Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
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    Boss The Collection: Cotton Verbena by Hugo Boss

    Quite an intriguing scent. I find it to be in two phases.
    1. Excellent verbena. Typical lemon - fresh basil - baked bread. A very refreshing citrus scent at this point. Natural-smelling and enjoyable.
    2. A quick morph into a rather substantial spicy-moss scent. Earthy vetiver. Smoky notes and a hint of something like tobacco leaf. As this develops, the chord seems like a kinder, gentler "dirty ashtray" note which I also find to a heightened extent in Tom Ford Tuscan Cypress. I like that note better here, it is under control.

    18th December, 2014 (Last Edited: 31st December, 2014)

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    Eau de Cade by L'Occitane

    A reasonably good scent. It has the distinctive cade aura -- slightly sweet, smoky, a bit coniferous. Wood floating around in the background. I find this to be a somewhat dense scent, and powerful. It has attractive moments but doesn't quite suit me. Nothing wrong with it, I just am so-so on cade as a note.

    18th December, 2014

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    Boss The Collection: Silk Jasmine by Hugo Boss

    Hey, I hadn't expected to appreciate this at all. Looking at the notes, I thought it would be too sweet and foody.
    In style, this is a powerful old-school fougere. A bit feminine in presentation, but some guys might appreciate it. A ferny spice (despite no oak moss being listed).
    I find it extremely powerful. Delicate??? Not to me.
    Everything is well blended. Very sweet and rich -- so if this style appeals to you, go for it.

    17th December, 2014

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    Hadrien Absolu by Annick Goutal

    This is now marketed as "Eau D'Hadrien Eau de Parfum".
    I know and love the original. To me, it truly conjures up an image of a Tuscan countryside, or a garrigue-style chord of citrus and scrubby herbs and bracing conifers. I was looking forward to a more intense or developed version of that.
    What I found was a very pleasant lemon scent. The lemon notes are superb: brighter, zestier, more energetic than in the original. Also commendable is the length of time these notes sustain. Gradually they develop a slightly soapy aspect which is OK, and the scent becomes very smooth.
    But where is the utterly distinctive cypress note of the original? That note makes the original quite unique, there is nothing else like it on the market. It is a haunting note, woody, dusky and yet a bit like celery leaf (in a good way). I don't get that here.
    To smooth out the elements is not, in my opinion, a compelling development.
    Nothing wrong with this scent, but not an improvement over the original, in my opinion.

    16th December, 2014

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    Almost Transparent Blue by A Lab on Fire

    Don't care for this. Aquatic, sweet, young. Very little citrus that I can detect. Soapy-fresh. Some would find this pleasant for a while, for me it quickly becomes irritating. Where is the wood? Settles into a sweet musk, at which point (about 10 minutes in) I scrub it off.

    15th December, 2014

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    Terre d'Hermès Parfum by Hermès

    As others have noted, this is a smoother, richer, deeper version of TdH.
    I really get a pink grapefruit note in the opening. The mineral note is much slower to emerge and is less crisp for a long time. The dry-down is very similar, except that the mineral note is a bit more sea-side (salty breeze) than earthy. A good scent, but I like the original better -- brighter, crisper, more refreshing. When I want TdH those are the things I seek.

    15th December, 2014

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    Armani Eau d'Arômes by Giorgio Armani

    This is a nice, summery scent. Light, translucent, dry, smooth, classy.
    Doesn't have a big profile or make an original statement but it is much better than many of the current offerings.
    Opens with tangy bergamot and crisp citrus notes. Followed by peppery spice notes. The mid and base notes are well blended and satisfying. The dry-down is a bit spicy, soapy, with hints of vetiver and an earthy-leather note.

    13th December, 2014

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    Pine Gems Essence by Silvestre

    Point of reference -- the original 1955 Pino Silvestre. Here's the blurb for the original.
    "Pino Silvestre Original was presented in 1955, as a fougère composition. This perfume still seduces with its refreshing, clear notes and its authentic bottle design. It was designed by Lino Vidal, who brought a handful of freshness and sweetness of bergamot, lavender, basil, shiny lemon and juniper berries in the top notes. The heart carries an explosion of spicy notes of carnation, nutmeg, geranium, thyme and fir tree. The base contains accords of amber, cedar, musk, Tonka beans and moss."

