Reviews

Reviews by odysseusm

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Wood Sage & Sea Salt by Jo Malone

When its good there isn't enough of it, and when its bad there's too much.
The citrus and sage is green and refreshing but VERY faint.
For a long time, the scent develops an odd, buttery smell. Sort of like movie popcorn with the "butter" topping. I don't care for it.
The base is really blah. A vague, soapy-detergent smell.
04th May, 2015

Rock the Ages : Birch & Black Pepper by Jo Malone

I'm not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, I appreciate its dry, woody tone. On the other hand, the wood note has an aspect that I can't quite understand.
The scent is very peppery, quite woody, and dry. It is translucent and sheer, yet at the same time substantial. Like many JM scents, it is meant to be layered or worn in combination with others of their line, and to add a particular note (here, wood and pepper) to the mix. So far, so good.
But that woody note is a bit odd. At times it reminds me of freshly-laundered towels, warm out of the drier, at other times fresh white paper. Still other times it has a slightly sweet spicy note like cardamom or even the chord known as cashmere. Unusual, and slightly "fresh."
Perhaps this all is the birch. I'd say this is not birch tar, which typically has a very heavy, smoky note. Perhaps it is birch sap. But it doesn't have the lemony tang we see in Cartier's Declaration.
Good longevity.
27th April, 2015

Eau de Cartier : Vétiver Bleu by Cartier

Starts off very sweet and fairly spicy. Too sweet for me. The vetiver is quite forceful and has longevity.
I find something a bit synthetic here. Wouldn't have guess liquorice was in the notes, I thought of a kind of berry-fruit note. Similarly, the mint is more in the fresh/aquatic vein than the green-leafy. Not a terrible scent, just so-so.
26th April, 2015

Wald by Euphorium Brooklyn

This is an intriguing and very complex scent. I note different things in it each time I try it. I don't find it bottle-worthy, but that is a matter of my personal taste. It is an attractive and well-crafted scent.
The juice is a brilliant emerald green, and has a viscous quality (at least that is the case for what's in the little sample vial).
I find three different phases.
1. Woodsy, coniferous, forest-floor. A dark green scent to match the colour of the juice. Mint and conifer notes, even something like eucalyptus. Rather camphoraceous. Frankincense-green and resinous. Ahhh, if the scent would only stay at this phase I'd be delighted.
2. Gradually the scent shifts. First, the brisk notes smooth out. Complex and shifting notes emerge, like a Kaleidoscope. Artemesia (nutty celery leaf, minty). Maple syrup (a bit rich and honeyed). Cool notes, slightly sweet and earthy.
3. The scent settles into a smoky-leather foundation. Somewhat animalic, a bit macho or at least very self-assured. A beautiful leather-smoke note, reminding me of Dior's Jules. And here is my challenge. I can appreciate the chord, but I am not suited to leather scents. I grow tired of them and they don't suit me.
Still, there is much to appreciate here.
23rd April, 2015

Anabasis by Apoteker Tepe

Just neutral on this. It should be much more than it is. The blurb on the AT website says, "Our Anabasis is adventurous and mysterious, bringing the scent of Eastern herbs wafting through a forest of cedar and pine." So I was expecting a garrigue style scent, lovely herbs mixed with coniferous notes.
This is an adequate and very restrained incense-wood scent. That's it. It unfolds in three distinct stages.
1. Citrus and very light herbs. Pleasant but astonishingly brief, 2-3 seconds. The citrus barely registers and the herbs are feeble.
2. Woody notes. These shift, at times pleasant and at other times like wet particleboard. A bit of mint gives a soapy, slightly fresh aspect here. Not like toothpaste, thankfully. No pine in sight.
3. Light musk and woody incense. The best part of a rather weak offering. This is incense for the timid and shy. Sits very close to the skin. Very faint, despite several applications.
16th April, 2015

