Round One results are in. Again, here's the scoring system:
Each fragrance will be worn, and then given a score out of a possible 40.
Broken down as follows:
Projection and Longevity: 5
Wife's Opinion: 5
Intrigue basically refers to the interest a fragrance holds; is it hard to pin down; is it an accord I've never experienced; does it develop in unusual or unpredictable ways; etc.
In the preliminary round, all frags were sampled on paper. Now, in the Bracket Tournament, everything is being tested on skin. It makes a huge difference, and some fragrances that I loved on paper, aren't performing as well on skin, and vice versa.I still don't know the names of any of these fragrances. Only the contestants do. And it's drving me CRAZY!
But I've decided to keep it real, and not even take as much as a peek until the entire thing's over. Still, it's very annoying.
Now that Round One is over, I'd say there's about 3 or 4 fragrances I really like, 3 I'm pretty sure won't do much, and a couple that have to potential to really make an impression in Round 2.
In Round 2 I'm taking on the Malcom Gladwell "Blink" theory and simply making a quick, gut-based decision to determine who wins. No scores, no in-depth analysis. All that's going out the window. The complete opposite of Round One (which has been TEDIOUS, to say the least). I'm exhausted.Anyway, here's the Round One Bracket Results:http://tinyurl.com/buo4n43WAIT! THIS LINK'S EVEN BETTER. IT'S EASIER TO READ: http://tinyurl.com/dxd4dqu
If you're a contestant, you can take a look and see how you're doing. Do you still have a chance? Are you a goner? If you're not a contestant, you can take a look anyway, and see who's kicking whose ass, and how crazy it was that Memoir Man got knocked out by a relatively unknown, small-scale nichester.Round One Matchups and Results#5 vs #13:
Final Score: 28 to 24.5: Winner = #5
The middle stage of #5 really shines, it's a sweet, spicy wood with notes of plum, coffee and some booziness, dries down into a sweet amber skin scent with a touch of coffee. Good projection and longevity. I found this one a little stuffy when I tested it on paper but it really opened up on my skin. The amaretto-coffee accord really adds to it.
#13....Ah, Memoir Man (I'm positive this has to be Memoir Man even though I haven't looked). What a disappointment! I had assumed MM would make it to the finals. Here's the problem: The wet, sweet, herbal spearmint in the opening just goes on and on for way too long. I like it for the first 15 minutes to half hour but it lasts at least an hour and a half to two hours on me, and it gets sickening. By then a soft, ashy incense mid kicks in and blends with the mint, but there's nothing spectacular about it to me. It's very authentic, but a little too one dimensional and quiet. I DO like the base, when some vanilla enters, I find it really nice. I hesitate to knock this out so early, because I've heard such great things about it, and I'm concerned it hasn't gotten a fair shake, but the bottom line is, #5 (whatever it is) just performed better.
Wife's Opinion: 4
Overall: 24.5/40#10 vs. #11
Final Score: 23 to 22: Winner: #10
#10: A great scent for classy hippies! The chocolate, patchouli, cannabis, vanilla and general earthiness of this fragrance works well. I like it, but I'm not sure if it's for me. The patchouli is very thick in the middle stage--too thick for me! Still, I can't deny its quality. Fairly simple fragrance despite a decent amount of notes. I like that I can tell the notes apart in this one, and that it's not one jumbled mess. It's kind of heavy.
#11: Huge blast of alcohol in the top, lots of spicy tobacco, a good amount of funky skank and amber. I HATE scents like this--they smell dirty to me--the sour skankiness ruins it and while some people enjoy this, I definitely do not. Still, it got a decent score in the end, but there's not point to push it through to the next round. The amber dry down is nice, but it takes hours of torture to get there.Score Breakdown:
Wife: 1 (she hated this!)
Intrigue: 3 (I think LIDGE does the cocoa/patchouli thing much better)
Wife: 1 (she hated this one even more!)
Versatility: 2 (Other than orgies and dog fights I can't see where I'd wear this.)
Intrigue: 3 (It changes a lot, which is interesting, but I dislike 70% of this scent).
Overall: 22/40#2 vs. #1
29.5 to 21.5 Winner: #2
#2: Seemed more nuanced on paper...This one smells GREAT but it is just a little too subdued, I wish it were stronger. Smells like a freshly baked gingerbread cookie without all the negative qualities of your typical gourmand (heavy, cloying, too "foody", lack of refinement, etc).
