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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    Genre: Woods

    The first thing I notice in Terre d'Hermes is vetiver, tempered with a very light touch of citrus. Dry woody notes soon follow, and I think that these, in combination with the vetiver, create the "earthy" or "soil" accord so often noted in this scent.

    The woods and vetiver stay very much front and center, rounded out by some very discreet floral notes. I get an occasional whiff of spice and incense, especially in the remarkably pronounced sillage. There is also an unusual note that suggests ash. Not tobacco ash, and not smoke, but old, cold ash, as from a long abandoned fireplace. The drydown reveals quite a bit of conifer, which melds with the vetiver in a lingering "forest" accord that I find quite pleasant.

    I place Terre d'Hermes as a cumin-free, vetiver-seasoned derivative of Elléna’s earlier Déclaration. Terre d’Hermès is every bit as dry as Déclaration, but it’s also a cleaner, less angular, and less aggressive scent, which may account for its great popularity. It’s still a somewhat austere fragrance, though very easy to wear and very unlikely to offend. For this reason I could see it as a really fine business or office scent. A perfectly good, if not a terribly exciting fragrance, and certainly nothing that I have to own.

    05 July, 2014

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    Ténéré by Paco Rabanne

    Genre: Floral

    Ténéré was one of those odd birds: a green floral scent marketed to men. Like the Carolina parakeet and the passenger pigeon, Ténéré is long extinct. For a sense of just how fragile such a species is, consider that even in the more forgiving niche fragrance environment Ténéré’s close cousin Virgilio was discontinued. Under the commercial pressure of the mass market, Ténéré never had a chance.

    In character, Ténéré stands somewhere between Virgilio and the reissued Givenchy Insensé. It’s darker, sweeter, and more overtly floral than the former, but more green and astringent than the latter. Ténéré starts out with an original and intoxicating accord of galbanum and bergamot before it settles into its bittersweet heart. Dry floral note, crisp herbs, and dusty aromatics are set against a honeyed background in a manner that’s at once ideally balanced and fraught with tension. The animalic honey and indolic jasmine components in the central accord add much appreciated warmth to what could otherwise have been an overly cold and aloof scent. Some may find these notes disturbingly “urinous” in combination, but to me they read as animal comfort.

    The drydown, when it arrives, is sweet, spicy, and balsamic in a surprisingly oriental vein. This transformation is itself enough to make Ténéré interesting, but that it occurs within a scent of rare and idiosyncratic character makes Ténéré’s demise all the more regrettable.

    05 July, 2014

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    Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi

    Genre: Oriental

    To start at the bottom, Teint de Neige is built on a very powdery, very sweet vanilla base note that Villoresi used one year earlier in Piper Nigrum and would employ again one year later in Yerbamate. It is in Teint de Neige, though, that this powdery vanilla finds its purest and fullest expression. In Piper Nigrum it underpins a spicy, ambery oriental arrangement whose notes of black pepper and mint offer bracing contrast. Yerbamate juxtaposes the sweet powder with a smoky, bitter green accord of maté, tomato leaf, galbanum, and vetiver for a complex structure and a surprising development. Here in Teint de Neige the same vanillic powder supports a sweet almond-mimosa floral accord and lots of aldehydes. Heliotrope and vanilla have a strong affinity, as do powdery notes and some aldehydes, so where Piper Nigrum and Yerbamate offer contrast, this scent piles like upon like. The consequences for Teint de Neige are two:

    1. You’ve really got to like powder to appreciate this stuff.

    2. It can smell somehow lacking or unfinished next to its siblings.

    While the texture is soft, Teint de Neige is not a quiet scent. Like most others from this house, it’s potent and lasting, projects well off of the skin, and leaves plenty of sillage. Between its assertiveness and its unwavering expression of powder, I’d expect this to be a divisive fragrance. I can imagine enjoying it under certain limited circumstances, but I ultimately prefer my powder tempered with other content, as in Habit Rouge, Jaïpur Homme, or for that matter, Piper Nigrum and Yerbamate.

