Latest Fragrance Reviews, Updated Daily

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    rbaker's avatar



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    Reveal by Calvin Klein

    A somewhat bland pepper & salt opening blast, followed by a rather synthetic iris and a woodsy musk drydown. It is quite generic overall, with moderate sillage, adequate projection and four hours of longevity. In summary - mediocre. 2/5

    18th February, 2015

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Mahon Leather by Floris

    light sillage and duration, delicate skin scent...

    18th February, 2015

    rogalal's avatar

    United States United States

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    Queens by Bond No. 9

    Queens smells to me like a butterscotch hard candy, but topped with berries and made fizzy with aldehydes. It dries down to a patchouli-laced pink pepper base, but the butterscotch candy lasts from start to finish.

    It's important to note that Queens, while sweet and reminiscent of candy, really doesn't feel like a gourmand. The hints of toasted almonds and vanilla are equally matched by sandalwood and a patchouli that's more grass than caramel, so it achieves a nice balance that manages to smell sweet without smelling dumb.

    Personally speaking, I prefer my ambers dark and smoky, but this might be great for someone raised on One Million and candy perfumes, but on the lookout for something a step up.

    18th February, 2015

    rogalal's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cuir X by La Parfumerie Moderne

    So, um.... This is weird. I have two samples of Cuir X, both sprayed from bottles at Barneys, and one is awesome and one is awful.

    The good sample: Something in the family of Knize Ten or Kolnisch Junchten, harsh leather with hints of gasoline played deftly against flowers, but with the edges sanded down just enough to not be quite as unpredictably wild as its predecessors. It gets soapy in the base, which I can see leading to the Cuiron comparisons.

    The bad sample: A huge overdose of that bleachy "woody amber" chemical with violets and gasoline and birch tar in the base.

    So, one sample gets an enthusiastic thumbs up and the other gets a disappointed thumbs down, so I guess that averages out to a neutral. One thing's for sure: I'd never buy a bottle of this without smelling the specific bottle I was getting first...

    18th February, 2015

    mysolegia's avatar

    Portugal Portugal

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    Tatiana by Diane Von Furstenberg

    Like White Shoulders but with more orange blossom. Not awful but can be overpowering.

    18th February, 2015

    Allen-on-Holiday's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pulp by Byredo

    Realistic, raw fruit. When I first gave Pulp a sniff from the sample vial, I thought, “raw fruit, a little boring”. But after wearing awhile, I see there’s more to it than that. The more I smell Pulp, the more I smell something vegetal, rather than fruity. Pulp actually reminds me of 2 very different fragrances: Sweet Pea from Bath and Body Works, which smells exactly like fresh peas in the kitchen (with added sugar, of course), and Piment Brulant by L’Artisan, which smells like a vegetable garden. Yes, despite the listed notes, Pulp also has a slight vegetal smell to me, which keeps it from being too sweet. Maybe this seems odd, but I find this vegetal smell fascinating, even therapeutic. I don't think Pulp smells like rotting fruit, just very RIPE fruit. Overall, I like Pulp, but it seems a bit top-heavy, lacking substantial base notes which would make it a more wearable, well-rounded fragrance.

    18th February, 2015

    superfluousPastry's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau Sauvage Parfum by Christian Dior

    I got this in today and after spending some hours with it I'm loving it. I can see why it's considered a fall/winter cold weather fragrance as it could be suffocating in the heat.

    The bergamot and myrrh opening is creamy and enticing, like an earl grey tea with a splash of heavy cream, it evokes a well dressed, serious guy and I'll probably find the occasion to wear this a few times per year. As it dries down, the vetiver makes an appearance. As it's subtle smokiness combines with the myrrh, it brings a 'smokey incense-y' vibe to it that's very masculine and comforting (being a recovering Catholic). The bergamot sticks around throughout and the combination really does equal more than the sum of its parts. I imagine a man in an overcoat, drinking a cup of earl grey in a park adjacent to a cathedral on an overcast sunday morning after mass has ended, wafts of fugitive incense billowing their way through the park.

