Juniper, Cardamom, some of my favourite things.
I was hoping for an improvement from the Naff thing that was EDT. All I can say is. Go Chanel,
for a Voyage to remember.
No more words to fully express my genuine appreciation for this canadian house. Another artist or indipendent perfumer cooperating with the Zoologist's inspired Art Director (and brand-owner) Victor Wong in order to develop the perfume-house's aesthetic message. Shelley Waddington (Zoologist Civet as well) is the perfumer behind the variegate line En Voyage Perfumes which is created, bottled and packaged at Shelley Waddington’s "workshop". This artist transfers temporarily at the Zoologist's "labos" all her experience and specific knowledge about the classic floral-chypre's universe of the glorious past. Hummingbird is another ostensibly vegetal (fruity-floral-botanic) creation of the line and it sounds by soon as a refined fruity-floral work of green-honeyed balance. Rosey abstraction, honey, pollen, leafy humid silvan greenness, nectarinic fruitiness, medicinal soapiness and powdered muskiness wave constantly in the air. I just can say this is a fragrance to die for, a sort of honeyed-green synthetic multinuanced masterpiece. Hyper refinened as an ideally new generation florals-inspired green Chanel N. 19. A green atmosphere represents the ostensibly vegetal background of this powerfully floral olfactory orchestra. Honey (a rosey waxy neo-victorian honey) is the second element of this honeyed-green "backstage", a sort of waxy-plummy and evidently pears-smelling vibe which is the "dandy" core of this immensely beautiful evocative (arcane memories of a disappeared childhood) juice. Hummingbird is a lofty blend of several of the most transparent and ethereal florals in nature like lilac, peony, mimosa, rose, violet, muguet, honeysuckle and tulip, overall rooted on a sort of honeyed-green "basement" enriched by rooty, spicy, earthy, woody and musky accents. Sandalwood provides a sort of musky-salty honeyed take of intense refinement (soapy, soapy, soapy) while ylang-ylang (joined to medicinal soapiness and misty ambery-milky-honeyed powdery) imprints a wave of translucent exoticism straight from the recesses of the misty childhood. I detect in the air a sort of super-modern synth "kind of aldehydic-lacteous-damp", abstract and I'd say "hyperbaric/translucent/suspended in the air/diaphanous" background a la Andrea Maack's Craft or Silk. The illusion about nectars and floral pollens is intense. It seems to detect as well something kind of dry-woody (hay) or "cyber xerox-toner-like" (a la Cdg Odeur 71) as well. An amazing "chiaroscuro" of vaguely medicinal, naphthalenic, earthy, plastic and soapy-cosmetical tones enriches the general harmony. The juice settles finally down on a velvety milky-ambery-musky basic accord (exuding rosey-honeyed-soapy accents in typical english style) nuanced by typically chypre (old-school in perception) honeyed-animalistic-mossy accents. The final outcome is extremely opulent, something re-interpreting in a modern and genial key a conglomeration of classic themes ("earthy/vegetal/boise", "honeyed-chypre/soapy/rosey/victorian" and more modernly dry-floral - vaguely cyber/abstract at the very end). Excellent.
An orange-fruity opening, which is soon given a touch of very restrained spiciness by a saffron impression, dominates the first part in this product's development.
The drydown heads into the floral realm, with a mildly dark rose impression most evident on my skin. The base loses the fruitiness as well as the floral bent, and is mainly constituted by a soft, slightly sweet patchouli, which is given additional depth by a minimally earthy vetiver.
I get soft sillage, adequate projection, and six hours of longevity on my skin.
This spring composition is quite nice in some aspects. Unfortunately, it is rather generic and synthetic, and its dull, at times insipid, genericness is the more disappointing feature of the two.
On the other hand, it is well blended and at times the notes compliment each other fairly well. Like blood-orange, I am on the fence with this Armani creation too, and if there was a green-orange option in the dropdown menu I would choose that. In the absence of such a choice, the somewhat disappointing performance on my skin puts it into the neutral category, strongly veering towards the positive though. 2.75/5.
I'll give this one a neutral because it's in the family of GIT,Chez Bond but smells like a better blend of Coolwater. This takes the place of GIT/Coolwater mentions of similarities.
Bergamot-aldehydic freshness with a fruity-green undertone, and combined with galbanum - the recipe for the traditional opening of a chypre - and very well executed. Never really spritely fresh though and always a touch of mellowness draped over the top notes, like a shade over a sunny meadow.
