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  1. #1

    Default C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Finally got my decants today (thanks again rjrober22) and I have to say that these scents are truly acquired tastes IMO. My first impressions...

    Czech & Speak No. 88 - To me it smells just like lemon Pledge. I'm still waiting for the drydown, but all I get so far from it is a synthetic lemon note. It reminds me of one of those air fresheners that you spray as a room deodorizer. It projects quite well as I can smell on my wrist as I'm typing this.

    Passage d'Enfer - I definitely get the incense note in this one. Like many have already said, it smells like a Catholic church. It also smells like a Buddhist temple if you've ever passed by one. I get a strong floral note in it that reminds me of the jasmine flowers that I have in my back yard. It stays rather close to the skin and I'm not sure on longevity yet.

    Bond No. 9 New Haarlem - This one is incredible. It smells exactly like the Starbucks Coffee shop I used to work at. Fresh roasted coffee beans with a touch of sweetness. Perhaps it's a little too realistic. I can definitely see this one being easily overapplied. I thought A*men was strong. New Haarlem is a lot thicker and heavier to my nose, although not as sweet. Some have described this as smelling like chocolate, but it's more of a bitter dark chocolate rather than sweet milk chocolate. If you're looking for a coffee scent, this is the benchmark to compare everything else to IMO.

    These are all scents that need some time before I "get" them. I wouldn't recommend buying blind because I consider them love/hate scents where you either like them or you don't. Out of all these, I can only see myself wearing New Haarlem although I can't think of many times when I would wear it. Feel free to comment.

  2. #2

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    I am afraid I don't concur with your analysis of No.88, could you no detect the rose note? I am asking this because it is quite prominent.
    Let your nose be your pilot

  3. #3

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Quote Originally Posted by magnnum
    I am afraid I don't concur with your analysis of No.88, could you no detect the rose note? I am asking this because it is quite prominent.
    I'm barely getting the rose note while the lemon is beginning to subside.
    For some reason I also get some lavender too. I admit it's not as harsh/sharp during the drydown. It's getting better.

  4. #4

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    I can smell the sharp lemon note in the top of No.88, but what is more prominent there is rose of Otto (Damask rose), same kind fo roses used in Hammam's Bouquet (Penhaligon). To me, damask roses are a little dask and has too civet-like and kind of animalic-feminine. The spicey-smokey-soapy base, in combination with this wet roses, really makes me disoriented, wondering "So, where are you really going?" *:-? We can call it "mysterious" or "unique", but I personally do not care of it. Smells as if I had just washed my hands with a bar of 100-year-old rose soap in a package with some gothic drawings on it or something. If I wanted lemons, I would go for something like Eau d'Hadrien. And if I needed roses, I would love rose de Mai (as opposed to damask roses) in something like Une Rose (Malle), which is a very straightforward and cheerful unisex rose.

    VV

  5. #5

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    To me the rose in 88 is what is dominant. I don't get much lemon at all.. and that rose note just WON'T let go so I can enjoy the rest of it. I find that if I only spray a small amount and use the 'walk into it' technique I can enjoy its delicacies better.

    Same with the Haarlem. One of my favorites but I only spray once and that is all I need....if I spray too much I don't get to the sophisitacted drydown I so enjoy in it.

    I agree on Enfer. I only wish the florals stuck around longer. What starts out as so enjoyable gets just 'odd' on me quite fast. I swapped out my Enfer as I couldn't see myself wearing it ever. I plan on wearing Haarlem a lot when we get our cold weather here.

  6. #6

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...


    Quote Originally Posted by teflondog
    Czech & Speak No. 88 - To me it smells just like lemon Pledge. I'm still waiting for the drydown, but all I get so far from it is a synthetic lemon note. It reminds me of one of those air fresheners that you spray as a room deodorizer.
    My friend and much respected fellow Basenoter teflondog,

    I am sure you know that I have made no secret of the high regard in which I hold Czech & Speake *No. 88*, and Iíll be the first to admit that itís not an easy fragrance to get and to like straight away. I didnít take to it straight away myself.

    Therefore, it disturbs my very much my friend, when you claim that *No. 88* smells like Lemon Pledge. That's like giving somebody a fine glass of wine or a cup of freshly ground, freshly brewed gourmet coffee and asking them what they think of it only to have them say it tastes "strong." Okay, it tastes "strong", or okay *No. 88* smells like Lemon Pledge. Were do we go from there?

