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  1. #1

    Talking My First Set Of Reviews - thanks guys!

    It opens with a citrus note when, out of the blue, a hundred absinthe-soaked street-urchins run screaming across fields of napalmed lavender, and a dominatrix crushes Froot-Loops under her heel while dancing the tango to the sound of a tobacconist's shofar!

    ...

    ...Just messing with you.

    Anyway, on to the real reviews, but first of all, I'd like to give a big thank you to all the people here at Basenotes who have been very helpful in discovering new fragrances and wonderful in providing information about them. I wouldn't have been able to discover any of these without your help!

    Disclaimer: Please understand these are written from the point of view of a fragrance newb. These are my personal, subjective feeling about these scents, not any sort guide for others or absolute judgment on their worth. I'm just having fun!

    I ordered a few samples from the Perfumed Court - their service and selection are great, I highly recommend them to other newbs - and these are the mens/unisex scents I've tried so far. I also ordered some Carons for my mother, but I haven't smelled all of those yet.
    These were my first impression of each, posted in my blog between one to twelve hours after application.

    Knize Ten

    Reading the reviews, I'd gotten the impression this was going to be rather over-powering, but, while I've found it long-lasting, over-powering isn't the word I'd use.
    It's starts off totally unique; that's the only way I can put it, because I can't think of one thing it reminds me of other than itself. After about fifteen minutes, I kept on noticing one particular scent that strongly reminded me of something I couldn't quite name, but eventually it came to me: it was the benzoin incense I used to burn years ago. That, and an ever so faint raisin edge, just on the border of perception, and a spiciness that began to predominate over time. By now - and hour later - the incense and spice pretty much dominate, with that raisin edge holding on too.
    It's officially classed as a "leather" type perfume, but I really don't smell a lot of that. A small amount of old book is in there, but it's a million miles away from a wallet.

    Royal English Leather by Creed

    I put this on four hours ago, and so far, I've found it a little disappointing. Initially there's a blast of spice and incense, with a floral sweetener that strikes me as smelling slightly of Ylang Ylang. I have no idea what they mean by leather here; I smelled none at all. The biggest note, and the one that's come to predominate now, is one of sweet-smelling soap. Not at all in a bad way; lovely soap, wonderful soap - but still, unmistakably soap.
    Overall, the impression is sweet, spicy, and soapy, very nice, completely inoffensive, and not as interesting as Knize Ten.

    Bigarrade Concentree by Frederic Malle

    There's really not a lot to say about it: peel a mandarin and you'll get the full experience. Gradually it fades and looses freshness, and it's mostly gone right now even though I put it on an hour and half ago. Compare that to the tenacious - I had to wash it off - Royal English Leather and the extremely tenacious - I couldn't wash it off - Knize Ten, and it comes across as rather feeble. It's a decent orange scent - it could be fresher - but it's never something I'd buy at the current prices.

    Edited to add: A few hours later and there's definitely a whole stale fruit-salad thing going on.

    Cuir De Russie by L.T. Piver

    Probably the blandest perfume I've tried so far. Not at all offensive to my nose, but so generically "foresty" I'm a bit at a loss about what to say about it. It's green, cool, and with a bit of an earthy undertone, but not a realistic one.
    I may be sounding a bit negative here, but i don't mean to: it's really quite pleasant, I just don't find it interesting, and I feel I must have smelled it a hundred times before in various shampoos.

    Cuir De Russie by Creed

    Another day, another Cuir De Russie.
    I found this one quite different from the Piver. This opens with brandy, turpentine and nutmeg with a certain almost root-beer-like note in the background. Very fresh, but not green like the last, and the nutmeg note is powerfully odd: it doesn't smell like nutmeg, it smells like what biting into a nutmeg nut tastes like. After the initial blast, I starting smelling that soapy note I smelled in Royal English Leather - a house specialty, perhaps? - but it morphed into a much more pleasing Noxcema-like note. After a couple hours of the Noxzema dominating it's faded to a sugary after-scent that's similar to Royal English Leather's but without the soapiness. The root-beer note has remerged somewhat too.
    Probably my second favorite of the bunch I've tried so far, after Knize Ten.

