Reviews by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR

    Showing 1 to 30 of 58.
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    Concentré D'Orange Verte by Hermès

    This is a lovely frosty bitter orange... but it pales in comparison to the original cologne version, and it doesn't really deliver much in terms of added longevity to compensate. Eau d'Orange Verte is a three dimensional olfactory experience, which perfectly recreates the pleasurable sensation of peeling open a green orange. This on the other hand is a 2-D green orange perfume. In order to make it last longer, they got Jean-Claude Ellena to rework the original, and it has that characteristic ellena austerity, which in this case just feels like a bit of emptiness. It's basically a denser, frostier more linear Eau d'Orange Verte and as such is still lovely, but it collapses the original 3-D scent into 2-D and in that sense is disappointing. Better to just apply a half dozen shots of the original.

    23 December, 2013

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    Méchant Loup by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Smells just like the anise cookies that my Moroccan grandmother used to make "Galettes à l'anis". Meanwhile it's not a heavy gourmand. Anise, honey, hazelnut. Lovely.

    13 November, 2012

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    Royall Vetiver by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

    Total unabashed rip off of Guerlain's Vetiver, but at a higher price! i kid you not. Wtf?

    Thumbs up becauee it smells great, which is not surprising since they just transferred guerlain vetiver from the modern bottle to the retro royall one...

    14 August, 2011

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    Black Afgano by Nasomatto

    Wow, I'm shocked at all the bad reviews of this. Not only do I find this to be an extremely well blended, smooth and delightful fragrance, but the reactions I get to it are more enthusiastic than anything else I've ever worn, even if it doesn't rank up there with my very favourite Jean Laporte compositions.

    No, it doesn't really smell very much like hash, and yes, it is a bit similar to Duro, but it's also just amazing. Tarr-rich tobacco, a little oud to make it ethereal, a little leather, a good bit of patchouli, a bit of heliotrope for a cherry topping and alot of other things that I can't make heads or tails of, brewed into a silky black-brown cloud of a fragrance that is very comfortable and easy to enjoy despite being so dense and unusual.

    I've been disappointed with the lasting power of Nasomattos, given that they are extrait de parfum, but this one is extremely potent and long lasting, and it's the only niche fragrance that I know of that you really do only need one spray of. In comparison to it's cousin Duro, it lasts longer, projects more, is much heavier, denser, and richer.

    Although I find it to be very masculine, women wear it just as well, and love it even more.

    Depite the gimmickry of the name and concept, and the heaviness of the scent, Black Afgano manages to be unusual and complex, while being very wearable at the same time, and in that sense represents whats best in niche perfumery!

    19 January, 2010 (Last Edited: 05 February, 2010)

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    Yatagan by Caron

    What's all the furor about? It's a beautiful, masterfully crafted and super easy to wear herbaceous masculine pine centered fragrance with wormwood and celeri salt. You can smell the celery salt if you sniff close to the skin, but from further back it actually smells like a nice soap for the heart of it's development. Goes to the dessicated drydown very quickly and doesn't last super long, and like Fou d'Absinthe (a wormwood centered fragrance) you need to use half the bottle every two hours to get any presence out of it. Although it smells like fall, I suspect it flourishes in summer with heat and moisture to keep it breathing. A wonderful fragrance, and a must have if you like coniferous scents. Maybe the original formula was more challenging, or maybe I've just become too acclimated to avant garde compositions to be fazed by anything, but to me it's an easy blind buy that you can't go wrong with if you like pine.

    13 November, 2009

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    Serge Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Yet another Lutens fatally flawed quasi-masterpiece with an atrocious drydown.

    The head and heart are utterly sublime. A beautiful warm clove and cinnamon potpourri given the breath of life by a soft white musk. Then after 15 minutes it's all over. As has been described before, it "collapses" in on itself and very soon, all that remains is a dry, dessicated, ashy, anemic film that irritates the throat and is just unpleasant. Fortunately, it's almost impossible to smell unless you're licking it at this stage.

