Fragrance Reviews from July 2006

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    rach2jlc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sander for Men by Jil Sander

    I wanted desperately to like Jil Sander Man, because I loved Jil Sander’s men’s fashion line. Unfortunately, smelling it for the first time, it seemed just like the myriad other bland, sporty, fresh, detergent-like scents on the market. In some ways, I can understand why this is, because Sander’s designs have always been about understatement and subtlety, but nevertheless this one just seems bland (almost, but not as bad as the Jil Sander Pure scent). A scent like Chanel’s original Pour Monsieur is also understated and subtle, but still has a certain distinctiveness to it that doesn’t dissolve the wearer into oblivion. Overall, this one (like all of Sander’s fragrances) was a huge disappointment.

    24 July, 2006

    rach2jlc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sung Homme by Alfred Sung

    An interesting, challenging fragrance. I expected it to be like many of the bland, middle of the road fragrances on the market, but I was certainly surprised when I first smelled it. It takes some getting used to, especially these days, but it has a crisp, fresh note that is then mixed with something dark and a little frightening. Other reviewers have noticed that it smells like stale cigarettes and I agree. But, when mixed with its fresh notes, it sort of smells like what YSL Kouros would after heading down to a basement dive-bar after midnight.

    24 July, 2006

    rach2jlc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Versace l'Homme by Versace

    This fragrance came out not too long after I was born, so I expected not to like it. I expected it to feel dated and smell like a lot of those older, spicy-powdery scents from the 1970’s and early 80’s (like Armani’s original men’s scent). However, this one is still a great fragrance. It certainly is different from the current trend of bland, sporty detergents being put on the market, but when YSL Kouros is still a best-seller, I don’t understand why this one isn’t more popular. It is spicy, soft, and a little powdery, but dries down to a great masculine scent for spring and summer. Wearing this, I always feel like I should be in a pale pink tshirt under a white sport jacket and watching episodes of Miami Vice. It is almost completely different than the newer Versace Man, which Donatella put out a few years after Gianni’s passing.

    24 July, 2006

    rach2jlc's avatar

    United States United States

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    YSL pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    A good, old-school scent. Smells very much of the 1970’s, but wearing it today feels retro and not really out-of-date like a lot of the spicy fragrances from that time. Reminds me vaguely of Hermes’ Equipage, but a little more subtle and a little more spicy (actually, it seems like a happy medium between Hermes Equipage and Bel-Ami). It is certainly not one that you can wear everyday, but for going out in the evenings, I think it’s fine

    24 July, 2006

    rach2jlc's avatar

    United States United States

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    Versace Man by Versace

    A good scent, but the heavy amber note makes it somewhat hard to distinguish from the many other amber scents on the market. If someone sprayed it and didn’t tell me what it was, I’d be hard pressed to distinguish it from Prada or Costume National Scent Intense. That being said, if you like either of these other two and can’t afford (or don’t want to pay) the $90 for the CN or the Prada, Versace Man is a pretty good substitute. To be honest, though, I still like the original Versace L’uomo that Gianni made back in the early 1980’s.

    24 July, 2006

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Dior Homme by Christian Dior

    The working titles for this were ‘Oedipus’ and ‘Régréssion pour homme’ since it is all about smelling like that tangled creature that was you/your mother when she was cleaning up your little wet-diaper behind. That sweet flowery blend of soap, cream, baby talcum and her perfume... I have it on good authority that this was created by Sigmund Freud for the house of Dior in 1935, but it was not released at the time due to the excessive popularity of anally repressive scents in much of Europe. Now, however its time has come. It is brilliantly executed, as you would expect from the greatest healer of tormented psyches, wrapping you in a seamless warm blanket of long-repressed infant memories of unlimited attention-pleasure-instant-gratification. What better scent to comfort (and, perhaps, anaesthesize) the anxious multitude cowering in the cold light of the neoliberal global order?

    24 July, 2006

    Tovah's avatar

    United States United States

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    Comme une Evidence by Yves Rocher

    I have a bottle of Comme Une Evidence in "elixir" format. This reminds me of Ralph Lauren Romance but it's greener, and heavier on the rose and lily. It's a very pretty, rather elegant smelling fragrance that would work well in an office environment, but it would be great to wear on a night-out as well. If you're a lover of chypres, this one is certainly worth a try. It's an attractive fragrance offered at a very fair price. I really enjoy the body lotion and bath gel in this scent, too.

