Fragrance Reviews from May 2011

    Showing 451 to 480 of 903.
    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Programme Homme by Lancôme

    This starts off as a fairly traditional aromatic fougere of the 1980s, possibly closest to Azzaro Pour Homme. That lasts for a couple of hours. What sets it apart is how nicely blended it is, relative to others of this genre, because it has that "manly" quality without becoming irritating in any way. After a couple of hours it gradually transitions into a a superb base that clearly has some casstoreum. There is clearly a strong spice element as well, along with a musk note. It's definitely not sweet especially sweet at this point, but it's also not really dry, and the fougere element from the top continues in a sunbdued way. After a couple more hours, it goies int a sweeter and softer direction, still with fougere elements and the castoreum present. Then a couple hours later, it smell a lot like Acteur at the same point in development, which is dry, woody, slightly powdery, floral, and with a touch of sweetness. I prefer this to vintage Antaeus, for example, because I view that as more of a "mansweat" fragrance, whereas Programme has more complexity and dynamism. One Man Show, on the other hand, has more distinct notes, but is far cruder (especially up top), with inferior blending (and likely inferior ingredients).

    Is this is identical to Sagamore? The notes to that one are listed as:

    "Top notes are lavender, clary sage, petit grain, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are carnation, ginger, cinnamon, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose and geranium; base notes are sandalwood, amber, patchouli, musk, benzoin, vanilla and styrax."

    However, if Sagamore does not contain castoreum, then I can't imagine these two being identical. Also, Programme seems to have an anisic quality in the top notes. Otherwise, the notes could be the same. It certainly seems that Programme has patchouli, a wood note, geranium, and florals. Ginger and cinnamon seem right as well. So, Programme goes from being a little rough (for a couple hours), in the typical aromatic fougere way, to being a kind of fougere/Oriental hybrid, with a soft, complex, dynamic base. Projection/"sillage" varies, from being strong at first to being more of a skin scent seven or so hours later.

    16th May, 2011

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Caldey Island Lavender by Caldey Abbey Perfumes

    I just recently sampled Caldey Island Lavender, and I agree that it is one of the best lavenders I've ever tried. The real accomplishment here is that the perfumer managed to iron out all of the rough edges of the lavender, while still retaining its bracing rawness and purity. It has the rawness and earthiness of French lavender, but also has the softness and delicacy of English lavender. That is no mean feat.

    Like all the best lavender fragrances, this is for lovers of real lavender scents, not those that hide the lavender under piles of other notes. Of course, longevity isn't too good, but I don't care. This would be a pleasure to reapply during the day.

    I'm not likely to buy this because I already found my favorite lavender in Agua Lavanda, but Caldey Island Lavender is an outstanding alternative for any lavender fan. Bravo!

    MY RATING: 9/10

    16th May, 2011

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rush for Men by Gucci

    It took a while, but this one grew on me at the time it first came out. It was basically a white-floral-cedar-musk in a mid key. It was different and stood out from the pack; but wasn't quite up to Gucci's usually excellent standards. I would try it again if I came across it. I also rather liked the minimalist decanter. Very 2001 (a Space Odyssey, that is!).

    16th May, 2011

    nsamadi's avatar



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    Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    I can quite place it but Absolue pour le Soir heavily reminds me of something I've smelt before. Or at least I've smelt parts of it through out various scents I've come across over the years. It's thick, syrupy, and it has the same eastern spice market vibe reminiscent of many Serge Lutens scents. Then there's the dirty barnyard note. I don't think it's a bad scent, but something about it really bugs me. It screams sex. Kind of like a desperate young chap at a nightclub that reeks of "I just want to get laid tonight." I much prefer the cologne version of this, which is more seductive and less trying too hard.

