Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Darvant

Total Reviews: 2385

Amber Jasmine by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

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.
07th March, 2017

L'Orpheline by Serge Lutens

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.
05th March, 2017

Amber Oud by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

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)
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Cuoio dei Dolci by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

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).
28th February, 2017

McQueen by Alexander McQueen

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.
15th February, 2017

Vendetta by Valentino

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'Hermès by Hermès

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)

Blackpepper by Comme des Garçons

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.
06th February, 2017

Les Heures de Parfum - III L'Heure Vertueuse by Cartier

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.
02nd February, 2017

Python by Trussardi

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.
02nd February, 2017

Voyager by Aramis

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.
02nd February, 2017

Les Heures Voyageuses - Oud & Rose by Cartier

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.
01st February, 2017

Insurrection II Wild by Reyane

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").
27th January, 2017
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Legacy by Cristiano Ronaldo

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)

Krizia Uomo Istinto by Krizia

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.
19th January, 2017

Bois du Portugal by Creed

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)

Cambodi 10-yr Aged Oud by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

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.
16th January, 2017

Versace pour Homme Dylan Blue by Versace

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.
16th January, 2017

Eau de Metal by Paco Rabanne

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.
12th January, 2017

Hascish Homme by Veejaga

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 by Versace

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.
08th January, 2017

Van Gils by Van Gils

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.
07th January, 2017

Balahé by Léonard

Leonard Balahe is a colossal super classic aldehydic flori-oriental chypre enriched by ripe fruits, tumultuous spices, by a massive animalic presence (civet) and a yummy accord of vanilla, mellow fruits and heliotrope. The latter, joined to aldehydes, powdery iris, dusty spices, talky woods, anice and amber/opoponax, provides a quite intoxicating-talky-airy sort of Habanita-like animalic chypre aura. Anyway the juice is more complex since syrupy spices, resins and ripe fruits (plummy-orangy a la Rochas Absolu) add massive substance to the general talkiness while hesperides, multifaceted floral notes (orangy tuberose, rose, jasmine) and musky ylang-ylang in particular afford a really sophisticated and classy "historical" temperament (scents a la Diva Ungaro, Rochas Absolu, Madame Rochas, Lanvin Arpege, Givenchy Amarige, Van Cleef, Valentino Vendetta Donna, Gianni Versace and further jump more than vaguely on mind for several of their characteristics). The Balahe's opening is misleading with its tumult of hesperides, aldehydes, spicy fruits and florals, a real storm which quickly morphs in to an accomplished powdery operette (ambery, honeyed, animalic, woody-floral) with a rich array of subtle nuances (musky, floral, oriental, boise etc). Gorgeous, rich, palatin and aristocratic, the left back essence of a forbidding Parisian woman standing lofty in the middle of a rich of chandeliers, tapestries and massive golden frames pictures cultured ambience. At same time I have to say that this juices unveils as well an uncompromising spicy-animalic unapproachable sensuality which makes it even more interesting, dreamy and attractive. Another piece of historical olfactory artistry which I have the pleasure to try on skin and that makes me to yell against the modesty of a significant part of the current feminine plastic perfumery.
06th January, 2017

Rockford Ice by Atkinsons

Rockford Ice substantially possesses a similar basic typically hyper virile structure we can ascertain (with all the peculiar variations on each single formula, sometimes breezier sometimes thicker) in scents as Enrico Coveri Pour Homme, Rockford, Borsalino, Morris Blueback, Henry Cotton's in Blue, Louise Philippe Patrichs and many others (citrus-lavender, piney resins, sharp kind of "melancholic" florals, aromatics, woods, oakmoss, synth ambergris, leather) plus the addition (or the exasperation) of a quite heady minty-anisic arctic presence surely invigorating and bracing (I'd also add a lighter kind of airy-salty-iodate vibe a la Patrichs and a more stressed kind of spicy soapy-laundry sporty artificial twist a la sporty Adidas or stuffs like those). The perception is somewhat artificial and super icy-balsamic, it seems to be dealing with a sporty deodorant from Sergio Tacchini (Sergio Tacchini Sport Extreme), Adidas or even Axe. The juice is not bad di per se, just I find this type of concoctions out of my tunes, too much "sporty afteshave barbershop type" and somewhat overused.
06th January, 2017