    24 July, 2006

    Tovah's avatar

    United States United States

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    D'Humeur Reveuse by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    [b]D'Humeur Reveuse[/b] has that shockingly beautiful airy accord, also captured in En Passant and Hiris, which brings the fragrance to the senses like a breeze carrying scents of the atmosphere. The first note on this breeze is freshly cut, very green, sweet grass. There's something floral mingling with the grass that warms to the smells of hay in sunlight, and shady trees. There are some flowers, too, but they are not yet in full bloom. The scent as a whole hypnotizes me into feeling like it's summer in Upstate New York and I'm a child who is thrilled by the possibilities in life that are foreshadowed by the incredibly beautiful smells of nature. It's a rush of joy. There's something supernatural, magical about the effect of fragrance on memory, and its ability to inspire.

    D'Humeur Reveuse does indeed connote the mood of a lazy summer day, so, in that way I suppose it belongs in the Sautes d'Humeur coffret. But it's so much more than a complement to a coffret theme! This is a fabulous creation that deserves to be released on its own so it can be more widely enjoyed! It's one of those rare fragrances that smells [i]alive[/i].

    24 July, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tubérose Indiana by Creed

    Amazing stuff. In my opinion, one of Creeds finest floral creations. Florals can be cloying, but this one is fresh, and the top notes put you smack in the middle of a dewy rose. It has this uplifting bright sensual note...i think its the honeysuckle. The basenotes are of musk and ambergris. Infact, this is so good, I am thinking of buying a bottle for myself, even though its a fragrance for women

    24 July, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    2000 Fleurs by Creed

    Wow...from the opening top notes, it seems like Creed crushed 2000 flowers and put them together ...it really smells quite rich, natural and floral at the opening. However, before this combination starts to get annoying, the green tea note kicks in and keeps things under check. The basenotes are solid too. This is a very nice floral, but isnt as nice as Tubeurose Indiana or Spring Flower.

    24 July, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gendarme V by Gendarme

    A less citrusy version of the original classic, the base of Vetiver and Tonka is what distinguishes it. One of my friends like this version better, and says that the earth Vetiver is what makes it stand out (he is a big fan of earthy vetiver scents). However to my nose, the combination of the clean fresh top notes and then a transformation to an earthy vetiver base, while sounds intriguing on paper, doesnt really work for me .. the fresh top notes and the earthy vetiver clash a lot and the scent seems unstable at times.

    24 July, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Grabazzi by Gendarme

    Excellent stuff. In my opinion, this usurps the original Gendarme as the best that the house of Gendarme has to offer. I think this is the first oriental fragrance that smells fresh...i just cant stop sniffing my wrist! It has a much brighter opening than the original, and has a much better drydown. Strangely, its harder to find than the rest of the Gendarme offerings...

    24 July, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Néroli Sauvage by Creed


    I find this to be similar to Creeds Zeste Mandarine. The top notes are much brighter and sharper, but it shares the same smooth dry down with Zesta Mandarine. Once again, the longevity is lacking .. apart from this, this is a great all citrus scent.

    24 July, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Zeste Mandarine Pamplemousse by Creed


    Excellent opening notes and the white flower base is alluring. This was Olivier Creeds first scent as a master perfumer. I would give this a thumbs up if it werent for its below average longevity...

    24 July, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Geir by Geir Ness

    This has been disappointing so far. I have tried the sample three times within the past two days, but my impression of it so far is that its a decent soft sweet floral oriental scent but doesnt stand out. Its a nice unobstrusive scent, but I dont think it compares to the best of what the Malles, Creeds and Lutens have to offer. With all the fresh mountain air comparisons, Creeds SMW smells much better and more unique (although I think neither SMW or Geir elicit the fresh mountain air feel). I dont get what all the basenotes hype is all about ...

    24 July, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    The first Hermes fragrance that I will purchase. To me, Orange Vert, Bel Ami and Rocabar were disappointing scents, however Terre is an intriguing juice. On me, it starts off with an A*Men like sweetness, however the earth drydown is what makes it a winner. I am wary of vetiver-like earthy drydowns which can be hard to wear for many, but the earthy undertones in Terre D'Hermes are perfectly balanced, and are what make this scent a winner. Realise that I havent entirely explored the house of Hermes, so some of the criticisms (like it smelling similar to the two Un Jardin scents) leveled at Terre might be valid. Its on my list of future full bottle purchases!

