Reviews by odysseusm

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    odysseusm
    Canada Canada

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    Aqua Floralis Ylang by Florascent

    Soft, sweet, rich and a bit metallic. Powder in a tin.
    Aromatic, salty, leathery, earthy with a bit of vanilla.
    It starts sweet and gets a little drier as it develops.
    OK, not my style but some will like it.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Floralis Jasmine by Florascent

    A sweet but accurate citrus note. Combines with big, earthy tuberose. Thus, a large, somewhat dense scent. The tuberose is clean and a bit minty (rather than earthy as is sometimes the case). Also, at times there is a note with an affinity to chocolate.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Floralis 1er Mai by Florascent

    A simple, pleasant, lovely scent.
    Not much citrus or galbanum.
    The rose is delicate and green; the jasmine is hay-like.
    A very delicate, subdued scent. A somewhat slight or translucent green scent with florals.
    Not sweet.
    Delicate and spring-like.
    In the dry-down the rose becomes more prominent and deeper.

    21st February, 2013

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    Osmanthus by Florascent

    Very interesting, even intriguing. These are intended to be simple one-note scents.
    Osmanthus tea is like jasmine, with a fruity-floral aspect. That is evident here.
    Powdery and woody. Suggests fruit cocktail, tinned peaches or apricots in a warm metal tin.
    Actually this is rather interesting apart from the sweetness.

    21st February, 2013

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    Chabana by Florascent

    Very sweet and floral. Heady, full-bodied. Sharp, spicy, even a bit smoky in the dry-down. Metallic? Yes, but interesting. One-dimensional by design -- these are intended to be simple, one-note in style.
    Could be drier, would improve it considerably.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Composita Monsieur Balode by Florascent

    Too sweet for me but props to it for being complex and interesting.
    It has a very aromatic. sweet opening of tropical fruit syrup -- attributable to the davana.
    Then, hay and dried grass appear. Those who have smelled a sweetgrass incense/smudge ceremony will recognize the note. Nice and complex, sweet and aromatic, touch of old leather.
    Too sweet for me, but highly interesting.
    A gourmand note, seen in a few of the Florascent line. Here, nutty like pralines (sugared nuts).
    Also, a bit salty, even marine. Barnacle-laden, a weathered pier in the hot noonday sun. Yes, very marine.
    So as you can see, a somewhat odd melange of notes. Interesting.

    21st February, 2013

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    Aqua Composita Umami by Florascent

    Starts with a bright green yuzu note (citrus) which is OK. Grassy, leafy.
    Tons of vanillla here, unfortunately.
    Gets VERY sweet and lands in toothache territory.
    Vanilla and spice, very gourmand/dessert.
    Finishes with a tinny, metallic aspect.
    Not recommended.

    21st February, 2013

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    Monsieur Balmain (new) by Pierre Balmain

    Top: mint, bergamot, lemon, bitter orange
    Mid: rosemary, ginger, pepper, caraway, rose, nutmeg, thyme, moss, sandalwood
    Base: musk, amber, clary sage, vetiver, sandalwood

    This is a lovely lemon scent -- very natural. Good hints of herbs, mint and moss. It is a refreshing spritz, and a worthy alternative to Eau D'Orange Verte. Nice mossy dry-down with herbs and vetiver.

    20th February, 2013

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    La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Notes: mandarin, lotus, jasmine, myrrh, bitter almond, spices, pimento, sandalwood, honey, amber, musk

    This has a round, perfumed character. It is slightly sweet and with kind of 'soapy' aspect which I sometimes note in myrrh. It is a very nice scent, and somewhat atypical for Lutens in that it is not heavy, rich, foody, or overly spicy. The floral notes are lovely, and there is a continued hint of citrus even at mid-point. The incense is somewhat resinous, and darker than frankincense. It combines well with the bitter almond. A bit of powder from the amber, but not problematic.
    A good scent, unisex in appeal.

    20th February, 2013

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    Lieber Gustav by Krigler

    Meh.
    It starts with a good lavender note, accurate and pleasing. Then it gets sweet. The tea note remains far in the background. Mostly a leather-vanilla blob.

    18 February, 2013

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    Cozy Cedar Wood by Krigler

    This is a very nice, warm, cozy scent. I'd characterize it as a spicy wood, with warm and at times almost smoky tone. It's smooth and attractive. The nutmeg spice certainly dominates, perhaps at the expense of the wood and incense (which is probably myrrh). I wish the wood notes were a bit brighter and crisper, but otherwise this is a fine scent.

    Krigler site adds lemon, ylang-ylang, fig, and vetiver to the notes above.

    16 February, 2013

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    Good Fir 11 by Krigler

    My alternate Holy Grail coniferous scent (to Slumberhouse Norne).
    This is a delightful scent! Very pine, green, fresh. It has a zen-like simplicity and natural quality which really appeals to me. At times a slight turpentine note is there in the early stage, though not as powerful as CdG's Hinoki. Also there is a slight medicinal-herbal note. I like all of those things. Uplifting and invigorating. Zippy-green frankincense and grassy vetiver. Really an ideal scent for me.