Proibito by Sergio Soldano

Lucky to find a mignon of this really hard to find fragrance. Well, if you hardly "manage" fruity notes keep yourself away from Sergio Soldano Proibito since this is one of the fruitiest scents I've tested on skin (especially in its energic introducing blast). Anyway I have to say that, despite a sort of juicy-fizzy "ostensibly berrish" opening (mastered by mango, apricot and lily/cyclamen) the following development is well balanced, musky and finally well orchestrated (with a final kind of breezy, hyper dry, classy, woody-musky sophistication a la Armani Onde Mystere less resinous fruity notes, something conjuring an ideal boise accord of violets, peaches and red fruits). Not my cup of tea but surely a decent lively concoction.
04th January, 2017

Gian Marco Venturi Uomo by Gian Marco Venturi

Honestly I find GianMarcoVenturi Uomo anything but an anonymous creation. Whatta surprise my friends, an excellent aromatic fruity/honeyed fougere, (tested it on skin again after long time and) what a bomb of elegance and complexity!! This juice is like a more complex sort of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme (the bottles are similar as well indeed) with the addition of fruity notes and subtle spices. I detect a central honeyed/powdery/aldehydic/barber-shop structure "from the forest" 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) plus the addition of refined spices (cinnamon) and fruity notes (probably red berries or plums in minimal amount). Artemisia and fir resins are the absolute protagonists under my less than mediocre romanesque nose and (as well as joined to powdery woods, heliotrope and tonka) exude a characteristic minty-talky (kind of anisic) main "chypre" vibe. Fruits are well calibrated and accessorial (never compromising the main freshly soapy, boise and herbal "laundry" atmosphere, finally slightly soothed and gentled by hints of "balsams"). The final outcome is surprisingly pleasant, refined and modern. How many lost gems around guys!!
03rd January, 2017

Blueback by Morris

Few stuffs around are more typically masculine, guys. Morris Blueback introduces a super classic (super emulated around, also in the deodorants' production) sharp fougere "sporty" formula kind of in the middle between scents a la Pomellato Uomo, Enrico Coveri Pour Homme (more complex), Borsalino by Borsalino and Atkinsons Rockford (from the footsteps of which they have finally derived and issued more modern creations as Bleu de Chanel, Ralph Lauren Polo Blue or Bond n. 9 Wall Street). Yes, why not, also scents as Guy Laroche Horizon and Davidoff Cool Water could be quoted on a larger extent as conceptually close to all the previous examples, although being those inclined towards a more properly "marine" pitch. Geranium/carnation, fir resins, sharp woods, pungent synth ambergris, oakmoss, herbal notes (lavender in particular with hints of ozonics) and hints of leather are dominant under my unreliable pretentious nose jumping out from the souther mediterranean provinces. The combination of sharp elements, watery-ozonic "molecules" (not listed), impenetrabile oakmoss and piquant ambergris provide an aura of freshly virile, mysterious, vaguely oceanic masculinity. This kind of aromatic, essential and virile fragrances will be always welcome in the male olfactory universe.
02nd January, 2017 (last edited: 03rd January, 2017)