    Along with magnnum, I am surprised that you didn't smell the rose and the sandalwood in this fragrance. Incidentally, what you're smelling is not Lemon Pledge, it's actually the bergamot in the top notes which disappears fairly quickly and leaves behind a very prominent rose sandalwood based accord. Bergamot and Lemon Pledge only smell like each other in the most tangential of ways. They both share a citrus note component. In the former it's natural, the latter it's artificial. These two citrus components are vastly different.

    If one wants to know what bergamot smells like one can always get the essential oil and sample it many times to get a scent memory of it, but thatís only the first step because every time bergamot is used in a fragrance itís modified by its blending with the other ingredients. If one gets a sample of The Different Company's *The Divine Bergamote*, one can see bergamot in itís most pure form. If you want to see it modified, do a comparison sampling of *The Divine Bergamote* and *Eau Sauvage*, and youíll also detect it in the top notes of *Eau Sauvage* and indeed in about 50% of all menís fragrances.

    What surprises me is that this is not the first time I've heard *No. 88* compared to Lemon Pledge. When confronted with something strange--and *No. 88* certainly is a strange, unique fragrance, witness DustB's/Chris's inspired full-essay reaction to it posted in a recent thread on *No. 88*--most people's reaction is, usually, to retreat to something familiar to explain that strangeness. I think that's what's happening here.

    I would hope, however, that the end of all our exploration, here at Basenotes, is not to return to the familiar, but to come to a greater understanding of the whole.

    To quote T. S. Eliot:

    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And to know the place for the first time.

    Teflondog, I hope my gentle admonitions will be taken in the right spirit. My only defense if I have offend you is that we should always defend those things we love dearly.

    Respectfully,

    scentemental




  7. #7

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    My friends and respected Basenoters ::

    If a reviewer suggests C&S 88 is reminiscent of "Lemon Pledge", but instead the frag is composed of Bergamot, or some synthetic derivation thereof, does that make the reviewer wrong for raising the comparison?

    "No" would be my short answer. *But hey, I was the same guy who said last nite that A&F Woods reminded me of what my grandpa wore. *If I could go back in time, and identify what he actually wore, I'm sure I could be "gently admonished" as to the flaws in my evaluation.

    Sorry, perhaps I read this last post the wrong way, but it struck me as rather condescending.

    BTW, Teflondog....in my humble opinion, your assessment of New Haarlem is spot on!

    Cheers,
    Jim


  8. #8

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Jim,

    I'm not out to win any popularity contests, but condescension, certainly not. I took 45 mins. to write what I wrote because I've been following teflondog's posts since he started posting and I think he's a a valuable and thoughtful person to have on the board. Whenever I condescend to someone, my usual attitude is silent indifference.

    Of course, whenever one speaks one's mind, there's always the chance of being misconstrued.

    I'll stand by my posts, their tone (even when it's misconstrued), and their content. Whenever I post, I try to have something to say, something informative; otherwise, I don't usually post. That's my my modus operandi. It's a free and open board. People are welcome to say whatever they want, and anyone is welcome to engage them if they want. That's what I thought I was doing.

    I don't see how it's condescending to someone to say as gently as I could about a fragrance I care a lot about, "hey come on, I know there's more that can be said about this scent than what you've said, let me explain why."

    But, hey, if you think I've been condescending, that's fine. Like I said, I'm not out to win any popularity contests.

    scentemental




  9. #9

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...


    I thought Scentemental's post was educational and engaging rather than condescending. And it expands on some thoughts I had the other night...
    A couple nights ago I brought home some essential oils for our difuser, and fired up a really nice (to me) mix of bergamot and lavender. My wife, who is usually determindly neutral about fragrances and finds my hobby strange, stated that I had made the house smell like "Lysol or something". I thought this was so odd, but I think her response was quite in line with what Scentemental was saying. My wife is fairly unfamiliar with bergamot as a note, found it strange, and associated it somehow with a scent she is familiar with.
    So we added some vanilla, and the whole tone of the fragrance changed. The bergamot note was still quite present, but the drop of vanilla had changed its character tremendously. And this is generally my experience with bergamot; sometimes I love it and sometimes it can be too much. It took me a while to learn to destinguish the difference between bergamot and citrus ...sometimes I still get confused by them.
    For the record, C&S#88 is still on my "to try"list...
    Thanks.
    Slim
    Haikus are easy
    But do not always make sense
    Refrigerator

    ____________________________________________
    My swaps and sales are now listed here:
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=124

    And here (just search for Slim):
    http://scentsplits.wikidot.com/current-splits

  10. #10

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental
    Of course, whenever one speaks one's mind, there's always the chance of being misconstrued.
    No doubt

    It's a free and open board. People are welcome to say whatever they want, and anyone is welcome to engage them if they want.....
    Couldn't agree more. *That's the beauty of this place, isn't it?

