Reviews by Darvant

    Darvant's avatar
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    Showing 391 to 420 of 1663.

    Opus VI by Amouage

    A potent spicy/ambery new generation chypre with a touch of Guerlinade inside (as well as i detected since the beginning some points in common with Shalimar and finally with the great Habit Rouge). The beginning is great, with its marvellous combination of pepper, mild spices, aromatic herbs and incense. This introduction strikes due to its considerably exotic and i would say almost liturgical vibe, by its subtle (mystic and vaguely ancient but with a modern twist) extremely refined spark. In a couple of minutes you can soon feel that a potent woody amber with an aromatic (yes almost buttery/almondy) temperament keeps the stage for itself till the end of the trip as it's flanked by a refined patchouli, some classy hesperides and resins. Along the dry down the note of amber keeps on to be dominant (with a subtle soapy vibe) but the resinous woodiness flanks it as main protagonist on the stage. This final aroma is elevated and luxurious as well as for the best ambery compositions around (it seems to inhale those aromatic burning exhalations aromatizing the ambiences and projected by burning little canes wrapped by a solid mash up of incense, resins and exotic balsams). Yet longevity and projection are great on my skin. Another great Amouage, perfectly unisex and arousing a luxurious and vaguely baroque vibe as a Grand Dame at Bolshoi Theatre.

    06 November, 2013


    Gold Woman by Amouage

    Luxurious and exotic due to its "castigatory" powdery soapiness. Something in the middle between Hammam Bouquet Penhaligon's, Chanel N.5, Mitsouko Guerlain and La Perla by La Perla under my humble nose, a golden mélange of balsams (myrrh, honey, vanilla, benzoin??), resins (some pine resins in the blend??), may be aldehydes, amber, musk, subtle spices, spacious aromatic elements (coriander, pine needles??), civet, powdery woods, oakmoss and hesperidic patchouli. Supremely classic, rosey and chypre in style, balmy/soapy in its soul but with a carnal vibe and with a really subtle spark of twisting sophistication (a floral spark whereof i detect mostly the rose/jasmine and probably the ylang-ylang rather than properly the lily of the valley). Really sunny, white, honeyed and rich with a vintage elegant powderiness lingering throughout. The magistrally appointed touch of frankincense (combined in chord with balsams, may be cardamom and woody powder as for a sort of Amouage's balanced trademark) provides dustiness, atmosphere and holiness in a conservative way. Rich and dominant as an impalpable Queen. Lingering for hours around, powerful in presence.

    06 November, 2013


    Bogart by Jacques Bogart

    So classic and bracing since the beginning!!! Yes, a solid old style leather-fougere. The lavender/lemon/rosemary/geranium opening is sharp, herbal, barbershop, slightly aldehydic and angular, a "spectrum" about the fresh "toiletries" in a left over 70's age of uncompromisingly conservative and discreet class. Some spices come out in a while providing hints of abstinent mildness as a support for the floral subtle spark (hints of rose yet??). In a few time a resinous mossy and leathery dry down keeps emerging (more than vaguely reminiscence about the mossy/animalic One Man Show's final outcome) affording stableness and woodsy dept with a stout leather presence till the end of the trip. I detect some nuances about Arrogance Pour Homme classic. The leather is deep, (evocative about some old style woody/leathery house interiors) dry and woodsy by pine resins and aromatic herbs (like it would be for an ideal leathery classic Polo). The balance is dominant and the discretion uncompromising. What else to add? Good longevity on my skin.

    05 November, 2013 (Last Edited: 21st July, 2014)


    Opus VII by Amouage

    A masterpiece. The realistic opening is compelling, really powerful on galbanum and prickly by herbs, pepper and spices. Sensational, dusty and with an edible secret element which i hardly identity, i would probably tell about something like sweet buttery bread not completely leavened. I detect by soon the aromatic fenugreek presence for sure, which provides a sort of minty and airy touch (stout for long) to the spicy tornado. In a few time a strong, powdery and secretly orangy amber/nutmeg/sandalwood combo gets its appearance impressing an orangy/spicy spark at the whole olfactory blend. In this phase the spicy prickliness (not its mildness) keeps to recede. In a short while indeed a determined "oily" leather/oud/olibanum/cypriol agreement starts to "regulate" the aroma with its strong soapy/oily and musky presence that is really chypre (with a leathery and almost carnal undertone), aoud centered, still barely talky, green/spicy, mossy and woody (the agarwood takes the stage gradually). A lingering orangy vibe is swirling around till the end. An holy and elevated molecular (silky-atmospherical, kind of gassy/ethereal) salty/sweet oud a la Deeply Maria Lux (and vaguely a la Agarwood Heeley) this one is a perfect unisex elixir for the lovers of the new eastern/western luxurious oud/chypre exhalations leaning over the mystic/carnal side. A stunning lasting power and a notable sillage on my skin.

    05 November, 2013


    Cigar by Rémy Latour

    Balmy/soapy tonka-tobacco composition with a subtle musky/aromatic and cedary background and the initial (but durable) laundry freshness from the note of lavender flanked by geranium, coriander and sage. Really balmy as a less spicy sort of Havana or Opium Pour Homme. Almost opaque with a barely adumbrated ethereal mildness and some secret floral patterns. Virile by herbs and a touch of spices (from the name you can guess it could be rough, "boisterous" and really harsh while on the contrary this one is virile in a silky, "silent" and aromatic way). Significantly aromatic, yet almost minty. Decent, discreet (gentlemanly in style) and pleasant with a masculine vibe and a good balance. Not expensive and with a good duration (at least on my skin). Recommended.