Bowmakers by D.S. & Durga

Lovely, superb! A wood-lover's delight.
Great wood and resinous notes. Dry but smooth, very pleasant to wear.
A treasure chest of wood notes, and quite focused in that regard. Some conifers appear (likely from the cypress) and these are bright and energizing. Like CdG Hinoki but not as austerely challenging. Bit of a rubber note, typical of some cedar (e.g., Siskyou). Some moss along with the wood in the dry-down.
Exceeded my recommendations. Recommended.
14th April, 2015

Tobacco Oud by Tom Ford

If you like the tobacco note and scents on the sweet side, you should give this a try.
On me, the tobacco leaf dominates the oud -- no mean feat. I'm not a particular fan of tobacco but I can see that this is a very fine note for its type. The oud is strictly secondary and doesn't last long. The scent is quite sweet, with the coumarin adding its usual honeyed, hay-like note. Hint of wood but nothing substantial.
Not a bad scent. If it could have been less sweet I might have even found it intriguing. And a bit more oud would have given it oomph.
A rather safe, not particularly daring rendering.
12th April, 2015

Champaca Absolute by Tom Ford

An amiable floral. Rose leads the pack, with other flowers of indeterminate type. Hint of soapiness. Not overtly sweet or heavy. In fact, I found it rather restrained, and therefore not especially noteworthy.
12th April, 2015

Winter by Dasein

Disappointment.
Why? On me, the cardamom dominates and wipes out the coniferous and lavender notes. Caradmom is a nice, aromatic spice in itself. But it wasn't why I sought out this scent. The note gives a foody aspect. And this I find a bit hackneyed -- it is possible to walk through a cool forest without munching on Christmas cake.
Conifers are brief, acceptable but not outstanding. Lavender is also acceptably camphoraceous but that too is brief.
The scent is not terrible, it is cool and spicy at the same time.
It has no suggestion of anything green in it.
12th April, 2015

Chypre Mousse (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

In my opinion, a disaster.
Looking at the notes, I expected an amazing, green, herbal brew. I thought some of the end notes might evoke a Sienne En Hiver vibe.
Nope.
Soapy, plasticine, sweet, chocolate.
Not green in any sense, form, or aspect.
The chestnut does emerge, and a hint of leather.
Seems to evoke a strange, artificial, alien aura -- nothing of the natural world here.
Unpleasant to wear at the beginning, and it gets sweeter and weirder as the moments tick by. Scrubbed it off.
11th April, 2015

Relique d'Amour (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

I admire the lyricism of the reviews to date. My impressions are more prosaic.

First, and problematically -- I get NO pine, incense, woods or pepper. None. Thus, much of my interest in the scent takes a left turn.

Second, what I do get is a beautiful lily scent. As others have noted, it is quite realistic and rather charming. Certainly the scent is feminine in style.
It starts with a nanosecond of herbs. The lily note is a clean, white floral, a bit soapy. Charming and spring-like, I don't see anything melancholy here. The scent is young in style.
"Cold stones"? Maybe. Or perhaps a cool, powdery and somewhat soapy chord, like Ivory bar soap.
"Waxed wood"? Emphasis is on the wax.
So if you want a charming, spring-like lily scent, this is for you. Sits close to the skin.
10th April, 2015

Silvan by Rouge Bunny Rouge

This gets a neutral because (for me) it is just ok, not compelling.
Citrus/pepper and wood/incense quickly appear, pretty much simultaneously. A bit smoky once in while, but only a bit. It is a pleasant woody-incense scent, though in my opinion not green in any sense. So the name "Silvan" refers to a woody forest, not a green forest. The scent is very mild and restrained -- light incense, light pepper. Nothing to offend here, but nothing particularly new or striking. A good, basic scent. And some may not want anything more powerful, so for those I say check it out.
09th April, 2015

L'Eau du Caporal by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I can compare the recent re-issue with the vintage version.

