Latest Fragrance Reviews, Updated Daily

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    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Mauvais Garçon by Brécourt

    Mauvais Garçon (nothing “mauvais” in here really) is a warm-spicy scent with a “barbershop” floral heart (lavender and other floral notes I personally don’t detect clearly), a head accord of bergamot, something minty-green, something balsamic, spices (the pyramid is trustworthy – I get tonka, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg), cedar and sandalwood on the base. The evolution is close to zero, it all goes lighter and softer. Honestly it smells much mainstream to me, in the negative sense: it reminds me of several cheaper scents, and I don’t get anything in here which shall be a “niche” feature (no particular high quality/creativity, and so on). Among others it reminds me of a couple of Cacharel’s, from Pour Homme to Nemo – just more floral, more herbal, incomparably less fascinating and less rich. Just a spicy-woody resinous floral scent without praise or blame... which I wouldn’t consider “bad” at all, rather just “nicely” mediocre.

    5,5-6/10

    15th December, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Savanè Oud by Torre of Tuscany

    I don’t get neither “savane” nor “oud” in here. What I get instead since the very opening is a smell of bicycle tires, refreshed by a thin herbal and balsamic-anisic breeze. Shortly, the smell of your bike after a stroll in the park. Apart from that, on the very base I only get some soft, gentle cedar-amber accord, and a generic yet pleasant smell of petals. That’s it for a while; then, reaching the drydown, the herbal-floral breeze fades away a bit, and you remain with a sort of rubbery cedar note with a subtle sweet-balsamic vibe. Now, I must say I enjoy Savane Oud’s refined discretion, which makes it an elegant close-to-skin scent; and I also appreciate the fact it isn’t another oud similar to dozens of others... but honestly – I can’t help it – it bores me to death.

    5,5-6/10

    15th December, 2014

    babsbendix's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pure DKNY A Drop Of Rose by Donna Karan

    As much as I love roses, I really don't like most rose perfumes. As with many flowers, when you smell them in nature there's a lot of nuance to their scent, though when replicated synthetically, or even captured in the form of an essential oil or absolute, the concentrated fragrance only gives a snapshot of the living flower from one perspective.

    Pure DKNY A Drop of Rose is the cut flower with all of its stem and leaves sitting in the florist's fridge - it's a green and chilly rose. It's much more tart and green than sweet, yet maybe because of its gentler concentration, it doesn't veer into the head-splitting tartness of L'Occitaine's 4 Reines, or Chloe. It seems to last on my skin longer than it does for some others, though it does wear like an EDT when worn alone.

    I don't wear it alone often - I tend to layer it with other scents when I want to give them a little extra rosy oomph. For that purpose I find that it's especially lovely, and has a kind of transparency and neutrality that enable it to blend really well. It lasts for at least several hours when anchored by a heavier scent.

    I think this one's the best of the Pure DKNY scents so far. The others strike me as kind of pale and formless as opposed to sheer.

    14th December, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Anse Turquoise by Manuel Canovas

    The opening of Anse Turquoise is loud and clear: an almost-cloying blast of fresh-sweetish floral notes with a palpable sort of aqueous-creamish texture, basically more or less the smell of a floral-fruity shampoo (galaxolide) with a less “foamy” and more “mineral” watery substance. The fresh flowers here smell nice, but quite plain and boring: that type of “whatever” floral accords in which you hardly separate the notes – just “something” commonly, reassuringly floral. They don’t smell particularly cheap or metallic, though; just a bit generic. Overall I wouldn’t say Anse Turquoise is bad, but surely not that great too; shortly, a big “meh...”. In my opinion it is as much decent as fairly uncreative and boring, with no particular reasons to prefer it over any other generic (average-to-mediocre) floral scent on the market. The persistence is good, though - but identical for hours. I don’t know the price of this, and whether this is niche or not, but personally I wouldn’t consider it worthy any money above a half dollar per ml.