    05 July, 2014

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    Teck by Molinard

    Genre: Leather

    Teck is very pungent when applied, with pronounced woods, spices and aromatics, including rosemary and lavender. A big patchouli note defines the heart, which is a somewhat sweetened version of the classic, big-boned 1980s chypre. There are faint suggestions of Yatagan (pine and rosemary), and even Knize Ten (spicy leather), but Teck is nowhere near as bold or distinctive as either of those two giants. Teck smells somewhat familiar, and also a bit dated - maybe even stale - by today's standards. I'd much sooner turn to Havana, Or Black, or Knize Ten for my macho fix.

    05 July, 2014

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    Tango by Aftelier

    Genre: Leather

    Tango opens up smoky and spicy, with hints of both coffee and tobacco, (neither listed,) soon joined by a note that suggests burnt sugar. The smoke billows in great clouds, joined by a rather dirty, raw leather that throws the whole composition into cowboy boot territory.

    As the scent develops the smoke comes even further forward, and Tango starts smelling like a barbecue. By this point the sweet notes from the opening are submerged, and in their place come astringent herbs and conifers, with something like the camphoraceous chill of wintergreen (?!) behind the smoke. This phase in Tango’s evolution reminds me very much of Tauer’s Lonestar Memories, though Tango is cooler, more resinous, and quite a bit less dry.

    It’s quite some time before the floral notes emerge, and when they do they’re sweet, potent, and exotic. I soon recognize the champaca flower from Ayala Sender’s wonderful Rebellius, with its fleshy, sweet-smoky aura, and it’s this, along with leather and spices, that forms the heart of Tango. The whole effect is indeed strangely Latin in its steamy, smoky extravagance.

    The drydown adds vanilla to the persistent sweet florals, with the smoky elements pulsating in the background. It’s a sultry base with a nocturnal character that suggests a dark club in a seedy tropical port. If you love Habanita, Havana, or Giacobetti’s Dzing!, you’re liable to enjoy Tango. It’s a potent brew with plenty of depth and development, and if it’s not quite as deft as its champaca cousin Rebellius, it still holds my attention.

    05 July, 2014

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    Tam Dao by Diptyque

    Genre: Woods

    This is supposed to be Diptyque's great essay on sandalwood. Forget the sandalwood. Tam Dao starts out dry and reserved, with a touch of spice and a whole dump truck load of cedar.

    And that's it. Bone dry cedar and sharp spices on a bed of desiccated powder. Pure, simple...wait that's a soap commercial isn't it? Tam Dao is dry wood stripped down to its essence, with none of the potentially distracting notes that soften the edges of scents like Santal Noble or Santal Imperial. It smells like a carpenter’s shop, filled with sawdust. It's also utterly, unfailingly linear, just as many other Diptyque scents. Tam Dao is the Zen of cedar. The bare essentials. The unclouded vision. It's quite the achievement, yet it somehow fails to inspire me.

    05 July, 2014

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    Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

    Genre: Fougère

    Tobacco and ginger over a sweet base might sound a lot like the formula for Bulgari's Blv pour Homme, but Tabarôme Millésime never gets as sickly sweet as the Bulgari. It takes about 45 minutes’ wear for the familiar Creed millésime base to assert itself over the ginger and tobacco, and once it does I'm left with something not too far removed from Green Irish Tweed, Himalaya, Millésime Imperial, or Silver Mountain Water. Tabarôme Millésime would have to retain a distinctive flavor for much longer to keep me at all interested. It's nice enough, but unless you’re a Creed completist I can't see owning it alongside any of the other millésimes.

    05 July, 2014

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    Ta'If by Ormonde Jayne

    Genre: Floral Oriental

    Tai’if is a spicy rose that goes on sharp and acidic but soon settles into a more agreeable dry woody-green groove. I’m reminded of Diptyque’s L’Ombre dans l’Eau, but drier, and with some warm Near Eastern spices sprinkled on top. In fact, when I think about it, I’m reminded even more of Diptyque’s Opone. Lo and behold, Ta’if’s pyramid lists saffron, which besides rose is the dominant note in Opone.

