I'm sorry to highlight this but the sheer simplicity of "mine smells better" is killing me! LOLOLOL!!!!
Pluran wrote not long ago that too many of us review scents before we’re well enough acquainted with them, and I stand guilty of so doing in a number of my early reviews. There's been talk from time to time of being able to revise reviews in the directory, but Grant has so much on his hands right now that I’d never wish any more work on him.
In the meantime, I have a few critical hats to eat, and I thought I’d sit down and tuck into them here. Please feel free to join this thread if you too want to make a guilty plea!
Muscs Koublai Khan:
It took a long time before I learned to love Muscs Koublai Khan, but since my first review here I’ve developed quite a taste for all things animal. The trick for me with this scent is to use it very sparingly. Applied lightly, Muscs Koublai Khan becomes a subtle accentuation of my natural skin scent, plus a mild floral overtone. Used in excess (more than one or two dabs) it’s a room-emptying stench of the unwashed!
Iris Bleu Gris:
Me culpa! The sheer potency of Iris Bleu Gris’s iris note led me to dismiss this beauty for the longest time, but having tried many other iris scents since, I’ve come to value its uncompromising purity. This is iris with a bite, complemented by a lovely mossy drydown. Iris Bleu Gris blows away the overrated Dior Homme (see below), and is worthy to stand at the top of the iris heap, alongside the very different Iris Poudre and Iris Silver Mist.
Dia remains among my favorite fragrances: it’s civilized, sophisticated, subtle and extremely versatile. It’s also long-lasting, with a complex development and an intoxicating drydown. When I first wore and reviewed Dia, I was most impressed by its delicate floral heart, but after long acquaintance I now understand Dia as a gentle, nuanced incense fragrance. Peony and plum may dominate for the first hour or two of wear, but it’s frankincense and a velvety labdanum (leather) that carry the following eight. Though the two have little content in common, Dia leaves me with the same suave impression as Boucheron’s Jaipur Homme EdT. Not a jeans and T-shirt scent, but something that helps make me feel “put-together” and well-finished.
I had a very hard time getting past what smelled to me like an unlisted coconut note at the heart of Santal Noble, but once I did I joined the ranks of its many fans. Yes, there’s a point in the development that reminds me of suntan lotion (very expensive suntan lotion at that,) but there’s so much else going on here that I feel foolish to have ever complained. I have yet to find a sandalwood scent to beat, or even match Santal Noble on me. This fragrance leaves all the others that I’ve tried feeling too sweet, too thin, or too stuffy.
One interesting observation: I had never understood why Michael Edwards listed Santal Noble as a chypre. Never, that is, until I wore a very heavy application on a warm day. Suddenly the mossy notes in the base bloomed in a huge burst, and I’ve found myself keenly aware of them ever since.
Getting past Ambre Sultan’s discordant top notes is not easy, and if the fragrance didn’t last so long on me or dry down so exquisitely I may never have managed. Weird bay leaf and oregano top notes aside, I can’t yet name another amber scent that outshines Ambre Sultan’s intense animal sensuality. Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s Ambre Precieux and Costume National’s Scent Intense may match it in depth and quality, but no others that I know come close. Blue Amber, L’Eau d’Ambre, Ambre Extreme, and Hermessence Ambre Narguile are all too tame for me; Montale’s Aoud Ambre is woefully out of balance on my skin; Idole de Lubin and Ambre Rousse blend their potent amber notes with booze and leather, which places them somewhere else entirely. Ambre Sultan stands as an exemplary expression of a challenging note.
My error when first evaluating Black Aoud was to mistake the world’s most delayed drydown for linearity. I have to wear Black Aoud for 8 to 12 (!) hours before its bold rose and oudh heart begins to evolve in any meaningful way. Once it does, I smell a panoply of rich patchouli, creamy sandalwood, and tarry leather roiling above the persistent oudh. Is it worth the wait? You bet! Black Aoud’s appeal for me resides in its brooding quality and in the blunt savagery of its central accord. I think of Black Aoud as an “alpha male” scent and wear it when I’m feeling standoffish, or when I want to project power and authority.
Very rarely in revisiting a fragrance do I lose regard for it, but Daim Blond has pleased me less and less with every sampling. What I object to is the very sweet apricot note, which for me overwhelms all other aspects of the scent and turns Daim Blond into an olfactory dessert. Not the exotic spiced dessert served up by other Lutens scents like Arabie, Chergui, Rousse, or Datura Noir, but a simpler, more two-dimensional fruit and syrup accord that gets me thinking of a cheap grocery store cupcake. I wonder if different skin than mine would better accentuate the gentle leather in Daim Blond and give more depth and balance, but I won’t likely make the effort to find out.
