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  1. #61
    Heartwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Invited! ♥ ♥ ♥ Sniff 'n' Speak Saturday, December 6, 2008 ★★★ GOURMAND

    I had a hard time psyching myself up for this one. I read the thread in the morning, but felt stumped and didn't apply fragrance. Then, just before the Big Game (Florida vs Alabama), I started feeling nauseous and crampy and was glad I wasn't wearing anything. I think it was just nerves! Finally, in the evening, I decided I'd skip gourmands and sample Tauer's Incense Rose. I'm posting here because this fragrance overwhelmed me with anise. You know those little candy-coated fennel seed candies you find in the foyer of Indian restaurants? That's what this scent is to me. The spicy sweetness reminds me of masala incense. But rose? What rose?! I get more rose from rosewater icecream. Incense Rose is not a winner for me, surprisingly. Fennel candy is yummy in my mouth, not on my skin.
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  2. #62

    Default Re: All Invited! ♥ ♥ ♥ Sniff 'n' Speak Saturday, December 6, 2008 ★★★ GOURMAND

    Bond No.9 Chinatown

    Notes: Peach blossoms, gardenia, tuberose, patchouli, cardamom (from Bond No.9)

    On first application (from a dabber sample), I smell cherries, sugar, almond and powder. A sharp but clean patchouli lurks below the surface, and the composition as a whole is incredibly sweet. Very quickly, the juicyness of the cherry note fades as does the sugar, leaving behind faint tart cherry and sharp almond with sweet powder. The powder is extremely strong and at times smells like baby products. The patchouli is either synthetic or processed--it doesn't have any of the typical head shop "funk" that natural patchouli essential oil has. However, it does add a bit of grunge to the super-sweet top notes, so I think overall it helps balance the composition. This is clearly an oriental, but as to whether it is gourmand, it is difficult to say at this point. Certainly the cherry almond opening is slightly edible, but right now, Chinatown seems more like a floral oriental with a dose of cherry Lifesaver candy.

    I was hoping that Chinatown would morph a little as the top notes burn off, but so far the middle part of the development is linearly following what was present earlier. However, it is far more subdued. The powder has reduced in strength, but is still the most prominent note, and the sweetness is tempered by the astringent patchouli base note. The cherry and almond seem to be hanging in somewhat. I think that the supporting notes are the only things that make the powder seem more grown-up.

    The drydown is still rather powdery, and has no traces of cherry or almond. An artificial floral has emerged...the notes say tuberose, but to me it smells more like Ylang Ylang as it has qualities of rubbery bubblegum and a vague furniture polish vibe. The patchouli is soft and fuzzy in the background, and is really not bad at this point. Although development has been fairly linear, it has also gone rather quickly--to complete drydown in only a couple hours. The fragrance is very faint now, much more subdued but not quite a skin scent.

    I am disappointed in the ultra-linear development and the lack of complexity in this Chinatown. It seems to have very high quality ingredients, however, nothing so far has made me feel the urge to wear it more, let alone buy a bottle for an exorbitant amount of money.

  3. #63
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Invited! ♥ ♥ ♥ Sniff 'n' Speak Saturday, December 6, 2008 ★★★ GOURMAND

    I am back & forth on Chinatown, too. The first time, eh, so so. 2nd time, wow this is good!, 3rd this is the best of it's type. 4th, I'm tired of this type. I think there is some flatness in the dry-down. It is also a little too sweet for my taste. However, far worse are the clones such as Lucky #6 and that ilk. I have a decant I use from time to time to see if I want a full bottle. I still haven't taken the plunge. I wish I knew why. It's something at the finish.....

  4. #64

    Default Re: All Invited! ♥ ♥ ♥ Sniff 'n' Speak Saturday, December 6, 2008 ★★★ GOURMAND

    Here's a much belated summation of my impressions of Fougere Bengale...

    Fougere Bengale starts out with a rush of lavender, coriander, and a garrigue note likely caused by the tarragon, but almost more salty, like thyme. The effect isn't green, but rather a blend of herbs and spices, perhaps some strange fusion dish - half-Greek; half-Indian.

    After the top notes fade, the curtain of lavender lifts, and the spices come into their own. Ginger becomes more noticeable, and I swear I get a touch of turmeric and cardamom too. There is a tea note here, as well as a touch of the animalic - the tiger mentioned in the ad copy, perhaps?

    As the heat of spice and animalic notes fade, a rich hay and tobacco note emerges, accompanied by the most beautiful tonka note I know. All the culinary elements have departed, and I'm left with a warm, dry, hay-like foundation.

    However, I could easily wish this whole transition was more gradual. From first application to disappearance I get about six, seven hours at best, and even then, after the first fifteen minutes the sillage is low and it becomes a "skin scent". It's rich, but compared to most orientals, it's quiet.

    Still, credit where credit is due, this is very unique in my experience, and a somewhat genre crossing creation. It's not really a fougere or oriental or even a gourmand, though it's both dinner and dessert in the same fragrance. It smells distinctly international in its outlook - part Asian; part European, but a seamless blend of both; a Mata Hari fragrance on the edge of two fragrance worlds.

    Something I should say is that, other than the fougere in the title, this is not in the least a "green" fragrance. Herbal, at times, but dry herbs - no dew, no fresh green leaves, and certainly no oakmoss to my nose.

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