Fragrance Reviews from March 2008

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    Infini by Caron

    A shape shifter. Sometimes I get a light, rather old-fashioned green floral fragrance with a couple of off notes – not really impressive. At other times it gets heavily sensual and seductive with its potent musks and jasmine indoles. The different reactions seem to have to do mainly with the ambient temperature: cold brings the off notes, heat brings on the sensuality. In both cases I get strong aldehydic effects and I never smell the roses. Infini is strongly floral but it doesn’t smell at all flowery to me. The particular flowers I smell, act as discreet white florals, which, except for the jasmine, do not seem to be the heady types, rather they are fresh and clean smelling. The jasmine is quite quiet and demure except for the strong indole effect that it regularly distributes. Infini has very good longevity and I really like it when it reacts sensually and indolicly, but I am not impressed when it goes off in the cold. When it’s reacting right, it is quite elegant. Infini is an excellent and interesting fragrance.

    09 March, 2008

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    Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior

    Did someone say “root beer”? I think so, too, but only with the best possible intentions – I love the smell of root beer, and I love this opening. I get the bitter almond and the vanilla immediately, then a little of the coconut and the rose; not much else comes through until the woody drydown. All of the notes I perceive are arranged in fairly linear, well-balanced, semi-sweet accords that are simply pure nose candy, albeit not extremely sweet candy. On paper Hypnotic Poison comes across as strong and decisive except I don’t get any jasmine; on my skin it turns demure and retiring and I still don’t get any jasmine. Moondeva and Quarry think it might make a good scent for men: On paper I would definitely disagree; but on my skin, it really doesn’t seem highly feminine, but I’m not sure that I would wear it in spite of how beautiful it is. It’s hard to believe that this wonderfully sensual scent is a Poison offspring...

    09 March, 2008

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    1872 for Women by Clive Christian

    1872 comes on rather loud – almost rude, but that is just for the first few minutes. Typical of many of the “best” fragrances, it blasts an opening and then gathers up the errant notes, organizes them, and then sends them out into a beautifully refined, balanced floral / green fragrance. The rose is the strongest note I get from the floral, but the word “strongest” is definitely out of place. Except for the near rudeness of the initial opening, there is nothing in this scent that is not sensitive, refined, and sophisticated. The quietly impeccable rose note stands out slightly from the recessive but complete jasmine. There is also the suggestion of bergamot in the accord, and the fact that individual notes can be identified in such a subtle and transparent accord speaks to the incredible quality of the fragrance. There is also a violet note definitely present. There is a very slight fruity – berry, I think – note in the accord, too. The total ambiance of the fragrance is light, transparent, and yet it is solid enough that I never lose track of the accords: This is another testimony to 1872’s quality. 1872 has a light sillage and excellent longevity. It’s a beautiful fragrance that I don’t necessarily see as feminine except for it delicacy. If it works with a person’s chemistry, it might actually be worth its price.

    09 March, 2008

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    Vanisia by Creed

    Wow … I had no idea Creed could make scents like this… I am totally impressed by its accords and its movement. Smooth and sensual! A rich and delicately warm texture on the surface, but a brooding, sexy, mystical, profound ecstasy underneath. The florals and vanilla don’t come through at first: they wait while the sandalwood and some sort of spicy glutinousness – ambergris, perhaps – establish a light, dry base which temporarily masks the mysteries that are going on under the surface. Then the rose and jasmine emerge into the textured opening, but they are not pure floral notes: They are accompanied by a smokiness and a dry vanilla “sweetness” that make the accord and the movement absolutely stunning. And yes, I get the occasional indoles from the jasmine and they contribute enormously to the sensuality of the depth. Unfortunately, like most miracles, this blossoming within the dry Orientalism is so very short lived. Vanisia dries down to a soft, translucent, dry sandalwood, dry vanilla, dry ambergris skin scent – quite catching, but very light. At first I get only the lightest dusting of powder, which, unfortunately, gradually grows to overshadow the delicate sandalwood vanilla drydown. I wouldn’t argue the point, but I think this scent is more feminine than unisex. I will say explicitly, though, that it is a fragrance that it demands a certain level of maturity in order to be carried off successfully.