    En Passant by Frederic Malle

    I have a bottle of orange-flower water; it's a very beautiful scent, very evocative of dew covered flowers. Take that scent, replace the orange-flower with lilac, triple the strength of the "dew" component of the scent, and you'll have a very good idea of what En Passant smells like. It's quite mild, and by far the softest of the perfumes I've smelled so far: if it was a picture it would in pastels, not oils.
    As it fades, the green notes predominate, with a bit of freshly cut grass thrown in. Its after-scent is slightly disappointing to my nose ; the lush green scent disappears and all that's left is a rather ordinary floral perfume. However, this only appears after six hours, so there's a lot of green to enjoy.
    Like Bigarrade Concentree - and unlike the Creeds and Knize - this gradually fades rather than actively develops, but unlike Bigarrade Concentree, the fade is very pleasant and never stale.
    To sum up, a nice little fragrance; very mild, very natural; soft and green rather than big and bold. This isn't a scent I'd use every day, but if I was feeling sick and not in the mood for anything heavy and complex, it might be just the thing to cheer me up.

    Cuiron by Helmut Lang

    Least inspiring of the lot. I can't really identify much in here other than a faint honey note in the background. The front is a sort of generic masculine synthetic type smell; I can't put a name to what it reminds me of other than other scented products. I suppose it's supposed to be leather, but I'd be lying if I said it smelled anything like it. This may be a personal nasal weakness, as I'm unable to detect leather in any of the "leather" type scents I've smelled other than Knize Ten, and even there it's not dominant. Cuiron has faded quite quickly, and a hint of some flower has emerged - jasmine? - but nothing dramatic, and it remains very similar to how it started.

    French Lover by Frederic Malle

    Okay, I'm not giving an entirely fair review of this perfume, as I put it on a few hours ago and now I have to wash it off ( because I need a bath, not because of any dislike ).
    This is the driest of the perfumes I've tried so far: only Creed's Cuir De Russie comes close. It is also very different in other ways; where as the spice in the other ones I've tried is married to sweet incense, this is strongly herbal. I smelled pepper and something like tea tree, mixed with a bunch of intense, Mediterranean-type herbs. Really invigorating; the "butchest" fragrance I've smelled so far. After a while a kind of fresh vegetable scent appears, a little like cucumber.
    Right now the vegetables and herbs are turning into a conifer forest scent, but unfortunately I won't get see where it's going.
    As for the name... ouch. The name in the States is supposedly going to translate as "Thunderwood". Oh well, at least they didn't call it Schlongimar.

    ***

    Those were my initial impressions, some of which have changed on trying a second or third time.
    Knize Ten I've completely fallen in love with. I detect more of the leather notes the more I wear it, but what really strikes me are the odd, indefinable notes I can't identify. I really have to emphasize how much this isn't an aggressive fragrance to my nose; the reviews gave an impression of "who's your daddy" but it's more like "hugs from daddy" to me. This is in no way a negative quality, but if Knize Ten is considered one of the harsher fragrances out there I could go a lot more in that direction without taking offense.
    One question to fans of this fragrance: which strength is best? It may just be inaccurate labeling, but I get an impression there is EDP and EDC strengths out there, and I'd like to know before buying a bottle.
    I've tried to revisit Royal English Leather, but I just can't. Every time I open the sample I get that soapy-sweet note and that's just not me somehow.
    Creed's Cuir de Russie I've revisited a couple times but my impression remains pretty much the same. I'm glad I know it's there, but I may explore further with leather scents before I splash out on this one.
    French Lover I quite like - the whole woods, herbs, spice combo is nice - but isn't something I'd wear all the time, so I won't buy it. I may order another decant.
    En Passant is lovely, but like French Lover, another decant will do for a while.

    Right now I'm concentrating on fragrances I'd wear rather than ones I find nice but wouldn't - Carnal Flower by Frederic Malle and the feminine Carons - so any further recommendations are greatly appreciated. I've still got the list people gave me from my last request, and I'll be looking through that again when I order again, but people might have new suggestions now that they know my feelings on these.

    Thanks again, everyone!

  2. #2

    Default Re: My First Set Of Reviews - thanks guys!

    Lol! Thats great.

    Congratulations. I must say that you have a better handle on reviewing than I do. But then again that isn't saying too much. Anyway, way to go.
    I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.'' --Saint Augustine

    “Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the twentieth century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.”--Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  3. #3

    wicozani's Avatar
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    Default Re: My First Set Of Reviews - thanks guys!

    Cool...nice reviews! I think you've got a future in this! At any rate, straight out of the gate you've taken on some serious scents, including several BN favorites. All I can say is that most of those you're reviewing are the type of scents that reveal themselves to one after many wearings and over an extended period of time. Personally, Cuiron is very dynamic and engaging to me, as is Malle's Bigarade Concentree. Leather, especially vegetal-tanned leather, is not a smell that many are familiar with. However, once you've smelled this - or even better, brain-tanned leather - the scent is unmistakable and will stay with you. If you've a tannery near you, the educational value of a one-hour visit may well be worth it.

    Keep up the good work!
    Last edited by wicozani; 24th October 2007 at 03:17 AM.

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