Reviews by cacio

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    cacio
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    Showing 1 to 14 of 14.
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    Cuir 28 by Le Labo

    Synthetic leather

    An unashamedly synthetic leather devoid of any ambery sweetness or musky animalic plushness. Instead, a dry leather is made drier and fresher by hefty doses of vetiver and woody ambers. (only in the far drydown there's a little bit of vanilla). The effect is a bit like rubber or some type of paint, and the composition would fit well in a CDG lineup. It's not up there with the leather masterpieces (Bandit, Rien, etc.), and as a city exclusive it is way overpriced, but good and fun.

    15 September, 2013

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    Iris Gris by Jacques Fath

    monumental iris

    This is for the Osmotheque reconstruction smelled on a paper strip - I only wish I could have smelled it on skin.

    The fabled Iris Gris does deserve its fame. The first whiff is an unusually powerful, freezing, powdery iris. Chill, rootiness, and powder and turned on to the max, and there is none of the bready note of many modern irises (nor much carrot). Rather it is overlaid with a fruity, but not particularly sweet, fruit skin note, that however stays in the background and only peers out now and then. Luca Turin compared it to the reddish reflections on a dark bird, and I think that's appropriate, as the primary note is the iris. Overall, it gives the impression of a cold, impossibly elegant woman with whom no contact is possible. Several days later on the paper strip, the fruit has become more prominent, and the iris has developed an ancillary swampy, root-decay note, which however never takes over, and only adds an additional disturbing dimension to the composition. The reason why this perfume is not likely to come back is the fact that it clearly contains a huge amount of top quality iris extract, too expensive for current perfumery.

    27 May, 2013

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    Vétiver by Annick Goutal

    Salty dry vetiver

    An excellent dry vetiver. At the top, there is almost a pleasant rubbery note; as it goes, a salty, seaside note becomes prominent, giving the vetiver an even fresher, drier aspect. Of note, the formula is different from that of the current Eau de Vetiver (which may have substituted the older vetiver); the eau de vetiver is lighter and citric, and lacks the depth of the original.

    27 May, 2013

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    DXB Dubai by The Scent of Departure

    Possibly the strongest and strangest frag in a light and apologetic line, Dxb smells like a smooth and sedate version of Petroleum in the regular (and upscale) range of the same house. Petroleum mixes a strong mineral synth oud note with a potent marine one, a striking but unwearable combination that reproduces a damp cave, or an oily bilge. In Dxb, these notes are toned down, especially the marine one, which makes the perfume more wearable, if a little less bold. But the effect is still striking even at this lower intensity. I strongly dislike marine notes, so I will not wear it, but those who like aquatic frags may find this interesting, and more affordable than the $$$ Petroleum. Cute bottle too.

    20th August, 2012

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    Pétroleum by Histoires de Parfums

    Petroleum is part of the -m Editions rares trio, an experiment in marrying brutalist bilge notes to classical structures typical of HdP. One's liking of these experiments, then, depends on one's opinion on such marine notes. I am hypersensitive. That said, I do admire the effect of Petroleum. The union of bilge notes with the now pervasive synthetic oud-roses creates the feeling of entering a dark, cold, damp, frightening cave. Everything is there: the fresh, cold air (the ozonic effect highlighted by alfarom), a strong metallic, mineral material, the mold, and some unindentified decaying organism. Not that I would ever wear this, but smelling it on paper is interesting - in the same sense that smelling Secretions Magnifiques is. Relative to the sister Ambrarem, this at least seems to have a coherent structure and an interesting purpose.

    The neutral rating is an average. As something to wear, this is strongly negative. As an experiment, it is positive. The point is, HdP seems to present this as a straight up, real perfume, not as a conceptual exercise (like Sec Mag), so the first criterion (wearability) is included.

    cacio

    21st July, 2012

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    Ambrarem by Histoires de Parfums

    The trio of -m Editions rares seems to me a brutalist experiment to marry disturbing, bilge notes a la Secretions Magnifiques to the classical, rich style of the HdP house. Much as I admire the conceptual experiment, I am hypersensitive to these notes, so, as alfarom pointed out, I find Ambrarem horrifying. It is the scariest of the trio. The metallic bilge note is amplified by the strong pepper in the top, resulting in a monster of uncommon evil. Besides, I feel that the bilge note has no relation whatsoever with the rest of the composition, a classical smooth amber, which gives the effect of a light oriental scent being brutalized by an attack of decaying zombies. In this sense, Petroleum, which is perhaps even stronger, smells less evil, as the bilge note doesn't feel out of place with the rest of the composition. But Ambrarem joins the undistinguished company of M/Mink and Tirrenico as the symbol of the unchecked, full power of these powerful, synthetic materials.

    cacio

    20th July, 2012

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    Tiare by Ormonde Jayne

    A green chypre in the classical style. Green, deep, rich, but very natural smelling and luminous. Citruses, light flowers over a nouveau chypre base. Compared to, say, Cristalle, it is less haughty and more floral. It feels richer and more complex, but at the same time fresher and more relaxed. Great longevity, and perfect for men too. As perfume critic Luca Turin argued, this is one of the few deep, rich, classical perfumes composed in recent years, what the big brands ought to be doing if they were not too busy with disinfectants for men or syrups for women.

