Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    Lalfeorosa by O'Driù

    Today I'm trying Lalfeorosa. I have a somewhat different reaction than others; I don't care for it although I do find some good moments.
    Juice: golden-olive.
    It starts with a very vanilla - biscuit - toasty caramel note, which almost immediately disappears and then reappears and persists at the very end. Here is the deal-breaker. I don't like foody or gourmand scents and despite the other good qualities, I can't warm up to this scent.
    After the opening chord, the scent moves to an aromatic stage which is smooth, substantial, spicy and which has a hint of leather. Nice.
    Then, gorgeous rose notes appear, and the scent reaches its apex for me. The rose notes are lovely, and combine with the "incense" which may well be oud since oud combines well with rose and is a traditional accompaniment. Sadly, this phase is very brief, perhaps two minutes maximum.
    Then, a very assertive tonka/hay/coumarin note blusters in and utterly vanquishes the rose. The coumarin increases, picks up all the stray spice molecules, and works to create a rather tangy tobacco-leaf note with hints of toasted nuts.
    Finally, the scent lapses back to a semi-gourmand style, gets sweeter, and I wash it off. :/

    06 May, 2012

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    Le Vetiver Itasca by Lubin

    It starts with good citrus and fresh juniper notes. It quickly moves to spicy notes (clove, nutmeg) and with a few herbal ones (mostly clary sage). It is a woody-spice scent, and quite good. Never sweet but fairly powerful due to the spice. There are some cool aspects to the dry-down, probably the juniper, frankincense and fir. However, these are background elements -- I would not call it a fir-forward or pine-prominent scent. Basically, it is a spicy scent with some wood notes.
    Update. I purchased a full bottle, having had a decant. I like this scent. I get more of the incense notes throughout, and the dry-down is very pleasing I still say it is not very coniferous in style. Rather, it is a spicy, woody, incense scent. The vetiver has an earthy-root note which also is a bit smoky.

    02 May, 2012 (Last Edited: 02 June, 2014)

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    Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

    A very nice barbershop-clean scent -- simple and satisfying.
    It starts with gorgeous orange blossom and very zesty citrus notes. The scent is light and invigorating, and also quite smooth. There is a hint of wood bark which is typical of orange blossom. Splash this one with abandon, and re-apply often. Good longevity, essentially a cheery orange blossom and soapy scent.

    02 May, 2012

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    Les eaux de toilette de Joséphine - Rosewood by Lothantique

    I assume this is what what I have. My bottle says Bois de Rose / Rose Wood and it is an EdT, but it doesn't say de Joséphine.
    The scent is woody and dry. It is not rosewood as far as I can tell (aka Brazilian Rosewood oil or Tulip wood oil) which has a distinctively rich, furniture-polish characters. This rose wood is something like rose + wood and might be rhodium oil, which has elements of rose, cedar and sandalwood. And that's exactly what I get when I smell this -- very nice.

    02 May, 2012

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    Lalfeogrigio by O'Driù

    This is a nice, old-school stye of scent. It is centered on a creamy sandalwood note, with a charmingly retro tonka-hay note which reminds me of vintage fougeres.
    The scent starts somewhat spicy, and at first the tonka is so vanilla-heavy that I wince. This quickly burns off, to reveal a dark and rich scent. It is somewhat sweet in the early going but is not problematic. Unlike other O'Driu scents, this is not a green machine, no herbal stew happening here. Rather, it is a burnished gold-brown, sort of like mahogany in my mind. The sandalwood, coffee and tobacco work together quite well.
    Suddenly and amazingly, there is a bright geranium rose note. Quite a surprise, and am amazing contrast to the darker tones.
    The sandalwood gets very creamy. I'd say this is a must for sandalwood fans.
    Great wood and fougere charm in the dry-down.

