Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    Santos by Cartier

    I tried both the regular and concentrée versions of Santos. Counter-intuitively, I find that I don’t like the regular but can appreciate the concentrée. That is because of the role of patchouli and how it is treated in each version. In the regular version, patchouli dominates. Perhaps in concert with the juniper, I get a most vile scent! To me, it seems quite obnoxious. Pungent, sweet, metallic in an “airy” style, medicinal, harsh, perfumed, pongy, irritating. Tangy cheese? Something going dodgy on an aluminum plate in the hot sun? Stinky sneakers in an old gym locker? You get the picture. This one doesn’t work on my skin, folks. End of story.

    03rd September, 2008

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    Cereus pour Homme No. 11 by Cereus

    Cereus 11 notes: iced anise, gimlet, juniper berry, black pepper, platinum musk, gentle woods.
    This has a cool herbal-green opening: dry, minty, somewhat interesting. It is quite lemony at this point. I don’t get ANY pepper. Airy but not unpleasantly synthetic. I don’t get any anise/licorice, nor any aromatic piney gin-like notes from the juniper. Basically, for me this is a breezy lemon scent… barely there, irrespective of the amount applied. Nothing objectionable, except its lack of distinctiveness and its niche price.

    02nd September, 2008

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    Cereus pour Homme No. 7 by Cereus

    Cereus 7 notes
    Top: bergamot, cedar, mandarin
    Mid: “warm spices of violet and jasmine”
    Base: skin musk, worn leather, tonka bean, Australian coachwood
    The opening is fresh, with a good citrus note. Unusual to see cedar in the top note – here it is understandably light. I think the distinctive element noticed by some is due to violet leaves, which have a brisk, at times almost piercingly translucent aspect. Unclear to me whether there are actually spices in the mix or whether the spice is just the floral accord. The base is IMO a bit irritating. To my nose, the “skin musk” and “worn leather” notes are synthetic and they give me a headache.

    02nd September, 2008

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    Cereus pour Homme No. 4 by Cereus

    Cereus 4 notes: citrus, green apple, papyrus
    The opening is crisp, with lemon and Granny Smith apple notes. Then I find a very light papery-brown note that is “papyrus.” The scent is quite simple, with little depth. It is not irritating but it certainly is not compelling. And certainly not worth the niche price! IMO a more successful scent of this type is Hermes Jardin sur le Nil.

    02nd September, 2008

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    Cereus pour Homme No. 5 by Cereus

    Cereus 5 has a nice opening, with hints of green leaves, spice, and woody bark. I think it would be more interesting if greater emphasis were placed on the cardamom and licorice elements. The mid phase has an intriguing dusty quality that is difficult to describe. The spider orchid smells a bit like some day lilies, with an earthy-floral note. As well, there is a distinctive baked-goods/toasted note; at times reminiscent of apple pie. The woods are light and pleasant. This settles into a nice light lemony-vetiver scent that is clean, fresh, and a bit like a cookie. Not bad, wears well, safe, conservative. Well done but I don’t find it to be compelling… which it should be for the price.

    02nd September, 2008

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    Incanto pour Homme by Salvatore Ferragamo

    Top: Sicilian bigarade, artemesia, bamboo leaves
    Mid: Tuscan cypress, atlas cedar, bourbon geranium
    Base: Indian vetiver, white musk, Indonesian sandalwood (from SF website)
    Incanto pour Homme is a competent scent, not wildly exciting. It is a fresh, light wood: airy and simple in style. It is not spicy, sweet, or heavy. Thankfully it achieves its fresh aspect in a natural-smelling manner, without the irritating synthetic aspect one often finds in such scents. The opening has some good orange and dusky-green notes (the latter from the artemesia). The cypress could be more exciting and distinctive. The vetiver and sandalwood are quite mild. This won’t turn heads, but it is pleasant.

    28th August, 2008

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    Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

    In the 1980’s Paco Rabanne, Eau Sauvage, and Jules were the scents in my youthful repertoire. Here we are almost thirty years later, and how do things stand up? Well Eau Sauvage is a timeless classic, and I wear it with enjoyment. But curiosity got the best of me, and I decided it was time to ride the old war-horse Paco. And you know what? It is not as bad as I feared. Micro-doses of this suit today’s scentsibility. Given that, I find much to appreciate. The opening is bracing, crisp and aromatic. It has minty, pine and green notes. Then woods and spices (clove-cinnamon) emerge. The result is a soapy, barbershop vibe. The base notes are rich but not oppressive or deadly sweet… again this will be true if this has been applied in tiny spritzes. The tobacco is restrained and effective, with a brown tangy twang. In my young days I wouldn’t have recognized myrrh but I do now – it is complex, perfumed; and it gives a slightly moody and contemplative air. The dry-down is mossy and soapy; charming and close to the skin. In conclusion, this is certainly worth a try. For me it is no longer a go-to scent. But it is a pleasant blast from my past.

