Fragrance Reviews from June 2013

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    mlsweeney's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

    The Ultimate Versatile Fragrance

    I think this is a nice scent to have in a collection. It is versatile and can be used in basically any situation. I'd say the only situation that would be hard to pull off is in a club just because its performance isn't that great. I really enjoy Dolce & Gabanna's presentation of the box and bottle as well.

    My biggest complaint is the scent itself. It's pretty boring and generic but that doesn't have to be a bad thing if you're looking for a versatile scent.

    7.9/10

    Pros: 1. Very versatile 2. Affordable designer fragrance 3. Fantastic box and bottle design
    Cons: 1. Somewhat generic 2. Slightly below average performance 3. Not complex

    01st June, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    Colonia Russa by Santa Maria Novella

    Citrus, flowers and leather

    A bright citrus entrance enhanced by bergamot gives way to a more flowery note, with a touch of patchouli added later on. In the drydown a leather note appears, which is a bright and light new leather on me. Restrained, classic but a tad predictable. Longevity on my skin is two hours.

    01st June, 2013

    fragbomb's avatar



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    Royal Blue by Brooksfield

    clean, fresh but still soft

    Found this on sale in a shop, a safe and easy to pull fragrance, for casual use and perfect for those hot days. I agree with Zenpiper description and add some of mine: think the jasmine is quite noticeable and overall is a soft, slightly sweet blue fragrance, maybe because of the amber.

    But unfortunately doesn't last long on me, as any other citrusy frag. maybe it's my skin PH since I got oily skin that holds wood or musk for a long time. This last on me averagely 2-3 hours with generous use, after that it become skin scent, after 5 hours it gone. Spray as much as you want, this frag won't offend anyone.

    For the price I paid I couldn't get wrong.

    Though it has a cheap price tag but it's nothing of cheap smelling frag.

    Pros:
    Cons: could be made to last longer

    01st June, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    Peau d'Espagne by Santa Maria Novella

    Sweetish leather

    On my skin this is piirimarily a leather scent, a moderately sweet leather but mess sweet than, for instance, Creed's Royal Delight. It is intensive, with a bit of a herbal, slightly medicinal touch in the drydown at times, but really leather, leather, leather. There is never a harsh note in it, but a gently smoky touch is note. I like it, as I do the good silage and projection. Longevity of over three hours on me.

    01st June, 2013

    TVonTobos's avatar



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    Antidote by Viktor & Rolf

    Beautiful, but not for everyone

    This is my favourite. I will always have a bottle of this as long as it's produced. I can only say that of one other scent, Chanel's Platinum Egoiste, a very different scent to this one.

    Having said that, this is not for everyone and I would STRONGLY suggest not blind buying it.

    A good batch won't project too much, will have a classy, surprisingly refreshing smell that will be hard to place. A bad batch will have an odd synthetic tang to it, or may smell a little too citrusy at times and very weak projection. I left what seemed to be a bad batch sit in the fridge for about six months and it seemed to fix after that.

    I've always gotten compliments on this one!

    Pros: Interesting and complex scent
    Cons: Batches can differ slightly

    01st June, 2013

    TVonTobos's avatar



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    Platinum Égoïste by Chanel

    All class

    If the bottle lasted a bit longer, I'd wear this every day.

    I don't care that much for Egoiste, but this take on it grabbed me instantly. It's a great clean, fresh scent and has a classy feel that seems to fit in with any situation. It's projection is okay, but it is one you may need to use more of than you would with others. It's longevity varies from bottle to bottle I've noticed though, but not the smell.

    One of the best things about this one is that you can wear a fresh one that doesn't smell like you're 18 and off to a job interview like A LOT of fresh and aquatic scents I've smelled. If you don't like the overly watery or sweet smells of some of the fresh/aquatic scents, give this one a try for a bit of a change. An excellent "nose turner".

    Pros: Just smell it!
    Cons: You may need to use a little more than other fragrances

    01st June, 2013

    TVonTobos's avatar



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    Désert by Fragonard

    Surprising

    At first I was confused. I smelled it and thought "I see why they named it this". I'm usually biased against sweet scents feeling they're instantly feminine and dismissing them. Not so with Désert.