    Tai’if is very quiet for this kind of scent, and its green tinge renders it wearable for either gender. Ta’if marks my traversal of the entire Ormonde Jayne range, and it stands as one of my favorites in the line. Good stuff, if not terribly exciting, but apparently meant to appeal to more staid tastes than mine.

    05 July, 2014

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    Sycomore (new) by Chanel

    Genre: Woods

    Sycomore is the Chanel Les Exclusifs essay on vetiver, and after several wearings I’m ready to place it among the best of the current vetivers, right next to Vétiver Extraordinaire, Givenchy Vetyver, Route du Vétiver, and Encre Noire. Sycomore is a dry vetiver, and like the Givenchy it has a touch of licorice and nutmeat about it. It is a clean scent, without the earthy quality of Route du Vétiver or the harsh vegetal profile of Vétiver Extraordinaire. Like Encre Noire, it is smoky, but where Encre Noire is gaunt and austere, Sycomore’s structure is softened and rounded by a generous amount of iris root. If a vetiver scent can be said to be plush, this one is.

    Sycomore’s iris and vetiver are accompanied by a particularly rich, smooth sandalwood, which adds yet another degree of luxury to the scent’s enveloping texture. Sycomore evolves very slowly once its central smoky-soft structure establishes itself. The iris/vetiver/sandalwood axis tilts slightly from time to time, nudged in one direction by dry spices, and in another by some very discreet incense. Components fall away one by one over a span of about six hours, and Sycomore’s drydown belongs primarily to the persistent vetiver and sandalwood, but there’s also a bit of moss at the foundation; not much, but just enough to allude to the classical chypre style. The overall impression is one of luxurious comfort without a trace of stuffiness or blandness, so if you’re seeking a vetiver scent with depth, sophistication, and ease of wear, Sycomore should probably be on your short list.

    05 July, 2014

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    Sybaris by Antonio Puig


    Michael Edwards classifies Sybaris as a woody oriental scent, and several reviewers here place it with the leather chypres, but I smell a brawny fougère, boasting ample aromatic content, soapy aldehydes, and bittersweet citrus in the top notes. Cumin, artemisia, and conspicuous animalic notes closely align Sybaris with grand 1980s animalic/aromatic fougères like Jules and Lauder for Men, but Sybaris evolves in a distinctive sweet, spiced, woody direction.

    At its heart, Sybaris offers a tightly integrated accord of nutty vetiver, smooth sandalwood and amber that’s at once comfortable and highly dignified. The opening animalic elements retreat somewhat, but their lingering background presence safeguards against a slide from comfort into stodginess. At the same time, quiet echoes of artemisia, geranium, and juniper provide bracing counterpoint to the amber’s sweetness.

    Sybaris is potent, but not overwhelming, with generous sillage and admirable lasting power. After several hours of sustained heart notes, the drydown settles into amber, labdanum, and vetiver, seasoned with leathery and mossy grace notes. While it smells not a bit like either, Sybaris is one of the few scents I know that capture the sense of masculine dignity found in Patou pour Homme or the original Santal Noble. It doesn’t necessarily exude the same sense of occasion, but that may only make it a bit more versatile and comfortable for daily wear. I have no idea whether Sybaris is still in production, but it can still be found online for very little money and is very much worth trying.

    05 July, 2014

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    Sugar Lychee by Fresh

    Genre: Fruity Floral

    The wet, fresh burst of fruit that introduces Sugar Lychee is so full and dynamic I could take a bite of it. In fact, it's so bold that it just falls short of smelling cheaply synthetic. The fruit here isn't just the lush/tart lychee note: I get some peaches, banana and light berries in the mix as well. Before this fruit salad has a chance to wear on me too much, it's joined by a very smooth tonka bean and a mysterious, nuanced floral note that may be the listed lotus.

    Sugar Lychee is just as intensely sweet as the name promises, with only some remnant citric tartness in the heart accord to prevent cavities upon inhalation. After about an hour, some vey creamy woods begin to stir in the base. In combination with the intense fruit these veer slightly toward coconut, and it's at this point that Sugar Lychee has its closest brush with suntan lotion vulgarity.