    Pine Gems Essence promises to take the original formula and ramp it up in terms of quality. Absolutes are used, in particular bergamot and lavender.
    So what do we have here? A lovely, higher quality version of the good old basic.
    The increase in quality is real, not just puffery. The scent is smoother, perhaps a bit less harshly herbal. A bit more coniferous in the early stages. Richer, more balsamic, at times a bit sweeter but not problematic. The dry-down is excellent. Hitherto unseen elements emerge, like a smoky and woody note. Wears very well.
    Fans of the basic should check this out. Hard to find in North America, sadly.

    10th December, 2014

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    Jasmin Tabac by Evocative Perfumes

    A somewhat good scent. Much too dense and sweet to suit me, but it has a few interesting qualities.
    Starts with lemon and bergamot. The florals are rich, heady, and substantial. Lovely.
    Then there is the pipe tobacco note. This is really well done, one of the best tobacco notes I've encountered. It is aromatic, intriguing, substantial and not as sweet as the other elements. Alas, it is too brief. The musk is incredibly sweet and dense, and I very quickly find it tiresome. A bit like a synthetic chocolate note -- not at all my style.
    I wish I could isolate that tobacco note... it is very good.

    02nd December, 2014

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    Ginger Zest de Citron by PK Perfumes

    This one does not work for me at all!
    I had hoped it would either be Ginger Zest // de Citron or Ginger // Zest de Citron. Either would have been fine.
    However, I find that the admirable list of citrus notes barely registers.
    I don't see "ginger" listed as a note. Rather, there is "curry spices." This is the great problem for me, because what I get is not ginger but turmeric and a veritable ton of it. After a while, that turmeric-curry note utterly dominates and gets tiresome.
    Briefly, at the beginning, the scent was OK and even intriguing. The florals were pleasant and not too sweet. I got hints of leather and a kind of medicinal note.
    But, as I said, the curry note on my skin just dominated and made the scent unwearable.

    01st December, 2014

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    Olibanum by Evocative Perfumes

    This is an excellent scent.
    It has a very grassy green opening. As the notes develop, they are dry, bracing, energetic, resinous, and austere. This is a style I really enjoy. The scent is translucent, not heavy and thus I find it quite enjoyable. The frankincense is lemony and coniferous. The dry-down has green moss, coumarin (hay) and a small amount of grassy vetiver. About mid-point, I caught a whiff of the ash note. That gave a quiet, contemplative aspect to the scent.
    My slight caveat is that I can only obtain this in the oil-based version. I find that oil-based scents tend to be more languid and smooth than their alcohol-based counterparts. I really like crisp scents in which the notes are distinct and "pop". I am sure that the alcohol version of this would be outstanding.

    30th November, 2014

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    Siberian Fir by Evocative Perfumes

    This is a lovely scent and certainly a Conehead delight.
    Woody, sappy, resinous. Well-executed coniferous notes.
    Dark green in style. According to the designer, the scent is not intended to be "bright, fresh and clean." I agree. It is a dark, rich, substantial take on wood notes. It bears a great similarity to Slumberhouse (especially Norne) but is smoother and less quirky. Very natural-smelling throughout. The dry-down is hay-like and balsamic, and a bit sweet.
    My ideal scent of this sort would be bracing and fresh. Thus, I admire this scent but it gets 4 rather than 5/5 on my scale. But it is very high quality and certainly worth investigating.

    30th November, 2014

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    Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

    Not bad! How have I missed trying this one out, with all these pine-y notes? Has a herbal-green opening, reasonably dry character with only a slight "fresh" (perhaps synthetic) aspect. A scent of the '80s but not heavy-handed. Not a lot of conifers but a little bit. The mossy-patchouli dry-down is typical of the time.

    14th November, 2014

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    Cafe Diem by PK Perfumes

    This is a very nice scent. I don't usually like scents with food notes, but this is very well done. Starts with accurate sage and wormwood herbal notes. Subtle dry spices develop, mostly of a peppery nature. The cinnamon is well blended (thankfully) and is not a strong note. Attractive resins from the cypress, olibanum, and incense base. The dry aspects are counterbalanced by some opulent boozy notes of the absinthe and smokey whisky. The vanilla is not problematic at all (thankfully). Almost a leather note at times in the dry-down. Pleasant woods emerge from time to time. Incense notes develop in the later dry-down. Well done!