    24 July, 2006

    GenuineImitationLife's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Terre de Bois by Miller Harris

    One of the finest perfumes I've found so far, this is a gentle woodland/earthy aroma with warm amber overtones and intriguing spices. The drydown is sublime, long-lasting, and almost indescribable in its beauty.

    Terre de Bois is suitable for all seasons, but especially autumn I think. Each time I wear it new secrets are revealed; it always fascinates. So subtle, you might occasionally think it has faded, then suddenly it returns, in new richness, and the magic goes on and on.

    The Eau de Parfum comes in a beautiful 30ml crystal bottle; luxury defined.

    I am planning to get the 100ml Eau de Toilette spray also in the near future, and hope it will be as excellent as this EDP. I'm sure they would be very good layered together.

    24 July, 2006

    GenuineImitationLife's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    L'Homme Sage by Divine

    L'Homme Sage is such a delicious spice overdose that I seem to just want more and more of it; it certainly has an addictive drug-like quality.

    Top notes: saffron, mandarin, cardamom and lychee

    Middle notes: balm, aromatic woods, everlasting flowers and patchouli

    Basenotes: oak moss, amber and incense.

    There is a warm, emotional aspect to the fragrance. It has depth, sparkle and brightness. This is a very powerful scent and a small amount goes a long way; wonderful sillage and the longevity is exceptional.

    A unique and unusual fragrance that has quality and originality. Full marks!

    24 July, 2006

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's

    Orientalism captured in a bottle. This is the olfactory complement to Ingres’ Turkish Bath, which is, of course, what a Hammam is. A brilliant projection of repressed Victorian sexuality upon the foil of an imaginary Araby. Fantasies of a Sultan’s absolute power and unrestrained sexual indulgence with unlimited numbers of women, of reversing the strict codes of the British social veneer in the dreamland that Stephen Marcus, in The Other Victorians, labeled Pornotopia. What better way of scentualizing these desires but by combining the rich floral power of rose attar and the violet-like orris, supported by slightly dirty jasmine, with cedar and resins adding just enough oriental spiciness, rounded off with with the smell of sex created by musky notes. Hamman, we realize, is just a code for what a Victorian perfume could not be called, despite deliberately intending the association: Harem bouquet. This smells like a heady opulent boudoir in which people have just had sex, pure and simple. And certainly everybody in fine society knew this and yet did not – Victorian doublethink. Few scents could be richer in cultural history and this, seriously, should be smelled by students in seminars on the Victorian Era, British imperialism, Orientalism - and gender history, since quite likely many present-day individuals would experience gender confusion here, associating femininity (perhaps even of the Queen Mum sort) with the floral aspects and then stumbling over the sexual-animalic component.

    24 July, 2006 (Last Edited: 12 September, 2012)

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Millésime Impérial by Creed

    Like other posters, I didn't care for it at first and then grew to like it. My first impression was of slightly rotten fruit in stagnant water. A couple of days later, it became refined slightly rotten fruit in stagnant water and weeks after wards it is now a very interesting salty acquatic blend of slightly rotten fruit in stagnant but clear water.

    Erolfa is better, if you're going by the seashore--or anywhere else where there's a sea breeze. On land, sea and air, Himalaya puts it to shame. However, this is just my subjective, humble, and infallible opinion. In any case, that there gold bottle sure is shiny and purty.

    I wonder if this is Creed's best seller, running neck to neck with GIT?

    25 July, 2006 (Last Edited: 19 June, 2009)

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    "Vintage" Tabaróme by Creed

    Superb.
    However, in the same vein in which some Basenoters argue that you have to be 'proud' or 'hold your head high' to wear a unisex niche frag which the unwashed masses would probably deem to be better suited to a female or a transvestite, I would likewise argue that you should rejoice in your manhood to wear this one. If this sounds too embarassing, if you feel that having balls is a subject for apology, then please stick to mainstream, bland and inoffensive scents.

    Easy to see why Churchill and Bogart were fans. Not for the timid

    25 July, 2006 (Last Edited: 19 June, 2009)

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

    Get the vintage and save the ginger for your sushi. This is a good scent, but compared to the original it's like drinking non-alcoholic beer, rather than a fine, aged wine.

    25 July, 2006

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Essential by Lacoste

    Unessential.
    God, I grew tired of this one so quickly! Fruity with a rose heart note. Big freakin' deal. So boring I began to have nightmares where I dreamt that John Varvatos was a bold, original, masterpiece and Platinum Egoiste was much too subtle, refined and elegant. Man, that was scary!