    09 March, 2008

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    Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana

    The Granny Smith apple note in the opening gives enough contrast with the cedar and bluebells to create a bit of olfactory surprise. The whole floral fruity top level is smooth and refreshing and very nice if not extremely sophisticated. It’s a feel good thing – neutrally bright and coolly warm. The florals and bamboo of the middle continue with a smooth floral / green dominated by a simple jasmine: the simplicity of the accord is captivating and is completely in tune with the vibes of the opening. The base is more cedar and musk—quite recessive to my nose, but I think its sparsity is fully in tune with the theme of Light Blue. I enjoy this scent; it is refreshing, it is the springtime and mountain lakes and butterfly filled meadows. At times I think that Light Blue could be a unisex fragrance, but then there are times when it seems so youthfully feminine. Regardless, it’s a charming scent and it deserves to be as popular as it is.

    09 March, 2008

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    Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

    So much cinnamon. Cinnamon is certainly not a demure spice, and here we have it full strength … with aldehydes! If any fragrance deserves the label “spicy Oriental,” this is the one. In the top accord, I can sort of tell that there is an orange note in there, and I certainly can believe that there is clove in there, too: The clove and peach are used as a slight support of the cinnamon and don’t come through very strongly to my nose. I can’t separate out the florals in the midnotes – the cinnamon is still so dominant. Actually I don’t really determine a very different accord for the middle notes, so I find this is a linear fragrance. The drydown does settle down to a much lesser potency of spice, and is quite beautiful with its incense and light woods –This base of incense, patchouli, and vetiver with a touch of the sweetness of vanilla and amber becomes a translucent skin scent.

    I do like this fragrance very much, but not nearly as much as I thought I would. Until the drydown I was rather disappointed in the quality of the accords. I don’t really object to the amount of spiciness of Cinnabar, but I find a muddiness, a lack of clarity about their use. I would have liked the cinnamon to have a sharper, less dense, less oily tone to it. I was hoping that Cinnabar would be a more economical version of JHL, and, it certainly is an option I will consider when my JHL is due for replacement, but I think my choice will be another bottle of JHL – JHL is a better fragrance.

    09 March, 2008

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    Éclat d'Arpège by Lanvin

    Very light, delicately floral. The opening green is quite light in projection -- I really don’t get much out of the opening except those delicately sheer florals and greens with a slight citrus tinge. The middle, like the top is very light in delivery, but it shows more presence to me. The green tea is quite sure and clean—very pleasant. I can identify the peony note clearly, and I think I can identify the peach blossom note. The strange thing is that I never find the lilac in the mix. These notes are refined and proportioned and their translucency is quite captivating. The base, like the top and the heart, is also an exercise in discretion: it presents a well-balanced amber and musk to my nose—a bit more musk than amber, but quite sweet. I get only a background shadow of cedar. The base is my favorite part of the fragrance -- so gently, sweetly warm, it is really quite impressive. Éclat d’Arpège is a beautifully transparent, delicately feminine presentation. It is excellently put together, and, although I don’t find any single accord or note in it that grabs me, I can admire it for its refinement and translucence. I’m voting a confident thumbs’ up for this fine feminine beauty. Very good longevity.

    09 March, 2008

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    Acqua di Cuba by Santa Maria Novella

    I am totally smitten by this tobacco scent—the first tobacco scent I can say that about. There’s a little – very little – citrus / spice-something in the opening accord, but it quickly settles down to its major tobacco message. At the first testing, I thought that there’s not much complexity to this scent, but since then I’ve discovered that it’s more complex than I originally thought. The tobacco note has a slight aromatic aspect to it – something like a hint of sharp lavender outlining the tobacco note. That aromatic note, with the leather note which supports the tobacco, is what makes this accord so special – it a surrealistic tobacco accord that I find compelling. The leather is very well done. Normally I would object to the presence of leather, but the way the leather is presented here, I really enjoy it. The fragrance is linear, but it is so rich, and wet, and fulfilling that the absence of movement benefits rather than detracts. Linear and very long lasting — SMN’s Acqua di Cuba lasts on my skin for over twenty-four hours. Very impressive fragrance and a must for a tobacco lover.

