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  1. #1

    Default 5 Long CB I Hate Perfume reviews

    A while back I began to feel like I was in a rut and a little bored with most of the fragrances in my collection. I would find myself going though my samples and decants looking for something inspiring, interesting, or evocative to wear. I really enjoyed Nasomato’s Duro, and a set of Tom Ford Private Collection samples held my interest for a while, but nothing really gave me that spark that I was looking for (although Amber Absolute
    and Tobacco Vanille are both very good.) So, somehow I found myself on the CB I Hate Perfumes website. Interesting. I had never tried anything from the line, and I guess I just bought the whole feel-good philosophy. And I really related to his ideas about the power of scent as primarily an evocative force, one that defines our history and experience.
    He says, “The way you respond to any scent is unlike anyone else’s – no one remembers what you do, no one feels what you feel. There is a reason you remember certain scents so fondly – it’s the way nature designed you. Scent is the record of your own special life – it’s your experience.”

    Most of the perfumes are made in two forms, oil or water based. He does not use alcohol in his products, for reasons you can read on his site.

    So I pulled up the Perfumed Court and lucked into a sale on CB’s fragrances. I ordered pretty randomly; Burning Leaves, Just Breathe, Russian Caravan Tea, Black March, and The Fir Tree. All in water perfume versions. After a week of wearing, here are my impressions:

    The Fir Tree: This is a pretty straight-ahead accord. I live in rainy Portland, Oregon and have grown up around Douglas Firs. I spend about 3-4 weeks a year doing forest restoration, and the fir tree is one of my earliest, most familiar and comforting smells. This version is pretty true to life, with sticky fir sap, pine needles, and some freshly cut lumber. If you have ever carried your freshly cut Christmas tree in from your car through the rain, this is the fragrance that lingers on your shirt. This was my first trial of a water perfume, and the main effect seems to be a short skin life, and reduced sillage. It wears close to the skin, and is not at all a powerhouse. That said, I suspect that this low profile correlates to its extreme naturalism – it may lack some of the aroma-chemicals that produce and enhance sillage, but might tarnish the bright realism of the fragrance.

    Just Breathe: The listed notes are Bamboo Leaves, Japanese Green Tea, three varieties of Cedarwood, forest and just the merest hint of Incense. Well, this is a much more sweet and traditionally feminine accord than you might expect from looking at the notes. The bamboo and green tea come through, but there is a definite white floral tone to the mix here. It has a light, airy feel, and again, the naturalism is impressive. Sometimes I get a strong sweet rose note from this. In the end, I enjoy the perfume, and will wear it at times, but it’s too feminine to wear to the prison – the real world acid test for my feelings that people should wear whatever perfumes they want.

    Burning Leaves: This is lovely and very evocative. The smoke here is nicely done. Unlike Lonestar memories, which pounds me with a distinct, acrid “liquid smoke” note, Burning Leaves is a more gentle effect. I get images of piles of fallen maple leaves, sap, maple syrup, some incense, and some of that wonderful sweet smokey smell that lingers on your clothes after you have been in the yard burning a pile of leaves. This is the longest lasting, and most “present” of those that I tried This is a comforting, casual fragrance best worn on weekends in winter.

    Russian Caravan Tea: I have tried and worn a lot of tea scents. I enjoy the Lapsong, chai tea effects of Tea For Two, the black tea notes of CdG’s Tea, and the green tea notes of Rodger and Gallet’s Green Tea. For summer, my favorite is lovely jasmine and lemon tea accord of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Thé Pour un Été. And this Russian Caravan Tea is somehow a completely different animal. The listed notes include “Smoked black Indian tea, bergamot and the hint of shelves full of old books.” The initial blast is of a well-balanced black tea – chamomile I think – and a strong dose of lemon. It’s a nice effect that makes a warm and inviting. It is not as strong as smokey as CdG’s Tea Leaves, but definitely on the masculine side. There is little sweetness here, but it is not bitter or resinous like some teas can be. The overall effect is earthy and comforting.

    Black March: Reportedly inspired by the poem by Stevie Smith.(there is a wonderful and rich analysis of the poem here http://www.helium.com/items/137189-s...-stevie-smiths ). The smell of Black March reminds me of soil, vegetables, the almost floral explosions of smell that a garden after a spring rain. The notes are listed as, “rain drops, leaf buds, wet twigs, tree sap, bark, mossy earth and the faintest hint of spring flower bulbs, as pretty and bright as rain drops on black twigs in March.” Honestly I don’t find this a particularly “pretty scent.” It has a lush, cool, vegetal tone that is familiar and evocative, but I was wishing at times that it brought a bit more green, floral, “pretty” notes to the party. But, I suppose, that would have made it too much like the perfume which Mr. Brosius so clearly hates. It took a couple wearings, but this one eventually became a favorite, especially when layered with the similarly earthy but much brighter Black Caravan Tea.

