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Polo Supreme Oud by Ralph Lauren

This is a moderately good fragrance and a real surprise from a house like Ralph Lauren. Not since original Polo has such a manly kind of fragrance emerged from Polo. This is a strong oud or agarwood central aroma supported nicely by gaiac wood and vetiver to leave a mossy deep woods kind of base note. If there wasn't a big dose of spice + pepper coating the top notes, this would have been a better fragrance for me. This strong cinnamon, pink pepper (bay?) turns the subtle fragrance to a less sophisticated cousin of Creed Royal Oud. The spice influence here is quite strong and over shadows the excellent oudish green base and also adds some sweetness to the scent. I would give this one a 7 of 10 rating. It could have been better if the aromatics in the opening act were drier and darker - an effect derived from cocoa in Shay and Blue's Oud Alif or also as in PG Coze 04's coffee note. Supreme Oud is a decent effort though, and I am sure many people will enjoy it.
02nd September, 2015

Fahrenheit Absolute by Christian Dior

Tested from a sample today and tonight.
It's true it's a shame this has been discontinued. I have F original and F Parfum and like all three, although they're all different.
F Absolute is closer to the original, especially at the start. It's intensive violets, which I love (reminds me only in this part of the intense parma violet start of the vintage Grey Flannel) and that signature F petroly tarmacy smell. For me too there is a time of a sort of medicinal note that made me think of the antiseptic cream Germoline. I agree with others who have referred to churches, a kind of Medieval/Gothic vibe. At the beginning at least I could imagine a dark-cloaked figure (actually of either sex) pouring over an ancient arcane manuscript in an empty church, the stone cold and dark.
However for me it quickly becomes much brighter with the lovely powdery violets coming through even more. I guess the cloaked figure walks out of the church into the bright autumn sun, flings back her (on reflection a dark-haired woman) cloak and walks briskly and with purpose out of the churchyard. The end is a pleasant, powdery skin scent.
For me the longevity was a bit disappointing: only a couple of hours until the skin-scent stage. A word of warning about the sillage: I got used to the scent incredibly quickly, thinking it wasn't projecting at all....It was!
I also received a compliment about it from a friend who normally gleefully tells me "no" to 9 out of 10 of the fragrances I've tried, so this is a good sign.
Overall very lovely. I don't think it would ever have replaced the original F for me, but if it hadn't been discontinued, I most probably would have bought a bottle eventually.
PS also love the dark and dangerous black and red bottle design.
September 2015
02nd September, 2015

Garuda by Jul et Mad

Garuda is not a bad fragrance per se, but I had been expecting so much more at this price point. The opening notes of cumin, rum, and orange are a drunken, sweaty pirate pleasure for a while, but then it all gets dunked in a bath of sugar syrup.

Actually, the sugary, boozey oud-vanilla feeling I get from Garuda is almost identical to what I get from Arabian cheapies such as Ameer al Oudh,Raghba Wood Intense and even 24 Gold. The sweetness and woodiness of Garuda are on par with those.

The Cambodian oud note, when I can isolate it, is lovely - honeyed, with hints of dried fruit, and darkly woody. I have no idea whether any real oud was used or not, but at this price, one can only hope...

Unfortunately, the delicate oud note used here is somewhat swamped by a charred, woody aromachemical called Timbersilk. After the first few hours, all I can smell is the Timbersilk.

For me, Garuda is therefore a rather pedestrian "Western" oud fragrance with a strong woody ambery chemical aftertaste, and although I'm sure the materials used are top notch compared to Arabian cheapies, the difference (in smell) is not so great as to justify the price demanded for the Jul et Mad version.

I know I'm in the minority here because everyone seems to be going ape%^& over Garuda, but honestly, I would rather go for any of the more honestly-priced Arabian cheapies over this, or save up for a really amazing Western oud interpretation, such as Oud Shamash by The Different Company or MFK Oud.

02nd September, 2015
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Black by Comme des Garçons

I left Ireland for Bosnia when I was 22, without so much as a backwards glance. Over the following 16 years when people asked me if I missed home, I would always be startled and say yes – automatically – but it wasn’t quite true. I just never thought of home as being anywhere other than wherever I was right then.

I never realized that the gene for “home” was carried deep within my DNA until one dark night when I stepped out of a snow-stalled car into the deserted crossroads of a tiny village in Bosnia and was hit in the solar plexus by a waft of smoke from a coal fire.