    03 November, 2013 (Last Edited: 04 November, 2013)


    One Man Show by Jacques Bogart

    Frankly i don't find this fragrance so powerful or loud on my skin. Yes it is still averagely popular in the East Europe and infact i unhearted this fragrance up recently from a vintage secret shop in the Kiev outskirts as it was placed over a dusty shelve side by side with some Lomani, Ungaro III, Bogart Pour Homme and others. I really love its dry down and the classic 80's gentlemanly green vibe. The first touch on my skin is kind of almost synthetically soapy (yet rosey), barber-shop and hesperidic but with all that charge of aromatic green notes and spicy mild dustiness that i so much nostalgically appreciate. You can detect anyway by soon the main accord characterizing the all whole olfactory fatigue and its final aroma, i mean that mossy, animalic and obscure galbanum/labdanum/woods/castoreum accord with a spicy jasmine spark that is deep and slightly pungent. You can also detect a touch of incense in the amalgam which leads gradually the transition from the slightly "cosmetic" top to the smoother dry down. In particular i feel the final mossy combination of woodsy notes and castoreum which determine a typical mossy/animalic (almost leathery kind) type of fragrance. A vein of tobacco is vaguely detectable in the background. The elements are finally well combined and balanced despite an unpromissing (too much soapy and conventional among the old fragrances) introdution. I purchased an original bottle for less than € 10,00, a convenient affair and now i enjoy to wear it just when i'm in a classic, "gray/green" and nostalgic mood.

    03 November, 2013


    Qubism pour Homme by Emper

    I encountered this perfumed Lord recently in a secret shop lost somewhere in the Kiev's suburbia. A dark and sinister concoction coming straight from the abysses of the worldwide perfumery. This fragrance is incredibly close to Paco Rabanne Black XS (in common citrus, fruits from the forest, cardamom, patchouli, black amber, moss, woods and other) as well as i'm sure this is its successor (apparently inspired by its predecessor from Paco Rabanne), just Qubism Pour Homme being less brash, not so fruity (not so strong on raspberries) and more complex in structure, with hints of more classic lavender and green patterns. Just slightly more sober than XS (though avantgard at its inception in spite of its lack of uniqueness), less synthetically woody, less watery and with a deeper (possibly even more obscure) mossy/leathery dry down which i deeply appreciate on the skin and which left me enchanted. One of the most obscure concontions ever met along my perfumed mission, ideal for wandering solitary souls of the worldwide gray peripheries.
    P.s: unfortunately, after a second test, the lack of a sufficient level of structure and the faint sillage and durability on my skin induce me to change the rating in medium.

    02 November, 2013 (Last Edited: 07 November, 2013)


    1876 by Histoires de Parfums

    Another skilfully crafted HDP which introduces by soon its neo-classicism by an hesperidic blast of bergamot, some animalic notes, gassy spices, a touch of the mineral Ghislain's typical landmark and an hearty-botanic vibe (probably aroused by the combination of carnation, vetiver and violet) stout throughout under my nose. I detect along the way an hearty/mineral back ground and some lingering gassy/powdery softness aroused by smooth iris and may be cumin all over a main vintage/animalic (civet i suppose) and spicy/orangy/floral vibe with a rosey twist a la Rosam but with a more woody and slightly fruity temperament. Chandeliers, tepestries and fat frames dominate the brown ambience. 1876 is another glorious gem from this great brand coming straight from the massive and "stale" parisian attics

    31st October, 2013


    Aoud Black Candy by Mancera

    Since the beginning this weird creation features a sheer and characteristic note of aromatic bitter licorice which is dominant throughout also when a final silkier, resinous, "candishy" (but boise and moderately mild) and "edible" muskiness keeps dominating the dry down. The initial bitter/minty feel, after a strong initial performance, is followed by a rose/amber evident vibe which is the second main trait of the composition providing to the final muskiness a sort of (traditionally english) victorian cosmetic rosey vibe. A touch of cedary minty woodiness (a la Ted Lapidus) flanks the final rosey muskiness and this woody resinous feel is smooth and silky (vaguely a la Aoud Damascus's or better Deeply Maria Lux's dry down but with a stout licorice accord , dark, aromatic and cedary). The black licorice/woods/oud accord is stark and spicy, being able to enchant just the lovers of these weird chords but we must add that the listed "edible notes" imprint a more easily likeable tasty vibe in the background. A must try from a really "conceptually arabesque" interesting brand. Stout on the skin. Experimental.

    31st October, 2013


    Ashoka by Neela Vermeire

    A great leather/sandalwood floral combination.
    Another wonderful fragrance from this brand which grants a privilege to a sumptuous and vaguely old school type of rich and classic sophistication. Another mature and luxurious feminine creation with the sublime Duchaufour's touch. The aroma is realistic, deeply floral, finally kind of powdery/leathery/lactonic and less elevated in comparison with other juices from Neela Vermeire Creations (probably more modern, with a sublime sort of cosmetic vibe and less retracing the glorious classic chypre footsteps). The beginning is dominated by a sort of lacteous figgy welcome soon followed by an indolic articulated floral presence (the osmanthus in particular is well combined with watery flowers, with the milky fig and a touch of musk). There is something rooty in the background (that i feel for a while under the nose probably aroused by rose's stem and vetiver) flanked by a sort of realistic powdery muskiness that is really smooth and floral with an incense/styrax/leather effect that is the master perfumer's touch of class. I can perceive the sandalwood along the trip but just in the background. In this phase you feel also a sort of contrast between the aquatic flowers vibe and the dusty/powdery/leathery richness. The leather (together with the woodsy resins) is the key note of the dry down with its typical smoothness well combined with musk, floral nuances and hints of balsams. I see just vaguely the resemblance with Premier Figuier as Ashoka is clearly less figgy/lacteous/coconutty but more sophisticated, structured and leathery than the L'Artisan Parfumeur's one (while the sandalwood is more prominent as well as i detect a Santal 33 Le Labo's effect due to a sheer sandalwood/resins/leather/floral powder/balsams effect). Over a couple of hours the dry down is all floral notes, leather, aromatic resins and slightly powdery sandalwood under my nose but the aroma is destined to a sort of "cosmetic type" (resins/fig milk/rose's balsam) of sophisticated amalgam so subtle, white (rosey) and modern. Good longevity and medium sillage.
    Pros: A concert of balanced combinations.
    Cons: Any."</p>

