Perfume Reviews

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Catalyst for Men by Halston

Stardate 20161209:
Vintage Version.

This is a powerful masculine fragrance that lasts more than a day. Spices and SW.

The citrus,spice and SW makes it a cousin of Vintage Dunhill Edition.
Or more like a bastard child of Dunhill Edition and Aramis Havana.
It may be redundant if you have vintage Dunhill Edition (which is smoother).
But it is a cheapie so why not indulge.
09th December, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

David Beckham Classic Blue by Beckham

A fresh grapefruit note that has some extra sweetness added to it is followed by a pleasant apple impression. Clearly a mice summery start.

Floral and herbal undertones are added further into the drydown, with geranium with whiffs of oleander in the floral side, and sage responsible for the herbs. The base is the least exciting part, being constituted of the usual generic mix of white musk and a rather colourless soft patchouli impression.

The sillage is moderate, the projection adequate and the longevity secen hours.

Not a bad summery creation, but the base is a bit of a letdown. 2.75/5.
09th December, 2016

Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

I don't tend to favor the Varvatos line after their first release, but this one is pleasant enough to wear. And do you know why that is? Because it is a complete, top-down ripoff of Dirty English with a touch of vanilla or similar. Utterly transparent, and the added sweetness does degrade it a bit.
09th December, 2016
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Marc Jacobs Autumn Splash Amber by Marc Jacobs

Like a golden thread the amber winds through thr various phases of development if this creation. In the top notes a fresh gingery undertone brightens it up, whilst amongst the heart notes a woodsy impression competes with floral tones, mainly lily and whiffs of violet, to add depth and a whiff of sweetness. The latter is further supported by a gentle and unobtrusive tonka aroma in the background.

In the base benzoin gives the amber a crisper edge, a technique applied in some other fragrances too, but soon admixed Cashmeran give the wood a warm and fuzzy character that remains in the forefront until the end.

I get soft sillage, good projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

A far cry from many heavy and intensive amber compositions, this is a discrete and restrained amber-centric creation, wearable to office and off-duty but a tad colourless and lacking vividness. 2.75/5.
09th December, 2016

Lavandes Trianon by Lancôme

This is very yummy. Smells like a lavender crème brûlée with a tiny hint of citrus. Not as high end as Vero Profumo Kiki but very enjoyable to wear.
08th December, 2016

United Arab Emirates Aoud by Roja Dove

Wow. How to describe this fragrance other than to say it is quite wonderful while being very sublime - almost secretive in its power. I can see how all the notes fit in and I marvel at the artistry in selecting these notes to create such a mystery.

The rose is noticeable right off the top. A very dry light penetrating rose that also has some influence from geranium and blackcurrant bud but none are individually noticeable. Just this incredibly beautiful rose and oud incense smoke. Next to this mysterious powerful and secretive taif rose aroma the cool whisper of dark very dry woods along with lightly rising smoke. This is not birch or an oily dark wood but smells more like freshly cut walnut or pecan wood. It feels as if the rose ether is being compressed through these very dry woods that impart their resinous blessings onto the rose. This wood is most likely oud + very light clear patchouli + guaiac wood; but the result is an amazing blending. Along with the wood is resinous dry incense aroma that is quite elevating but also reverberates in dark slow tones at the same time - a silvery frankincense.

UAE Aoud is a beautiful aoud fragrance. The notes are reminiscent of Heely Agarwoud which is a fine fragrance but is clearly not on the same level as this one. Roja UAE Aoud is easily ten times more dimensional and psychoactive in its effect than the Heely. Another similar scent is Noorolain Taif from Thameen, but it also lacks the depth of oud and incense found in UAE Aoud. I realized I mentioned a "psychoactive effect" and what this means to me is that there is an elevating almost spiritual direction from inhaling a perfume of this type. This elevating effect continues beyond the action of smelling the scent and is noticeable with this fragrance. A similar effect comes from pure oud oils, especially Indonesian oud as well as pure rose oil. It is a very uplifting and therapeutic effect. I would have to give this fragrance a 10 / 10 rating. It is good! Oh yes.
08th December, 2016