Not just one – dozens of coal fires. All sending plumes of sweet-smelling smoke into the black, starless sky. In my mind’s eye, I could see walls covered with centuries of soot, men huddling round the heart smoking cigarettes, and the fingers of women putting more coal on the fire.

My mother’s fingers, black with soot. In that moment, every cell in my body ached to be back home, watching the familiar sight of her white fingers gingerly placing another coal on the flames, egged on by her always-cold children. Was she sitting beside her fire now, thinking of her first child, wondering if she was cold?

Comme des Garcons Black is the smell of home to me. It smells of coal dust, sweet woodsmoke, frankincense, dry cedar logs, licorice, and finally, in its dying moments, a salt-encrusted leather belt. Not of these things directly but of these things burned on a fire and sent out into the crisp, cold air of a Northern night sky as a single curl of smoke. Every time I spray it on, I experience a joy like that of launching into a sudden run.

If I were being picky, I’d say that the projection and longevity and projection of Black leave much to be desired. But I’m content with this in a quasi eau de cologne format. I’d be afraid that any attempt to make Black stronger would compress all the air out of its airy weightlessness. I like that Black takes the form of coal dust mites, shifting as you move; acting as your own personal force field.

I’ve long been looking for a smoky, woodsy birch tar fragrance that hits this exact spot – the coal-fire-in-Bosnia spot. I love Le Labo Patchouli 24 for coming close, but the vanilla syrup makes me pause, and Bois d’Ascese is far too dense and acrid. Memoir Man does smoky, charred woods and Frankincense beautifully, but it has a somber, sulky feel that might prove difficult. Black, to me, is what you might get if you were to put all these perfumes through a Photoshop filter and apply a filter to reduce the density by 70%. Black does indeed smell truly “black” but it’s more a sheer wash of color rather than a thick daub of oil.

I love it. It’s the first Comme des Garcons perfume for which I’ve been able to locate a heartbeat. I admire their modernist approach but something in their stripped-down aesthetic usually leaves me cold. Here there’s both an emotional core and a minimalism that’s entirely in keeping with the house signature. Maybe the heart bit is all me, but I do feel there’s something warm and human about Black.

02nd September, 2015

Nahéma by Guerlain

I first made a point of searching out Nahema in the early 90s, after reading an interview of Shirley Manson (from the band Garbage) in which she said Nahema was the ONLY perfume as far as she was concerned.

At the time I remember thinking that it was too loud and too full of aldehydes for me personally. And searching for a rose I can wear well - that doesn't go too shrill - I wanted to see what I thought of it all these years later.

It's definitely in the Chamade camp, more green and hyacinth and juicy and tart than the musty/mossy vanilla powder of the earlier Guerlains. This time I had been assuming "bombshell", so I've been impressed by its tenderness and innocence, though when you first spray it, it's got such presence that it sure can make you feel a bit high!

Certainly Nahema is beautifully done and even transcendent; so maybe this is blasphemy, but I actually like it best layered sparingly over a foundation of something a little dirty, even Shalimar! When I wear Nahema on its own, it's a sustained peachy rose until it's nothing at all, and it's actually quite linear for how kaleidoscopic it is, if that makes sense.

02nd September, 2015

Sauvage by Christian Dior

Quite surprised I like this as much as I do because at first sniff I was very disappointed. I guess the bergamot layered over ambroxan gives too much a metallic citrus rind tartness to the opening. But this leaves quickly. I have rarely met an ambroxan fragrance that I didn't like and Sauvage stays on my good side right through the black pepper mid notes that reflect a darker nature of the Johnny Depp poster for Sauvage. The black pepper, ambroxan and geranium are pleasant while taking me down the dark and mysterious path leading to the vetiver and patchouli base. Nice clean finish. The patchouli was noticeable with its cool subtext and that's a good thing for me. Sauvage is a thoroughly enjoyable fragrance without being too generic which I thought it might be. Everyone won't love this fragrance, but that's ok, I don't want to wear what everyone else is wearing. Sauvage is different enough to avoid getting lost in designer dreck while allowing its wearers to keep some individuality. As if Dior needs a decent fragrance to sell, with Johnny Depp's endorsement it sells itself - and quickly. My sales associate confided in me that "Johnny Depp actually designed this fragrance himself and Dior just put their name on it!!!" I was glad to know this little secret! I might get a bottle anyway, or might not. Arrh!
02nd September, 2015

