Fragrance Reviews from August 2008

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    foetidus
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    Y by Yves Saint Laurent

    Y is a well-balanced light green / floral / fruity / mossy chypre. To me it seems to be musky with a sensual animal component among the green, fruit, florals, and moss. The lightness and refinement of the mixture are quite remarkable and Y comes off to me as a lighter version of the classic chypres… intelligent and beautiful but with a plucky sensuality. For top notes I get mainly green (galbanum?) with a touch of peach; of the florals of the middle I can identify rose and gardenia with some softer more delicate florals along with them. The base gives me primarily the moss and animal notes with a nice touch of amber along with it. I know that when this fragrance was made, these were considered feminine accords. The way it responds on my skin, I could very well see Y as unisex. Except for the first few seconds, there is not much in it that I find very feminine. It does seem, however, to be the kind of fragrance whose intricacy and soft sensuality would allow it to respond in many different ways to different skin types.

    22 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 03 December, 2010)

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Tonino Lamborghini pour Homme by Tonino Lamborghini

    Tonino Lamborghini is sharp, cologny, and it has been done before. It has rough notes, unbalanced accords and awkward movements. This is a very good example of an unoriginal, thrown together ‘80s drugstore fragrance, but it doesn’t even have that “it’s what people want” excuse: it was created in 1999. Unfortunately, this is pretty much what many of the automobile fragrances turn out to be: uninspired, synthetic, out of date. Sometimes I think the automobile companies should stick to making automobiles.

    22 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 09 December, 2010)

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    the reaper
    Venezuela Venezuela

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    Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

    the most stylish fragrance. very classy. subtle and discreet. works great with my skin. last for about six hours.

    22 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 30th October, 2012)

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    AV by Adrienne Vittadini

    Soapy and cheap smelling: AV is notable only for its artificiality and it’s mediocrity. I would guess it’s supposed to smell fresh but all it manages is plastic. The bottle is user-unfriendly.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Violetta di Parma by Borsari

    Violetta di Parma is one of the few Borsari fragrances I don’t enjoy. It lists a lot of florals in its pyramid, but I get little of them: the most dominant accord is green to my nose, and since it’s a violet leaf green, I don’t like it at all. There’s little or no movement in the run of the fragrance, and the dry down is a totally unspectacular musk – vanilla combination. This one’s a negative…

    23 August, 2008

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    Eternity by Calvin Klein

    I don’t dislike this one as much as I used to. It used to be so much worn by so many women that it was about the only woman’s fragrance I smelled, and things get annoying under those conditions. Eternity is quite floral and it keeps a good control on the floral notes – it has the tendency that the masculine Eternity has to get a little synthetic... but to a lesser degree. The florals are nice – I could do without the violet note in it, but even that doesn’t bother me too much. There is some green in the opening and that’s the only non floral I find in the top two levels. The base is nice too – a standard sandalwood, musk, patchouli, and amber: it’s quite well balanced among the four notes. Eternity is an okay fragrance, nothing exciting, nothing annoying anymore now that it’s not ubiquitous.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Café by Cofinluxe

    These names of these Café fragrances can be confusing: This is the “Café” that is in the brown, dark brown and metallic gold box with gold coffee beans, and having the oval clear and brown bottle with the word “Café” in metallic gold with two metallic coffee beans. Café is an uncomplicated scent that delivers a quite nice fragrance and progression. The combination of lime, rosemary, and vetiver provides an extremely fresh and perky opening accord with an aromatic bent to it – quite atractive. Either the vetiver is of the sharp, raw variety or the scent has a strong streak of synthetics through it. In either case, I enjoy it. There’s very little sweetness in the accords – that aromatic effect is emphasized almost to the point where it gets to be too much. I get about the same accord that I smelled in CDG’s Guerrilla 1, but this one doesn’t go as far as being gross. There’s not very much movement in Café except that after about an hour it picks up a luscious sweetness that keeps me sniffing. The accords are interesting, a bit challenging, and quite unique. I think Parfums Café’s Café could easily be considered unisex unless you find the drydown too sweet. It has good sillage and longevity. This is one of those inexpensive fragrances that deliver way more than their prices would indicate.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Lacoste for Women by Lacoste

    Not impressive: The opening is rather sharp and alcoholy, and is not very refined. It’s fruity but also messy and undefined – not too sweet, though. I can’t even determine if the heart notes are green or floral or tea – it simply doesn’t come across clearly or strongly enough. I don’t get much of a drydown: Quite poor, in my opinion.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Arpège by Lanvin