    Well, I promise you that you won't offend anyone. Perfect for a nice day at the office, or a nice walk in the park with your dog, or perhaps a nice round of golf with some pot-bellied buddies.

    I don't think I really care for this one.
    It's not awful, just whitebread bland. Pass the mayo, and order the de-caf.

    25 July, 2006 (Last Edited: 19 June, 2009)

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Agent Provocateur by Agent Provocateur

    I first smelled Agent Provocateur in London, it’s birthplace, I suppose, and immediately dismissed it as being too bold and loud as well as old fashioned, and was rather convinced that it smelled like other perfumes I smelled before (if indeed I smelled something like it that was when I was a little girl, and I have no way to track it at the moment besides, perhaps, relying on your suggestions and guesses – and these are more than welcome!). Than one day, it showed up at my doorstep one day thanks to a perfangel, and I decided to try it on my bare skin. What may have smelled sharp, bitter, spicy, acrid and dry at first – with a dash of aldehydes for a good measure of old-fashionedness – turned into a quite interesting yet very wearable fragrance.

    It is not as soft as the smooth egg-shaped (a symbol of fertility, claim the marketing masterminds behind the scent; fertility and espionage, interesting combination...) porcelain flask may suggest. But it does have the contrasting effect, reminiscent of the black lace through which the pale pink shade skin tone peeks, as if blushed.

    The spicy, sharp opening of coriander and saffron exudes confidence more than it is exotic or Arabesque as may be expected. It does, however, mellow quite quickly with an explosion of roses laced with hints of complementary flowers, their softness undermined by the dry, acrid tones of cedar and Vetiver. The dry down is actually softer – there is still cedar, roses and Vetiver, but they crubmle into a dry yet soft, powdery presence underlined with musk. Despite the dryness and because of its warmth, Agent Provocateur is like a sexy coarse voice from a mouth dry from heat and excitement. But it can also be other things.

    Agent Provocateur is allegedly the scent that will provoke upon you inconceivable naughty crimes that you would have never thought of before. But really it is just one solidly constructed perfume for a change, in a fragrance world that often seems to dissolve into an awkward redundancy and offers unreliable olfactory fantasies. It has all that I like about Ivoire (roses, dry woods and leather), but without the sharp greenness. One could easily drop the sexy image and wear it to a formal occasion without ever being accused of sexual harassment or any other provocations. Even Mata Hari needs to go for lunch sometimes.

    I would not pretend that Agent Provocateur does not have any of the Femme Fatale allure to it. It is a sensual, bold and daring in its own way. But I am not so sure about the espionage component… My feeling is that if it indeed provoked anything in that direction, it is the re-definition of Chypre. There is no oakmoss in it to make it a Chypre, yet this is its official classification. As a perfumer and a Chypre admirer and expert I would classify it as a woody floral, or a spicy oriental. If there is a perfume to blame for the introduction of the concept of “Pink Chypres” in modern perfumery, let it be Agent Provocateur. But I will get into this conspiracy theory at another time…

    To read my full review, visit my blog: http://smellyblog.com/

    25 July, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Arabie by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Even the faintest whiff of Arabie sends me to places I haven’t visited since I was a little girl of 3 or 4 years old, back to the Muslim quarter in ancient Jerusalem. My parents used to take me there almost every Saturday. Arabie smells just like the Muslim market over 26 years ago - spices such as saffron, coriander, cardamon, cinnamon... Sweet confections (Rahat Loukum) and the famous refreshing scents of Tamarhindi drink that were sold by merchants
    carrying a copper barrel on their back (with little taps, the glasses they had were actually made of glass, so they will wait for you to finish the drink before continuing their merchant-trail). Scents of straw mats, Persian carpets, handmade mattresses, copper lamps, ropes... All somewhat dusty and desert smelling, enclosed between tall ancient stone wall, and cool underneath the arches, protected from the heat of sun and human temprament alike... The abundant tactile and sensual distractions will confuse the warrior and soothe the poliltician… Tangy green almonds with salt sold at the exit by young boys sitting on rolls of rubber tubes…As well as the famous long oval sesame-drizzled fluffy bagels with Za’atar (a herb mixture based on wild hyssop and thyme). Those bagels and the cliché olive-tree camels and a few blue glassblown vessels at the Jaffa Gate only scrape the surface of these memories...