    01st May, 2012

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    Series 1: The Spirit Of Wood by Cosmic Wonder Light Source by Six Scents Parfums

    This has a lovely fresh green opening. It quickly develops an excellent coniferous aspect, followed by a satisfying woody one. I think this is marvelous. It has the great cypress/hinoki notes of CdG Hinoki without the turpentine sharpness. It has the cool eucalyptus character of Jo Malone’s Christmas scent Pine and Eucalyptus, with more depth. Fig rounds out the wood notes and slightly sweetens. Elemi is an essential oil from a resin and it has a pine-lemon character. I think this a well constructed scent. The packaging and bottle are very good.

    01st May, 2012

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    Strellson No. 1 by Strellson

    Here we have another fresh-spicy scent. Somewhat sweet, certainly rather bland and generic in style. And quite ‘synthetic’ smelling – I don’t get any natural citrus notes, nor florals. In sum, an airy-fresh light spice sort of scent, slightly sweet and slightly irritating in its relentless fresh musk drydown. For me, it proved to be a scrubber.

    01st May, 2012

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    Royal Palm by Stéphanie de Saint-Aignan

    Sugary-sweet, almost candied. Only a bit spicy, certain much less than I espected given the notes. What I find is a chord almost exactly like Fruit Loops cereal: sweet, fruity, a bit garish. The grapefruit is more like a very synthetic orange. What spices there are burn off quickly, and one is left with a toasty, nutty, slightly metallic note. Despite what I’ve said I have smelled worse – but I fail to see the appeal of this. Where are the vetiver, good wood, and incense notes?

    01st May, 2012

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    Laltrove 1002 by O'Driù

    The juice is a golden, light olive oil colour.
    On paper, it is a floral, sweet-spicy scent. The dry-down quicly moves to a dusky green note like clary sage and celery leaves.
    On skin, it is aromatic, woody, and not spicy at all -- in fact, very dry. It is quite satisfying. I get herbal notes (mint, anise, artemesia), floral (jasmine and rose), as well as hints of wood and leather. The spices are good and well blended. This has an interesting "dirty" sort of note, a bit smoky and like an old ashtrasy.
    An intriguing scent, I like it.

    01st May, 2012

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    Cedar Wood and Clary Sage by St. James of London

    The opening citrus notes are pleasant. They are followed by a bit of spice and a fresh, minty note. The cedar starts as a light wood tone and gains in strength and has great longevity. This is listed as a post-shave product but it is substantial enough to be used as a scent. Great value.

    01st May, 2012

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    Airborne by Comme des Garçons

    Oh, how I love mastic (Lentiscus) as a note!
    This scent starts with lovely lemon and citrus notes. Very quickly, I get the mastic: dry, grassy-green, resinous. This blends well with bright juniper (aromatic and woody), and further excellent dry incense and wood notes. The scent is dry and translucent.
    It is not as weighty and dense as the other mastic-prominent scent (Sisley's Eau D'Ikar). The mastic here is not as prominent, and it is blended into the over mix in a subtle manner.
    The scent is light, subtle, and wears very well through the day.

    01st May, 2012

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    Hamsa Nouveau by Swiss Arabian Perfumery

    A nice and somewhat obscure scent. There are some subtle fruit notes, though not obviously pineapple. Despite the fruit, it is not an overtly sweet scent. Perhaps it was marketed at women, but a guy can easily wear it. It is slightly spicy. The dry-down is a touch of amber with oud. The oud gives a slight metallic note, which here is pleasant. Tehre is also a slightly smokey-woody note which is pleasant. The scent is well made and the notes are smoothly blended. It is not heavy or cloying. And, it is in an opulent flocked green velvet coffret, with the bottle shaped like a chess piece. Listed as an EdP.