    16th May, 2011

    nezdelacoreé's avatar

    South Korea South Korea

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    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    I did a blind buy of this at a perfume kiosk in the back streets of the Myeong-dong shopping district in Seoul. (I stumbled on the kiosk by accident. They didn't have any samples of Black, so the owner gave me a discount for buying blind!) Based on the reviews I had read here and elsewhere, I was fully expecting to be knocked over the head with a rubber accord in the opening. But I was pleasantly surprised--the rubber is clean and glossy, and not acrid or tarry like I had feared. It plays a beautiful counterpoint to the amber, and though I've seen reviews that claim that this fragrance has no development over time, I did find that the rubber had significantly mellowed after about an hour.

    There seems to be an ongoing debate with Black: for men, or for women? The kiosk where I bought it filed it on the women's side of things. Many of Black's reviewers/wearers here on BN seem to be men, and the bottle itself is clearly for a masculine. Its official designation is "unisex" but in fact, I don't think that really does it justice. Many unisex fragrances (I'm thinking of CK One as an example) seem to actually be *asexual*--neutral, in the sense that they're too clean and corporate to be one sex or the other, too busy thinking about when to renew their gym memberships to spend much time pondering the mysteries of human emotion. Black, on the other hand, would probably be better described as *transsexual* in its weirdly seductive defiance of gender categories, and willingness to raise a few questions.

    16th May, 2011

    nezdelacoreé's avatar

    South Korea South Korea

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    Arabie by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I sampled this recently in the search for a Father's Day gift, and it is positively sinister. I am, admittedly, still something of a novice in the world of fragrance-lovers, but I will always remember this scent: it will go down in the history of my olfactory education as the first time that a sniff of something actually made reality slow down for a few seconds as my brain tried to recover from an unexpectedly unpleasant shock. Smelling this was like getting a smack across the face when you were expecting a kiss on the cheek. It's deadly sweet, syrupy, and heavy--qualities that I find excellent on a date (the fruit, of course--I would wear this with caution on a date of the appointment variety) but not in a fragrance. Gag-inducing.

    16th May, 2011

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    cK one by Calvin Klein

    While cK One may seem cheap, elementary, or even "wussy" compared to other men's fragrances, especially after my journey has come this far, there's no denying that it holds memories for many BNers.

    The fresh smell of citrus and balmy-dewy grass that makes cK One so distinctive from its counterparts can trigger a lot of memories for me: namely, the 1990's, as well as middle school and my first two years of high school. Not many other fragrances can accurately represent the smell of a warm spring morning in May where the air is clean, the grass is still wet, and there's not a cloud in the sunny sky.

    cK One is certainly not the best green-citrus scent, nor the most natural I've smelled, but it's pleasant, relatively long-lasting, and certainly gets the job done. I still wear it from time to time, and I love the summer flankers.

    16th May, 2011

    Lian's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Nohiba by E.Coudray

    Hello strong no nonsense oriental. A little goes a long way, the woods are very strong and present in the opening and there is a touch of a powderyness to it as well and a hint of spices. It settles down quickly into something less woodsy and strong making it more feminine than the opening. Then the spices really become more present.

    I would almost guess there is some cinnamon in here or somehow some notes working together give the effect of it. I think this one begs to be worn in winter time when you need a little spice to keep you going.

    16th May, 2011

    Femme's avatar

    Slovenia Slovenia

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    Truth Calvin Klein by Calvin Klein


    As with all fragrances, I tried this one on a couple of times before buying it.
    I have now learned that it is NOT always the most reliable thing to do (although it still beats the alternatives, of course).
    Perhaps I should have tried it in more than one shop, because clearly their bottle was aged or something. The drydown was much more to my liking than it is now that I am actually wearing it from my own, brand new bottle.

    I love the opening: it's so fresh and sprightly, with those joyous citrusy notes! It reminds me of a big, happy smile - fresh and sweet, not cloying and contrived.

    Then, after 10 minutes or so, comes the part that I love the most.
    I am not sure which note it is that produces it, but suddenly it all settles down and morphs into a glorious chrysanthemum scent - still very fresh, but in a pleasantly composed, "ladylike" manner, not unlike the smile of La Gioconda. ;)
    Personally it reminds me a LOT of the middle phase of Donna Karan's DKNY, only it has a whiff more of substance.

