Fragrance Reviews from May 2009

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    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Alain Delon Pour Homme by Alain Delon

    I don't get anything in the opening at all. It feels all very weak. Though in the drydown the scent is more prevalent. The drydown switches between a really odd squeaky clean soapy sandalwood and a vetiver. I like quieter scents but this one whispers and mumbles its intentions.

    26 May, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Carbon by rue21

    At first, I thought this was some kind of weird Dior Homme knockoff with a lot of freshness thrown in. It is most definitely not. It's different but underdone and needs more to hold my attention. Carbon is a fresh MINERAL smell. Mineral in the way that the Comme des Garcons perfumes are like... only a hell of a lot more fresh. Damn this freshness! For the kids maybe? Maybe a few pumice stones decided to take a bath?

    26 May, 2009

    Merbert's avatar

    United States United States

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    La Violette by Annick Goutal

    What a strange drydown La Violette creates. The true violet blossom scent explodes upon application, only to nearly disappear within 15 minutes. At that point come olfactory mayhem, pitting odd greens, possibly vetiver, and clove with children's cough syrup. Once this settles, all that remains is piercing, penetrating fresh raspberry which continues for hours.

    26 May, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mandragore by Annick Goutal

    Annick Goutal Mandragore

    Notes: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Star Anise, Mint, Ginger, Boxwood, Mandrake (from Osmoz.com)

    On first spray, Mandragore is a pleasant, biting blend of citrus, pepper, anise and ginger root. The pepper is a bit dry and nose-tickling, although well blended with the other top notes. Overall the effect is almost edible, like an italian cookie dough my grandmother makes. Incidentally, this cookie dough is for pizzelle which are flat waffle-like cookies cooked two-by-two with a special iron or press. While cooking, the aromatic oils of the dough are released into the air where they cling for days. The aromatic oils come from grated lemon zest, vanilla extract and anise oil. Of course, Mandragore does not have the sugary and eggy quality that the cookie dough has, but the resemblance is striking.

    Eventually the citrus in Madragore starts to retreat, allowing the pepper and ginger to come forward in a cloud of fluffy anise. Losing the citrus also allows some woods to peek out, and in general, the fragrance becomes much less comforting and much more dry, prickly, austere. About twenty minutes into Mandragore's development, I find it does not hold my interest. It becomes a bit flat, even though the anise and mild woods keep plugging away as the pepper and ginger fade. One to two hours in, I catch pleasant whiffs of the anise, but not much else as most of the other notes have melted into my skin. At complete drydown (about 3-4 hours after applying), the anise is still faintly present along with a sweet, nondescript amber-musk base and the sweaty vestiges of citrus oils. On paper, the scent seems to develop much more slowly, so this may be the better option for longevity. However, even on paper, this fragrance really loses its momentum early on, and it leaves me wanting more.

    26 May, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    The Unicorn Spell by LesNez

    Les Nez The Unicorn Spell

    Notes: Violet (LesNez.com)

    The Unicorn Spell starts in a devastatingly green part of the spectrum. Initially, there is a strong resemblance to raw green beans. Lest anybody think their fragrance experience will be ruined by a nasty vegetable odor, let me say two things. First, this aspect lasts mere seconds while the juice dries. Second, fresh green beans smell GREAT. These are not the sorry, soggy flavorless green beans you get from a can. They are the bitter green things you pick from vines in the garden, and to my nose, smell so much like sappy stems and wood, that they almost do not seem edible. Also, if I may take a jab at a certain Hermes "tomato stem" accord, I find the opening of TUS to be far fresher and more inviting.

    As TUS moves into the mid notes, the star of the show becomes obvious--violet. Violet leaf, violet stem, violet root, violet blossom. This is an arrestingly gorgeous dry, green woody note that is softly supported by orris root. I am not sure if I can detect galbanum, but to be sure, the violet leaf note is complex enough to have swallowed any galbanum whole. A galbanum-like bitterness is certainly present. This middle stage develops very slowly over a few hours. The bitter green softens as the iris takes over, making the whole thing seem more billowy. I have the feeling I am in a field of wild flowers at the edge of a forest. Here I can smell indistinct florals and fragrant foliage baking in the sun while I also smell the damp coolness of the forest floor and aromatic, woody tree bark.