    This is a sophisticated one. I can understand why its name is legend: it is an impressive fragrance, even in its current incarnation. Arpège opens with a smooth and refined aldehydic / floral / peach. I don’t find the aldehydes very strong and they don’t appear to last very long, which is probably good, because their passing leaves a rich and full floral accord with a well proportioned peach. The accord is elegant and even in its elegance boasts a sensual animalic undertone. It does come across as the older fragrance that it is, and that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned. The middle florals are refined, balanced, and classic and continue the sophistication. The base is strong in sandalwood with touches of tuberose and vanilla – again, a monument to classic elegance. Of all the classic women’s fragrances including those of Chanel, Arpège is my most admired. It’s quiet gracefulness, class, and sensuality touches most deeply.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Habanita by Molinard

    Reminds me a bit of Mitsouko because it hates me, but this one is not quite as evil to me as Mitsouko is. Habanita is a refined and well-constructed fragrance, sensual and sophisticated, interesting. It does have a leather note that, when it hits my skin, presents a quite annoying olfaction; but at least it doesn’t resort to a full metal jacket olfactory assault as Mitsouko does. They are both good fragrances, I suppose, but certainly not to my nose.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
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    Nirmala by Molinard

    I never thought I would like this one – a tropical fruity / vanilla fragrance created in 1955: Kind of my idea of a nightmare. It is humbling, enlightening, and a bit shocking to find how good it is. The tropicalness of Nirmala is real but it is accomplished without going over the top. The fruitiness is fresh, sweet, bright, and fulfilling while the vanilla is more of a firm, solid, near woody foundation: It restrains its exhuberance; it doesn't present itself as a super sweetened vanilla bomb. The restrained and mature vanilla is the secret of this fragrance, along with the reduced, skin-scent sillage. It’s unique, it’s refined, it’s creative, and it’s easy to wear: An excellent fragrance well ahead of its time.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Vanille by Molinard

    I agree. It’s very hard to review perfection and it’s quite unnecessary to try to say much more about Molinard’s Vanille than was said by calchic. She describes it completely and perfectly. Molinard Vanille is a simple but totally awesome fragrance. Do not let its obscurity or reasonable price cause you to give it a pass

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Jasmin by Molinard

    What can I say about this except that it’s jasmine… almost pure and almost solo... Jasmine. I can catch some green and maybe some vetiver in there, but I don’t get any other floral, nor do I get any wood notes except for the alleged vetiver. Essentially it’s jasmine. As a Jasmine solo, I think that it could use some improvement. The tenor, the timbre of the jasmine note is unexciting and uninspiring. It’s a bland jasmine and the most interesting thing about it is that shadow of an indole presence in its background. Not a strong indole, but it’s there. Jasmine is my unquestionable favorite floral note in combination with other notes in perfumery. If this scent is indicative, jasmine must be one of those elements that work better in concert with other elements as opposed to staying in solo operations. Molinards Les Fleurs Jasmin, as most of the scents in Molinard’s Les Fleurs and Les Senteurs series, is meant to be used with other Les Fleurs and Les Senteurs “solo” fragrances for personal fragrance building. For that purpose it fulfills its mission very nicely. As a solo fragrance it is mediocre, but for layering I can only vote a thumbs up – it does that job beautifully.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
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    Rose by Molinard

    I am not strongly fond of rose, so please take that into consideration in this review. Molinard Rose has as nice of personality as any solo rose characterization I’ve encountered in designer fragrances. I think Rose Molinard is excellently named because she is quite unifloral in her rosiness … I can’t identify her exact rose accent except to say it is not weak, not overly sweet, nor over the top; and she does not smell wild either. She seems quite typical of the kind of Rose found in so many of the designer rose fragrances– except that, in spite of her lack of uniqueness she has a very positive self-image. She has real presence, a strong sillage, and incredible longevity – and all these without ostensibly depending on anyone or anything else. When she finally disappears, she leaves a pleasant green note in her wake. Molinard Rose keeps a better character if she is applied lightly – she turns into a real villain – aggressive and oily if there’s too much of her.