    09 March, 2008

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    Skin by Trussardi

    Excellent fragrance – unassuming, warm, subtle, neither sweet nor dry… Trussardi Skin is a refined, very light floral chypre, and it is certainly not one of the crowds of me-too scents of late. It’s reticence and warmth makes it an attractive scent for office and for other occasions where discretion is called for. I agree with calchic’s review except for the accusation of an overbearing cedar note. To me the cedar note is quite light – not very strong at all – it’s all in the perception and chemistry, I guess. Possibly I have more tolerance for “hamster cage.” In all, this is an admirable fragrance – it’s well made, affordable, and mistake proof.

    09 March, 2008

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

    Clean, lively, and luscious: Experiencing the opening certainly makes me understand why Acqua di Parma Colonia is one of the uber classics – it can’t get much better than this as far as a compelling citrus accord is concerned. Citrus, rosemary, rose, and verbena: an accord made in heaven. Of course, the verbena is the first note to disappear, then the citrus exits, leaving the rose and herbal accord with the rosemary being the primary note in the herbal bouquet. The rose is a simple, gentle note that doesn’t seem to be meant as a stand out note – simply a gentle rose element in the accord. The rose / herbal accord lasts for almost an hour when I have moisturized well – twenty minutes if I haven’t moisturized. It’s a clean and refreshing accord – enjoyable. About all that’s left for the drydown is a simple white musk that also doesn’t last. I can see why Acqua di Parma is a classic and why it is still important even though it has poor longevity. The opening accord is bewitching, and the rose / herbal accord is extraordinarily refreshing. This is a totally enjoyable fragrance for those who can accept its ephemeral life span.

    09 March, 2008

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    Angel Food by Demeter Fragrance Library

    Coconut angel food cake. It’s a pretty darn good representation of the real thing as far as I’m concerned: Just a little more vanilla and the smell of whipped cream and chocolate and it would be perfect. The notes and accords do change their progression a little: The first accord begins with the coconut being very prominent but the coconut fades into an accord with a vanilla note more dominant. Regardless, it really smells like angel food cake. I miss the frosting, though. My favorite frosting for Angel Food Cake was a chocolate pudding mix whipped cream type. Delicious! Sorry for the trip down memory lane.

    09 March, 2008

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    Eau Sans Pareil by Penhaligon's

    Beautiful scent. Supposedly a “…radical reinterpretation of the classic Eau de Cologne…” Well, after wearing this I could accept only half of that description – the radical part. The opening is a combination citrus, but the citrus isn’t combined with a typical eau’s simple herb such as rosemary or basil. It’s combined with a complex, somewhat exotic green accord that, for a couple of minutes at least, reminds me of a classic chypre – a classic chypre without the oakmoss or the civet. Strange, huh? After a few minutes of the chypre impersonation, the fragrance arrives at its linear state – a quite beautiful floral / green accord – I would say a strong geranium note – that is a bit high register, a trifle soapy, very refined, and entirely captivating. This accord lasts forever, it seems, and it presents a fairly strong sillage. Eau sans Pareil does not remind me of a classic cologne, and the operative word in its description is “radical.” And it’s an excellent and enticing scent.

