe pops up as a stroke of fate. I detect in this phase a vaguely less dark presence of honey, oakmoss, heliotrope and mossy leather. The main effect, despite stable (sapiently orchestrated, alluring, elegant) and proudly classic "in school", is anyway destabilizing, avant-garde and incredibly erotic. Super bold sillage and great longevity on my feral skin. Excellent creation nearby the house of Zoologist.
Nightingale is my first experience with Zoologist, the magnificent "by flora/fauna-inspired" Indie/naturalistic canadian alchemic niche brand. Their collection is aimed to capture the idiosyncrasies of the animal kingdom, transforming them into scents that are somewhat unusual and original. The main goal is supposed to be the one to connect "by perfumes" the wearer to great delights of the natural world. My first impression testing the juice on skin is immediately kind of wowing me; whatta resinous impact, what a fantastic indolic approach, what a visceral fruity-floral musky assault!! First of all, this is a super spicy-resinous creation (spicy frankincense, oudh, ambergris, fir resins, labdanum etc), as much resinous to conjure me (anyway in to a far more fruity-floral key) scents a la Cerchi Nell'Acqua Usmar Venezia, Tiziana Terenzi Gold Rose Oudh or several of the most straightforward frankincense-based accords (though in this case frankincense is well calibrated and is just like a brick of a more complex high construction). There is a "nowadays classic" central accord of rose/saffron/oudh but in this case fruity-floral intense elements and rich muskiness provide a new deeper vegetal outcome. The juice expresses a "japanese-in-inspiration" sort spring-time botanic atmosphere (the perfumer Tomoo Inaba is surely inspired by her japanese origin and the "naturalistic past" in deep contact to nature). Nightingale is a fruity-floral chypre (finally honeyed, rosey, waxy, apparently aldehydic, musky) opening with an assault of rosey saffron, plums (japanese plum blossoms) and violet under my profane south-european nose. Violet is temperamental for sure. The rosey vibe is by soon super spicy, creamy and yummy (sort of balmy, almost saffrony-syrupy) and its royal neo-victorian neutral/detergent/botanic/leafy-like vibe is counteracted by a more pungent accord of plums and violet (kind of berrish, juicy and candied). The overall atmosphere is surely musky, hyper musky, silvan and vegetal. A lemony note (on the side of woods) reinforces in the meanwhile the fruity-floral "plummine's intensity" and the general "perfumed botanic intensity" of the opera. The visceral floral syrup (really saffrony-rosey, plummy and resinous), as conjoined to carnal resins and deep musk, provides a quite sensual general effect while patchouli enhances structure and charisma. A fragrance by a great structure, gorgeousness and complexity claiming to capture the Japanese spring's onset with an obsessive dark floral pungency and a general sense of soapy-assertive oriental rapture. Excellent.
Sultry and musky a la Versace Eros Pour Femme, just a tad less fruity, pungent, radiant and musky. While Versace pushes the accelerator over magnolia, freesia, orange blossoms and ozonic molecules Yves Rocher Quelques Notes d'Amour is more properly rosey, light, delicate and balmy-ambery (soapy). Both the creations are "airy", fruity (red fruits from the forest - cassis, raspberry, bilberry etc), salty and exude a sort of sultry-"sweated" synth sensual "sweet-salty" (musky/ambery) presence which is finally warm, pretty feminine and slightly dissonant. A decent easy feminine eau.
"In to the fougere's wild". Faberge Cellini for men is a quite refined (but really "strong") freshly aromatic barber-shop classic fougere exuding a fascinating fresh aura a la Aramis Tuscany Man (a lot), Drakkar Noir, Cuba Black men by Cuba Paris or (mostly) Azzaro Pour Homme. I detect this mastering initial soapy-anisic accord of aromatic herbs, fresh lavender and citrus, immediately supported by leather/patchouli (with a quite soapy-suedish leather's effect), by a refined sharp floral core (mostly carnation under my profane nose), overall flowing down towards a mossy-ambery-leathery base (dandy, classy, "tailored", leathery, soapy, aromatic, dry). Anisic lavender, musks, synth ambergris and soapy leather are dominant throughout while the florals are restrained, angular and "accessorial". I detect an undeniable spicy presence (and some misty earthiness) but the juice is mostly an aromatic-soapy (mossy-ambery-leathery) fougere with a radiant spark of gentlemanly dandy class. Supremely masculine. Durable on my bastard skin.
P.S: dry down is darker (vaguely smoky, austere, quite soapy-mossy - but all at once angular - and assertive a la Ysl vintage Rive Gauche).