    The evolution goes through obvious stages, initially the almost too-sweet smell is quite present, but then it evolves into something more stable and masculine with the tobacco and woods balancing out and finally you get the hint of beeswax towards the end of the wear. I do believe that the opener could deter quite a few people, so this is one I'd strongly suggest to judge after letting it sit on you for a little while. I have a habit of waiting a maximum of two minutes then making a quick decision and I'm glad I waited a little longer with this one.

    Not an every day scent by any means, but it'll work it's way into my routine I'm sure. The half star is for the surprise I got when I ended up liking a sweet fragrance!

    01st June, 2013

    Azel1488's avatar

    United States United States

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    Prada Amber pour Homme Intense by Prada

    Very Sexy

    This fragrance is very sexy long lasting , I love it went to Sephora to purchase Tom Ford Noir and I went with this one and I'm glad I did lots of people ask what fragrance do you have on it smells really nice I feel good then because I know then I made the right choice...

    Pros: Long lasting
    Cons: None to me

    01st June, 2013

    BRM85282's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

    A Shadow of its former greatness, but still pretty good.

    I first discovered Dolce and Gabbana PH in the late 1990s/2000s when I was in college and in my 20s. The monster projection and longevity of the original formulation was a true beast. I wore whenever I went out at night...to the clubs, on dates, at parties. I got massive compliments and positive comments. It was the signature scent of one of the most impressionable times of my life...it captured the last few years of my youth and the transition to adulthood. I wore it when I was dating the woman who would become my wife and even wore it at my wedding.

    Then, a few years later, I grew up, landed a "real" job, bought a house, and had a couple of kids. At this point, the loud in-your-face fragrance I wore to the clubs wasn't really appropriate for the office or to family nights out at Peter Piper Pizza. Although when my wife and I would go to Vegas for a quick vacation without the kids, I would douse myself with a quick spray, and I was ready to go.

    Just the other day, I bought a bottle online. When I smelled it again, I immediately noticed the reformulation. This was from the 2009/UK formulation (yes, it is 2013 so i was sold old stock, but that's for another post). This new version is a shadow of it's former self. Yes, it does smell similar, yes, the projection is quite a bit less and the longevity is less than half of what it used to be. I was immediately disappointed, but the more I wore wear it,the more at peace I am with it. For me, it retains its essence, but now it's a lot more "safe" to wear to the office or even at a family night out. It has evolved with me, but I am still nostalgic for the memories I used to have.

    Am I happy with the reformulations? No, but I am at peace with them. I understand why designers do this sort of thing...to save money, etc. My real gripe with this is that scent is one strongest memories we have, and this is D&G's way of telling me to move on and grow up. I just don't want to!

    I suggest they come out with a EdP version of the reformulation to restore it back to its former glory. I know that I would immediately got out and buy a bottle!

    Pros: Brings back great memories
    Cons: One word: Reformulations!

    01st June, 2013

    Buysblind's avatar

    United States United States

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    Noble Cedar by Chopard

    Smooth Cedar Frag For a Bargain

    I like this one. It's not a complicated fragrance at all, but it smells very nice. The cedar is dark and quiet and sits deep in the base as the labdanum and birch provide a smokiness to the wood that is sweet and almost creamy. I think the labdanum is an important note in this composition and needs to be smelled to really be understood. Its sweetness is not sweet in the fruity or foodie sense. Its resinous, but seems to possess a higher frequency than amber, and it's not nearly as familiar a smell as something like vanilla or tonka. There's a certain inscrutability to the labdanum that makes this a very unique scent, as it kind of dances along the top occasionally catching your nose when you least expect. Very well constructed and not synthetic, scratchy, or loud in the slightest, Noble Cedar will find good company among my bottles of Eau des Baux and Carbone de Balmain.


    Longevity is good, projection is appropriately moderate. The bottle looks great and is very sturdy. Overall, this is a steal for under $35.

    Pros: Nice Sillage, Smooth Composition, Inexpensive
    Cons:

    01st June, 2013

    oldbrut72's avatar

    Scotland Scotland

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    The Game by Davidoff

    Used to like it. Now I hate it.

    I liked this when I tried it at first. Now though, I can't stand it. It's not as bad as 1 Million but it's not much better.

