Fragrance Reviews from December 2010

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    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Evolution over time is highly valued in perfumery. Headnotes, heartnotes, basenotes. “Linear” is often derogatory. A linear fragrance or one that does not demonstrate substantial change over time is considered either lacking or a failure. The traditional categories, fougere, chypre, oriental (could we please get a better word for this?) are all defined by their changes over time. A good, proper perfume must demonstrate development yet consistency from start to finish.

    FdB is a definitively linear fragrance. It demonstrates strengths that a typical ‘evolving’ perfume generally does not have. The experience of FdB is that it all comes at you at once. It’s not an onslaught. It’s just that all the elements seem to have a similar intensity so that you can smell the fruit, the wood, the violet-floral in equal measure. All the set pieces are in place and the development is that of a fugue, where you notice different elements at different times. It’s a great fragrance for contemplation in this sense. The ongoing juxtaposition of the pieces makes you reconsider the perfume again and again as you wear it. And like a fugue, the composition, the geometry of the component parts, remains the same, but the whole piece gets shifted up or down over time so that perspective becomes the variable, not time.

    To me, the fear of this approach is that you could wind up with a rather cold, impassive perfume. You might contemplate perspective, but it’s not exactly a thrill-ride. But FdB avoids these problems by having a beautiful harmonic intensity. It just keeps coming around the corner at you. I appreciate why people use the term radiant to describe FdB.

    FdB is purportedly one of the perfumes made with a very high percentage of iso-E Super. It is neither the perfume with the highest amount, nor the first to use it in such high percentage. But it was an early adopter of the molecules use in fine fragrance and created a new style if not genre. FdB and other ‘new linears’ of its era seem not so much a change in style as a categorical shift in approach. The notion of how a perfume works is fundamentally different here than in, say, the category-defining Mitsouko with its archetypal top, middle and base.

    There certainly are bad linear fragrances. But then again there are equally bad perfumes that demonstrate an ugly evolution over time. FdB reminds me that ‘linear’ alone doesn’t connote ‘bad’, it’s just a more recent form in the tradition of classical perfumery.

    09 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 25 July, 2012)

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    360 Degrees Red for Men by Perry Ellis

    My tastes are changing, and so I've completely changed my mind about Red, a fragrance I hated with a passion when I first wore it a couple of years ago. Now that I'm developing a taste for woody citrus scent, I can finally appreciate something like this.

    Sure it's generic, and sure it smells like Acqua di Gio. However, I prefer Red to ADG, and that's because it's a little spicier, the aquatic note is more restrained, and overall Red smells less synthetic than ADG. It's a smooth but dry citrusy aquatic fragrance that manages to sustain a lovely light lemony smell for hours. The addition of moss and cinnamon notes give this an interesting warm spiciness that is restrained and never heavy.

    I like this mainly for the discreteness of its scent. It's light and gentle, and provided you don't overspray it, Red smells classy and refined. Again, DO NOT overspray this, or else you'll smell like an immature twit with a gallon of gel in his hair.

    MY RATING: 8/10

    09 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 06 August, 2012)

    rosbif's avatar



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    Comme des Garçons 2 Man by Comme des Garçons

    The smell of burnt air on a winter's night. This is a captivating perfume built on a striking accord that barely changes as it wears on. Everything is in perfect proportion: sharp top, soft powdery heart and a deep smoky masculine drydown. An innovative, purposeful and highly coherent fragrance, it epitomises the confident, stylish and attractive man. *****

    09 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 30th November, 2013)

    iheartabadan's avatar



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    Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

    Eternity for men. A fresh fougere with a warm, sandalwood dry-down. Smells like that bada** older cousin who used to get into a lot of trouble with his leather jacket and du Maurier cigarettes, but is now trying to set a good example for the kids.

    10th December, 2010

    Missy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vanille by Molinard

    Love this! I bought it blind based on the reviews here and I am so glad I did.
    The only drawback is it has low sillage and lasting power on me but I can just reapply as it is very very reasonably priced. Thank you for recommending this basenotes. Pure heaven for the vanilla lover that I am.

    10th December, 2010

    Mario-K's avatar

    Poland Poland

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    Zino Davidoff by Davidoff

    Love this scent. I always get compliments from girls and ladies. Unique aroma and lasts all day. Good, classy evergreen...

    10th December, 2010

    cowboykenny27's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Ironman by Avon

    Nice fresh Melon scent from avon , I agree it does smell expensive for an avon fragrance and its reasonably priced as well - Nice coloured juice and bottle is very tactile I like it !