    Too many of Lutens/Sheldrake's compositions end on a similar disappointing note after a mesmerizing opening. This one stands out because the beauty only lasts for 20 minutes before it turns to dust. There must be a better way to construct these fragrances. 5 stars for the head and heart. Zero for the drydown.



    24 September, 2009

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    Red Aoud by Montale

    Different in character than the other Montale Aouds in that it's a hefty gourmand, and not the usual rose centered fragrance. It's a real spicebomb, reminding me of a thick honeycake type of dessert combined with a sweaty spicy, cuminy meat, couscous and chickpea dish, but with a powerful vanilla base It's a vertiable blizzard of spices, which is it's greatest asset as well as it's main flaw. As compelling as it is, it's too much of a mess for me. In particular, I find the aoud clashes with the other notes, especially when it's most prominent in the first hour or so (this one will last for weeks if you don't wash). In this sense it doesn't seem to be particularly well thought out, though it's a great idea. I think Mr. Montale should have held off on releasing this one so soon, and gone back to it after a break to fine tune it.

    24 September, 2009

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    Centaure by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    I'm surprised by all the negative and lukewarm reviews. Lavender, mint and tobacco, moistened with honey. The coldness and bite of the lavender and mint and the warmth of the tobacco and honey somehow blend together seamlessly creating an accord that is Ihot and cold at the same time, as well as smooth and sharp at the same time. Very masculine and somehwat formal. Certainly worth checking out at the very least, and worth having a bottle in my case.

    ***

    A little update 5 years later. As time goes by, while I still have the same fascination for scents and the same enthusiasm for discovering new ones, I find myself wearing only a few fragrances on a regular basis, and the rest of my collection just on random occasion or at night just for fun. In this new regime, Centaure has become the staple cold weather fragrance of my collection. It's just so perfect. That crisp mint-lavender like the cold winter air, and the tobacco and honey like the heat of your body emerging triumphant in it, reveling in it. A much underappreciated masterpiece in my opinion!

    19 June, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 August, 2014)

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    Garrigue by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    This makes me think of Cool Water, but less floral, more herbal, and with mineral salt. Not impressive at first blast as it resembles several fragrances which have been done since, but it grows on you. Masculine and refined. It's great with fuzzy wool weaters, as are most MPG fragrances. I suspect Laporte wears alot of fuzzy wool sweaters.

    27 May, 2009

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    Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Gingerbread cookies, baking and then dried. That would be enough of a review to give you an exact image of what this smells like in it's initial and then final stages, and you can just fill in the gaps of what comes in between.

    This has a similar structure and devellopment to Arabie, except instead of an entire soukh, it's just those spices and ingredients needed to make ginger cookies. Like Arabie it starts off honeyed, thick and wet, like baking cookies or cake. And then eventually the moisture dissipates until you're left with dry spices. The aftermath of 5'Oclock is even more dessicated than that of Arabie, which usually makes me want to take a drink of water. The spices here end up feeling like they're *burning*.

    This is turning out to be one of my favourites, but really, if you don't want to smell like gingerbread cookies, baking and dry - then you don't need this one! Otherwise, just go for it, you won't be disappointed!

    21st October, 2008

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    Royal Delight by Creed

    It's funny reading all these reviews – while I do get the sandalwood, vanilla, and a little leather, as people keep remarking - I couldn’t possibly just describe it as a “leathy floral” or “a bit feminine” “classy” “opulent” etc - the first thing that jumps right into my mind are various brands of colas and spruce beers, sasparillas, and other kinds of non-pepsi/coke root drinks. That’s what Royal Delight is all about to me. It’s bright, potent (though not super long lived” and effervescent like a sweet rooty cola! I love it but can imagine many people being put off by it, so do give it a try.

    13 October, 2008

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    Chêne by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I'll leave the eloquent descriptions of this fragrance to the other reviewers, many of whom have already done a great job describing this little gem.

    All you really need to know is that this smells exactly like the inside of an oak dresser drawer. Not everyone's idea of perfume, but it's captured beautifully and I do love it!