    27 October, 2013 (Last Edited: 12 February, 2014)


    Carbon [6C] by Nu_Be

    Great evolution. Spicy, balmy and finally mossy and darkly floral.
    Effectively a great creation (from a surprising brand with a sort of meditative, misty and silent olfactory religion) which enchants by soon for extreme balance, soft balminess and sense of cleanliness with its dominant musky/waxy vibe so gingery (fresh) and freshly spiced. The greenly spicy, soon floral and musky/balmy beginning effectively roots up in the olfactory memory the Opus II's first approach with its fresh lavender-dry spices agreement. The note of iris is starring in my opinion, really sophisticated (subtle at distance) and you can note it by soon for its soft powdery muskiness. Basically you will face a spicy concoction dominated by cardamom, ginger and fresh spices over a soft musky/balmy and woody bed. The spicy game effectively sets (under my nose) a stout reminiscence about the notorious Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Homme and is like to detect a secret lacteous/musky figgy note which is anyway not listed and that probably is aroused by a play of iris, musk and balmy resins. I have also a flashback (i talk about dry down) about Borsalino Panama (spices, ginger, resins, woods, musk, flowers) but the latter includes in the top a sort of watery/aquatic (slightly salty) feel which is another stuff in comparison with the freshly spicy, mild, gingery and peppery Carbon's first approach. The dry down is almost edible with a sort of tasty dustiness (secretly a bit mineral), yes a dry cereals effect plus a minimal tad of tobacco and hints of delicious cream (sort of boozy zabajone) but the secret green muskiness (musky sandalwood ) is still present in the background for my pleasure as the aroma never slides towards the dangerous gourmandish/vanillic regions going on (on the contrary) averagely dry, floral and softly balmy/ethereal. Frankly i note at distance in the air some Versace's typical nuance which conjures me vaguely Versus Uomo and overall Blue Jeans with its freshly spicy beginning, the presence of heliotropic iris and the musky/vanillic/woody dry down. A great, great spicy creation.
    P.s. Over a couple of hours the aroma becomes darker, more woody/floral (notable the sandalwood) and less "lacteous", this phase is gorgeous, i appreciate the subtle (spicy) floral dark modernity, the mossy sweet (spicy) woodiness (slightly a la Neela Vermeire), a sort of raspberrish/"violety"/orangy (vaguely a la Devil In Disguise by Mark Buxton) spark and the secret Nu_be's mineral landmark vibe (a la Jacques Zolty- in a lighter way).
    Pros: Simply a gorgeous work of balances and contrasts.
    Cons: Any."</p>

    25 October, 2013 (Last Edited: 20th December, 2013)


    Kenzo Homme Sport by Kenzo

    Aromatic cedarwood and a touch of ozonic.

    A cedarwood bomb with a sporty metallic/slightly ozonic opening (grapefruit plus marine "molecules" and watery flowers), a fresh aromatic vibe from ginger, pepper and mint and a powerful woody "frozen" base. Really virile and decently appointed for the lovers of the genre. Is a semi/ozonic dynamic "new generation" gymnasium chypre. It conjures me more than vaguely Bulgari Man Extreme (lemon, grapefruit, a touch of "salt", spicy notes, floral notes, cedarwood, vetiver) which is less cool, more lemony and finally balmier. A stout (durable and with a good sillage) and virile modern concoction from an even dignified brand.

    Pros: Dynamic, virile, modern.
    Cons: Common and "easy"."

    25 October, 2013


    Dolce Narciso by Torre of Tuscany

    Modern fruity/mossy chypre.
    Dolce narciso

    The strawberry/prune presence is really influencing since the beginning (embodying in my humble opinion the main theme throughout) really intense, redolent but by soon characterized by a floral and musky smooth character. The consistency is mossy, indolic and almost edible with a clear musk/iris (and vanillic) general softness (a soft musky cushion). Probably faint spices are inserted in the recipe. The intensity of the narcissus perfectly fits with the musks, the vanilla and the fruity performance while the massive mossy/ambery dry down is vaguely a la Neela Vermeire in style. I find the accomplished final aroma slightly fat and a bit too pungent (not in a spicy sense but i mean intense in a fruity/floral way). A rich, nostalgic and vaguely neo-baroque ambery chypre to be proudly worn for a night of gala.
    P.s: unfortunately the dry down after a couple of hours is too heavy on vanilla and greasy for my taste. A pity after a promissing opening.
    Pros: Rich and luxurious.
    Cons: Too much intense in a fruity way."</p>