    10th December, 2010

    Calamus2K's avatar

    United States United States

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    Power by 50 Cent

    Dreadful! Positively dreadful!! I wouldn't even use it to chase away the vermin because having the vermin would be preferrable to the stench this putrid swill would leave behind.

    10th December, 2010

    PerfumeCollector's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paradise for Men by Alfred Sung

    Is this fragrance by John Milton, or what?
    They should have name it Paradise Lost, you spray it, you enjoy it a bit and then "It is lost!!!!!"
    Probably one of the few "aquatics" that I enjoy, but unfortunately, for a very short time. This fragrance have no longevity at all, actually they should invent a new term for it, "shortivity"
    It is a shame because the fragrance is actually very pleasing, is similar to L'eau d' Issey, if not better, and it lsts as long as L'eau d'Issey too.
    Can not give it a thumbs up because its "shortivity", but can not give it a thunbs down either because it actually smells good.
    And for the price I paid (found it at Marshall's) I can not complain either

    10th December, 2010

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Maharadjah by Nicolaï

    Sometimes I come on basenotes to write a review and promptly feel insane. Did my sample of Maharadjah contain a different ratio of fragrance notes?
    Anyway, Maharadjah opens with a absolute assault of cinnamon, which is wonderful, but it's so dominant that the other notes remain but a whisper. In fact, if I couldn't see the other notes at the top of this page I wouldn't really be sure what they were. I'm very familiar with (and fond of) lavender, clove, sandalwood, and patchouli, so it's not a matter of unfamiliarity causing my brain to disregard the scent. That said, the cinnamon is damn clear and you'd best be sure you enjoy cinnamon before you even bother sampling this. The cinnamon stays dominant throughout the entire development, and it's got pretty good longevity, so I came home from work still adrift in a cloud of tree-bark goodness.

    Due to the extreme dominance of the cinnamon, I can't give this a thumbs up. It just feels like it's using a delicious crutch. All of the other notes aren't notes at all, rather they're barely audible overtones in a big, fat, cinnamon note, played on a .140 gauge cinnamon string, on a bass guitar constructed of...

    10th December, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paname by Keiko Mecheri

    Yes. It is quite similar to Lutens’ Douce Amère. This is the Keiko Mecheri version—a half-strength version that is actually—probably—a bit more wearable than DA. Paname is anise and vanilla and a touch of absinthe in a translucency that is not characteristic of the better-known Lutens creation. After the strong opening of absinthe, the fragrance settles down to its basic vanilla / anise accord, which stays very close to the skin. I agree that as a sillage maker, it has poor longevity but as a skin scent it holds its own for an acceptable four plus hours on my skin. I find Paname a bit too powdery and a bit too feminine for me; and, just like Douce Amère, Paname does not have enough of edge to it—it’s a little too unremarkable.

    10th December, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Premier Figuier Extrême by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    My first thought was that I had found my holy grail. I think this is the most pleasant “fig” fragrance I’ve tried—it presents such an excellent green accord: Fig leaf, green notes, a bit of pine—all smooth and rich, non-aromatic and non-resinous; it’s quite warm and it retains its warmth through the drydown. There is a slight touch of sweetness in the accords, the result, I think, of the almond milk and a bit of dried fruit. I don’t smell the coconut and I don’t get a strong sandalwood, but then, none of the notes seem to stand out in this beautifully refined green / milky fragrance. It is linear and doesn’t throw very much sillage; it stays close to the skin and has good longevity. I don't see it as particularly feminine. I must say, though, that this fragrance provided the quickest olfactory fatigue that I’ve ever experienced. Within five minutes of applying it, I couldn’t smell it. After fifteen minutes of avoidance, there it was back again in all it’s glory. So I had to short shift my sniffing sessions while I was wearing it. Premier Figuier Extème is just plain beautiful.

    Originally submitted 24 May 2007

    10th December, 2010

    BayKAT's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ritz by Charles of the Ritz

    OK, I like this scent and I'm goign to give it a good review, but gosh darn, I can't get the song 'Puttin' on the Ritz' out of my head long enough to enjoy it.

    This is a 'coppery' scent with a lot of air. It's not too sweet, and not too heavy. It walks that thin line of harmony between a glorious woody base and gentle, earthy florals.

    This doesn't change much of me, it basically is the same scent for a solid 4 hours. the drydown becomes more magical, morphing into something that is pure class.

    I like this, but it's discontinued so probably hard to find. This is yet another fragrance that I"m scratching my head over; why did this one go by the wayside and other remained on the road? Who knows, but I highly recommend sampling this, it's very lovely.