    5,5-6/10

    14th December, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Eros by Versace

    Eros opens with a fresh and minty accord (apple, mint, citrus) surrounded by the usual metallic-ozonic notes, however supported by a pleasant and slightly less predictable (for this type of scent) base of warm, rich, aromatic spicy-woody notes (tonka and cedar above all), sweet and quite “round”, perhaps due to tobacco and/or patchouli dusted with vanilla - the “uncommon” side is that these notes smell actually good and solid, more than the average in mainstream scents. I smell a couple of “niche” nuances here, for example the ambroxan note which provides a “modern” feel of dusty grayness (quite reinforced by aldehydes) – not far from several niche products of the recent years. Also, another “niche” factor to me is some of the contrasts this scent is built on – the tart-mint head opening and the almost gourmandish base, which is quite sweet, warm and resinous, and smoky too. Overall it smells safe and crowdpleasing, but if pay attention and smell it more carefully, it’s not as common as it may seem. And it’s definitely decent. Plus, Eros has also an unexpectedly nice evolution too: instead or remaining identical and just getting drier and lighter, it gets softer, warmer, more resinous, actually more pleasant as hours pass, once the sharp metallic-zesty opening fades away. I’m wearing it since a couple of hours, and now is remarkably better than before. Nothing great and nothing new, but not bad and not (too much) boring.

    6,5/10

    14th December, 2014

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Essence de Patchouli by Perris Monte Carlo

    Essence de Patchouli opens with rose and creamy iris with the base derived patchouli already noticeable early. As the composition moves to its early heart the patchouli takes center stage with remnants of the early rose remaining in support joined by heavy, slightly animalic musk and finely powdered relatively sweet vanilla. During the late dry-down traces of supporting cedar join the toned down musk and patchouli tandem through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at well over 12 hours on skin.

    Having been quite impressed with Perris' Rose offering, when a surprise pair of their other perfumes arrived in the mail recently it was with great anticipation that each were sprayed on skin for trial, the first being Essence de Patchouli. Unfortunately, it was quite clear very early-on that this patchouli was a scrubber... The first thing that one notices on application is the patchouli presented here is sweetened heavily by vanilla in the base. The result of this pairing is an almost creamy, relatively sweet presentation with the iris used to smooth the patchouli out further. Gone are the more earthy facets of patchouli one might expect leaving one to solely contend with the cloying facets of the sweet vanilla infused patchouli instead. The musk encountered first in the heart, then in the late dry-down is not overly animalic, but it is just over-the-top in the heart section and just makes the patchouli all the more unbearable. All-in-all, this is not the patchouli expected or desired, and would have been scrubbed off in record time if the complete development was not needed to be observed for this review. The bottom line is the $155 per 100ml bottle Essence de Patchouli is one of the worst renditions of the starring ingredient I've sniffed to date, earning it a "poor" to "very poor" 1 to 1.5 stars out of 5 and a strong recommendation for folks to steer well clear of this bad patch and try a masterpiece like Patchouli by Zegna for similar cost per ml instead.

    14th December, 2014

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Gris by Perris Monte Carlo

    Ambre Gris opens with a sweet, slightly fruity davana before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart smoky amber featuring a sea-salt facet resembling ambergris takes the fore, supported by a noticeable cedarwood undertone with a dose of slightly animalic musk and mild geranium. As the composition reaches the late dry-down the musk remains, turning near-transparent with the amber eschewing the smoke but keeping the salty facet, adding in subtle vanilla through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity outstanding at around 15 hours on skin.

    Ambre Gris is a tough composition to like. The davana open is quite nice, but it only lasts five seconds before the extremely odd salted smoky amber arrives in all its glory. This is obviously what the perfumer is trying to portray as ambergris, but if this is what ambergris is supposed to smell like, I know I don't like it. This holds especially true with the musk and geranium pairing that adds to the off-putting nature of the composition. The late dry-down is tolerable, but it is not even close to enough to save this disappointing concoction by Perris. The bottom line is the $155 per 100ml bottle Ambre Gris by Perris is a weird smelling approximation of rare ambergris that is extremely difficult to tolerate sniffing let alone wearing, earning it a "poor" 2 stars out of 5 and an avoid recommendation.

    14th December, 2014

    nwhite14's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

    Many of Tom Ford's best frags lean towards the simple / dense / well balanced side that just "smell good.". Gucci Pour Homme I is no exception. One of the best masculine deep woody incesnse available IMO that is so tightly blended many of the notes can be difficult to discern. The scent is sophisticated and modern while continuing to deliver even after
    8 hours.