BalMan by Pierre Balmain

Balman de Balmain opens "familiarly" with an almost intoxicating (herbal-aromatic, synthetically amberish, slightly plastic, spicy-resinous, bitter-sweet, vaguely salty and kind of spicy-humid) blast conjuring me "invigorating openings" a la Lancetti IL, Cassini for Men by Oleg Cassini, Ca' Luna by Acqua di Biella and on a certain extent recalling scents a la Gaultier Le Male Beau, Kiton Black (less spicy-resinous), Trussardi Inside For Men and Paco Rabanne One Million. Under this dusty-wet (synthetically benzoinich-resinous) stardust I get a basic angular, subtle and classic accord of citrus, grapefruit, green notes, bergamot and woods (mostly cedarwood) a la Roma Uomo by Laura Biagiotti/Kiton Black (both surely close in part to Balmain Balman in aroma in spite of their less resinous consistency). There is a sort of "mastic tree/leather-like" herbal-plastic-peppery aura all around which makes me to think in particular at scents a la Acqua di Biella Ca' Luna with its combination of fresh-spicy herbal notes, mastic tree/galbanum, pepper, sharp floral notes (geranium in here?), pencil shavings woods and musky-rubbery leather (overall surrounded by a minimal touch of intoxicating-rubbery balsams a la One Million plus kind of marine saltiness and soft gummy leather). Frankly I find Balman kind of generic and decidedly synthetic despite I can deny these type of warmly plastic modern juices turn out appealing to vulgar standardized crowd. I can't deny to catch on my skin a partially stimulating "synthetically visceral" amberish sensuality which knows to be warm, pungent and vaguely sultry. Balman is a typical clubbing modern scent, anyway versatile and easy to wear. Along dry down, as soon as spiciness and herbal-benzoinic dust are faded away, I get a chemical "Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet-like" sort of aura around the wearer (slightly "silicone veined", namely kind of metallic-plastic and artificially leatherish). This is the part I almost dislike while I find the "Lancetti IL-type" of opening far more interesting and multi-veined. Anyway not my cup of tea despite I can't write about a total failure. Pass by.
01st September, 2015
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Covent Garden by Jack

This is only half a review as I couldn't wear this for more than 20 minutes.

The opening and heart are too much for me -- like sour booze with a slug of ginger - made my eyes water.

For all I know, the drydown may be lovely, but I will let others find that out.
01st September, 2015
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Millésime Impérial by Creed

This is about the fifth time I have tried this. I thought I might stumble into a wonderful batch.
MI just doesn't work for me. The opening accord tanks imo -- sweet and saline jut means hissy in my book.

The drydown is ok and lasts a fair while on me, but this overriding salty screechiness just won't go away and it comes across as just too synthetic.
01st September, 2015
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum by Helmut Lang

So wrapped up in the wonder of Cuiron then and now, I never gave the original EDP much of a look in.

The re-issue is just wonderful in a powdery, musky, ambery type way.

Think of a cranked up Ambrette 9 with a touch of spice.

A must have imo.
01st September, 2015
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Mr. Vetiver by Une Nuit à Bali

I love these sort of vetivers -- fresh, bracing, full of life. Almost the complete antithesis of the Tauer and MPG versions.

Second only to the Lubin vetiver and reasonably priced, it has a lovely long lasting drydown.
01st September, 2015
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Lights by Roads

I am not sure who this is aimed at but the top notes almost floored me.

There is just too much going on and seems like an exercise in bombast.

Ylang, clove, violet -- in nuclear proportions.

Not for me, but worth seeking out just to try.
01st September, 2015
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cloud 9 by Roads

Austere packaging (nice) hides an unexpectedly rich, clean fragrance, especially in the opening, which is fresh and floral. This soon gives way to a sort of soapy mix of vanilla and a woody type musk. Not what I call a 'serious' fragrance, but it sure is comforting.
01st September, 2015
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Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I agree with the 'aromatic' label here rather than a 'citrus'. The rose and jasmine create a wonderful accord which surprisingly lasts a very long time. Slightly veers towards a 'feminine' but not enough for me to worry about it. The EDP is much better than the original imo.
Versatile and gorgeous.
01st September, 2015