    As the scent ages the sweetness slowly abates and the woods become more prominent, although they never shed the creamy accent of tonka. The scent stays fairly close to the skin after the initial fruity burst, becoming a smooth, sweet skin scent. The "edible" quality of the opening remains throughout the drydown, always suggesting a tropical dessert.

    Most of my encounters with the lychee note have been in meditative incense fragrances like L'Homme Sage and Dzongkha, where it provides a touch of lush harmony in an otherwise austere composition. Fully exposed in its bikini garb, as here, it's bright, celebratory note. Sugar Lychee is an unabashed "beach" fragrance, and it's really best worn on a hot summer's day. The hotter and steamier, the better. It's a happy scent, with the casual appeal of tropical drinks and the olfactory colors of paper umbrellas. This beach party in a bottle is loads of fun. To take it seriously is to miss the point

    05 July, 2014

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    Sublime by Jean Patou

    Genre: Oriental

    Sublime starts life as a big, sweet patchouli and amber oriental wrapped in a delicate jasmine blanket. It is rich and weighty, but rounded in its contours and soft in texture. Its fundamental sweetness is bolstered by nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, but also countered by a dry, soapy edge to its jasmine note.

    Sublime's backdrop seems to rotate slowly over time, so that its patchouli face is replaced by a lush, creamy sandalwood. The change is so gradual as to be imperceptible while underway. Instead, I simply become aware at some point that the patchouli has been eclipsed and that sandalwood stands in its place, while the remainder of the structure has stayed more or less still. A neat effect and evidence (if any was needed,) of Jean Kerleo’s compositional brilliance.

    While substantial, Sublime is not a loud scent and remains relatively close to the body. It projects modestly for three or four hours before beginning a slow slide into an extended drydown dominated by amber and that same smooth sandalwood, along with a soft vanilla and vetiver accord that brings to mind the late stages of Molinard’s classic Habanita, though in a softer voice. All and all a truly beautiful oriental scent that I would feel very comfortable wearing as a man.

    05 July, 2014

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    Stephen Jones by Stephen Jones

    Genre: Floral

    Aldehydes and what smells to me an awful lot like myrrh pop right out when I apply the Comme des Garçons fragrance for Stephen Jones. (Is this myrrh smell-alike the note that they call “meteorite” in the press release? Or perhaps the “magma?”) The combination results in a very dry, astringent accord in something like the style that noses Bertrand Duchaufour and Mark Buxton have brought to this line before.

    Stephen Jones remains bone dry as it develops, but its midsection reveals an assortment of spices – most notably clove – alongside the stark woods and incense-like notes. The violet touted in the official descriptions takes its time emerging, but when it does it is a big, big blossom, though thoroughly pressed, dried and ground down to powder. Once the woody violet accord at Stephen Jones’s heart takes shape it plays along in a linear fashion for quite some time. The closest thing to evolution that I perceive here is the violet note growing slowly but steadily louder until the dry (How many times can I use “dry” in one review?) wood and vetiver basenotes take over.

    The overall vibe here is extreme austerity, and if you enjoy the stony texture of, say, Dzongkha or Avignon, this new scent will probably appeal. I myself would take either over this, especially at $175 US for 55 ml. Stephen Jones exudes the same attitude as the black-clad twenty-somethings who crowded the underground clubs of SoHo in my youth (yes, waaaaay back, when SoHo actually had underground clubs). It’s an aura of “cool” so intense you might as well just give up trying and admit you are a hapless member of the middlebrow bourgeoisie. I can’t decide whether wearing it makes me feel chic, or like a poseur. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

    05 July, 2014

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    Straight to Heaven by By Kilian

    Genre: Woods

    I’m certain that this stuff could snuff me out, though much less sure that I’ve been virtuous enough to earn eternal bliss. I like the boozy opening well enough, and the rosewood note that follows is attractive too, but all is swallowed up within minutes by the same sort of loud and fiendishly abrasive artificial “wood” that ruins Lolita Lempicka au Masculin and Guerlain Homme for me. I find prolonged exposure excruciating.

