Reviews by Duke Hunt

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    Duke Hunt
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    As a so-called rich “oriental for grown ups“, Musc Ravageur is permeating with a sexy, playful flamboyance and a certain je ne sais quoi that only the French do best. Unfolding with a deceptive opening which has Maurice Roucel’s stylistic handwriting all over it, it’s a stark contrast to the eventual evolution, as it slowly and progressively weaves its magic into a lusty siren of a fragrance.

    Beginning with a mouth watering and tantalizing cool icy bergamot and tangerine, set against a broad backdrop of lavender, the surprise to come of rich woods, musks and spices are yet to make their full entrance to the boudiour, although they remain subtly present.

    Never the less, it’s not particularly “dirty” at this point, but there are some very slight medicinal under currents attributed to the musk, which may equate for the *gasp* “old man smell” association which many seem to be mysteriously picking up. I don’t find the animalic/skank/(insert word here) particularly challenging or off putting, but rather intriguing, since it adds a certain element of mystique and French haute-naughtiness.

    Though I do personally find the musk rather fleeting, which is prominent in the opening, yet remains elusive as the scent progresses, rendering the name almost a misnomer at times. Whether this is down to a probable cause of being anosmic to the supposed variety of musks used is anybodies guess.

    Next up comes the focal point and everybodies favorite part of the strip tease, when MR turns unapologetically gourmand and begins to purr like a kitten. Unfolding with a creamy-kaleidoscopic warmth of the sweet (vanilla) and spice (clove/cinnamon) enveloping the wearer like the proverbial cashmere blanket, cozy,dependable and comforting.

    Staying on this course for the majority of its stay, before slowly unwinding and settling down to lightly woody, ambery base with the rich vanilic sweetness remaining the dominant player. Delicious.

    MR gives off a warm radiating projection, if not a little flamboyant, but without becoming vulgar, the balance of control remains impressive I must say. In closing I find the overall scent seriously seductive, decadent and immensely sensual, with the journey towing the fine line between aggressive and restrained, yet managing to pull it all off with some serious class, swagger and charm.

    A perfect definition of a genderless fragrance, this one works equally well on a man, woman or beast and although a victim of hype through no fault of its own, it still remains mandatory testing for a new comer to the world of niche perfumery.

    25 August, 2012

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    Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    Fresh from absorbing the gratuitous nudity and riveting plot of the abstract cult classic The Dreamers, where Academy Award®-winning director Bernardo Bertolucci brought an erotic tale of three young film lovers brought together by their passion for movies and each other; I couldn’t help but draw some parallels between Absolue pour le soir and this cinematic master piece, in which they both portray an engaging and seductive cast of characters, intertwined with a liberal dose of decadent Parisian eroticism.

    Arguably one of the best releases (if not the best) of 2010, criminally talented perfumer Francis Kurkdjian took an inspired departure from his usual minimalist and elegantly understated style, which forgive my heathenism (cue elevator music) was starting to stray a little too much towards safe and accessible territory.

    Rich, opulent and deliciously decadent with uninhibited carnal sensuality; As with most of my favorite scents, it’s polarizing in that you will either swoon with exotic bliss, or recoil grimacing in sheer horror, questioning the sanity of anybody with enough reckless abandon to want to smell like this on purpose. I fall firmly into the former category, but would advise those to not buy into the hyperbole and unwarranted conjecture, after all this is not Secretions Magnifiques darling.

    Captivating and immediately apparent is despite the seemingly out of character stylistic detour, the composition manages to maintain FK’s elegance and smooth seamless blending, maintaining the integrity and house signatures which Mr. Kurkdjian is renowned for. Bravo…..

    APLS (a scent for the evening) opens bestially sweet, in parted by a beautifully rendered accord of warm honey and resinous benzoin, underpinned with a rapturously camphoraceous Atlas-cedarwood and cumin. There is no foreplay here, the composition for the most part stays dense and direct, leaning towards the realm of linear. After the fervent and tumultuous start, the scent becomes enriched with an enchanting floral blend of ylang-ylang and Iranian rose, with some deft touches of incense, adding a further characteristic depth and ethereal quality.

    Always voluptuous, bestowing the wearer with a warm and sophisticated glowing aura, there is a enough challenge to afford the fragrance connoisseur a chance to revel in the scents slightly uriness glory, wearing it like a sophisticated badge of pride.

    For the most part the journey is rather linear, as the bestial shadow slowly unwinds and loses it’s fangs; stripping down to something more civilized, akin to it’s predecessor Cologne pour le soir. A kissing cousin to both Musc Ravageur and Muscs Koublai Khan, in which although vastly different from each other, they share a common theme and story. Therefor if you’re a fan of the latter, then chances are you’re going to revel in this one. Another prime example of a gender neutral fragrance, which works equally well on either sex. All in all another one for mandatory testing, highly recommended.

    25 August, 2012

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