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  1. #1

    Default Testing several Frags

    Some of you have heard about, a somewhat mysterious Italian house that sells online. They do aromatherapy, some single-scent fragrances, and a number of mixed fragrances.
    I had already tried three of their offerings , Brut d'Elegance, Sea Wood and Oak Moss. All 3 were good, but the first two are a bit extreme for everyday use (resinous-woody). Oak Moss was the most wearable in the long term - I must get a full bottle one of these days.
    The hallmark of the house seems to be very good raw materials, highly concentrated; all the fragrances I've tried are long-lasting.

    Anyhow, yesterday I received a whole bunch of new samples, and I am going to post impressions on this thread. After a quick first try I started with the ones I thought I would like best (so don't be surprised if today I mostly have good things to say):

    - TABAC. The name says it all: a very intense true tobacco scent. It closely replicates pipe tobacco, with its typical flavorings; the labdanum note is especially strong, indeed after a slightly peppery start there is a time after a few hours when this smells very, very resinous, like a chiefly ciste-labdanum fragrance (I love labdanum). It moves back and forth between tobacco and resins several times, and finally settles back into a very warm, comforting tobacco scent. The tobacco is not like green tobacco, again more like the pipe variety, very smoky, a distant relative of the type used in Vintage Tabarome. I'm very impressed - tobacco lovers should try it - highly wearable - it's quite long-lasting as well.

    - CANNABIS. This is a pretty radical one-scent fragrance based on a close relative of marijuana - but no worry, apparently it's fully legit stuff, it just smells the same . I approached the vial with fantasies of hippies and old rock concerts, but then it was something completely different: I was hit by the most incredible green blast, green like fresh green nuts, then turning into nut-oil. Gourmand and intoxicating. Well, I don't know how wearable this is, but if you like different and extreme scents, CDG type (but more intense) you will like this. I keep sniffing it and yes, I may get a bottle for actual wearing (or drinking ?), and forget about orthodox behavior !

    Next in line to be tried: Cuba Express and Chilum (I plan to post on Monday).
    Bye for now

  2. #2

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Thanks for the reviews. You certainly make them sound fantastic.

    How does one order samples of them? I just looked at the website and everything is in Italian and I couldn't find a link for an English version. My Italian is less than shameful.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Yes there is an English button, it's towards the top-right of the homepage, or try this link direct to the English page:
    Navigating the site is also difficult and counterintuitive. You should click "natural perfumery" on the left, and then (it took me a long time figuring out) the fragrances are in 2 places: "scents of the soul", and also, lower, under "special scents".

  4. #4

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Thank you Marco. I just looked again and there it was staring me in the face. Thanks for the direct English link anyway.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    OK, I'm back, now having tried the remaining samples. Here are my comments:

    CHILUM. This is an interesting one, and hard to pin down, not sure this review is definitive. The house says it's made of just 3 components, sandalwood, tobacco and ginger, which sounds very unusual. I can only comment on what comes out of it, and to be it smells like a tobacco+leather fragrance, and yes, there is some ginger (as there is, interestingly, in Vintage Tabarome). The tobacco note is very true, as in their Tabac fragrance; what I call the leather note is very animalic, sometimes reminiscent of roast ham; I know that doesn't sound flattering, but in practice it is a good combination. However, overall I still prefer their Tabac as more classic, more wearable, and also more potent and longer lasting (Chilum is not necessarily less concentrated, but perhaps the ingredients partly cancel each other out or are less well fixated). Overall, it's very worth trying.

    CUBA EXPRESS. Tobacco and bay rum, does that ring a bell ? Well, before all Aramis Havana widowers (of which I am one) jump up in mad excitement, let me tell you that this is different. Here, the accent in "bay rum" is on "rum" rather than "bay": the fragrance is incredibly boozy, and indeed the house description talks about a whole barrel of rum being spilled around. The result is surprisingly elegant; however, in my opinion, something - I don't know what - is lacking for Cuba Express to elevate itself to Havana heights. It's not as addictive or compelling. But again, worth trying (I prefer Chilum though).