    Pros: Easy to find
    Cons: sickly sweet

    01st June, 2013

    michailG's avatar



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    JF by Floris

    anti-perfume

    I am writing this review based on my experience from JF in the light blue package. It may be a reformulation, but this fragrance is just a BIG and costly disappointment! It starts with a floral citrus accord that is very fine but so weak that I thought that something was wrong with me so I went back and sprayed some more (5 times). To no good! 5 minutes after application JF stays so close to the skin that I can't believe that I have used a fragrance at all. Such poor performance I would never have expected from such a praised fragrance maker. Maybe next time I would need to shower in it (although for the asking price this should would be highly wasteful). Sorry FLORIS but based on JF and LIMES that I have tried I can honestly say that I am not interested in you any more ... no matter how old and accomplished perfume house you may be.

    Pros: very promising!
    Cons: 5 minutes after application is becomes a skin scent!

    01st June, 2013

    Kol's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani

    Rubbish

    Waste of money Pure garbage wouldnt wear it for a bet

    Pros: None
    Cons: Everything

    01st June, 2013

    noirdrakkar's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bleecker Street by Bond No. 9

    Bleecker Street

    A fresh fragrance, redolent of blueberries, violets and fresh cut grass. A little powdery and becomes a little bit musky and dirty as it dries down, but overall it's good for the spring. It is unisex, however, men can wear it perfectly fine. Projection and longevity are a little better than average. A big plus on this fragrance is that it is original and there is nothing that smells quite like it.

    The problem I have with this fragrance is the ingredient quality. While the company certainly chose the recipe, the notes themselves individually are a bit too synthetic. That, and the fragrance loses a lot of it's flavor and uniqueness during the dry-down. I feel like this was purposely made to be sampled at the store and bought at first impression rather than be worn and deeply analyzed. Also, the expensive price of this fragrance makes these flaws even more critical.

    If you can handle these flaws, then this would be a good unique fresh spring-time scent for you. However, this could have been more than just good, perhaps a masterpeice, if a better company made it.

    01st June, 2013

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Arbre de la Connaissance by Jovoy

    Some Knowledge Is Better Left Unlearned...

    L'Arbre de la Connaissance opens with a coconut-like aromatic fig tree note with sharp almost aldehyde-like peach fruit and green accords in support. As the fragrance enters its early heart phase the starring fig tree note remains, though its coconut-like aspects now slightly less evident as the sharp peach fruit accord increases in intensity until it becomes co-star to the fig tree with slightly sweet green fig fruit support late. During the late dry-down the coconut-like aromatic fig tree note finally recedes as the now slightly milky less aromatic sweet fig fruit takes over as co-star teaming with the still present but slightly muted peach. Projection is very good, as is longevity at 8-10 hours on skin.

    L'Arbre de la Connaissance roughly translates to "The Tree of Knowledge" and while subjected to tolerating my time with this composition I have learned quite a lot. The main thing I have learned is I dislike this stuff immensely, and the aromatic fig tree and sharp green peach do not work well together. Pretty much as soon as I applied the perfume to my wrist I knew things were going downhill fast, and unfortunately they only accelerated as time passed. The only pause to the torture was during the late dry-down as the fig tree finally dissipated, allowing the fig *fruit* to take a more prominent role and mercifully soften the composition late. The bottom line is L'Arbre de la Connaissance represents the kind of scrub-worthy composition that I wish my knowledge of could be erased, earning a "poor" 2 star out of 5 rating and an avoid recommendation except to staunch fig tree lovers.

    Pros: The late dry-down was tolerable and the fragrance has very good performance.
    Cons: There is a weird peach-like fruity vibe that permeates the fig tree and it just doesen't work.

    01st June, 2013

    noirdrakkar's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fresco for Men by Ilum Dean

    Fresco by Ilum Dean

    Let's recap for a second. Early 2013, around February I think, a few Youtube reviewers were claiming that this fragrance smelled really similar to Aventus for 1/6 of the price and a lot of people ordered it to see what it was about and there was a lot of discussion. 5 months later, we don't hear much about it, so it's clearly a fad.

    Moreover, Ilum Dean isn't even a real fashion house. They have no brick-and-mortar business and the sample that was sent to me was from a guy in his apartment. Also, they claim to be a fashion house, but only have one product: their fragrance. If the cheap web design rife with spelling errors wasn't enough, if you go to the Terms & Conditions as well the Disclaimer pages, they say "Coming Soon". What actual company would do that?

    Okay, Fresco is essentially, a DIY (do it yourself). And for a Do It Yourself, it's decent. For an actual fragrance not so much.

