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  1. #1

    Default Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Is there any reason why Czech & Speake fragrances are so hard to come by? For example, at the present moment there isn't even one US retailer that carries No.88 (Cambridge Chemist is awaiting shipment) - the company is apparently experiencing a shortage (supply vs. demand issues?)

    What do all of you think about their products in general? Are you impressed w/ the quality? Sillage? Are these products at the same quality level as niche fragrances? (MPG, Serge Lutens, L'Artisan) Over the past few months I've purchased fr a few British fragrance houses and have been impressed (ie Penhaligon's Castile & Blenhiem Bouquet, Trumper's Sandalwood -- and now awaiting 2 order fr Floris)

    I'd appreciate any comments on:

    1. No.88
    2. Dark Rose & Rose - how does this compare to Voleur de Roses?
    3. Cuba - any resemblance to Vintage Tabarome, Tabarome Millesime, or other tobacco scents?
    4. Oxford & Cambridge - primarily a lavender scent
    5. Neroli - apparently a very popular C&S scent - anything here like Creed's Neroli?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    I found #88 really, really difficult to wear, though I know I'm in the minority.

    It was a quality, well made scent with good silage and longetivity, but there was something about it that I found oppressively "heavy" to the point of almost being nauseating. I ended up giving away my decant.

    Like you, though, I am interested in the others.

  3. #3
    evogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    They have always been hard to find and expensive, at least here in the States. #88 is the hardest to find.
    Cuba is similar to Aramis Havana is some ways but has an added freshness and goes a bit deeper with the tobacco. Excellent, quality scent.
    Neroli is seemingly singular/linear but it seems to me to be a truer neroli than most others and it has excellent lasting power.
    Dark Rose is a dirty rose scent that is a tiny bit soapy. It is not too complex but it is satisfying in it's own way.
    Definitely unisex to my nose.

    Haven't tried the others you mention but Citrus Paradisi is an extremely worthy citrus scent. Grapefruit blended with other citrus and a nice warm, sensual dry down. Don't let the "sweat" note from the sulpherous grapefruit put you off. It goes away and you are left with a great dry down.
    #88 is in a class by itself.
    These scents with the possible exception of #88 are made in Italy for Czech & Speake and that surprised me but honestly, they are more "avant garde" than most British scents so that might just make sense.

    Eric

  4. #4

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    I have total respect for Czech & Speake, a company that I can comfortably designate as being niche or artisanal (pick your choice).

    #88 is my treasure island fragrance, I'm deeply in love with it, nothing else can compare. I just love the way the otto rose is fused with bergamot in its top notes. The scent is truly regal, old fashioned but modern. This is true elegance.

    As for the Neroli, the highlight for me is the bitter orange which creates a very refreshing slant to the fragrance. Its simply the best Neroli IMHO.

    Quality control may have something to do with their rarity. IMHO Czech & Speake is the best fragrance house in Britain period....


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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    All their fragrance are very classy and distinguished. I totally agree that their quality control is second to none. The only thing that makes it difficult to find their products is because they don't advertise their products outside the UK, therefore they remained unknown thus making demands for it minimal.

  6. #6
    Craig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    I registered on the UK Czech & Speake site Friday night and ordered the full set of samples, which are only £2.50 with free postage. They should be with me today, so I can't wait to try this range.
    I have sampled Citrus Paradisi last year and I think I liked it but it didn't last long on me, but hopefully there will be one or more from this range I will like.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    C&S are even pretty difficult to find on UK high streets!

    They're pretty unique amongst designers and perfumeries in that, for all intents and purposes, they're a bathroom fixtures and fittings shop. I think they stumbled into fragrances almost by accident - the official website doesn't really say too much, but they are very definitely an afterthought following the furniture.

    I'm a big fan of C&S, but what puts a lot of people off is the "C&S shit accord" which appears, as far as I know, in every single one of their frags. On some people this note is particularly strong and at its strongest in Cuba, 88 and Mimosa, and those that pick up on it struggle to get past it and pick up anything else (logical seeing as how, to them, it smells like they're wearing feaces). But on others, like me, it doesn't come out at all and their frags are very pleasant indeed and reek of nothing more than high quality. They are a very definite try-before-you-buy house, because if you are one of the unfortunates to get nothing but poo, then it'll be an expensive way to find out what it smells like when someone takes a dump on you!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    I like nearly all the C&S frags I've tried (I got their sample pack, which is definitely worthwhile as noted upthread). The only one I own is #88, which I love. As great_badir notes, C&S perfumes do seem to be "dirtier" than most other English frags, but in the greater order of things, I don't think they're nearly as skanky as a lot of French/continental scents. Then again, I don't mind skank.

    Just 'cause they haven't been mentioned much upthread, I want to put in a good word for Oxford & Cambridge and Frankincense & Myrrh. The former is particularly good: a very herbal (minty, in fact) lavender.

    Like Knize, C&S does seem to be underserving their U.S. demand (though perhaps some of the demand is generated by the very difficulty of finding them). In the case of C&S, I've always thought that their products would fit right in at the host of e-tailers that seem to have a specialty in English toiletries, like Barclay Crocker for example.
    Last edited by PhinClio; 29th March 2010 at 06:18 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Took me a second to realize that this is a five year old thread.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  10. #10
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    Thumbs down Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    im a huge fan of no.88 and i also like dark rose and citrus paradisi. However the sample for no.88 they sent me was very weak and i almost didnt buy it. However a thread at the time, regarding the free sample pack, convinced me the bottle would be much stronger. They were right it was, a different beast altogether actually so bear this in mind if the sample's longevity gives you pause for thought.
    Last edited by rivers; 30th March 2010 at 11:36 PM.