Vibrant by Boadicea the Victorious

The opening of Vibrant is indeed quite vibrant, and quite peculiar too. At first, it strongly reminded me of some vintage fragrances by Etro; not a specific one, just rather that same sort of exotic and mysterious allure many of them had, centered on musky spices and dusty resins. There’s patchouli (quite à la vintage Etro Patchouli), some odd animalic amber, musk, a – for me – nondescript moldy and camphorous note with a subtle floral shade (rose?), some tingling spices, earthy woods, and also a subtle layer of quite well-crafted and tobacco-infused leather. All feels “antique”, nostalgic, dusty, quite gloomy – I see other online reviewers mention Mona di Orio, and in fact I agree with some similarity to her world (well, the world she was able to express in the 2-3 scents which aren’t parodies of a scent). No fresh citrus and no whatever “bright” side for me, although I do get a slight and completely non-fresh citrus note – rather musky and pungent, more a “cedrat” note than an ordinary citrus.

The blend smells simple and complex at once; there’s not many notes involved here, but each of them seems presented under a creative and unusual light. And also their, say, imaginary displacement in the overall design is creative and evocative, in a way that for some inexplicable reasons, makes Vibrant strongly remind me of a closet which once contained scented clothes, their sillage still exuding from the wood walls. A sort of dusty, melancholic, smooth yet pungent stale aroma which contains a sort of distant “echo” of the composition you read – say, it feels like a sort of “desatured”, washed-out version of the fragrance you would imagine by reading the notes. And by this I don’t mean it feels light or dull, on the contrary it’s quite bold and clear, but all feels imprisoned within a decadent cloud of camphorous and musky nuances, and an interesting, realistic frame of dusty, and again moldy hard woods. I don’t know how they did that, but the final result is quite intriguing. It’s classy, dark and seducing. Sadly though, the scent is quite linear, quickly reaching a way less interesting drydown smelling mostly of musky woods, and both persistence and projection aren’t top notch. Still surely one of the nicest Boadicea out there.

01st September, 2015

Crave by Calvin Klein

Crave is a bold cross between Yohji Homme and CK's Truth for Women, and its death knell was trying to be both at once. Anyone who is familiar with Royal Copenhagen's Viking will recognize a vaguely pleasant yet overly misdirected jumble of notes which almost pan out yet drydown to a great mess. It's fruity, watery, herbal, and refreshing and quite androgynous in the CK manner but it quickly becomes quite cloying. It is almost a good idea but really better left dead.
01st September, 2015

Royal Oud by Creed

For me, this is hands down the best thing Creed has to offer. It’s a simple perfume based on cedar, pepper, and various earthy notes (vetiver, patchouli, and cypriol for sure). There’s not a lick of oud in it (obviously), nor does it smell as gaudy or ostentatious as certain “royal” scents can get. It’s basically a sturdy green cedar that that wears beautifully with minimal effort. Also, it’s super versatile; it would work just as well with jeans and t-shirt as it would with a jacket and tie. Creed’s not a line that I look to for depth or complexity, and Royal Oud doesn’t offer anything new in that regard, but it does emphasize the fact that sometimes a straight forward scent is all you need. Probably not worth paying retail prices, and look elsewhere if its oud you seek, but for an easy-to-like earth-and-woods modern aromatic, it’s hard to beat the directness and refined stability of this scent.
01st September, 2015

Les Compositions Parfumées : Silver by Lalique

Lalique Silver requires great patience unless you are so fond of cardamom that you are willing to smell like over-spiced and over-steeped masala chai. The initial blast is a hissy sharp lemon/lime and cardamom, but the citrus fades within ten minutes or at least it is completely smothered by close to 90 minutes of a cardamom bomb the likes of which I have never experienced. Cardamom is almost always framed by more opulent surroundings, and I have heard that, from a technical perspective, it is a difficult note to sustain. Not here; at this phase of Lalique Silver, nothing gets close to casting a significant shadow on this single dominating note. If this is all there was to Silver, it would be an obvious scrubber in my book. Fortunately things ultimately look up. At around the 90-minute mark, the silver lining of Silver is achieved, with a more balanced cardamom moderately spicing what is principally a high-pitched lemon and clean Haitian vetiver combination. This is a quite pleasant and unique result which has good staying power.