NEW - Starts with good citrus note, quickly moves to herbal (like tarragon, marjoram) and minty notes. The mint is well done, not like toothpast or peppermint candy. Rather, it is green, leafy, with a hint of lemon zest and rather herbal in style. Cool, even a bit camphor-like, the latter could be from the lavender. Very refreshing. Hints of grassy vetiver and salty oakmoss appear. Dry (not sweet), substantial but not heavy, wears well. Has an intriguing, even haunting quality. The dry-down has a salty mossy note and retains the herbal mint. Overall, a very successful reformulation.

VINTAGE - A bit greener at the beginning, and the lavender is stronger. The scent is more powerful at this point: a bit sweeter, denser, richer. Not as herbal-minty at first -- rounder and more full. The dry-down lands in a very similar place to the new version.

So, I find that I appreciate both but actually prefer the new version. I like its dry, haunting, herbal quality.
06th April, 2015

Boss the Collection: Damask Oud by Hugo Boss

Not bad! Peppery-incense from the get-go. The leather/suede note also engages immediately. Actually, this reminds me a bit of SMN Nostalgia, with the leather, wood and petrol note. Petrol here being supplied by oud. Just the thing for tooling around in your Jaguar with the knurled wood interior.
Not my style but I am sure many would like it. Not excessively sweet. Powerful, so I'd say apply with caution.
05th April, 2015

Eau de Monsieur by Annick Goutal

Nothing unpleasant here, but nothing remarkable.
Good citrus notes out of the gate. After that, a standard citrus EdC with a bit of a musky dry-down.
04th April, 2015

Palm Springs Collection Natural Perfume by The Body Deli

Wow, here is a citrus scent with longevity! More than a fleeting glimpse.
Excellent PINK grapefruit note -- very tasty and natural.
That grapefruit note lasts and lasts. Amazing!
Vanilla not a problem.
Jasmine is a minor floral development, mostly an appealing earthy, even slightly woody note.
Nice peppery bite from the ginger. The grapefruit note morphs seamlessly into this spicy note
A refreshing and substantial citrus scent.
04th April, 2015

The Forest by Library of Flowers

Grumble.
A scent named "Forest" should be green and woody.
This has no wood and a soft, mild, soapy character.
"Arctic moss" = synthetic fresh chord.
Not to my liking.
03rd April, 2015

Singular Note Australian Sandalwood by Aveda

This is a very good, basic sandalwood fragrance. Simple, satisfying, very good. Has the expected woody, creamy, minty-herbal notes that are typical of sandalwood. Dry, wears well and close to the skin.
03rd April, 2015

Hinoki by Ayala Moriel

This is a beautiful scent. CdG's Monocle Hinoki resembles it in dry resinous austerity, but this has a pronounced oud note which adds an extra depth and dimension.
Starts with a very woody, very resinous chord. A dark forest floor impression develops. The oud is lovely -- tangy, rootsy, earthy. It has a bit of the rubber, band-aid aspect but is beautiful. Also there is a eucalyptus/mint note, either from the oud or the cypress. The impression is of a walk through a cool forest. The dry-down is lovely, haunting. The scent is subtle and sits close to the skin.
02nd April, 2015

Heno de Pravia by Gal

A charming scent. Lovely lavender but much more: perky geranium, satisfying moss and wood notes. I have the EdC which is older than the "1905" reformulation, and thus probably has better moss resources. The dry-down is bright, a bit mossy, with soapy/powder notes (typical of some moss). Inexpensive but good quality. Doesn't last long, but the splash format gives the hint -- splash away, as needed, all day. Refreshing.
01st April, 2015

Serpentine by Comme des Garçons

This fragrance note pyramid gives a few more details and suggests the nuts & bolts of the scent's construction:
Grass, leaves, "pollen" (galbanum, iris leaf), "oxygen" (aldehyde, ozone), "asphalt" (black musk, nutmeg), labdanum, smoked cedar with a little bit of pollution (benzoin, juniper wood, guaiac wood)