22nd March, 2017 (last edited: 23rd March, 2017)
One of the most expensive "musky/talky bath-foams" of the market. Not for me. An "highly placed" mix of "market cracks cliche'-formulas". Joop Homme+ Baldessarini Ambre + a whichever musky-herbal-talky "ubiquitous" bath foam + Paco Rabanne One Million + Gaultier Le Male + a bombastic luxurious packaging = Reflection Man. Just a far more expensive, yet slightly more herbal and structured mix of the former juices. Finally Reflection turns out pretty talky, floral-chic and warm. I've read somewhere there is no resemblance with Joop Homme but I detect many points in common with it especially about the first part of the run (angular- herbal/hesperidic- elements, candied heliotrope, spices, jasmine, patchouli, vetiver, ambroxan, tonka, sandalwood etc). Finally the olfactory routes diverge and Reflection Man becomes a musky-talky amalgam significantly distant from the Joop's powerhouse disclosure. A really powerful fragrance. Hints of peppery spices, woody saltiness, synth ambery piquancy, floral patterns and aromatic herbal greenness ransom an otherwise overly boring expensive talky-ambery blend. Save your money guys.
P.S: after many ours I detect several changes, the juice evolves, a "languid" anisic (a la Thierry Mugler's Angel) sort of unisex fruity/floral patchouli comes out and I finally see a pretty chic sort of Chanel Allure's aura (vaguely candied/honeyed/floral-chic/aromatic). I detect in this phase an alluring sambac jasmine supported by neroli, "anisic-starry-candied" sandalwood and patchouli.
19th March, 2017 (last edited: 20th March, 2017)
L'Erbolario Ginepro Nero: in the same league as Terre d'Hermes (GN is less earthy-incensey and more humid), Montale Red Vetyver (more vetiver-oriented and powdery) and Rouge Bunny Rouge Tundra (which is more misty and indecifrable) Ginepro Nero explores the "deep forest's muskiness-theme". Juniper berries, vetiver, fir resins and earthy patchouli overall merged in to an enchanted mossy-damp atmosphere of the northern lands' wild woods. Earthy, hesperidic, humid, musky, peppery, woody-salty, cedary and boise, this L'Erbolario's creation is a quite dignified (finally urban, dry, virile and casual) alternative to far more expensive market-tigers. Thumbs up.
Not a lot to add to the previous great rbaker's description. One of my absolute favorite from La via del Profumo, the aroma of Topkapi Palace, a really gorgeous exotic/oriental take on the spicy/musky rose-theme, a quite magnificent (super delicate) refined accord of Rose Damascene, subtle spicy notes, resinous musks and warm/dreamy animalic amber (powdery and balmy) in typical arabic style. The muskiness is soft, spicy, heliotropic, soapy-poudre, elegant, delightful. Resins, rose-essence and spicy balsams structure the rosey work of super airy-fairy "Attar" refinement. A fragrance for Sultans and Ottoman Imperators, a juice for enigmatic turkish women, a waxy-floral-spicy potion exuding an epic and oriental ambience of Mosques, Minarets and mosaics of the Padishah's salons.
Passion D'Homme Rodier (a super kind homage-vial from my friend David) is a dodgy sweet/woody semi-gourmand accord which (as soon as layered on my skin) starts to stimulate immediately several edges of my schizophrenic olfactory memory since it seems to me like smelling as a weird ideal combination of scents as Baldessarini Ambre' (sweeter and probably more powerful), Givenchy Insense (in its more obscure, assertive, liquid aura), Acqua di Biella Ca' Luna (in its earthy-sugary spiciness) and (vaguely) Lolita Lempika Au Masculine (which is anyway far more bombastic in its synthetic salty-sugary muskiness). Scents as A*Men or Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille are too much intense to be taken as references imo. I have to say that also scents as R by Revillon, Davidoff Hot Water, Creed Original Santal, Vince Camuto Pour Homme, Gaultier Le Beau Male or Prada Luna Rossa jump random on mind for several of their hallmarks. Basically Passion d'Homme is a captivating casual, sporty, juvenile and versatile formula evolving from its initial freshly floral fluidy/gymnic (90's mainstream) opening to a final musky-vaguely leathery-sugary/spicy dry down, passing across a central (to me somewhat unpleasant) amberish/spicy semi-oriental stage. I detect the combination of salty-musky elements (quite sporty and "gymnic) with a basic dusty-amberish (galaxolide/ambroxan-centered) warmer dry down (passing through an aromatic floral-earthy-herbal-peppery stage). Hints of synth tobacco and booziness are detectable by my miserable nose of province. Not my genre for sure but surely an interesting juice to be "captured" by younger more fashionable urban/style-follower crowds.
