Um, Yeah...I like it too
Thread: Hugh Parsons Blue review
Yes, another review! I'm really starting to like reviewing these scents... next up is Cool Water by Davidoff! Once again, any comments or feedback would be very much appreciated... enjoy the read!
Amid the spicy and herbal, fruity and citrusy, woodsy and musky, there lies an aquatic genre; perhaps the most controversial of genres -- and for a very apparent reason: When you have your spices, it's either too strong or too bland; when you have your herbal, it's either too "green" or too transparent; and, when you have your fruity or citrusy, it's either reminiscent of Lysol (how many times have you heard a cologne compared to house-hold cleaning products?) or it's severely lacking proper notation in the heart or base. And, you guessed it, the same goes for your woodsy and musky scents -- they're either synthetic, powdery, or just plain yucky.
And now we're at a halt with aquatic scents. Inspirations such as Cool Water, by Davidoff, and Green Irish Tweed, by Creed, have stimulated the production of hundreds of lines of "aquatic" and "fresh", or even "sporty" and "energetic" fragrances. Fast-forward twenty years, and here we have quite a collection to pick and choose from -- so then, what's good and what's not? Let's start with the English "Hugh Parsons Blue" and move onto one of the most famous colognes in the world -- Cool Water.
Firstly, Hugh Parsons. Not much out there is known about this fresh fragrance, except that it's licensed to Nordstroms exclusively (and, as far as I know, a smaller chain called Perfumerie). More than likely because it's caught up in the mix of Adidas, Polo's, and Nautica's; all of which, great fragrances, albeit it a tad on the common side. It's not too popular, or well known -- but don't let your guard down, because this scent has some kick to it.
But, before we get more in-depth about Hugh Parsons, let's talk about what makes an aquatic fragrance "unique" (and I'll leave this open to opinion, so feel free to add on); undeniably, the fresh essence of air and water is captured and prized above all. There has to be very little, if any, musk or strong wood; and spices have to be rendered void to achieve that "smooth" and "clean" feel, so feel free to kiss that black pepper and tobacco goodbye! Instead, the tendency is to focus on light fruits that are pleasant and light on the nose.
Here, your apples, grapefruits, dashes of mint, touches of eucalyptus (Body Kouros, we're looking at you) and the slightest pinches of orange and lemon add a pristine charm to our concotion. Moving further down the pyramid, herbal notations are often introduced here to anchor the sweet top notes and keep them from dissipating; namely, lavender, jasmine, rose leaves, light basil and iris flowers. The affect at this stage is already favorable -- a smooth transition from a light and captivating opening that gently cascades into a soothing and relaxing heart, filled with the beautiful breath of nature. At this point, as the natural herbs sigh, and the final notes awake from their slumber, perfumers often rely on the aromatic woods -- sweet amber, piney cedar, variations of light sandalwood, cedar, and white mosses, and others that are known to be friendly to the transition between heart and base notation.
--- (take a break, folks, and let those thoughts simmer in your mind... there's a LOT more to come) ---
Unfortunately, what we picture in our minds is often not what we smell on our wrists, and the tendency is to forego the qualities of nature, and to use synthetics. Synthetics last longer, project somewhat better, and are a little stronger -- but, my oh my, they are nowhere near as captivating. Take Hugh Parsons, for example; a scent that unfolds with a squirt of crisp lemon, and guides you through a rich and piney forest, filled with the lightest of lavenders, mints, mosses, and cedars, and finally rests in an earthly bed of warm patchouli and faint musk. As an essence of nature, Hugh Parsons is quite beautiful. It doesn't scream attention, it doesn't barge into the noses of those around you, and it doesn't make the girl you just walked by turn her head to take a second whiff, in contemplation of whether or not she likes it. The bottom line is, Hugh Parsons is a wonderful scent; it shimmers with natural essence, (which that girl we mentioned earlier does like on the first whiff ) and caresses your sense of smell ever so gently.