    23 October, 2013 (Last Edited: 26 December, 2013)


    Fracas by Robert Piguet

    Floral in a complex way.
    A notorious fragrance for sure and an epitome of the elegant and classy tuberose along the years though i absolutely feel along the complex evolution some further floral nuance (at least jasmine and lily) and a bunch of detectable olfactory feels (oakmoss, amber, exotic fruits, green notes, bergamot etc) disgorging in to a sort of buttery floral mélange. Probably i've tested the reformulation which gives me the sensation to follow a sort of ideal modern trend and which manteins the fresh, green and hesperidic opening but in my opinion ends down to be too much creamy (a sort of too "modern" and a bit synthetic creamy peachy/coconutty vibe) for my full pleasure. In this phase the aroma doesn't work gloriously on my skin. I detect an herbal/hesperidic/rooty-floral classic introdution (probably this botanic and slightly vulgar phase is the part i prefer, still realistic and in line with the tradition) may be with hints of aldehydes, a central deeply floral turmoil (with a barely dominat tuberose surrounded by different floral sparks) and a final ambery/honeyed fruity-floral dry down with a faint mossy/chypre/vetiver background. I'm in line with the great JTD (excellent review as usual) as i'm tending to neglect the soliflors and to prefer the complex mélanges exalting and enriching a floral histrion as in this case (till when anyway a final honeyed exoticism ends to compromise the initial realism of the floral aroma) . Anyway a still respectfull concoction (from a glorious brand) with a huge reputation and a complex concert of nuances. Still stout on my skin.
    Pros: Classic and avantgard
    Cons: Finally too much honeyed and exotic for my full pleasure."</p>

    21st October, 2013 (Last Edited: 09 February, 2014)


    Eau d'Italie by Eau d'Italie

    Mineral, sunny and sultry.
    Interesting and particular (though never groundbreaking) fragrance in the body of which the creator imprints an incensey/mineral, green and weirdly fruity twist over an ordinary cedary/musky base. The first blast is all about a green lemon and a still tart blackcurrant. In this first stage the aroma is yet boise but basically dry and citric. I don't detect the Duchaufour's incensey twist yet while effectively i feel the clay which frankly i'd never been able to detect without reading the list of notes. The clay represents the weird mineral side of the aroma. It takes a while to the blackcurrant become slightly balmy and with a magnolia (more than tuberose) type of spark. There is still a green and slightly soapy lemony feel in the air which is gentled by a soft floral touch. The background is decidedly mossy/cedary (and clay featured) under my humble nose while just at the end of the trip i can feel a vague incense/patchouli shadowy mist surrounding musks and woods. Effectively this is not the type of fragrance able to polarize a lot of compliments but is well made, evocative and honest , though not so particularly creative in my opinion. Anyway along the dry down the lemony feel slightly fades while i start to feel a sort of slightly powdery woody vibe flanking the durable clay. I detect a sort of mediterranean sultry summery vibe with this one and a sort of aromatic (almost minty) secret touch emerging sometimes from somewhere. Discreet lasting power on my skin. Not bad.
    Pros: Weirdly mineral, lemony, soft and cedary.
    Cons: Probably pale in consistency for my full pleasure."</p>

    20th October, 2013 (Last Edited: 24 December, 2013)


    Gold Medal by Atkinsons

    A tribute to the bergamot/orange blossoms combo.

    Effectively this glorious recipe still deserves attention nowadays as widely demonstrated by the launch/re-launch of several similar more modern "eau de cologne" (some Acqua di Parma or effectively the notorious 4711 or some Roger&Gallet) with a really similar traditional vibe. This fragrance is a tribute to the bergamot/orange blossoms combo in a musky/aromatic way. I feel the supreme neroli anyway surrounded by a really notable rosemary presence, by the lemony vibe all over a final musky cushion. The aroma is cool, aromatic, discreet and dignified. A really simple but stout (i mean timeless) "gentlemanly" aroma which will always be worshipped by thousands admirers. The duration is not bad on my skin.

    Pros: A glorious recipe.
    Cons: Any."

    17 October, 2013


    Magnolia Romana by Eau d'Italie

    Citric woodiness, aromatic herbs and aqueous floral patterns.
    Mediocre (or better un-original) fragrance not in line with the great ones from the same brand but appointed for all the lovers of the contemporary easy/aquatic (slightly aromatic, woody and floral) fragrances. Decently crafted anyway and thank God not too much sharply woody and dusty as many modern juices in the same clan. A first layer and many many "olfactory conjurations" pass through my mind; i figure indeed on my skin a tad of the vintage Trussardi Action Uomo (aromatic herbs, floral notes, in particular jasmine, musk, cedarwood, lemon) and of the new disappointing Trussardi Uomo as well as an hint of the great Coveri Pour Homme (ambergris/oakmoss), a whiff of the sharp/aromatic 1881 Cerruti, as much as a twist of Fissore Cashmere For Men and finally a whisper about Estee Lauder Pleasures for men all in a swirl of aquatic notes, deep floral patterns, astringent citrus, herbal aromatic/redolent molecules, a touch of soapiness and sharp woodsy notes. I feel by soon the cedarwood (aquatic and citric), the lemon, the aromatic herbal notes (especially the standout basil which is really notable throughout dominating and outlining the aroma) and a deep floral mélange, in particular jasmine (this one i feel rather than the tuberose), neroli/rose and aqueous flowers of the pond (peony?). The aqueous feel dominates all the run deep, citric, floral and aromatic till when a more woody/musky consistency starts to turn out its vibe (floral, mossy and woody). I appreciate indeed far better the dry down which is more dry ground also due the dry hay's vibe may be plus the oakmoss and with its touch of prickly spices (hints of pepper?) and virile ambergris flanking woods and musk. The base is masculine, comforting and warm with a deep (but soapy) floral/musky temperament. Longevity and sillage are more than good on my skin.
    Pros: Well balanced and comforting.
    Cons: Un-original."</p>