I am not a huge fan of “metallic fresh” scents but this is precisely what Lalique was aiming for. Each of the fragrances in the Les Compositions Parfumées series is named after and is intended to evoke a specific metal. When Silver finally comes into balance, with the spice adding the right amount of patina to what might otherwise be an overly harsh metallic tang, it is superior to things like Creed Silver Mountain Water, Royal Water, and Bond Hamptons -- and it is on this basis that I give it a mild thumbs up. I can find some use for Lalique Silver but it requires some interesting timing issues to let the cardamom bomb phase pass before going out in public.
01st September, 2015

La Religieuse by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

The profane attempt (by Serge Lutens) to introduce a sort of assumedly mystic-religious jasmine's representation by combining the main floral note with synthetic musk, liquid Iso E Super frankincense, citronellol, ambroxan and a touch of pseudo-animalic fat. The olfactory outcome is kind of vulgar since the chemical pungent general vibe submits each idea of dusty mysticism and drama. Civet (or an idea of civet) provides a touch of sultry grease and pungency (pungent floral intensity) but the main vibe is musky, kind of coconutty-floral (or better kind of syrupy floral, despite at once harsly chemical-astringent) and sort of fluidy-resinous with a touch of herbal earthiness. I get a similarity with several Elisabeth Taylor's concoctions, Passion in particular) but in here the outcome is almost misere and devoided from any trace of logic articulation. I get indeed a "soliflore spasmodic insistence" and a sort of aggressive industrial juicy-floral muskiness all around (kind of dirty, un balanced, fizzy-astringent, citric, finally slightly syrupy-fat and powerful). Any trace of goth, any trace of the earlier Lutens trademark mystic orientalism, just an aggressive deodorant-like jasmine that seems to fit perfectly to such a squallid foul-mouthed aggressive young blonde with huge red lips and kind of punk ripped pantyhoses.

P.S: if you'd like something conceptually similar but far better appointed stick possibly to Armani Onde Mystere (hard anyway to find and probably discontinued).
31st August, 2015 (last edited: 01st September, 2015)

Chanel Pour Monsieur by Chanel

I've barely sniffed the current, green juice, but a Basenoter sent me a sample of an early 90s vintage of Pour Monsieur "Cologne," and I was impressed. It's a beautiful, straightforward fragrance; polite and inoffensive.

I'll try to update after testing the current formulation.
31st August, 2015

Zegna Intenso by Ermenegildo Zegna

It took me quite a while to make up my mind about Zegna Intenso. I own it and wear it quite happily from times to times, but any time I tried to approach it more thoroughly from a “reviewer” point of view, I always felt something was missing in my, say, perception of it. Like when you enjoy something, but any part and aspect of it seem dull and negligible, and you are unable to get a global, comprehensive idea of it. And yet you reach for it and enjoy it even if you can’t really explain why. Zegna Intenso does precisely that effect to me. At first I was ready to dismiss it as a boring mainstream scent, but each time its discreetly enjoyable presence on skin was telling me it would have been a mistake. Now I think I got why. The main key of this scent is that it smells so nicely and perfectly generic and discreet, it serves more as a sort of ideal silent and distinguished servant than a “statement” accessory. Any time you wear it, it’s ready to do and “tell” you exactly what you want it to, to suit your mood, your style, the situation you’re in. It can smell formal and dark, or lively and “young”; sometimes it feels simple and warm, sometimes elusively exotic, sometimes dusty and vibrant like a club downtown. A perfect Zelig in a bottle (Woody Allen’s Zelig, I mean). And I think this is due to Daniela Andrier’s ability to bring out the best off the concept of “safe and generic” – something soothing and comforting designed to make you want to wear it just for the pure sake of it, and then forget about it. Zegna Intenso brings that to an unexpectedly high level.

Coming to the smell itself, many compare Zegna Intenso to Armani Code but I don’t really see the similarity. I mean, of course that is the family, but there’s quite some differences. And anyway, frankly Zegna Intenso smells way superior than that for me to any extent. Tonka and musky iris notes provide a dusty, sophisticated and crisp Oriental frame (a yuppie concept of “Oriental”, obviously – it’s a designer after all...) which is perfectly harmonized with generic - and yet, perfectly nice - clean woods and some nondescript sort of fresh-tart head accord that gives Zegna Intenso a quite enjoyable sort of mildly aromatic fresh twist – fresh enough to keep it more vivid and sophisticated than many similar, and often kind of heavy or cheap Oriental tonka-centered designer fragrances. Diamondflame’s review is really spot on about this interesting “chiaroscuro” effect due to bright head notes versus the general Oriental spicy-smooth “darkness” of the other notes. This whole harmony makes Zegna Intenso smell way more refined and comforting than it seems. Now imagine all this in the hands of an extremely talented nose with an eagle eye for subtle – and again, positively “generic” - refinement as Daniela Andrier, and here’s Zegna Intenso. A true little piece of smoothness and respectability in a bottle. I know many scents already play this “comfort” role (e.g. many classic clean “eaux de cologne”), but well, each does it its way and so does Zegna Intenso. A bit like Bottega Veneta pour Homme by the same nose, it brings that traditional concept of “smelling nice and quality just for the intimate sake of it” to a more contemporary level. You can find discounted bottles of this everywhere, grab it if you stumble upon one.