    01st May, 2012

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    Vis Et Honor by O'Driù

    Quirky! Not bad, but very quirky.
    To me, it is a deliberate exercise in odd-ball fustiness: old attic, old books, old leather suitcase, old fur coats. A closed-in antique store... a bit claustrophobic.
    On paper: strong bay leaf/laurel note, and lotsa green in the background.
    On skin. Smokey, VERY VERY VERY minty. Oh boy, that chlorophyll is super-minty. The scent is quite green. And also the fox fur note is very prominent, in a minty-gamy way. My grandmother used to keep a mink stole in a cedar chest and this certainly reminds me of that. Back to the green notes, which are complex and intriguing -- though somewhat in competition with the relentless minty/cool notes.
    Never once got a lavender note.
    Now the mint/green joins with a leathery note.
    At times, the scent is an old-school fougere; at times an old suitcase with leather trim, at times an old fur coat.
    The distant dry-down is a nice, mossy fougere. And at times I get a spicy note which seems more like cinnamon than cardamom to me.
    I'm neutral on it. That foxy note is odd and I'm not sure what it adds other than oddity. But the green notes are pretty good.
    OK... but I'm not overwhelmed.

    23 April, 2012

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    Wonderwood by Comme des Garçons

    Meh, I'm underwhelmed. I expect great things (or at least amazingly quirky) things from CdG. This is a fairly safe, somewhat bland and mild woody scent.
    It starts with a peppery note, and that's pretty well done. Some woody tones emerge, but they are a blond sort of wood; light rather than deep, young wood rather than old stock. At times there is a grassy note (vetiver), at times a bright metallic note (some synthetics), and at times a kind of toasted-nut note.
    I didn't get any oud or incense... if they are there they are quite muted.
    On my skin, this is really a non-performer, and certainly nothing special or distinctive. It isn't unpleasant, just neutral.
    Now, if you want to see CdG do something amazing in the wood line, try Hinoki! Wow.

    20th April, 2012

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    Laltrove 1001 by O'Driù

    Today I'm trying Laltrove 1001. I like it -- but it seems awfully similar to Londa 1006. I'd have to do a side-by-side to understand the differences which seem pretty subtle at this point.
    Once again, the juice is the typical olive green colour.
    On paper, the scent is a bit sweet, has citrus notes, and spicy-herbal notes. Certainly even there, the tangy anise pops.
    On skin, there's no citrus for me. The scent is dry, herbal, astringent, spicy and a bit woody. Perhaps it is slightly rounder in character than Londa 1006. Sometimes it has a slightly toasted note which I did not detect in the Londa. Also a bit of a barbershop and leathery vibe which is nice. The barbershop character combes from the pepper and cinnamon, far more satisfactory spices than cumin in my opinion. The scent settles close to the skin, and the dry-down has good rosemary notes. Even here, there may be a faint ghost of cumin... perhaps it is the house spice.
    Again, very nice but also very similar to Londa 1006. I can't see having both.

    17 April, 2012

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    Londa 1005 by O'Driù

    Londa 1005. This one disappoints me more than another other. Why? The over-abundance of cumin.
    For me, (or on my skin at least) cumin always comes off as a very tangy, male-sweat scent. Perhaps in a scent which is a spice melange the cumin could duke it out with other spices. But here, in a scent with so many potentially interesting green notes, the cumin completely dominates and pushes everything else aside.
    The juice is a dark green olive colour.
    The scent starts in a very salty way, and even a bit stinky. It quickly changes to something rather smokey with a strong mint character. The mint note grows and gets very cool and fresh, but never synthetic or like toothpaste. At this point I'm quite pleased, sensing herbs, mint and the potential for the development of green-grassy (vetiver) notes.
    BLAM! Cumin appears and that's it. Game over. This isn't a complex spice jar like Piper Nigrum. No, it's just cumin-centric all the way. At best and at times, the cumin retreats enough that I can imagine I'm smelling some vetiver or the revival of mint. At other times, the cumin is just all there is.
    I never got a coniferous or pine note. I did get some mint in the early going, but that's it. Even the vetiver, normally a prominent note, can't compete with the cumin.
    I don't really see the attraction in a cumin note. It smells exactly like my cumin spice jar -- not complex, not particularly interesting in and of itself. Clove at least gives a barbershop vibe, but cumin just suggests chili.
    Scale back the cumin and this might be something interesting. The cool from the mint could work well with slightly less aggressive warm spices.
    And really, all these wonderful green notes... wasted. :/