    As many have previously stated, how does Gucci keep discontinuing their best frags for men(Pour Homme I, Nobile, Envy)? Hard to figure considering the steep decline in quality with their current lineup. One cannot even blame current trends, especially with PH I and Nobile as these will always perform as timeless classics considering the high auction market demand. In the meantime,I will just have to stock backups as this juice is worth the chase.

    14th December, 2014

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Golden Boy by Dueto Parfums

    Dueto Parfums Golden Boy is a pleasant aromatic accord of leather, musk, creamy resins and floral notes in which the combination of violet and intense leather arouses a really subtle and sophisticated pungent spark. I catch also cedarwood or sandalwood in the recipe, probably patchouli is included too in the blend. I detect points in common with several Tiziana Terenzi's concontions (but in a less natural and majestic way) and Xerjoff Join The Club ( due to creamy resins in particular). The association of lavender, violet and leather settles down conjurations about scents a la Trussardi My Land (which is anyway plagued by a salty-marine undertone) and Canali Black Diamond (which is finally less leathery, more articulated and orangy). Partially the more velvety and complex Guerlain Arsene Lupin Dandy jumps on mind too for several of its hallmarks. The Golden Boy's dry down is really smooth, resinous, virile, barely vanillic, orangy, floral and leathery in a more than decent way. On the complex a more than appreciable fragrance which lacks anyway that X Factor to play as a giant.

    13th December, 2014 (Last Edited: 14th December, 2014)

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Undercover Holygrace by Comme des Garçons

    Holygrace is a bright, transparent, sweet dusty-incense scent, with a cozy sort of cashmeran-like accord on the base (sandalwood, cedar, both heavily synthetic and clean). Soft, sharp and luminous, with a fresh tart opening then gently fading into a spicy-sweet central phase (ginger, red pepper). Overall silky, balsamic, kind of “plushy”. Sweet, but sharp too in a way, as it’s (as most CdG’s) quite “modern” and artificial. A bit dull too, honestly, and therefore soon boring in my opinion, but I won’t say it’s unpleasant. Just too light, too bright, a bit uncreative perhaps, and too ephemeral.

    5,5-6/10

    13th December, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Undercover Holygrapie by Comme des Garçons

    Holygrapie opens as a creamy-green scent with bright floral notes (bit à la Wisteria by the same brand), slightly spicy too, fresh and crunchy with a general feel of synthetic and clean abstractness, well blended with a subtle musky “wet soil” base accord which “darkens” the scent, providing a sort of “humid concrete” feel on the very base (not sure what this may be due to, though – I guess styrax and woods). Apart from this gray shade, a “white” scent indeed. I also get the rhubarb note, kind of melting with the green notes. Then, after one hour or so, Holygrapie almost unexpectedly “opens” blossoming up in a brighter, minimal sort of powdery blend, sweet and slightly soapy, with sandalwood, ylang and orris root emerging. It becomes softer and sweeter than the initial stage, with pink nuances blending with white and grey. All still much clean and tamed down with a bold sort of “contemporary austere” feel, yet really nice. I enjoy the transition between the initial and quite sharp greenish-sour-crunchy accords to this second phase, much more on the silky-sweet side. I also quite like the fact this scent may appear almost dull or too light (well, it’s a bit light indeed...), while instead I find it clever and refined – just a “whispered” kind of refinement. Nice!

    7/10

    13th December, 2014

    Chanel1's avatar



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    Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

    I don't want to wear this. I might like it on someone else, but on me it's really strong, and it chokes me out. I don't really like it. When I bury my nose in it , I'm a little put off by the smell. It's edgy. In my collection, I have two scents that give me the effect that I like in this one: Platinum Egoiste and ADG Essenza. Those have a sharp edge to my nose, and they're plenty. Terre d'Hermes takes it to another level, and I personally do not want to go there.

