Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 140032

Patch Flash by Tauerville

Tauerville Patch Flash is a truly original take on a patchouli fragrance. This is no hippie patchouli as it is well blended with warm and smooth ingredients. The patchouli has a grassy aged old time patchouli aroma, noticeable mostly at the opening and this combines with dry spiced amber which contributes to a cool/warm chord combination that has nice depth but is also smooth almost like a polished leather. Reminds me slightly of LM Patchouli Boheme, but really this is a unique patchouli blend. The scent is agreeable to wear, mildly addictive and has me returning to my bottle for more wearing time. There is a bit of adventure in wearing something like this. The best flash yet from Taurville.
27th November, 2017

Paradise for Men by Alfred Sung

As with most of the "department store" fragrances I've purchased in the past, they seem to have more essential oil when these fragrances are initially launched. Once they move into obscurity, like this one, it seems the perfume companies start to back off on the amount of essential oil they include in the formulation. I remember this being quite a powerhouse and lasting all day on me (this is when the fragrance first came out and I purchased it at Dillards in Dallas, Texas). Now, after many years and purchasing it again at one of the perfume spots on the internet, it seems as they is any lasting essential oil in the formulation. They may have kept the name Paradise, but I believe they've skimped on the essential oil without telling us. The same thing occurred when Calvin Klein re-released Calvin for Men some years ago. I purchased a couple of bottles; however, it was NOT the same Calvin for Men that I remembered and it lasted less than 15 minutes, compared to all day with the original Calvin for Men. Suffice it to say, I returned them. I will return any and all fragrances that don't live up to the staying power that I remember. It seems nowadays you have to purchase an eau de parfum for them to have any lasting quality. However, when I recently purchase the eau de parfum concentration of Christian Dior's Eau Sauvage, I ended up sending that one back because it was definitely NOT an eau de parfum, but more of a skinscent which did not last more than 15 minutes! Even though the box says eau de parfum doesn't mean it's a lasting fragrance. Sometimes I think the perfume industry is pulling the wool over the eyes of those of us (and the public) by using less essential oil in their formulation. We DO, in fact, notice when the formulations have changed, and when they don't last on our skin/clothes like their former selves. A good example is Fred Hayman's Touch for men. The original had a black top with gold stripes, and the new version has a gold cap, although they are shaped the same. The original smelled like a classier and longer lasting version of Brut by Faberge. The new version with the SAME NAME smells nothing like Brut by Faberge but like some completely new animal! I think when they completely change the formulation, they need to change the name. I ordered Touch for Men thinking it was the original formulation, but ended up sending them back when I was disappointed to find it smelled nothing like the original! How sad that they do this without telling us. It's a waste of time and money having to send the product back because they marketed a totally different fragrance under the SAME name! I'm going to stop buying fragrances and just sticking with the tried and true ones that I KNOW will last long. I would say that most, if not ALL, of the Jacques Bogart fragrances are GREAT and last ALL DAY!!!
27th November, 2017

Hypnôse Homme by Lancôme

Had this a few years back... A green clean office or casual scent that I found rather meh.
27th November, 2017
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Lonestar Memories by Tauer

Ridden hard, dusty, trail weathered leather with a large dose of clary sage, cinnamon and cistus. Lonestar Memories is the predecessor to Lonesome Rider. I recently sampled LR and found it easy wearing and smooth, LM is hard and weathered by comparison. It's a very interesting, well executed concept that Andy Tauer deftly employs in both scents and they both are equally derivative of the other. For me LM is just not anything I could wear often and I much prefer LR over it. Powerhouse sillage and longevity. I'll give it a neutral, probably deserving of better.
27th November, 2017

Tiffany for Men Sport by Tiffany

Shopping, stroll, café.
Juniper, clean musks, a breeze
And Tiffany blue.
27th November, 2017

Elements of Man : Wisdom by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is a pleasant Vetiver scent. Even more surprising as its not listed in the ingredients. No one sells it online but Zegna in Sloane street London were very helpful and gave me some samples.
It is very linear with excellent projection and longevity. It is just like a lot of other good uncomplicated Vetiver scents although not quite as 'damp grass' as most of them which puts me off. It is quite inoffensive and my wife who has a sensitive nose really likes this on me. But I don't. It's not that masculine but not really feminine. It's rather dandy and or for the above 50s or even 60s but that's my opinion only.
It reminds me of a scented tissue wipe you may find in an old school 5 star hotel. Tasteful, restrained, but ultimately dated but it makes you smile due to its cosy honest predictability.
The closest comparator is Castle Forbes Special Reserve Vetiver (Brian from Executive Shaving actually sent me his own bottle to try!) but Zegna is slightly more restrained subtle and elegant.