    10th November, 2014

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    Velvet Curaçao by PK Perfumes

    I'm perplexed by this one. Nothing unpleasant about it, but quite different from what I expected. Based on the name and listed notes, I was expecting an orange or orange blossom scent. This is not that.
    Starts with a floral-green chord. No neroli or any orange that I can detect. Florals are gardenia with a bit of violet. Something like coconut (briefly), something like peach or pear (intermittently). Some wood in the dry-down.
    A pleasant, woody-peach sort of scent. Not really my style. I had hoped for lovely orange blossom, which I enjoy.

    08th November, 2014

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    Pentecost by PK Perfumes

    This is an astonishingly beautiful scent, centred on rose and jasmine. The opening is a bit green and conveys an image of a green rose, which slowly deepens into a red hue. The floral notes are very attractive and natural. They are substantial but not heavy, sweet or cloying. Perhaps the birch leaf adds to a green-leafy note at the beginning. Perhaps the myrrh deepens and develops the floral notes. I don't get incense as a separate element, nor sandalwood. Overall, the scent is well blended and subtle. At times there is something like peach or apricot in the dry-down, but that too is very pleasant. Arguably more of interest to the female market, but it is dry enough to suit some men.

    07th November, 2014

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    Ere by PK Perfumes

    The list of notes alone is quite intriguing. I had to do research on some of these elements. Even before trying the scent, I had the impression of something in the Juniper Ridge Backpack line, or the offerings of Slumberhouse. That impression was correct, this scent stands comfortably in that continuum.

    This is a very fine scent. It starts with a lovely green note from the galbanum. Quickly, it picks up a prominent resinous mastic note (very much like what is in Sisley's Eau d'Ikar), followed by some conifers. The scent is dry, aromatic, completely "natural" in style. Less aggressive than Juniper Ridge, less quirky-powerful than some of Slumberhouse -- arguably good qualities that will result in wider acceptance. Immortelle, with its celery-leaf/bacon note, appears. Hay notes, even a slight "barnyard" aspect (in a pleasant way) also emerge. Quite a complex and subtle scent. Many sorts of green notes are at play: herbal, garrigue, scrubby shrub, conifer, resin, hay/grass.

    In the dry-down, I find a rich tobacco leaf note, slightly sweet. As well, there are continued grassy, hay, moss sorts of notes. Conveys the image of an open field.

    My one caveat (predictable for me, I suppose) is that I wish there were more pronounced and sustained conifers. They are (for me) a rather minor and brief note in a large scent panorama. Still, this is a great scent.

    06th November, 2014

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    No. 19 by Chanel

    I own a small amount of vintage juice from the 1980's. What a marvelous scent! As a dry chypre, it is quite suitable for a man to wear.
    The signature green note of No. 19 is announced through galbanum, which adds a nice touch to the citrus opening. Among the floral notes, rose and iris are prominent, but all the florals are very attractive in the mix. Never sweet. Restrained and dry, with hints of wood. Very elegant and classy. Dry-down has lovely light musk, salty-minty moss and hints of leather. Yet I must stress that the scent is never heavy or dense, and wears very well through the day.

    03rd November, 2014

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    Pharrell Williams GIRL by Comme des Garçons

    CdG goes mainstream -- in both style and distribution. Is this a good thing? I leave that for others to debate.
    This is a pleasant scent, well thought-out and executed. Lavender, violet and iris are a sensible combination. Those notes are complimentary. The fresh herbal qualities of lavender brighten the somber quiet violet and the earthy, somewhat fleshy iris.
    Here, violet is the centre of the scent. I get little lavender, unless it was the very very brief soapy fresh note which burst like a firework at the very beginning. There is peppery spice and only mere hints of wood. The dry-down reveals a slightly sweet patchouli (not my favourite note) but that quickly settles down into a smooth, pleasant chord.
    An attractive scent in the mainstream. Despite the name, easily worn by a man. Not too sweet and not heavy if applied lightly.

    19th October, 2014

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    Knot by Bottega Veneta

    This has a beautiful opening of orange blossom and other floral notes, framed by a hint of green citrus. This phase should last longer but it is very brief.
    The scent shifts gears abruptly into a light skin musk, with a hint of leathery iris.
    That's about all there is to say. A pleasant scent.

    13th October, 2014

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    Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile by Acqua di Parma

    Sweet florals and a sort of spicy note. Pleasant and pretty. The violet gives it a grey, almost aquatic note. Rather round and plump. Disappointed that the rose notes are not more prominent. Finishes with a hint of wood and amber.
    Plus point: not heavy, not too sweet.
    Minus point: where's the rose?