    18th February, 2015

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Eau de Gloire by Parfum d'Empire

    Eau de Gloire (supposedly inspired by the Napoleone's iconic character) is another Marc-Antoine Corticchiato's masterwork for the excellent Parfum d'Empire. In particular this refined fragrance unfolds an initial anisic-aromatic approach (a vaguely naif one.....in typical Oriza L. Legrand's style... the minty/mossy/leathery/resinous Chypre Mousse jumps more than vaguely on mind in the first stage, as well as effectively the brighter and fruitier Diorella). The Eau de Gloire's scent is a "freshly" classic-hesperidic take on the lavender/oakmoss theme with leathery/medicinal/resinous "implications" and an old-school "aldehydic chypre cologne-like" initial vibe. While the aroma "snaps" initially with an aldehydic anisic/hesperidic (lemony/greenish/musky/earthy) approach it gradually morphs towards a darker and more crepuscular (vaguely smoky and rosey) incense/leather/pepper/oakmoss floral-lemony territory in a way that scents a la Eldo Rien (and partially Rien Intense Incense), Shams Memo, by Kilian Incense Oud (less leathery/minty, less balanced and more resinous), the inky-boozy Meo Fusciuni Notturno, Creed Angelique Encens and the hesperidic resinous Eau Sauvage Parfum jump partially on mind for several of their characteristics (on a certain extent also scents a la Atelier Cologne Mistral Patchouli, without the salty undertone, and La Via Del Profumo Indu Kush, more vetiver oriented, come really vaguely on mind). The dry down is a perfect combination of resins and oakmoss with a minimal (almost ghostly) leathery undertone (slightly tending to "rubbery"), a cool fluidy core (keeping basically dry and tea-veined the texture) and an excellent dry toasted tobacco vein well joined with a lingering licorice-chamomile touch. Amazing, really amazing cologne.

    17th February, 2015 (Last Edited: 24th February, 2015)

    landshark321's avatar

    United States United States

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    B*Men by Thierry Mugler

    The community seems split (decant pun?) over the quality of the fragrance, with the consensus being that it's a lesser sibling of the other A*Men fragrances but not terrible, and on this point, I have to agree. It's most similar to Angel Men, the patchouli undertone (the characteristic A*Men "DNA") being highlighted by the rhubarb, fruit, and spice notes on top. In some respects, then, it's gourmand-ish like A*Men Taste of Fragrance, but not as distinctive.

    Projection and longevity are both disappointing, specifically with respect to the other entries in the Mugler line. I get about 3 hours on my skin until it starts to disappear, and less than a foot projection, so it's less than half of the others in both respects.

    Has it been discontinued? I had trouble finding it on many of the main sites. Regardless, it's not one I'll be tracking down beyond a Google search. While slightly less cloying than A*Men or A*Men Taste of Fragrance, it lacks the quality of Pure Malt, Pure Havane, or even Pure Coffee, so while interesting to smell, it doesn't embody any special qualities of its own.

    6 out of 10

    17th February, 2015 (Last Edited: 21st February, 2015)

    rbaker's avatar



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    Carnation by Mona di Orio

    Yes, I get carnation in the somewhat aldehyde-laden opening blast, but it is a dirty one with ample of bergamot and a woodsy-earthy undertone, like smelling the stems and leaves of a bunch of flowers. Jasmine, and ylang ylang come forward in the drydown with the carnation and some earth-green components alternating, as if one is sniffing the flowers and the stems alternatingly.

    There is a styrax component in the background throughout most of this scent. In the base a not too heavy musk is added, with glimpses of the carnation are still present at times.

    The performance is excellent with moderate sillage, good projection and a stunning thirteen hours of longevity on my skin. Made of high-quality ingredients it is very nice on a cooler spring day. 3.5/5

    17th February, 2015

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Balmy Days & Sundays by Ineke

    A first blast and I'm literally inebriated by a sparkling first of earthy green patterns and floral elements (it seems a tart aqueous accord of peony and freesia). This phase is really bitter/sour, dry fruity, spicy, vaguely minty and powerfully intense (it seems some grapefruit lingers around joined with lime/bergamot, red berries and plummy notes). Yes I detect a Humieki&Graef's (Multiple Rouge jumps on mind) sort of initial approach in this phase (the more "reliable" one of the whole Balmy Days & Sundays' trip). In a short while the greenish/floral metallic approach "in a preordained way" fades in order to let free the stage to a more conventional and "aromachemically" veined (vaguely detergent/medicinal) balmy muskiness somewhat dull, vaguely ozonic and cosmetical (in spite of its fizzy sunny "watermelony" mood). I don't see any natural greens collapse since the "nature" of the aroma is deliberately synthetic and "cosmetically appointed" for the younger crowd's (likeable or not) easy-going standards. Of course not my genre of aroma (-chemical).

    17th February, 2015

    Fiumenero's avatar

    United States United States

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    I began wearing Shalimar after spending a lot of time around one of my friends who wore it every day. I thought she was so feminine and classy, and that's the way it makes me feel. I believe it is the vanilla and opoponax that got me addicted to it. I'm so glad that my husband also LOVES this perfume. To me, it is as classic as Chanel No. 5, which I'm actually not that fond of.