A simple but at same time multi-nuanced combination which manages to be (despite its minimalism) aristocratic in its variegate articulation and powerfully nostalgic like the music of a french carillon. Quite great aromatic-floral opening immediately rich of evocative power and full of diverse nuances of floral-pollen, jasmine-nectar, soapiness, toasted coffee, Sambuca, pistachio-creams, taste of creamy liqueurs and boozy artisanal pastries. Despite being Amber-Jasmine a floral accord the floral element (yet present) is like a ghost merging its substance in the whole "riverbed" of a generally oriental amberish ambience of handmade liquors, sweet confectionery, honey, waxy-heliotropic soaps, rojal jelly and almonds. This genuine Dubrana's accord conjugates indeed a syrupy (almost candied) redolent jasmine's presence (which is obsessive as a lost affection) with a sort of anisic-heliotropic-waxy decadent amberish vibe. The note of amber is in here "multi-veined", complex, organic, yummy, pastries-taste's nuanced, honeyed and luxurious. This floral amber embraces my skin with a childhood's sweet memory of innocent dreams, happy ceremonies and veritable carefree joy, while elevating higher and higher our senses. There is a sort of victorian soapy atmosphere throughout and a conjured "lost back in a far past" memory of warm Christmas-holidays, rich banquets and happy moments of full dreamy childish life. Average duration of moderate sillage on my skin.
L'Orpheline by Serge Lutens starts promisingly with a fantastic humid-earthy accord of damp patchouli, dry-piquant spices, earthy-rooty vetiver and resins (synth amber and Iso E driven incense) a la Armani Prive' Bois d'Encens. There is by soon all around a galaxolide's musky synth presence. This opening is, for a couple of minutes amazing (and vaguely realistic in several of its nuances) with a dreamy dark-boise wet atmosphere rich of musks, roots, mineral molecules, sticky forest's resins, forest-leaves and mouldiness. I detect in this phase a "dodgy" creamy-resinous vibe (vaguely licoricey and cocoa-nuanced), hints of orris roots (not listed), a tad of powdery iris and something salty (probably aroused by frankincense and not listed vetiver) yet intimate (properly masculine and kind of simil-organic). Unfortunately in a few time a more than vaguely disturbing synthetic woody feel (a sort of dry, slightly pencil-shavings in vibe, cedary feel so mainstream nowadays) takes the scene partially compromising the rich woodsy musky initial aura. Dry down is muskier but still synthetically woody. Anyway I still detect an intimate salty spiciness and mineral resins which I find sexy and bold. On the complex my final humble rating is "medium" cause I really can't stand (though moderate as in this case) this dry cerary vibe nowadays "ubiquitous" in the fragrances' universe.
A magnificent take on a real agarwood resin (a la Abdul Samad Al Qurashi) with all its "aged" array of "stuffy" nuances (musky, mossy, resinous, animalic, dirty, rubbery, honeyed, leathery, woody, fur-like, mouldy, steamy, camphoraceous). The rubbery/animalic (like castor sacs' aroma exuding) feel conjures me more than vaguely the By Kilian Pure Oud's boot polish-effect but while the latter creation is smokier Amber Oud is more mouldy/musky (and castoreum/truffles-like smelling). Hardly evolving juice, rising complex-multifaceted by nature di per se. Really close to Castoreum from the same house, with its wild-leather/fur's mossy feel (and its vague aroma of mexical Mezcal yet buck/reindeer's fur) while I detect as well a "black musk-typical" honeyed impenetrable dirtiness. A "veritable" raw material barely "caressed" and modulated by Dubrana in order to better "embellish" (and mitigate) its full range of "multiveined" prerogatives. La Via del Profumo Amber Oud is profound and arcane (but never oppressive and surprisingly wearable). I don't know whether ambergris is included in the potion (and surely some ambery nuances are in here detectable) but the most prominent feel I pick up is probably musky, yes a black musk's darkly honeyed presence quite oily, animalic (a sheer castoreum's oil seems to wave under my disreputable nose) and fungous-truffly. Moderate projection and good longevity on my skin.