    This phase lasts for about an hour.
    Then, the fragrance gradually develops into a sweeter and more vanilla-like drydown, with a distinct "greasy", oily undernote.
    I am not too crazy about that part. I don't HATE it, but I am not sure I would have bought this scent if I had smelled the same drydown on the two occasions I tried it in the store.
    Still, I am not sorry.

    Its sillage could be better, but it's certainly good it's not obtrusive.
    Its longevity is OK, but of course I would have preferred that middle note to be present for longer.

    I would also have preferred CK to use the traditional nomenclature. Their current composition sounds contrived and is no more descriptive than the "old fashioned" way.

    Still, it is a very nice and remarkably versatile fragrance. Perhaps not one of the greats of all times - but it's certainly much more appealing to me than 90% of the perfume production in the last decade or two.

    16th May, 2011

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    Tom of Finland by Etat Libre d'Orange

    There's a category which I call 'glorious perfumes'q
    hese are the ones that make the choirs sing 'Glory, glory, hallelujah!" the moment they open up,
    they're not introspective or meditative,
    they represent the joyful side of religion:
    raising the arms, elevating, almost exhibitionistic.
    The greatest thing is that this is done with particularly synthetic,
    industrial and concrete chemical smells:
    tar, rubber, plastic, evaporating aldehydes.
    Dark notes, the former, but not a dark scent.
    The sunny side of leather, a paradox of freshness.

    16th May, 2011

    Stray's avatar



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    Givenchy Play by Givenchy

    I'm trying this out for my summer fragrance this year. It isn't too loud, works with my skin, and that artificial edge (which can be cloying on its own) helps to play down the various kinds of sunblock I have to coat myself with in the summer months. Is it ridiculous to choose a scent that goes with sunblock? Maybe. Don't care. Doesn't come across as too 'I stole my boyfriend's cologne' on me, it does on some women. If you are a lady who routinely wears things in the tobacco family I think you should give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised. It smells a bit "brand" which I don't usually like, but again, for a summer fragrance that's not the worst thing. Better staying power than I expected from some of the reviews.

    16th May, 2011

    Spoombung's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Chypre Rouge by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    As people are suggesting, this DOES smell a bit like raspberry and strawberry jellies setting in plastic bowls for a children's party... but so what? It's kinda fun!

    There IS a bit more to it, to be fair; a nice, musky, woody effect at the base - but there's no getting away from the fact that this scent is all about fruity jelly, ladies and Gentlemen. It reminds me of Chanel's Allure Sensuelle somewhat.

    Wear it while holding a bunch of balloons.

    16th May, 2011

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Herrera for Men by Carolina Herrera

    Yup, this is a precursor to XS by Paco Rabanne, and Chic for Men. Herrera for Men is a bit fresher, with noticeable fougère elements and some aldehydes in the top. I actually like this one more than XS and the others of that ilk.

    Good longevity, and can be found for cheap - check it out!

    16th May, 2011

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

    The signature Ormonde Jayne scents, the Adam and Eve of the Ormonde line, each tread their own paths through the same primeval forest. They're both green (vetiver) woody (cedar) marvels, refined and bewitching in equal measure.

    Ormonde Man is more piquant and grassy than its earlier counterpart, and noticeably aromatic up top, with prominent coriander and pink pepper and a superlative cardamom note. It tapers to an astringent vetiver finish, akin to French Lover from Frederic Malle. Ormonde Woman is more cedar inclined, with a distinct sawdust vibe, along with a sandalwood creaminess and an ambery glow that feels like the golden pulp of sunlight being squeezed through silhouetted tree branches.

    While Ormonde Man covers more ground – and although I miss its absent cardamom note – I undoubtedly prefer Ormonde Woman. Ormonde Man is a very good masculine fragrance; Ormonde Woman is boundlessly mysterious and is an exercise in pure magic.