    23 August, 2008

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    Gingembre by Roger & Gallet

    I usually don’t care for a strong ginger note in fragrances. I love the use of ginger in Eau de Gengembre. It is gentle and refreshing. The opening is light and citrusy with a pleasant element of Japanese ginger: Apparently the whole plant – leaves, flowers, and root – is used for the ginger note. The ginger strength does get a bit stronger with the heart, and it is sweetened a tiny bit by ambrette: This heart accord is as balanced, refined, and delicate as the opening. For the drydown, the ginger is almost exhausted, but it does leave a sharpness that wouldn’t be there if there were no ginger. The drydown is almost sweet, musky, and short lasting. I love the refreshingly light ginger ambiance of this fragrance. It is especially welcome on those muggy days that are so prevalent here. Of course, since it is an Eau, so it doesn’t last very long, but its reasonable price allows for frequent touch ups. I love this one.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
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    Salvador Dali by Salvador Dali

    I’ve seen where this called a chypre; I’ve also seen it referred to as an Oriental; to confuse the situation more, H & R Genealogy positions it between aldehydic and sweet floral. What is it, really? I, personally, would call it a chypre, but I wouldn’t argue with Oriental. I think we can all agree with “aldehydic,” but… “sweet”…? It doesn’t come across as sweet to me. All of these labels just go to show how complex and impressive this fragrance is. Salvador Dali is an admirable EDP that hasn’t received the acclaim it deserves. The deep, rich, sensual notes already spring up in the opening, and its citrus / green accord is kicked up to the second or third power by the aldehydes. It is so sensual that I began scanning the pyramid for the animalic notes… Much to my surprise, I didn’t find them listed – must be the indoles from the jasmine. The middle florals form a solid rich floral bouquet with the jasmine slightly dominant to my nose – there is also a fairly strong powder, which continues into the base. The base presents a definite amber and vanilla, but it isn’t what I would call sweet because the cedar and the myrrh have a strong drying presence. It’s a wonderful what-I-would-call chypre base: woody, ambery, and slightly resinous. Hours later the myrrh note is still caressing the skin. Another wonderful ‘80s feminine fragrance.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
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    Salvatore Ferragamo by Salvatore Ferragamo

    Catchy opening with the coconut and pepper joining with the citrus: It is unique and fresh and enjoyable because of the liquid richness of the coconut and the energy of the spicy pepper. And the opening lasts nicely. I don’t get any florals from the middle except maybe some spiciness from the carnation note. The rosewood comes through and provides even more background richness and depth to the fragrance. I love rosewood, so I am liking what I’m smelling… The base is a soft wood with the cedar (helped by the rosewood) predominating to my nose. I catch very little sweetness in the base. The pepper / carnation spice from the top remain a bit and lend an almost incense note to the base. Salvatorre Ferragamo is an enjoyable fragrance but it is seriously lacking in longevity.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
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    Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

    Boudoir is certainly not the opulent, powdery, Amouage interpretation of sensuality that I expected. The opening is heavy, thick, darkly floral, hinting at a plush, musty sexuality: It is powdered and ambered, but earthy and readily obtainable, still… it’s far from being skanky. It’s sweet but it is more opaquely intimate than it is sweet. The tobacco note comes through strongly for me and carries the heavy red rose, the cinnamon, and the patchouli with it to achieve its uniquely indulgent warmth. It’s a fragrance potent and shameless in its implications, and it’s entirely feminine.

    It doesn’t smell at all like them, but it provides the same innuendos and suppositions as those old civet laden chypres of the past. Just as with those old chypres, I love the sensual, earthy sophistication of this one… It is a remarkable scent.

    23 August, 2008

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    Paco Rabanne Pour Elle by Paco Rabanne

    A fragrance that took a little bit of time to grow on me: When I first tested it, I found it a very nice fragrance with nothing wrong, but nothing special. A very nice fragrance, indeed: fruity opening, then very floral, then wood. The accords are pleasant and balanced, and charmingly feminine. The more I tested it, the more I came to appreciate its endearing characteristics. The opening fruit accord has a bit of citrus but is primarily plum – rounded and mellow without excessive sweetness. The florals present primarily rose and peony to my nose in an accord that is light and not at all flowery. For the base I chiefly get sandalwood, amber, and a very little peach. I don’t get vanilla. Paco Rabanne Pour Elle is a light but long lasting floral: a well-made, interesting feminine fragrance.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
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    30cc / 50cc / 100cc by Chevignon

    The fragrance that changes its name to correspond to the size of the bottle: Actually, My bottle doesn’t say 100cc by Chevignon, it says 5cc by Chevignon – it’s a mini. As far as synthetic goes, I’ll go Russlan two better: I think the top and middle accords are synthetic in addition to the base, but he’s certainly right about the base. The base is the weakest part of the fragrance. This is another one of those generic “me to” fragrances, typical of the lesser inspired ‘90s me-too fragrances except that this was created in 2002, making it a complete loser all around…

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
    United States United States

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    Bobby Jones by Bobby Jones

    Bobby Jones, a golfer – even before my time. Bobby Jones, the fragrance, is, I agree, a little like Swiss Army. They both have a very similar green in the opening – a green that’s a bit on the sour side. Otherwise it is citrus fresh and lighter than many others fragrances from the same time. The middle continues the green motif with a coniferous cypress while a soft lightwood note joins in. It ends with a simple amber / coniferous drydown. It’s a simple and direct fragrance that does well what it does – a competent fragrance – pleasant, comfortable – but nothing spectacular.