02nd March, 2017 (last edited: 03rd March, 2017)
If you are generally in the mood of cozy (oriental/ semi-oriental) creations a la Arabian Oud Kalemat, Il Profvmo Chocolat, several Serge Luten's spicy appointments, La via del Profumo Amber Chocolate or Milano Caffè (which exude anyway a basically diverse kind of coziness), or if you even appreciate the brighter (creamier) heliotropic-vanillic Farmacia SS Annunziata Cara or Kiori by Kiori, well you will surely enjoy the warmly animalic Cuoio dei Dolci's sultry tobacco. Actually, I borrow the word "cozy" since the vanilla-ylang-ylang's remarkable presence (as usual on my synapses) provides me with this sort of "far lands exotic" twist but at same time since a superb castoreum's presence elicits in here this wide sense of carnal (kind of salty-yummy, dusty sweet, luxurious and liquorous) aromatic warmth. Sort of anisic is the sudden approach with this semi-gourmand intimate scent, a sort of "across the board" coniferous aromatic aura surrounding all the straight to follow unveiled elements. Cuoio dei Dolci actually opens its run with an adamant assault of castoreum, dried orange, dry almond, cocoa beans, spices (may be hints of nutmeg or clove) and coniferous resins under my grotesque nose. Sugary, boozy (kind of cognac's presence evoking), warmly yummy, "wooden nuanced" Christmas holidays conjuring. Castoreum is immediately notable in a sort of fresh-aromatic (somewhat minty-piney), surely mouldy and just barely honeyed way (I mean somewhat sugary, almondy-heliotropic and "sweet liquorous pastries/Christmas cakes/icing sugar/dried orange/sweetmeat/white-sugary molasses-ideally conjuring"). An evocative approach due to exhume the most arcane of your childhood memories. Anyway this sort of almondy-aromatic-vaguely talky castoreum is the main initial presence on my skin with its salty-sugary (talky-resinous and vaguely "truffley") provision. Tonka, vanilla, may be cypress and ylang-ylang are clearly quite notable in this exotic phase while gradually tobacco jumps up with its pipe vanillic (and at same time salty-humidor-acid-"agricole") feel. Honestly is hard to retain along dry down "the cocoa beans-presence's perception" which is indeed throughout heady in (more straightforward on cocoa beans-temperament) scents as Amber Chocolate or Milano Caffè (which is far spicier) while the yet notable tobacco is anyway surely more heady in diverse La Via del Profumo's creations as Don Corleone or Tabac. Castoreum (especially along the first minutes) and a sort coniferous almondy/heliotropic presence are the most relevant presences on my skin throughout. I don't detect any buttery or particularly intense ambery feel which somebody claims to pick up from this blend. Repeat, the honeyed feel is moderate and never thick. Dry down is more than vaguely woody (seasoned mild woods) and musky under my "deceitful" nose from the far southern lands. "About the leather" actually Cuoio dei Dolci could not be properly defined a leather-dominant accord (the juice does not claim to be a straightforward leather-manifesto a la Aramis classic) but frankly you could notice a subtle (gradually emerging) leather's final presence along the dry down and the "leathery feel" jumping up from the dominant castoreum. To conclude..., ealued on its whole array of nuances Cuoio dei Dolci is surely a fully satisfactory "natural in approach" intellectual fragrance with a sheer sense of literary manneristic decadence, "golden age cheerful bacchanalia" and bourgeois inexorable debauchery. Moderate sillage (or better, somewhat faint sillage) and longevity on my skin (just my personal alchemy on this perfume while I enjoy a greater longevity and projection with scents as Don Corleone, Mecca Balsam or Muschio di Quercia).
Basically a sophisticated and chic nocturnal sambac jasmine. Supremely feminine and glamour a la Thierry Mugler Alien, carnal a la Tom Ford Black Orchid (the jasmine-tuberose "nectarinic" final accord gives out a sort of musky orchid-illusion). Mqueen runs the way of super glamour-chic radiant florals. The juice starts almost dry and fruity (yes vaguely a la Dior J'adore - grapefruit, citrus, neroli etc). You can immediately notice the huge fluidy-peppery-aromatic-vegetal (vaguely - or better- ostensibly salty-ozonic) presence a la Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius (initially almost aqueous, minty and extremely "streamy") and the sheer floral radiancy (you could almost swear to detect a sort of lily/lotus/white peony-dominant musky diaphanous presence a la Estee Lauder Modern Muse or Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc) before to assist to a masterful jasmine/tuberose's starring spring-time blooming up. Ylang-ylang is another absolutely dominant note, providing that super chic synth-cosmetical-balmy/soapy/neutral exotic spark. Surely synth vetiver exalts the piquant saltiness counteracting a floral "juiciness". Along the way jasmine enhances its whispering nocturnal caress bestowing this delicate nocturnal vibe upon the olfactory fatigue. Dry down is mostly a musky soapy accord of ylang-yland, milky jasmine and balmy-vanillic tuberose. Effectively I detect a remarkable resemblance to Madonna Truth or Dare which is finally cramier. I detect as well a tad of the Bvlgari Jasmine Noir's silent darkness and romance. The final "twist" is surely elegant and sensual (well appointed in its complex) though definitely not unique.
Valentino Vendetta (a fragrance nowadays almost impossible to be retraced around) has been at the time a gorgeous floral-chypre perfumed witness of the Maison Valentino haute couture's grandeur. In the same league as rich regal giants like V&A Van Cleef, Roccobarocco or Ungaro Diva it opens "problematically" with an aggressive welcome of bergamot, aldehydes, pungent herbal notes, green aromatics and "molecular edgy spices" in order to disclose gradually a final complex soapier-muskier mélange of rich fruits (plums, peaches?), sweet spices, kaleidoscopic floral facets, exotic elements (ylang-ylang, vetiver), woods and oriental-resinous-boise ingredients (amber, moss, labdanum, resins). Almost impossible to describe the aroma. Fruits, amber, orchid and tuberose are dominant in the body of this artistic piece of complex grand perfumery. Dry-herbal notes and sharp woods counteract (by hints of "neutrality") the fruity-floral mild spicy richness. Resins, musks, honey, ripe fruits and balsams are well calibrated and never abused. Dry down is super classy, lofty and forbidding (anyway never too massive and quite balanced - yes somewhat graceful). An highly classy fur-dressed (covered by jewels) Grand Madame at Opera Theatre comes ideally on mind in her gorgeous long organza-dress and the solemn gait.