    13th December, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Intrigant Patchouli 08 by Parfumerie Generale

    Intrigant Pachouli is a nice “dark” and mellow patchouli scent with a peculiar sort of “powdery dead flowers” feel all over, a vibrant romantic mood with a slight stale aftertaste – like a dusty, old pot-pourri of dry flowers. Actually there is no flowers apparently, but the feeling of a “ghost of a chypre” is quite there in my opinion, I guess due to musks and benzoin. On the base I even smell something similar to ambergris – that same salty-rooty-mineral organic note. The addition of ginger provides a nice touch of spicy sweetness, which blends perfectly with amber to “warm” up the scent. I don’t find this that “intrigant” to be honest, rather – and pleasantly – gloomy and nostalgic, with a palpable melancholic and neoclassic refinement. A sophisticated and clever harmony played around patchouli, dark yet sweet and cozy, an elegant souvenir of a powdery-earthy chypre – like smelling your old aunt’s scarf. As other reviewers already noticed, it surely has a nice “vintage” feel, yet not smelling like a plain ripoff of an older scent. Not a masterpiece, but really pleasant, clever and creative.

    7,5/10

    12th December, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Lauder for Men by Estée Lauder

    Lauder for Men is a quite “institutional” masculine fougère comprising herbal notes, dark woods, a heavy dose of oak moss, something camphoraceous (benzoin, I guess), a clean floral breeze of the usual “masculine” flowers (lavender, carnation) providing a pleasant barbershop feel. All over this blend, a pleasant and vibrant balsamic feel, really crisp and natural. This fragrance smells particularly well crafted and composed to me, a bit more than the “average” of this genre, mostly because it brilliantly comprises several nuances and shades, from floral notes to the dark woody-mossy base notes, passing through a sort of chypre structure evocating animalic nuances. It’s consistent and solid, yet more complex and vast than others. Extremely masculine (in a refined meaning, not a “macho” scent) and quite formal. Not the most distinctive scent of its era, as it reminds me of several other “virile” colognes (Aramis for instance, by the same brand) but a solid, compelling masculine classic for sure.

    7/10

    12th December, 2014

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    CiocoSpesizissIMO by Hilde Soliani Profumi

    Apparently, Hilde Soliani created this perfume to capture the scent memory of her grandmother’s homemade liqueur with notes of spices, basil, pepper, white and dark chocolate, tomato leaf and woody notes. It’s an interesting take on the chocolate theme, to be sure, because it introduces a fresh, herbal transparency to the mix, which serves to lighten the heft of the cocoa notes. The dark chocolate note starts out crisp and defined, like a square of thin, ultra-dark chocolate that breaks off from the rest of the bar with a pleasing snap. It is also spicy and peppery. Quickly, though, the green, herbal elements push through, which give the dark chocolate a minty feel. It’s kind of musky, dirty, and woody in feel: the chocolate element here is definitely not of the edible variety. I like its freshness, as well as its lack of literalism.

    Overall, though, I don’t find this fragrance to be particularly satisfying. One reason for this is that I find the mash-up between watery, green garden elements and the dark chocolate to be a dissonant pairing at heart – and it also ends up somewhere in the territory of mint ice-cream, which I am sure is not really what the perfumer intended (surely?). Also, the projection and longevity leave a lot to be desired. It is an ambitious scent, but it falls off a ledge somewhere after the first couple of hours and quietly dwindles into a musky skin presence that makes you yearn for the bold and unusual beginning to be replayed from the start.

    12th December, 2014

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Coco Blanc by House of Matriarch

    The notes for this read like a wet dream for any gourmand lover: Sandalwood absolute, massoia lactone, Hawaiian vanilla, chai spices, butter, special reserve vintage musk. But this is far from a simple, creamy gourmand, and in my opinion, takes a bit of time getting used to. On my skin, Coco Blanc opens with a piercing note of raw Massoia, in all its oily, wood-alcohol splendor. It is sharp, pungent, and rather hissy – almost like hairspray. Thankfully, the sharp oiliness dissipates rather quickly, leaving behind a creamy, buttery fug of Massoia lactones – all the shades of fig and coconut in the flavor rainbow. All in all, it’s an immensely cozy and inviting sort of smell.

    The top part – scads of dairy-rich elements such as butter, cream, and vanilla, plus the coconut notes – kind of smell like those Ferrero Rocher chocolates called Raffaello. In particular, the part past the desiccated coconut and the crisp shell where your teeth sink into the creamy white chocolate filling. Eating this filling always feels like eating pure, raw cocoa butter. It doesn't really taste of anything – it’s more of a texture than a taste.

    But what makes this a clever fragrance is the fact that this Raffaello sweet is nestled within a darker, muskier layer that gives it an altogether grown-up character. The musky, woody layer feels a bit dark and gritty to me, and so stops the fragrance from tipping too far into overly rich, dopey gourmand territory. In other words, it’s a proper perfume.