    15 April, 2012

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    Ladamo by O'Driù

    The juice is an olive-gold colour.
    On paper, it pops with fenugreek/curry, herbal-green, and minty-refreshing notes.
    On my skin, it reveals a deeper, dirtier, darker, earthier character. The reference to "earth and roots" is exactly right. The scent is complex, even in its early stages. It certainly seems masculine to me, given its dark, sweaty tones. Then... amazingly it opens up and brightens! I find a very cheery, minty sort of note (perhaps juniper and crisp gingerroot). It also gets quite woody. I really appreciate the bright note amid the dark earth, moss and woods -- this is a genius touch of design.
    As the scent progresses, it develops a very mossy-lichen note. At times, this strongly suggests celery leaves (but not always). At other times, the anise sort of note takes prominence. A bit of a shape-shifter, this.
    Of the scents I've tried to date, I like this one best. It is powerful and challenging, but I love green scents and this certainly has that aspect. As has been noted it is extremely powerful -- one or two little dots more than suffice.
    Postscript -- I swear that the next day, after a long bath and a new scent, I could still catch the ghostly presence of this scent. Incredibly powerful and long duration.

    15 April, 2012

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    Leva by O'Driù

    "The nightmare that reveals the pleasure" -- indeed.
    The juice is an olive-oil colour.
    The scent starts with a slight citrus note and the promise of a woody vanilla. Lemongrass quickly appears. More vanilla, with a touch of cocoa; and more wood. THEN a really odd and rather uncomfortable fruity-ozonic note appears. It is like a strange, Lovecraftian version of a hyped-up peach/bergamot note. Some have called it "screechy" and it is kinda wierd and certainly not to my taste. That gradually fades away, and I'm left with a soft, powdery, close-to-the-skin scent. It is quite pleasant. It has a ginger/metallic brightness which cozies up to a woody-vanilla note. I normally detest vanilla but it is OK here in its muted form. This last phase seems feminine to me, somewhat pretty and a bit sweet. But it is not too sweet, and it is pleasantly woody so it could work for anybody. I'm not sure it is worth the trip through the X dimension to get there, though. :/

    15 April, 2012

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    Linfedele 1004 by O'Driù

    On paper it is sweet, woody, spicy, with a toasted grain note. The juice is a deep golden colour.
    On my skin, I note the following. It is oriential in style since it has spice and patchouli. That being said, it is a lean oriental: substantial but not heavy or cloying, and not too sweet once the initial phase burns off. It is not green in any sense, and I see little relation or pairing with Linfedele 1003. The ingredients are well blended and pleasing.
    It is interesting that there is a spice positioned at each phase of the scent's development. The interplay between tumeric - cloves - cardamom suggests cumin at many points. Cumin always conveys a somewhat sharp, male-sweat note, and that is note which I don't immediately care for. Here, as that cuminesque note abates, other and more attractive notes emerge. The cumin never entirely goes away, but it is better when it is balanced than when it dominates, as it does in the early going. The tumeric gives a dusty/woody character which is quite true to form. At times, the woody note suggests cedar pencil-shavings.
    I really appreciate the incense here. If the cumin was scaled back about 25% this might be an ideal scent; as it is, it's pretty good. The incense is airy and smoky. At times there is a warm rubber note (which I also noticed in Lindfedele 1003).
    The dry-down is smooth, assertive, and to my mind completely masculine (though a woman with verve certainly would enjoy it). I'm happy to report that the vanilla is NOT a problem, in fact (thankfully) I can't even detect it!
    I like this a lot -- perhaps I'm not going to rush out and buy it (given the price) but it is pretty good stuff.