    15 February, 2013

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    Armani Code Ultimate by Giorgio Armani

    Vanilla-drenched faux woody quasi aquatic. Too sweet.

    12 February, 2013

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    Eau de Cartier Essence d’Orange by Cartier

    Smells like an orange creamsicle. Rather sweet. Hint of wood.
    Not very interesting.

    11th February, 2013

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    Acqua di Lavanda Ambrata / Amber Lavender by Santa Maria Novella

    This is an honest, old-school lavender scent. The lavender top notes are powerful, accurate, intense and quite beautiful.
    The dry-down gets fairly sweet, floral, powdery, and a touch vanillan. Thus I lose interest. Even a bit fusty, in my opinion.
    But that top note was amazing.

    30th January, 2013

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    Jour d'Hermès by Hermès

    Spring in a bottle!
    Green, zippy, very fresh and natural.
    Since no fragrance notes are provided, I won't try and dissect this too much.
    It is very enjoyable. I get rose notes of various kinds, along with spring bulbs (daffodil, hyacinth, etc.)
    Cheerful. Energetic.
    Floral but not excessively sweet. Powerful but not cloying.

    28 January, 2013

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    Equisetum by Pell Wall Perfumes

    This is an unusual scent. Sometimes, it seems like a powerful, old-school masculine scent of the '80's. Other times, it is a dry and austere lavender-mint, very similar to Czech & Speake's Oxford and Cambridge.
    The opening notes have very dry, herbal lavender. Very quickly, this is joined by moss and tobacco. The opening and closing notes compete and somewhat push aside the delicate florals. I couldn't really detect them.
    The lavender and mint cool things down considerably and balance the warm brown notes.
    Suddenly, there is a real whiff of true ambergris: acidic, salty, animalic, slightly challenging. Not often encountered in perfumes these days!
    Ultimately, at least on my skin, the scent settles into the dry lavender mint.
    I like it, but I feel it ping-pongs around a bit too much and the middle notes aren't served well by the powerful bookends.

    27 January, 2013

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    Minted Mornings by Pell Wall Perfumes

    I like it, but it is in two very different phases. I like the second much more than the first.
    The first phase is uber-minty. You have to LOVE mint to really appreciate this phase (I'm just so-so on it.) Spearmint: check. Peppermint: check. Minty citrus: check. Mint leaves: check. There's a cool, fairly frosty vibe happening here. Green but oh-so-minty.
    Just when I started to despair about the unrelenting mint -- bam! Onto phase two. A woody incense chord replaces the mint. This is fairly good. Not profound but satisfying. The frankincense is apparent, giving a pine-coniferous note which works well with the wood and a light musk. The scent now is beautiful and slightly haunting, and it wears well.
    I wish phase 2 could inform phase 1 a bit, that the scent could be more integrated. But otherwise it is very well done and appealing.

    27 January, 2013

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    Gin & Lime by Pell Wall Perfumes

    I start off enjoying this, but wind up neutral. Here's why.
    This opens with an excellent lime-citrus note: very accurate and pleasing. There are hints of aromatic, bright juniper and nutty coriander. In my opinion, the juniper should be much more pronounced. Still, this is pleasant and an attractive EdC style scent.
    Then, the musk develops in the dry-down. At first, it reminds me of that in Blenheim Bouquet or Wellington -- a kind of British vibe. But then the white musk keeps going on an on, getting quite tiresome. I feel the scent loses its momentum and in fact stalls.
    And the juniper never really had the medicinal/martini 'zip' that I had expected.
    Thus, my neutral assessment.

    25 January, 2013

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    Artemis by Pell Wall Perfumes

    The "absinthe" in the BN fragrance notes refers to artemesia absinthum (wormwood). While that is an element in the legendary alcoholic drink Absinthe, the drink also has a pronounced aniseed or licorice note, e.g., Fou D'Absinthe. That anise note is NOT found here.
    After a brief citrus introduction, this becomes a very intriguing dusky green scent: aromatic, even weedy. Suggests resinous underbrush and oozing sap. The herbacious and pungent artemesia combines with the mint to give a green, leafy scent. Dry, not heavy, has a hint of pepper. Very green and natural-smelling, in fact it is nature in a bottle. As an artisan style scent, the longevity is acceptable but not extended, and the scent sits close to the skin. Any green fan should check this out.

    23 January, 2013

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    Café Rose by Tom Ford

    There are lots of lovely rose notes here. They are really well done, attractive, realistic.
    The amber is at times a little bit candied and buttery, but overall the scent is not problematically sweet. When the amber settles down the lovely rose notes re-emerge, accompanied by a light oudh note. I don't get much (if any) coffee -- perhaps if I strain to the utmost I can imagine a faint cafe-au-lait.