    21st August, 2008

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    Royall Bay Rhum by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

    Gentlemen, I have called this meeting to discuss the overlooked element in Royall Bay Rhum. That, dear colleagues, is C-L-O-V-E-S! I am not talking about a little bit of a spicy note. I am talking about a great big guy banging a huge brass gong labeled ‘cloves’ until my head hurts. I am more than a little surprised that no one has mentioned this 800-pound gorilla. One reviewer’s phrase “medicinal harshness” hints at it. Think of the infamous scene in the movie “Marathon Man” where the Laurence Oliver character (a dentist) is torturing the Dustin Hoffman character. He alternately probes an exposed tooth nerve and then applies oil of cloves, which soothes the pain. Well, here the cloves IS the pain and the torture, and it is a medicinal harshness indeed. I don’t get green bay-leaf notes, nor menthol/mint ones, nor coniferous or pine notes. Any of those would be nice. Oh, did I mention that I do get clove notes? Now, a little clove can add a charming barbershop aura to a scent, and I like some fragrances with that hint. But this is relentless, over-the-top, and a scrubber. Peace be unto those who like it, I am not among that select crew. If, as one reviewer suggests, there are worse ones than this… I shudder to contemplate such a thing.

    20th August, 2008

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    Jack Black Signature Blue Mark by Jack Black

    Fragrance notes: juniper, ginger, herbaceous thyme and vetiver
    This is a crisp, invigorating scent, in the breezy summer splash mode. Minty juniper and a very light green/woody notes are its essence. Thankfully, there are no artificial-smelling ‘fresh’ notes here – all seems natural and is satisfying. I don’t really get any ginger (mind you, I have yet to find a ginger scent that actually smells anything at all like fresh ginger). This is not a complex scent, but who cares? The price is moderate, and it is well done. If you need a nice summer splash, check it out.

    18th August, 2008

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    Jack Black Signature Black Mark by Jack Black

    Fragrance notes: Kashmir saffron, coriander, cedar, leather
    I like woody scents and this is indeed woody. The aromatic cedarwood is complimented by the spice notes. I’m a bit surprised at how woody this is – no complaints, but this definitely registers on the Richter scale of wood-dominated scents. Cedar can sometimes ‘go south’ and get obnoxious… it stays civilized here. The spices give it a bit of an old-school barbershop vibe. There is a faint hint of leather. I’m hyper-sensitive to vanilla, and I don’t get ANY of that here. I don’t find the saffron problematic, indeed on me it is just part of the spice mix. (For those interested in more prominent saffron scents, I recommend Safranier and Palisander. Zafferano… each person needs to try it.) Back to JBB, it is a cool-weather scent – not heavy or sweet, but I find it to be substantial.

    18th August, 2008

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    cK be by Calvin Klein

    This has a lovely opening, which reminds me a bit of Mugler Cologne. It’s the fresh notes and the white musk. The drydown is a bit like Worth pour Homme. That’s the sandalwood and light spices. Mildly rich, comforting and comfortable. A quiet performer, quite pleasing.

    18th August, 2008

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    Jack Black Signature Silver Mark by Jack Black

    This is a powerful scent – I wouldn’t want it to be any more assertive! It presents itself as very clean and airy, and yet also bold. Definitely masculine, since it is aromatic and dry. The opening salvo has pungent lavender, peppery spices and some green herbal notes. These move into a light wood chord. If cypress is done well, it has a pleasingly haunting quality; and that is true here. My reservation is with the patchouli. It is not sweet or heavy (thankfully), but it is pungent and creates a kind of ‘fresh’ edgy quality that sometimes is a bit tiresome to my nose. I’ll give this thumbs up, but I’m not crazy about it. Actually, now that I think about it, the spices and patchouli remind me of Rive Gauche for Men. This is very much like that, I think. They both have bollocks.

    15th August, 2008

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    Un Parfum d'Aventure by Piver

    I agree with Renato: Parfum d'Adventure is a great scent, and clearly a masculine one. This is a soft cushion of gentle spice and musk -- very satisfying! Geo. F. Trumper specializes in this sort of thing but in this, Piver gives a worthy contender. This is powerful, assertive; but it has a certain suave barbershop charm. The spices are very well done, and there are hints of good wood. Now entering the comfort zone....