    11th April, 2012

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    Linfedele 1003 by O'Driù

    This is an intriguing and complex scent.
    The juice is a deep golden colour.
    Sniffing the juice in the vial, I immediately got a powerful leather-laurel (bay leaf) combination. I tried Foustie's advice and put a bit on paper. That brought galbanum (a bitter celery-leaf note) to prominence.
    On my skin, the galbanum is extremely fleeting. The scent quickly goes to leather and laurel, with a brief sulphur note which reminds me of the tops of chopped green onions. At this point, the scent is a dark green sort, quite leathery, and dry. It is cool (perhaps a bit minty) but not cold -- the leather gives it considerable warmth.
    The leather recedes and combines with a dusky, round scent which is also a bit soapy. This phase is quite complex and I struggle to identify it. I feel that is benzion from the styrax with myrtle and myrrh. At times this phase seems to suggest warm rubber!
    Then, some marvelous smoky incense appears. This is a new and very pleasant phase, sadly a brief one.
    Next, a coumarin (hay) and tobacco note appears. It is more sweet and grassy, with a kind of reed-stalk-wood pith aspect. The interior of a newly-snapped twig comes to mind.
    The scent seems quite masculine to me: it is not sweet, floral or pretty. It is powerful, weighty, leathery-green. I guess in style it is a chypre.
    I like it but I am not in LOVE with it. It is an amazing scent. Perhaps it is a bit too weighty/dense for me, and a bit too sweet in the dry-down. Still, any green fan should try it.

    10th April, 2012 (Last Edited: 04 December, 2012)

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    Myrrhe et Délires by Guerlain

    I was disappointed in this. Pepper, myrrh, frankincense... should be marvelous. And for a while it was pretty good. The myrrh was very smooth, and there were hints of pepper in the background. The effect was languid and yet compelling, as myrrh can be. Then, the scent turned on me and developed a very tiresome iris-peachy-amber note. It became sweet and eventually so unpleasant that I had to wash it off... and it took four washings. Iris is not a note I particularly care for, and here it was quite nutty/powdery/sweet. Perhaps others will enjoy more of the notes but I only liked a few of them. And I never noticed a green coniferous frankincense at all.

    08 April, 2012

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    Une Ville, un Parfum : Moscow by Guerlain

    I was disappointed in this. Any scent which leads with pine needles and absinthe should deliver at least some coniferous and aromatic green notes. None to be found here. A very fruity plum and redcurrant lead the charge and don't abate. The jasmine is not particularly distinctive other than a floral sort of note. The scent settles into a fruity and white musk finish.
    Nothing distinctive, northern, wintery, or Muscovite about this, as far as I can see.

    08 April, 2012

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    Jardin du Poete by Eau d'Italie

    Revised review.
    Starts with good citrus and herbs. Quite green and refreshing, and natural in style. I wished the green citrus chord lasted longer, it is marvelous.
    Shortly thereafter, the dusky and somewhat piquant note of angelica appears. Also a somewhat hay-like note from teh helicrysum. These are supported by the grassy vetiver. A slightly soapy, meadow-like drydown.
    This is a pleasant scent, its second phase gives it substance and longevity beyond the citrus opening.

    06 April, 2012 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2014)

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    Eau d'Ikar by Sisley

    I like this a lot. It is a more powerful version of what we see in Comme des Garcons Airborne. The reason is the marvelous and distinctive mastic resin note. In this scent, observe that mastic anchors every phase (top, mid and base). This is a deliberate strategy, to profile this dusky-green note.
    The scent starts very dry, aromatic, earthy and green. It has good citrus notes at the sidelines. It is only moderately green at this point, yet is still quietly compelling.
    The scent remains very dry. How to describe the mastic I am encountering? It is sweet and yet dry, coniferous, a bit like galbanum or clary sage yet also quite distinctive in its own right.
    The mastic continues in its elusive, dusky and slightly mysterious way. It gives an elegant, powerful and restrained character.
    The ingredients are well blended and fairly seamless.
    A reed note, like the papyrus in Hermes Jardin du Nil, emerges -- fascinating! It is dry and fibrous, a brown counterpoint to the resinous green
    The carrot seed gives a bit of sweetness to all the aridity. There is also an amazing note, like a handful of grass seed (sweet, hay-like).
    A very satisfying scent for green fans!