    23 August, 2008

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    foetidus
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    Bogart by Jacques Bogart

    Fresh lemon blossom / rosemary opening: the lemon flower adds both a floral and a citrus feel to the refreshing herbal rosemary note, and the effect is both uplifting and bracing: I love this opening, and it lasts longer than the usual citrus opening! The middle level is a more traditional geranium / spice accord. Typical of its ‘80s creation date, it is very nicely balances with the spices playing a minor to the geranium. As opposed to the opening, this accord does seem a little old fashioned to me with its prominent geranium. The leather, birch, oakmoss base is also traditional, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it old fashioned. It holds up well to modern tastes. Bogart is a classic that belies its 1975 creation date and has held up for longer than most of its better-known contemporaries. It’s a thumbs up fragrance for sure.

    23 August, 2008

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    Chaleur d'Animale pour Homme by Animale Parfums

    Why the chain? Chaleur d’Animale opens with a green / citrus / herbal accord that is sharp to the point of seeming cheap – it’s that thin, piercing, meaningless sharpness that inhabits so many of the drugstore fragrances. It does settle down to a more acceptable sharpness as it moves into the middle accords of spice and florals – sharp but okay. This middle is not especially endearing, it’s not strongly either floral or spicy but it is a nice green that has a non-offending sort of way about it. The base doesn’t change much from what went before, except that it becomes woodier – a sort of Ehhh woodiness. I don’t really think of Chaleur d’Animale as being strongly sweet; I think its sweetness is kept well under control. It is not very challenging nor is it very unique. It’s okay, but, why the chain?

    23 August, 2008

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    Giorgio for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills


    I’ve found Giorgio for men to be a genuine shape-shifter. At times it responds as a beautifully balanced, rich, full masculine woody Oriental with a strongly patchouli-plus-citrus opening. It is a dry fruity / citrus and it’s wonderfully and masculinely rich and full. At other times I get a strong, boring herbal note… but herbals aren’t listed and I have no idea where that note is coming from; I don’t enjoy it. At the times I get the good vibrations in the opening, the middle notes are also excellent: Patchouli dominated, of course, with cinnamon, and a touch of rose – quite a rich, masculine scent. But on those times when the opening fails me, the middle fails me, too… it is flat and unresponsive, and I don’t understand why I’m not picking up any of the florals or the cinnamon. Under either result, the drydown is not the kind that usually captivates me because it is missing heavy woodnotes. It has, however, patchouli and moss, and I enjoy this version more than I usually enjoy the combination – it is very well done with its touch of benzoin sweetener. Whether it’s a good day or bad day, I never smell the honey. Upon experimentation I have found that the differences in the scent’s reaction seems to come from two variables: first, the skin must be freshly cleaned. Now I have long known this about patchouli fragrances, but the corruption of the patchouli doesn’t happen with every patchouli fragrance, so I often forget the sparkling clean-skin dictum. The second cause appears to be temperature. I no longer even attempt to wear Giorgio in warm or humid weather – it’s finicky and just doesn’t respond the way I want it to under stressful conditions: Cool / dry is best. If I follow the rules it’s a great fragrance. (Edit of August 28, 2008 review.)

    23 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 22 June, 2009)

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    foetidus
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    Higher by Christian Dior

    I do not like the opening. To my nose it has a very off note that smells like something like moldy varnish. I think the moldy varnish is a really distorted rosemary / pepper / “cold” spice accord that is the cause of this annoyance: Higher has a poorly executed use of spices, in my opinion. I think the cypress is in there, but it comes through muddled in with the spice accord. The base is primarily wood: An uninspired wood that has a hard time vying with the annoying spice accord that seems to have way too much longevity. Frankly, I don’t like this one at all.

    23 August, 2008

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    Jean Marie Farina by Roger & Gallet

    It opens with a rosemary / citrus opening that is unlike the bright, clean citrus openings of the many of the more modern fragrances – I get more rosemary than citrus, substantially more and I am loving the difference There is a kind of bitterness to it that I find refreshing and clean in a pleasantly different sort of way. It certainly contains a lot more substance to it than the lighter, modern accords, and it is a refreshing change. I expect the opening to be gone in a few minutes, but it lasts longer than I expected. It isn’t until a half hour later that I begin to pick up the florals from the middle. Because of the neroli and the Petitgrain, the heart accord has more of a citrus effect than the opening, but a rose note shows up in the background to grow to eventually take over in the base. The spices from the carnation and the cloves never expose themselves on my skin, and I don’t really miss them. This scent is a joy to experience and use. Of course it has poor lasting power, but the scent is so enjoyable that its longevity is an inconvenience, not a problem.