    14th August, 2008

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    Just Breathe by CB I Hate Perfume

    Alleged fragrance elements: bamboo leaves, Japanese green tea, 3 types of cedarwood, incense.
    Well I have to say I’m extremely disappointed in Just Breathe. The elements sound great! But where are they? Missing in action. This starts with a sour-sweet green note that bears no resemblance to any leaf I know. The scent gets sweet, fruity and odd; like a car freshener in peach or melon scent. This has the usual CB style: slightly sweet, synthetic and freshly tangy. Something like powdered laundry detergent. No cedarwood, no incense. Don’t like. Just avoid.

    13th August, 2008

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    M1 Narcissus by CB I Hate Perfume

    Fragrance elements: narcissus, clean running water over mossy stones, wind blowing through green leaves…
    M#1 Narcissus is a nice scent, the first CB I’ve tried that I like. It has attractive green-leaf notes that remind me of Bond No. 9 Gramercy Park, but are not as subtle. There are some lovely flowers. I don’t know what narcissus smells like but there is a combination of lily of the valley, iris, and sweet pea. This is interesting, not sweet, somewhat haunting in style. Because it is so floral it is not quite my style, but I can appreciate it.

    13th August, 2008

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    Black Diamond by Canali

    Revised my previous review, upgraded to neutral.
    Like all the Canali scents I've tried, this is very smooth and has a complex list of ingredients.
    Props to the mid notes: an excellent array of beautiful floral notes. Commendation to the jasmine which is gorgeous and the violet which ads a pleasant yet restrained silvery-bright note.
    Dry-down (predictably) gets sweet and musky.
    The fruit notes are not prominent, I don't really notice them.
    Not my style, but it is OK.

    12th August, 2008 (Last Edited: 07th January, 2011)

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    Zafferano by Odori

    Italian saffron, raspberry flowers, wild rose petals, Moroccan jasmine, lily of the valley, rosewood, golden oriental amber… (and oud?)
    Zafferano was quite a surprise. I was expecting a dusky-woody scent, from the combination of saffron and woods. What I got was an oud-like blast of considerable proportions! Oud is not listed as an element, and some have speculated that the saffron has been done in an “iodized” style. Perhaps. Or perhaps oud is a mystery element. Whatever the explanation – be ready for the quirky, tangy-pungent, bug-spray qualities of oud. The opening is spicy and earthy, with a bit of sweet hay (from the saffron). But quickly there are perky, rubbery notes hovering in the background. These almost seem like a green fern-moss note. As far as florals go, jasmine seems to dominate, rather than rose. The cedar is done in a bright, medicinal style (rather than woody). This is a very bright, almost astringent scent. At times it reminds me of Arlington by Harris. A lean sort of oriental scent – if that classification is appropriate. The amber is very light, like a tangy yet restrained patchouli. The drydown is acidic and unusual. Bottom line: this is such a different sort of scent that each person should try it and see how it works on his/her own skin. On me, something like oud was the major element.

    11th August, 2008

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    Sutra Ylang by Bois 1920

    Top: lemon, bergamot, cardamom, laurel
    Mid: rose, jasmine, violet, lily of the valley, carnation
    Base: sandalwood, cedarwood, moss, benzoin.
    Sutra Ylang is a distinctive scent! I find that violet dominates (leaves + blossoms). This combination is brisk and piercing, yet also flowery and powdery. In my opinion violet is an acquired taste. I find that I now can appreciate it; formerly I didn’t understand it nor like it. Sutra Ylang has a good opening. There is citrus, spice, and a fine green note from the laurel. I appreciate the latter. Lovely florals (rose, jasmine, lily of the valley) are set against the restrained yet powerful violet. The effect is haunting and memorable. In the dry-down; the citrus persists (unusual!), the wood gets tangy, and eventually the violet and benzoin combine in a powdery-sweet sustained note. I lose interest in the later stages of the dry-down, but up ‘til then I enjoyed this.

    11th August, 2008

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    Eau de Cologne by Geo F Trumper

    Neroli, lemon, bergamot, rosemary.
    This is a lovely scent, in the typical and classic Cologne style (namely fresh citrus). The distinctive feature here is a gorgeous neroli note which gives depth. No surprises here – if you know R&G’s Extra Vielle or Dior’s Eau Sauvage then you get the picture. This sort of scent is suave, classy, and has rightfully been popular for centuries. The longevity is good for a citrus scent.

    11th August, 2008

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    Extract of West Indian Limes by Geo F Trumper

    Limes! That’s it, just limes. They are green, zesty-fresh, natural. This is a wonderful, refreshing tonic splash. It is very short-lived, and that is to be expected. Citrus oils are (by nature) volatile and brief, and this scent doesn’t have any base notes which would prolong or develop. In other words, it is what it is. Splash it on and enjoy the brief experience. Half an hour later do it again, or put something else on – it will layer with anything. Indeed, ‘layer’ is an over-statement. In a half-hour, you just have your skin (but nice-smelling).