    16 October, 2013 (Last Edited: 28 May, 2014)


    Bois d'Ombrie by Eau d'Italie

    A complex, complex cozy vetiver.
    In my humble opinion definitely one of the absolute Duchaufour's masterpieces and yes, a fragrance with an epic, timeless and exotic charge of immense charme. Virile, classic, slightly rustic and caribbean but with a touch of metropolitan modern charme. I would start to say that this fragrance undergoes a long evolution and despite the long leathery/boozy, incensey and smoky run way it can be finally labelled as a vetiver prominent concoction (a leather/vetiver in particular, this is my humble opinion). It could also be finally ranked among the best dark/woodsy/resinous vetivers around together with Athunis Sigilli, Mona di Orio Vetyver, Etro Vetiver, Private Label Jovoy and few others. I detect some Cartier Santos's nuances for sure too. The leather/cognac/tobacco combo, together with hints of secret frankincense (more than vaguely a la Ambre Russe Parfum d'Empire), or possibly smoky birch tar a la Fumidus, represent the olfactory backbone of this perfumed fatigue. In particular i detect by soon (and throughout) a smooth and "scotch type" touch of silky (smooth leather) boozy (fine whisky) smell surrounded by rooty and grassy nuances. The tobacco presence is such a type of toasted tobacco with rooty/bitter nuances. Since the beginning the woody/grassy/rooty elements are present providing hints of boise freshness and classic aromatic temperament. By soon (after a while) the old chypre/fougere (herbal/rooty) reminiscences keep to turn out slightly tamed, leaving the stage to a wonderful boozy leather which is soon enveloped in a soft semi/oriental resinous embrace (myrrh/amber) veined by a sheer bone-dry smoky/incensey/tarry spark notable till the end. I have to say that "down the end of the tail" the smoky/incensey vibe recedes a bit and an obscure leathery/woodsy barely anisic vetiver (more than vaguely close to the Gianfranco Ferre for Men's classic leather/tobacco vetiver) finally emerges (never too much dense) in a twist of dark forest. Try to image a thick and obscure forest nearby which some (leather clothed) people light a bonfire while smoking aromatic cigars around and drinking aged cognac near the fire. The commixture of this boozy/smoky aroma with the leather clothes and the woodsy waves from the forest is cozy and magic. Average longevity and medium sillage on my skin. Bois d'Ombrie could easily be entered among my top ten niche fragrances and is destined to become a stable in my collection.
    Pros: Leather, cognac, smoke and boise notes in a perfect harmony.
    Cons: Any."</p>

    14 October, 2013 (Last Edited: 27 March, 2014)


    Berkana by Torre of Tuscany

    Resins of conifers, liturgical smoke, vetiver and leather.

    Berkana is another pearl in the bunch of interesting concoctions appointed for Torre of Tuscany (and yes for I Profumi Del Forte) by skilled perfumers by the implementation of high quality ingredients and natural resources. I really appreciate these italian artisanal brands because of the undebatable genuinity and quality. I detect by soon a sort of landmark Torre of Tuscany's vibe in the background which represents immediately an ideal olfactory thin red line with Corpi Caldi from the same brand, i think to a weird sticky/balmy/aromatic/"barmish" (kind of brewer's yeast) note which unfolds a really enveloping, warm and carnal (for a while almost culinary) effect in the air. May be this kind of vibe is produced by a weird connection between resinous green notes (birch tar), leather, powdery cedarwood and may be secret hints of edible balsams. The beginning is soon a combination of faint citrus, vetiver, sticky resins of the wood, a touch of smoky olibanum (despite this is not properly an incensey concoction) and leather. The latter is a notable trait but is the fruity/floral birch tar that in this phase emerges as a standout element. It seems to faintly detect a touch of the tarry/woody/smoky/leathery Black Tourmaline's bone-dry temperament for a while even if in here the scale leans more towards the woodsy/rubbery side a la AP Bois d'Encens (or a la Arso but in a far less "boisterous" way) as the consistency keeps on to be far less dry and decidedly more resinous than in the Durbano's creation. I have to say that the vetiver is notable throughout to me while under my nose is the cedary touch the one emerging after a long while along the final phase of the evolution. The aroma remains sticky and birch tar/vetiver centered till the end but you can notice throughout many incensey, smoky, grassy and floral nuances. An interesting concoction for sure with a medium sillage and an over the average longevity.

    Pros: Woodsy and resinous in a balanced way.
    Cons: Any in particular."

    13 October, 2013


    Trayee by Neela Vermeire

    Creamy spicy/floral oud-sandalwood composition.

    Massive masterpiece which, despite the Bertrand Duchaufour's "hand" and the listed note of incense, can't be properly labeled as a straight forward incensey concoction being it substantially an "old-school/classic in style" contemporary spicy/semi oriental chypre with hints of resinous oud (notable by soon in the top together with sandalwood--- the typical creamy oud/sandalwood effect--- and with the blackcurrant) and some spicy/fruity mellifluence in the composition. The magistrally appointed note of incense is balanced and well liked with saffron, cloves and cinnamon in order to enrich the witch's potion (slightly absorbing the sweetness from the fruity blackcurrant/amber/vanilla) while the delicious minimal touch of secret mellow fruits (apricot, plums or what the hell can be??) is perfectly amalgamated with a forbidding vetiver/patchouli, a classic oakmoss, some balsams, resinous woodsy notes and blackcurrant. The floral notes swirl around passing through the oakmoss-balsams-fruits-resins waves and affording feminine sophistication and classy elegance. The ginger/aromatic herbs/saffron accord provides a diffused sort of "aromatic/spicy gassiness" around (also due to the aoud's background work) while you can detect a characteristic fruity/floral redolent (almost syrupy and anyway resinous) aroma around (a cozy aroma odouring about a simil apricots/black cherries feel, about jasmine, vanilla and woodsy berries over a boise bed of forest covered by musks, dry leaves and soft woods). The balance between spices and the amber/vanilla/myrrh accord is undenatable as well as the sweetness is moderate and the incensey neutrality can balance the excess of "savour". I have to say that the oud/incense touch is definitely more detectable in the final part of the olfactory evolution. The more the juice evolves indeed the more the sombre and mysterious incensey coziness emerges and i start to detect woody, leathery (suede) and tobacco nuances which turn this complex aroma out such a mystic and almost decadent creation to be enjoyed by all those forbidding dark madames with the cult of the oriental mystery and the spirituality. Great longevity and projecting sillage on my skin.