Midnight Spirit by Olibere Parfums

Genre: vetiver, a quite smooth vetiver's rendition, an airy-exotic spacious aroma definitely aromatic, powdery-soapy and ideally disclosing far lands's dreamy landscapes, green sunny mountains, windy coasts and oceanic islands' clearings of the coasts. If you still are in to powdery floral-fruity-suedish and mildly woody accords a la Cuir de Lancome or Dior Home Intense surely Olibere Midnight Spirit (should have been better calling it "Midday Spirit") is an unoriginal but solid (and brighter-fresher) alternative for you. Midnight Spirit is anything but dark despite its tad of glamour (a cosmetically glamour-chic aura which does not mean necessarily dark as well as in many further glamour "white" scents a la Costume National 21). This one is indeed a bright, soft-fresh and smooth velvety (in a "white" woody way) composition which smells about "aromatics", hesperides, powdery iris (not listed while being powdery violet exuding an equipollent vibe), pear-accord (not listed), soft suede (not listed), powdery amber, vague liquorous nuances (kind of irish/cream like for a while), talky cedarwood, ambrette seeds and diaphanous vanilla. I detect surely smooth-powdery vetiver kind of iris-like, vaguely salty/leathery and musky a la Dior Home Intense (but a tad more suave and delicate). Further scents (floral iris-leather-powdery ambery-vetiver combos) a la Laboratorio Olfattivo Daimiris, La Parfumerie Moderne Cuir X, Clive Christian C for Men (far more complex) or Parfumerie Generale Cuir d'Iris (the latter anyway darker in conception as well as Parfume d'Empire Cuir Ottoman for instance) jump partially on mind but in here (as well as in Cuir X anyway) the whole aroma appears possibly smoother and more refined, more literally velvety and "balmy suede-veined". Cardamom, coriander, basil, aromatic plants, bergamot-grapefruit and terragon provide initially a quite fresh fluidy-aromatic twist while the following "denser" development is all about powdery-suedish violet, smooth ambrette, powdery woods and well calibrated vanilla. The final outcome is refined, soapy-suedish, vaguely almondy-milky and with a pleasant touch of saltiness (as background). Nothing more than a pleasant composition.
08th December, 2016

Tindrer by Baruti

BLUF: Spyros does a green one in his signature style, an amazing green one. Earthy, vegetal, green/damp (almost watery), and eventually woody. Touches of sweet violet. Heliotrope is not prominent (thank g*d). Review could be considered biased: the reviewer f***ing loves this house.

I haven't seen anyone talk about this fragrance since it came out in May (I think it was May...), not on Basenotes anyway. I personally think it is his second best work, next to Berlin im Winter. Although perhaps they cannot be directly compared, being in very different genres. It certainly is my second favorite Baruti. Created as "a happy/sad" perfume, Tindrer is pure joy for this guy.

To me, this clearly seems to share a commonality with Melkmeisje. Almost like a remix, the way Berlin im Winter (aka Indigo RMX) is a remix of Indigo. It has that same sharp, natural snap in the opening, but instead of it feeling bright pastel yellow in Melkmeisje, in Tindrer it is a deep sparkling green. They both strike me as sort of paradoxical, in that they simultaneously seem futuristically synthetic and natural smelling. Like all from the house, this Extrait de Parfum lasts forever on my skin, and any clothing it touches.

It certainly seems like the most "wearable" fragrance from the house. As much as I love the ones I do, I'm not surprised when people are uneasy about wearing them; they are not common fare. Everything seem to be in balance here, even the dose of white musk in the base. Like other Baruti releases this smells like nothing else I've tried from other houses (except for the new Dama Koupa, not yet in directory at time of review, which reminds me of Dior Homme Parfum).

Tindrer is probably the most unique green fragrance I've tried to date, and one of my favorites. Those include Eau de Campagne (classical), Palais Jamais (unique and dusty/smoky), and now Tindrer (unique and futuristic). Oddly enough I own none of them, but come spring, I will have this.