But, there are a few issues. The lemon, with grapefruit undertones, does a marvelous job of drawing attention and truly making the fragrance "light", but it leaves you hanging just a bit. For something so awe-inspiring and hooking, it lacks a spicy/bitter companion, which could accentuate the citrus and result in more of a two-dimensional opening. In addition, for how well-orchestrated the heart is, it might have been a little too much. With close examination, the combination of so many heartstrings results in a mix... an output of a single note that is a tad on the bitter and bland side, thus it plays out to be somewhat indistinguishable. Given our lemons earlier, it doesn’t seem like we’re in for a pleasant ride. Don't be alarmed though, because the base is done perfectly; like a sunset, the remnants of the day are illuminated, and the most beautiful notes of the heart and top notes are relived gently and without force. Furthermore, unlike other aquatics, the purpose of this base is not to continue the life of the fragrance, and add a third batch of notes; rather, it is to allow the heart and what's left of the top notes to gently fade away in an envelope of patchouli and musk. Truly resembling nature; Hugh Parsons is a fragrance that understands that death is just as beautiful as life; it cannot be elongated or drawn out. Right down to the last molecule of life, Hugh Parsons is a journey with a hypnotizing birth, and a mesmerizing death.
You might think I'm being a bit harsh, or pessimistic; but, what cologne doesn't have flaws and blemishes? Our ability to forgive the minor mistakes and bask in the beauties of the scent are truly what define the love we have for it. Yes, the opening is straight-forward, and yes, the heart is dangerously multi-faceted; but that's coming from a critic, who must keep the balance of compliments and criticism to achieve a neutral verdict -- well, neutral until I tell you that I love this fragrance above all aquatics I've smelled.
Breathtaking natural aromas
Very sensibly balanced; nothing is too strong or too weak
Smooth and precise transitions down the pyramid
Base notes function to wrap the scent up; not to add life.
Soft and straightforward opening
Almost over-complicated heart
Sillage: 8/10 -- your stroll through the woods is calm and relaxed; the aromas that fill your nose do so naturally and without forced projection.
Longevity: 6/10 -- this 6/10 is a 10/10 in disguise; the ultimate ending is unlike any other.
Complexity: 10/10 -- my words do no justice to this; it's simply impossible to describe for an aquatic.
Development: 4/5 – marvelously aged.
Raw scent: 9/10 -- remarkably natural and defying of fallacious, synthetic ingredients.
Overall rating: 9/10 -- for what aquatics I have tried, Hugh Parsons is the Pacific Ocean to others being a lake. Majestic, natural, and brimming with the potentials of greatness; if you are even slightly curious now, please try it with an open mind. It will take some getting used to, but in the end, it will be worth it.
Um, Yeah...I like it too
Lately I've been wearing:
Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah
I think it's the weakest of the Parsons fragrances. Certainly not as good as Erolfa in aquatic terms, though I am known not to like that entire calone-heavy genre. The citruses were more impressive
That's one hell of a review man... great job! I'm looking forward to your Cool Water review .. CW gets somewhat bashed around here 'cause it's a Creed GIT clone/ripoff .. but I love it regardless .. I haven't tried GIT, btw
PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather
Haha, I'm glad you guys like my reviews. I'm writing the one for CW as we speak.
Thanks for a great review - I think another purchase may be imminent.
Edit: since purchased - no regrets
Last edited by JON RODGERS; 10th April 2012 at 04:20 PM.
Thanks for the review. I thoroughly enjoy Hugh Parsons Blue also.
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Great review man!
I'm not sure about its "exclusivity". Ulta sells it regularly. I tried it there and it didn't warrant a purchase to me. Although for an aquatic is very good.
Great review for this under appreciated house and fragrance!
I'm a bigger fan of 99 Regent Street than Blue, but Blue is worth having in any warm weather collection. In fact, I wore it to work the day before yesterday.
Great review man. Nothing else can be said, its great stuff, and most definitely in the pantheon of designer aquatics, if not all aquatics.
Obsessions of the Moment- Kristiansand EDC, Green Irish Tweed, Zizan
Granted, we've known each other for some time. It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine. ~ Common Sense
true... i concur with your review sir... although i do not get the bit on overcomplicated heart chord.
Simplicity is beautiful.
Sale/sample thread. http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=218207
I'm finding this to be a wonderful scent!!!
Also enjoyed the review!
Last edited by telecaster; 9th April 2010 at 03:31 PM. Reason: :)
I never really took a liking to Hugh Parsons Blue. It has a certain note in it I highly dislike.
Loving this one today. Love even more that I bought a used bottle for about $8 off the sales/swap board! Great investment.