I snuck into Sephora this week and shot myself with a few colognes that I hadn't tried before...
I was surprised by how close Cartier Pasha seemed to Preferred Stock. (I'm not bashing it, though, because I always thought PS was intriguing for a cheapy.) They're both sharply smoky. I'll have to see if PS seems harsher or cheap when they're side by side.
As others have remarked, Zirh IKON was pretty similar to Dunhill Edition (at least by the end), which I like a lot and was lamenting its discontinuation. Now at least I feel like there's a substitute available. I'm a bit annoyed that IKON seems to only come in big sizes, but then it's on the cheaper side. Maybe a tiny bit more honey and less spice in the drydown?
Herrera 212 was decently fresh but too sweetly floral, and reminded me of C Howard's violet candies by the end (you may have seen the square-shaped tube, purple wrapper). The only other thing that reminded me of those candies was Royal Bain de Caron, which is thankfully gone from my house now.
Gendarme EDP was a lot closer to Mugler Cologne than I had expected, though I think it's more wetly clean and floral in the drydown, with less of the slimy tinge that I get from Mugler. (By the end of the day with Mugler, I almost feel the didn't-get-all-the-soap-off sensation). The problem is that the EDP only comes in larger sizes than the EDC, which seems counterintuitive to me. Is the EDC pretty close in smell to the EDP but just more dilute?
The SA gave me sample vials of Narciso Rodriguez and l'Eau par Kenzo. NR seemed harshly spicy at first, but then later in the day it reminded me of a somewhat more spicy Zino or London, though maybe a tad more green and less creamy. The Kenzo is a little lemonier than aquatics like Issey, and I think I like that because it provides something a little less artificial.
Hahaha, I like how you say "snuck" into Sephora, that accurately describes the way I went in there today too. I sprayed some Narcisso as well and Guerlain Vetiver, I like the top notes of Narcisso, then it went downhill for me, whereas I did find the Guerlain rather intriguing throughout and worth trying again.