    In all, I highly recommend that you all find a way to try some of his scents. They certainly pulled me out of my fragrance funk and brought back some fun to this wonderful hobby. Also, I would be interested in exchanging CB decants with anyone who wants to swap. His new one, Fire From Heaven (http://www.cbihateperfume.com/CBFFH.html) sounds like something I need to try.
    Thanks all.

    -Slim
    Haikus are easy
    But do not always make sense
    Refrigerator

    ____________________________________________
    My swaps and sales are now listed here:
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=124

    And here (just search for Slim):
    http://scentsplits.wikidot.com/current-splits

  2. #2

    Default Re: 5 Long CB I Hate Perfume reviews

    Thanks for your thoughts Slim, I've always found the line to be quite interesting. I'm partial to At the Beach and Memories of Kindness, but am always interesting in trying his other compositions. I've been tempted on more than one occasion to order a king's ransom of his accords from the website, but have stopped myself. His shop is definitely on my list of places to visit next time I'm in NYC.
    Oh please, if everyone around here is going to start telling the truth, I'm going to bed. - The House of Yes

  3. #3

    Default Re: 5 Long CB I Hate Perfume reviews

    Good reviews. Russian Caravan Tea is one of my all-time favourites. I don't think I own anything else that lasts as long as it does.

  4. #4
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    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 Long CB I Hate Perfume reviews

    Thanks for the reviews Slim - comments on the CBIHP line always catch my attention. They're so darn...intellectual and nostalgic, aren't they? If popular department store fragrances were TV sitcoms then CBIHP fragrances are dramas.

    I've never smelled a bamboo leaf note, so now your description of Just Breathe intrigues me. Also, I've heard many comment favorably on the Russian Caravan Tea (the name always confuses me...it sounds like a Celestial Seasonings herbal tea flavor, not a fragrance), so I guess I'm gonna have to try that one too. I, like you, fell under the spell of Burning Leaves and Black March already.

    I have not smelled Fire from Heaven yet - but a review I read of it online mentioned it seemed...unfinished, if that makes sense. For an even more smoky effect, I notice that he has a 'Bonfire' accord which sounds like both you and I would enjoy. And yes - next time I buy a bunch o' water decants from TPC, I will definitely PM you about swapping some. I love trying his stuff.

    I really want to find Christopher's book that he published last year. I'm having trouble finding it because it's out-of-print and Amazon doesn't stock it anymore. I mentioned it on this thread here: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=207823
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 11th April 2008 at 08:30 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 5 Long CB I Hate Perfume reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by SlimPickins View Post
    A while back I began to feel like I was in a rut and a little bored with most of the fragrances in my collection. I would find myself going though my samples and decants looking for something inspiring, interesting, or evocative to wear. I really enjoyed Nasomato’s Duro, and a set of Tom Ford Private Collection samples held my interest for a while, but nothing really gave me that spark that I was looking for (although Amber Absolute
    and Tobacco Vanille are both very good.) So, somehow I found myself on the CB I Hate Perfumes website. Interesting. I had never tried anything from the line, and I guess I just bought the whole feel-good philosophy. And I really related to his ideas about the power of scent as primarily an evocative force, one that defines our history and experience.
    He says, “The way you respond to any scent is unlike anyone else’s – no one remembers what you do, no one feels what you feel. There is a reason you remember certain scents so fondly – it’s the way nature designed you. Scent is the record of your own special life – it’s your experience.”

    Most of the perfumes are made in two forms, oil or water based. He does not use alcohol in his products, for reasons you can read on his site.

    So I pulled up the Perfumed Court and lucked into a sale on CB’s fragrances. I ordered pretty randomly; Burning Leaves, Just Breathe, Russian Caravan Tea, Black March, and The Fir Tree. All in water perfume versions. After a week of wearing, here are my impressions:

    The Fir Tree: This is a pretty straight-ahead accord. I live in rainy Portland, Oregon and have grown up around Douglas Firs. I spend about 3-4 weeks a year doing forest restoration, and the fir tree is one of my earliest, most familiar and comforting smells. This version is pretty true to life, with sticky fir sap, pine needles, and some freshly cut lumber. If you have ever carried your freshly cut Christmas tree in from your car through the rain, this is the fragrance that lingers on your shirt. This was my first trial of a water perfume, and the main effect seems to be a short skin life, and reduced sillage. It wears close to the skin, and is not at all a powerhouse. That said, I suspect that this low profile correlates to its extreme naturalism – it may lack some of the aroma-chemicals that produce and enhance sillage, but might tarnish the bright realism of the fragrance.

    Just Breathe: The listed notes are Bamboo Leaves, Japanese Green Tea, three varieties of Cedarwood, forest and just the merest hint of Incense. Well, this is a much more sweet and traditionally feminine accord than you might expect from looking at the notes. The bamboo and green tea come through, but there is a definite white floral tone to the mix here. It has a light, airy feel, and again, the naturalism is impressive. Sometimes I get a strong sweet rose note from this. In the end, I enjoy the perfume, and will wear it at times, but it’s too feminine to wear to the prison – the real world acid test for my feelings that people should wear whatever perfumes they want.