For me 2.5/5 but higher if you like Vetiver.

Ask for Matthew in the Sloane Street branch of Zegna, he gave me 5 samples of the Elements and I will report on all of them.
26th November, 2017 (last edited: 27th November, 2017)

Elements of Man : Talent by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is a real disappointment.
It starts off surprisingly pleasant, citrusy yet not quite breaking through as such, peppery and spicy, in fact a lovely smell ultimately hard to place so intriguing and masculine and understated. Very classy. After about 45 minutes its starts shrinking into pepper and pachouli and increasingly strong cedar . I could not detect much Yuzu or black tea. If you like black tea then Mudrock's Black Tea is the best. (Not for me though).
Not much else to say except for it started annoying me so I washed it off.

I could not find samples online and Zegna customer service encouraged me to go to a store. Zegna on Sloane Street London specifically Matthew very helpfully gave me 5 sample bottles.

2/5 but 4/5 for 15 minutes.
26th November, 2017 (last edited: 27th November, 2017)

Satori by Parfum Satori

Very Japanese aesthetics. It is a quiet woody fragrance with elements of florals and spices. It also contains agarwood according to the company. Being a Japanese fragrance - where it is essential at all costs to not offend others - it is very subtle. It is well blended and rather beautiful though many would call it 'weak' I suppose. Unisex.
26th November, 2017 (last edited: 27th November, 2017)

Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's

Hammam Bouquet is a pioneering cornerstone in the crafting of male-specific fragrance, at a time when everything was either a parfum meant for a lady, or a light cologne water meant for everyone. Granted, important men of noble courts had long since commissioned perfumers to make them bespoke scents, and that is ironically how Penhaligon's next masculine scent, Blenheim Bouquet, would come to pass (until it too saw sale to the public later on), but in the 1800's there was very little documented masculine-only fragrance outside of this and the works of Ed Pinaud (now Clubman Pinaud), making this very significant indeed. Regardless of who what when, 1872 was a very very different time for men than even 1972, let alone today, and all perfumers were arguably "niche" since everything was on a much smaller and more personal scale back then. The very first sample of this upon an unprepared nose will reveal an entirely different concept of what suited a man's sensibilities, which is to be expected, and is vastly different than pretty much anything made in the 20th or 21st century. For starters this is primarily a skanky rose scent, since the idea of abstract fragrance wouldn't come around until Guerlain's Jicky a decade or so later, and the skank was probably the only way to "man it up". Just to think that rose was seen as the best choice for a man's toilet water in 1872 regardless of who is the perfumer nose making it is just mind blowing to me. William Penhaligon made this scent in dedication to the Hammam down the street from his first shop, where he used to be a barber for the bathers coming and going.

He had other formula ideas before creating this, that the modern company has since brought to life, but my guess is this was something he whipped up to apply on his clients after a cut or shave based on his experiences with the Turkish bath (or Hammam) down the street from his first shop. This stuff isn't very "barbershop" compared to Pinaud and other things made closer to the turn of the 20th century, but it's the distinction of his early works that earned Penhaligon his royal warrants as perfumer. Hammam Bouquet is a hallmark of the thinking found in it's era of creation: florals up front, woods and/or animalics in the back, and herbals or more florals in the heart notes to muddle them up. The only thing making this a masculine scent is the aforementioned skank and lack of any real sweetness, which results in that urine-like sharpness which seeks to emulate male sweat. This skank is a characteristic many folks find off-putting or attracting, and was probably perfected in execution with YSL's Kouros a whopping 109 years later. In this pioneering Victorian-era rendition of the "acrid scent of male", rose orris is introduced with very dry lavender and then pushed way up front, then dried some more with cedar until the classic basenotes of sandalwood, musk and ambergris lay it down to rest. The whole thing just screams of a classic dandy with flowers in their 19th century sartorial attire (usually a frock or morning coat depending on what end of the era we're on), a top hat, cane, and a detached emotionless gaze judging you by the grace of your walk and manner of speech.