Bravo Spyros. I love what you do and I hope you keep doing it for years to come.
08th December, 2016

Oland by Avon

Stardate 20161208:

Old style leather and spice and some stale cigarette ash. Stetson type.
For the price a no brainer.
08th December, 2016

La Fumée / La Fumée Classic by Miller Harris

It’s funny how sometimes it’s the fragrances you love and wear the most are the ones you never bother to write about. I’m on my second bottle of this elegant woods and resins concoction, and yet now when I sit down to put pen to paper, I realize I’ve never really analyzed the notes. La Fumée performs quietly in the background of your day, like smoke from incense or oud embedded in the fabric of your clothes. It starts off on a greenish frankincense note, like crushed pine needles, pepper, and lemons, and that fresh, masculine vibe continues for much of the scent.

Wafting in and out of the composition is a light smoke note from a combination of the cade and birch tar, but there is also a dry labdanum in the mix, performing its teetering act between tinder-dry paper that’s about to catch fire and liquid tar. Creamy sandalwood takes over from the piney, terpenic facets of the frankincense, nudging the scent into a faintly sweet-and-sour sweat direction. But none of that describes how easy this scent is to wear, or how pleasurable in its humming-in-the-background way. Whereas other resin scents hit you over the head, this one wears like an elegant, transparent veil that exists only at the corner of your field of vision. It’s small but perfectly formed.
08th December, 2016

Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

It’s true that Patchouli 24 smells like smoking tar pits and the aftermath of a chemical fire in a tire factory, but that doesn’t fully explain why it’s sexy.

I remember the first time I wore this. I had been swimming in a city pool with my husband and young son, and my skin still smelled of chlorine when I sprayed it on. Somehow, the combination of pool chemicals with the burned, smoky “electrical fire” facet of Patchouli 24 and the thin, poisonously sweet slick of vanillin pooled at the base of the scent made me smell like a total badass, like Lisbeth from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, chasing a bad guy down on her motorcycle. Even though I was wearing jeans at the time, one spritz and I felt like I was dressed in a black rubber cat suit and heavy black eye liner.

Patchouli 24 makes me feel like I always thought Piquet’s Bandit would make me feel but didn’t – powerful, but also female. There is a salty-sweet “glazed ham” quality to the smoke note here that just sends me over the top. The dreaded fir balsam (or could it be vetiver?) sweat note makes an unwelcome appearance in the far drydown, but idly enough it’s not the deal breaker it is to me in other scents such as Baccarat Rouge 545 or Encens Flamboyant. The only reason I don’t wear it more often than I do is because every time I am in the car with my family, my husband stops the car to check for an electrical shortage or fire of some sort.
08th December, 2016

Oud for Love by The Different Company

Oud for Love is supposedly the feminine counterpart to The Different Company’s Oud Shamash, which I also love, but to my nose, both of these fragrances are completely unisex. Oud for Love is as beautiful as Oud Shamash, if that’s possible, but takes the (supposedly real, Laotian) oud note in a different, more gourmand direction than the smoke and woods of Oud Shamash. Here, the sour oud oil note is wrapped up in a gentle wheaten note, a hot breath of bread or cake coming from a baker’s oven. The cumin, saffron, heliotrope, and whiskey notes are probably what conspire to create this impression, a thread of sweet grains or powdered malt linking them all.

There is spice, too, in the heart, and an earthy, creamy ylang note. But the lingering impression is of gently caramelized, milky, breadiness that buffets the medicinal twang of the oud to perfection, bringing to mind long ancient wooden tables spread with sweetmeats, honey, and freshly-baked bread in drafty banquet halls in medieval castles. Still, the balance tilts more towards woods than food, and it is only very subtly sweet, in the way that bread and milk and whiskey are contain a natural, round sweetness of their own. Highly recommended to people who find most oud compositions to be too harsh, sour, or medicinal – this is an oud that’s been breastfed and wrapped up in a cashmere shawl.
08th December, 2016

Bergamote 22 by Le Labo

Stardate 20161208:

A nice fragrance with citrus and musk. But gone after 30 mins.
For the price thumbs down.
08th December, 2016
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Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens

When I first smelled Santal de Mysore, I said to myself, as long as Serge Lutens keeps making this fragrance, I will be happy. If all my other bottles were to be destroyed in a fire, I’d be ok with just this one. Hyperbole? Probably. Just trying to get across how much I love it.

