Salvador Dali pour Homme smells just like the mythical Babylonian beast, forget its name, that was supposed to be unwashed bull from the waist up and overripe persimmon from the waist down. He could neither walk nor roll and so tragically took his own life by chain-smoking and wearing too much Halston Z-14. With our modern knowledge of mythical composite creatures, I like to believe that he could now be saved. Alas, we are too late, and all we can do is write copiously and wear Salvador Dali pour Homme. Cruel isn't it?
After a longish voyage through the often dull, sometimes violent, seas of aquatic perfumes, if I had to be washed up on one beach, this would be it. Calypso has neither the metallic topnotes that spoil some aquatics nor the iodine note that can be distracting. It doesn't merely smell of cucumber. It's well-blended, changes in a satisfying way from front to finish, and works really well as a masculine floral.
Yann Vasnier says of his creation L'Homme Sage that he called it L'Homme Sage because a wise man knows how to control his craziness. I like L'Homme Sage very much but it doesn't strike me as crazy. The idea seems apt of Gentleman, though.
It reminds me of a guy I knew in high school. Brilliant guy, not at all a sociopath to be clear, a kind and loyal friend. But almost entirely without physical fear, constantly seeking the ragged edge of destruction in whatever situation, in this cool, speculative, hmmm-bet-that-can-be-done sort of way: climbing out onto the luggage rack at highway speed, dangling from a cliff on an otherwise calm hike. He went on to become a Navy Seal for a time. So he was a great guy but there was always this good natured wildness behind the eyes that was not at all an affectation but just a bit of wiring that got assembled differently. The civet in Gentleman strikes me that way, and I like it.
The Buddhist wedding ceremony of an orange and a stone, celebrated next to the stream where the rock is from. They do.
A beautiful dark young man, big-shouldered and athletic, looking charmingly out of place in his tailored Italian suit. He tucks his hair behind his ear absently and you notice that he has mandalas on his palms. This is about patchouli--big, earthy patchouli that would follow you home still talking about forests and the rich earth of its mother's garden after a rainfall--were it not bounded by the slight formality of leather and spice.
02nd May, 2008 (last edited: 04th May, 2008)
Santal Noble opens with a transporting orange blossom accord and quickly settles down into a luxurious sandalwood and spices affair with the olfactory texture of heavy cream. If Tam Dao is a single bamboo flute then Santal Noble is Morricone's opening theme to The Mission floating from an oboe backed by chorus and orchestra. I love this stuff.
I'd love to smell this on an unwashed woman. Sorry, did I say that out loud?
A balanced, comfortable woods composition, in the family of Hermes' masculine woods. I prefer it to Heritage because it has less treble, more understated use of amber and vanilla. Even well into drydown BdP retains some of the bitter wood that is the great lurking beast in Equipage. Why is there a great beast lurking in my carriage, you ask? I'll see about that, sir, and if I do get rid of the beast may I keep an unwashed woman?
With Piper Nigrum and Yerbamate squarely in the category of olfactory parlor stunts, it's easy to slight this perhaps unremarkable but elegant and comfortable fragrance. Well-balanced between a citrus cologne and a light chypre, with an interestingly shifting incense kicker. Not the sweet incense of No. 88 but the resinous frankincense of Diptych's L'Eau Trois. Companionable but gentlemanly like an old, perfectly fitted blue sport coat. When the hand reaches in the perfume cabinet absently on the way out the door, looking for something thoughtful and comfortable, it often comes to rest on this small, blue bottle. Which, I notice, is nearly empty. Although Uomo doesn't inspire wonder or raptures, I wear it more often than anything else, especially in warm weather.
Pine fire and church incense, softened by gentler woods.
If you find Avignon stark and harsh, and it is, you might enjoy Gucci pour Homme. It has more of the outdoors to it and gentler edges that hint at a human presence. This not a cold stone cathedral with hushed tourists peering into its dark vaults, it's a stone chapel filled to overflowing for Easter vigil. It's also worth pointing out that Gucci pour Homme can be gotten for something like a quarter the price of the Comme des Garcons incense series.
This is unlike anything I've ever smelled. Except maybe, and don't be put off by this, a really nice cardboard box. One that you've had to tramp through jungles and scale cliffs to get to.
Vetiver Oriental is a shapely, velvet-like fragrance--no sharp edges, no single dominant note, about as far from a soliflore you can as get. Here vetiver is clearly present but transformed into something very urbane, though still powerful. Slightly sweet, especially the first two or so hours, but with a sweetness that is beautifully balanced with strong woods. In the drydown the sweetness is joined with a bitter bark note, like the most austere cinnamon imaginable. I suppose it handles sweetness in a way similar to several other of the woodsy, quasi-gourmand Lutens. It has a thread in common with Equipage that is apparent only very late in the story.
To me this is at once interestingly complex, absolutely original, and imminently wearable.
When I wear L'Homme Sage to work it irritates me a bit, it's out of place. Or reminds me that I am, perhaps. This is a fragrance for quiet days, to be worn in quiet amounts. Yann Vasnier, the nose behind this creation, here balances anise beautifully with spice, herbs and incense. Think Parfum Sacre meets Rive Gauche Pour Homme, but less sweet than the former and more about the natural world than the latter. If you want to enjoy Azzaro Pour Homme but find it too unidimensional, you might love this.
