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  1. #1

    Default My visit in perfume paradise

    I was in Frankfurt today at the 270 year old perfumery Albrecht on the city's high high street. A breathtaking selection of fragrances. I picked up a bottle of Caraceni for a fellow basenoter, but used the opportunity to sniff around. The store consist of two separate but close locations, though I can't quite figure out why they have somne lines at both and others at only the one or the other. Whatever...

    Interestingly, the 2nd store has replaced smelling strips with glass sticks. They are sprayed, handed to you and then washed to be reused. More ecological and no paper-smell intruding. The diffusion pattern however is different from paper and general intensity seems lower. I'm not sure I find it entirely convincing.

    I tried a lot of highly vaunted BN favorites I didn't know yet. These are only brief impressions, and I'm painfully aware that skin wearing and longer trials can lead to completely different impressions, but there was not much time, as I had an (excellent) inaugural lecture and turkey dinner to attend to . So these impressuons are to be taken with big lumps of salt

    Profumum Thundra struck me as good, not hugely interesting, not my cup of tea, much less at the price.
    Odori's Iris, leather and tobacco were complete disappointments. Boring, and misnamed - no leather in the leather and not too much tobacco in get my meaning. The iris was good quality, but plain boring. dior or prada does better than that, and the iris in Bois d'Iris, though not lasting enough, is much more satisfying. Two that grabbed my attention were Timbuktu nad even more so Fougère Bengale, which I had thought I would hate after reading reviews here. It actuallyseemed the most substantial of the lot, well balanced, not overly animalic and delivered a very fine note of dried tobacco leaf far preferable to Odori's meek showing. I was diappointed in Miller Harris' Feuilles de Tabac as well (boring and too little tobacco) and learned that Cuir d'Oranger has been discontinued as of July 08.

    On to the other store. The winner here was Caraceni. Measured against the other scents it emerged as a beautifully crafted, substantial composition of rose, balsamic incense and dark tobacco, melancholy, but with a charisma that shoved the lightweights aside effortlessly. Serious competition came from Amouage Jubilation XXV, which is a sublime incense indeed. Contrary to dia, I can actually smell this. It has the same fruity florality as Paestum trose, but, thankfully, toned waaaay down here and set beside spices and a mediterranean herbaceousness that keeps it in check and lets the incense evolve. Yeah, it's Paestum rose without the garish make up. I would have gladly layed down $50 for a small bottle of this, but who knows - I started out liking Paestum and grew sick of it very quickly. Would this suffer the same fate? They made me a small decant of this, so I'll be able to play around with it some more.
    I'm unhappy to report that the two male follow-ups to Washington Tremlett's Black Tie, a current favorite of mine, were utterly disappointing. Both Royal Heroes and MPH started out smelling rather generically of spicy-woody and spicy-green masculine, only to deteriorate into caricatures of British classics. Imagine paying 140 Euros for a bottle of juice and then a jack-in-the-box pops out of them shouting "4.99 drugstore frag." There is a recurring narrative here, it seems. A line begins, having its stuff made by Forester Milano. The result is an excellent perfume made from supreme materials, frequently featuring a stunning dark licqurous rose essence (No. 88, Caraceni, Black Tie, the Campagna line). Forester then loses the account and the next release in the line is generic drivel (not C&S, though No. 88 has suffered, but Caraceni Ivy League and the Tremletts. Campagna is virtually invisible anyway).
    I got a sample of Tremlett's Neroli (still made by Forester) which was very nice. The excellent neroli blended with hesperides for zestiness over a simple light musk - nothing special though and no reason to shell out 140 Euros when Roger Gallet's Farina is just as good at a fraction. My nose was too exhausted at this point to try the Swarovski Iris spectacle and I was too numb to smell much of Goutals Encens Flamboyant and Musc Nomade. Besides the Jubilation decant & WT Neroli I left with samples of diptyques Vinaigre de Toilette and Bond No. 9 Hamptons - which is an incredibly poor attempt at creating a generic "modern Creed" scent that nearly makes P. Diddy rise in my estimation again (only nearly).

    To recap the winners of this little slam sniffathon:
    Domenico Caraceni
    Fougere Bengale
    Amouage Jubilation XXV

    As always, this was lots of fun.
    Currently wearing: Mellis by Annette Neuffer

  2. #2

    lightgreen22's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Timbuktu as in L'Artisan's Timbuktu?
    Last edited by lightgreen22; 27th November 2008 at 11:34 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Awesome. Thanks for the info. I had been wondering about Caraceni.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Thanks for sharing T_G_L, you must have been like a kid in a toy store!

    I have a store nearby that carries the L'Artisan range and I've long intended to try Timbuktu; your comment on it might get me off my backside for a lunchtime walk!

  5. #5

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Quote Originally Posted by lightgreen22 View Post
    Timbuktu as in L'Artisan's Timbuktu?
    Yes indeed. It is a transparent kind of fragrance in a way that may be easily overlooked when sampling a dozen perfumes, but it had a certain "Je ne sais quoi" that suggested closer attention, as opposed to the blandness of other stuff I tried. I was obviously leaning towards incense that day .
    Currently wearing: Mellis by Annette Neuffer

  6. #6

    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
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    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Quote Originally Posted by lightgreen22 View Post
    Timbuktu as in L'Artisan's Timbuktu?
    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Yes indeed. It is a transparent kind of fragrance in a way that may be easily overlooked when sampling a dozen perfumes, but it had a certain "Je ne sais quoi" that suggested closer attention, as opposed to the blandness of other stuff I tried. I was obviously leaning towards incense that day .
    I just recently tried Timbuktu, and I agree with Luca Turin that it has one of the most intriguingly understated yet mind-grabbing wood notes I have ever smelled. I still cannot quite put my finger on what that attention-getting quality is. I wore it to a meeting, and everybody must have thought I had a cold, from the way I was sniffing the air.