    I don’t pick up much chocolate here beyond the slight Raffaello connotation, but really, what is white chocolate except a waxy representation of milk and butter anyway? I sometimes eat the stuff, but I would be hard pressed to give you a description of what white chocolate actually tastes or smells like, beyond the general descriptor of ‘milky’. Towards the very end of the drydown, perhaps eight hours in, I do get what smells like a big old mug of hot milk, the kind you sipped as a child before bed. It is insanely comforting. For an all-natural perfume, Coco Blanc is very strong, and its longevity is incredible. I smell it on my scarves and coats for days afterwards. Out of all the chocolate perfumes I've been trying lately, this is by far the most arresting and accomplished.

    12th December, 2014

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Nerocacao by Zeromolecole

    Zeromolecule’s Nerocacao is not as full-on as Montale’s Chocolate Greedy, although it does contain a very similar chocolate-drinking-powder accord up front in the first hour or so, and also something of the chocolate (wheat) cookie note I found so prevailing in the Montale. However, the differences between the two of them become apparent very quickly. The Zeromolecule is at once far more gauzy and sheer than the Montale, and also far less literal in its take on chocolate, by which I mean, it smells more like a proper perfume and less like an actual foodstuff. There is a pleasant fruit note dancing around the edges during the first hour, which I really enjoyed – perhaps a hint of orange liquor and some juicy red berries? I don’t know – I don’t see these notes listed.

    This is all good, and at this stage, I’m inclined to give it to the Zeromolecule. However, on my skin, Nerocacao fell apart at the seams within the hour. All hints of dark chocolate drained away and what I was left with was a thin vanilla scent that has (distressing) notes of a heavy, cheap-ish coconut liquor, the type of monstrosity you bring out at Christmas for the elderly relatives in the hope that they will get merry and then leave you the hell alone. Imagine a festive, chocolate-flavored Malibu minus the pineapple, and you are almost there. Also, despite being an EDP, it has none of the richness and heft I would normally associate with this concentration. It is practically toilet water strength by the end of the fourth hour. I can’t believe I am saying this, but compared to Nerocacao, the Montale version is starting to look like a solid piece of work.

    12th December, 2014

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Private Collection - L'Ombre Fauve by Parfumerie Generale

    L’Ombre Fauve is one of my favorite perfumes in the world. It’s a relatively simple composition of amber, musk, patchouli, and incense, all of these notes present in more or less equal quantities, and blended seamlessly. In fact, it’s as if the musk, amber, and patchouli manifest themselves as gauzy, transparent shawls laid down one on top of another by such quick and able hands that you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.

    It never fails to amaze me, however, that such a seemingly simple composition can conjure up such a complex result. L’Ombre Fauve manages to transcend the sum of its rather mundane parts to become a manifestation of all of the ordinary little intimacies that make up a day in the life of a loving family.

    The opening, which is pleasantly musty, recalls the sourish tang of damp laundry left to molder overnight in the laundry basket. There is a salty edge to the powdery amber that is strongly reminiscent of the nape of a beloved husband’s neck at night – not properly sweated-through skin, but skin that has just taken on the necessary staleness of a long day and is somehow all the sweeter (to me) for it. There is also something of the sugary-sour tang of breast milk that has escaped a baby’s satisfied mouth and coagulated in the folds of her darling little neck. And of course, rather famously, L’Ombre Fauve smells like the belly fur of a well-loved of the family cat or dog.

    Whether you like L’Ombre Fauve or not will likely depend on your tolerance for the sweet, musty staleness that real intimacy - and especially that of a couple or of a family - has to offer. It has a lived-in skin feel to it that some may interpret as feline and sensual, and others simply as too much of the bestial. For me, personally, it is a comfort scent that simply mimics the best of the most ordinary but most intimate smells around me. I hope never to be without it.

    12th December, 2014

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Façonnable by Façonnable

    Faconnable by Faconnable is a lost in the memory gorgeous accord of standout mint-lavender, fresh citrus, musk and sharp floral notes. Distinguished and powerfully aromatic. Temperamental. Nice scent.