31st August, 2015

Russian Tea by Masque

Interesting and unusual in a good way.
The start is incredible. The first few seconds are pure, fresh black tea. It's like taking the lid off a tea caddy and breathing in the scent of the contents at close range.
Then suddenly there is a huge, bright, loud, what smells like menthol/eucalyptus/tea-tree oil note. You just opened your tea caddy and unbeknownst to you a female soprano opera singer has crept up behind you and suddenly lets out a bright, loud high "c". The minty note makes me think of olbas oil or some similar cold vapour-remedy in its potency and effectiveness at clearing the sinuses (thanks for that). For me it's still good though: I'm a mint fan.
Anyway, you jump 3 feet in the air when the lady sings and spill the contents of your tea caddy all over the kitchen, and the room is filled with the fresh, lovely scent of tea, mint, tobacco, sweet hay over the next hour or so. Frankly I don't get the strong leather or smoke vibes that others have. After about 4 hours all that's left is a faint, fruity skin scent - I guess that's the raspberry, although I couldn't have pinpointed the fruit to anything specific . I also wish the sillage were a bit bigger and the longevity, well, longer.
Overall though it's a rather lovely, strange thing. It's lovely enough and strange enough for me to put it on my "want" list, but I won't buy it unless the current price, which is just silly, Is more than halved.
August 2015
31st August, 2015
drseid Show all reviews
United States

Enygma by Onyrico

Enygma goes on with a blast of saffron, with almost cinnamon-like nutmeg spice support. Moving to the early heart the saffron and nutmeg spice hang around in support, joining faint unidentifiable florals, as the composition adds dry tobacco and synthetic, slightly rubbery woods to take on the role of co-stars. During the late dry-down the spice and tobacco vacate, leaving stark sandalwood paired with slightly smoky vetiver through the finish. Projection is below average and longevity very good at between 11-12 hours on skin.

Enygma is probably the worst of the initial four Onyrico samples I have tried to date. The saffron and nutmeg open starts things off quite nicely, but all positive momentum is lost when the synthetic woods and ill-conceived tobacco arrive shortly thereafter. The dry tobacco and woods mesh quite poorly, and at this point, many will call it a day and scrub the thing off. Fortunately, the late dry-down saves things to a large degree, as the troublesome tobacco and synthetic woods give way to a fine vetiver and more natural smelling dry sandalwood starring tandem. Enygma obviously has some appeal, and on the whole I would have to call it largely successful, but the crucial heart disappoints to a degree that one has to wonder if it is worth waiting for the pretty decent finish. The bottom line is the 160 Euros per 100ml bottle Enygma is just that with its puzzling mid-section that spoils an otherwise relatively impressive start and finish, earning it an “above average” 2.5 to 3 star out of 5 rating and a neutral recommendation with a slight positive bias.
30th August, 2015

Blomma Cult by Room 1015

Vanilla, powdery floral or floral powder. To me it smells by turn of old fashioned make up (like my Nana used to wear), face powder, lipstick and baby talcum powder. All mixed up. It gets sweeter and more powdery as time goes on. Due to those associations for me it's not really unisex. I think it's an odd scent for a man. It's not unpleasant, but for me also totally devoid of any physicality and not sexy at all. I'd almost go as far to say that it's kind of child like or even childish. It's a nice smell, but I feel a bit ridiculous wearing it. What does it bring to mind? Many years ago my Mam took me and my little brother shopping with her. We were in a haberdashery and she was occupied choosing fabric. My brother must have been about 3 years old. In his curiosity he'd emptied the contents of Mam's handbag on the floor and proceeded to paint himself with red lipstick. He looked so funny everyone in the shop was laughing.
That's it for me, odd as it is. I'm happy as always to be told I'm wrong. Sillage and longevity moderate. It's OK but I wouldn't buy it.
August 2015
30th August, 2015

Sauvage by Christian Dior

This new Dior, Sauvage, fits right into the mainstream fragrance scene of 2015, and reminds me a little of Burberry Brit Rhythm for Men. Having worn it, no interest was sparked in wearing it again or buying any, but I am curious to smell it around on others to see what kind of impression it makes from that angle.