    It smells probably 1/3 like Aventus. Enough to notice a slight similarity, but not enough to ever mistake the two. It also smells a little bit like Bleecker Street, especially with it's grassy notes. However, it just lacks the well made base of vanilla, birch and ambergris that makes Aventus so special. As others have said, it's a much more lighter, inoffensive and wearable (of course, spraying less Aventus is an option too).

    The key point is that this won't replace Aventus anytime soon and you are better off spending the money toward a decant of Aventus. If you have low standards and collect just about anything, this is an alright fragrance that would probably be middle of the road compared to most designer/celebrity fragrances. However, this wouldn't be a good choice if you are selective about what you buy.

    Just the dishonesty of the maker alone turns me off.

    02 June, 2013

    FISS80's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sel Marin by Heeley

    well composed, simple yet unforgettable, fresh

    The note pyramid is simple yet extremely composed. Every note can be detected and I'm amazed at how the note pyramid could produce an aquatic. Vetiver? Birch? Lemon? Preposterous!! Not just an aquatic. A natural smelling aquatic! A refreshing departure from the aquatic genre. Longevity is superb. Initially it made me nauseous but the more I wear it, the more I enjoy wearing it. I imagine a sunny day with a few puffy clouds overhead. A nice blue grean ocean as clear as glass. Small waves billowing in from the slight breeze in the 70 degree weather. Nice.

    Pros: innovative, realistic, excellent longevity
    Cons:

    02 June, 2013

    marcuslaughter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Royall Rugby by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

    If you want to smell like you just stepped off the set of Dead Poets Society, this is the one for you!

    If you want to smell like you just stepped off the set of Dead Poets Society, this is the one for you! It evokes images of some prep school full of rich kids playing rugby on an autumn's day. It's a very "green" smell in the sense that it is fresh and well balanced. The dry down is great and for the money you can't beat it. Get the 4 oz. and buy the 8 oz. bottle to refill the 4 oz. bottle, because the 8 oz. bottles don't come with sprayers in any of the Royall line.

    Pros: Great fragrance for the money.
    Cons: Longevity issues...you will need a second bottle at work.

    02 June, 2013

    marcuslaughter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver by Roja Dove

    Makes all other Vetivers seem thin.

    I experienced this fragrance at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC a few weeks ago. There was a rep from Roja there and I spend nearly an hour going through the entire collection. There are many good ones, but the Vetiver stood out to me, because everyone has a Vetiver these days, but this one is far and away the best, IMHO. It made my Creed Vetiver and my Tom Ford Grey Vetiver seem very "thin" in comparison. While it's an expensive vetiver, those who truly love vetiver will no doubt find this to be a masterful arrangement

    I also found it interesting that the bottle caps were all inspired by Roja's favorite ring. It looks just like the cap.

    .

    Pros: Robust and remarkably long wearing.
    Cons: none

    02 June, 2013

    marcuslaughter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cool Buchu / Cool by Molton Brown

    Ok, but not spectacular

    Saw this at TJ Maxx for $25. bought it blind. Not a bad purchase, but not one that I would pick over the others I have in my collection. Would make a great car freshener. I may re-gift this one...simply turn the bottle upside down and squirt out the cologne that is in the little tube, so it looks like it has never been sprayed. I will give it to an unsuspecting friend.

    Pros: Good fruity notes
    Cons: a bit astringent

    02 June, 2013

    thines01's avatar

    United States United States

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    Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men by Giorgio Armani

    Notes

    Top Note: Bergamot, Citrus, Szechwan Pepper
    Middle Note: Cedar, Cocoa Bean
    Base Note: Gaiac Wood, Vetiver, Ambroxan

    02 June, 2013

    onaluna's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau d'Italie by Eau d'Italie

    Alive and green

    When I first smelled this, the weather was cold and the vial smelled of a crisp, starched shirt. I put it aside. Now that it's hot and humid, it feels perfect — complete, but not dense. Alluring, but fresh.

    There's zesty green, dry bergamot, sunned tiles, and something akin to clover stems. The airiness of the mineral note provides a nice foil to the honeyed incense. I dunno what's in the dry down, but I'm glad it's not thick, nutty, synthetic woods and musk, or cloying balsam. Perfect — green and sprightly throughout.