    17th February, 2015

    scentmad99's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    De Tout Coeur by Fragonard

    Gorgeous. Sweet, sharp, white flowers and musk that's well balanced and a joy to wear. So sad it's discontinued.

    17th February, 2015

    Ghost_Goat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bottega Veneta Pour Homme by Bottega Veneta

    I'm with Colin on this one. I can't think of Bottega Veneta Pour Homme as anything but a gorgeous, classy, gentlemanly scent. The first time I smelled it, I felt like I immediately understood it...which to me is not a bad thing, sometimes. It's a genial, well-meaning scent, and it perfectly imparts the sense of restrained but artful luxury Bottega Veneta wants it to.

    It's also a compliment-machine. Everybody who smells it asks about it. I personally know of 5 guys who have bought a bottle after smelling it, including my father who hasn't bought a new scent in decades (he'd worn Pierre Cardin since the early 80's, but now it's BVPH all the way.

    As for myself, I plan on always possessing a bottle of this for the rest of my life. I wear it more than anything else. To me, it's a resounding success and I simply adore it.

    17th February, 2015

    BetsyMeszaros's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

    Absolutely love this and wear it all year. It is both enduring, sophisticated, elegant and simple.

    17th February, 2015

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rêve De Grasse by Fragonard

    This is a very light and sweet white floral, dominated by jasmine (of course, the premier scent emanating from Grasse), supported by tuberose and musk.

    I have been unable to find a release date for this scent.

    My source is a one ounce parfum released in a small metal bottle with a gold wash.

    It is so very light that I would recommend its use for a very young or very slim woman.

    A perfectly lovely early spring morning scent, appropriate for office wear.

    17th February, 2015

    RUDOLFO512's avatar

    United States United States

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    Iris 39 by Le Labo

    I have found the "holy grail" of Iris based fragrances in Iris 39 by Le Labo. It opens up with a strong Iris that mellows down to be sweet and comforting. I also smell traces of violet, patchouli and musk. I don't smell any civet here, maybe it's me. Iris 39 is a beautiful composition that I will enjoy for a long time.

    10/10

    17th February, 2015

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse

    A surprise hit for me! But then again, I'm not sure why I am so surprised - after all, I love the juxtaposition of salt and sweet in foods (strong cheddar and apples, salted peanuts and chocolate, fresh white cow's cheese and honey...), and Pear & Olive is an almost classic balancing act between savory and sweet elements. Primarily, this is the play of sweet pear against a grassy olive oil, but there are also pleasing contrasts between the sweet hay-like smell of chamomile and the bright green calamus.

    For me, though, the defining note of Pear & Olive is that of the Massoia bark. It lends a creamy coconut milk feel to the base, and a dry, nutty woodiness too. The slippery olive oil note, though, ensures that this is a savory type of creaminess. The texture of the scent reminds me of my favorite cleansing oil by Clarins which starts off on my skin as a thin oil and then, when drops of water are added, turns into an unctuous, opaque cream. Pear & Olive feels a bit like this to me - oily, fruity, and green-grassy at the start and turning slowly into a salty, thick cream towards the end. Either way, fans of thick, creamy scents should run to try this. I find it so pleasurable to wear.

    17th February, 2015

    rbaker's avatar



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    Sumare by Crown Perfumery

    This is one the most accomplishedly creative-traditional openings I have come across for a long time. Starting with a lemon/orange/ grapefruit triad of natural citrus delight mixed with bergamot and impressions of a kitchen table covered with fresh garden herbs, the drydown adds a classic lavender and, later, a great bright floral tone; I am getting mainly carnation and geranium.

    The later stages are most traditional - a medium-heavy fresh leather with white pepper and in the base the apotheosis- a grand natural oak moss that is simply sensational.

    Wow! A traditional chypre that has so may unexpected subtle twist such as to make it never boring. The quality of the ingredients is unsurpassed, the blending sublime without losing an iota of structure, and the performance exceptional: good sillage, great orojection and an excellent longevity of nine hours.

    A sensational landmark and benchmark chypre- 4.75/5

    17th February, 2015

    aim's avatar

    England England

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    John Varvatos by John Varvatos

    Fresh fruity, my go to scent after sport

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Papyrus de Ciane by Parfumerie Generale


    Definitively green in opening – a unabashed galbanum joined with fresh-cut grass which is, in turn, broadened with broom and moss… Freshly present… alkaline… even bitter. The soft undertone of sweet straw from the broom is one of the several tiny elements that make for a balance of the bitter sharpness of the galbanum… totally, viscerally, organically green. The heart refines the opening’s natural green a bit with a touch of lily of the valley and lavender. The main reason I found the lavender is that I had looked for it… I might not have noticed it because the lavender and the lily of the valley shadow the green accords so subtly. With the base, the bitter/civilized green of the heart enters into the ethereal territory with incense, vetiver, white musk, and an excellent moss.