    Sadly, the base notes do not support this fragrance much beyond the time the mid notes fade. At this stage (around four hours after application) TUS becomes a very close-wearing skin scent of gentle ambergris, slightly sweet and salty. I absolutely adore this interpretation of "green" using violet and iris, and this is no surprise since I love green fragrances on the whole (especially Chanel No.19). In comparison to No.19, TUS is much greener, less overtly floral, and does not ever turn very powdery. In fact, TUS is almost an anti-perfume. The fragrance is evocative, but it doesn't seem to be a beauty product per se. Likewise, it is not so experiential that it is forced into the realm of an unwearable concept piece. I am smitten by this green beauty that walks the line between conventional fragrance and something completely different.

    26 May, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Frederic Malle Geranium pour Monsieur

    One thin mint, it is what John Cleese offers Monsieur Creosote in "The Meaning of Life". Too often for me one thin mint has led to a note which has resembled toothpaste to me and put me off of enjoying the rest of a scent, Cartier Roadster was the latest example of this. When reading the note list for this 2009 release by Dominique Ropion there it was again, one thin mint, in the person of peppermint right in the top. After spraying it on a card my worries were intensified as it smelled like the mint oil I used to make homemde minted toothpicks. When I sprayed it on my skin, much like M. Creosote, the mint did produce an explosion but a happy one. The top of Geranium pour Monsieur is a vaporous breath of mint, it is the mint brother to the camphor top of Comme des Garcons Monocle Scent One: Hinoki. This feels icy cool and feels like it fills up every nook and cranny in my airway and it is beautiful and fleeting. In the heart the promised geranium comes in as if after the explosion what was left was a vase holding geraniums. This comes off somewhat rose-like and somewhat green and is a near-perfect match to the mint at the top. The drydown is incredibly soft and I can see for many it being too soft as the base is all sheer and light white musk. It is almost too light for me and if it had just a little more bite to it this scent would be brilliant, for me. As it is it is still quite good and still recommended unless like M. Creosote you just can't abide one thin mint.

    26 May, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler

    Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Malt

    When I saw the name of this for the first time my mind went to the candy store as I thought of malted milk balls. My mind should've gone to the liquor store and the single malt scotch aisle. The malt in the title refers to the malt used to make scotch and this 2009 follow-up to the successful limited edition A*Men Pure Coffee is as smooth as a 25-year old scotch. Most flankers take the approach of keeping one part of the parent in place and as it was in Pure Coffee in Pure Malt the A*Men base of patchouli, chocolate and coffee is where this scent ends. If you don't like that base, stop reading because it is identical to A*Men and nothing that comes before it will change that. Pure Coffee was good because the intense coffee note at the top helped tamp it down in the base and made the chocolate stand out more, to me. In Pure Malt the titular note has the same effect in making an aspect of A*Men stand out more. The top of Pure Malt is as advertised rich peaty malt. You smell the boozy character bolstered by the oaky barrel it is aged in. Then as this prgresses the caramel that is always present in A*Men is accentuated and brought to the fore by the Malt accord. It totally makes the heart of this different than either version of A*Men that have come before. It bears some similarity to B*Men but I much prefer this boozy beginning which leads beautifully into the caramel before the patchouli, chocolate and coffee come in to remind you of this scent's parentage. This is an ideal boozy gourmand and it is also going to be a nice summer scent as it comes off lighter than A*Men on me as a whole. This makes the second flanker of A*Men to be, what I consider, an improvement on the parent. Rarely is the sequel better than the original but these A*Men flankers are proving the exception to the rule.

    26 May, 2009

    Goldaline's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Silences by Jacomo

    I absolutely love this fragrance. It is a subdued and refined chypre with a green and citrus note in a splendid and smooth black bottle. I haven't been able to find it in the UK for many years now - alas!

    Silences is a quality fragrance - highly recommended.

    26 May, 2009

    MFJ's avatar



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    Narciso Rodriguez for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

    After sampling the EDT and EDP several times on many occasions, I'd have to conclude that both seem to be very different scents altogether. Personally I prefer the EDP which I find creamier, much richer, more powdery, and has a more distinct floral sweetness to it. Both are synthetic smelling but in a good way like Clinique's Happy for Women. To me there isn't a hint of fruits at all in both concentrations.

    26 May, 2009 (Last Edited: 08 July, 2009)

    MFJ's avatar



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    Pi Neo by Givenchy

    Simply average and bordering mediocre. This feels like an idle attempt to create a "modern" scent. It doesn't even smell like it would be something popular or mass-appealing. A rather redundant release if you asked me.