    06 April, 2012

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    Midnight Forest by Neil Morris Fragrances

    It starts slightly sweet, aromatic and spicy -- that is the nagar motha. Quite an exotic note.
    This is not at all green. I don't get any galbanum which usually is a prominent sort of note. I'm disappointed since I think, "what is a forest if not green?"
    Definitely oriental in style: spicy and somewhat rich. Yet is has a clean/clear quality, perhaps even translucent.
    I guess the "forest" comes through the many woody notes, which are well done.
    Certainly earthy, and somewhat intriguing. The earthy note is like well-matured compost or rich soil: a pleasantly sweet and tangy note.
    Ultimately, I'm only neutral. Regardless of wood and forest-floor note, I say that a "forest" scent should have at least something green in it. Not a compelling scent in my books.

    06 April, 2012

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    1681 by Carthusia

    I have mixed feelings about this scent -- it seems a bit odd to me.
    The opening is quite peculiar. It suggests a stale, wet-cardboard note. This is followed by something like old celery leaves, or a vague herbal-artemesia chord. Then there is an odd musky, slightly sweet vanilla note.
    These all settle down into a cool, airy scent. It has slight hints of incense but is mostly a melange of woody notes. The peppery spices combine with the wood notes: sometimes creamy sandalwood, sometimes pungent cedar.
    This scent is all over the place and doesn't really work for me. The dry-down sometimes is airy, other times sweet, and sometimes a kind of toasted-nut aspect.

    03 April, 2012

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    Water by Zents

    Mild, soft, pretty. Smells like lovely, creamy soap and flowers. A young, innocent smell. I guess that the linden blossom has prominence here. Despite the floral notes it is not too sweet and it certainly is not heavy. Perhaps unisex, but I'd say aimed a female market.

    The sample card portrays the notes in this way:
    Top: coriander, linden blossom, mint
    Heart: lemon, blue camomile
    Base: --

    31st March, 2012 (Last Edited: 10th October, 2012)

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    Mykonos by Scentsational of Huntington

    This is a fresh, green scent once it settles down. Initially, it presents a jumble of notes: almond-marzipan, fig (leaf and green fruit), fruity green olive. As it resolves these, it becomes a soapy, clean sort of scent. No herbal notes that I can detect. Subtle, no spices nor woods. A bit sweet and fruity throughout. Soft, not crisp. Not quite what I was looking for, or expecting (which was something drier and more herbal).

    31st March, 2012

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    L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme Sport by Issey Miyake

    Check out the bottle -- a marvel of design. The top (lid) is supposed to be the high-performance steering wheel of a racing car. The nozzle is a highly-machined carabiner knob. The glass base is tinted within, like an expensive windshield. Do you get the picture? SPORT.
    How's the juice. Acceptable, not problematic.
    Starts with a light citrus note and a very tiny bit of woody spice. Big props for the fact that it is not sweet nor heavy. Sure it is a bit aquatic/fresh but whaddya expect from a SPORT scent? It is not disturbingly synthetic.
    In summary, it is light, inoffensive, clearly masculine in its dryness and woody notes. Perhaps that will satisfy some.

    21st March, 2012

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    Unidentified Fragrance Object / Untitled by Kenzo

    I think that it an early phase of the introduction of this scent, it had no name. Now it is known as UFO (Unidentified Fragrance Object).
    Notes: orange blossom, Bulgarian rose, frankincense, vanilla.
    I think this scent fails because of its sweetness and vanilla, which dominate the more subtle notes.
    I think the scent almost redeems itself with its good woody frankincense.
    Thus, I give it a neutral.
    It starts very sweet, yet even in the early phase I get a promising hint of woody incense. The hint is very fleeting, fighting to be detected amidst the very strong creamy-sweet top layer. Gradually, things settle down.
    It develops into a creamy, toasted-nut, woody scent. Here, it reminds me of a wet Creamsicle stick left in the hot sun.
    The scent seems sweet and fairly feminine in marketing style.
    In the distant drydown, it develops a more promising incense note -- but in comparison to the Comme des Garcons line or Heeley Cardinal it is a rather pale and attenuated version. Just neutral on it, overall.

    19 March, 2012

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