What I value most about it is its dichotomy. It is both wet and dry, and intensely so at the same time. At first, the wet elements come to the nose – a big, spicy red butter curry with blisteringly hot black peppercorns crushed to release their oil, and something green, frondy, and aromatic, perhaps dill or fresh fenugreek. There is a tamarind sourness to it but it is also very sweet, as if cubes of salted caramel have been set on top to slowly sweat down into pools of butter.

I don’t understand when people say a perfume smells like a curry like that’s a bad thing? I can think of no better smell than this. My mouth waters at the host of hot spices and aromatics. I slaver like Pavlov’s dog every time I go near the stopper.

Talking of the stopper, sniffing Santal de Mysore from the bottle gives me a jolt of recognition every time, because it smells like real Mysore sandalwood. But on the skin, this impression disappears, as the big building blocks of flavors and spices jostle each other for position. Drawing your nose back from your arm, you notice these clumps of notes magically coalescing into a true Mysore aroma – deep brown, buttery, arid, resinous. Salted butter dried and made into a red dust. Put your nose back to that spot on your wrist, and the Mysore impression falls apart again. This is a fragrance that plays peek-a-boo with its wearer, and it’s mesmerizing.

The wet, creamy curry accord hangs around, but it flips on a switch to dry, aromatic sandalwood dust when you’re not looking. Look again and it switches back to wet and spicy. When I catch glimpses of the dry, dusty facet, it smells like zukoh, a powdered sweet incense that combines camphor, cloves, and sandalwood. The drydown is pure magic, the curry notes fading away to a caramelized sandalwood incense aroma, with hints of honey and amber rounding out the dry woodiness.

Why do I find Santal de Mysore such a gorgeous, satisfying wear? Because it’s not a straightforward representation of sandalwood like Tam Dao or Wonderwood. It takes you to a fantasy Mysore sandalwood destination by way of the Silk Road, weaving through curry spices, aromatic oils, and incense sticks as we go. It’s also a scent that makes your perceptions of it turn on a dime: wet then arid, savory then sweet, creamy then dusty, spicy then herbal and green. Sandalwood in a House of Mirrors – its basic shape remains the same but what we see each time we look is different.
08th December, 2016

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

Stardate 20161207:

A great masculine.
Honey and patchouli mixed right.
I also get some flowers(rose maybe or carnation).
The animalic civet is done perfectly here.
I do not like overpowering civet (Furyo is ruined for me because of civet) but in here civet plays very nice with others.

Get it. The vintage version of course

07th December, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

parfums*PARFUMS Series 4 Cologne: Anbar by Comme des Garçons

The opening is in the classic summer cologne style: refreshing lemon and bergamot together with a mandarine-orangey citrus core - roll on sun and blue skies!

The drydown sees the citrus notes evaporate, but on me the bergamot lingers for a number of hours, extending the fresh component beyond what I would normally expect from a summer cologne. That said, the drydown is dominated by a white musk, which at times is undelined by whiffs of a very subtle spice note. Here arises the amber that gives this creation its name, and that grows ever more prominent as we are heading towards the base notes. During the last couple of hours this amber is just a tad on the discretely sweet side, with the amber constituting the gradually fading finale.

The sillage is soft overall, the projection very good, and the longevity eight hours.

An uncomplicated summer cologne with performance-boosting
and longevity-enhancing ambery extension - a nice idea. 3.25/5.