09th February, 2017 (last edited: 10th February, 2017)
Galop d'Hermes is a super straightforward freshly soapy saffrony rose, radiant and bright. Saffron, heady in the top, goes gradually fading. I detect some muskiness but frankly any leather on my skin (while it seems to catch balmy resins, undistinguished mellow fruitiness, tonka bean and cardamom). The general radiancy is sexy and bold (almost carnal in its edible airy yumminess). I appreciate the Herme's way to treat an usually "struggling" theme as "the rose" which in this case appears "unusually" versatile, honeyed-waxy-cosmetic in vibe (a la Cera di Cupra Rosa) and "semi-orientally appealing". This juice could sound as a sort of rosey Voyage d'Herme's feminine counterpart (due the common sense of powdery/soapy/freshly spicy exotic dreaminess). An optimistic and exotic take on musky rose for woman.
P.S: finally I detect also a sort of honeyed-vanillic-resinous sambac jasmine's presence (combined with rose) which is vaguely in the same league as the one we enjoy in Alien Essence Absolue (which encloses also orris). I detect also an "Elie Saab Le Parfum-conjuring" synthetic basic muskiness. This final trait is creamy, honeyed and musky (overall in to a balanced way), something quite warmer and super-sensual.
06th February, 2017 (last edited: 07th February, 2017)
Wow. Far beyond Marc Jacobs Bang (as general quality) and surely at same Villoresi Piper Nigrum's level (being anywhere the latter a basically diverse and more complex type of juice - less woody and more spicy-resinous), this CdG's black pepper-dominant accord is one of the best renditions of this supremely arid dark "old spice theme". An aqueous-fresh (Wonderwood-conjuring) cedarwood is equally dominant in its abstract dry woody saltiness while black pepper is super-realistic, exotic and elegantly rendered. A simple freshly virile and classy fragrance from the impeccable Comme des Garcons. Thumbs up.
A simple sparkling resinous cologney Cartier's appointment with a dominant accord of rosemary, neroli, aromatic greens and hesperidic lavender (a la 4711 EKW) and a more sticky mossy dry down (mastered by mastic, oakmoss and may be galbanum). Absinth and aromatics provide a sort of balsamic-minty background. Throughout the atmosphere is kind of "enchanted", musky, vegetal and botanic. L'Heure Vertueuse is really green and silvan but frankly unworthy the huge price.
Another disappeared piece of classic italian perfumery. Python is a classic in style semi-gourmand chypre combining the old school rich spicy-floral-mossy "chypreism" (Ungaro Diva, Gianni Versace, Van Cleef, Krizia Donna, Roccobarocco) with the more modern lighter-soapier-muskier fruity/floral/vanillic approach that we enjoy in scents as Guerlain Samsara or vintage Laura Biagiotti Venezia (I detect many "spicy-fruity-floral" similarities between Python and the two former overmentioned juices - variegate floral presence, peaches/plums, amber/vanilla, ylang-ylang, musk, sandalwood- just Trussardi Python finally sliding towards a more vanillic-benzoinic dry down). The Python's semi-gourmand dry down is more properly vanillic but "endowed" by an obscure mossier presence missing in the woodier-muskier Samsara/Venezia's lighter dry down. A pleasant romantic elusive creation.
One of the few decent takes on this "poor" fashionable ambroxan/galaxolide-dominant genre, an Acqua di Biella Ca' Luna/Prada Luna Rossa/Police The Sinner for men/Diesel Only the Brave's far cousin (musks and lavender recall in here slightly Le Male along the top side of the affair as well) but with a decidedly less sweetish and musky vibe, a remarkable woody presence and a quite restrained/ambergris-driven/nutty (almost salty and vaguely leathery) virile undertone (black pepper, cloves/nutmeg and ginger provide warm spicy piquancy and I feel on skin the classic Aramis's hesperidich-earthy secret background). There is salty woodiness, an aromatic general vibe and a plain piquant spiciness. Dry down is restrained, vaguely leathery and warm. Aramis Voyager is surely not a great fragrance but I can't deny it could project many qualities and a good dose of sexiness if layered on the right skin.
Oud & Rose is my first approach with the Cartier's Les Heures Voyageuses luxury line. This juice is an impalpable caress. An aereal, pure, molecular (a la Agarwoud Heeley or Maria Lux Deeply) suedish rose-oud combo, thankfully far from the usual gassy-saffrony obnóxious approaches to which many "niche" brands (on the same) theme have accustomed us lately. Here we are on another subtle and celestial level. A refined soft "rosey" celestial oud-rose accord supported by musk, sweet baldams, "assertive" resins, perfumed woods, light spices and fresh undiscerned elements. A dreamy super expensive juice for a cloudy unapproachable experience.
