Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Zino Davidoff by Davidoff

Total Reviews: 98
There is one note in Zino that is very evident but it's not listed...musk...LOTS of musk!You catch it as a finish in the vanilla and comes strong and of sexual rank on initial spray along with the citrus and lavender...then it smooths down to a sensual level and not kinky.The lavender and citrus sort of merge together to create a polished feel to the vanilla and smoothen and clean...without getting soap.Powdery tones of sandalwood,rosewood,and a noticeable patchouli.These create nice tones to the fragrance without being too heavy and adding texture,maintaining the focus on keeping Zino smooth.I don't get any rose in this but I sure do get a lot of yellow jasmine.Soft,sweet,lightly warm jasmine...a very calm and non-pungent floral.I can't really picture Zino with rose in it with how well jasmine works in this fragrance.

I get a varying 8-10 hours from Zino by Davidoff.It's smooth,sensual,and gentlemanly.Zino doesn't smell 80's at all-it's not edgy,dark,spicy,or bold.If anything Zino is more in tune to the versatility of the musk genre back in the 70's that made them so darn wearable anytime and anywhere.

Anything I don't like about Zino?

You know how when you wake up the next day and smell a fragrance under your shirt collar and it's noticeable but it's smeared,collapsed,and lost it's structural integrity of the composition?...Zino leaves a weird trace behind.It's very flesh-toned and powdery to my nose...smells like women's makeup powder.I guess it could be worse like some green fragrances that give off a sour remnant.This always throws me for a loop on Zino though.
24th May, 2018 (last edited: 26th May, 2018)
Zino Davidoff was to the late 20th century what Alfred Dunhill was to the early part of said century: a luxury goods tobacconist that somehow became more well-known in working-class circles for it's foray into fragrance than their original product lines. Let me ask you: how many friends do you know have smoked Dunhill cigarettes or Davidoff cigars versus those having smelled or owned one of their perfumes/colognes? Yeah, that's what I thought. Davidoff's first eponymous 1984 masculine was a rather verbose chypre that seemed par for the course in the early 80's battle for mossiest scent on earth, but as powerhouses competed for "most likely to clear a restaurant" award, Davidoff decided to sneak this beauty in 2 years later, and it's a far different animal with a delightfully dynamic contrast of sweet florals and skanky undercurrents that would make it come across like Kouros in drag for the uneducated. Lapidus Pour Homme would ultimately take that train of thought even further with it's total lack of reserve. Zino Davidoff is a tease in a bottle that likes to flirt with the idea of being deliciously scandalous, but it reigned in with barbershop DNA at it's core, so it's more like a drag queen getting groomed on an eve of a performance rather than strolling lackadaisically through the street on Pride Day. Make no mistake, this kind of gender flirtation was all the rage in the mid 80's too, as big hair "glam metal" bands tore it up with more mascara than even my mom could suffer to wear, so I'm sure plenty of totally button-down guys dating their high school sweethearts and working on their bachelors degrees in business management wore this to the office. That's just the decade it was in.

Zino Davidoff is rather special among it's powerhouse peers for being an actual fougère, in that old-school floral way the very first and genre-defining Fougère Royale by Houbigant (1882) was over a century before this. I'm not sure if perfumer Michael Almairac was trying to make an 80's powerhouse rendition of Fougère Royale, but this was his one-off with the house, and his long list of perfumes seems to favor mostly-feminines house like Bond No. 9 or Salvador Dali over male-centric designers like this, so that may be where the feminine twist in this tale originates. Regardless of intent, this does indeed come across very gender-neutral just like Fougère Royale, but still have a fat tonka note in the base alongside sandalwood, amber, vanilla, and cedar to let you know where this one casts it's lot. The top notes are where most of the weirdness comes from, with tart openers like bergamot, clary sage, fighting with lavender and rosewood, which is always weird when it's in the top of a masculine. The middle is just flowers, flowers, flowers, with rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, and geranium, the last of which is the only real common staple in masculines, with rose being more common in the male stuff of the 19th century (perhaps another nod to yore from Michael Almairac) than the late 20th. Wearing this on skin means those crisp herbs and woods swirl around the florals, causing confusion above what is otherwise a standard Fougère foundation, making this skanky like a Victorian brothel stocked with male cross dressers looking to pull a fast one, but also smooth and confident in it's end game like the pimp who runs the joint.