    I agree with Way Off Scenter that the nature of this fragrance is ascetic, pensive, and cerebral. I like that in a fragrance, and I find that this fragrance performs extremely well on my skin. I actually wasn’t looking for another green, but I’m pretty sure Papyrus de Ciane will end up alongside of Eau de Campagne, Calamus, and Yerbamate on my fragrance shelf.

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Series 2: Solar Donkey Power by Henrik Vibskov by Six Scents Parfums


    Bergamot-heavy opening notes: not at all subtle, not at all delicate, presenting a big bergamot that quickly gets even bigger when it is joined by a big geranium note. For a while the bergamot / geranium is powerfully aromatic. This opening doesn’t smell synthetic but, like many big bergamot notes, flirts with being a bit too close to Lemon Pledge. Besides LP, it also reminds me of a bit of those inexpensive perfumes young girls wore when I was young – loud, pleasant, and over-applied. Possibly also working the accord is the sage… I don’t get a solid sage aroma, just the aromatics from it. The strength of the opening does settle down to normal in due time but the opening is quite lengthy.

    It takes a while for the basenotes to appear, and the wait ends in disappointment… moss. Nice but I just can’t find it fulfilling. The pyramid says patchouli, incense, and pine, but to my nose those are suggestions rather than actualities. I wish they had even a bit more presence… #3: Solar Donkey Power ends up being a bergamot / moss disappointment.

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Antaeus Sport by Chanel


    A true relative of Antaeus… I love it, but I’m not at all sure it’s a sport fragrance. I mean… Castoreum and leather in a sports fragrance? …Takes a lot of believing!

    Antaeus Sport joins the ranks of the best masculine fragrances I’ve experienced. It is a less dense version of the classic, vintage Antaeus (not the present Antaeus, which is a shadow of its former self). Antaeus Sport makes vintage Antaeus more wearable and a little bit cleaner without removing the quality and panache of the original… yet it retains the vintage Antaeus’s sophisticated sillage and lasting longevity. I didn’t think it possible but I like this one better than the vintage Antaeus.

    A big thank you to the generosity of the lover of power scents / former Basenoter who provided me with this excellent experience of sampling of Antaeus Sport Cologne, and I’m treasuring every drop of it. Two thumbs way, way up!

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Passenger pour Homme by S.T. Dupont


    A strong but fresh opening of citrus and violet leaf… with the violet leaf being primarily a subtle support of the citruses. The violet note is quite potent but pleasant and I don’t often say that about anything with violet leaf. Adding to this freshness and potency is a ginger note, not exactly keeping at a low intensity, but not intensive enough to be annoying. The opening subsides relatively quickly moving into a richer and bit more discreet heart level of spices and lavender… This heart level is packed with potentially loud and excessive notes but the ginger, cardamom, red pepper, and lavender are used judiciously enough to keep them palatable. The accord is varied, warm, and controlled. The base is simpler than the two levels that proceeded, but not quite as rich. It has a woodsy aura to it but it is not your typical wood accord – it’s airier and thinner than usual for wood.

    Passenger is rather a paradox: Its notes are strong and carry weight, but it doesn’t have strong sillage or longevity. I myself would not buy it because of the violet note, but this is a decent fragrance with ingredients of acceptable quality and it is unqiue enough to have its own individuality. I would consider Passenger PH a more-interesting-than-usual office scent.

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Thallium by Jacques Evard


    The opening, a fruity lavender accord, is rather bland, but it is not the screechy synthetic mess that so often accompanies the openings of EDTs as inexpensive as Thallium: Though a bit dull, this opening is definitely on the plus side of “adequate.”

    Not much to say about the rest of the fragrance because I find Thallium quite linear: What I smell in the opening is pretty much what I get through the run of the fragrance. The fruity lavender of the opening more or less remains the dominant accord, but a little bit of floral (an adequate jasmine) is added in the heart notes, and a definite musk and cedar is working the texture of the base. I personally don’t get a lot of sweet from this fragrance, but it is not what I would call “dry” either. Thallium has a gentle sillage and unimpressive longevity, but its price makes it a real deal – you don’t often get competence such as this in an inexpensive fragrance. If cost is an important consideration, this is surely one to consider.