    Pros: Mystic and sumptuous. Fruity/incensey undertones.
    Cons: Any in particular."

    12 October, 2013


    Tirrenico by Profumi del Forte

    Well appointed aromatic/marine with a soapy background.

    What a marvellous fragrance with the Olivia Giacobetti's ethereal touch of genius!! I appreciate deeply this dreamy and romantic young artist. I would define this juice as a culinary balmy/marine fragrance (yes marine in a natural salty/breezy way) and not properly an aquatic one as this conventional term conjures me all those synthetic metallic combinations of irony disturbing elements, woods and chemical calone. The marine elements (yet protagonist for sure) are here not properly dominating as they are just appointed as part of an orchestra where further important roles are played by quite different type of elements as the balmy notes and over all the aromatic culinary ones. I note by soon a sort of featuring culinary balmy aroma (something which smells as oat yogurt-porridge, rice cream or stuffs like those) perfectly combined with aromatic green notes (with a mentholated vibe as the notable fennel), bitter citrus (by soon the lime/bergamot and further more the bitter orange) and salty/marine realistic notes. The latter, as combined with fennels, basil (and all those aromatic notes), tart fruits and bitter citrus represent one of the characteristic trait of this weird (and conceptually avant-garde) aromatic/marine. Some subtle floral elements provide effectively a sort of sophisticated refinement along the breezy/aromatic wave. I love the perfect way as balmy and tart/salty notes "sound" together. You feel the dreamy/marine stimulating bitterness (and saltiness) but you can detect the balminess in the background. The dry down, with its light muskiness slowly (but in a moderate shy way) emerging, is so far from the conventional (for the common aquatics) cedary/ambery (cedarwood/ambergris) association as its boise and soapy softness is appointed (by the Giacobetti's "surgical" touch) to play as a supplementary (and secondary) support for the marine/balmy/fruity/floral standout patterns. In my opinion this fragrance is far superior to the more "fashionable" but less balanced and natural Acqua di Sale Profvmum Roma. Great, great longevity on my skin. Elegant, mediterranean, "bateau aristocratic" and subtle as the dreamy 90's left over summers in Riviera.

    Pros: Perfectly balanced and realistic.
    Cons: Any in particular."

    11th October, 2013


    Vittoria Apuana by Profumi del Forte

    A soapy/mouldy weird (modern/ancient) amalgam.
    What a weird fragrance is this!!! Believe me, a first blast and i'm immediately invested by a flashback about the sunny days of my left back summers of the childhood spent with friends in a cheerful mood on the shores along the seaside with the body beset with tanning coconutty/vanillic foams. Coconut, bourbon vanilla, redolent blossoms (tiare), salty/marine aromas (which apparently i detect on my skin) and powerful tangerine conjure at me this feel but but but....what else? There is soon something else around in the air, something barely dusty, weirdly mouldy and almost stale that keeps on to emerge in the central phase (something possibly elicited by the fruity note of banana -- rubbed banana peels more than properly fruity flesh-- plus something spicy, oily and camphoraceous), something conjuring me a further memory of the youth as the sojournments in the medieval towns (standing on the "rocks" overlooking the seasides) as those are full of wine werehouses, little vintage stores, canteens and oil storages down the basements and cellars. A minimal touch of olive oil? The aroma is not effectively just an equivalent "fragrance format" of a coconutty balmy tanning foam as there is something else ancient, stale and almost culinary all amalgamate in a unique olfactory experiment which in my opinion is interesting enough but finally a bit too pretentious in the upcoming alchemy. Along the time the stale vibe disappears and what i finally feel is a far (even far in the memory) salty/coconutty soapy vibe too speedly faint in power for such a kind of niche fragrances. A pity. Anyway i appreciate the daring idea. Unisex "easy" concoction.
    Pros: Cosmetic and mouldy/dusty feels performing at once.
    Cons: Faint sillage and longevity. Poor in texture."</p>

    10th October, 2013 (Last Edited: 19 December, 2013)


    Corpi Caldi by Torre of Tuscany

    Sparkling aromatic/boozy/fruity beginning and balmy dry down.

    Corpi Caldi is a really interesting concoction despite its ephemeral consistency and the short duration on my skin. The (vaguely classic) beginning (the Best part to me) is compelling as i easily detect in a while under my nose a sort of minty/sparkling (vague reminiscence about Faconnable by Faconnable with a tad of Boss Bottled) blast of cedarwood (by soon), citrus (mostly orange), red fruits (like an intense and aqueous raspberries vibe) ozonic notes, boozy notes, aromatic herbs (the mint is really notable) and something similar to an ideal almond paste-barm mashup (feel which i later understand is probably performed by eliotrope, resins and balmy woods). I guess whether some rhubarb is also afforded to the blend. Some floral notes are present and in particular i detect soon the lily as a support for the red berries sourness and later a touch of soft iris/orchid (with hints of "gassiness") well combined with musks. The woods become along the way balmy, tobacco flavoured and kind of edible while in this phase is like the floral elements concede their charge of subtleness morphing the juice in to something smoother and more linear (such a balmy/almondy cedarwood under my nose). A bit pale in dry down this juice lasts unfortunately not for long in its top-central phase while endures for a couple of hours a soft final balminess on the skin. Not bad.