    05 July, 2014

    juanderer's avatar

    Mexico Mexico

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    Dark Saphir by Agonist

    Dark Saphir opens with a boozy violet that quickly transitions into the all too familiar rose-patchouly-oud scent profile. The protagonist is the rose, however, but there is a myriad of notes present to support it. I particularly detect peach and raspberry, which make the rose come alive and not jammy. My favorite phase of the composition was the base when the ylang and labdanum become more apparent.

    This fragrance is somewhat reminiscent of Malle's Portrait of a Lady; and although the quality is good, it feels quite distant from POAL.

    Is it good? Yes. Is it original? No.

    05 July, 2014

    Unvisible's avatar

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    Original Vetiver by Creed

    Wash a car on a hot summer day. Dump out water with soap and suds into freshly cut grass. Urinate on the soap soaked grass. Original Vetiver.

    05 July, 2014

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    Vétiver by Creed

    Excellent. I missed out on this one, but managed to obtain a bottle from the perfumed court.

    It is very mossy and green. A carbonated mahogany-like wood with moss and carbonated water. It's really too bad it is discontinued.

    05 July, 2014

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    Notes by Robert Piguet

    Just delicious. Perfectly balanced - not too heavy, not too light. Not too dry, not too sweet. Masculine but very smooth and not at all coarse. Too linear for me to completely love it, though. And this may sound a little idiosyncratic, but it also has somewhat more longevity than I really like. I find that, with most forms of companionship, it's great for a while but you don't want your guests to stay forever. There are times when this is kind of like the guest who won't leave. Longevity fanatics will love this fragrance. I guess when RP says it's an EDP, they really mean it. Great for a breezy, cool day outdoors, where you just get perfectly beautiful whisps of it. So you should make sure to pack a bottle of this when you've been invited to spend the day yachting with one of your Russian oligarch friends. I bought my bottle at Bergdorf when they were having sort of a special promo with the Piguet display right inside the 5th Avenue entrance. The RP people were really nice and I got a generous helping of samples and a gwp or two. Definitely a fun purchase experience.

    05 July, 2014

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    Incense Rosé by Tauer

    Dry and intense incense ... church incense? Like many of Andy's fragrances this one makes me swoon. Good longevity. I love it ...
    I mainly agree with ClaireV but I like the protracted dry and resinous phase.

    04 July, 2014 (Last Edited: 09 July, 2014)

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    He Wood Ocean Wet Wood by Dsquared2

    Ocean Wet Whatever opens with a bold apple/melonal note, calone, a herbaceous-floral synthetic accord - still crunchy and somehow more vibrant than usual for this type of scents - on a generic "cozy-classy" woody base. All artificial, metallic, clean, "designer" (not in the good meaning). Not exactly "bad", it even has some slightly better quality notes and some more density than other average-low fellow designer scents, but still it's mute and boring as an empty waiting room.

    5/10

    04 July, 2014 (Last Edited: 05 July, 2014)

    Hat and Beard's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

    Dominant raspberry and slightly smokey leather that dries down so sweet that it hurts.

    04 July, 2014 (Last Edited: 05 July, 2014)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Carnation by Mona di Orio

    Yes, it seems to deal with a classic translucent Caron a la Bellodgia, namely with such a classically aldehydic, radiant, vaguely lacteous, intensely floral (white honeyed floral patterns) and romantic potion with a sort of buttery lip stick undertone. There is something "cosmetical" in the Carnation's aroma such like a floral detergent foam really perfumey and milky. Extremely sophisticated and hyper elegant in perfect french olfactory "Grandeur" style. The carnation is neither heady (I detect more an ylang-ylang/sambac jasmine connection, may be furthermore rose, iris or narcissus more than properly dianthus) nor typically sharp or green/rooty "lymphatic" being indeed (as combined with further floral patterns of the bouquet and creamy-powdery "pollution") somewhat lacteous, full of nectar, soapy, balmy and extremely luxurious in to an ambery/floral/musky/vanillic way. The initial bergamot as combined with aldehydes provides an unmistakable luxurious classic aura while final powdery woods are perfectly accessorial to aldehydes, balsams, amber and white floral patterns in to a refined modernly chypre accord retracing a classical old floral way. I find Carnation absolutely enjoyable and classy.
    P.S= after a while, along the evolution, I detect more and more a carnation presence waving in the air as sophisticated floral spark. Any rancid feel, any leathery final vibe , just a great modern floral/balmy chypre with classic structure (sheer complex structure) and sensual voluptuousness.