    12th December, 2014

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    KIÖRI by KIÖRI

    Kiori by Kiori is a perfect dark accord of vanilla, aromatic resins, realistic patchouli and sharp floral notes (rose/geranium I suppose). It seems (at least at the beginning) to be dealing with a sort of Etro Patchouly's new parfum version, just slightly less sharp, barely sweeter and more resinous-exotic. Also Guerlain Heritage jumps vaguely on mind for several of its elements (the spicy patchouli-vanilla accord for instance). There is something balsamic (minty) and resinous in the mix (cypress resins, ambergris and frankincense supposedly) while you can enjoy on skin (in a veritable oily format) one of the "less vanillic vanillas" of the olfactory panorama. A touch of hesperidic essence provides refinement while a musky and luxurious "cool" patchouli stands out in the mix as main olfactory theme. Aromatic waxy candels, relaxing oils therapies, high ceilings baroque rooms and luxurious ambiences of pleasure come on mind. Pure bliss.
    P.S: as soon as the evolution keeps sliding towards the dry down the aroma (patchouli in particular) becomes smoother and more musky vanillic (in a yet minty way) and I see paradoxically a great connection with the A*Men's bombastic vanillic-musky angular patchouli (in a less brash way). In this phase the perfume appears less decadent-baroque and far more modern.

    11th December, 2014 (Last Edited: 15th December, 2014)

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Hystera by Gabriella Chieffo

    The opening of Hystera is an ambroxan (or other ambroxide aromachemicals) galore with a bitter-roasted undertone, a subtle amber accord, green “dark” aromatic notes (sage, perhaps angelica or artemisia too), on a base comprising – to me – patchouli, woods (and ambroxan). It shows initially quite a similarity with some Tauer’s works, notably his “Tauerade” base accord of ambroxan and spices – same sort of synthetic, dusty, slightly smoked-dusty grayish feel, just perhaps greener and woodier here. After some 50-60 minutes it emerges a central dark earthy yet slightly floral note which kind of reminds me of rhubharb, taking Hystera far from Tauer and closer to works like L’art de la Guerre by Jovoy, and that type of “new fougères”. So, halfway that and L’air du désert marocain drydown. It shall contain iris too, but I don’t really get much of that – just perhaps get a generic, plain and quite dull powdery-sweet feel after a while. Mostly it’s all greenish-woodish ambroxan to me. The drydown is pretty much identical for hours, increasingly sour and rubbery. Bit boring, plain and dull, and quite trendy (also quite late, actually). Another “new Italian niche sensation” we didn’t really need. Meh...

    5/10

    11th December, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Explorer by Boadicea the Victorious

    Explorer by Boadicea is probably the nicest scent by this brand I’ve tested so far. It opens with a rubbery, dry, spicy and dark blend centered on sour woods (cedar, but really dry and gloomy), herbs, galbanum, austere resins and initially just a hint of labdanum. The texture is thin, leathery (no leather, though), somehow quiet but bold and threatening. The mood is refined and mysterious, fairly synthetic too but not (that) unpleasant, as it nicely recreates a sort of fascinating, nocturnal, silent and obscure “natural mood”, with nuances of aged wood, something salty-camphoraceous that reminds me of ambergris, dusty resins. In the middle stages it “warms up” a bit, and the orris root note emerges – fairly restrained and tamed down, well concealed behind the general austere darkness, but it’s there; almost not powdery at all (as you would expect instead), rather rooty-earthy and dusty, with a hint of amber too. Finally, a smoky, earthy, shy rose note emerges, quite a “masculine” rose despite being much subtle. Overall Explorer remains sour and dry in a way that becomes a bit boring after a while, but with a fascinating, sophisticated feel of austere darkness. Not saying it’s particularly good, but say: “not unpleasant”.

    6,5/10

    11th December, 2014

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    Braggi by Long Lost Perfume

    Braggi opens with a brief touch of bergamot citrus before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition reaches its early heart the bergamot completely vacates, as an ashy oakmoss and patchouli tandem asserts itself as the early star with natural smelling cedarwood joining mild herbs in support. As the composition makes its way through its middle, the herb-laced ashy oakmoss and patchouli tandem switches to a supporting position as rough leather emerges to take the fore. During the late dry-down the oakmoss regains its position as star, now sans patchouli with the cedar and leather now co-stars though the finish. Projection is average and longevity just shy of average at 6-7 hours on skin.