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Acqua de Rosa Thea by Borsari


    I think that my nose is overly sensitive to rose notes, so this is one seems to me to be a strong rose scent, and I’m not sure if it really is strong or if it is just my nose acting in its hyper-rose mode. Regardless, I can tell that it is a quality rose note… one that ranks with some of the best I’ve experienced.

    I don’t really smell anything else but rose in Rosa Thea, so to me it’s a solo fleur scent… one that is of such a quality that I am voting it two thumbs’ up even though I don’t usually care for rose scents.

    It acts as a sillage maker for about an hour or two. After that… it’s an excellent skin scent… old fashioned and lovely.

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Iridescence by Bob Mackie


    Very enjoyable fresh and light fragrance. Opening notes are a pleasant cassia and peach, and I get a definite hit of freesia in it, also. The freesia is the primary note I get from the freesia-iris-rose heart: I don’t actually smell the iris but I can feel its texture in the accord. I don’t get a whiff of the rose, which is not a disappointment to me. The base is a fairly generic (but enjoyable) musk, wood, and vanilla… light and pleasant.

    Iridescence is a fruity-floral fragrance – the type which I usually find too cloying; but it is cleaner and fresher than most fruity-florals I’ve experienced. It’s quite an agreeable fragrance. Clean, natural smelling, light sillage, somewhat short life span. For someone looking for an inexpensive, gentle, non-annoying fruity-floral, this is definitely worth testing.

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Invasion Barbare / SB by MDCI


    Invasion Barbare opens in aromatic citrus ambiance. The aromatics are due to the violet leaves, which at first provide a delightful level of aromatics, but within fifteen minutes the violet leaves have morphed into a solid, penetrating accord. Not only do I strongly dislike a piercing violet leaf note, the violet leaf in Invasion Barbare comes on so strongly that I have a difficult time smelling anything else. What I do manage to smell under the leaf (which lasts for quite a while) is thyme, cardamom, and cedar, and that part of the scent I find quite beautiful, but the annoying violet leaf moots that point. Additionally and unfortunately, I don’t get any sweet. All things considered, I recognize this as a quality fragrance that I have little interest in.

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rose Praline by Les Parfums de Rosine


    I have to be very careful of rose scents because rose usually comes off much too dominant and cloying to my nose. On top of that I find most gourmands to be too sweet for my tastes. So what am I doing reviewing Rose Praline? Even its name screams “Rose Gourmand!” I don’t know why I chose this one to review, but I’m pleased that I did… this one doesn’t scream. This is one delightful fragrance. Rose Praline is discrete and sophisticated; and the way it handles the disparate elements of rose, chocolate, amber, geranium, cocoa, and sandalwood is pure inspiration… I can identify all of these discretely presented notes in their balanced accords.

    Everything in this scent is restrained… nothing goes to the dramatic or the cloying. Besides the notes already mentioned, there are the opening’s bergamot, the middle’s tea, and the drydown’s white musk that are listed in the pyramid – these meld seamlessly into the patterns.

    Rose Praline is a rose and gourmand scent for rose and gourmands non-lovers. Subtle projection, subtle but classic development, decent longevity: A confident thumb’s up for this excellent scent.

    17th February, 2015

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler


    I put off testing Pure Malt and Pure Havana because I had read comments that they were both similar to the original A*Men fragrance, which I had learned to be wary of. In testing Pure Malt I do see some similarities, but mainly I experience something I find completely different from A*Men. Pure Malt is a lot less aggressive and I especially enjoy the fact that there is little or none of that dreaded birch tar that completely ruined A*Men for me.

    The opening of Pure Malt is a pleasure. Those malt and woody notes (with a semi-sweet background of fruity notes) make a sniffably compelling accord for me. It’s a rich, neutral texture that very much smells like malt (I am more reminded of malt powder used for malted milk than of malt liquor or malt whisky.) I would like to sniff it for hours, but that won’t happen because the malt aspect of the accord lessens somewhat quickly for me, and the remaining woody and fruity aspects are very pleasant, but not as compelling. Still, it is one of the more original accords I have experienced in recent years, and it is an accord that is very easy to live with for an extended period of time… the top & heart lasts beautifully.

    The base to me is a less powerful version of the dry down of the original A*Men. It is, like its progenitor’s, a beautiful accord, but in Pure Malt it is presented with a much lower decibel level, and I don’t even smell the dreaded birch tar note. Pure Malt is excellent and I’m sorry I didn’t try it sooner. It’s creative and enjoyable, and its projection and longevity are wonderfully adaptable according to application.

    17th February, 2015

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