    04 July, 2014

    Kain's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    Nouez Moi by House of Sillage

    A pleasant fresh floral fragrance that smells nice but there is nothing special about it at all.
    It just a generic $50 designer fragrance packed in a fancy bottle.
    The opening is a fresh citrusy scent with some sweetness and some bright floral notes in the background.
    The rose note here smell very fresh and watery and it's mostly in the background. it's like a supporting note actually.
    There is a fruity smell specially in the mid and base of the fragrance which does not listed here. I don't know what is it but I can definitely feel it.
    Semi fresh, soft floral, kind of fruity and slightly sweet all the way through.
    Projection is above average and longevity is around 8-10 hours which is very good in these parts.

    04 July, 2014

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Tawaf by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

    The Tawaf's hyper realistic golden jasmine/rose combo is by soon as much pure (such like inhaling real vegetal pollen-nectar) to appear somewhat honeyed, romantically indolent, languid, soapy and Victorian. One of the veritable dreamy and romantically indolent fragrances of the worldwide market. Enjoying La Via del Profumo Tawaf is like walking along the tracks of an english nobiliar garden with on the side a white laced clothed cultured young mademoiselle under a celestial soporific afternoon sky. Pink roses and brilliant (lacteous) sambac jasmines shine under sun and your heart beets of innocent joy for an upcoming new summery love. The floral "miasm" is typically (but barely) dirty in undertone as normal for purely natural floral absolutes but the remote fecal (stale flowerpot water-like) spark disappears by soon in order to leave the stage to a marvellously honeyed floral concert. Rattles and hums resound around in the "populated" afternoon celestial air. The powerfully odorous narcissus contributes to enhance the stunning (and incessant) floral valzer while soft balsams, waxy honey, light myrrh and faint musk soothen the indolic aroma leading it down the way of a pure rosey lacteous silkiness. The note of myrrh is not deeply resinous or heady but just accessorial to Queen sambac jasmine and gently soapy as perfectly joined with the general softly "chyprey" soapy/powdery radiant dry down. The aroma lingers as an obsessive ghost over your "shade" despite you can't detect it anymore after a while. Don't worry, people around you will detect this "aereal/molecular" holy potion unfolding incessantly its melody by your skin.

    04 July, 2014

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mysterious Oud by Chabaud Maison de Parfum

    Mysterious Oud opens with a slightly sweet alcoholic accord before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition reaches its early heart, traces of the initial sweet boozy accord remain to support the primary peppery angelica and synthetic burnt woody Oud duo with just the faintest jasmine floral undertone. During the late dry-down the synthetic smelling Oud dissipates leaving the peppery angelica to pair with smooth slightly sweet sandalwood through the finish. Projection is just beyond minimal but longevity is very good at 9-10 hours on skin.

    Mysterious Oud is definitely a pleasant smelling composition. It provides none of the more challenging aspects of many Oud releases, instead playing it safe with a smooth synthetic smelling Oud accord that pairs nicely with peppery angelica a la Royal Oud by Creed. I have no idea what the mystery is here, unless it is trying to figure out if there really is any Oud in the composition... Real Oud or not, the whole thing comes together rather nicely with the underlying jasmine floral providing a nice touch and the sandalwood in the base smoothing out the spicy finish quite well. The bottom line is Mysterious Oud provides little for one to ponder save its titled ingredients' origin, but the composition does work on the whole, earning a solid "good" 3 stars out of 5 rating and a tenuous recommendation. If Royal Oud was a favorite of yours then Mysterious Oud is likely to impress.