Paradise for any gourmand-fetish. Tested today on skin, really yummy but at same time structured and aromatic, a Pure Havana's aromatic twin (with a vague twist of Thierry Mugler Angel as well) with a more aromatic-fresh and fruity opening imo (yes with a candied "cherry" undertone and a fresh tobacco-leaves fizzy blast), a vaguely less bombastic-honeyed sillage and a similar soft coco/cocoa/creamy tobacco-dominant "vaguely toasted" soft final trail. This is basically like a slightly lighter, brighter and more "orchestrated" A* Men Pure Havana with a more prominent (or better, more traditionally earthy and aromatic) patchouli (almost anisic in vibe) and a less dark cocoa-mastered dry down. Tobacco in here is "sweetly" (culinarially) rendered. Not my genre of "creaminess" but surely a great cheaper A*Men Pure Havana's alternative (on which I prefer Insurrection II Wild for it brighter earthy-aromatic undertone and its barely less massive "honey").
A fancy/glamour night-out fragrance conceptually (and in part aromatically) a la One Million Prive' or Boss Bottled Night. A scent in the same league as several mainstream scents as Boss Bottled Night (and several Carolina Herrera or Armani as Armani Code Profumo as well) by combining woody-salty notes (like vetiver and cedarwood) with aromatics and cinnamonic/musky (more than vaguely sugary) amber. Cristiano Ronaldo Legacy is substantially an usual association of fresh aromatics (rooty, leafy and herbal) and warmer (piquant/dusty/cinnamonic) ambery-musky notes for a quite casual and fashionable night out in inamidate dark suit. I detect cardamom as well (combined with cinnamon and dusty tonkinian ambroxan). The base is a "traditional" woody-dusty (cinnamonic) amber with hints of tonka and musks. Deliberately synthetic and woody-cedary (in tone with the current "scream"). Not a bad creation di per se but surely not a creation in tune with the "immensity" of the absolute number one football player in the world.
23rd January, 2017 (last edited: 27th January, 2017)
What a weird and unique fragrance is it!! One of the most resinous scents ever, a super rubbery/resinous and aromatic/spicy patchouli with a moody appeal and a leathery substance. Krizia Uomo Istinto starts weirdly rubbery-resinous (heady frankincense and amber galore) and super peppery but by soon like unfolding a sombre, vaguely liturgic, impersonal, aromatic, stark aura. Pepper is misty, "hairy" (I mean really piquant and craggy) and sticky (amber and frankincense are combined in a sticky-balsamic "fir resins' aroma conjuring" take no prisoners accord). There is a sort of Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia-like aura but overall in a less rubbery and more resinous way (with this strange sort of creamy-spicy resinous smoky aura a la Ziberman Oriental Adler or Miller Harris La Fumee). I get this dense incensey virile assertive patchouli overall while geranium provides a tad of fresh lymphatic leafiness. I don't get properly powder but mostly creamy resins, woodsy resins, "hard rock smoky leather" and mossy labdanum. Dry down is a pleasant synth woodsy (labdanum/frankincense-based), virile, grey (vaguely rosey) and leathery (black leather jacket like) accord to fully enjoy ok skin. Thumbs up.
Bois du Portugal is one of the top members of the Creed-dynasty on the side of Vintage Tabarome, Cuir de Russie, Green Irish Tweed, Royal English Leather and few others. A super classic really masculine gentlemen-fragrance with a stout smoky woody-leathery initial assault (yet luxurious and royal due to a decadent hesperidic vibe), a green-spicy core (aromatic, vaguely minty, lemony-cologney and musky) and a luxurious "stuffy-retro" victorian final vibe a la (even for diverse reasons) Aramis JHL, Guerlain Mitsouko, Derby or Clinique Aromatics Elixir (with a restrained virile twist afforded by woods and spicy ambergris). Bergamot, aromatic lavender, astringent cedar, piquant ambergris and powdery woods unfold a quite classic-barbershop vibe in the middle between the great French chypre tradition, the 80's powerful aromatic fougere and the rosey-laundry victorian British olfactory historic school. Dry down is a gorgeous mix of powdery-mossy vaguely rosey woods (chypre, green-minty and poudree), spicy-hesperidic ambergris (piquant and virile) and stuffy powdery/hesperidic earthiness. An "ethernal" aristocratic fragrance (evocative about Royal Gardens) which will make you lording over all the other "lofty-affected" banqueters at Royal Court.