Chamade by Guerlain

Guerlain Chamade is Grand History of perfumery. Lucky to have recently found out and picked up, somewhere inside my cousin's house (precisely down its old dusty canteen), an intact old mignon bottle for collectors. Chamade is a massive old-school (kind of Grasse's old "botteghe profumiere" ideally conjuring) aldehydic/talky/floral/herbal chypre (not so distant in structure and vibe from L'Heure Bleue, Habanita, Cabochard and several Caron's a la Fleurs de Rocaille, Bellodgia or Farnesiana). The composition is quite complex but shortly evolving on my skin, I mean I get soon (after just 20 minutes) the final accomplished aroma which is anyway a complex orchestra of harmonious nuances waving around a central thick backbone (a sort of talky/neutral/soapy/oraganic/aldehydic warm exhalation). There are surely herbal/aldehydic/animalic attributes (yes kind of somewhat "masculine" a la Oleg Cassini, Rochas Moustache, Aramis Devin, Monsieur Rochas, Character and many others), all over supported by hints of spices (mostly clove under my nose), florals, woods and balsams. The whole composition effectively conjugates a more wild kind of organic-talky (apparently abstract) classically chypre vibe with a classier, more subtle/edgy, spicy-floral sort of timeless (namely yet contemporary) sophistication. The boisterous opening unfolds by soon a cocktail of aromatic herbs, balsamic elements, bergamot, aldehydes, animalics and talky floral notes (mostly iris, jasmine and whichever hellish sort of white honeyed floral exemplar). What actually "pushes out" the juice as an utterly powerful one is surely a misty-mossy galbanum's presence (kind of darkly boise and humid) joined to cloves, dusty-woodsy resins and may be pepper, overall connected to the main warmly organic/aldehydic amalgam. There is a notable hint of earthiness throughout under my inquiring (even profane) nose. Gradually along the way animalics, pungent spices, galbanum and herbal notes recede while a gentler connection of balsams and ylang-ylang soothens the "recipe" providing a faint deflection towards a softer more feminine side (in the runaway of a fragrance otherwise unisex or even masculine in perception in its introducing vest). The fully disclosed dry down is properly a regal feminine floral-chypre with a dominant ylang-ylang and a soapy-talky brighter radiancy (a multy toned talky kaleidoscope waving from the dark-green to an immaculate final dazzling white, sliding little by little across the grey and the heaven). An aristocratic piece of very historic perfumery.
01st January, 2017 (last edited: 05th January, 2017)

Roberto Cavalli Uomo by Roberto Cavalli

An intriguing packaging for a mediocre contemporary woody-saffrony/cardamomish mainstream juice. Spices (mostly saffron and cardamom), orange blossoms, tonka, benzoinic elements, creamy-powdery floral notes, lavender, gassy synth woodiness and hints of leather are seemingly a must for whichever recent "fresh-warm" designer creation (with the effect to have around many "generic" variations of the same boring theme - have a look to Armani Code Profumo, Bvlgari Man in Black, Armani Eau de Nuit, Boss the Scent, Acqua di Parma Colonia Quercia, several Issey Miyake and many others). The generic kind of orangy-creamy-gassy woodiness is in here dominant on my skin and the juice hardly evolves towards something more intriguing or complex. The main floral theme is in here the violet (something which I usually dislike when joined to intense woodiness) and this element is by perfumer connected to spices, woods, suede and the "opposite in consistency" honey in order to appoint a kind of semi-oriental soapy/floral cedary woodiness (with a sort of metallic-earthy vibe - typical for the note of violet - plus soothing elements and hints of leather) playing the game of contrasts. The cedary vibe (connected to violet) is frankly beyond my taste and somewhat boring. The scent is not bad di per se but is far to prompt me to get interested about its qualities. Nothing more to add interesting to add.
31st December, 2016

Al Noukhba Elite Blend by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

Abdul Samad Al Qurashi Al Noukhba Elite Blend, as part of the precious "The One Collection", is one of the most mystic, straightforward and expensive pieces of the whole Saudi Arabian "stable". This juice is basically (read the straight to the point and even excellent Alfarom below) a mouldy, woody/smoky rose-oud oils combo (of the top quality in nature) with (I add) nuances of animalic musks, oakmoss, leather and (animalic and woody) resins (probably fir resins, ambergris and smoky myrrh). The composition is by soon pretty steamy, starkly arid, moldy, smoky (powerfully smoky-woody as after a fire), "ritual" in evocative-power (indeed connected to the image of archaic ceremonies or hazing rituals) and impenetrable in order to finally unveil (over the first two hours of "evaporation") a more relatively approachable soapy-ashy piece of suedish rose full of mysticism and elusiveness (a misty floral presence straight from the dawn of time). Forbidding. Campfires, stormy northern weathers back in the centuries, ancient fortified citadels and mediaval steamy battles jump more than vaguely on mind (especially along top and central stages before smoother resins and suede slightly mitigate the drama). Yes, just to be approached by wealthy arab-blends aficionados and frankly just for unmentionable rituals or "macabre ballets" (the real question is: where to wear this kind of longly furious creations?). It lasts probably 48 hours on skin (I smell it on hands over several energic washings).
29th December, 2016 (last edited: 30th December, 2016)