    11th August, 2008

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    Tabacco by Odori

    This is gorgeous. Honeyed vanilla notes with tobacco are not my style, and yet I find much to appreciate here. The opening notes, although sweet, are not cloying. The impression is of a sweetly-scented tin of pipe tobacco that has just been opened. This is a very attractive, even sexy scent. The tobacco leaves are restrained and give a beautiful brown-leaf tang. Moving into its development, the scent displays luxurious incense and jasmine. The incense reminds me of myrrh, another sweet and perfumed aspect. Vetiver is mellow rather than grassy. So I have to say this is one of the best scents in the tobacco family that I’ve ever encountered. It is classy and compelling. My problem is that vanilla and tobacco just get sweeter and more opulent on my skin, and after an hour I grow weary of them. But this is truly a lovely scent, and I’d enjoy a romp with a lovely woman wearing it. So, a neutral vote but still appreciative.

    06th August, 2008

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    Vetiver Ambrato by Bois 1920

    Top: bergamot, lemon, petitgrain, cloves, geranium, artemesia
    Mid: patchouli, lavender, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood
    Base: tobacco leaves, musk, amber, vanilla, benzoin, labdanum, galbanum
    The citrus is absolutely invisible in the opening. I get rich and spicy cloves, and a bit of green artemesia. Then appear some good smoky and tangy notes of vetiver and lavender. I find this phase to be excellent. Then the vetiver reaches down and shakes hands with the amber. I’m not a fan of vanilla, amber or tobacco leaf. However, they are well done here, not excessive or cloying. This one is not my style, but I can appreciate it. Perhaps it is more suitable for a woman, in fact I think it would be quite attractive on the right woman. The dry-down is excellent, I appreciate the hint of dry and dusky-green galbanum.

    06th August, 2008

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    Sandalwood Cologne by Geo F Trumper

    The lemon-spice opening is pretty good. Lovely rich florals give this depth. The sandalwood starts off woody and tangy, and with the other ingredients it intially makes a dignified statement. But then the heavies (amber, leather, patchouli and particularly vanilla) kick in and highjack the scent. Where did the sandalwood go? This winds up creamy and luxurious, quite sweet and perfumed. Loads and loads of vanilla give this a foody sort of profile. Not my style at all. For the complete opposite – a lean, woody, austere sandalwood – try Santal by Melvita in its Soliflore line. That can be hard to find but is is worth the effort, I never grow tired of it. Whereas this Trumpers is a scrubber for me. A shame, because I love pretty much all of the ‘historical’ Trumper scents. But the modern ones don’t have the same character: perhaps in an attempt to have a unisex scent some of the masculine assertive flair has been lost.

    06th August, 2008

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    Gli Odori by Odori

    Well, I’m disappointed in Gli Odori. I love herbal scents, and the product descriptions of little pots of herbs in the sunny streets of Florence sounded so nice. The opening is great: herbal, fresh and green, even a bit piquant. There is also a bit of peppery nutmeg spice, and woody pencil shavings from the cedar. The cedar and sandalwood bring out a citrus note that is also pleasing. Then, the whole thing goes south on me! The celery seed combines aggressively with the cedarwood and I get a STRONG cumin pong that just gets bigger and more obnoxious as time goes on. I’m not against cumin-like scents, Trumper’s Eucris for example has a nice little pinch of it. But it is just way too much here. Out of interest, I compared Gli Odori with MPG’s Grain de Plaisir – what a difference. Admittedly, celery seed is the ‘point’ of Grain (whereas it should only be a background element in Gli Odori); yet in Grain it stays as celery seed (slightly sweet, aromatic, nutty and celery-like). Grain is much finer scent in my opinion. Can’t register a positive for Gli, unfortunately. I'll be interested if others have the same impression.

    05th August, 2008

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    Under The Arbor by CB I Hate Perfume

    Fragrance elements: grape leaves, weathered wood, green moss, cool earth.
    Under the Arbor – a lovely name, memory, concept. I’d love to sit in a pergola or arbor on a hot summer day and smell the above wonderful things. However, I’m underwhelmed by this scent. It is slightly green (sappy, vinous) and has a somewhat innocent mood. Fairly sweet and floral; young flowers I’d say. There is a fresh and cool note, mint-like. But the latter becomes another example of the irritating fresh notes in many of today’s scents. Whatever the grape leaves are supposed to be, to me they smell like grape Kool-Aid powder, or a tin of grape soda-pop with a mint lifesaver dissolved in it. Moss? Pretty subdued. Wood? Can’t find any.