    09 March, 2008

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    Jicky by Guerlain

    With the PDT there is lots of lavender in the opening, at first overwhelming the citrus, but very quickly settling into a captivating citrus / lavender accord. I get a fairly steady background of civet, but it’s a desexualized version that doesn’t seem to carry much animalism. The rosewood exerts a centering character on the opening (and middle) accord, adding a trifle exotic but stable base to the shallowness of the lavender, and, with the civet, making the citrus / lavender / civet accord impressively deep, interesting, and broad purposed. I think it’s the breath and depth of output that make Jicky so classic and so unisex. With the heart, the fragrance goes floral, but not very … I mostly get rose and jasmine with no orris. The patchouli (with a bit of help from the vetiver and the left-over rosewood) comes through cleanly and strongly with a tad leather and some more civet working up from the bottom, but even with all these potent notes vying for attention, things remain respectable. The accord is refined and balanced as well as just plain enticing. Then the drydown moves in with its smooth leather / civet, its sweet, soft amber, and its lightest touch of vanilla. Some pyramids do not list vanilla, but it’s there. Several pyramids list incense and benzoin, but I do not even suspect them. There are lots of potent notes in Jicky, but I think the lavender, rosewood, and civet form its pivots, its fulcrums. Actually, though I quite admire the top and mid levels, I could very well live without them: Not so for the drydown, which is captivating and long lasting and just plain necessary on my skin. Jicky is excellent — as classic as they come, and it has the added value of a couple of lovely little stories behind it. As a fragrance it has withstood the test of time and has remained important and satisfying. In no way is Jicky a feminine only scent — it is universal.

    09 March, 2008

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    Rahät Loukoum by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Rahät Loukoum is a sweet almond gourmand scent, indicative of, as others have pointed out, the “Turkish Delight” desert treat. I’ve encountered almond scents before that I’ve found way too sweet – sickeningly bubble gum sweet – for instance, Blu Mediterraneo's Mandorlo di Sicilia was just too much sweetness for me. Rahät Loukoum is another story. I find that the almond / amber / rose accord is … perfect. It is very sweet, but somehow in an accord where the sweetness doesn’t become cloying. This sophisticated restraint is important in order for Rahät Loukoum to be considered a serious fragrance. It is, however, quite linear. I don’t really get much of a change of character throughout … just that delicious almond / ambery / vanilla accord staying tenaciously in the foreground. It’s a strong fragrance and one with excellent longevity. I do think it weighs in more on the feminine side than the masculine, and I think it is quite youthful. Rahät Loukoum is beautifully put together and well refined. It’s an enjoyable scent and I love smelling it, but, as far as wearing it… sniffing will probably be the full extent of my relationship with it.

    09 March, 2008

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    Wild Country by Avon

    This one was a turkey. Literally! The bottle of Wild Country that I bought was in the shape of a turkey. My sister – in – law sold Avon and I bought it because … well, it’s all in the family. I wasn’t thrilled with the turkey, but I liked the scent: It was a bit like Canoe, which was my favorite at the time. Wild Country was a little stronger (maybe “more spicy” is the right description), but it didn’t last as long as Canoe. I considered Wild Country a good scent and I never regretted buying it, except that I had a turkey sitting on my bureau with my Canoe, Jade East, and Eau Sauvage. It appears to be still in production; I’d buy a bottle for old time’s sake, except that I don’t think they still sell the turkey anymore… it looks better after all these years.

    09 March, 2008

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    Carlo Corinto Rouge by Carlo Corinto

    Sharp, cologny, and synthetic. I don’t believe that that sharp, aromatic accord in the opening, which runs all the way through, is really “aromatic wood” as the blurbs on this fragrance suggest. I think it’s a cheap and unrefined lavender / herbal accord that they hope to foist upon us by claiming aromatics. These fumes are not aromatics and I don’t smell a very solid wood note in the mixture. The lavender that is used is a major part of the problem: It is not a high quality lavender and it makes Carlo Corinto Rouge synthetic smelling and even a touch unpleasant. Its cologny ambiance categorizes it as a drug store fragrance, which, I understand, it actually is – but a not very good one.

    09 March, 2008

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    Paperback by Demeter Fragrance Library

    My brother is a voracious reader so I bought this as a gag gift for him for his birthday. He loved it. At the party he sprayed it on and went around shoving his arm under everyone’s noses and ordering them to “Smell!” He actually wears it and he also uses it room spray in his home office. I must admit, I enjoy it, too: I intend to buy one for myself, which is a rare intention from me when it comes to Demeters. Of course that dusty, musty smell is the dominant one, and I can smell printing ink and a touch of that sharp acidy smell that comes from older, self-destructing paperbacks. Up ‘til now, it’s my second favorite Demeter after Dirt. These Demeter fragrances are fun.