    10th December, 2010

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gambler Musk by Jovan

    Gambler Musk is a lot like the original, but just different enough for me to justify having both. Contrary to what the names had me guessing the Musk version is lighter and brighter, with a stronger lemon and herb top which actually stays on for a good long while. Something in the composition, probably 'amber,' makes the woods in this come across as sweet, and the musk in the base is somehow right between clean and dirty and a bit leathery. The drydown is lightly sweetened musky cedar.
    The primary difference between Musk and its older brother is that the original Gambler is a little more somber and boasts a gorgeous and pervasive cinnamon note, while Musk experiences less movement and is much lighter (not by today's standards) but seems more playful. They both start strong but have limited projection after the first hour and they both have a warm, close aura of a base that lasts all day. Fantastic stuff.

    10th December, 2010

    rickbr's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Désir de Rochas pour Homme by Rochas

    Rochas Desir Man is a nice fragrance. And that`s all. While I enjoy it, i don`t see it as proper successor from a house which created solid, strong, memorable male fragrances. Desir Man seems like an attempt to do a citric woody fragrance with some gourmand notes, but avoiding to go on a syrupy or desserty direction. It works, since the cacao here has a dry aroma and doesn`t smell chocolate-ish. I don`t like the citrus at the opening, they smell alcoholic and cheap, but once the fragrance goes to the heart notes you get a dry spiced cocoa note. The base gets more gourmand, with the use of some vanilla, but the cedar and cashmere wood contributes to create an abstract, maybe a little generic, tobacco-ish aura. It`s nice, but not the new wonderful Rochas that would ressurect a solid fashion house in the fragrance aisle.

    10th December, 2010

    meta's avatar



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    Odeur 71 by Comme des Garçons

    I love this. Why? It smells so new, something fresh out of the box. Not a fresh grassy smell no, but that of a person maybe with some robotic parts that have caught fire. Extremely interesting and it's deep on a different kind of deep level.

    As the book I read says "Smells like a fresh clean shaven guy who came out of the shower and is chewing gum to hide the smell of tobacco"

    10th December, 2010

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rykiel Homme by Sonia Rykiel

    Fantastic light grapefruit scent at first. But it turns into and even better scent later on. The sandalwood and other "airy" spices and woods. These elements make up for a simple, clean yet interesting fragrance. Very similar to Versace Man.

    10th December, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Monsieur Léonard by Léonard

    Monsieur Léonard is a well made men’s aromatic fragrance that sort of bridges the 80’s and 90’s. The aromatics of the opening (sage, coriander, and lavender) are given, rather than herbal or green emphasis, a fresh and vibrant ambiance. Their lack of “herbalness” allows the bergamot and the basil to form a delicate, fresh, citrus / green accord that so naturally and lightly pleasant. This fresh accord has very good longevity—I’m used to flash in the pan citrus openings, but this one has some nice staying power. The heart of the scent is floral, but it doesn’t seem to be—it is not at all flowery. The middle is not a very potent force in the progression of Monsieur Léonard. Maybe because of the extended top notes, the scent seems to move directly from the top to the bottom. At any rate, the florals of the middle are caught up with the musk, cedar and amber of the base. The combination is an attractive accord—it’s not very strong; it certainly doesn’t throw very much sillage; and, as light as it is, has an old school vibration to it. The base suffers from lack of longevity, so the gains made in the opening are lost in the middle and base—especially in the sillage department. The base does become a skin scent that stays musky and ambery for an hour or two.

    I see Monsieur Léonard as a transition scent. It contains very identifiable characteristics of both the 80’s and the 90’s. It is classically constructed of classical notes, but its emphasis on the primacy of the top notes, its muted accords, its conglomerate concoctions of the middle and base, and its lack of longevity are quite typical of the scents that would come to rule the nineties. If only the makers had given up the natural smelling notes and moved to abundant and annoying synthetic accords, this might have been more successful. As it is, they made the mistake of producing a very nice scent.

    Originally submitted April 2007

    10th December, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Loewe para Hombre by Loewe

    Solid opening—an excellent citrus / lavender / rosemary accord that is clean and wonderfully balanced. I think this is my favorite combination for a citrus opening and this one is excellently done. Also admirable is the fact that Loewe PH doesn’t seem to be as aggressive as its 1978 introductory date would indicate. That means that it fits nicely in today’s demand for reduced sillage and potency. The top notes are really fresh and bright, and the mid notes continue in that direction: the vetiver and sage makes sure of that. The floral notes in the mid level—geranium and carnation—do not seem at all floral: They are particularly non-heady in their sillage. The base is smooth and not at all heavy or dense. It remains light and fits beautifully with the first movements of the fragrance.