    But, hey, if you think I've been condescending, that's fine. Like I said, I'm not out to win any popularity contests.
    Perhaps it was the day I had today.....a day of one lecture after another. *Perhaps I was overly sensitized.

    All the best
    Jim

  11. #11

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    SlimPickins,

    I wish I could have made my point as clearly as you just did. I thank you for understanding that aspect of my post. I'm much obliged.

    Jim, thank you for your graciousness. Certainly, all the best from me too.

    Finally, for you teflondog when you read this thread. I apologize in advance if in any way you feel that I condescended to you, and I will be happy to modify my post in order that you don't feel condescended to. I'd also be happy to continue the conversation about *No.88* with you offline. When I first tried it, all I could say about it was that it had a strange soapy quality to it.

    Best regards,

    /me



  12. #12

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    My fellow Basenoter Scentemental, I'm in no way offended by your post. I didn't see it as condescending but rather thoughtful. I should be the one to apologize if I've offended you in any way. I did not mean to criticize a scent you cherish. I was just posting my first impressions of No. 88 which to me literally smelled like lemon pledge. I was not being sarcastic or demeaning. My olfactory senses just made an immediate connection between the two familiar smells. A lot of my current favorites are scents that I initially disliked but grew to love.

    I agree that the quality of No. 88 is above par and the true beauty of it lies in the drydown. If you read my second post I stated that as the topnotes begin to subside, the floral note reveals itself. I also think that my skin chemistry plays an important role because I asked my girlfriend to spray some on her wrist and the rose was much more dominant on her. I have hyperhydrosis and acidic sweat which both have the tendency to turn certain scents sour.

    I appreciate the thought you put into your post and as a relatively new Basenoter, I hope to learn a lot more about fragrance in the future. I thank everyone who posted their opinions and comments, which was the whole point of this thread. I've acquired more than half of what I know about scents from this wonderful forum. Cheers to all.

  13. #13

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Quote Originally Posted by teflondog
    My fellow Basenoter Scentemental, I'm in no way offended by your post. I didn't see it as condescending but rather thoughtful. I should be the one to apologize if I've offended you in any way. I did not mean to criticize a scent you cherish. I was just posting my first impressions of No. 88 which to me literally smelled like lemon pledge. I was not being sarcastic or demeaning. My olfactory senses just made an immediate connection between the two familiar smells. A lot of my current favorites are scents that I initially disliked but grew to love.

    I agree that the quality of No. 88 is above par and the true beauty of it lies in the drydown. If you read my second post I stated that as the topnotes begin to subside, the floral note reveals itself. I also think that my skin chemistry plays an important role because I asked my girlfriend to spray some on her wrist and the rose was much more dominant on her. I have hyperhydrosis and acidic sweat which both have the tendency to turn certain scents sour.

    I appreciate the thought you put into your post and as a relatively new Basenoter, I hope to learn a lot more about fragrance in the future. I thank everyone who posted their opinions and comments, which was the whole point of this thread. I've acquired more than half of what I know about scents from this wonderful forum. Cheers to all.

    Spoken like a true gentleman.

    Best wishes to you teflondog; your are, indeed, a true asset to this board.


    /me


  14. #14

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    I actually didn't see anything wrong with comparing it to lemon pledge....after all we're all limited in our reviews to our experiences, and Lemon Pledge is one of the predominant things that use lemon and therefore will cause comparisons. I still have yet to try C&S 88 and is on my short list of things to give a go to as a lot of the heavy hitters on this board adore it. Thanks to everyone for having a disagreement that stayed civilized (not that I expected anything different from both esteemed members)

  15. #15

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Yeah. *besides, if you really want to smell lemon Pledge try Hermes Eau D'Orange Verte!

    Try layering it wish Odeur 71, and it takes the "dust right off the lightbulb"

    Seriously!



  16. #16

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental
    [quote author=teflondog link=1129332660/0#11 date=1129348630]My fellow Basenoter Scentemental, I'm in no way offended by your post. I didn't see it as condescending but rather thoughtful. I should be the one to apologize if I've offended you in any way. I did not mean to criticize a scent you cherish. I was just posting my first impressions of No. 88 which to me literally smelled like lemon pledge. I was not being sarcastic or demeaning. My olfactory senses just made an immediate connection between the two familiar smells. A lot of my current favorites are scents that I initially disliked but grew to love.