    04 July, 2014

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    United States United States

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    Exotic by Jimmy Choo

    A fruitiental concoction, which plays a trick on your senses. A very assertive, sweet opening with a dose (to my nose) of caramel and patchouli. Quite pleasant, but seems to fade quickly on my skin.

    04 July, 2014

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal


    I think that Vanille Exquise is very well named: It is an beautiful rendition of vanilla – a slightly burnt version of a rich, mostly dry vanilla. “Sweetness” is not the keyword for this fragrance… “delicacy” would be the better description. It is certainly not a solo vanilla… it is quite well adorned with other light, delicate notes: I can clearly identify the almond; I willingly accept that there is benzoin partnering with the vanilla; there’s a believably probable white musk / sandalwood accord in the mixture; and, although I can’t specifically pick them out of the accord, I can believe that there is a touch angelica and gaïac providing even more lightness, airiness, and delicacy to the non-powdery vanilla accord.

    Vanille Exquise is a sophisticated fragrance… full, complex, and delicate. On my skin it has appropriately limited projection; and it has excellent longevity, especially as an exquisite skin scent.

    04 July, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Exultat by Maria Candida Gentile

    Exultat opens with a beautiful, airy, irresistibly aromatic accord of sweet, silky, floral-fruity notes with a bolder, darker and mystical base of olibanum and patchouli, plus also ginger and slight spices. The floral-fruity accord is completely new to me, unusual and great, it's basically a fresh, sparkling, zesty but also sweet and silky blend, really tasty and incredibly, well, simply "good", sweetened by vanilla, resins, perhaps sandalwood. Basically a sort of "candied flowers" accord with a sparkling, slightly boozy (almost champagne-like), lively and bubbly personality. First time I smell something like this, and it's really good, plus it blends utterly well and gently with the incense side. The main flower here is violet, devoid of any waxy/powdery "heaviness", it is rather bright, fresh, light, almost juicy thanks to the juxtaposition with fresh citrus and bergamot notes. All is great here: materials, ideas, composition. I would define this basically a fruity-floral-resinous incense totally on the fresh, colourful, bright, sparkling side, still with a genius shady and mysterious side. I rarely smelled something so new, nice and charming – not "avant-garde" new, just a smart and bright variation on some rather common themes. Plus it's totally refined and versatile, cozy, with a perfect persistence (all day long). My congratulations to Maria Candida Gentile for having been able to come up with such a great idea (finally a non-liturgical/heavy incense) and having managed to compose it so well!

    8,5/10

    04 July, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Antaeus by Chanel

    A magnificent, raw but refined opening of musky castoreum, warm but dry and really close to leather (like in Knize Ten and other classics), but gently softened by aromatic woods, spices and silky colourful hints of flowers. Animalic but friendly and elegant, it has a typical fougère "gloominess" but it also appears more "young", relaxed and modern than most of other more classic and austere fougères, and also more sophisticated and sharp. The evolution is quite predictable, as it remains a castoreum-leather smoky accord, just drier and lighter as hours pass. Restrained and noble, always without being too shady or heavy, rather keeping it slightly "airy" and more lively thanks to rose, jasmine and fresh tasty herbs like thyme and sage. Versatile, classy, cozy, masculine. Timeless classic!

    8,5/10

    04 July, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Eau de Cartier by Cartier

    Eau de Cartier opens with a pleasant, fresh citrus-bergamot accord, slightly aquatic too, with a soft base of vanilla, sweet aromatic woods (cedar), perhaps amber, and a lively, bright and delicate floral-spicy breeze all over, with also a green accord giving tartness and crunchiness. Aldehydes fill the space without being too prominent. As minutes pass the flowers, notably violet, become more bold and prominent, focusing on a vibrant, fresh violet note which beautifully and gently blends with the rest. So basically a nice, honest fresh, spicy floral-woody scent. It somehow reminded me of Déclaration, as other reviewers already notes, with a more transparent and "contemporary" look, less complex and less rich, perhaps less interesting too, nothing "stunning" but still nice. Being an "eau", it predictably lasts quite short.

    6,5-7/10

    04 July, 2014

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