    26 May, 2009 (Last Edited: 29 October, 2009)

    andy85's avatar



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    Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

    one of the best citrus, floral, fresh, woody fragance ever created. especial for summer. its a masterpiece from Ellena. its very original, and smell sophisticated and very expensive.

    26 May, 2009

    AnnS's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat by Guerlain

    This fragrance flattened out on me very quickly after an initial burst of bracing bergamot and citrus - it reminds me very much of Annick Goutal's Les Nuites d'Hadrien which I also had trouble wearing. The cedar is tricky on me. I recommend testing this one first....

    26 May, 2009

    AnnS's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cristalle Eau Verte by Chanel

    Cristalle eau Verte is an intensely soapy green floral that only magnifies it's presence with time. It is not as sophisticated as I would have expected from Chanel, and not as brilliant a re-working as the No 5 eau Premier. Cristalle eau Verte is not pleasant to wear - maybe it's just not for me. I'd take the original Cristalle (even with it's swampy leather drydown) over eau Verte any day because the original Cristalle has tons of personality and character, especially in the magnificent opening. Just skip it altogether and stock up on the original Cristalle or buy some vintage Chanel No 19 or Parfums de Nicolai Temps d'Une Fete instead.

    26 May, 2009

    dynastyd95's avatar



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    Ed Hardy Man by Christian Audigier

    This smells like Pi or Pi Neo. Way too sweet for my liking.

    26 May, 2009

    Nihilist's avatar



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    Only The Brave by Diesel

    Tried this at a local store. very pleasant, mildly green and sweet. definitely daytime and summer. application will require several sprays, and is of less longevity than D&G The One. on me, anyhow.

    26 May, 2009

    redstar's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

    Gosh, this is awful, just awful. Bought this because of positive reviews here but this is sooo dated and just not for the younger generation. It has this stong generic cheap alcoholic blast on initial application and, well thats where my association ended- i could not get home sooner to wash it off! My verdict: Not for the young crowd!!!
    [ps. my dad loved it so it did not end up in the bin whew....]

    26 May, 2009 (Last Edited: 31st May, 2009)

    robbert's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    Smells good, a lot of people like the smell of this, but it didn't do anything for me than smell pretty

    26 May, 2009

    cynthia.thistle's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jolie Madame by Pierre Balmain

    I wore Jolie Madame back in the early 70's. When I purchased the new EDT I was very surprised at how green it smelled. I didn't recognize the scent until it had been on me a half hour. I am new to Basenotes and don't have the language and should probably lurk for awhile, but Jolie Madame was the scent that got me started back into the world of perfume a couple tears ago. Yes, tears, because I have spent money stupidly. Now I sniff BEFORE I buy, usually.

    26 May, 2009

    GSL040282's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Prada Amber pour Homme by Prada

    This is a very clean smelling soapy fragrance. Which lasts for up to 6 hours. When I first smelt this fragrance I was like WOW! I wasn't disapointed. I bought the 100 ml eau de toilette. Which is one of my top 10 fragrances in my collection.
    Prada have done exceptionally well for their first pour homme.
    A beautiful fragrance.

    26 May, 2009

    Drybananna's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rain by Demeter Fragrance Library

    This doesn't smell anything like rain. AT ALL. That said, it doesn't even smell good.. The smell makes you want to punch a wall, I don't know. Disgusting smell.

    26 May, 2009

    lovelife612's avatar



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    Daisy by Marc Jacobs

    ok, so i only sniffed daisy once. And when i sprayed it on, i immediately got a headache!..i don't know what it was. The top notes really reminded me of freshly cut grass..i have nooo idea why!. but to me it did. And i hate the smell of freshly cut grass..thus i do not like daisy. But im sure it is a wonderful scent, since so many women truly enjoy it! I wish i did!

    26 May, 2009

    lovelife612's avatar



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    Imari Seduction by Avon

    ah i absolutely love this fragrance!
    It lingers forever. It starts off very strong and settles in to a warm and beautiful vanilley scent!
    Its wonderful :]

    26 May, 2009

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Byzance by Rochas

    Byzance opens soapy, aldehydic and with a big perfumey blast that characterizes olfactory decade of the 80’s with an obvious wink towards the floral aldehydes of the 20’s. A big tuberose comes through right away with a heady bitter-sweetness and a touch of greens. Underlining base notes of musk and amber make themselves immediately apparent as well. And a spicy yet balsamic warmth of cardamom makes for a slightly exotic opening. It settles into a green yet sweet tuberose for quite some time. The dry down reveals more of the woods as well as vanilla, and sweet berry-like undertones which reminds me of the final dryout of Ivoire. And there is always a sense of sweetness about it – although not as overbearing as the first few moments.