    I agree that the quality of No. 88 is above par and the true beauty of it lies in the drydown. If you read my second post I stated that as the topnotes begin to subside, the floral note reveals itself. I also think that my skin chemistry plays an important role because I asked my girlfriend to spray some on her wrist and the rose was much more dominant on her. I have hyperhydrosis and acidic sweat which both have the tendency to turn certain scents sour.

    I appreciate the thought you put into your post and as a relatively new Basenoter, I hope to learn a lot more about fragrance in the future. I thank everyone who posted their opinions and comments, which was the whole point of this thread. I've acquired more than half of what I know about scents from this wonderful forum. Cheers to all. *

    Spoken like a true gentleman.

    Best wishes to you teflondog; your are, indeed, a true asset to this board.


    /me

    [/quote]

    You are both true gentlemen & I am so glad the discussion was civilized.

    I've always maintained that it is the very complex nature of fragrances such as No.88 that makes one fall deeply in love with them, I admit they can be hard work to start with, but once you persevere, the reward is boundless. *I think the reason you may have associated your initial whiff with lemon pledge, is due to the unusual nature of the fragrance, it is only human nature to associate a new smell with a past experience, Teflon you are truly courageous in sampling this oddity, please persevere...

    Try sampling No.88 over & over again and then try and re-assess the situation, you might just discover that you are beginning to like it.
    Let your nose be your pilot

  17. #17

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Quote Originally Posted by magnnum
    I've always maintained that it is the very complex nature of fragrances such as No.88 that makes one fall deeply in love with them, I admit they can be hard work to start with, but once you persevere, the reward is boundless. *
    I've tried that with women. Trust me. It doesn't work. Can't force yourself to love someone/fragrance if it's just not in the cards.

    I tried with this one magnnum ... I really really tried. In fact, every time there's a post about it, I spritz some on from my decant to see if it will finally hit me. I'll wait a half hour ... and hour ... three hours ... and I don't know ... I'm still not getting it. I will admit, I like it better now from when I first sampled it. But I really don't see myself "married" to this one anytime in the future.

    I know how frustrating it is when someone's opinion of your "holy grail" is negative or different. As for myself, I find it IMPOSSIBLE for anyone not to like DK Men (Fuel) ... my personal "holy grail". In a recent thread, a few people knocked it and one even accused it of being a gay icon. Hey .... whatever. I love it and could care less what others think. And I do try to get others to sample it because I think it's great. Although, I know not everyone is going to feel the same love I have for it. Because at the end of the day, it's all just personal taste here. Nothing is set in stone.

    Who knows .... maybe someday I will fall in love with 88, marry her, and live happily ever after.

    But for now ... as my quote above says from the mighty Metallica ...

    "GIMME FUEL GIMME FIRE, GIVE ME THAT WHICH I DESIRE!"

  18. #18

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Fair comment Ziffy
    Let your nose be your pilot

  19. #19
    Yvan
    Guest

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Quote Originally Posted by ziffy321
    [quote author=magnnum link=1129332660/15#15 date=1129374445]
    I've always maintained that it is the very complex nature of fragrances such as No.88 that makes one fall deeply in love with them, I admit they can be hard work to start with, but once you persevere, the reward is boundless. *
    I tried with this one magnnum ... I really really tried. *In fact, every time there's a post about it, I spritz some on from my decant to see if it will finally hit me. I'll wait a half hour ... and hour ... three hours ... and I don't know ... I'm still not getting it. *I will admit, I like it better now from when I first sampled it. *But I really don't see myself "married" to this one anytime in the future.[/quote]
    Well, it's nice to see I'm not the only one...it literally took two hours for No. 88 to "bloom" on me, even with lots of sprays, and even then, it was pretty close to the skin; it's never taken that long for any other scent to start to reveal itself for me. *I think this one really "wears" on people differently, perhaps moreso than other scents.

  20. #20

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Quote Originally Posted by teflondog
    Finally got my decants today (thanks again rjrober22) and I have to say that these scents are truly acquired tastes IMO. My first impressions...

    Czech & Speak No. 88 - To me it smells just like lemon Pledge. I'm still waiting for the drydown, but all I get so far from it is a synthetic lemon note. It reminds me of one of those air fresheners that you spray as a room deodorizer. It projects quite well as I can smell on my wrist as I'm typing this.

    Passage d'Enfer - I definitely get the incense note in this one. Like many have already said, it smells like a Catholic church. It also smells like a Buddhist temple if you've ever passed by one. I get a strong floral note in it that reminds me of the jasmine flowers that I have in my back yard. It stays rather close to the skin and I'm not sure on longevity yet.