    25 July, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert by Bulgari

    Au The Vert, the first in the series, is the most fresh and citrusy of all – with notes of bergamot and green tea and a tad of honey at the bottom to sweeten your beverage. It's nice, but just not quite my personal style...

    25 July, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    There is a moment of revelation when approaching a familiar scent – for a moment there are two matching vibrations between two scents – the first one being the one in the smeller’s mind and the other the actual scent that is being smelled. A whiff of a flower and the vapour emanating from a bottle met and struck a chord in my ofactory heart when I smelled Fleurs d’Oranger.

    The top notes of Fleurs d’Oranger are likened to dewy orange blossoms on the tree in early morning. However, this tree grows in Serge Lutens’ garden, which means it has an unbelievably rich soil. The blossoms warm up to the glowing sun of high noon and attract humming bees to transform them into honey. They exude a sweeter scent with the help of understated tuberose and jasmine notes. By the end of the day, the rich soil reveals itself in full blast with the signature Serge Lutens amber. The blossoms have melted into sweet golden honey and turned deep orange, saffron, crimson and fuschia in the sunset. Its creator was right: it is the scent of happiness.

    25 July, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    There are two ways of getting privacy when you need it – hiding away (i.e.: “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the door) or kicking the unwanted company out. The latter can be achieved by sufficiently spraying oneself with generous douses of Muscs Koublai Khan – the most daring and sensual musk I have ever smelled. It reeks of raw, animalistic sexual energy of the most desirable nature. While the opening may be obtrusive to some, it is surprisingly clean and warm at once to my nose, while also being intesely animalic, yet
    curiously does not bring to mind any specific animal… In fact, it is quite like raw ambergris chunks, straight from the beach, undiluted. But as I said – it is strong enough to send out of the room all parties that are not invited, or for that matter, not welcome to whatever will take place after the drastic step has been taken… And keep the one(s?) that will stick around long enough for the stench to dissipate and turn into the most alluring, warm and erotic musk.
    Muscs Koublai Khan gradually softens but never quite changes it’s true character. It lasts for hours and hours on end, and I must admit it can be quite distracting (for yourself and others) to wear it during the day in situation that require reasonable thinking and perhaps even a bit of cognitive effort. Rather, it is a scent for times of freedom and no restraints, either out in the wild or in the privacy of your own room… It’s a scent that draws your full attention to its source, and haunts you without mercy. It is inspiring, motivating and mesmerizing. You simply won’t be able to stop thinking about it when wearing it – in a good way…While the aphrodisiac qualities are quite obvious, it is a truly liberating experience in all levels to wear Muscs Koublai Khan – it is very much reminiscent of the male body odour, and to pull this out, one needs to have quite the presence and sense of self-acceptance – also known as one of the keys to happiness.

    25 July, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    En Passant by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Things you may find while passing might be the least expected. I passed through to smell the lilacs of En Passant, and in a short snatch, a-la the chess maneuver by the same name, I found myself searching for whales on a misty day on the Sait Laurent river… Unsuccessfully, needless to say, but enjoying the fjords and the moist mist…
    The heady, innocent and slightly powdery spring-like scent of white lilac quickly leads my nose to the subtly fragrant branches and stems bearing blossom-vines. These transform into an olfactory green fig leaf scent, and than in a split of a second you find out that you just jumped, head first, into a chilly ocean – smelling the fresh air of the ocean breeze, with its slight saltiness, and the clean, fine mist meeting your face as you watch for whales on the fast-loating boat…

    With notes of white lilac, cucumber and wheat, Olivia Giacobetti has created an abstract lilac perfume that is more of a subjective interpretation of the flower rather than an effort to re-create the scent of the fresh blossom. Its ozone and marine cucumber notes are not my personal favourite and the wheat adds to a certain flour-y powdery yet green nuance that is nevertheless interesting and original on its own. However, the result of the final drydown is surprisingly disappointing in its ozonic-oceanism and its reference to l’Eau d’Issey of all perfumes.

    Top notes: White Lilac
    Heart notes: Fig, Cucumber
    Base notes: Wheat, Violet Leaf

    25 July, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc by Bulgari

    Au The Blanc is my favourite of all the Bvlgari teas – a white musk and orris scent and with the typical acrid aftertaste of white tea, a hint of white pepper and amberette seed. The powdery and musky notes are lovely and refreshing and it’s perfect for warm weather without being a citrusy cliché.

    25 July, 2006

    Showing 31 to 60 of 276.