Some scathing reviews of well-regarded scents that I still stand by:
Amouage Gold (cat pee on grandma's rug)
Timbuktu (charred dung of savanna beasts)
Miel de Bois (revenge of the killer bees)
Secretions Magnifiques (mine smells better)
Voleur de Roses (dope and an old hippie's armpits)
A*Men (drowning in Hershey's syrup)
Dior Homme (iris, even iris for men, has been done lots better)
Last edited by Off-Scenter; 22nd October 2007 at 03:57 AM.
I'm sorry to highlight this but the sheer simplicity of "mine smells better" is killing me! LOLOLOL!!!!
Ya I was cracking up at the mine smells better comment as well.
Great reviews Vibert. Sadly I've only had the opportunity to smell 4 of them.
Black Aoud I never thought had any evolution either, but since I loved it so much anyway I didn't really care. I guess I need to start paying more attention 12 hours in!
I should have given more thought to my review of Piguet's Fracas pour Homme.
(Had I written the review for Fracas pour Homme but a mere 12 hours later, I would have had to report how much I had come to utterly despise the annoying little bastard.)
Last edited by tvlampboy; 22nd October 2007 at 02:49 PM.
Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
"Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
Vibert - that takes a lot of courage to do, thanks (as always) for your elaborate way with words. Your descriptions of Ambre Sultan are razor sharp.
Would you like a little salt and pepper with that crow you're eating?
"Seize opportunity by the beard for it is bald behind"
I know what you mean about giving fragrances time and getting familiar with them. I enjoy buying blind and while it can be a waste it's a lot of fun. I was going to attempt to write reviews of my two newest scents. I just received Musc Ravageur and Rose 31 last week. I'm not huge on either one of them yet, but I do not feel I really know them yet either. Musc seems to keeps evolving to my nose everytime I smell it. The rose just has not gotten the proper wearings yet.
I just remembered another of my transgressions: Fumerie Turque. I always appreciated the quality of this scent, but was disturbed by the very literally rendered tobacco smoke note. I've worn Fumerie Turque in much cooler whether than when I'd first tried it, and the smoke doesn't bloom as effusively. I need to apply this stuff lightly, but even so it seems to last 8 to 12 hours. Just not something I can wear when the temperature gets up over 60 degrees F.
My problem with some of my early reviews was heavy dosing. Yardley Gentleman is an exxcellent fragrance that really doesn't deserve three bad reviews. Lightly-to-moderately applied it is (on the right day and in the right mood) very fine company.
I did get a chance to write revisionary reviews of Chevalier d'Orsay and Harris Arlington The first bottle of Chevalier I purchased on the web was "past it's prime" and smelled a little stale. My neutral review reflected both the lovely notes and the slightly "past it" quality of the sampling. The bottle I subsequently bought at Bergdorf's was fantastic. It is rich, distinctive and full of character and distinctive style.
Arlington (like L'homme de coeur by Divine) just disappears in cold weather. I first reviewed it in December, and pretty much called it a nice fragrances with only one act-- a disappearing act. But like Divine's L'Homme de Coueur, Arlington is a summer scent and radiates character and a pleasant light sillage in the summer.
I wish I could retract my positive review of Le Dandy from d'Orsay, which I think has been reformulated (evicerated I would say) and has become a shadow of its former self. What was once rich and boozy and a sillage prince is now some watered down mod "me too" fragrance plebian. Terribly sad. I would hate to think I might mislead someone to buy this, or that a Basenote brother might think, based on the "thumbs up" review, that I have no taste or discernment in fragrances because of my reveiw of an earlier and much nicer Le Dandy. The later reviews that express disappointment with Le Dandy are correct as to the new stuff.
I think being able to post reviews is great and helpful to other members of the community for the most part,and I enjoy doing it. But there are problems, obviously.
Last edited by Joe_Frances; 23rd October 2007 at 01:44 AM.
Last edited by Off-Scenter; 23rd October 2007 at 01:47 AM.
I totally agree with the Black Aoud assessment. Per Pluran's recommendation, I wore it to bed one night and in the morning, the beautiful rose had finally shown through like a warm morning mist. Outstanding.
"Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
-- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)
I plan on changing a lot of them for various reasons as soon as we're able to delete and rewrite reviews the same as we edit posts here.
Regarding directory reviews, we should be able to delete and rewrite them at any time. The way it's set up now creates a feeling of bondage. "You've already reviewed it? Well you're f*cked."
The desired option of deletion and full revision would give freedom, and if you feel free, you feel empowered. And every negative emotion that exists in this universe is because there is some loss of freedom.
Last edited by pluran; 7th December 2007 at 08:00 PM.