    22 January, 2013

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    Rebel at Heart by Thomas Sabo

    Folks, there is nothing rebellious here.
    Soft spices with a hint of oudh. Comfortable, cozy, non-threatening.
    Bit of wood, slightly sweet dry-down.
    Very close resemblance to Hugh Parsons Oxford Street. The two are interchangeable.

    17 January, 2013

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    Only The Brave Tattoo by Diesel

    Dreadful and yet a vast improvement over the ghastly regular Only the Brave.
    This is still very sweet but not as treacly as the original. Some hints of spicy pepper and synthetic woods.
    Still very obnoxious, cheap, and headache-inducing. Yet -- as vast improvement over the regular. That's how bad the regular is.

    08 January, 2013

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    Only The Brave by Diesel

    Ghastly stuff. Very very sweet, fruity, metallic. Juvenile.

    08 January, 2013

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    Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone

    Disappointment.
    The name suggests British high tea, with nice little sandwiches.
    Problem -- no tea note, no cuccumber notes.
    What is here? A generic and sweet fruity note, further sweetened by the beeswax/honey, vanilla and musk.
    This is just another juvenile, fruity-sweet musk. Nothing to recommend.

    07 January, 2013

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    Séville à l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    For a while I enjoyed this, then it got too heavy and the benzoin ruined it for me.
    It starts with a rich orange blossom note -- very smooth, luxurious and pleasant. The beeswax gives a honeyed, waxy texture to the scent. I don't get any lavender, nor incense. At this point, I'd say "gorgeous, a little rich and too smooth for my taste, but it is an excellent orange blossom scent."
    But then the benzoin kicks in, starts vibrating and intensifying everything. It gets richer, heavier, sweeter. The Siam benzoin is noted for a vanillan aspect and that certain is the case here. It became much too much for me, and I had to wash it off (despite a very minimal application). If you like benzoin and a dense scent then you may like this.
    Note -- I am reviewing the EdP version.

    31st December, 2012

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    Figuier / Fig / Eau de Figuier by Heeley

    In my opinion, this is one of the better fig scents available.
    Mmmmm, it is nice and green! Not only fresh-cut grass, but also crisp, crunchy leaves. The latter reminds me of Diptyque's excellent Eau de Lierre. There's also tart rhubarb and a little bit of green cantaloupe rind. Thus, the scent is very nice, crisp and refreshing. It would be great in warm weather, as others have noted. Eventually the typical creamy and slightly woody fig note emerges, and rounds out the somewhat acidic opening. The scent is sheer, not heavy, and never too sweet or heavy. The dry-down gets nice and woody, and has good longevity.
    If you like fig, you need to try this.

    29 December, 2012

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    Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain

    This is a pleasant scent, comfortable to wear and would not offend anyone as far as I can tell. Yet, I give it a thumbs-down. Here's why.
    Where are the conifers: fir, pine, balsam? Simply not to be found, in my experience. There is absolutely nothing green or foresty here -- not a bit.
    The scent is spicy-soft, with bright ginger notes held against a kind of soapy-fresh foundation. It is not overly sweet, nor as 'foody' as I had expected. It is sheer and translucent, as are most in the Aqua Allegoria line. The later dry-down has slight hints of incense, and a whisp of nutty, smoky notes.
    For what it is, it is OK. But for what it is not, it is simply not up to this Conehead's expectations.
    Those looking for more available (and better, IMO) ginger-incense scents should try Serge Luten's Five O'Clock au Gingembre and Miller & Bertaux's #2 Spiritus/Land.

    28 December, 2012

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    Earth by Zents

    Fir, frankincense and woods... I should love it! I don't. It isn't a bad scent but there is something that doesn't quite work for me.
    It has a citrus-bergamot opening, slightly sweet and plummy. It develops into a soapy-citrus sort of scent which is clean, a bit outdoorsy-fresh.
    Further development reveals slight wood notes and hints of incense. But then a kind of heavy, earthy note develops. Not super-heavy, just something sort of bland and generic. Mind you, I learned to apply this very lightly, otherwise the heavy quality gets quite unbearable.
    In light doses this is OK -- but life is too short to wear scents that are just "OK".

    18 December, 2012

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    HiM by Hanae Mori

    I'm comparing the EDT with the EDP versions.
    EDT - sweet, quite sweet. A candied spice scent. Generic, sort of thing to wear when out clubbing. Shallow, a bit artificial. The tonka gives a vanilla-chocolate sort of note. The scent drops off after about 3 minutes
    EDT - initially much drier, more sheer and translucent. Quite a bit more citrus up-front. The scent turns into the EDT version after about three minutes, maybe with a bit more wood.
    I'm not wowed by either version. They are not obnoxious but they are quite generic and predicatable.

    15 December, 2012

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