    02 June, 2013

    fan.of.devin's avatar

    United States United States

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    John Varvatos by John Varvatos

    Underrated

    Smells uncannily like a more mature version of Paco Rabanne's 1 Million.
    Interesting stuff, though I only sampled it and cannot attest to the longevity or sillage.

    02 June, 2013

    fan.of.devin's avatar

    United States United States

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    Legend by Montblanc

    Not bad.

    A more cost effective alternative to Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce.

    Imagine a more temperate Fierce with the woodsy/fresh notes shuffled around a bit, and you basically have Mont Blanc Legend. Worth a shot!

    Pros: Affordable
    Cons:

    02 June, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    17/17 Homme by Xerjoff

    Rose and leather

    The leather impression - with only a small touch of harshness initially - is mainly in the opening blast on my skin, but a dark rose note is added, freshened up by a background citrus note. Later on a spicy component emerges with a touch of amber. The leather is not prominent overall, is smooth and not the wild type. It is very well blended and has good silage and projection, with a quite average longevity of three hours on me.

    02 June, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    A smooth Oud

    The Oud is smooth and restrained, and mixed with wood, saffron and a patchouli that again js smooth - no harshness in this scent on my skin. The drydown adds a bit if a gourmand-style sweetness, and the projection and silage are good. I get about three hours of longevity.

    02 June, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    Oud Velvet Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    A Soft Oud

    The Oud the present but restrained and softened by a nice cinnamon that adds a pleasant sweetness. In the drydown saffron and a light woodiness balance it well. Restrained, limited silage and adequate projection on me, and about three hours longevity. A very versatile soft Oud.

    02 June, 2013

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Enfant Terrible by Jovoy

    Part Of The Name Is Correct

    L'Enfant Terrible (Bad Child) opens with a slightly waxy glaze under an all-out peppery cumin dirty spice barrage. As the fragrance enters its early heart phase the cumin remains in all its glory sans wax, now joined by a slightly sweet sugary supporting accord with a noticeable cedarwood undertone. During the late dry-down the slightly sweetened dirty spice finally vacates as relatively dry sandalwood-laced musk from the base finishes things off. Projection is below average and longevity is dead center average at 8 hours on skin.

    L'Enfant Terrible is definitely not my kind of release. As soon as one applies it on skin the peppery cumin comes out in full force and resembles undesirable body odor to the extreme. It appears this is what the nose Jacques Flori was intentionally going for, but I confess I see no reason to want to smell like I haven't showered in a week (or maybe that should be a month with this one). To make things even worse, there is this sweet sugary undertone to the cumin in the heart that makes it even less desirable (if that's possible). This has got to be the date note listed in the official fragrance note list (as I remember dates being quite sweet) but whatever it is I don't like it when combined with the cumin. Finally, the relatively dry sandalwood and slightly animalic musk late dry-down is easily the most desirable part of the overall development and at least finishes things on slightly positive footing, but even this is just a bit off-kilter and off-putting. The bottom line is L'Enfant Terrible aims to shock the wearer and it succeeds in ways one can't possibly imagine. Unfortunately, I was shocked in all the wrong ways and find it quite easy to recommend skipping right past this "poor" 1.5 star out of 5 rated offering from Jovoy at its $180 a 100ml bottle price tag (or any other price tag for that matter). Well, at least they got part of the fragrance *name* right... Terrible!

    Pros: The late dry-down is tolerabe.
    Cons: Everything else is an assault to the senses. A BO fest galore!

    02 June, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    Mahon Leather by Floris

    Frank leather

    A straightforward leather blast freshened up with citrus and vetiver, but less fresh than Creed's Cuir de Russie. a floral component based on jasmine adds softness that is roughened up by a bit of patchouli. Less wild than Knize Ten, but a bit less soft and flowery than Chanel's Cuir de Russie. Wood is in the base and paired with an ambery discrete sweetness. Well blended, very good silage and projection, with four hours of longevity. A valuable addition to the leather-lover's collection.

    02 June, 2013

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    Tribal Black Tea by Illuminum

    Good Tea Scent

    In the opening the black tea jumps at me; it is open, frank, and direct and of good quality, and lacks the more extreme harshness of Bvlgari Black. A nice bergamot-based citrus freshness that stays in the background is complemented by a cardamom note; and all this is balanced well against a restrained amber drydown. Overall an impressive tea scent, with a good silage and projection. Longevity is about three hours on my skin.

    02 June, 2013

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