    Bond No. 9 New Haarlem - This one is incredible. It smells exactly like the Starbucks Coffee shop I used to work at. Fresh roasted coffee beans with a touch of sweetness. Perhaps it's a little too realistic. I can definitely see this one being easily overapplied. I thought A*men was strong. New Haarlem is a lot thicker and heavier to my nose, although not as sweet. Some have described this as smelling like chocolate, but it's more of a bitter dark chocolate rather than sweet milk chocolate. If you're looking for a coffee scent, this is the benchmark to compare everything else to IMO.

    These are all scents that need some time before I "get" them. I wouldn't recommend buying blind because I consider them love/hate scents where you either like them or you don't. Out of all these, I can only see myself wearing New Haarlem although I can't think of many times when I would wear it. Feel free to comment. *
    Ok after testing these several more times, I've got a different take on these scents. It's funny how all the subtle nuances seem to jump out at you during the 5th or 6th testing.

    Czech & Speake No. 88 - In my first assessment, I compared it to Lemon Pledge. Well, I tested it against Demeter's citrus/Lime scent to see if there's any similarities to a citrus note. Side by side there is a big difference. The bergamot in 88 really doesn't smell like lemon at all and actually smells more floral. I notice that if sprayed lightly, the rose note opens up a lot more. It's not a dirty rose smell like VDR, but more like fresh roses in the morning after a rainy night. Although I view this scent in a different light, I'm sad to say that it just isn't for me. It's a little too "cold" for my tastes, to which I'm more fond of warm and inviting scents. This scent IMO evokes a feeling of solitude and tranquility. I now understand why people say this smells "ancient" and would be a perfect fragrance for Dracula. For those of you who are wondering, I personally wouldn't wear this to the clubs as a chick magnet.

    Passage d'Enfer - In my first assessment, the incense was the prominent note I could detect. When I smell it now, it's actually quite subtle compared to the floral notes and sandalwood. There's also a "waxy" quality about it similar to candle wax. I can't put my finger on it though. I've grown to like this one a lot despite my initial impression of it. I used to think it smelled bland and weak. Now I think it's a sexy scent that just doesn't draw too much attention. At first I thought it was short-lived but upon subsequent wearings, I was able to catch whiffs of it every now and then throughout the day. The sample of Tam Dao I received from scentemental reminds me very much of this, but without the incense note. There are other differences between them and I like them both. All in all I guess you could say I'm now a fan of Passage d'Enfer. I like it a lot, perhaps even enough to consider purchasing a big bottle.

    Bond No. 9 New Haarlem - My thoughts on this one remain pretty much the same. It's a straightforward scent that doesn't hide anything. However, I could see myself getting tired of it rather quickly. Being a lover of sweet frags, I thought I'd never say this about a gourmand...but the burnt coffee/chocolate notes can be too much and cloying.

    I'm still continuing to test all of these scents in hopes that I might discover something new about them. Thanks to everyone who inspired me to give them another chance. Cheers. *

  21. #21

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Teflondog,

    Your opinion of Passage D'Enfer was similar to mine. At first, i thought it was weak and watery. But then I started to get that candlewax note- and for me that pushed it into another dimension. I wore samples for a while and it became my signature scent. So I bought a full bottle. Its really one of the best. The only problem is that my nose is so used to it now that I don't pick up that candlewax, only incense and alot of cedar. So I stopped wearing it for a while to see if it strikes me fresh again. I HATE when my nose gets adjusted to a scent! It happens to every scent, unfortunately, except Hanae Mori for some reason.

  22. #22

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Scentemental and Teflondog are two cool cats for sure. I appreciate that Scentemental bothered to defend one of his favs, with some really insightful analysis of the scent. Your statement about the nature of bergamot changing according to the blend is spot on with my own experiences with that ingredient. Wonderful observation and you're right, we tend to oversimplify things that we encounter for the first time.

    Teflondog, it takes time to sniff out the subtle nuances of each scent and that's why i really take my time with them. First impressions rarely last. And i'm not surprised you like Passage d'Enfer, i LOVE it!!!

  23. #23

    Default Re: C&S No. 88, Passage d'Enfer, New Haarlem...

    Teflondog, I think it's great that you took the time to re-assess these fragrances and give us you candid thoughts. And alos, that you did so honestly in your own language. I often get completely different things from fragrances compared to other people; I think the lesson is to be true to yourself and your own olfactory senses.

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