    I really like these Spanish fragrances. They project a lot of inner vitality and outer elegance. On my skin, Loewe PH does not turn at all super masculine or dark. It doesn’t show any of the breath-grabbing headiness of Coriolan, although its notes might be similar… On me, this one presents a manliness that is fresh and lively.

    Originally submitted 06 April 2007, Taiwan

    10th December, 2010

    youngreview's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    I absolutely love this fragrance.
    opens up with an apple like bergamont and cardamom that makes me think of apple pie and christmas.
    the most noticable part of the scent (fruit woods orientials) is very youthful and sexy but than the canvas for this scent is a very dry powdery wood note that you could exspect from powerhouses from the 80's.
    these too sides of the fragrance contrast really well and makes it accessible for all ages.
    because of the complexity of this fragrance, I'd call it a double-take fragrance. that intitial impression and then the person will get hit with a mysterious scent that will leave curious and looking to investigate .
    I love it.
    scent- 9.5
    longevity- 9-11 hours (dynamite on me )
    amplifaction- light (meant to be mysterious and subtle)
    overall 9/10
    one of the best designer colognes ever.

    10th December, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Notre Flore Myrte by L'Occitane

    A clean, fresh, primarily green ( somewhat citrus) opening announces the brightness of Myrtle. I find is a rather strange opening because it is very fresh, yet there seems to be a lot of body and substance to the scent. I think the green substantiality without any mitigating spices or woods moves the opening more to the feminine side of the spectrum. But it is a unique accord IMO. The opening holds for quite some time before the floral myrtle rises through the greenness, leaving a delicate and somewhat sweet green floral accord. This middle accord is not unique, but it is very pleasant and wearable – I think it would serve nicely as an everyday / office feminine office scent. The base turns the fragrance unisex with its slightly resinous, lightly ambery / patchouli accord. Again the fragrance works quite well as an office scent because of its lightness and discretion. I’m not sure of the longevity of L’Occitane Myrtle, because I didn’t get a chance to sample it on my skin. It seems, though, to disappear a bit quickly from the foil sampler… In all, it is a comfortable fragrance with uniqueness, freshness, subtlety, and refinement.

    Originally submitted 21 April 2010

    10th December, 2010

    youngreview's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier

    When I first tried this I didn't enjoy it.
    I found it to sweet, heading to much towards the femal side of things.
    but days after I was absolutely craving this sweet vanilla lavender creation.
    the fragrance it's self is contriversial and polarizing that this may be the absolute worse scent to blind buy.
    I opens up with delicate florals and a strong vanilla note with numbing mint.
    this is pretty much the backbone for this fragrance. as it goes on I get a light anise note, calming lavender and woods.
    I love to wear this one to bed,
    I think this is the kind of scent that has the power to sooth everyone, while still be sexy, and I think that the main reason why it goes off so well with the ladies
    10/10
    only knock is that it's not as versatile other scents.

    10th December, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Notre Flore Neroli by L'Occitane

    I don’t know why they put litchi in the opening of a neroli fragrance – it seems entirely random, and it contributes too much sweet to an opening that is already catching the benzoin from the base. This fragrance is coming across as way too sweet on my skin. I am pretty much missing the neroli in the opening, but I catch more fruit after a while – plum to be exact. The plum is about my favorite note of what I smelled so far, but it doesn’t last. For the base, there’s too much benzoin and not enough sandalwood. I don’t know why this particular Notre Flore lasts such a short time. Neroli is a complete disappointment to me.

    Originally submitted 21 April 2010

    10th December, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetyver by L'Occitane

    L'Occitane Vétyver’s warmth is exceptional among the vetiver fragrances I’ve tested. This warmth creates a very user friendly and comfortable fragrance. The opening provides a bergamot / rosemary / vetiver accord that is visited by a almost incense-like cypress and warm, clear, well-rounded but discreet nutmeg. This opening vetiver accord has a rather oily aromatic texture when smelled very close to the skin. As it progresses toward the heart, the vetiver shines through more and more in combination with the nutmeg and the cypress, bringing both smoothness and balance to the fragrance. The drydown has elements of vetiver, cypress, and nutmeg in its accord and does not seem to have much longevity on my skin. I wouldn’t call L'Occitane Vétyver a complex scent, it is more intricate than complex, and it delivers a full package of quality and enjoyment from beginning to end. Too bad that end is so near the beginning. I’m pretty close to a neutral on this one because of its longevity.

    Originally submitted 11 February 2007, Taiwan

    10th December, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Neroli 36 by Le Labo

    Not one of the better neroli fragrances I think. The accords aren’t clear and feel a little bit sticky. The florals are indistinct and the bouquet is not done any favors by inclusion of calone. The fragrance is quite soapy.