    Burning Leaves: This is lovely and very evocative. The smoke here is nicely done. Unlike Lonestar memories, which pounds me with a distinct, acrid “liquid smoke” note, Burning Leaves is a more gentle effect. I get images of piles of fallen maple leaves, sap, maple syrup, some incense, and some of that wonderful sweet smokey smell that lingers on your clothes after you have been in the yard burning a pile of leaves. This is the longest lasting, and most “present” of those that I tried This is a comforting, casual fragrance best worn on weekends in winter.

    Russian Caravan Tea: I have tried and worn a lot of tea scents. I enjoy the Lapsong, chai tea effects of Tea For Two, the black tea notes of CdG’s Tea, and the green tea notes of Rodger and Gallet’s Green Tea. For summer, my favorite is lovely jasmine and lemon tea accord of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Thé Pour un Été. And this Russian Caravan Tea is somehow a completely different animal. The listed notes include “Smoked black Indian tea, bergamot and the hint of shelves full of old books.” The initial blast is of a well-balanced black tea – chamomile I think – and a strong dose of lemon. It’s a nice effect that makes a warm and inviting. It is not as strong as smokey as CdG’s Tea Leaves, but definitely on the masculine side. There is little sweetness here, but it is not bitter or resinous like some teas can be. The overall effect is earthy and comforting.

    Black March: Reportedly inspired by the poem by Stevie Smith.(there is a wonderful and rich analysis of the poem here http://www.helium.com/items/137189-s...-stevie-smiths ). The smell of Black March reminds me of soil, vegetables, the almost floral explosions of smell that a garden after a spring rain. The notes are listed as, “rain drops, leaf buds, wet twigs, tree sap, bark, mossy earth and the faintest hint of spring flower bulbs, as pretty and bright as rain drops on black twigs in March.” Honestly I don’t find this a particularly “pretty scent.” It has a lush, cool, vegetal tone that is familiar and evocative, but I was wishing at times that it brought a bit more green, floral, “pretty” notes to the party. But, I suppose, that would have made it too much like the perfume which Mr. Brosius so clearly hates. It took a couple wearings, but this one eventually became a favorite, especially when layered with the similarly earthy but much brighter Black Caravan Tea.

    In all, I highly recommend that you all find a way to try some of his scents. They certainly pulled me out of my fragrance funk and brought back some fun to this wonderful hobby. Also, I would be interested in exchanging CB decants with anyone who wants to swap. His new one, Fire From Heaven (http://www.cbihateperfume.com/CBFFH.html) sounds like something I need to try.
    Thanks all.

    -Slim
    I like your reviews here. I have only one recommendation. Stay away from his mixed with water stuff. Get the absolutes always. Better staying power, better sillage and a better quality of scent.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 5 Long CB I Hate Perfume reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Thanks for the reviews Slim - comments on the CBIHP line always catch my attention. They're so darn...intellectual and nostalgic, aren't they? If popular department store fragrances were TV sitcoms then CBIHP fragrances are dramas.

    I've never smelled a bamboo leaf note, so now your description of Just Breathe intrigues me. Also, I've heard many comment favorably on the Russian Caravan Tea (the name always confuses me...it sounds like a Celestial Seasonings herbal tea flavor, not a fragrance), so I guess I'm gonna have to try that one too. I, like you, fell under the spell of Burning Leaves and Black March already.

    I have not smelled Fire from Heaven yet - but a review I read of it online mentioned it seemed...unfinished, if that makes sense. For an even more smoky effect, I notice that he has a 'Bonfire' accord which sounds like both you and I would enjoy. And yes - next time I buy a bunch o' water decants from TPC, I will definitely PM you about swapping some. I love trying his stuff.

    I really want to find Christopher's book that he published last year. I'm having trouble finding it because it's out-of-print and Amazon doesn't stock it anymore. I mentioned it on this thread here: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=207823
    Yeah, I've been looking for that book since you mentioned it. No luck.

    I had not read the review of Fire from Heaven, but the "unfinished" comment makes sense. I think that Frankincense and Myrrh based scents are delicate and tricky things, easily gone sideways.

    Regarding the bamboo leaf note, I think the whole sent has sort of a light, woody/leafy undercurrent. There is not a distinct bamboo note, to my nose. In fact, I have spent plenty of time cutting bamboo (terrible work) and have never noticed a distinct scent associated with the leaves.

    Thanks.

    -Slim
    Haikus are easy
    But do not always make sense
    Refrigerator

    ____________________________________________
    My swaps and sales are now listed here:
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=124

    And here (just search for Slim):
    http://scentsplits.wikidot.com/current-splits

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