The drydown brings out the floral side, with tuberose and other white florals present. Soon, after a phase where an orris accord develops, the main player on the second half boldly arises: an almighty oakmoss of astounding natural beauty, with touches of skankiness courtesy of a musk sidekick, and, towards the end, with a hint of vanilla-based sweetness. In all this, the oakmoss is the solist accompanied by the olfactory orchestra constituted by the other notes.
I get moderate sillage, excellent projection, and a stupendous longevity of an amazing fourteen hours on my skin.
A wonderful autumnal beauty for warmer days, this classic chypre creation is characterised by the top quality of its natural ingredients. Whilst a bit attenuated and maybe a tad dull-ish at times - this is a vintage after all - it is blended masterfully and convincingly. 4/5
A superfluous and sub par rose offering - there is a dark, oriental aspect that is quickly lost. One can discern a hint of lychee, but it is not fully explored. Then comes forward a deep rose note that is supported by some spices, with cardamom being prominent. However, things soon come apart as the fragrance suddenly loses most of its body and presence to become a thin veil of a peppered rose.
The basic problem with these types of fragrances is a singular lack of complexity. There is not much abstraction, yet it isn't a soliflore. Lack of development is okay, but linearity has to be rewarded either by an accord that's either engaging or substantial - if not both. Else it becomes what it is here - front-loaded - a phenomenon all too commonplace and endemic in modern perfumery.
One positive aspect of Rose de Petra is that it avoids the tired oud and/or patchouli notes, but still briefly yields an oriental touch. However, this style of rose is much better experienced in many other rose fragrances, including Noir de Noir, Amouage Lyric, and Calligraphy Rose. Also, the ones marketed as 'oud's hardly have oud in most cases. Thus, there's no harm in exploring rose-ouds if one looks for a deep, dark rose while looking to avoid oud. If it has to be only about the rose - La Fille de Berlin and Eau de Protection are far more compelling alternatives.
Sillage is good initially before quickly dying down, and duration is around average.
Pepper, Vetiver and Cedar. That's the entire scent from start to finish. Not bad but nothing special. Could be used as a nice office scent or in casual settings IMO. Overall for the price I would say it's a safe blind buy. Enjoy!
If you are a fan of the original (which I was... but no longer) then this is right up your alley. I find this to be just a slight detour from the original from start to finish. I give it a thumbs up due to the quality of the leather that does offset the off putting tarish quality of AMen to my nose. I got this for a surprising price so I find this to be a winner. Too bad it is no longer fall/winter here in the US or I would rock this today. Try before you buy (You may find this a redundant buy if you already have original AMen). Otherwise.... Enjoy!
A ghastly chemical syrup camouflaging as a citrus-bergamot mix determines the opening impression. Insipidly sweet, it feels like Armani took some lessons from the bottom level of Victoria's Secret most synthetic creations.
The drydown adds another weird note from the laboratory, but, quite unexpectedly, in the base things started to look up a bit. A woodsy note combined with a pleasant vanilla - the latter not particularly exciting but solidly crafted - work well together, and constitute the hightlights of this composition.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.
The base is the best part of this daytime spring creation, but it does not suffice to save this product from a negative verdict. 1.75/5.
Code Black - not a good thing to happen in a hospital...
After having tried all of MFK Ouds barring Velvet Mood, Silk Mood comes across as the most easy to like. While the original Oud was severely underwhelming, the other three are well done and respectable compositions. Cashmere Mood is perhaps the most intriguing and intriguing, while Satin Mood disappointingly subsides into a boring amber-vanilla accord.
Silk Mood is perhaps the most conventional, with it being a straightforward rose-oud offering. The rose is lush, velvety, buttery and the oud is slightly medicinal but also very much on the subtle side. In fact, the oud is largely subdued and plays second fiddle to the rose. The texture of the rose is similar to the one in Noir de Noir, Ambre Nuit, or Lyric Man. There is no smokiness. There is a slightly green, austere nuance to the composition - perhaps from the papyrus and chamomile. There is considerable depth (mostly attributable to the ingredient quality), but not a great deal of complexity. I find it mostly linear on my skin, but there is actually a very slow transition as the rose eventually subsides over several hours. Sillage is moderate but persistent, and duration is excellent at over 7-8 hours.
While a commendable offering, it has a few shortcomings. Anyone looking for an oud or a rose-oud fragrance could be disappointed, as the oud is very underplayed. The non-rose components of this fragrance could have been further explored.
The top notes mix bergamot, lime and slightly woodsy heliotropes with florals; mainly carnation and hyacinth, to a very successful match of the fresh with the floral-sweet. Well done!
The drydown loses the fresh characteristics in favour of the intensification of the floral, mainly white floral side, with lily-of-the valley and jasmine and in the foreground; again this is a lovely bouquet.