    19th September, 2014

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    My Burberry by Burberry

    Interesting.
    An aquatic green floral. At times sweet, at times metallic-dry.
    Pleasant, slightly unusual in profile.
    I feel it is aimed at a feminine market but I suppose some guys might like wearing it.
    It isn't excessively sweet or pretty, and it has an intriguing green note, sort of like the rind of a melon.
    Earthy tones from the patchouli.
    Rose notes are not typically rosy. A rather odd, very green sort of rose. No heady romance here.
    I think this would start to get tiresome on my skin (saying this after 5 minutes of wear).
    Not my style.

    18th September, 2014

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    Armani Privé Encens Satin by Giorgio Armani

    I like some of the AP line but not this one!
    It is so intensely sweet and heavy that it sets my teeth on edge and gives me a headache.
    Starts with an odd, wet-cardboard note. Some potentially interesting green notes but they are too brief. Then that wretched sweetness takes over. I've worn it for two hours and that was an endurance test. Scrub-ho!

    14th September, 2014

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    Perfume Calligraphy Saffron by Aramis

    Here's an oriental I can appreciate! I often find them too sweet and heavy for my taste, however worthy they may be. This is a good oud - saffron - rose blend, a truly classic combination. Dusky from the saffron, floral from the rose, bright from the oud. Well constructed: the scent has a translucent quality. The notes are substantial but not cloying, and the scent is not sweet. Classy, in my opinion. Hints of leather and smoke, often found in oud, along with that compellingly-distinctive rubber note. Quite intriguing overall, and a good introduction to oud for those unfamiliar to it.

    03rd September, 2014

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    1954 for Women by Fossil

    Very sweet. Metallic / fruit combo, like tinned fruit cocktail. Then it develops a really unpleasant toasted-nut note -- I've encountered it before and have no idea what it is.
    Not glamorous, not pretty, not cheerful, certainly not natural. Bleh.

    03rd September, 2014

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    1954 for Men by Fossil

    Smells like a hundred other mainstream current men's scents: fresh, sweet, generic. A vague sort of aquatic scent; odd given the classy Scotch-style bottle it comes in. No distinctive citrus, spice, herbal or wood notes. Headache-inducing if over-applied. Why would Fossil bother making this? Doesn't add anything to the bloated market of this sort of scent.

    03rd September, 2014

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    Worth Pour Homme Haute Concentration by Worth

    This is an amazing scent! I was fortunate to acquire a vintage bottle. It comes in the red and blue paisley box. The bottle is a square column with scalloped ridges.
    The notes of this are similar to Worth PH -- the only real addition is more conifer (fir in the base). But the style of Haute Concentration is definitely of another time. The mosses (not listed) give a real old-school heft, and they give the dry-down that languid, romantic aura which cannot be replicated with synthetic moss substitutes. The depth and clarity of the notes here make the regular (or reformulated) Worth PH seem shallow in comparison.
    I submit that this *IS* a stronger, more substantial version of Worth PH.

    01st September, 2014 (Last Edited: 08th October, 2014)

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    1932 by Chanel

    Pretty, fresh, feminine.
    The aldehydes give this a great potency which, for a while, makes all the elements bounce around like balls in a bingo cage.
    Eventually, the scent settles (surprisingly) into a pretty good rendering of lilac.
    Overall, the scent is too sweet, floral and pretty to interest me.
    It seems a bit one-dimensional to me, not worthy of the Exclusive label in Chanel.
    It is OK in and of itself, but not in the upper tier of scents from this label. Perhaps a bit synthetic in tone overall.

    08th August, 2014

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    Cuir de Russie by Chanel

    Elegant scent, very classy and unisex. I am not a leather fan but I find this to be nice. Everything is substantial yet restrained, and (as others have said) in perfect balance. Definitely not heavy, sweet, or cloying.
    The scent is in an an attractive evening style, sophisticated and alluring. I hadn't expect to like this but I do!

    04th August, 2014 (Last Edited: 09th August, 2014)

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    Blue Santal by Comme des Garçons

    A bright, very cool sandalwood. The intended effect is to have icy notes contrasting with the warm wood -- a shimmering effect sometimes called moiré. It succeeds.
    Ultimately, I find this to be an attractive but somewhat simple cool-wood scent. But, it has very good wood notes and the "cool" is not a screechy synthetic.

    04th August, 2014 (Last Edited: 03rd August, 2014)

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