I find this scent enjoyable in much the same way one would appreciate a classic aria or a traditional continental dinner, but in no way shape or form is this appropriate for anything besides 19th century reenactments or maybe (and this is a long maybe), an extremely formal evening where the modern equivalent to the attire I mentioned would be worn. This stuff is just so stiff and archaic that there's absolutely nothing relaxed about it, which is part of what I find amusing when wearing it. Also be warned that the stuff doesn't scrub off skin or clothes easily, so when you wear it, you're in for the long haul. Hammam Bouquet is such a time capsule that it's the Victorian period piece of men's fragrance, the real deal that all the new-generation hipster-targeted products wish they were, and a stoic exercise in the perseverance of fragrance history preservation that it's almost required academia to wear it once if not own a bottle. For the full effect, I suggest a nice brandy and a copy of Wuthering Heights under arm when wearing this scent. Conversely, you can try wearing it outside if you absolutely want alarmed stares from everyone. Either way, it's a beautiful history lesson in a bottle that has about as much practical use as a vintage show car in the garage.
26th November, 2017 (last edited: 27th November, 2017)

Credible by Louis Cardin

Seriously cardamom (the standout element imo) has not been listed? And what about juniper berries and cedarwood? It seems to detect huge watery spices, subtle aqueous floral elements (salty/green lotus?), pink berries, fruity red berries, green/musky notes, lemon/bergamot, oakmoss, ylang-ylang, something like rhubarb, may be hints of tonkinian balsams and something like ginger (hints of booziness, possibly gin?). Credible is a lovely (seriously lovely) un-original scent. I appreciate its dandy refined spicy/citrusy/greenish/musky tropical fresh neo-classicism but all I see is a sort of Cartier Declaration-Frapin L'Humaniste's oudish "tropical/fruity" twin (a succeeding formula). This juice could be a modern gentleman's secret (and Arabian Oud Gentleman's secret is another juice jumping conceptually on mind for its refined - vaguely barber-shop - accord of fluidy cardamom, cedarwood, citrus and ylang-ylang). Credible? I don't know but what does it matter? Lemon (a sort of spicy/musky/balmy lemon) is dominant for long. Something pungent, floral, super cardamomish and finally balmy/soapy lemony (a la Allure Homme Edition Blanche) brushes delicately your nose. May be salty vetiver enhances the general exoticism. Dry down is subtle, yacht-club for, yuppie, airy-mediterranean, secretly (remotely) salty-ozonic and eminently refined (a delicate touch of soapy spiciness for a perfect exotic gentleman in white linen and Panama hat). Finally I catch something vaguely earthy as undertone under my "moonshiny" nose. Nothing brand new or innovative but Credible definitely tickles my senses. Thumbs up.
26th November, 2017 (last edited: 27th November, 2017)

Eternity Now for Men by Calvin Klein

Candy sweet and kinda tropical fresh, but this is one of the most cloying fragrances I've tried if you use too many sprays, and by too many, I mean normal. I've tried this three times, twice with the normal 3-4 sprays I usually use and once with just a single spray. The two times with the normal amount proved to be headache-inducing while the single spray had me smelling my arm again and again because it was very pleasant.

Projection is good on my skin, which doesn't explain why it's so cloying. I guess it's just something about the scent. Longevity is good, 6-7 hours.
26th November, 2017

Copal Azur by Aedes de Venustas

I adore this perfume. It's one of the best incense perfumes that I know of. Luminous, bright opening with very crisp and clean incense! Good stuff!
26th November, 2017

Fetish pour Homme by Roja Dove

Resins. I like me some resins.

When I glimpse opinions on BelAmi, Puredistance M, Moschino pH, and Fetish pH (parfum) I always look to see if similarities among and between are noted for I like 'em all and definitely sense overlap.

Spice, leather, moss, amber, with resinous feel.