18th January, 2017 (last edited: 19th January, 2017)
Not a fragrance but a product of pure distillation. Another dark-smoky potion from this specialized "Middle Eastern perfumery brand" as product of pure distillations of woody resins formed as a result of natural infections affecting several species of Aquilaria (agarwood) evergreen trees. Along the time these infections naturally cause the trees to produce a really viscous resin as a by-product due to attack this infection. Oudh is the "outcome" of this "ancient" woody resins' distillation-process. Even in this case this arcane potion is mouldy as a dark cave studded inside by extinguished bonfires, mossy moulds, stale humidity and burnt odorous woody-rubbery resins. Just for the straightforward lovers of this "hard extreme" genre. A "fumidus" hyper dry woody potion (yet vaguely petroleous) a la Montale Dark Aoud (being the latter on the contrary anyway synthetic) but natural, far more realistic, stark and liturgically ritual. A stinky bitter-licoricey supremely woody "odor". A medieval kind of ghostly "miasma" heralding images of fortified citadels, steel swords, steamy castles, battlefields, warriors barbarians, bronze armatures and knights-errant.
Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue is a spicy/woody/aquatic based on a central accord of piquant spices, citrus, violet, sharp salty woods and mineral ozonics. The first blast is like a photocopy of the "sadly departed" Byblos Uomo (this is the good news, many notes in common indeed: musk, bergamot, lavender, ambrox, violet, spices, patchouli, aromatic herbs, mineral-ozonic notes, sharp woods etc. I see in this phase also a tad of Chopard Heaven, Paco Rabanne Invictus, Bond N. 9 I Love NY for Him and Chanel Bleu) but after five minutes the mainstream stark salty-gassy woodiness (which is taking the world by storm by now) starts screaming out peppery-dusty (even more salty and gassy, like a crazy schizophrenic oceanic kind of Bvlgari Man Extreme ideally joined to a whichever "crunchy" Givenchy Gentlemen Only or Dior Sauvage) with my huge bored disappointment. Nothing more to add. Not for me.
Another hidden disappeared gem for us and one of the most sublime "Odes" to the gorgeous note of ylang-ylang I've stumbled upon in my miserable life of southern solitary perfumista :-). Eau de Metal, yes a classic treasure straight from the "old style" Paco Rabanne's glorious "course", welcomes us dramatically (I'd say "metallically" in a quite angular, edgy, aldehydic-herbal-sharply floral-earthy-leafy-botanic way and just for twenty seconds or few more) before quickly morphing in to one of the most apparently "soapy-neutral-abstract-mossy" (but actually complexly floral) bases I've ever experienced on my "experienced" mediterranean skin. Eau de Metal is basically a musky-floral concoction (smelling finally at same time subtle-floral-chic and warmly organic-musky on skin) and the dry down is almost identical to a familiar aroma for me, namely the one of bath-foam Nidra Latte Palmolive (being Eau de Metal surely more subtle, complex, musky-boise and nuanced). Despite a veritable massive floral presence the floral perception is moderate under the nose (like something substantially restrained) because of a really dominant and catalysing soapy-musky vibe. White musk and oakmoss are complemented by soapy amber, balsams, tonka and by a complex "flori-herbal" bouquet (mastered by rose, hyacinth and ylang-ylang). The first blast is edgy with its lamellar twist of leaves, bitter-green notes, aldehydes, green earthiness (vetiver) and aromatics. A musky aura is by soon evident in its balmy substance supported by a sheer ambery soapy presence with a multicolored floral kaleidoscope of sophisticated nuances (jasmine, iris, ylang-ylang, hyacinth). Ylang-ylang is super chic, radiant and exotic while a musky hyacinth enhances a dominant "neutral" mossy (earthy-humid) atmosphere throughout (kind of vaguely earthy, mouldy, camphoraceous and boise). All the laminal elements gradually tame their "fury" tending to slide towards a more silky musky-soapy-floral atmosphere mastered by musky amber and chic/exotic ylang-ylang. Dry down is warm/musky/soapy on skin, is like a dive in the most heavenly hot foamy bathtub of this universe (spumous, milky, laundry-neutral, dreamy) but is super chic and sophisticatated "at distance" as well. Ylang-ylang and hyacinth are the royal elements of this marvelous soapy bouquet providing a surprisingly modern glamour "unisex" vibe. This juice is disappeared from the shelves but is still incredibly modern and timeless in its attractive intimate aura. A great pity its disappearance.