    Pros: Pleasant, well appointed and with a compelling beginning.
    Cons: Short duration."

    09 October, 2013


    Lightscape by Ulrich Lang

    "Dawning translucency".
    Another interesting fragrance from this lovely brand. Its extremely sharp, natural, slightly indolic, "dawning" and aqueous initial translucency conveys (especially with regards to top notes) my olfaction towards a different fragrance with a similar vibe, just a tad more spicy and with a dominant note of rose rather than violet and white flowers of field, i mean the ghosty Dark by Andrea Maak. At the beginning indeed i detect a similar atmosphere (of quiet and suspension) projected by faint pepper, well appointed lemon, fresh mossy galbanum (smooth as a musky cushion) and really present floral notes (white flowers much more than violets). There is something barely fruity (sharply fruity in the air- grapefruit??) but it does not produce at all the notable metallic note you clearly detect in the rosey Dark. The floral notes start soon to become notably subtle, delicate and sophisticated (to me this is an unisex fragrance indeed). I still detect far more the white flowers over the violet leaves (however present anyway). In the meanwhile light woods (cedarwood?), a touch of tonka (rounding the smell) and musk keep to develop in the air turning finally out the aroma as a smoother (barely soapy) and slightly powdery (typically chypre) one. Extremely distinctive, balanced and subtle although not completely original.
    Pros: Extremely balanced, subtle and refined.
    Cons: Not fully original."</p>

    08 October, 2013 (Last Edited: 28 May, 2014)


    Nightscape by Ulrich Lang

    An evocative leather/floral modern chypre.

    This is an incredibly compelling modern leather/floral/chypre by Ulrich Lang which deeply stroke my brave olfactory heart :-). Since the beginning i detect some Montale Black Aoud's distinctive elements swirling around (due to a common foundation represented by a leather, floral notes, patchouli, musk, citrus and woody resins). There is soon in the air that typical almost medicinal floral/spicy cool muskiness that inebriates the senses with its touch of daring "exoticism" and charisma. There are some little spices in the Nightscape's wake, may be saffron, curcuma of something else, that turn the muskiness out such more kind of dusty, "fresh" and almost prickly. I detect also a tad of almost mineral (and anyway herbal, "concrete type", slightly humid of rain and woodsy from the forest) amber vibe which i noted (in such a form) for instance in the wonderful Jacques Zolty by Zolty. Black Aoud is for sure less leathery (initially more stuffy/medicinal), more labdanum centered and more stressed over the starring note of rose while in here the floral elements are more shy and just surrounding the olfactory nut while is dominant a sort of musky/leathery resinous aroma which is ambery, weirdly mineral and kind of incensey (if the incense is blended in the mix- and i'm not sure about- it is combined with the other elements in minimal amount or more probably is the tonka combined with leather which gives me this faint illusion). The note of patchouli represents a sort of olfactory backbone for the perfumed fatigue. The dry down (misty, mossy, arcane but with an X factor which is subtle, sophisticated, modern) arouses a denser (never too much anyway) and darker feel in the air, something woodsy, really chypre (a bit a la Santal 33 Le Labo), aromatic, earthy/stoney and ambery a la Jacques Zolty, still anyway mastered by a durable (almost pharmaceutical) resinous leathery muskiness with floral nuances. SUPERB.

    Pros: Incredibly compelling, refined, arcane and modern at once.
    Cons: Any."

    07 October, 2013


    Black Saffron by Byredo

    Sharp spicy violet and smooth raspberrish/woody leather.

    Black Saffron is an interesting fragrance with a spicy vibe represented by saffron and aromatic spices and some further dominant characteristics embodied by woods, "raspberrish" leather and violet. I partially smell a sort of drier and clearer Tuscan Leather and detect nuances from different fragrances as the sharper and more translucent Canali Men (Leather, violet, woods, vetiver, aromatic spices, fruits), C Clive Christian and a tad of Colonia Intensa Oud Concentree Acqua di Parma. The floral/grapefruit opening (with a sort of dusty, almost piquant and cool/metallic violet emerging in a while) is by soon spicy and aromatic by a saffron/aromatic spices co-operation morphing soon towards a final raspberrish/leather and woody smooth base. The aroma is well balanced and the leathery dry down is never too much heavy, dense or dark while reteining its lighter woody/vetiver/juniper berries final shadowy outcome with an almost soapy/fruity vibe. Powerful and durable on my skin. This is an almost sinister and finally introvert juice for a silent and self confident man.

    Pros: Well combined and balanced.
    Cons: Any in particular."

    06 October, 2013


    Linfedele 1003 by O'Driù

    Aromatic/spicy orange, weird leather and soothed galbanum.

    This fragrance starts out soon traditionally herbal, minty, boise/camphoraceous, aromatic/spicy and with a sheer orange/bay leaf accord. This is a typically O'Driu' approach we can partially admire in some other compositions of the brand as well (Laurhum, more complex and one of my absolute favorite, Linfedele 1004 and others). Yes the juice in the vial looks with a wonderful golden/ambery colour. The fragrance, despite its sharp, classic chypre/aromatic and almost refreshing beginning starts soon to morph in to something warmer, dustier and smoother due to a plain soft myrrh/oakmoss/galbanum/incense performance. In this phase (just a bunch of minutes from the first spray) i detect in the air something weird, a sort of cool and almost gassy "powdery rubber" (slightly boots polish type) which smells enough different from a typical leathery vibe. Anyway, i detect this feel just because i struggled to detect the listed (and to me un-traceable, at least in its classic texture) leather. The weird "leathery" feel (may be slightly influenced by the styrax) anyway recedes in a while under my profane nose and some floral notes keep to emerge from the yet smoother wake while i still hardly detect a classic leathery touch for real. In this phase i mostly notice an orangy bay leaf/myrtle chord, may be mint, soft jasmine, dark galbanum, some dusty/shadowy spices and balsams indeed. The elements smells extremely balanced and in harmony as the sound from a symphonic orchestra. Along the trip the juice (rather lined out in its olfactory linearity) goes changing in consistence and so soothing down towards something darker, more rounded and smokey (i talk about toasted tobacco and faint smoke) while my humble nose is unfortunately unable to catch leather and incense (or better i detect the latter under the "shape" of dark/dusty spices). The dry down is encompassing, soothed, rather sweet and woodsy with the standout spicy orange/bay leaf/aromatic herbs background. Linfedele 1003 smells probably more modern than many others from the same brand and does remind me also slightly some Peety's nuances (just Linfedele 1003 is more in line with the previous juices of the brand, in a sharper, less "dirty burnt/sweet" and far less dense/animalic way).