Moschino is closest to Fetish is closest to M is closest to BelAmi. This grouping is the absolute pinnacle. Sublime.
26th November, 2017
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Eau de Magnolia by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Lunch in the Garden BY Henri Lebasque
26th November, 2017

Dans Tes Bras by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Mother and Child by a Fountain Pablo Picasso 1901
26th November, 2017
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Brownie by Demeter Fragrance Library

The Brownie aroma is expressed really well for the first couple of hours, with the chocolate and the dough quite distinct and in-your-face convincing. This is the sort of approach that Demeter handles well.

The drydown sees a gradual fading of these typical components of the Brownie experience, which over time yield to a somewhat generic sweetish spiciness towards the end.

I get strong sillage, excellent projection and an overall longevity of seven hours on my skin - after liberal application that is.

Another convincing albeit linear and very blunt and straightforward product of Demeter’s gourmand laboratory kitchen. 3/5.
26th November, 2017

Bigelow Barber Cologne Elixir Black No. 1581 by C.O. Bigelow Apothecary

The faint but perfect
Shiny agarwood/oud note
Holds on like a champ.
26th November, 2017

Jeke by Slumberhouse

Jeke Slumberhouse "FREE THE KRAKEN!"

Kraken is sometimes mistaken for the Cetus of Greek mythology for being similar creatures. The stories of Krakens were founded, as were many other stories of fantastic beings, in a bad observation of the fauna, in the case of the Kraken probably in attacks of giant squids or colossal squids. A good example of this theory are the mermaids, whose heads are the visual records of dudongs and seals from afar, in fog.

The Kraken was a creature as feared by sailors as the fierce sea serpents.

outside that perfume is called the smoke monster, I fully agree.

WORD: Competence.

"Bonfire smoke crackling in a dark rainy forest, next to concentrated candy."

Slumberhouse's Josh Lobb is making a big fuss out there, putting a lot of niche in his pocket and standing out. Also, how can you make scents so original, with life and personality, coming from a perfumer that neither perfumer wants to be is at least great!
I thought Jeke would be hard, weird, repulsive ... Negative gentlemen!
Jeke is wonderful and very original but requires noses experienced in perfumes that impact the wearer in his first spray.
Sit down and talk!
Jeke opens on my skin with dried tobacco leaves with whiskey, giving a very bitter and dark tone extremely realistically leading you to a dark forest, with woods burned and wet potent and the smoke of the campfire in the foreground.In this phase I remember Interlude Amouage of which to me is an aromatic mess with no personality at all.Jeke is much more original, and the smoke from the fire continues for many hours! If you try hard you can hear the wood crackling in the fire! Jeke's high now is already completely sweet, smoky remembering me, the vibes of Tobacco Vanille, Herod etc.
Jeké is very original, but it's not for everyone, I do not know if you're going to like to smell the bonfire smoke crackling in a rain forest, next to concentrated sweets.

Jeke is a swirling bonfire, late in the afternoon, it burns endlessly, smoke literally.

Jeke is a dark black smoke, a black and white photo.
A forest at night, like a campfire flaring smoke at you literally.

4 Scrolls for strong noses!
26th November, 2017

Les Secrets de Sophie by Guerlain

Rich floral chypre
Ringing clear harmonies in
Sum golden ratio.

If loving so phi's
Golden relation chypre
B to sum the same

As lover to love
Then let me be A scoundrel
Loving her likewise.
26th November, 2017

CH Men by Carolina Herrera

Choco-norbacco cake with
Cherumoid is served.
26th November, 2017

Windsor pour Homme by English Laundry

This one is great. On the opening you get some sort of gourmand Spicebomb but more refined. The drydown was a real surprise as it smells 90% JPG Ultra Male. Great performance 12+ hours. Hidden gem for sure, i will rock this one a lot this winter.
25th November, 2017 (last edited: 27th November, 2017)

Rosarium by Angela Ciampagna

Dusky, a bit sweet. Wet cardboard (briefly) and then violet leaf. Not a green scent.
25th November, 2017

Vétiver Moloko by Ex Nihilo

This is a delightful, well-designed vetiver. It has a perfect balance between the dry, grassy vetiver and cypress notes and the softness of the milk and very slight sweetness of the vanilla. Normally I don't endorse vanilla, but it works very well here. In the early going, the creamy accord is almost like coconut milk, but that does not last long. The vetiver is very well done: earthy, grassy, root-like, with a slight smoky note in the dry-down. Wears well, has good longevity.
25th November, 2017

Givenchy Play Intense by Givenchy

It opens with a citrus scent then dries down into a gentle spiced coffee scent. I would not say it smells really like coffee. In fact I haven't find something smells like real coffee in perfumes. But Play Intense does evoke an image of bitter coffee. It somehow also has an incense-like smell. I find it not very sweet, and clean. It's a versatile fragrance, not cloying sweet for summer and spicy enough for winter, day and night, unisex as well. That said, it still has its caracter. Its sillage is moderate and the longevity 7h+ on me.