Screaming guitar solos, falsetto vocals, and neon bandanas up your elbows will only get you so far in the 21st century, but luckily this will still drive the crowds wild. It's bold ambiguity and sophisticated nature will intrigue any younger person looking for a bottle of the infinitely safer Cool Water (1988) but seeing the Davidoff name and blind-buying this instead. It's "sweet tarts and potpourri" top combined with a masculine and slightly racy Fougère base almost fits in perfectly with the fresh aromatic woods scents of the early 2000's, with only it's own 80's loudness truly giving it away. It's another of several unique powerhouses towards the end of this stellar decade of masculine perfumery, and yet another example of designers trying to break free from the shackles of their own oakmoss addiction, as if they were preparing the clean slate wipe coming as the 90's drew close. Later versions with the block Davidoff logo versus the original script one are purported to be much lighter and more synthetic in tone, so perhaps somebody at HQ already realized how in line with current tastes this was and decided weakening it would make for a second life among newfound peers. Whatever the case, fans of "dirty yet clean" will eat this up, and everyone else smelling it unawares will be either inexorably drawn to it's confusing mystique, or sent running the other way with worried looks on their faces. It's entertainment for the wearer regardless. Now excuse me while I go shoot a music video on the hood of my DeLorean.
09th February, 2018
I've tested the vintage version a few times with some proper wearings and this is what I think of Zino...

Nuclear strong with some monster sillage that lasts forever. Far more feminine then everyone portrays thanks to that huge floral heart that dominates and the moderately overpowering vanilla which takes the cake in the drydown which is why you see women reviewing this scent, because they're wearing it as well. An amazingly dirty patchouli that's being smothered to death in well, flowers and vanilla. Vanilla should be followed by patch because there's a ton of it in here. I can't stand vanilla so it sticks out in this composition like a giant sore thumb. Me personally, I find this scent nauseating, it's just strange smelling and really not anything that's 'that' masculine. I think everyone reads far too much into the reviews, I did until I started wearing this thing and was bombarded with vanilla and patch on top of vanilla, kinda grodyville.

Edit: I've 'finally' nailed the 'weirdness' factor about this perfume! It smells strange like musty rot, stale air and maybe even an olfactory illusion of a rotting corpse drenched in flowers and vanilla, yumm, just like a mausoleum. This odor that Zino emits is disturbing and turns my stomach. I can't believe that guys actually put this on their skin and think it smells great. My final conclusion, smells like dead people and is nauseatingly strong, I hate this... how appealing.

Here's the definition per Wiki: A mausoleuma is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb, or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum.
12th October, 2017
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Definitely an old-school, mature scent but there is some sweetness and woodiness to Zino that gives it a twist, making it feel more modern.

The patchouli running throughout is what gives Zino its mature vibe. However, the base is very nice and enjoyable with its sweet tonka/amber mixed with woody notes.

Very good projection for the first 3-4 hours and then it fades.
27th August, 2017
This review applies only to the original version (DAVIDOFF in script and not in all caps block letters). I wore this fragrance all the time back in the early 90's and it always got compliments from everyone around me. Not only was it unlike anything else people were wearing at the time, the longevity and projection was enormous on it.

When I ran out, I bought it again and it had been reformulated - nasty, terrible stuff that got instantly thrown away. Luckily, some original formula can still be found so I purchased some recently and it's still just as perfect as it was back then.
28th February, 2017
techt Show all reviews
United States
Exactly the same result as with Montblanc Individual, Zino Davidoff smells like rotten fruit, flowers. It's an instant scrubber for me. I can't understand how people could like it and all the positive reviews make no sense to me at all.
17th February, 2017
I regret giving away my bottle of this wonderful scent from Davidoff!

Zino is warm, woody, with a tasteful amount of sweetness that comes across as classy to me. It has a classic men's cologne character to it, but not cloyingly so.