    Pros: Silky galbanum flavoured by citric herbs, spices and "simil leather".
    Cons: Any in particular."

    06 October, 2013


    Acqua Decima by Eau d'Italie

    Classic bitter/floral/aromatic.

    This honest old-style "eau de cologne" type of neo-classic concoction from Eau d'Italie retraces effectively roots of nostalgia. This aroma smells exactly about all you are probably able to detect by soon on your skin. You can feel by soon a combination of bergamot, lime, orange and aromatic mint really "fragrant", fresh, natural and evocative. This approach is the prelude to a more properly floral and sophisticated central projection of neroli still well laced with a touch of bergamot and probably with a minimal soothing musk. The sour grapefruit-tart citrus (mostly orangy) combo keeps on for long anyway to preserve the bitter/citrusy/aromatic vibe in the air. The smoother floral orangy following wave a la Askett&English Absolute (the latter is more leaning over the balmy/orangy side anyeway) is well placed over a bed of vetiver and woods that you start to detect after about one hour from the first layer (i catch on the skin effectively a more shadowy green/earthy/woody vibe in the background). The aroma will be classic and floral till the end with its well blended touch of final vetiver. Unisex for sure, elegant but too much following the footsteps of many previous notorious experiments.

    Pros: Natural and well balanced.
    Cons: Too much "common" and stuck over a classic well known old style."

    05 October, 2013


    Lithium [3Li] by Nu_Be

    Musky mineral rose/suede.

    Great stuff although not a unique one as i detect a sort of leathery/musky version of the Histoires de Parfums Rosam (rose-saffron-woods-patchouli and other notes in common) which is probably faintier on saffron and musk, more properly rosey and finally more typically ambery/rosey/dusty medicinal. Lithium is a dark musky fragrance, immediately under my nose strong on cedarwood, saffron and leather (and with a touch of something mineral secretly hidden in the blend may be). The note of patchouli represents the dark/masculine backbone of a fragrance which starts along the trip to quit from the leathery/gassy (saffron-leather) cloud some floral sparks, a touch of sophisticated (floral/earthy) powder and a final silky musky-suede boise cushion. The latter is barely tamed in spicy gassiness, typically spicy/leathery and slightly floral/medicinal. The rose (a musky rose/suede with woody undertones) is dominant over the note of iris which i detect at distance as a sort of sophisticated floral spark mastering the background. A "huge, huge" sinister a bit dandy fragrance which i recommend for a nonconformist slightly introverted lover of the art nuveau or the new folk style.

    Ps. After two or three hours the aroma becomes silky (neither properly musky nor evidently leathery) in a deeply cedary (cedarwood), spicy and floral way. The spices are not "gassy" anymore. The silkiness aroused from the iris/musk combo is smooth and almost soapy. The leather is still present but is detectable as a sort of balmy suede type of feel. Probably minimal hints of amber or benzoin are cleverly blended inside and the aroma becomes intensely sophisticated, subtle and refined in a dark deep way. Really a great, great fragrance.

    Pros: Evocative of sinister mouldy rooms of the childhood. Arcane leather.
    Cons: Lack of uniqueness."

    03 October, 2013


    Baume Du Doge by Eau d'Italie

    Excellent beginning and far less thrilling dry down.

    The first blast is stunning, simply stunning on my skin. I detect immediately a sort of inebriating (almost boozy and sparkling in effect) powdery/peppery orange-cinnamon combo which is aromatic, by soon almost minty and i would say dusty in a sort of barely talky/cedary and spicy way. A huge amount of pungent molecules swirl in the air. The orange is soon detectable in this phase but is fortunately a bit veiled by aromatic elements and spices, which is frankly a detail i appreciate. You can detect also a sort of green cedar/myrrh association which is dusty for sure (with the support of some peppery notes) and soon powdery (and in a while almost balmy) but in a slightly humid way. The note of fennel imprints that minty touch in its combination with some aromatic spices as coriander and saffron. The background is anyway dominated by a spicy sweet orange with a cedary woody approach (and a longly peppery vibe). Effectively the more the development goes ahead the more some balsams and the slightly sticky frankincense take the stage taming (hardly) the spices tornado and orienting the juice towards a more ordinary "supremely orangy" vanilla and incense basic mixture. I appreciate this juice despite i don't properly crave for the scents with a dominant spicy orange, anyway i can't write this is something i would suppose ever to purchase. The dry down retains a sort of earthy/incensey undertone but the main olfactory (balmy/gassy) appearance is frankly a bit boring, "designer type", fashionable and common, lacking that touch of atmospherical and evocative holiness that a niche incense fragrance is used to imprint aroud.

    Pros: Spicy, aromatic, slightly incensey.
    Cons: Too much finally orangy/vanillic."

    02 October, 2013

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