Originally written in 2013.
25th November, 2017

La Yuqawam Ambergris Showers by Rasasi

A unique middle east fragrance with European twists. A dark tarry leather note with a huge dose of dense mossy greens hugely inspired from the leather dna of Memo Paris. A sharp pinching herbal note from Iris joins the party pretty soon. The green galbanum settles down to help Iris show its sweet facets backed by a strange sweet chalky tobacco ash element ? Ambergris minus animalic aroma. The driest phase lasts very long with a soft sweet leathery iris. Highly polarising scent. Awkward constitution, strangely satisfying. Huge tenacity. 2 sprays on pleasant summer days is awesome. In winters pls refrain from overapplying.
25th November, 2017

Insurrection II Dark by Reyane

Reyane Tradition Insurrection II trilogy just arrived at my home yesterday, namely Pure, Wild, and Dark. I even ordered some of the Acqua di Parisis such as Musk Sultan, Oud Wild, and Oud Dark, but today I've chosen the Insurrection II Dark, and here you are my first impression.
To begin with, assuming that each scent reacts differently to different skin's types and that it might change from batch to batch, I don't know what other reviewers were on when they smelled this. Let me honestly tell you guys, this ain't anything like Vicktor&Rolf Spicebomb. I am the one who goes crazy for Spicebomb and any of its flankers, though I do not find a thing here that reminds me any of them.
This is its own unique smell. and I love this one... I mean, just because it doesn't smell like Spicebomb doesn't mean it isn't good, this is a fantastic cold weather fragrance, absolutely stunning.
Rather, what I get from this is that it's uncannily similar to Insurrection Pure II (the Aventus clone) without the citrus and with some cherry accords that are pretty bland. No spices, none of the cinnamon, or citrus sweetness from Spicebomb, but plenty of pineapples.

That being said, I seem Insurrection II Dark to be a masculine sweet spicy fragrance with its own unique sense of style that's incomparable to Spicebomb. The two are truly nothing alike, and Insurrection II Dark projects very strongly as its own fragrance. It opens up with a slight pineapple top note like Insurrection II Pure, yet is quickly enveloped by this deep and mysterious mixture of sweet and spicy masculine notes. The sweet and spicy presence is heavily tamed by the presence of what seems to be cured leather. This note is actually hard to distinguish as leather, but it adds the same kind of heaviness to the body of the fragrance as some leather accords do. The presence is somewhat mellow and smooth, a modern suede leather, and possesses this distinct tinge to it, that further suggests some type of polished refinement. If it is a leather accord, it's definitely a leather that's undergone some kind of special treatment or process. Of course, I love it.
On the top of this base presence, is a very complex of accord of what seems to be dried fruits and bakery spices. I get diverse fruit-like presence, red fruits like cherries, but the tone is deep and dark, and pebbly. The bakery spices are genuinely sweet, and there is some dynamic stimulation to them. If I had to guess the accord, I would say a tad of cinnamon, mace, pepper—and maybe coriander and cardamom, just a little bit of each.

For anyone who would like to experience something totally new, Insurrection II Dark is definitely something you want to check out. It's unlike anything I've experienced before, and definitely has its very own sense of style and class. I insist, to my nose, there is much in common with Aventus than Spicebomb.

We are in late autumn now, cold and wet weather, and Insurrection II Dark has the right warmness and spiciness for facing both daily autumn and winter morning and early afternoon.