The base is a quite predictable ambery tonka with a discreet and fairly unobtrusive benzoin underlay.
The sillage is quite soft, the projection adequate, and the longevity is an impressive eleven hours on my skin.
A pleasant scent for warmer spring or cooler summer days. The main issue is a certain dullness, a lack of vividness, as if a veil is cast over this creation and and takes away its luster. It is just at the border between neutral, but the good longevity and the decent - albeit not superb - quality of some of its ingredients let it - just - cross the line into positive territory - by the skin if its teeth. 3/5.
If, like me, you like rich, fruity, boozy scents of the Mauboussin variety, then this little number will certainly ring your bell.
Swirling layers of peach,amber,creme de cassis and caramel radiate off my skin and into the realm of compliments. This little diva is all about joyous abandonment and devil-may-care attitude.
Don't be shy with the application or others will fail to notice all of its full-on charms!
Why do they always discontinue little gems like this. Are people blind to their merits or is my taste so far removed from normality that I am on a different plane to the vast majority of the perfume buying public?
Ambre Nuit is a major disappointment, especially considering the standards of the Dior La Collection Privée.
Its best feature is the lushness of the rose, and how it is elegantly paired with labdanum and woods.
However, it also comes across as timid, insubstantial and indistinctive. Additionally, it is very soft (which is okay, but for this style I would prefer something with more presence), and is surprisingly thin and fleeting beyond the first couple of hours.
A rose of this style is much more well explored in Oud Ispahan and Noir de Noir.
This is a great musk fragrance.
Clean, fresh, deep white musk - as it should be. Light years away from the nastiness of countless fragrances (cheap and expensive) with clinical laundry white musk bases.
Initially there's some white florals, and then comes a delightful musk-rose accord. The musk is in the foreground, the rose in the background. There's the faintest sweetness coming through courtesy of the tonka. That's more or less it, with little evolution.
Other musk fragrances it reminds me of are Clair de Musc, Musc Intense (Nicolai), and Villoresi Musk. However, for some reason the Kiehl's has a more effortless 'grab-n-go' appeal.
If you're looking for a tamed down version of Muscs Koublai Khan (one of my favourites) - this is it. There is a only the barest animalic hint - but only if one looks for it after a heavy application.
I have no issues with how it wears - close but good sillage, and excellent duration of at least six hours from a generous application.
Very good throughout the year, and simply delightful in the summers.
Very, very nice.
A very lacklustre offering from Tom Ford. This is even more surprising considering that unlike the Private Blends, the Signature line is usually well thought out and carefully crafted.
Tom Ford for Men takes all the elements usually present in classic masculine compositions to create a dull fragrance. The main theme is citrus-tobacco-woods-amber with some mild spices, and a barely prominent ginger note. The structure is good, but it's unimaginative and restrained exactly at places where it didn't need to be. It has low key sillage and moderate longevity, but is quickly forgotten.
Off the top of my head, Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme (earlier versions) would be a much more compelling and worthwhile composition in this genre.
Tom Ford for Men would be the olfactory equivalent of a bland lunch at the new upstart restaurant in town with some random 'professionals' on a Tuesday afternoon.
Stick to Grey Vetiver. At least, I would.
A light, subtle floral leather that is unusually cool.
The initial opening is tempered with mild spices and a leather accord that hints at high quality leather handbags. The floral notes bloom pretty soon as the fragrance starts to smell similar to some creams and body lotions. I also pick up a hint of suede. The typical airiness of Ellena's compositions is found here, and it is very Hermes. It is slightly radiant, and wears very lightly on skin. The mid phase is mostly the floral leather accord. It is followed by a similar soft and subtle dry down that is reminiscent of the earlier phases. The composition is linear to a certain extent, and has soft sillage and moderate duration on skin.
While I love the opening, it is thereafter too fleeting and rather unexciting. I prefer to go with Declaration or Eau d'Hermes when looking for a leather scent that is similarly bright, airy and radiant. Bel Ami Vetiver might also work as an alternative for some.
Overall it's quite a good composition. Definitely recommended if you are looking for a light, airy, summery leather fragrance and do not want anything striking. Definitely not a butch leather. Also, definitely would not work for those looking for something a little potent and tenacious.
I approached, tried, tested, and wore Virgin Island Water in two different phases - once in 2015 summer, and once in 2017. In 2015 I had approached it with high expectations. In 2017 I did so with average expectations. The fragrance was underwhelming in 2015, and more so in 2017.