07th December, 2016

Métaboles by YS Uzac

Very nice contemporary Leather feel. Geranium is beautifully lighted. A twist of Liquorice scents and heightens. Sprinkle of Black Pepper. Hmm. Just right in sweetening. Enough Musk to draw it back to a proper Perfume. Overall, reminds me of a dish prepared by a Skilled Chef de Cuisine.
Lovely!
06th December, 2016

Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

A nice dominant orange open with a nice quality oakmoss/patchouli drydown. Top notch from the house of Hermes. I find the orange to be a little tart in the opening due to the lemon which IMO gives it WAY more character. Decent longevity and projection in the warmer days and nights than your typical Eau de Cologne. A winner in every respect. Enjoy!
06th December, 2016

Le 15 by The Different Company

This is one self-deprecating 15th anniversary fragrance for an outfit called The Different Company. Basically a mindless clone of the legion of iso-e-super/cashmeran/incense fragrances that flooded the market in the 2000s in the wake of Duchaufour and Buxton's revolutionary "Series 3: Incense" for Comme des Garcons. Not a speck of originality here, as I see it - but maybe I'm missing a fine French sense of irony or something. Next!
06th December, 2016

Luciano Pavarotti by Luciano Pavarotti

Stardate 20161206:

The best celebrity fragrance.
And would not be a stretch to call it the best fragrance.
Honey,Rose, Patch, Woods, Oakmoss - mixed just right.
Get it while you can.
If you can't try the BN9 WestSide. Similar style but no cigar

06th December, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

Ombré Leather 16 by Tom Ford

Where Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather is a big, brash leather wanting to play in the same league as Knize Ten and Heely’s Cuir Pleine Fleur is a soft, bookish leather evoking Grey Flannel’s violet leaves, Ombre Leather 16 is right in the middle. In some ways a perfect leather scent, OL16 has no powder or fruit notes to get in the way although the leather note is interwoven with cardamom, jasmine and patchouli and –like the Heely scent, violet leaves—which support the core essence of fine leather. This is a very discreet, expensive-smelling leather that anyone who has ever sat in a chair at an exclusive boutique about to spend way too much on the beautiful shoes they are trying on will recognize. OL16 is a great way to carry that scent around with you all day—and night—long.
06th December, 2016

Paul Smith Extreme Men by Paul Smith

A nice blend of citrus and spice that quickly turns into a nice barbershop scent on my skin. Lasts in the 4 hour range with limited projection after 60 t0 90 minutes. The opening does smell rather zesty and as it drys the juice becomes enjoyable with wafts of geranium sandalwood and musk. For the price it is a nice weekend or casual scent or something for the office. Enjoy!
06th December, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Scent by Costume National

The amber is at the core of this creation, but is is unusual in that it is a light and pleasant amber; warm but quite restrained. On my skin it lacks any darkness, harshness or smokiness, and I do not get any incense either, unlike in many other amber-centric products.

In the drydown the floral side breaks through, with hibiscus, frangipani and whiffs of samphire on me. At times a very discrete jasmine is hovering in the background. All this is accompanied by an overarching veil of a tea impression; think slightly milky darjeeling that is mildly sweetened. Towards the end the floral basket moves into the foreground and peters out gradually.

I get soft sillage, adequate projection and eight hours of longevity.

Amongst the amber-dominated fragrances, this is one of the more unobtrusive one. Perfect for a warm and sunny autumn day, its restrained nature makes it a good choice if one wants to wear and amber scent to the office. Very pleasant; a bit lacking vibrancy and vividness at times. 3/5.
06th December, 2016

Oud Luban by Aftelier

I like to think that when he died, Leonard Cohen was laid naked in a white shroud, anointed from head to toe in Ancient Resins, and then burned on a pyre that floats off down the Ganges. But recently, I learned that Cohen loved more than one of Mandy Aftel’s creations. In fact, Cohen wouldn't go out without a drop of her Oud Luban on his person.

Learning that made me reassess my imagining of Leonard Cohen as a gloomy, depressive poet, anointed with the biblical-smelling Ancient Resins. Because Oud Luban is an oud fragrance that takes what Luca Turin mentioned as an “inherent brown study grimness” characteristic of the material and shoots it through with a light-strobing blood orange note that makes it feel like liquid late-afternoon sunshine.

Superior, Hojari-grade frankincense from the Dhofar desert in Oman adds a bright, terpenic freshness that sidles up to the citrus and supports it – think crushed pine needles, with their juicy, lemony, green scent on your fingers after you touch them. And all this against a very smoky, leathery oud oil that is darkness personified. A superb, natural-smelling, joyful balancing of dark and light, Oud Luban displays a sort of switching-on-of-the-Christmas-lights effect.