    Braggi has proved a very pleasant surprise. The limited amount of web-based information available on the long since discontinued relatively obscure composition is all over the map. Some say the composition resembles original Polo (the vintage good stuff), others say it is Aramis that the composition resembles and the two respective camps apparently think the others are nuts... In truth, I can smell a little of both of these benchmarks in Braggi. Early-on, the part of Polo that I could pick out was the ashy, dry tobacco-like aspect derived in Braggi from the oakmoss and patchouli in the early heart section. Then later-on, when the moderately rough leather comes out there is no denying the Aramis connection, though the leather in Braggi is a bit smoother, lighter and easier to wear. By the time the composition reaches its late dry-down it smells like neither, but the oakmoss and cedar-led finish is definitely not lacking in its charms, equaling the positive experience of the rest of the composition's great development. All-in-all Braggi was a blind buy that turned out a real winner. It is a darn shame this Charles Revson released composition (of Revlon fame) never reached the heights of success it deserved. The bottom line is the discontinued Braggi has prices all over the place on the aftermarket, but deals can be found under $50 for a 60ml vintage bottle if one looks hard enough. This composition may not be well-known, but there is no denying the "excellent" 4 star out of 5 rated Braggi really *should* be.

    11th December, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Wood & Spices by Montale

    There is something in Montale that fascinates me. It’s amazing how they ruthlessly bottle the worst “cheap-designer-in-disguise” scents in a niche dress, and manage to actually sell them. Some are actually decent, but most of them are just tacky cheap stuff. Still, they’re there, and they’re niche. However... Wood and Spices, friends, is their masterpiece – their “IgNobel” winning scent so far for me. Basically it smells exactly (I mean it: exactly) like those modern “aromatic fougères” cheapos, the woody-ozonic-spicy-fresh colognes like Ferrari scents, or Police. Completely, nauseatingly synthetic, flashy and tacky, despicably stuffed with metallic stuff and artificial “roundness”. Trust me, I am not being too grave or severe: it’s utter supermarket rubbish. Many niche fans want to smell expensive: Wood and Spices smells terribly *inexpensive*, instead. In perspective, I should raise my ratings of all other Montale’s, as this one is really the worst of them all. One of the worst scents I’ve ever tested.

    2/10

    11th December, 2014

    Chanel1's avatar



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    Momento by MiN New York

    From the MiN NY Scent Stories Volume 1 fragrances that I've tried, this one, Momento, plus Barrel and Dahab, are the safest bets for men.

    Momento has a typical-smelling, or familiar-smelling at least, aggressive/sharp powder smell. Someone said it smells like Pour Monsieur from Chanel, which makes sense/sounds right to me, and I also get a bubble gum note that I identified in the drydown. So the story is of me as a kid, chewing bubble gum, in the presence of a refined gentleman who smells fantastic. Or a refined woman, because I'm guessing plenty of women's fragrances use this familiar smelling aggressive powder note, and I would have smelled them as a kid.

    10th December, 2014 (Last Edited: 18th December, 2014)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Quorum Silver by Antonio Puig

    Quorum Silver is an extremely invigorating accord of spices, musk and woods. Incredibly aromatic....cool..... I read somewhere "a cedar bomb" but I would say better "a cardamom bomb" (anyway, also citrus and cedarwood are key notes). I detect indeed by soon liquid cardamom, ginger (a lot of), citrus (an orangy-lemony accord plus cinnamon), liquid synthetic incense (Iso E driven Incense complementing the cardamom), coriander, peppermint, musk and misty pepper. It's like to smell (for a while) a sort of Ted Lapidus Black Soul but without all that bombastic sweetly-synthetic balminess and with a fluidy woody-dusty-lemony sharper texture. In part also scents as Cartier Declaration and Terre d'Hermes jump on mind for several of their characteristics. The (yet minty-spicy aromatic) dry down is more woody, orangy and slightly vanillic but in a really moderate way. Really not bad.

    10th December, 2014 (Last Edited: 12th December, 2014)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Dunhill Black by Dunhill

    A yet tested soup (ozonic molecules, aromatic lavender, angular jasmine, vetiver and hyper dry cedarwood), namely something irony, crispy, somber, artificial and aquatic. Dunhill Black ideally sounds like a sort of mash up of Chanel Bleu, Obsession Night and Tonino Lamborghini Forza. Decently appointed but boring. Forgettable.