    A word of caution: I have never smelled the tiare flower, so I cannot comment on the faithfulness of the scent to the flower. But if the flower is similar to gardenias (as, for instance, in Manoumalia), this is not it. There's nothing stereotypically tropical here, we're firmly in the XVI arrondissement, or, perhaps, among XVI arrondissement Parisians who have loosened up a bit after a London stay.

    cacio

    20th July, 2012

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    Futur by Robert Piguet

    (Current version) A wonderful green chypre. As others have pointed out, Futur emphasizes both aspects of the genre. It is both very dark, vegetal, mossy, and very soapy. On paper, I had the impression that it became in fact too soapy, but on my skin, it maintains a good balance. Both more vegetal and more soapy than Givenchy III vintage, cleaner and less haughty than Cristalle, greener and more synthetic than Ormonde Jayne Tiare.

    20th July, 2012

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    Parfum d'Hermès by Hermès

    Chypreish mixed floral (rose and hyacinth especially) with an overall dry, almost leathery, and powdery classical feel. But a little bit of a catch all: some citrus, some green, some flowers, some amber, some incense, some moss. Pleasant throughout, but rather generic. Apart from a brief, curiously oily, but sadly fleeting top (perhaps thick bergamot, or hyacinth), it lacks a bold structure or a striking note that makes it memorable.

    05 April, 2012

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    Escada S by Escada

    Generic rosy, sweetish, clean floral bouquet, with a mix of artificial floral notes (rose, freesia, and the like) and a touch of artificial fruits. A brief lemony top and a standard woody amber drydown. Thankfully not as sweet as the usual fruity floral syrup, not totally unpleasant, but utterly uninspiring.
    (This was smelled as a part of a blind sniff.)

    04 April, 2012

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    Loukhoum Parfum du Soir by Keiko Mecheri

    Pink fruity marzipan confection. It starts with a blast of almondy helitropin plus assorted pink fruits, it tones down a bit after that, but remains resolutely pink and sweet, with an added touch of pink from some rose and an overaly fruity baby powder fell. The confection is edible, but not satisfyingly so. Even less satisfying is it to wear as a fragrance.
    (This was smelled as a part of a blind sniff.)

    04 April, 2012

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    Métal by Paco Rabanne

    A terrifically fresh, dry, green floral sustained by a strange, compelling metallic and oily (in the sense of olive oil) note. I usually abhor the metallic notes in modern masculines, which come off as sharp and unpleasant. Metal, ironically, smells mineral but not at all like those horrors. In a way, it reminds me of Amouage Silver, which pairs a metallic note with rosy flowers. But while Amouage silver feels a little uncomfortable and risks falling into the fresh sporty metal at any time, Metal never veers off course and manages to smell fresh, floral and astringent throughout. It's slowly inching its way up among my favorites.

    27 September, 2011

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    Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

    Abominable, unwearable, and intelligent. The press releases for many perfumes rave about skin and sex and pheromones. The ads display scantily clad women seemingly in the midst of spontaneous orgasms. The perfumes themselves are bland, insignificant, airheaded concoctions.

    ELO goes all the way. SM is a simple floral defaced by a violent, metallic, rotten note reminiscent of decaying algae and seafood in brackish water. Human secretions? Only distantly. The metal vaguely relates to blood; there's definitely rotten milk; and the brackish water could recall the off-odor of a man who has eaten who knows what (asparagus concentrate?), amplified tenfold.

    It's really a conceptual exercise. Being totally shameless in the imagery, and delivering an exceptionally novel and exceptionally disgusting composition. As with many works of arts, others might have different interpretations (futuristic? brutalist?) Kudos to ELO for actually selling this.

    cacio

    23 January, 2011

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    Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    After a nice floral opening, Bas de Soie briskly moves to a peculiarly repulsive metallic rotten note, distantly related to some of the components that make Secretions Magnifiques so compellingly abominable and delicious. Except that this one seems to be played straight.

    But very few people share my horror. Most seem to perceive a bland but elegant iiris. I have never smelled pure iris, but I find no relation to the elegant, iris-rich Chanels. This makes me think that I am perhaps hypersensitive to some of the minor notes in Bas de Soie.

    Baffling.

    23 January, 2011

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