    Byzance interestingly has some characteristics of a chypre (perhaps the juxtaposition of potent florals with greens creates that illusion), but it is not. It is a flamboyant, outgoing floriental.

    I am still trying ot figure out what is the connection to the name though. It does not smell particularly typical of the region or the religious connotations of the Eastern Church. The bottle design is the only point of reference I can see (the circle being reminiscent of that found inside the basilicas in Turkey). It also reminds me of the bottle design of Soir de Paris.

    27 May, 2009

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Velvet Gardenia by Tom Ford

    The moment I lifted up the lid of Velvet Gardenia to unveil its fragrance, I was swept into an unfamiliar territory, resting somewhere between dusk and twilight. A perfume simultaneously soft and diffusive like the performance of a soft-focused old-Hollywood starlet. The subtle and demure expressions are delivered by features that were intensified with false lashes and blood-red lipstick.

    Velvet Gardenia will strike a nostalgic chord for anyone familiar with this heady flower; yet not in the least the conventionally pretty gardenia soliflore favoured by the Southern Belle. This gardenia was grown by candle light, deeming it somewhat waxy and distinctively darker and spicier than any other gardenia-themed perfume. Its dusky complexity stems from combining wine-like top notes, the spiciness of ginger lily and the underlining honeyed sweetness of labdanum. There is absolutely nothing tropical about it; it would be useless on the beach but perfect through a blizzard paired with a fur coat.

    27 May, 2009

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    31 rue Cambon by Chanel

    For some reason, I can never get overly excited about furniture. And when trying to think what is the best visual way to portray 31 Rue Cambon, I cannot stop thinking of neutral coloured furniture. I can admire the architecture of the bottle (magnetic cap maintains the alignment of the mirrored "cc" logo at all times). I can intellectualize about the validity of oakmoss-free chypre and analyze the construction of the fragrance. But as of yet, I remain unaffected, no matter how comfortable or elegant this fragrance may be.

    In the context of the entire collection released back in 2007, 31 Rue Cambon stood out right next to the quirky, nutty unpolished ambrette seeds of No. 18. Back than it reminded me of the understated woody and aldehydic-floral juxtaposition of Bois des Îles. Two years later, I’m still impressed with the first few moments of intrigue, where 31 Rue Cambon smells like how you’d expect a luxury good boutique to smell like (reference: Hermès Poivre Samarkand). For a few moments, the juxtaposition of orris, pepper and vetiver seems equally classy and fresh (in the sense of “new”). But is that really how “the best chypre of thirty years” that would “permanently change the landscape of perfumery” suppose to smell like?

    27 May, 2009

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Dans Tes Bras by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    In Dans tes Bras, Maurice Roucel brings up the unspeakable topic of intimacy. Intimacy is something that is difficult to describe, but easily felt. It's a subtle emotion and a state of mind that occurs when we somehow connect to another person on the deepest level through closeness or proximity. It's one of those strange connections between spirit and matter: looking into someone's eyes and having a glimpse into their soul; being so close you can hear their heartbeat and sense their breath on your skin and breathing in the invisible scent of their skin.

    Seemingly, there is nothing unusual about Dans tes Bras. It is very perfumey at first: violet accord that is both powdery like orris and wet and woody like cassie underlined by noticeable dosage of heliotropin - that vanillic molecule that makes heliotrope smells so sweet, almondy and plasticky all at once.

    It is not until a few hours in that the intimate aspects of Dans tes Bras reveal themselves. At which point, technically speaking the woody base notes (most notably patchouli) are exposed, along with foreign molecules which I’ve never smelled separately and which create the sensation of minerals and salt on hot skin. From a more sentimental point of view, this is the point where Dans tes Bras begins to smell like perfumed skin that has been immaturely washed away in a warm salty ocean, but not completely. Whatever is left on the skin is going to dry out in the hot sand and sun and become only a vague memory of that violet perfume but an even stronger memory of that sunny afternoon on the beach. But if you wait till the morning, you will wake up to remnants of Nag Champa incense smoke that has stuck to your clothes, sheets and everything you've ever possessed.