    09 March, 2008

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    Cuba Grey by Cuba Paris

    A strong lavender broadcasts itself in the opening of Cuba Gray. It is not a particularly interesting lavender—it is actually quite generic and boring and it is placed in an uninteresting accord. The movement of the fragrance consists of a lessening of the lavender accord. I don’t pick up the vetiver, and the woods that are supposed to be there are marginal. It is an ok fragrance for the lavender lover without very high demands, but, basically, it is pretty bland. I do not care for the accords presented, so I was pleased to find out that the fragrance doesn’t last very long.

    09 March, 2008

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    Emporio Armani Night He by Giorgio Armani

    At last! An Armani that I can respect … I thought that would never find another one besides the original Armani Eau Pour Homme. I’ve always found that Armani made refined, well constructed, great smelling fragrances. I also thought most of them were entirely too recessive, too safe, too expensive, and nowhere near as creative as they should be. I don’t feel that way about Emporio Night He… This one is darn good. I’m not exactly crazy about the violet note in the opening, but everything else adds up to excellence: There is a refined and discreet citrus opening; a refined and discreet spicy middle; and an enticing and discreet woody base. The accords have depth and character. This one is still not as creative as it could be but it has very goods accords, good sillage, acceptable longevity, and comfortable wearablity; but Emporio Armani Night is still too expensive for what it delivers.

    09 March, 2008

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    Spicy by Avon

    Avon Spicy is another one I bought from my sister-in-law who sold Avon in the sixties and seventies. This one was in a bottle shaped like a gavel – the bottle was the gavel head, and the gavel handle was the long plastic cap. If I remember right, it was a little like Old Spice, only a bit more woody – more mellow, even.

    09 March, 2008

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    Romance Silver Men by Ralph Lauren

    It’s better than a lot of the latest mid-level designer fragrances. It has that violet tang to it that I am not a fan of, but it is a rather nice scent anyway. The opening is interesting – fresh, dry-fruity, a bit green, a bit Chrome – pleasant, even. Florals open up somewhat in the middle, but still, the fragrance doesn’t change that much on my skin. The drydown is too light for me – wood and musk, dominated by that smell of the driftwood in the sun on the beach, which I really enjoy. Romance Silver is one of the better modern synthetics that I’ve found; there’s nothing extremely special about it that I can find, but it’s nice and it performs well with its sillage and longevity. It’s quite okay.

    09 March, 2008

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    Carthusia Uomo by Carthusia

    I wish this one would work for me. On me it has a nicely fresh opening – primarily green with a bit of citrus; it is pleasant but that’s almost as far as it goes. The rosewood note is with the fragrance from the beginning, and that note is the most interesting one. On my skin, I don’t get the raspberry note that others mentioned, but I do get raspberry when I test on paper. The same with seaweed: I get a quiet kelp note on paper: This kelp note and the raspberry note give me goose bumps they are so good, but they just don’t come through when I spray on my skin. As a matter of fact, on paper Carthusia Uomo seems an entirely different fragrance – much more vibrant, much fuller, I could even call it intriguing. On my skin, Uomo doesn’t gift me with “intriguing.” The base is the best part of the fragrance both on paper and on my skin: It is a wood base but it doesn’t come across as typical or classic. It’s lighter and livelier than most woody bases. There is absolutely nothing in this fragrance that I have a problem with – it’s impossible to dislike it, yet, as competent as it is in that sense, it doesn’t really come through for me – it’s delivery on my skin lacks personality and Uomo becomes just another nice aroma in the crowd.