    CUOIO TARTARO, i.e. "Tartar Leather". To me, this takes leather in an interesting direction. I mostly have problems with leather scents: REL is too sweet, Cuir de Russie has too much lemon and is short-lasting, Spanish Leather is too soapy, Knize Ten is OK but still a tad too sweet, Knize Sec is too glue-like, etc. Well, this one I definitely like. It's a strong, concentrated but dry kind of leather with the right spices thrown in (saffroon ?) and perhaps a hint of florals of a refreshing kind. Thumbs up.:toppie:

    To sum it up, all of these fragrances were interesting, unusual, and made of good, concentrated ingredients; my preferred ones from this batch were Tabac, Cuoio Tartaro, and also (in a more eccentric line), Cannabis. I may go for a bottle of Tabac and perhaps Cuoio and perhaps Oak Moss which I had previously tried.
    I now would also like to try the various oriental-spice fragrances which seem to be this house's specialty.
    Also, I am perpetually looking for the ultimate sandalwood, and given this house's penchant for concentration and true notes I suspect that their Mysore Sandalwood (which I haven't tried) might be the real thing.
    Last edited by marco; 2nd October 2006 at 02:18 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Thanks for the really interesting reviews of -- sounds like there are several "must tries" in this group for all of us who are interested in exploring extreme / unusual scents. Profumo's tincture of ambergris, mentioned elsewhere on the boards recently, is pretty amazing.

    I wonder if you've smelled Fresh Index's Cannabis Santal, and how it compares with Profumo's Cannabis? Less of a gourmand candy bowl (altho' it's a good candy bowl -- I like it!) than the Fresh Index Cannabis, sounds like.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    I haven't tried Cannabis Santal, but thanks for the idea, I will have to try it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Marco, excellent reviews (although I am not happy about having to buy more testers). Tell us about sillage and how many hours you think they last? Are they oils or perfumes? I will check out the website again.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Quote Originally Posted by paintrman
    Marco, excellent reviews (although I am not happy about having to buy more testers). Tell us about sillage and how many hours you think they last? Are they oils or perfumes? I will check out the website again.

    Keep up the good work!
    They're perfumes, not oils; EdT or perhaps EdP strength.
    It's hard to fully judge longevity and sillage whan dabbing small amounts of juice out of vials; I can say that Oak Moss, which I have in 16 ml. format, is very long-lasting; I am convinced (although I've only tried a vial) that Tabac is also very long-lasting, 8+ hours; Cannabis is very strong but fades away in 2-4 hours; Chilum is medium-lasting, and my hunch is that Cuoio Tartaro, Fieno and Cuba Express are medium-short, but I could be wrong.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Thank's Marco for the new reviews. This line sounds even more exciting now.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    I've had an eye on these for a few months. Thanks for the reviews. They help me narrow my choices a bit and may drag me off the fence about ordering some samples. I just wish the US supplier had a larger selection!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Who is the US distributor? Do you have a link?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Quote Originally Posted by paintrman
    Who is the US distributor? Do you have a link?
    I think these guys are. I found the site in an older Basenotes thread. They don't list all the fragrances that are on Profumo's website. I haven't called or emailed though to see if they have more than what is listed here, or even if they still carry the line. If you find out, please share!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    I've taken a look at the US distributor site, and it might be cheaper to go direct to the Italian site and pay the shipping. There's also more choice, as you mentioned.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Okay, I've now received some more samples and here are my further impressions:

    INDU KUSH. This is a classic, well-composed incense fragrance. The incense is strong and concentrated; to me, it's exactly like church incense, but the description mentions Indian incense (as you would guess from the name): well, maybe the two are very much alike, after all. In the beginning there is some bitterness, giving the fragrance some unique character; then the incense becomes smoother; there are resinous notes and these become more and more prominent. After a few hours, the smoky part goes away and is replaced by a fresh, balsamic coniferous note; one can even smell the pine-needles. Overall, a very elegant contender in the incense arena. Quite long-lasting.

    BAZAAR. This is a mix of oriental spices. It's pleasant, it's gourmand (mellow rather than harsh spices), it's fun, but overall it is not one of my preferred from this house. It's also less long-lasting.

    ARABIA. The notice explains that this is basically a mix of two rather opposite things, rose and castoreum (BTW, I also got from them a vial with some castoreum oil, great experience to smell), with a few spices thrown in between. The mix is a good idea, and the result is a great masculine rose fragrance, right up there with such men's florals as No.88 or Floris No.89. In fact, I like it as much as No.89 and better than No.88. I've never tried Voleur de Roses, but it might be along the same lines.

    I should mention I have revisited their OAK MOSS and found it highly addictive (plus, in these sad times of 1% oakmoss limits, it's worth every penny to get a 10% oakmoss juice ); I have also tried their Mysore Sandalwood essential oil. My priorities with this house are now to order Tabac, Oak Moss, Mysore Sandalwood EDT and Cuoio Tartaro, and maybe Arabia and Indu Kush later on.

    I am curious what other basenoters will think of these fragrances.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Testing several Frags

    Thank you for these reviews. If they have a supply of old Mysore sandalwood and you like it, then stock up on it while you can. It is no longer legally exportable from India and you won't be able to get it for much longer.

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