    11th April, 2008

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    Millésime Impérial by Creed

    This seems to behave quite differently depending on the weather. In hot humid weather it gives the wearer a beautiful warm, golden melony glow which garners awestruck compliments. Absolutely lovely.

    In any other kind of weather it seems frail and somewheat dirty and has no longevity whatsoever. Strange.

    But when it's on, it's right on. Gorgeous.

    03 August, 2007

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    Vetiver Oriental by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Mmmm. Vetiver wrapped in a suede blanket.

    I can't really recognize any of the notes in here aside from ther vetiver, so I can't make any intelligent comments, but some of the other popular vetiver's like Guerlain's or Creed's "original" vetiver which accentuate the crisp and fresh aspect of the grass, Vetiver Oriental's vetiver is muted, and soft, bringing out the earthier aspects of it.

    I don't particularly see what's "Oriental" about it - no strong spices here, and it's not the usualy Lutens fruitcake, not being particularly sweet. All the notes are muted and it's a very fuzzy and warm "comfort" aroma. As such it does not project very much, and has only a minor "aura" sillage.

    If not for the name and the note pyramid, I would have thought this was a leather with a strong vetiver component.

    In any case it's quite wonderful.

    Head: Sap notes, Padilla iris, undergrowth notes

    Heart: Vetiver root, gaiac wood, woody-accord, chocolate

    Base: Musk, ambered mosses, sandalwood, rockrose labdanum

    31st July, 2007

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This is one of the rare Lutens where I like the opening less than later stages. Most of my other favourite Lutens (Ambre SUltan, Fumerie Turque, Bois Oriental, Cedre, Arabie), start out with an explosion of heavenly, sweet, wet and fleeting topnotes that last only for a few minutes, then settle into something warm and lovely, and eventually leave a base that is nice but missing all of the addictive flavours - usually just musty Cedar with a couple of decarative complimentary notes are left, (or else beeswax with Fumerie Turque) which is nice but the beauty is all gone.

    WIth Chergui it's the opposite - it starts off with some strong powdery notes and one in particular which I can't pinpoint and which I don't particularly like - some kind of herb spice we use in foods - and isn't particularly sweet or wet. Then after a half hour to an hour it gets sweet and has a perfect balance. It does capture a bit of the feel of a hot wind.

    Lovely!

    15 July, 2007

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    Himalaya by Creed

    Quite wonderful, and very safe. Has the typical creed base, and an interesting and lovely devellopment. Starts out like a crisp white cloud,sweet and a little fruity, then soon warms up into a round glowy fuzzy pink fluffy center, ( bit like the second stage of Original Santal) and then these two aspects synthesize into a wonderfully balanced and pleasant aroma which stays stable for the rest of the journey.

    The first stage is reminiscant of other colognes (I think it gets compared to XS alot) but it changes over time, and it doesn't reek like chemicals.

    It really, really mixes well with a little salty sweat. It really comes alive in a whole new way! If it's the summer and a bit hot, put some on in the morning *before* you shower to see what I mean. You'll want to stay that way all day!

    15 July, 2007

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    Chypre Rouge by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Oh wow - this is different, and quite special. When I first tried it, what my mind kept noticing is the mossy quasi-vegetable aspect of it - someone mentioned celeri, and indeed something in here reminds me of celeri salt - probably the mix of amber with thyme, pine needles and moss.

    However, once my mind has "gotten over" that strange chord, eery time I wear it what really stands out is that it smells like a hard candy version of cherry jello. I frankly have no idea what fragrance oils from the pyramid were used to conjure that up!

    And then once I got used to that, it all "clicked" - red candy with a little dirty salty sweaty spice.

    I really love this. I imagine this won't work on everyone's skin, but if you do try it, give it a few chances before you decide what you think.

    06 July, 2007 (Last Edited: 07 February, 2011)

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    Original Santal by Creed

    What a good idea - a Joop that's wearable and excellent and doesn't smell like a hideous toxic swamp!