Veejaga Hashish Homme is one of my most sensational recent serendipities (fortunately in its vintage formulation). This marvellous gem smells (under my moonshiny nose of province) exactly like an ideal blend of Ted Lapidus Pour Homme (minus the overly "stuffy" aldehydes), Givenchy Gentleman and Six Scents End/Beginning (Profvmum Arso could be equally included in the clan). An amazing impenetrable (initially mystic-narcotic, in a second phase lighter) association of dry herbs, tobacco, super-earthy patchouli, warmly mouldy castoreum, dry woods, oakmoss, black pepper, woodsy resins, leather, rooty vetiver and smoky olibanum (more than vaguely a la Il Nero), provides the illusion of a "green-red illicit" weed-dominant cocktail (actually more "fragrant" marijuana than properly black rubbery hashish). In the same context a well calibrated presence of herbal aromatic patterns, fruity notes (accessorial to a dominant leather-feel), balsamic ginger, angular geranium/rose and citrus provides balancing lightness, a more dynamic fresh barber-shop (never "dated") attribute, easy wearability and modern versatility to an otherwise overly scorbutic (and misty) mix. Patchouli is there, arid, distinguished, earthy, resinous and uncompromising (a la Givenchy Gentleman vintage), vetiver guarantees rootiness, a moldy aura is enhanced by moss in association with culinary greens (verbena, celery??), leather (joined to resins) is kind of vaguely "electric-plastic" for a while (the "varnish vibe") while castoreum is ashy, mossy, humid and kind of "ancient" (dusty-stuffy-camphoraceous). Dry down is anyway an example of gorgeous warm spicy-resinous smoky leather (yes, agree, extremely modern, urban and never "oltherwordly") which probably could have been (or actually has been for real) source of inspiration for more contemporary takes on the smoky-rubbery/herbal theme as Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia, Profumum Arso, Complex by Boadicea the Victorius, Mona di Orio Cuir or stuffs like those. Excellent.
09th January, 2017 (last edited: 22nd January, 2017)
Mediterraneum is a pleasant light green semi-oriental creation (initially launched by Proteo Profumi and later branded by Versace), a pleasant fragrance di per se but something surely unoriginal since it is pratically a lighter more "anosmic making" version of the original "antecedent" masterpiece Romeo Gigli Uomo by Gigli (being Mediterraneum substantially an unsuccessful derogatory Gigli Uomo's photocopy-attempt). A common foundation on a vast array of identical floral-hesperidic-spicy-herbal-oriantal notes as aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, mandarin, terragon, lavender, jasmine, rose, carnation, cinnamon, fir, labdanum, benzoin, oakmoss, styrax, musk, amber, patchouli, tonka, vanilla, sandalwood etc. etc. creates a basic common spicy-boise aroma which is anyway in this case less articulated, durable and elegant. Gigli is indeed more complex, well rounded, mossy-boise and structured (with a more massive spicy presence and a further presence of structuring notes as rosewood, cedarwood, honey, ripe fruity notes as plums, grapefruits and rosewood). Whilst Gigli is more oriental, resinous, romantic, multicolored, musky and woody, Mediterraneum is dustier, breezier (more hesperidic) and soapier. I get the spicy association of cinnamon, cloves, amber and greens but it is not so warm and exotic while more space is in here reserved to light greens, orange (citrus more in general), woodsy notes of mountain and florals (with the addition of geranium and ferns). A nice aromatic green juice anyway pleasant and easy to wear.
Van Gils is authoritative epitome of the old-school powerhouse philosophy and definitely one of the classiest pieces of the whole glorious ancestry. This is an amazing deep-dark creation indeed, an impenetrable (especially along top and the core) dark luxurious powerhouse (all at once wild and fine, "camphoraceous/coniferous and fine leatherwears conjuring with hints of talkiness"), something ideally connecting (since owning in its formula a bunch of the characteristics of each single following example) scents as Chanel Antaeus, Cartier Santos, V&A Pour Homme, Fendi Uomo, Oscar Pour Lui, Quorum, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, the classic vintage Trussardi Uomo, Dior Jules, Aramis 900 and Devin, GianMarcoVenturi and Ysl Kouros. I detect a central honeyed/powdery/aldehydic/barber-shop/kind of waxy structure "from the forest" (with hints of ambery/honeyed animalic patterns) a la Paco Rabanne Pour Homme or Arrogance classic Pour Homme (lavender, bergamot, powdery tonka, rose/geranium, oakmoss, animalic musk, ambergris, honey, sage, artemisia and further). While the opening is properly loud (I mean, super aromatic, dark, citric/herbal, aldehydic/hesperidic, resinous-camphoraceous-coniferous, spicy and angular) and the core spicy, the juice starts finally to morph down towards something softer, smoother, talkier and more subtle (a sort of delicate talcum powder with soft suedish nuances). Cardamom provides an airier fluidy twist while cloves enhance the general poudre vibe of the final stages. The floral presence is somewhat sharp and minimal while amber and tonka provide a final powderish-soapy smooth delicate "pillow" a la Boucheron Pour Homme Edp enriched by a sort of more substantial "nuttiness" (and piquant earthiness) which I've stumbled upon while enjoying the Ungaro III's dry down (a mix of amber, sandalwood, balsams, musks, suede, dusty edible spices and God knows what else). In this final stage Van Gils is pure subtle gentlemanly refinement, an hardly reachable example of discreet taste and luxuriousness. Another example of great timeless (nowadays almost extinguished) perfumery with a sheer "fragrant" naturalness in perception.