    10th December, 2010

    Dkmode83's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men / Angel Men by Thierry Mugler

    I absolutely hated this the first few times I tried it. The first 30 minutes to an hour are almost unbearable. So overpowering in the beginning it took me 5 months and about 12 tries to make it to the drydown. I am glad I finally did, the drydown of this is a masterpiece. Maybe its the tar that balances it out so well. Definitely a fragrance people will love or hate. Great night out scent. Please be very easy on the trigger with this one. Two sprays is an absolute MAX, but one spray to the chest or neck is better.

    Overall Scent 7/10
    Longevity 10/10
    Projection 10/10

    10th December, 2010

    Miniamin's avatar



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    Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

    This is a pleasant fragrance. I'd never buy it but i'd be pleased if it were a gift. It is definitely overpriced. I think it's very similar to Hugo Boss' Bottled Night. Of the two i'd opt for the latter as it's cheaper.

    10th December, 2010

    Miniamin's avatar



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    Black XS by Paco Rabanne

    Miniamin's simple review:

    Design: Black bottle, adorned with white effeminate roses on the front of the bottle.

    Price: I paid 39.99 for 100ml from a branch of "Perfume Shop" in North London.

    Smell: There's a heavy strawberry note which is resonant throughout the longetivity of this fragrance. I detect the faintest lemon upon application but this vanishes after a couple of minutes. As this settles on the skin the most enduring scents are strawberry and cocoa. Black XS is an impossibly sweet fragrance, and this'll deter some people from buying it. However after about an hour or so it does mature into something which no longer overwhelms you with its devastating sweetness.

    Longetivity: 8-10 hours, it lasts for ages.

    Sillage: This is one of my favourite things about Black XS. Initially it has immense projection which'll leave a presence in large room. After around 4 hours it becomes an intimate fragrance, something people will only smell if they come close to you. I think it's quite sexy for this reason - it's alluring to have a 'secret' scent which is only present to those closest to you.

    Occasion: I'd never wear this to the office, it's far too brash and fruity. This is a fragrance you want to wear to a nightclub, bar or party. Personally i'd never wear this on a date because it's too naughty. Perhaps if I was after a one night stand ;) This is strictly a frivolous fragrance.

    Buy, Try or Die: Try. Most young men will like this fragrance. If you're metrosexual and don't mind smelling (ever so slightly) effeminate, then buy this without a minute's notice. However, its cloying fusion of cocoa and strawberry will deter many mature (35+) men. This fragrance is slightly synthetic, but it's fun and (just about) diverse enough for that to be overlooked. It's much better than crappy 1 million anyway. Don't buy that.

    Miniamin.

    10th December, 2010

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    KL by Lagerfeld

    The current bottle I purchased in 2009 seems to have undergone reformulation.
    Top-notes are still there, the interesting mandarine burst giving way to the spicier parts of the fragrance - but a lot seems to be missing from the 80's original. Smelling this fragrance today and wearing it, too, feels uncomfortable and having finished the bottle some minutes ago, I see no need to replace it. Nevertheless, KL still smells much better than many of the recent trendy releases marketed as "sexy" or "seductive" (take the latest "Guilty" by Gucci as an example".)

    10th December, 2010

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vierges & Toreros by Etat Libre d'Orange

    This is supposed to be a twist on a floral leather. Past floral/leathers have used the juxtaposition of the hard and the soft to lead to an interesting blend. I’m not sure if it’s blend here or just a contrast. The tuberose doesn’t last long, but it makes for an interesting opening. Fairly soon, the dominant note is a plastic/leather accord that lasts through the basenotes. There’s supposed to be a strong animalic vibe here, but I don’t really get it. Maybe that’s what I’m calling plastic, but the artificial quality of plastic seems so far away from raunch in the bodliy sense that I don’t get anything carnal. Just a very clean plastic.

    I know Etat Libre d’Orange is the pixie of the perfume world. They challenge our notions of olfactory beauty. (I’m a fan of Secretions Magnifiques.) And I’m very appreciative that they do. But this doesn’t really seem like a challenge. It’s more that they’ve decided to use an accord that simply appeals to the nose. It’s really a play on tromp la nez. Plastic can smell good. So can gasoline and paper for that matter. I know we don’t usually point these things out when we discuss the art of perfumery, but here’s the evidence. In this case, though, and using the ridiculous gender distinction of the virgin and the toreador as a red herring, we’re distracted from the plastic by a description of florals and leather.

    10th December, 2010

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