I don’t think I have ever smelled a perfume that works oud quite like this. The smoky, growly undertones of real oud are there alright – no mistaking this for a synthetic variant – but its usual tendency to spread its gravel-voiced gloominess over everything has been reined in by the bright, citrusy resin elements. I think of it as humorous and hopeful.

And maybe this humorous, fey thing is a truer portrait of Leonard Cohen than my historic, mental imagining of his character. My dad recently told me a story he had read somewhere, of Leonard Cohen at a party. He just sat down on his own, picked up a guitar and started to strum, quietly humming the words to one of his famous songs. Bit by bit, women, young and old, began to kneel down at either side of him, listening intently. One of his friends whispered to him, Leonard, did you notice that you’re surrounded by women. Without looking up from his guitar and strumming away, he whispered back, “Works every time”.
05th December, 2016

Ancient Resins by Aftelier

Ancient Resins by Aftelier was developed by perfumer Mandy Aftel in cooperation with, and expressly for, the great Leonard Cohen himself. It smells exactly what you’d think a Zen guy like Leonard Cohen would like – a warm treble base of resins that balances the bitter, cleansing properties of something that might be used in a Shamanic ritual with the dusty smell of wood, paper, and rosin breaking down in old record stores or bookshops.

I’m not sure it makes much sense to analyze this beautiful oil too much – just let it wash over you in a peaceful wave, just like Cohen’s music – because it is, at heart, just a collection of resinous basenotes. And yet, the total effect is uplifting in a way that belies the simplicity of the blend.

Balm of Gilead is a note that jumps out at me, though, for its unusual biblical associations. Looking it up, it seems that the name refers (in religious history) to a balsam that was used as a spiritual balm to weary souls in Talmudic, Old Testament, and Muslim/Arabic history. Sources differ over what species of tree actually produced this balsam, although it seems to be either from mastic (green, herbal-smelling), pine, or terebinth /turpentine trees.

Although the opening notes of the oil are indeed very pine-like, I assume that this comes from the terpenes naturally present in the frankincense, because Mandy After clarifies that the Balm of Gilead note in Ancient Resins comes from poplar buds, from the Populus species of tree. These trees produce a nicely balmy scent on the white undersides of their leaves, and are used to produce the modern-day versions of the Balm of Gilead – basically, a wound- and spirit-healing balm.

And Ancient Resins is healing. It is healing and calming and restorative. I can see why Leonard Cohen reportedly wore this every day of his life. I was, coincidentally, wearing Ancient Resins in my hair when I heard that he had passed away. I had been using it almost every day since I received a generous sample of it, because the American elections had just taken place and I was feeling stressed out. Ancient Resins seems to have the power to right everywhere that is wrong in the world, just like Cohen’s music. A knitting together of things that have been fractured.
05th December, 2016

Armani Eau de Nuit Oud by Giorgio Armani

A peppery (huge cardamom), peppery, peppery inoffensive mainstream little fragrance (thankfully the synth oudh is not so gassy-cedary-saffrony but soapy-watery and mildly woody). Iris is dominant (in its main link with cardamomish tonka and mild woods), kind of liquid and vaguely dusty-sugary (delicately woody-mild). Not bad but "just not bad".
05th December, 2016

Soliflore Tuberose by Dame Perfumery

After my scarring experience with Gardenia, I was almost wincing the thought of having to try Tuberose, the last Dame Perfumery decant included in my swap with my American friend. Thankfully, Tuberose smells just like the tuberose used in Tubereuse Criminelle, which is to say, beautiful and slightly ugly and a bit weird (in a good way). It goes on smelling like spilled fuel, rubber, camphor, and Listerine – you know, tuberose. It’s just tuberose, doing its tuberose thang. You either like it or you don’t, but this is a good, straight-forward rendition for the purists out there that can’t hack the oddness of Tubereuse Criminelle, the smoky tobacco of Tubereuse 3 Animale, or the hallucinogenic green freshness of Carnal Flower. Me, I will stick to the more evolved stuff. I got bored of this quite quickly.
05th December, 2016

Soliflore Mimosa by Dame Perfumery

I lived in a country that held a mimosa festival every year, with parades and little girls wearing head garlands of mimosas threaded together – so I know what mimosa smells like.