05th April, 2008 (last edited: 28th April, 2008)
A friend recently brought back a bag full of resins and essentials oils and incense and what-not gathered from various spice markets during a trip through India and Nepal. We spent a delightful coffee-buzzed afternoon smelling the resins in particular, both raw and burning, and weaving around free associating about the smells. And there was a wonderful moment when, upon sticking my nose into a bag of what he thought was frankincense, I got the most direct impression of Czech &Speake No. 88.
Which I have never loved--always liked but not loved. Too big, extroverted, complex, maybe. And then suddenly I felt as though I understood where to fix my attention when listening to this complicated fragrance. The most bouyant, exuberant note, the one that is most prominent from opening to drydown, is the liquid, dry earth and flowers of raw frankincense. Or whatever was in that little bag, at any rate. There's a lot going on in No. 88: the rose is quiet and wonderful, the green in the topnotes is pure spring morning. But to me, even waking up this morning to the drydown clinging pleasantly to my t-shirt, it is a scent about temples
The aesthetic here is very 80's, "more-is-more": the opposite of Jean-Claude Ellena's transparent recent fragrances, which give the impression of a steady murmur. <br>Zino talks circles, talks crazy, talks sexy, talks its way through all the sections of the Times, and then begins to explain occult diagrams from the Hermetic Museum. Zino motions you into a back room, claiming it has a flagon made of Byron's skull, it's a joke in dead earnest. <br>Zino is a beautiful companion for a dark and busy mind, a mad distraction for the already distracted.
A woman is running, bare feet churning, across a pasture of sweet herbs. As she nears I recognize Kate Moss. Walking up to me, she sticks out her tongue, and I see that on it she is balancing a jordan almond. Thanks, Kate.
10th January, 2008 (last edited: 05th April, 2008)
I've written to apologize. It's just that last December I had much less experience. Things were happening so fast, I got scared. But that thing I said about minestrone under a Christmas tree, well, that was wrong of me, man. I didn't understand you in the context of 'leather' notes. I needed my space. The time with Mazzolari and Knize Ten helped, I know it hurts, but they got me back on my feet, you know?
And then this morning. Just wow. Please give me another chance.
18th December, 2007 (last edited: 06th May, 2008)
Something unbalanced and astringent in the topnotes keeps me from loving this one. It does have its own definite personality, though. An interesting work but not good company for this nose.
Aramis is not an era for me but a location. It is one of the fragrances that evokes the sage and dust scents of the mountains of central Northern California. If it had a texture it would be the smooth red bark of the madrone trees that grow beautifully where little else can.
Lovely, balanced, meditative fragrance. More than with any other vetiver frag I can think of, the vetiver in VA is interestingly present without ever having a solo. If you love vetiver you'll find this really well done. And probably find it unremarkable. And why should all fragrances be remarkable?--rather than the equivalent of really good lightweight woollen socks, beautiful socks, socks that you look down at and think of as 'stockings', even if you would never reveal the fact. Maybe it makes more sense than buying an expensive suit that you only wear occasionally. If a gentleman is someone who enjoys doing what seems proper without requiring applause, this is a gentleman's fragrance.
I want to love this stuff. Mainly because the bottle is so great. And the name--how could THIS frag have ended up as "The Dreamer"? Could it be that I am not a Dreamer? The lily note here is like volatile Kool Aid to this poor daybound nose. It's candy-sweet, maybe to match the dreams of a younger man. But don't even the young dreams of late capitalism smell a bit of blood and gasoline?
This is just lovely, balanced, wonderful stuff. The citrus, floral, and spice qualities of Ed'H are beautifully intertwined, so that even the exhilirating first minutes of the topnotes are more like breathing clarity than breathing a bergamot wakeup call. The olfactory equivalent of an old friend, a conversation that is at once stimulating, honest, and comfortable. Thank you Mr. Roudnitska.
Rocabar is a calm, alert, natural fragrance. Reminds me of quiet mornings, walking around and smelling pines and pungent desert grasses where I grew up in Northern California near Oregon. I also get spices and a bit of fruit, pear and a touch of green mango, maybe. Rocabar is a definite presence but its organic quality means that you can still smell the world around you, unlike, say, Rive Gauche, which I also love but which is about cityscapes and the human world to me. Not a staple but one I come back to with grateful recognition.
Lovely, involved, definite but close to the skin. Others have described this as short lived, and it's true that the strong angelica and juniper topnotes calm down quickly. The iris persists, though, through a slow progression that is increasingly animalic, earthy. It is a fragrance that has to be learned to be clearly perceived, not one that shouts its name to you.
This is an intense aesthetic experience to me. It is a guardian spirit, meditative and subtle, a gentle rumble. To me, this is how Rilke's terrifying angels of the Duino Elegies would smell.
Yes, the opening is very much like Polo Black, and a few lingering topnotes remain the same. But to my nose the chassis under this one is quite different. After couple hours it settles into an earthy black pepper, dried pear and spices purr that remains very rich and calm. It needs something a little unwashed for ballast. Smells good with an old leather vest or a lanoliny wool sweater<br>The name is pretty dumb, like the "none blacker" joke from Spinal Tap.
08th November, 2006 (last edited: 05th April, 2008)
Lavender, bergamot, lemon rind. As Parisa says, simple. To be worn on a morning when you wore Habit Rouge the day before, and you went around trying to figure out where the pirate was hiding. Walk outside and have a conversation with your garden--today no swinging aboard with your hair on fire, no cutlass clenched in teeth. Ah.