The structure was clear each time around. A beautiful and natural lime opening with just a hint of booziness, that lasts all of 5 minutes, before giving way to a musky coconut dry down. There's no citrus, no florals, no woods, no spices, no booziness - just coconut and musk. Granted, the accord is still occasionally pretty, but it's neither innovative nor compelling. Additionally, it is extremely muted on skin beyond the first 30 minutes or so, and has a disappointing duration of a few hours - that, too, from a very generous application.
Granted, I only tried this in hot weather. However, that's supposedly the season for this coconut-lime fantasy. When the temperature is any lower, why would I even consider this frivolous persuasion - ahead of thousands of more worthwhile offerings including Creed's own Bois du Portugal and Green Irish Tweed?
I don't see the point of this fragrance.
An ethereal burst of pepper followed by dry peppery woods. Extremely muted beyond the first half hour, and average duration. Moreover, this was released in 2010 when the peppery-woods genre was already well explored, and this brings nothing new to the table. One might consider Terre d'Hermes, Poivre Samarcande, Declaration, Honour Man, Comme des Garcons 2 Man, Tam Dao, Lalique White, and Wonderwood as more worthwhile alternatives. For pepper (forgetting the woods) one might consider Piper Nigrum or Noir Epices (and several others).
Gimmicky more than anything else.
Wow. I tried a sample of this, and it's really quite beautiful. Six hours later and I can still catch it off my wrist. This fragrance is smooth and natural. No hint of anything chemical or artificial. It is strongly floral with the mix of oleander, lily and violet--I'm not personally familiar with the distinction between those but the result here is a gentle bouquet of notes unified by a creamy texture. I don't catch the grapefruit but a bare hint of the vanilla, yes. And I do believe I can grasp the tint of fog as a slightly cool overtone. But overall, the simplest description is a rich, creamy floral that manages to avoid being too sweet. A great fragrance for Spring into early summer.
It feels more feminine than masculine to me, but I think you'll find it addictive no matter who you are.
The sweetish-fruity opening is rather laboratory-chemical in nature, with an aroma of berries, and a faux-pear-peachy undertone. It is so chemical that I can imagine it work well on a laboratory-created customer, a robot for instance.
The drydown remains firmly in the lab kitchen, this time cooking up a sweetish floral soup that quite skillfully avoids smelling like a real flower - I mean the stuff that grows outside in nature.
After the thumbs-down assessment had taken shape in my mind, it is the base that constitutes the main strength of this creation: whilst still clearly and overly synthetic, it is much less intrusively so, and manages to create a passable honeyed, soft patchouli impression; this impression does not really impress me, but it is quite bearable.
The sillage is moderate, the projection very good, and the longevity is ten hours on my skin.
A spring composition that is hyper-synthetic, a bit less so in the base though; this is one of those rare cases where the longer one waits, the more tolerable it gets. At the border between thumbs down and neutral; the base pushes it - just - into neutral territory. 2/3.
While I don't crave for Muschio Bianco (nice but too sweet and "bath-foam kind") I appreciate far more this deeper, soapier and darker take on the forest-theme from L'Erbolario. I quite enjoy this juice on skin, it is so soapy, mossy, woody and mysterious to die for. I detect oakmoss, vetiver, woods, bark and dry leaves. Impenetrable smell from the deep forest (but with gleams of dry/aromatic/balmy radiancy) finally leaning towards a classic-chypre main (vaguely barber-shop) theme. Yes, it's among the oldies at L'Erbolario and is surely a keeper. Moss settles down in to a mossy-earthy aroma tempered by ambery/woody powdery facets.
A big thumbs up for vintage Dunhill for Men. The association my nose keeps making is with Chanel Cuir de Russie, and to a lesser extent, Dior Jules.
This removes the feminine side of Cuir de Russie, and replaces it with a shaving cream note or soapy note, somewhat similar to Paco Rabanne Pour Homme.
Deep into the base, this does smell like a tonka skin scent, which I like. There are moments wearing this that are impressive.
A woody rose fragrance. I'm not a big fan of the woods used by Azzaro. The rose is fine. This is an interesting fragrance, but not quite for me.
My take on French Line is very much in line with drsaid’s, as he expressed it below. (And speaking of drsaid, after an absence myself, I see that he has not added a review in a year, which is a loss.) Since I disagree with nothing in that characteristically precise review, I will just elaborate on two details of this successful composition.
First, the carnation note: Why is the smell of the classic male nosegay of old -- “clove-pinks” or carnations – so absent in perfumery today? Here the carnation is only part of a harmonious whole, but it is distinct enough...and carnation’s current rarity makes this note seem all the more bold.