As a fan of green scents, I find this to be striking and modern. On the one hand, it has bright, sunny-green notes. They are grassy, leafy, "crunchy" in the style of Diptyque's Eau de Lierre. On the other hand, there is a shimmering dusky haze note married to an intriguing, smoky and slightly dirty note. Definitely an urban greenscape. Quite a brilliant evocation of a place and concept. The scent wears very well and has a lovely, close to the skin dry-down.
31st March, 2015

Sunday Cologne / Fantastic Man by Byredo

mild thumbs up here.
Not a bad scent -- at times complex, intriguing-haunting, slightly aromatic. In turns floral, dusky, green-herbal. I thought there was tarragon and mint, perhaps that is the anise and lavender.Sometimes a bit sweet and tiresome in the DD but not problematic. Good longevity.
30th March, 2015

Eau Fugace by Astier de Villatte

Either a very mild thumbs up or a neutral.
A pleasant, citrusy opening. Develops some stalky, green notes. Not sweet. A bit floral. At times a bit metallic or synthetic. Flags somewhat in the drydown. Nothing exceptional here.
30th March, 2015

Alba di Seoul by Santa Maria Novella

I was a bit disappointed in this. Given that it claims to have "Korean pine" notes, naturally I was interested. It doesn't really have any coniferous notes that I can detect.
It starts with green notes which are pleasant, in a citrus-green but generic way. The scent low-key, light, refreshing and inoffensive. It settles into a light woody scent.
Overall, it is a light wood, slightly "fresh" sort of scent. Not at all the sort of thing I'd expect from SMN.
25th March, 2015

Duel by Annick Goutal

Interesting scent: dry, herbal/tea. A mild thumbs-up here. Nothing tremendously interesting but it is relatively pleasant in a low-key way. I appreciate its dryness.
Starts with a good petitgrain note which is typically orange-blossom and soapy in construction. The mate and absinthe are evident as dry green herbal notes, even a bit salty at points. The iris root is not heavy and adds an earthy quality. The gaiac - leather - musk dry down is not irritating, and is pleasantly reserved and dignified in style.
21st March, 2015

Eau de Narcisse Bleu by Hermès

Without a doubt this is the DRIEST floral I've encountered. I think it is an amazing, haunting scent. It reminds me of the style of Eau de Gentiane Blanche, in that they each have a very dry, mineral-earth component. Starts with a bracing citrus chord. At times, the narcissus note reminds me of violet leaf. The scent is ghostly, silvery and quite intriguing.
15th March, 2015

Mandragore Pourpre by Annick Goutal

I like this less than Mandragore. Here, the anise note is more pronounced but to my taste it is rather soapy and has a vaguely unpleasant quality. The citrus is less evident. Just doesn't work for me.
14th March, 2015

Acqua di Parma Colonia Leather by Acqua di Parma

I don't normally like leather scents -- but I like this one enough to give it a good rating. It is like Ford's Tuscan Leather, perhaps a bit more toned-down and smooth. This really is a lovely scent. It is well balanced, rich but not too sweet. Good plush leather notes with hints of wood. Great longevity, a classy leather scent.
08th March, 2015

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

With a name like "Mandragore" (mandrake root) I expected something more magical, mysterious and intriguing.
This is a competent citrus-herbal scent. In addition to the notes, I detected something like verbena and possibly orange blossom. The anise is more noticeable on a paper strip than on my skin. Moderately dry, smooth, nothing to offend here.
07th March, 2015

Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme Intenso by Dolce & Gabbana

Except for the aquatic notes, the list sounds promising...
On application:
Sweet.
Aquatic which for me equates to chill-synthetic. A frosty blast with little redeeming or natural features.
Simple.
Vague notes at the edge of lavender, basil, but the whole concoction smells so labby and faux that I can't imagine why on earth anyone would enjoy it.
Bleh.
07th March, 2015