    If my nose was working both days, then I would say that perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour put the same thing into Dzongkha, which I sampled a few weeks later. However, Dzongkha is - to me - a far richer and more complicated fragrance. Both are wonderful in my opinion. Here is a link to a site describing cypriol, mentioned to Turin by Duchaufour as a key component of Timbuktu.
    There is no beauty
    That cannot be more abused
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  7. #7
    If not now, when?

    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Miami, FL

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Great recap t_g_l

    Yes, I think Dzonghka and Timbuktu smell very alike. I didn't like either, but when I was in LA at Barneys the SA convinced me to retry both so she gave me some carded samples to take home and I plan on giving them a full wearing again soon.

    Strangely, when I wore Timbuktu the first time (a year or so ago) a friend told me I 'smelled great.' Which always annoys me - when someone compliments me on my fragrance, and it's a smell I'm not really liking myself.

    Isn't Jubilation XXV quite amazing stuff? Every couple days, I take off the cap and sniff the bottle top just to revel in how wonderful it smells.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 28th November 2008 at 03:46 AM.
    "When you become comfortable with uncertainty. infinite possibilities open up in your life"

    -- Eckhart Tolle
    Currently wearing: Vetiver by Guerlain

  8. #8

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Thanks for the wonderful reviews.. t_g_l !

    Timbuktu though very light(sublime?) in nature keeps it intensity (or volume as i like to say it) pretty consistent....not my type of scent though... i prefer Dzonghka any day over it which is wonderful green woody incense totally different from Timbuktu

    XXV is one scent which has grew on me with every this stuff...matter of fact the basenotes of Thundra share some earthiness to the opening notes of XXV. XXV however happens to be the only other scent apart from Profumum Olibanum, of which i can enjoy the frankincense note...seems very real and not brash...

    once again, you pique my interest in DC...seems it's a must have

    p.s. being a Profumum addict now, i request you to give Thundra a full wear...the magic is in it's sillage...and the progressions. love it..

    also, i wrongly stated Timbuktu smells like Kyoto towards its mid-base notes....i actually meant Passage D'Enfer
    Last edited by jenson; 28th November 2008 at 11:07 AM.

  9. #9
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    A fun smell-a-thon!

    Cuir d'Oranger discontinued? Sacre Bleu!

    Timbuktu is decent, but I always found the incense to be a tad weak .. the first half of peppery green florals is interesting, but for some reason my nose detected too much cardamom .. I might need to retest it.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Louisville, KY

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Thanks for the great reviews, the_good_life. I always look forward to your postings. I recently bought a bottle of DC from the German shop you suggested and received it last week. It really is terrific, isn't it? Hopefully we're not seeing the last of it.

    I recently re-tried Fougere Bengale and am considering it for a purchase after the holidays. It's really unlike anything else in my wardrobe. (From PdE, I also like Cuir Ottoman, but can't really justify a purchase when I already own REL and Dzing! I also LOVE Eau de Gloire, but that's not a view that seems to be shared by many here on basenotes.)

    I, too, was impressed with Jubilation XXV, but not enough to pay what they ask for it. BTW, I can't smell Dia either. Odd.

    I have to agree with jensen about preferring Dzonghka over Timbuktu. I've tested Timbuktu a couple of times and found it pleasant, but I don't get the uniqueness in it that is apparently found by others.

    Thanks again for the great reviews!

  11. #11

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Really nice report the_good_life!
    Strange you didn't enjoy MH feuilles de tabac: it's not a hyperbole but it's a good plain tobacco smell with a velvety smoothing base imo. But well, if you like stronger tobacco there are stronger ones.
    Timbuktu I know can smell nice on the right skin but it really doesn't work for me: on my skin it turns candy sweet and powdery with a faint smoky hint, not at all shining and not worth the price.
    Caranceni, well, I can see its beauty but not on me: way too shirt&tie classic gent to suit my taste.
    Fougère Bengale was a surprise to me too: powerful, round, featuring lavender and honey in such a graceful, masculine wild yet gentlemanly way. it was love at first sniff.

  12. #12

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    I must be alone in this but I actually prefer Timbuktu over Dzonghka. I like them both but if I had to choose, i'd choose Timbuktu. Dzonghka smells pretty harsh to me in its initial stages, too much pepper for my liking.. and a fairly generic woody-incensy drydown. Timbuktu, on the other hand charmed me with its well interwoven fruit notes alongwith generous dosages of frankincense, it isn't too strong, and thus is the more wearable of the two for me. Oddly, neither of these two are FBW for me, or maybe if I got them at bargain rates

    I've never had a liking for Rose dominant frags, or even frags with prominent rose notes. I definitely do, however, prefer DC 1913 over C&S, Montale BA and the rest of the gang. Again, not FBW for me simply because I don't like Rose prominent frags.

    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather

  13. #13

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Serious competition came from Amouage Jubilation XXV, which is a sublime incense indeed. Contrary to dia, I can actually smell this.
    Thanks for the lovely report.
    I have a bottle of Dia; I absolutely love it for the first 10 minutes, but then I can't smell it. However, people around me say they can.

  14. #14

    Default Re: My visit in perfume paradise

    Thanks for letting us in on your excursion!

    I have a couple Caraceni & Jubilation XXV samples that I'd dimissed earlier this year. Maybe I was in a bad mood . This gives me good reason to pull them out again and give them another smell.
    Last edited by Delmar; 28th November 2008 at 08:16 PM.

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