    23 August, 2008

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    Open by Roger & Gallet

    Open: The soapiness is the main characteristic that I notice at first, and, at first, it seems too soapy for me. It is so soapy (maybe because of the aldehydes) that it seems almost slimy-leathery, but it appears that there is no leather in the fragrance. The fragrance settles down quickly to something my nose can appreciate, and what’s left is a very smooth green, citrus, and lavender accord, the lavender being mercifully held back. The result is that I quite enjoy the opening accord – eventually. The heart level is a smooth, refined floral / green / herbal accord: Very well done, enjoyable, and quite unique for both the time it was created and now. There is something mysterious in the accord, and the mystery adds an unexpected depth to the fragrance. By the drydown I think that I can identify what had been the soapy culprit: moss. It’s the moss that gave that initial feel that threw me a little. The moss has retreated to an excellently acceptable note in the base, and the base is balanced and warm with its amber, moss, musk, and vetiver. I had a good feeling about this fragrance when I ordered it blind. When I first smelled the annoyingly soapy opening, I quickly doubted my ordinarily nicely working precognition abilities. I am happy to report that my ESP abilities are in good shape – after the first eight minutes it is a wonderful fragrance.

    23 August, 2008

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    R de Capucci by Roberto Capucci

    I was shocked at the Yatagan comparisons here. Over the years of wearing it, I have come to dislike Yatagan immensely and yet I admire this fragrance – I don’t find anything similar in the two. To my nose R de Capucci is similar enough to Antaeus to be a lighter version of that Chanel classic. It has similar notes and similar progressions. It’s doesn’t have the special Chanel touch of the original Antaeus, but R de Capucci is an excellent version that I have chosen to purchase in lieu of the newer, reformulated Antaeus. To my nose, R de Capucci has more fluidity and subtlety, and its less aggressive nature makes it more acceptable in modern circumstances. I don’t get much powder in the opening; I get a clean green / citrus accord with aldehydes and a slightly animalic background. The animalic background never broadens or intensifies; it stays as a far off background note through the run of the fragrance. The rose in the middle comes to me in the form of a rose / jasmine / green accord – quite beautiful and deep, but to my nose, the rose is in equal partnership with the jasmine and the green. The green is probably the vetiver that acts sharply green instead of immediately exhibiting its earthy woody persona. The drydown is an excellent leather / moss that must have strong elements of vetiver and patchouli because leather / moss is, perhaps, my least favorite drydown, and I enjoy this particular drydown. There is little or no sweetness in the fragrance yet the fragrance doesn’t come across as heavy or dark. R de Capucci is an excellent fragrance. It has strong elements of the classic ‘80s fragrances, but it is quite wearable today: Whether it reminds of Yatagan, Antaeus, or Aramis, it is an excellent scent – get it while you can.

    23 August, 2008

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    Royall Bay Rhum by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

    Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon, Neroli, Orange, Rosemary
    Carnation, Cedar, Nulg, Orris Root, Tonka
    Amber, Musk, Oakmoss, Tonka

    I’ve long been a fan of bay rum scents, Royall’s Bay Rhum has a really nice thing going on in the opening with the citruses, lavender, and bay – a complex bay rum accord that is invigorating, lively, and bright. A part of the invigorating liveliness is the clove note that maintains a respectable subservience in the opening accord. The bay note stays through the middle level of the fragrance where it joins with cedar and carnation, and, with the combination of all these spicy things, the accord becomes too clovey… the clove takes over the accord and reigns supreme: It becomes overbearing in middle notes. The fragrance seems depleted shortly after the arrival of the base. There is really not much of a drydown except for a clove dominated skin scent that lasts at most an hour on my skin. This is a nice scent – well constructed, very good notes, not the worst longevity, but I’m still looking for a traditional bay rum that doesn’t turn into cloves.

    23 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 24 December, 2009)

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    Royall Lyme by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

    Royall Lyme begins with a clear, sweet, and sharp lime note – so enjoyable and refreshing. That lime note is about all there is to fragrance – but it’s a superb lime note. It does have that tiny bit of disinfectant that Naed_Nitram refers to, and it does have the aura of candy. Lime is my favorite citrus scent, and Royall certainly knows how to present it. Royall Lyme is a splash and has even less longevity than most splashes. It lasts about twenty minutes on my skin, but it’s a great scent while it lasts.

    23 August, 2008

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