    Joop was one of the first fragrances that I ever tried, given to me as a present. I thought it was loud and obnoxious and generally hideous, but there was still something special about it - those wonderful spices - and I found myself wishing that someone could come up with a more natural and civilized version, one that would devellop, and not break down into hazmat over time. Well, this is it.

    It starts with a blast that's remarkably similar to Joop. After about 5 minutes that takes a back seat to a familliar moist Creed chord, that musky ambergis, very similar I find to the base of Himalaya, and also to Millesime Imperial. The Sandalwood is blends in with that chord to form the heart of it, making it round and lovely.

    Eventually, after some time this recedes only to reveal that the joop is still there.

    Just lovely.

    05 July, 2007

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    Datura Noir by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Interesting - starts out very white floral, and devellops into spicy coca cola. Lots of sillage. Not like the Lutens' I'm used to (Arabie, Cedre, Fumerie Turque, Bois Oriental, Chergui, Ambre Sultan etc.

    05 July, 2007

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    Bois Oriental by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Wow - this is not your typical in your face Lutens spice-candy explosion. It's uncharacteristically subtle and extraordinarily warm and subdued. It makes me think of roasting nuts on a fire with hot chocolate, only lightly sweetened.

    The base is cedar but where I find cedar to be somewhat unpleasant on it's own, particularly when the top and middle notes have said their goodbyes, this cedar is wrapped in other warm notes which don't disappear.

    According to Bois de Jasmin the notes are violet, peach, plum, rose, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, musk, Atlas cedarwood, and vanilla, but the notes are all low key and blended together so that all I notice is chocolate!

    It's great it all weather, and you can't really wear too much of it as none of the notes are overpowering. If it weren't so rare I'd be drinking it.

    20th June, 2007

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    Rahät Loukoum by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Rahat Loukoum is the Turkish name for the confection known in english as "Turkish Delight". As such this is aptly named.

    Like many Lutens, it starts off with a wet blast of mainly one note, in this case almond/marzipan, one of my favourite smells and tastes. It settles in to a very sweet, yet mellow almond turkish delight fragrance, and as time goes by it becomes more "civilized". I can't recognize all the notes, but it really does bring to mind the feel of Turkish delight, the powdered sugar, the nuts mixed in.

    A little goes a long way with this one. it is quite strong, and lasts a long time, and thus must be applied discriminately. That works for me given how expensive and rare it is.

    Failure to comply with the above warning will result you will smelling like you took a shower in amaretto syrup, and hordes of bees will follow you around all day.

    Wonderful!

    10th May, 2007

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    Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

    I saw reference to this on Basenotes several times, and when I saw it sitting there in my friend's bathroom while relieving myself of excess toxins in fluid form, I just had to give it a little geschpritzdt.

    Many fragrances which I find unpleasant or offensive, like Dali PH, Joop, Davidoff or Bvlgari Black tend to create sensory experiences which like being in battle or running for one's life, are terrifying, yet at the same time stimulating, interesting and give pause for reflection and thought on what just happened.

    Jaipur however, is remarkable in that it is both unpleasant and completely boring.

    However, what it does have in common with many unpleasant fragrances it lasts a long time, and is very difficult to wash off.

    Fascinating!

    09 May, 2007

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    Black Licorice by Ayala Moriel

    Not the thick, dark, sticky sweet licorice confection that I was expecting, but rather a gentle and peppery anise - gentle but long lasting, and although anise is the prodominant note, the peppers and spices keep it interesting throughout its duration so that you want to keep breathing it in to percieve them all.

    Universally liked by all who had the good fortune to be around me, including most importantly myself.

    08 May, 2007

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    Cèdre by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I'm surprised there are so many bad reviews of this one. It's one of my favourites. Like many Lutens it starts of with a ten second wet burst - in this case a flower which I don't recognize, but all the reviews say is tuberose. Then it transforms into something rich, dark, warm, round, sweet and balanced. The cedar is quite prominent, and I'm normally not a big fan of it (and thus didn't expect to like this one at all) but here the blend with the tuberose is perfect.

    I'd say it's easier for a woman to pull off, but it suits me perfectly.