16th December, 2016
Close to perfect! In my opinion this one is a notch better than joop or montblanc individuel . The element of patchouli makes it more sophisticated , mature and manly than the above . Amazing scent. Fruity, spicy and woody at the same time.Not too sweet, not too sharp. Very well balanced.
Women would love this on a middle aged man, no kidding. Winter or fall, office or club.Very versatile.
And I can't believe it is so cheap.
10th December, 2016
Stardate 20161123:

Vintage version-

A sophisticated fragrance for office wear. Rosewood, SW, Vanilla and Amber mixed just right.
A bit sweeter than Guerlain's Heritage and not as good but hardly anything is.
I would get this now as vintage is getting harder to find.

23rd November, 2016
I find Zino subtle, and not very interesting, a light presentation of the listed notes. For this type of sandalwood (or sandal) smell, backed by sweetness, Tiffany for Men or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble could be better options.

Update: Wearing this again 9 months later, I'm getting more of a roasted or burned patchouli and woods smell. Today, I would say it's closer to Oscar de Rente pour Homme, Escada Pour Homme, or Pacoma Gatsby than Tiffany for Men, but I can see where I was coming from. Even Rochas Lui is somewhat in this style, although I find Rochas Lui more modern and cloying.

My liking for it has not changed. It's ok, but not great. The regular Davidoff by Davidoff released a couple years earlier is better suited to my tastes.

Update: Another 7 months later, I'm changing the rating from neutral to thumbs up. Everything above is still applicable, but Zino has such a good base, it has mostly won me over. The first few seconds are good, then it smells not very good for a while, and then eventually a beautiful long-lasting base emerges. The base is so good, it makes me want a bottle. The early development is so challenging, I have to pass.
22nd July, 2016 (last edited: 14th November, 2017)
BoxPred Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I am still unsure about Zino Davidoff. The trouble I am having is that some days I love it and some days I find it unpleasant. How strange.

I would like to make a comparison. For me this smells a lot like Chanel's Pour Monsieur. The Chanel offering is a bit more refined but considering the price difference that is to be expected. At its best Zino smells like a 30 year old bag of classic sweets. I find it to be soapy and sometimes a little creamy. I would describe it as a strong traditional masculine with a twist. This is strong stuff and one or two sprays is enough or I find it cloying. I get good projection and longevity from this one so it ticks the boxes in that department.

The bottle leaves a lot to be desired for me. The main body is almost classy but the contrasting plastic lid lets it down and detracts from the appearance.

Overall I can see why this is an appreciated fragrance and although I think it could have been more elegantly refined, I can see myself growing to appreciate it more over time. A good offering if you want a good quality traditional masculine with that little extra something that stands out.
19th January, 2016
Zino is an odd charmer. From farther off it smells almost entirely of patchouli with some sort of shade cast over it. In this regard it immediately reminded me of Furyo by Jacques Bogart and Salvador Dali Pour Homme. Draw close to the skin, however, and it seems to have more in common with scents like Escada Pour Homme, its stark woodiness replaced with a crumbly-dry and somewhat boozy vanilla-amber. Judging by the first minute I was assured that this would be an explosive fragrance, the kind that make one feel a little self-conscious when overapplied, but the opening transitions nicely into the heart in very little time and Zino becomes a warm, caramelly aura. Excellent stuff, and not just for the price.
15th January, 2016
Although I do like this scent the dry down is a slightly "Zestier" version of BMen by TMugler. Not that it's a bad thing just for reference if you own BMen then you may want to steer away for Zino.... Well unless you love BMen and want to get this as a zesty companion scent. I am sure the price of Zino is half of what you would pay for BMen. Enjoy.
13th August, 2015
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ZINO says i am Modest,Romantic,Elegant and Attractive and I would say it is full of DAVIDOFF beautiful too.A sophisticated in Classic way.I personally find it simply Perfect.

When my father bought this one i was really addicted with this scent.first i can smell a little fresh.Middle notes is really Charming/Warm and A little feminine too.A beautiful product,A lovely scent.

A AUTUMN/WINTER scent and I think this cologne is suitable for Everyage and perfect for wearning at every occasion chiefly for INTIMATE and word do you want to feel like a Confident&Smart man?Then ZINO may be the answer.


LONGEVITY?Is not great on my skin but i still like it.

02nd July, 2015
I wore Zino to my very first job after college and it was the only fragrance I owned for my first year of work. I recall that I also only owned two suits back then and didn't care because I felt, dressed and smelled like I had success.