Last but not least, I really do not understand how Reyane Tradition can sell these beauties in marvellous boxes that open like mysterious books, the bottles are so damn amazing and the sprayers are wonderful... and the juices inside are so amusing, strong and longlasting for just less than 3 sawbuck!
25th November, 2017

Cuir Tabac by David Jourquin

I had thought in the early stages of Cuir Tabac that I would be giving a negative rating, for its unexceptional development and overall clunkiness. However I have to admit that over the course of the day is has grown on me, and the drydown has revealed a much better quality than the frankly cheap-seeming opening did. Not sure I will end up buying this, but the competitors that come to mind in the winter scent slot are not quite up this standard.

So what's changed my mind? Probably the tobacco accord, which I find better delivered than in other, comparable fragrances. There is little leather to speak of, and the space is filled by something akin to cocoa and/or vanilla. Patchouli provides a touch of spice and structure. There is also something resinous and oddly fresh about the whole. In short, when reduced to the backbone, CT performs nicely and ends up supporting the main actor in a well balanced way with a decent cast list. Shame they couldn't find the script to start with.

I would suggest trying as a winter scent if you like tobacco scents, and have the money and patience to give it a full try. (Note: available as an extrait only on the Jourquin web site at the moment; samples are expensive to my eyes.)
25th November, 2017

Mitsouko by Guerlain

What wondrous story
Making past seem like present
Stirs in your bottle?
25th November, 2017

Pour Un Homme by Caron

Pour un Homme is an oddity for the modern world, but back in 1934 it was cutting-edge masculinity in eau de toilettes for the guy ready to step out into the night. You have to understand that men wanting to smell good had few options outside of English barbershop tropes, bay rum, or eau de colognes which were the go-to for over century. Guerlain and D'orsay made strides in France with early 20th century efforts, but that was pretty much it outside of the new American aftershaves or what the British were doing (Alfred Dunhill also launched this year). Pour un Homme took the already-popular lavender accord that guys enjoyed and gussied it up with some richness reserved for femme fragrances at the time, which was rather controversial since guys wore lighter stuff and women wore spicier scents, a dynamic that would hilariously reverse itself by the 1970's. This fresh-meets-decadent mixture still baffles people to this day, but more so because the combination of lavender and vanilla are more ossociated with deodorizer than personal fragrance.

All that lush and florid lavender isn't alone up there in the opening, and has a supporting cast of rosemary, bergamot, and lemon that you'll barely notice. The woods and florals middle section is nearly a connective tissue to deliver the top into a bed of musky vanilla, with also-imperceptible moss and tonka as anchors. I kind of liken Alfred Dunhill to a 30's jazz lounge due to it's earthy honey and leather, recalling cigar smoke, so Pour un Homme would definitely be the fancy uptown opera house with it's expensive champagne and finger food served by butlers between shows. This day and age proves lavender and vanilla to be calming aroma therapy, so this can pull double-duty as stress relief on a busy day. Who knew back in 1934! Wearing this as a day-long scent in the 21st century will yield similarly disparate results: folks unfamiliar with lavender (or fragrance) will assume you applied some Frebreeze or AirWick in desperation, while others slightly savvier will lavish you with compliments on how nice you smell. This one has also unintentionally moved towards unisex due to the now-universal appeal of lavender, even if it's title ostensibly advertises that it's "For a Man by Caron" (loose translation).

Overall, Ernest Daltroff (founder and initial perfumer for the house of Caron) was doing something he probably felt was safe from a perfumer's standpoint, since European guys often wore just strait-lavender unisex fragrances in those days (like Atkinson's or the sadly long-gone Yardley's that only lives on in soap form), but upon completion proved to be far more gender-neutral than he anticipated. To the modern nose this can only be a good thing, as the more people who can enjoy a product the better, plus the sexual liberation and togetherness implied by a unisex fragrance is always welcome in a new age of gender identities and self-discovery (at least in the western world) that's been a long time coming. Older and less open-minded guys used to say this stuff is the "providence of dandies, whoopsies and the like", which maybe they were right, but for somebody like me, makes this more attractive rather than something to steer clear of, since my tastes in romance partners also does not abide clear-cut lines either, but I digress. Simply put, if you love lavender and vanilla, this is for you, period.
25th November, 2017

Jungle L'Éléphant by Kenzo

If three wrong spices
Don't make an amazing scent,
Try four, five or six.

"What is it?" they cried.
"I know not", I told the men,
"But it rules this place."

And thus Queen Fan'ti
Welcomed my admiration
In lieu of my love.

25th November, 2017