    05th August, 2008

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    Real Patchouly by Bois 1920

    Top: celery, mandarin orange, thyme, davana, cedarwood
    Mid: patchouli, sandalwood, eucalyptus, incense
    Base: tobacco leaves, musk, vanilla, benzoin, labdanum
    The first half of Real Patchouly is excellent. It has a wonderfully dry resin-incense note, freshened by a bit of eucalyptus. The woods are woody and well done. So far this ranks with Bois d’Encens or Bois d’Orage. Then the sweet and rich notes of tobacco leaves, amber and vanilla kick in. The scent gets bigger, browner and heavier and I like it less and less. The final dry-down is quite ambery and vanilla-laden; a true oriental style of fragrance. I guess if you like amber and vanilla you’ll like this; but I don’t. I vote 'neutral' because of the fine first half.

    05th August, 2008

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    Winter 1972 by CB I Hate Perfume

    Fragrance elements: snow, woolen mittens, frozen forest.
    Winter 1972. Fresh, entirely synthetic. Not attractive to me at all. Odd, frosty, no ‘warmth’. Like smelling blasts of air from a freezer. I understand this is a wintery scent... but sheesh. At times a whiff of something like coriander – the only interesting thing there but a bit too sweet. It has poor longevity, in this case a blessing. I’m sorry to be so negative, but I find this to be vacuous and irritating. It makes my nose sore.

    05th August, 2008

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    Mr. Hulot's Holiday by CB I Hate Perfume

    Fragrance elements: marine, salty breeze, driftwood, rocks covered in seaweed, old leather suitcases.
    Mr. Hulot’s Holiday – a charming French movie, full of wry observations of human nature and great physical comedy, all conveyed wordlessly. I guess this scent is an homage to the movie, but I too am not a fan of this family of scents. It is an airy, breezy, fresh scent. What I find in many scents of this family is certainly what I find here: a synthetic, detergent-like note that gets colder and more irritating as time goes on. This is an OK scent, but in my opinion nothing special. Its chief virtue is that it is somewhat less irritating than others. Don’t get any green seaweed, old wood, or leather notes here. Just fresh, fresh, fresh. My nose is getting weary of all the freshness.

    05th August, 2008

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    Classic 1920 by Bois 1920

    Top: bergamot, pepper, nutmeg, basil, juniper
    Mid: rose, jasmine, osmanthus, cedar, apricot, lavender, black pepper
    Base: amber, vetiver, musk, tobacco leaves, thyme
    Classic 1920 has a marvelous opening. It is spicy-green, aromatic, invigorating and quite charming. This is the best part of the scent, in my opinion. The scent then opens up and mellows with the appearance of the floral notes and light woods. The base is where I lose interest. I’ve never been a fan of tobacco-leaf scents. I understand the rich, sweet brown note but it doesn't work on me. The amber-musk notes add other rich and sweet notes. I don’t get any of the vetiver or thyme notes. So I’ll be neutral on this one, but I admit it is a classy and lovely scent that will appeal to many.

    28th July, 2008

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    Sandalo e The by Bois 1920

    Top: tea leaves, cumin, lemon, orange, rosemary, lavender
    Mid: rose, jasmine, hyacinth, geranium, cedar wood, sandalwood, patchouli
    Base: myrrh, tobacco leaves
    Sandalo e The is a complex, difficult-to-categorize scent… indeed an “odd duck.” I think part of the issue is how it reacts on male skin (judging from the reviews so far). On me, the particularly ‘male’ fragrance notes are accentuated (cumin, wood, and tobacco leaf). I wonder how this scent would be on a woman? The opening is very aromatic and quite interesting. The first time I tried this I got cumin, cumin, more cumin. That is the sweaty spice mentioned in the review below. The cumin circles around and reappears in every phase of this scent. Smoky lavender adds to the forceful entry. Then there is a woody middle phase. I got more cedar than sandalwood, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t get any florals the first time I tried it. The second time, my nose was accustomed to the barrage and I could detect nice floral notes, which are brief and frankly overwhelmed by the more powerful notes. In the base, myrrh is dominant. It is heady-sweet, perfumed and rich. The tobacco leaves are sweet, brown and tangy. The myrrh-tobacco chord grows and grows, and finally moves into a languidly sweet drydown. This is an interesting scent, but where’s the tea leaves and sandalwood? I like the aromatic, bold qualities, but in the end find it too sweet to suit me. But give it a try, it is different!

    25th July, 2008

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