    16th May, 2011

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Black Aoud by Montale

    The first few minutes are all about the rose, patchouli and musk. You could even be forgiven if you had summarily dismissed it as another one of those dark masculine rose scents. But do come in for a closer sniff, a lot closer in fact, especially if you're interested to understand the heart of this fragrance: oud.

    The oud note comes and goes, a tad bitter, if a little astringent. Yet it retains the softly woodsy nuances in its core and adds some heft to the partnering patchouli. Unlike the oud note in YSL M7, the Montale rendition feels a lot smoother, less synthetic-smelling and not quite as medicinal. Neither is there a barnyard vibe that I get from Dior's superlative Leather Oud. But make no mistake, it is nowhere near the complexity and depth of a true Cambodian oud distillate.

    I own a number of rose/patchouli fragrances that I enjoy. Yet after smelling BLACK AOUD, I couldn't help but hanker after another. The Montale would sit nicely between HdP Noir Patchouli and Le Labo Rose 31, its profile perfectly poised for a romantic evening date. While it falls short of the fabled black rose scent I wanted it to be, the reputation BLACK AOUD has garnered here is nothing if not richly deserved.

    16th May, 2011

    Michelangelo's avatar

    Poland Poland

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    Epic Man by Amouage

    I'm not a pro and won't be pretending I can use fancy terms to describe a scent. I have already tried a few Amouage scents, but bought the whole 100ml bottle without knowing what it really smells like. When I tried it for the first time it was like WOW, this is some good stuff. It's much better for me than Jubilation or powdery Silver. It has class and emphasizes my macho style of being. It has become my instant signature scent. Definitely NOT for henpecked husbands or effeminate lads :)

    16th May, 2011

    Michelangelo's avatar

    Poland Poland

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    Millésime Impérial by Creed

    It's the only Creed I have ever tried and I love it. Much as I love Amouage during colder months (most of the year in the UK), when it's warm and sunny I'd rather spray a bit of MI on myself. Shame it doesn't last longer than a 5 bucks fakes sold in the markets.

    16th May, 2011

    SirScent's avatar

    United States United States

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    cK one Summer 2006 by Calvin Klein

    I find a good portion of Calvin Klein's frags of the last 20 years unwearable.

    Eternity gives me a headache and the original CK1 has a cloying synthetic note that bothers the heck out of me. I gave my bottle away.
    The original Calvin is still my favorite for a more formal scent.

    But, this Summer version of CK 1 is excellent.
    It smells like Summer and that's nice.

    To my nose I get melon and clean skin throughout.
    Perfect for warm weather.
    Finally, a Calvin Klein that lives up to it's name.
    Thumbs Up!


    16th May, 2011

    SirScent's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fuel For Life pour Homme by Diesel

    Recipe:
    Take sticks of black licorice and a handfull of raspberries.
    Marinate overnight in a pint of Petrol.
    This is Diesel's Fuel for Life.
    If this is your idea of what a fragrance should smell like, well...okay then.

    I think Diesel was confused when naming this one as this should be "Only The Brave".
    Initial burst was nice but then the nightmarish journey began.
    PU.

    16th May, 2011

    JDBIII's avatar

    United States United States

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    Shalimar has always confused me. Two women I knew in the 1970's wore it, and it smelled quite different on each, so I never could find it's identity. Last year i purchased a brand new bottle and sprayed it on. The top notes were lovely, but the drydown was pure coumarin or some coumarin substitute. Sadly, coumarin becomes quite bitter and uncomfortable on my skin but lasts forever. I tried it a few more times with the same results. Shalimar was moved to the back of the cabinet.
    Two months ago I found a mystery bottle of Guerlain for sale. It had no label but was the familiar round bottle with the crystal stopper and was quite affordable. I snatched it up and dabbed it on. The top notes had gone off but what followed was heavenly. I guessed that it might have been Shalimar, but with no label it was merely guessing. Whatever it was, it was so different from the current Shalimar.
    Today I received another bottle (round bottle w/ crystal stopper) off the internet, this one with a label. Definitely Shalimar. I dabbed both bottles on my wrists, and they are identical and wonderful. Full, rich and delicious. Totally Guerlain.
    So. How do I rate this perfume that smells so amazing in it's vintage incarnation and so painful in it's current state? I'm afraid it will have to be neutral for now.