Second, coconut. Whereas today the use of coconut often is relegated to fragrances that seek to channel the vapid and dippy beach bunny vibe of Gidget and Annette Funicello, French Line shows the use of coconut in an unmistakably masculine fragrance from the mid-1980s. It is merely a blending element that contributes to the plush rounder features that makes timeless what might otherwise be a time capsule from the powerhouse go-for-the-glands era. (In this regard, it oddly reminds me of Guerlain’s feminine Terracotta Le Parfum, where coconut is subtly used to soften the sparkling zest just enough to make the composition all the more charming. Going further afield, the wine analogue might be the use of Viognier, a white grape, in the reds of Côte-Rôtie.)
In these two regards at least, carnation and coconut, it seems that the march of history – that great and often merciful aesthetic trash compactor – has mistakenly minimized what surely should be reclaimed.
This is supposed to smell like waiting on the finish line when Bradley Wiggins completed some big-deal bike race or another. I have no idea how this brief was achieved, but achieved it was... Raffle Numbers opens with notes of tyre rubber and metal polish, with a side of damp paper. The heart has coffee and leather with just a hint of marmalade (a certain sweet-sharp tang which I would never have ID'd as marmalade if it hadn't been on the pyramid), while the base is sharp and green with vetiver and linden (supposed to be in the top, but wasn't evident on me until the drydown). Personally, I didn't pick up any notes of wheat, croissant or any other bread products, for which I think I'm grateful. It's unusual and much more wearable than you'd expect. I doubt this one will be FBW for me, but I can definitely see one of the cute 9ml vials making its way into my treasure chest, completing my trinity of weird smoky-rubbery fragrances (along with Black by Bulgari and All Good Things by Lush).
As is typical with Sarah McCartney's frags, the development is quite a journey and one with which I can actively engage; her scents are like curios - 4160 Tuesdays brings me a kind of nerdy joy no other house does. For me (and only Brits will get this reference), they're the olfactory equivalent of a line-up of 'experts' on Antiques Roadshow - eccentric bordering on a bit batty, fascinating, full of character and unabashedly enthusiastic. Her perfumes (as I've said before) have just the right amount of whimsy. They're original, skillfully prepared and they never take themselves too seriously. I don't necessarily want to wear all of Sarah's creations, but *do* I want to explore all of them - I want to meet each and every one of the cuckoo correspondents from her crazy commune.
The 1993 Edition (monochrome pink packaging):
The first blast is a floral hit extraordinaire: A rich and intenses ylang-ylang is in the centre, which features throughout the development of this creation as a core accord, like a golden thread, until the end. Hints of tangerine and bergamot brighten it up, as does the occasional whiff of lemon. It reminds me in its concept a bit of the vintage version of Lubin's Eau Neuve, but with much more emphasis on the white floral notes.
The drydown adds more florals, with honeysuckle and lily-of-the-valley being the most prominent newcomers here, blending well with a lovely iris, and a touch of a lighthearted tuberose blending in beautifully. A floral bouquet of great distinction.
The base is characterised by a minimally powdery ambery vanilla, intertwined with the white floral notes that spill over into the final stages of this composition.
I get moderate sillage, splendid projection and a stupendous fourteen hours of longevity on my skin. A floral power-performance!
A delightfull summery floral, a somewhat more generic in the final stages, but otherwise very well blended of high-quality ingredients. one of Gucci's finest florals.
The original 1982 in the box bearing the original Gucci red-striped-belt logo is more citrus-centred in the top notes, and expresses more lilac and lily in the heart notes. This is also very nice.
Both are amongst Gucci's finest florals and a 3.75/5.
Realistic but subtle citrus peel with a mossy mint. It does have a little of the fresh clean laundry scent but MUCH, MUCH less synthetic. Basically a higher quality version of Monsieur Balmain, without the wood and less synthetic. It also is unisex. The overall impression is being fresh and clean walking along the coast but being 1/2 a mile away from it.
Ultimate has a promising opening. Instantly I am brought to JCE creations, specifically Declaration, but with a little more of a citrus kick. However, this quickly dies down, and becomes more of a Strictly Private like smell, which is another overrated Baldessarini. The dry down here doesn't smell right to me either. Kind of sour.
I still think Ambre is the best of the line, and the most reviewed for a reason, It's simply good.
Ultimate on the other hand.. not so much. Although the composition seems fair, it doesn't cater to my personal interest. I give this a very low neutral rating, almost negative.
Best fragrance in this genre. Initial impressions on first spray were negative, but the dry down is a beautiful sweet honey and cocoa tobacco olfactory experience that is both alluring and addictive.
La belle ferronnière by Leonardo da Vinci