    27 May, 2009

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Sweet Lime and Cedar by Jo Malone

    A modern twist in the cologne genre, Sweet Lime and Cedar uses kaffir lime leaf (aka Thai lime), tamarind and cedarwood as the theme. It may have the coolness of a tamarind drink in the alleyways of the souk, but it is more leafy than citrusy and I can’t say that I’m smelling the unmistakable kaffir lime note on its own. Rather, it seems like a Westernized version for those who don’t really care for that particular lime or perhaps find it too weird. The overall impression is of fresh leaves rubbed between the palms, and not particularly citrusy though possessing that type of invigorating freshness. A few moments later, I can sense a foreign note attempting to rise above the others – a gardenia and coconut accord, but a very artificial kind as the one you smell in every-other-celebrity-fragrance and the next one coming up. Thankfully, this phase is very short living and is quickly replaced by a dry pomelo note and a tad of coriander that lead to the longer lasting cedarwood that lingers on and on.

    Colognes usually lose my interest nearly as fast as the initial blast of fresh juicy citrus top notes evaporates from the skin. But those that have cedarwood base seem to not only work well on my skin but also keep my brain stimulated longer without feeling irritated (the synthetic longer living citrus notes do that to me and turn on my skin). I had a similar infatuation with Miller Harris’ Citron Citron and could see myself quenching thirst for an entire summer with one of these at hand. At the same time, I am not particularly convinced that this perfume delivers its Thai cuisine premise and think that if it was carried out more boldly it would have made a truly fascinating perfume.

    27 May, 2009

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Rose by Scent Systems

    Rose grabs you by the prick of a thorn. “I'm here! Notice me!”. It’s rosier than possible in real life, bigger and greener and sharp with overtly fruit-like a peach punch - to the point that it stops being a rose, and becomes an Indian curry. Or perhaps, an English take on what an Indian curry is all about. Meaning, a pinwheel curried chicken sandwich nibbled in a dark tea lounge while dreaming of an English rose garden in summertime.

    The overripe fruit is intensified with rubbery, boozy opoponax only to be claimed by an earthy undercurrent. Vetiver, patchouli and turmeric are to blame for that effect; and while the imaginary roses shed their petals one by one, earth and curry take over like the sleepiness that follows a heavy meal.

    27 May, 2009

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Oeillet by Scent Systems

    Oeillet takes me to times when taking a bath by the candle light was not a luxury but a necessity. Once a week, the “Geyser” was turned on to full-blast to heat up enough water for the entire family of 7 (this is not the natural phenomenon, but the name of an archaic gasoline-operated boiler that had such a tall chimney it looked like a rocket ship). One after the other, we went into the tub tired and dirty (the week was long but Friday seemed even longer with all the hard to get ready for the Sabbath); and we came out purified and rejuvenated.

    Before my bath, I would pick a dozen branches of mountain sage and steep it to make the darkest tea possible to rinse my hair. The tea was so dark it nearly stained the bathtub. And it was so strong it made my hair smell of sage for the next couple of days (when it was rinsed again, but this time with whichever water temperature the tap had to offer).

    Oeillet is dusky, dark, earthy and seductive. It reminds me of rinsing my hair with sage tea on those Friday nights but also more in general the winter life in our electricity deprived village - oil lamps and candles lighting the room and me and my little brother cutting citrus peels into strange shapes and than burning them in the fireplace.

    Oeillet opens juicy and citrusy and with a definite hit of sage, cistus and galbanum absolute that gush out and breathes like drips of blood and wine on earth. Spicy heart of carnation is set against an earthy and musky backdrop of inky patchouli absolute.
    Although oiellet means carnation in French, this is not a simple carnation soliflore. I don’t think of it as a floral perfume either; I would classify it as a herbaceous, spicy oriental. Original and vibrant to the point that it’s hard to believe all these plant essences aren’t real living and breathing animals.

    27 May, 2009

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Manoumalia by LesNez

    Manoumalia is every bit a steamy, humid floral that intoxicates the senses and evokes faraway locals in a most vivid and genuine manner. It opens with what smells exactly like the houseplant in my lobby that was haunting me last August. It has the same kewda-like sharpness and headiness to it, initially also underlined with some juicy orange blossom and and humid tuberose notes. For some 30 minutes or so, it feels as if tropical flowers' nectar and jungle-leaf sap is mingled with salty sweat; the kind of feeling you get when you work in a hothouse. The initial Dracena fragrans note fades out after the initial blast of tropical steam and turns into a soft, creamy tuberose and ylag ylang that remains subtle and subdued for the remaining of its life on my skin - with soft woody murmurs like the hushing leaves in the jungle at night.

    27 May, 2009

    Showing 1021 to 1050 of 1218.