25 years on, and I own a dozen or more suits and fragrances, but a bottle of Zino has always been atop my wardrobe. Great value today at less than $25. Blind buy this and you'll be glad you did.
12th February, 2015 (last edited: 13th February, 2015)
JimmyP Show all reviews
United States
I found this scent nauseating. Not a fan of patchouli/vanilla mix in this particular instance, I guess. Overall, very dated fragrance and definitely not for everyone.
08th February, 2015 (last edited: 13th July, 2015)
Thumb way up!

It's December as I write this, this is the type of weather, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, for this fragrance.

Go out and try it, dark and rich.

Goes well with that extra layer of clothing, good friends, nights out and enjoying their company!

You feel more mature and as if people take you a little more seriously with this great aroma around you.
06th December, 2014
Testing Zino Davidoff (which now I happily own among my scents) has been one of those moments that reminded me why I like perfumes and testing new things all the time, without prejudices. I did not know this fragrance to be honest, until I received a miniature. I quite enjoy Davidoff tobacco, but I did not really think Zino Davidoff (the scent) was worth any rush to test it... well however last night I applied some on my hand just for curiosity, and – wow! – the very first thing that came to my mind was: this smells *great*. It surprised me – like it happens to me really once in a while. To make things clear before talking about notes and comparisons, the most immediate, solid and sound quality of Zino Davidoff is that it smells terribly, irresistibly, undeniably good. Then, it's also a totally peculiar scent, it just imprints itself in your memory from the very fist sniff. The people which compare this to Dior Homme are right in my opinion: in fact, it somehow smells like an "uncle" of Dior Homme, a desaturated, more mature and somehow darker version of Dior's contemporary classic. Which in 1988 is quite avantgarde. Basically, Zino Davidoff is a rose-patchouli woody scent with an overall dusty sweetness, creamy notes of sandalwood and ylang, and "something" all around which smells halfway tobacco and soft modern leather (but it's neither of the two). Superb drydown, cozy and refined, worth the waiting and as much beautiful as the opening. Not a powerhouse despite the age, fairly different from more canonic fougères: actually it's quite more similar to early '90s brighter/sweeter masculine scents, but even more modern than those, and also "manlier" somehow. Warm, versatile, cozy and relaxed, masculine for sure but with a subtle feminine vein (like Ténéré by Rabanne, to which in fact, Zino Davidoff slightly resembles to some extents). Not intrusive or challenging, but as I said, it's quite unique, so better test it and familiarise with it before eventually purchasing it – not a predictable and safe crowdpleaser for sure. An underrated beauty!

30th July, 2014
Genre: Woody Oriental

Zino Davidoff starts out with a very bold lavender and citrus accord that recalls old-school standards like Bois du Portugal, The Third Man, and even Jicky (without the civet). Some sweet spices and woods join in over the next few minutes, followed quickly by a very rich and rounded rose note. Settling into its heart, Zino Davidoff becomes a sweetened rose and wood scent, seasoned with geranium and resting on an oriental base of vanilla and smooth sandalwood.