  11. #11
    rivers's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    im a huge fan of no.88 and i also like dark rose and citrus paradisi. However the sample for no.88 they sent me was very weak and i almost didnt buy it. However a thread at the time, regarding the free sample pack, convinced me the bottle would be much stronger. They were right it was, a different beast altogether actually so bear this in mind if the samples longevity gives you pause for thought.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Czech&Speake as a fragrance house was apparently more or less an Italian creation (much of the later fragrance and packaging design as well as the entire production took place in Milano) and sold hugely there through an effective distribution network. Also there's a strong Anglophile tradition in Italy in men's grooming and clothing. It never won a significant market anywhere else and when C&S dissolved its partnership with Forester Milano several years ago they were in fact unable to produce the entire line for some time, since they didn't have access to the later formulas. That and the lower quality of the ingredients is why the new Made in England C&S perfumes are sometimes markedly different - and also inferior. 88 is still good but the floral component has changed dramatically, while F&M and Dark Rose are now simply disappointing.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Well the samples arrived and other than Citrus Paradisi which doesn't last long but smells reasonable, the rest......... yuk! The women's didn't go down well either. It's a case of you either love or hate these.

  14. #14
    Kerosene
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    I just got my sample pack of C&S last night. 8 of the 9 are revolting. Oxford and Cambridge is the only servicable fragrance from their line. And that one isnt worth $100 a bottle to me. All of the frags seem to have something running through them. It's like a dark insense scent that I cant get past. Reminds me of what dead grandma is wearing at her own funeral. Do not, I repeat, do not blind buy from this house.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    On the other hand, Geo F. Trumper is still producing excellent things.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    I just got my sample pack of C&S last night. 8 of the 9 are revolting. Oxford and Cambridge is the only servicable fragrance from their line. And that one isnt worth $100 a bottle to me. All of the frags seem to have something running through them. It's like a dark insense scent that I cant get past. Reminds me of what dead grandma is wearing at her own funeral. Do not, I repeat, do not blind buy from this house.
    Same thing I noticed, there's certainly a nasty note that is present in them all. They smell far cheaper than what they retail at

  17. #17
    Kerosene
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    Same thing I noticed, there's certainly a nasty note that is present in them all. They smell far cheaper than what they retail at
    Oh for sure. My wife and I both agreed that better smells can be had at a pharmacy store dollar bin.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    Well the samples arrived and other than Citrus Paradisi which doesn't last long but smells reasonable, the rest......... yuk! The women's didn't go down well either. It's a case of you either love or hate these.
    Interesting. I like a number of Czech & Speakes ( No. 88 and Dark Rose especially ), but find Citrus Paradisi to not just be the worst of the line, but one of most unpleasant fragrances ever ( acidic sulfur! )

    As others have said, this is definitely a try before you buy line...

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    Oh for sure. My wife and I both agreed that better smells can be had at a pharmacy store dollar bin.
    I'd love to be able to find a No. 88 smell-alike in drug-store bin! Open to a cheapie if anyone knows one.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    I'd love to be able to find a No. 88 smell-alike in drug-store bin! Open to a cheapie if anyone knows one.
    A friend of mine owned a bottle of Night Cologne by Playboy and not only is it a cheap knockoff of No.88, the bottels are identical. Same frosted black bottle and imprint. Very hard to find a bottle (think it's discontinued) but I think it sold for $20 bucks a couple years ago. I don't know this for sure, just a theory...but I don't doubt Hugh Hefner wears No. 88 (seems like something he'd wear/like) and decided to replicate it for one of his own scents.

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    Last edited by nsamadi; 27th April 2010 at 08:42 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    i love Oxford & Cambridge, excellent lavender fragrance
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  22. #22
    Kerosene
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    I'd love to be able to find a No. 88 smell-alike in drug-store bin! Open to a cheapie if anyone knows one.
    Pretty easy actually.

    1. Pick up a sampler of Preferred Stock.
    2. Find a dead body lying in a pile of roses.
    3. Spray fragrance on and then snuggle with the corpse.

    Voila. No.88


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    Pretty easy actually.

    1. Pick up a sampler of Preferred Stock.
    2. Find a dead body lying in a pile of roses.
    3. Spray fragrance on and then snuggle with the corpse.

    Voila. No.88

    If the body's been embalmed, you get Aromatics Elixir...

  24. #24

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Just as an aside.

    The drydown to #88 is almost identical to the drydown of ToBS Sandalwood Cologne.

    Just thought I'd mention that.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by vonMises View Post
    On the other hand, Geo F. Trumper is still producing excellent things.
    You mean Skye? Trumper hasn't done anything worthwhile in years, while their main stock (i.e., shaving creams) are also degrading in quality..
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    No 88


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    I really like the Czech and Speake line. They actually make fragrances for people who like fragrances - not fresh, boring, watered-down AdG clones/variations.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    I really like the Czech and Speake line. They actually make fragrances for people who like fragrances - not fresh, boring, watered-down AdG clones/variations.
    I like Czech & Speake as well. No.88 has a permanent place in my top five.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  29. #29

    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    Oh for sure. My wife and I both agreed that better smells can be had at a pharmacy store dollar bin.
    agreed. 88 is far from any sort of big deal. it smells like an old medicinal rose-filled toilet.

  30. #30
    Kerosene
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    Default Re: Popularity - Czech & Speake

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    I really like the Czech and Speake line. They actually make fragrances for people who like fragrances - not fresh, boring, watered-down AdG clones/variations.
    I suppose my nose just sucks then....

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