    16th May, 2011

    bluemlein's avatar



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    Soir de Paris / Evening in Paris (original) by Bourjois

    what i find most surprising is the degree to which this classic scent was devalued in the public mind because it was sold at woolworth's, where, in the 50s, you could get the cobalt laydown with the tasselled cap for one dollar. it became the butt of numerous jokes - in fact, the reformulated version should be stood in a shower with much soap until all the chemical fumes are gone.no wonder there's a brisk trade in the original.

    16th May, 2011

    Le Grand Duc's avatar

    Denmark Denmark

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    No. 22 by Chanel

    If N°5 is considered the mother of aldehydes,
    then N°22 must be their queen mother.

    The opening blast of aldehydes in N°22 is un-
    matched within the world of fragrances.
    If you don't know the smell of fizzy aldehydes,
    then take a sniff of the opening blast of N°22;
    it's aldehydes in their purest form. Absolutely
    gorgeous. It dries down into a soft white floral.

    Out of all Les Exclusifs, which are all more or less
    male-friendly, this one is the least wearable for
    men - it's über feminine.
    The overall feel of this perfume is angelic, to me
    anyway.
    N°22 is nowhere near a sillage monster, but, it
    sure has killer longevity.

    Two thumbs up!

    16th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 23rd May, 2011)

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

    The signature Ormonde Jayne scents, the Adam and Eve of the Ormonde line, each tread their own paths through the same primeval forest. They're both green (vetiver) woody (cedar) marvels, refined and bewitching in equal measure.

    Ormonde Man is more piquant and grassy than its earlier counterpart, and noticeably aromatic up top, with prominent coriander and pink pepper and a superlative cardamom note. It tapers to an astringent vetiver finish, akin to French Lover from Frederic Malle. Ormonde Woman is more cedar inclined, with a distinct sawdust vibe, along with a sandalwood creaminess and an ambery glow that feels like the golden pulp of sunlight being squeezed through silhouetted tree branches.

    While Ormonde Man covers more ground – and although I miss its absent cardamom note – I undoubtedly prefer Ormonde Woman. Ormonde Man is a very good masculine fragrance; Ormonde Woman is boundlessly mysterious and is an exercise in pure magic.

    16th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 12th June, 2011)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Eau de Rochas Homme by Rochas

    Nothing is brighter and cleaner than Eau de Rochas Homme, few fragrances indeed smell so soapy but natural at once. Incredibly balanced, balmy lemony in a substantially sharp way. Airy citric-coniferous with a fantastic sex appeal, some muskiness and a sense of cleanliness arousing from its straight  forward structure. This one introduces its substance in the same sparkling vein as Eau Sauvage, Blenheim Bouquet, Grey Flannel and il Profvmo Imprinting in order to express an astringent, airy/aromatic, hesperidic (Eau de cologne-like) and woodsy concept of virility but the outcome is basically different, i mean balmier and soapier. A citrus-green aromatic blend of basil, coriander, verbena, lime and mandarin is the prelude to the blooming up of a bunch of flowers that articulate the wake in a vortex of sweet but delicate nuances of violet, lily, jasmine and rose. The dry base is boise and almost soapy with its accord of cypress and oakmoss plus an hint of masculine vetiver, a barely adumbrated touch of balsams and powdery cedarwood detectable for hours and hours. The airy touch from the aldehydes is notable in the wind with its sense of cool, almost aromatic dustiness. I detect some trace of resins and benzoin smoothness holding on till the end a sense of comforting clean and airy balminess. Fresh-soapy masculine distinction at its best.