    09 March, 2008

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    Armani Mania for Women by Giorgio Armani

    Armani Mania EDP begins with a blast which subsides immediately to a balanced, refined, low-keyed green, citrus, and mild spice. This is rather a light, neutral accord replete with a mild mixture of what could be potent spices: saffron, cloves, and nutmeg. It’s a pleasant accord – non-offensive and non-intriguing. Up until this point, the scent is uncharacteristically Armani in that it exhibits a solid nature and a definite sillage, but all too soon, those pleasant qualities disappear and this Armani becomes the more typically weak Armani fragrance. After the introduction of the spices in the heart notes, I lose everything: The entire fragrance just goes blank on me. I get no guaiac wood, no incense, musk, or vanilla. No. Sorry – Mania would get a neutral if it had some longevity, but the longevity in this scent is pathetic. 131

    09 March, 2008

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    Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma

    According to the pyramid, Iris Nobile contains iris petals in the top and heart notes, and the more typical iris root. I completely miss the iris root in the base, but it does smell like iris petals in the top notes. It has that somewhat sharp, light, almost green, accord that could well be supplied by iris petals. The accord is not very odoriferous and it has a rather neutral, delicate aroma, that fits seamlessly in the opening along with a diminutive star anise and some reticent citruses – the whole opening accord is quite delicate and earthy to my nose. The opening presents citrus / cool florals in the process of quietly dissipating their essences in too large of space – the accord gets stretched, and it thins, and becomes more and more distant, but it is there. I find it so quietly, so soothingly beautiful, and it lasts for quite a long time. The switch to the middle notes is gradual. Almost imperceptibly the cool, neutral, airy citrus-florals of the top become a delicate floral-citrus bouquet, with a quiet and unassuming warmth. Yes, it simply transfers from cool to warm – perhaps because of the iris root that I sense rather than smell. In the base, I get a bare minimum of powder, a light woodnote (maybe the iris root), and a bit of vanilla. The essence of this fragrance is beautifully pristine; and in its delicacy, it has a very real sensuality to it. Sophisticated, translucent, and feminine, Iris Nobile with its slightly powdery transparency, and its clean, non-heady floral texture is flecked with random tiny bits of citrus, amber and vanilla. It is so very refined. The longevity is not bad, but it could be better.

    09 March, 2008

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    Ambre by Côté Bastide

    Not my idea of what an amber fragrance should be, but then, I’m not a big fan of amber. Côté Bastide Ambre starts sharp and finishes on a flat note. Quite plastic at first, the sharp amber is about the only note that I can detect besides a not too luscious but identifiable vanilla. In the end the sharp amber beginning has turned to a rather flat, slightly off-amber / slightly-vanilla finish. The amber accord doesn’t happen to appeal to me, but I could see it being enjoyed by other people, and though I don’t find the scent very impressive, it is a rather unique concept in amber: In spite of its label, it is more of an amber splash cologne than an amber EDT, and I find that an intriguing idea. The price is reasonable; it is more in line with the price of cologne than of an EDT. So perhaps I’m being too critical. If you are looking for an light amber fragrance, I would recommend that you give Côté Bastide Ambre a trial run.

    09 March, 2008

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    Hierbas de Ibiza by Hierbas de Ibiza

    Yummm. Verbena! The citrus / verbena opening is exceptionally clean, bright, and refreshing. When the verbena fades, it is replaced by the herbs in a beautifully delicate floral / green accord: the herbs, a gracefully balanced thyme, lavender, and sage (tiny bit of cinnamon, too); the florals, a diaphanously rounded bouquet of orange blossom and jasmine. Hierbas de Ibiza is such a joy – It is light and delicate, but it has very real presence – a very real delivery. It is zesty and a touch bitter: an ambiance straight out of nature. It is so discreetly sweet that the sweetness has to be searched for. This is a scent for those who yearn for naturalness. Hierbas de Ibiza is listed as a unisex scent; I won’t argue with that, but I think it leans a tad toward the feminine side of the spectrum; at least it turns quite feminine on my skin. Whatever… it is simply beautiful.