    10th December, 2014

    Chanel1's avatar



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    Barrel by MiN New York

    Big thumbs up for this one. I've tried seven of the other fragrances in this series of 11 Scent Stories from MiN, and this is the first one that has compelled me to post a thumbs up in the reviews.

    It reminds me of the sample of Paco Rabanne One Million Intense I tried recently, and I liked that one too, but Barrel is even better, and the base is sweet and delicious.

    10th December, 2014 (Last Edited: 09th December, 2014)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Sådanne by Slumberhouse

    Sadanne, at least theoretically, it's all I don't like about perfumery. It's a sweet fruity-floral bomb that could have easily fallen into juvenile *yummy* fragrances territories for girls who like to smell like a lollipop. As a matter of fact though, while being all of the above, it's none of the above at the same time. This was possible only thank to that genius of Josh Lobb.

    The fragrance opens with a juicy red-fruity note paired to some rose. It's tart and sweet at the same time and extremely radiating. The overall sweetness and candy-like aroma made me immediately think of gummy-bears but what actually saves this accord from precipice is the juxtaposition with a subtle yet remarkable animalic presence to which I like to refer to as *an actual bear*. The fragrance feels fizzy, vibrating and extremely alive while the red-floral parts merge with a darker and warmer base of incredible beauty and novelty. As in several other *Slumberhouses*, I still get distant echoes of the Lutens' typical syrupy texture but the ability of Josh Lobb's is to take the whole thing to a completely new level by skipping e certain heaviness which is typical of these kind of fragrances. A crazy composition that's both fascinating and wearable.

    Powerful, novel, funny and, in the end, extremely solid.

    Big thumbs up!

    09th December, 2014 (Last Edited: 10th December, 2014)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Heritage Blend by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

    Oh my God, this austere oudh (yes...thick, brown-dark, oily) is literally creamy, an incredibly smoky-mouldy-rubbery agarwood resin cream, finally purified and velvety. Really a "superb" fragrance. The "liquid" takes its long time to slide in precious drops from the sample glass to skin. By soon I catch the smoke, an incensey creamy smoke, typical of the really seasoned real oudhs. Simply heavenly under my "liturgical" nose. The rose is at this stage so far to be caught in the air, quite veiled by misty spices, resins, steam and leather (despite a soft Taif Rose's whiff seems to rise up from skin). The agarwood resin is of course by soon arousing such a rich congeries of kaleidoscopic nuances impossible to exhaustively render in vulgar words as the mine (yes, at the beginning you "see" old dark high ceilings rooms, old dusty "leather" books, massive ancient papers, old fornitures, stale aroma of fornitures brighting foams, boots polish, old leather sofà, carbon woods, stale pipe tobacco aroma, an hint of varnish and something turpenic). The spices (warm spices) play by soon a central role since those manage to round the smoke boasting it out paradoxically in a wearable and yummy way, so cozy and hypnotic. Gradually (frankly not before a couple of hours) the rose definitely emerges with its charge of romantic sophistication and botanic Victorian neutrality. Anyway, while the rose oil is basically accessorial in my opinion, the warm spices keep to be more essential (in particular saffron, black pepper and cloves, I suppose). It seems to detect traces of fir resins, suede and black musk too despite the mastering note is a veritable pure really aged oudh. The boots polish smoky-leathery vibe conjures me vaguely the By Kilian Pure Oudh's (rubbery-incensey) undertone but while the By Kilian's one is a raw (partially harsh and probably drier) moody stuff ASAQ Heritage Blend is pure creamy (slightly brighter at the end) silky bliss. Along the way the aroma becomes even more mild, sweetly spicy and wearable; in this phase it seems to detect soft balsams, cocoa, pipe tobacco, smooth sandalwood, floral nuances and warm resins (warm ambergris too). Perfect, finally smooth and really really sophisticated. An immensely evocative and "atmospherical" one this dark oudh is a pleasure to be enjoyed in solitude while drinking a peated whisky with the beloved on your side.
    P.S= the final wake is amazing, the woody-resinous/floral accord performs a sort of "red berry-like" effect.

    09th December, 2014

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