    If anyone is familliar with the sparkling and loud Xeryus Rouge 9which I also love), this to me is a warmer, calmer, smoother relative of it.

    08 May, 2007

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    Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Did you ever fall in love and spend seemingly weeks on end doing nothing but having sex five times a day, eating and sleeping? Well if you didn't shower in all that time, this is what it would smell like.

    There are several bang on (pun not originally intended, but it does work!) reviews below along these lines, among which Ayala's is probably the best and most eloquent.

    Basically this is a fragrance restricted for meetings with your lover, an evening out at the roman orgy/bachanalia, or a good bout of being alone and imagining that you're with your lover or at a roman orgy.

    Enjoy!

    08 May, 2007

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    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    The heavenly opening reminds me *alot* of Opium Pour Homme EDP, even if it dries into something more civilized and refined, and amber oriented of course.

    Like many Lutens, is dries down into lovely spices, but just too dry and powdery for my taste.

    It seems like it somewhere in between Opium EDP and Lutens' Arabie.

    Very nice, but with Arabie and Opium EDP I've already got what I need!

    21st April, 2007

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Flint, and orange scented gunsmoke. It's arid and works better when there is some humidity in the air, regardless of season, otherwise it's too inorganic and unhuman. I don't smoke, but when you wear this you smell like a smoker who smells of orange peel. It's really shines nice when it mixes with a little sweat.

    17 April, 2007

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    English Leather by Dana

    How can you go wrong with this? Soap and Leather, classy and masculine, gentle.

    There is kind of a cheap bitter chemicals aspect to it if you pay attention, but it only costs $10, and most people just notice how nice it is.

    Since it's so inexpensive, I like to use it to freshen up my pillows and bedsheets. It would make a wonderful shaving cream as it immediately brings that to mind, along with an old fashioned shaving brush.

    Don't be too snobby to enjoy this one!

    16 April, 2007 (Last Edited: 11th April, 2008)

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    Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    When you inhale this you can *see* the leather, and the sweet cherry tobacco pipe smoke.

    This is probably *the* most wonderful thing that comes in a bottle that I can remember breathing in.

    Along with A La Nuit where you can see the jasmine flowers, so complete and full bodied is the scent, this is my favourite fragrance.

    EDIT 24/09/2009

    It's been about a year and a half since I wrote the review above, and I still stand by it, *except* only as concerns the head and heart notes of the fragrance. These stages are glorious. Cherry pipe smoke rising from soft leather. But like so many Lutens fragrancesithe drydown is not only less wonderful, but actually rather unpleasant. It's not as bad as the drydown of Serge Noireor Gris Clair - two other Lutens/Sheldrake compositions with astonishing openings and hearts, and frustratingly ugly basenotes - but it's on the border of "I need to wash this off" for me. What's left after all the wondrous smoke and leather and flowers evaporate is tobacco gunked up in funky beeswax *at least that's what I think it is). Tobacco is fine as a basenote, and I usually like it in most of it's perfume forms, but the beeswax combo makes it smell sticky and bordering on ugly. When that phase emerges I either want to put on more to relive the head and heart notes, or else wash it off. Unfortunately it lasts through a shower!

    I really wish Serge and Christopher figured out how to make their foundations as good as the dressing.

    07 April, 2007 (Last Edited: 24 September, 2009)

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    Xeryus by Givenchy

    Oooh - this is one that I have to keep going back to over and over to smell and ponder.

    I tested this one because of how much I love Xeryus Rouge. I remember being quite surprised, both at the strange fragrance, and at how it bears no resemblance whatsoever to Rouge.

    On the one hand, it's round, smooth, mysterious - it's all yellows, golds and ambers and it brings to mind yellow on black. As it settles into the skin it becomes more bitter. It's the kind of thing you wear with your black turtleneck.

    It's quite special and not like anything else in my wardrobe, but the only problem with it is that I'm sure that some bathroom handsoap company based their fragrance on this and it's hard to get away from that association.

    Still, I like it more each time I wear it. Night time only!

    05 April, 2007

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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000