    09 March, 2008

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    l'eau de parfum #2 Spiritus / land by Miller et Bertaux

    A beautiful, rich opening: not really green and not really abstract – but a denial and an affirmation of the two. I don’t know what to make of it except that it is unique and special. It immediately has almost a narcotic effect – it has the ability to sooth and calm. After fifteen minutes of studying the opening, I still can’t confidently identify the notes, even though there is nothing strange or exotic in the accord. I believe Scentemetal said that the key note is laurel – bay: I think he’s right. I should have recognized it because I have used Bay Rhum for years, but this bay is beautifully modified into a wonderfully meditative accord… Its use presents an oxymoron: strange familiarity. The middle notes move to more familiar territory: a mild, gentle, just barely incense and a mild, gentle, just barely tobacco … surrounded by an amalgam of gentle spices and dirt. It works. The base provides an excellent sandalwood accord still tinged with the remnants of bay and incense, and gently hugging the skin. I can’t say that I have smelled a fragrance quite like this before, but its uniqueness and originality are only small parts of its attraction. #2 Spiritus / Land just plain smells great, is beautifully refined and balanced, has excellent longevity, is very wearable, and does wonderful things for my mindset and my relationship to the universe. This is a gotta have.

    09 March, 2008

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    Embruns d'Essaouira by Montale

    A light, delicate herbal / incense fragrance billed as unisex but I really can’t see it as acceptably masculine. There is a bit of iodine in the mix, but not enough to please me. I barely get any incense, and the musk smells a little weird IMO. The sandalwood is not at all like most fragrance sandalwood – it is a bit too much empty of character for a sandalwood lover like me. Finally, the longevity is abysmal: My first response to this fragrance was “This can’t be a Montale — It’s too weak.” After that, poof! “…where did it go?” Maybe it’s just me, but where is Embruns D’Essaouira?

    09 March, 2008

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    L'Occitan by L'Occitane

    L’Occitan stays pretty much the same scent from the opening of bergamot dominated by pepper – quite a strong dose of pepper. I can barely perceive the lavender in the opening. Soon the nutmeg, cinnamon, and anise come on strong – some of them come on strong, that is. I guess about the only individual notes that I can identify are the pepper and cinnamon along with the lavender background. It’s not a bad accord, but I am not impressed with the opening. I guess I just don’t identify with the very strong pepper note – it’s definitely not my thing. L’Occitan holds a rather strong spice and herbal presence and is excellently wearable. It is a bit dark, but interestingly so – nothing depressing. I get some cedar and the burned effect from the base, but it doesn’t come through very strongly over the middle spice accord. I get no sweetness or musk in the base, but the base is enjoyable. L’Occitan doesn’t seem to develop much, nor does it have enough longevity on my skin. It is a very good fragrance though, and I probably would buy it if I could get better longevity out of it.

    09 March, 2008

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

    Ambre Russe is an interesting and attractive amber / leather fragrance. The alcohol opening – vodka and champagne – seems both more genuine and less intense than the famous Le Dandy’s accord: I find it quite enjoyable and am pleased with its longevity. On my skin it lasts much longer than the opening of most fragrances. I also get a lot of tea in the opening, a smoky tea, but I really don’t get a sense of incense. It’s an excellent top that I find almost as enjoyable as, and definitely more sophisticated than Le Dandy’s. There is a no-man’s-land between the top and the base notes: the amber hasn’t yet reached the point of controlling the accord and things grow drawn and a bit thin – stretched. The spices and herbs are there, but are not prominent; rather they are reticent and refined in their combination with the amber and leather. When the amber does show itself more strongly, it is in a recognizably unique and intelligent version: I get more of an amber / herbal than an amber / spice, and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s perfect for an amber accord. Being a disliker of leather notes in fragrances, I must approve of the use of leather in the base of Ambre Russe: it comes on late and weak, but it is excellently balanced with the amber / vanilla sweetness in a very sniffable drydown. This fragrance has all the requirements: good sillage, excellent longevity, accomplished complexity and refinement, and a wonderful balance between sweet and dry; it lives and breathes sophistication. (Edit of 09 March 2008 review.)

    09 March, 2008 (Last Edited: 30th November, 2009)

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