Honestly, mimosa smells a bit odd at first. The perfume, Mimosa, is very true to the bloom in that it comes out of the bottle smelling like a golden, clear vegetable oil, slightly flat and oily to the nose. Within this oil aroma, there are small puffs of something quite like heliotrope – almond-like, puffy, sweet, reminiscent of Johnson’s Baby Oil, only not as “purple” or “cherry pie”-like. There are also whiffs of glue, the kind you give your kids to use for art projects. All in all, a very odd but childishly appealing aroma. Not terribly floral, but very true to life.

Later on, a powdery “yellow” pollen tonality develops, which in turn ushers in a sweet, translucent cucumber note. From this point onwards, the scent of Mimosa is mostly about that cucumber and pollen combination, which suits me just fine. I like this aspect of mimosa. The second part reminds me very much of Jo Malone’s Mimosa & Cardamom, which in turn reminds me a bit of the milky cucumber/dill/gripe water side of Le Labo Santal 33. But if you want to experience mimosa on its own, then this soliflore – Mimosa - is an excellent point of reference.
05th December, 2016

Soliflore Gardenia by Dame Perfumery

Gardenia from Dame Perfumery is a no-go for me, I’m afraid. I admit I’ve never smelled a gardenia in real life, but if it smells like this, then keep it far away from me. I am quite willing to recognize that this is very true to life, given that all the other Dame Perfumery soliflores are remarkably true to their source material. But tell me, does gardenia really smell like moldy butter, melted candy canes, and plastic? Because this is what Gardenia smells like.

Upon spraying it, I was immediately assaulted by the stench of butter that has developed black spots, and forgive me if this reference strikes you as being overly specific, but it is a clear olfactory memory from my time living in Belgrade in 2001.

Back then, the country was just opening up after years of NATO sanctions and obviously German producers were dumping all their stock on us cheaply. I would buy Meggle butter from the supermarket, and maybe 7 times out of 10, there would be black spots on it. If you have ever smelled butter that has gotten to this stage, then you’ll know that it is one of the worst smells in the world. Sometimes, the black spots would be slow to emerge and you’d eat some of it, and immediately your mouth knew that, shit, this was black spot butter.

Later, it developed into a creamy candy-like smell that my five year old son identified as “sweeties”. He thought it was pleasant and asked me to buy it. I guess he never smelled black spot butter – his father and I had only begin dating when black spot butter was a part of our lives, otherwise he never would have asked me. I have bought a fair few perfumes on his request (Un Bois Vanille, Etro Heliotrope) but I’m afraid I can’t indulge him here. Even the memory of it is making me dry-retch.
05th December, 2016

Soliflore Narcissus by Dame Perfumery

I think Narcissus is the clear standout in the Dame Perfumery soliflores I have thus far tested, although they are all very true to their source materials. Narcissus smells extremely dirty when first sprayed, like a men’s bathroom that had been hastily (badly) cleaned with cheap disinfectant, a nuance that runs very true to the flower’s fetid, inky barnyardy smell in nature.

But given a few minutes to settle, the sillage blooms with all the nicer aspects of narcissus itself – the yellow, oily pollen, the stemmy green aroma, the pale sweet powder, honey, grass – a heart-warming mixture of green and yellow hues, a ripped-from-nature smell that was both rudely animalic and elegant.

Wearing Narcissus allows me to recognize just how important a role narcissus plays in the grander compositions of Chamade and Le Temps d’Un Fete. It also confirmed that Romanza by Masque is stuffed to bursting with the stuff. Excellent work, and it makes me want to explore even more of Dame Perfumery's soliflores. A strange fact about this fragrance, though – it smells much nicer in one’s sillage than close up, on the skin, where it retains that dirty bathroom facet.
05th December, 2016
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