Overall, my disappointment is pronounced; neutral leaning thumbs down; and I need a getaway with Fahrenheit and Dior Homme Intense to recover warm fuzzy feelings for Dior.
30th August, 2015

Coal by Andrea Maack

Perfectly consistent within Andrea Maack range, Coal is an entirely-artificial, minimalistic exploration of an imaginary thick “grey” concrete-like matter, pretty much as its name suggest. It evokes in fact something smooth and threatening at once, dark and “organic” with a sheer, balmy lab-like vibe, smelling basically as a really tight and aseptic blend of musk, synthetic woods (Iso E Super), nose-tingling pepper, with a hint of something slightly sweet, Gucci Rush-like, which I guess is due to some, again, artificial note of cashmere wood or sandalwood. Basically a sneaky yet apparently successful rebranding of any Azzaro Visit and similar cheap plastic woody-pepper stuff (something also other “post-modern” niche brands seem good at doing, like MiN New York). I find it exceedingly boring and itchingly pretentious, as I see zero true innovation or creative research, but I admit they seem skilled in turning cheapness into avantgarde - if you’re a fan of that, then help yourself.

30th August, 2015

Fougère Bengale by Parfum d'Empire

An unlikely set of complimentary notes set this one off, and, for the most part, they stick around the whole time it’s on the skin. Fougere Bengal hits you with a ringing bell of what smells like musky hay, camphorous licorice, and maple syrup-immortelle. The camphor is really there to spike both hay and syrup as the volume’s turned up on both of those notes. With that said. the blending is seamless, and the effect is a warmth that sidesteps the saccharine. As with a number of Parfum d’Empire scents, the musk is raunchy but muzzled deep within the mix. After a while, a sketchy synth-moss rolls up and yells “copout,” but the scent manages to keep its cool all the same. It does smell like a fougere, but one that breaks the rules in a smart way. Nicely done.
30th August, 2015

Equistrius by Parfum d'Empire

With plenty of lipstick iris and supple suede, Equistrius is an over-inflated balloon of a scent that walks the line between cosmetics and leather. The iris is perfectly recognizable as iris yet doesn’t aim for photorealism; instead, it taps into the suede for a profile that signifies as a kind of glowing cyan blue. However, both the iris and the leather are coddled by a prominent yet anonymous “perfume” — a somewhat redundant scaffold that smells both sweetly oriental and vaguely musky. The result is a scent that's perhaps a bit too bloated with both the iris and the suede drowning in too many pillowy layers. As with others in this line, Equistrius is fairly linear (with a gradual slouch from iris to tonka) but it’s neatly blended with no spikes. It’s a little too distended and “perfume” for my liking, but for a boomy oriental iris, it’s a solid choice.
30th August, 2015

Cigarillo by Rémy Latour

Found this review online for the rare "Cigarillo"....I have heard this one is over the top sweet and it seems that may be the case based on this description. I will stick with the OG "Cigar."

Cigarillo Cologne

Cigarillo by Remy Latour Cologne. Wear a scent with exhilarating and unique masculine appeal as your personal stamp of impeccable style. Introduced in 1996, Cigarillo for men is the creation of famed French fragrance brand Remy Latour. Indulge in its sensuous formula that features a heady blend of citrus and sweet fruit notes. Essences of Amalfi lemon, bergamot, plum, pear and pineapple round out Cigarillo's intoxicating aromatic profile. Exude suave sophistication when you sport the seductive Remy Latour Cigarillo for men.
30th August, 2015

Cuba Red by Cuba Paris

If you enjoy tobacco frags then "Cuba Red" should be part of your collection if for nothing else the value price and awesome cigar shaped bottle with a mug shot of Ben Franklin on the label.

Tobacco and cedar, very linear, lasts for about 90 minutes, available year round at TJ Maxx and Ross....ciao
30th August, 2015