    16th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 18th September, 2014)

    sush's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Burberry London for Men by Burberry

    From the first sniff, I was infatuated with this fragrance. When I spray it on my neck, I find myself trying to turn my head quickly so it wafts up my nose.

    The port wine in this is refined and rich, and the tobacco is dark. When I wear this on a cold night, it heightens my experience, like lighting a fire in the fireplace or wearing a warm trenchcoat.

    The only problem with this fragrance is that it doesn't last long, though my girlfriend can still smell it on me when I no longer can.

    Definitely in my winter/autumn rotation.

    17th May, 2011

    sush's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Jungle L'Éléphant by Kenzo

    My girlfriend's signature fragrance.

    When she wears this, I can smell her from the next room. The juice on her smells "warmed up", like what you get from a pie in the oven. It has a particular note, which I can't pinpoint (may be heliotrope), that leaves you wanting to smell more.

    The licorice and vanilla are perfect for a cold day; the woman who wears it must have a mystique to her, and must have the right aura to match the huge sillage this gives, which is like a 60 foot train on a wedding dress.

    17th May, 2011

    bluemlein's avatar



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    Versailles pour Homme by Jean Desprez

    whatever it is that is as aggressive on my nose as the sludge that is opium really wrecks the enjoyment of this scent for me. perhaps i should remain in my ballgown, dancing barefoot among the stars etc etc (wearing BaV) rather than taking the occasional tumble down a flue into a tepid heap of ash and half-eaten meringues and the cloth that was used to dry off the dog after he leapt into the moat.

    17th May, 2011

    bluemlein's avatar



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    Émeraude by Coty

    i have some emeraude from the 30s; absolutely love the green stuff. if i were to visualize what its scent evokes in me i would have to say silk velvet opera coat lined in ermine with a russian egg with imperial osetra caviar in one pocket, a dacquoise in the other.

    17th May, 2011

    bluemlein's avatar



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    Vent Vert (original) by Pierre Balmain

    vent vert was my first scent when i was a teenager - other than 4711, which i never thought of in the same way - it was something you could wash your hair with if you needed to -

    vent vert extrait came to me in an ounce bottle that was contraband, having been unlawfully imported into the country by the crew of one of Hapag-Lloyd's ships at the begining of the 60s. of course this added to the glamour, as did the fact that nobody - nobody - else had anything remotely like it (it was not available in the country at that time). it had a greeny-golden viscous nature that reminded everyone immediately of absinthe, and like absinthe there was a core of sweetness inside the various bitter and green and resiny odours.

    yes, it was very fresh and cold. like spring, which lasts about a day and a half here, cold and wet but with the burgeoning green scent of the natural world growing beyond our control - and then the sun comes out and all the whiffs and teasing trails of flower just glitter in the light.

    i miss it.

    17th May, 2011

    bluemlein's avatar



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    Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

    it's a good thing that i like ysl's paris, because i was given more than a dozen and a half little bottles of the extrait, most of which continue to reside in my perfume armoire, prim in their little salmony-rose boxes and their fat rhinestone heads.

    when testing perfumes i always try to sample the actual perfume, as something in many edps refuses to anchor itself to my skin. so most of what i have is extrait and that might account for the fact that when i read many of the reviews i just shake my head and ask what it is that the reviewer is smelling??? so that, when i read "chemical and strident" or "hot clubber" i really want to know whether it was the extrait that was tested. we all know that there's an ocean between edt and lotion, edp and edt, and a universe between the eaux and the extraits of most serious, well-thought-out perfumes.

    paris opens - on me at least - like a large bowl full of violet and rose l'abbaye de flavigny drops which, while sugary, are authoritatively flavoured and have a heart of anise, so - not cloying. it goes from there into the stratosphere with lightly tripping flowers and, like an emphatic underline via a broad nib, just enough of the "animalic" to keep it from floating into the wild blue yonder.

    17th May, 2011

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