#1: Liked it on paper, but on my skin it's just boring. A bland citrus with some leather or something...I don't know. It got annoying the longer it lingered on my skin. I wore it out to a party and kind of regretted it. Blah.Score Breakdown:
Opening: 4.5 (i love it!)
Mid: 8.0 (smells FANTASTIC...wish it were stronger)
Overall: 21.5/40#9 vs. #3
29.5 to 19 (A Blowout!) Winner: #9
#9: I was very, very surprised and intrigued by #9 this time around. This dry chocolate note transitions into a strange woody smell--it's like licorice and oud, a little on the spicy side. The strength of this fragrances increases over time and it becomes kind of soapy and clean. Has a discernible masculinity to it. Clean woody soapy scent with a touch of dry cocoa.
#3: I can't get over the strange pear/apple fruity note that combines with this damp, vegetal smell that borders on musty (in the opening). The mid's my favorite part as it smells very similar to Guerlain Homme L'Eau (one of my favorites!), with a distinct minty citrus. Still, it lacks the crisp, fresh sparkling quality of Homme L'Eau--it's not as alive and bright--so it's just okay.Score Breakdown:
Overall: 19/40#12 vs. #8
27.5 to N/A[B]Winner: #12[B]
#12: ALL AMBER up top. Reminds me of a more powdery Blue Amber by Montale. Halfway through and things get a little rough and dirty--but in a good way. It develops this crusty smell that's kind of like how skin smells after it's been licked. Then it gets musky, and the amber dries out...finally the drydown is soft and and sweet and musky. Very cozy.
#8: I'm not bothering to score this. It's a cheap, soul-less version of Terre D'Hermes. Nothing worthwhile.Score Breakdown:
Overall: 27.5/40#6 vs. #15
Score: 29.5 to 20.5 Winner: #6
#6: This IS Montale's Blue Amber but better. Clear, translucent amber. A beautiful use of negative space. Refined. Well-calibrated. Even if this one doesn't win in the end, I will probably get it. It's the perfect amber fragrance.
#15: Tart fruit and some florals over very dry, smoky, ashy incense. So ashy, so smoky (like cigarettes, almost) and very dry. Interesting, but I really don't like this and would never want to smell like it. There's a lot going on, and it's pretty strong, but it doesn't matter if you don't like it. If someone is going for fruit and flowers over bone dry ashy incense, look no further, this is your holy grail.
Overall: 20.5/40#16 vs. #7
Score: 19.5 to 28.5 Winner: #7
#16: It's musty and minty. If you took Skittles and Mint and wrapped it in a wet rag and stuffed it in the basement of a shoe store next to a shipment of shoe polish it might smell like this. That's a little dramatic, but it kind of smells like all that stuff. This scent is depressing--not in a pensive, introspective, melancholy kind of way--it's just dragging, and heavy and plodding. Sort of gloomy. No me gusta!
#7: I like this. And I think I'd like it the more and more I wore it. The opening is a little sharp and astringent, but it gets cool and comfortable quickly. Doesn't remind me of Uomo as much this time around on my skin. The mint note is great, in that it's almost undetectable as mint, and instead works to provide a very cool breeze texture to the composition. I would describe this fragrance as an accord--very well blended and hard to distinguish individual notes. Interestingly, this warms up as it dries down and this is a marked contrast from the opening and mid.Score Breakdown:
Vers: 3 (great for wakes, funerals, and sitting shiva!)
Overall: 28.5/40#4 vs. #14
Score: 22.5 to 23.5 Winner: #14
#4: This is the most frustrating fragrance of the tournament. It smells great, and features a superb balance of cumin (or cardamom and coriander), pink pepper, and amber. But it is just SOOO WEAK! I felt bad eliminating this, but it just did not deliver at all in the projection/longevity category--to the extent where it actually impeded the various stages of the fragrance.
#14: The opening is like beautiful spring flowers marked by fresh citrus which all dry down into this creamy, vanilla-lemon "Allure Edition Blanche" base. This could be an excellent Spring/Summer fragrance, and I'm dying to know what it is. Different than anything else in the tournament, and definitely geared toward the warmer half of the year--it has "Spring" written all over it.
Opening: 4.5 (would be 5 if it was stronger)
Wife: 1 (maybe she was in a bad mood? I don't know!)
ROUND TWO SCORES UP WITHIN THE WEEK. STAY TUNED!