Zino Davidoff does not turn soapy as it dries down, as does Bois du Portugal, nor does it veer toward hyper-masculine leather in the manner of, say, Antaeus. It seems to me instead quite balanced - even classical - in its poised approach to the woody oriental genre. Granted, Zino Davidoff is potent, especially in its first few minutes, but it evolves into a versatile and wearable scent that's far less overwhelming than its oriental successors Opium, A*Men, Le Mâle, and Pi. These days Zino Davidoff is underused, under-rated, and deserving of a wider public.
09th July, 2014
I bought this cologne way back in the 1980's and I loved it then. I bought it again about 4 months ago and I am glad I did. I love the leathery/sweet aroma and the dry down is magnificent. It is perfect for cool weather like today. It makes me and my nose very happy.
27th March, 2014
How funny to think that in 1990, as an 13 year old, I was wearing this very manly fragrance, and imagining myself as James Bond. I can remember back then thinking how this would go great with a sweater in the wintertime and would most certainly sweep any girl off her feet. Sadly, the first girl that got close enough to smell this on me, probably instantly thought of her father or grandfather, and complained about it. In college, I still had the bottle, and stupidly traded it for a bottle of Nautica or something like that, as I recall. Thankfully, I was able to find a bottle at TJ Maxx not long ago, and smelled it again, and can happily report that this is still as good today as it was to my overly-developed 13 year old nose back in 1990. If you can find it, buy it. It is a classic to me, even though I probably only wear it a few times a year... a happy memories scent, to be sure.
24th December, 2013
This scent takes me right back to my childhood, evoking plenty of pleasant memories. Definitely a powerhouse scent for me with strong projection and longevity. Nothing unisex at all here. The bergamont and rosewood hit me right from the start, and although the lavender and vanilla show up later on, the top notes last until the end for me. My only complaint is that Zino is a bit linear for me. This is still a must try for any guy out there.
16th March, 2013
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Zino opens with a smooth bergamot and rosewood tandem. The rosewood hangs around into the heart joined by a somewhat synthetic supporting rose and wormwood duo that begins to turn powdery later-on driven by an artificial smelling vanilla rising from the base. The scent becomes a slightly sweet sandalwood and powdery vanilla double feature in the dry-down stage, with remnants of the rosewood remaining and a just slightly dirty patchouli underpinning the starring notes late. Projection and longevity are both average, with the scent lasting 6-8 hours on skin.

Zino has quite the cult following and while I first tried it when it was released over 20 years ago and disliked it back then I hoped to have changed my opinion after all the high praise lauded on it over the years. That said, I am afraid my opinion hasn't changed one iota. Something about the powdery vanilla, rosewood and sandalwood combination just does not sit well with me (most likely the powder is the culprit). I did like the bergamot and rosewood open that for just a moment had me thinking I might change my mind, but alas Zino is just not for me and I can't force myself to like it no matter how far in the minority I may be. Zino is worth a sample if you can still find one to sniff for yourself, but I cannot recommend this 2.5 star out of 5 discontinued release, especially as it now commands relatively high prices on the resale market.
17th January, 2013
Bought this as a blind buy from the discount chain Wilkinsons in the UK for £20. It's a really great fragrance,strong yet not overpowering, and reminds me a little of a less sweet Pi by Givenchy. Doesn't smell dated at all.
10th January, 2013
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
Zino has an underlying sweetness without tilting into gourmand territory. It has enough variety to appeal to an eclectic cross-section of buyers: old schoolers will enjoy the oomph, longevity and woody floral character that we enjoy in Iquitos or Salvador Dali; younger wearers used to Dunkin' Donuts pyramids will appreciate the vanilla/tonka/amber drydown; those admiring boozy, unique masculines will get off on the well-blended almost rum-like note that emerges in the heart. Nice work if you can get it.
20th December, 2012
Soft leather with an oaky finish...

I am a fan of all the Davidoff fragrances and have many of them in my collection... Zino is definitely unique in the lot. I purchased this blind about two months ago and just got around to wearing it. It was a great deal on Amazon and the reviews, with the exception of a few, are quite positive.

Out of the gates, Zino comes out with the woodsy notes that settles into a fresh outdoors oaky finish with hints of floral and maybe a touch of vanilla. It is unique and easy on the nose. I tend to be more attracted to the citrus base note fragrances, but the peculiar thing here, is that I like Zino. It smells great.

Zino has plenty of potential "Wow Factor" - positive comments from the ladies. Shortly after my initial application, Sweetie comments, "Whoa - what is that..?? It smells great..!!"She is a fan of the spicy/woodsy fragrances. I also received positive comments from co-workers. The projection/sillage is average, but you can definitely smell it.

The longevity is above average, lasting about 6+ hours on the skin and a little longer on my shirtsleeve. The bottle is nothing extraordinary and the packaging is slightly above average. A check of Amazon today shows a large bottle, 4.2 ounces, is about $25.00 with Free Shipping. At that price and the uniqueness of the fragrance, you should add it to your collection.

All things considered, I give Zino 4.1 stars out of 5. Bottom line - the scent is unique, it has potential "Wow Factor", longevity is above average, and the deal is fantastic. I definitely recommend adding to your collection. Make sure you "see the world" before it is too late...

10th November, 2012
Once upon a time... Zino. I agree with Karazzmatic when he writes: "When a fragrance can spark memories and particular feelings, that's when it's more than a scent. It becomes an agent to the past, and a segue to the future". This fantastic and warm fragrance remember me the childhood and now when I wear it, I feel so comfortable and happy... Just like a child in the bed after he has listened to a fairy tale... And now the child is a man...
I've found three left bottles in a perfumery in Rome. I bought them all, and I think I'm going hunting Zino around Italy.
13th September, 2012
Upon sampling this traditional classic for the first time, I was immediately struck by the resemblance to Guerlain's Jicky. Heritage is much sweeter with its powdery vanilla. Jicky eschews Zino's rose and would therefore never be confused with it, but I do believe they share an important conceptual underpinning: a CIVET overdose. Notice all the references to strange, dark, feral musk, rotting garbage, sexual trysts, and horseyards in the reviews below. Zino and Jicky share the classic civet-lavender-vanilla accord, where the honeylike aspects of civet and lavender mesh with, and the crisp herbaceousness of lavender and stonking animalic fur of civet temper, the sweetness of the vanilla.

Zino's experienced perfumers decided to flank this central accord with a "pinker" rosey floral bouquet than Mssr. Guerlain, while amping up the patchouli, rich sandal, and cedar to balance their sweetness and maintain a structured masculinity. Also notable from the outset through the heart is a distinct clary sage presence, an accord which many find challenging with its vegetal intensity and almost sweaty overtones.

The many perfectly-balanced ingredients are showcased in a different way depending on the time of day and other circumstances of a wearing; this is another intriguing quality of Zino. One day, it's dark spiky patchouli; next time, lovely blushing rose; after that, rich sandalwood and lean cedar; but next time it's warm, funky civet and sweet vanilla; next spray brings herbal lavender and clary sage, and so on.

Jicky and Zino both feature a lemon-bergamot citrus accord and an array of light herbs at the opening, which is lovely, deep, beguiling, strange, and old-fashioned simultaneously.

I really enjoy the olfactory profile of Zino, but wearing it is even more conflicting for me than wearing Jicky. It's old-fashioned -- I agree it's very 80s, but 1880s -- and really reminds me of an elderly gentleman. I'm not elderly so there's a bit of a mismatch. I can understand certain wearers wanting to go a bit more formal at Zino's inherent stuffiness.

At the same time I am enthralled by the gutsy fragrance angle of an animalic overdose tempered by carefully chosen accords to mask the feral onslaught (cf. Jicky, Ungaro II, Baie de Genievre, Yatagan, Balenciaga pH) and truly enjoy every moment of this complex, moderately dense, and finely balanced creation. Certainly a thumbs-up, but wearability may not be its strong point.

I understand the composition was hollowed out and cheapened a bit in reformulation (block letters rather than cursive on the bottle), but I have only tried the vintage. It certainly does not smell as inexpensive as it was.

In the 90s, Ungaro II and Jaguar Mark II explored similar concepts further with a spared-down lavender-civet and a woodsier non-floral approach, respectively.
19th August, 2012 (last edited: 09th December, 2012)
Truly masterpiece. Perfect sillage, perfect longevity. One of the best scent ever. Flowers, rosewood, tobacco and vanilia give us warm, pleasant aroma. The opening of Zino reminds the water after rotten flowers or seaweeds washed up on sea shore, but in heart the woodsy notes are coming and Zino starts to reminds dry tobacco. Creamy vanillia in the base creates warm and perfect finish. True masculine but romantic frgrance. Sad that it is discontinued.
10th June, 2012 (last edited: 24th July, 2012)
I just got this today and at first, I thought: "Hmmmm...I can't smell it." I guess I couldn't distinguish it. Then I went away from it and actually took a shower, put on some Davidoff Cool Water Cool Summer, and went out. When I returned several hours later, I showered again and decided to spray this on before I retired. That was 3 hours ago and I am LOVING this! It has settled down quickly and turned into a suprisingly unique fragrance that has the most important effect on me: it evokes memories; it brings me back to a certain time in my life with specific friends. I don't know why, but it does.

When a fragrance can spark memories and particular feelings, that's when it's more than a scent. It becomes an agent to the past, and a segue to the future. Please give this a try, just like I did.
30th May, 2012