Some of these were tested on skin, some on paper, I'll indicate that after the scent name. These are quick impressions and may not include the full dry down of the scent. Sorry, I'm impatient
I'll likely edit my thoughts considerably as I test more, but sometimes it's nice to have something like this to look back and see what kind of (very) initial impressions scents left on us.
ELdO Rien (skin + paper) - Ugh. Aldehyde overload. It took me a long time as I rarely test women's scents, but I've realized that I just can't deal with heavy doses of the waxy/fatty aldehydes. It really detracts from the openings of scents like Minotaure and to a lesser degree Le Roy Soleil de Homme, but here I can barely stand it. After they settle down I'm getting a nice slightly creamy but not sweet suede scent. A far more masculine Daim Blonde without the apricot.
Olivier Durbano Turquoise (skin + paper) - Starts with a fruity calone blast but this is quickly joined by a coniferous note. A whisper of incense, some woods and a wallop of a watery note and some (black/blue?) berries? form the heart of this fragrance. It does smell turquoise, actually, but seems a bit "high pitched" - it feels as if it could use a bit more depth to it. In the middle of the drydown I am left with some woods and the berry note - it smells like a lighter Hinoki with berries present.
Olivier Durbano Jade (paper) - starts green and mentholated and a fairly strong incense note quickly joins the fray. The menthol like note and green character carries on though and makes this an interesting incense blend.
Amouage Lyric (paper) - the opening smelled exactly like.. baby wipes. This fades into a nice rose fragrance but I can't get over just how much that opening smells like baby wipes.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Route du Vetiver, new formulation (paper) - This is taken from another thread where I compared the old to the new...
The black currant was forcefully ripped out of the new version. I'm just testing them on paper but the old one was dark, smooth, earthy.. almost had a wet earth quality. The new one is bright, starting with an iodine like note not completely unlike Annick Goutal Vetiver, although not as iodine-ish and not as airy. I'd say that's probably the vetiver it's closest too, although it's a *bit* heavier and with a bit more body. Smells a lot like plain vetiver oil, tbh.
While I haven't skin tested it yet, and I'm can't yet say if it's a good or bad vetiver on its own merits, it is not at all like the old Route Du Vetiver and I can understand why anyone who wanted the old and got the new would be upset. Yup - this reformulation is perhaps the most drastic (although tbh, the removal of the coffee note in Santal Noble was a pretty big change, I just happen to think for the better!).
M. Micallef Aoud (paper) - a very well blended oud and rose combo. Smells like many montale aoud/rose combo (I've not smelled Black Aoud but it does remind me a bit of Aoud Red Flowers but with less rose or like attar but with much more aoud, or the latter stages of the drydown in Aoud Lime or Royal Aoud, but the aoud seems smoother). Yes, Aoud smells like many Montale aouds, but.. better. Smoother, richer, with more vibrancy (so many Montales feel "flat" to me, in the same way that cheap fragrance oils feel "flat"). Like I said, this is a real real early impression and I know skin can change things, but it really seems like this should be the reference aoud/rose combo. It smelled that good and that well balanced.
M. Micallef White Sea (paper) - starts out with a wonderful lime note that is more bitter than sweet. A saltiness is present and long outlasts the lime, joining the iris and violet (which is present but quite light, a violet that I think even violet haters could enjoy!) in the heart. There is an airiness to it, a haziness - it evokes images of a roiling sea at dusk. It calls to mind similar images as Bulgari Aqua - they both smell quite different but do have a similar mood/vibe to them. I can't wait to give this a full test. I can see the comparison to Narcisso Rodriguez but this is much lighter and airer (and saltier) and less green. NR smells greenish purple to me and White Sea smells hazy grey. I'm thinking this might be a great "NR for summer."
M. Micallef Black Sea (paper) - Lilies, carnation and clove. Smooth like The Third Man and Love Potion #9 but a bit less creamy and dense than either. Also has a bit of an airiness to it which allows the spice and flower heavy blend to evoke images of a sea. This is a calm black sea at midnight, just off the shores of Turkey, with the spices being carried on a gentle breeze.
and, I saved the best (according to my nose ) for last. Drumroll, please!
Amouage Reflection (new bottle, skin + paper test) - I think it was Jenson who said it smells like a combination of scents such as Geir, Fleur Du Male, Burberry Brit, etc. and stated the opening had the "cloud effect." Well, I don't recall Brit but Jenson was right in that it does smell like a cross between Geir and Fleur Du Male, but significantly richer and more pleasing than both. The opening is a heavenly powdery cloud of orris and orange blossom. The pepper and rosemary notes listed it in the pyramid are not perceptible on their own - they are likely used to tone down the sweetness. I don't even know what to say about this scent except that it smells heavenly - and I don't just mean it smells really really darn good. No, it is the actual aroma I'd imagine heaven to have.. or at least my heaven would have. I don't know when I'd wear this - it's rather flamboyant and definitely unisex if not leaning to the feminine side, but it is absolutely amazing. The finest and most enchanting opening I've ever come across. I have never ever been so taken aback upon an initial whiff. It seems fairly linear - it was hard to tell on skin because I had so many other scents but on paper the orange blossom faded some but other than that the basic scent seems to have remained the same, and that is perfectly fine by me. Any fans of Geir Ness, Fleur Du Male, Prada Amber, Canoe, or any other powder heavy or orange blossom heavy fragrances need to give this a sniff. Heaven.
edit: I resampled this after washing other things off and I definitely pick up the pink pepper and other aromatics in the opening. The pink pepper, especially, is greatly contributing to the allure and sexiness of the opening - just as it does in Escada Magnetism, but here it is not swamped in aldehydes.
edit 2: LT gave this a lower rating than Arcus?!? One star? Wow.. I am baffled. I might have to pick up his damn book just to read that review!
Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 10th July 2009 at 08:08 PM.
Great reviews SOS, but I'm not going to lie Reflection is pretty gross to me. Super sweet + Super powdery + Super loud = Instant Headache. Just too much of everything too me, and at first I thought I liked it then... ughhh. I don't really see much connection with Geir, aside from the feeling both give me in my stomach , but to me it's like a combo of Joop!, Fleur de Male, and Brit. So Jen definitely got most of that spot on.
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We'll see how Reflection fares on a full wearing. I can see how it very well might be "too much."
The kind of funny thing is I have been working on a scent that actually smells a bit like Reflection (actually, the main reason I picked up the sample was because it sounded like it shared a similar vision as the scent I'm working on), but lighter, less flamboyant, and more airy/ethereal (some of that is unavoidable when working with all naturals.) I think it's safe to say that Reflection has a fair bit of natural orris in it.
Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 10th July 2009 at 10:26 PM.
I found Lyric men to be way too feminine for my tastes. After trying several rose frags, mostly "men's," I prefer Chopard Madness Natural Black, a "women's" frag.
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thanks for the reviews SoS, always a pleasure to read
i would love to hear your thoughts on how Lyric (for men) grows on you with subsequent samplings.... i had earlier dimissed it as a "yet" another rose based scent...but subsequent samplings changed my mindset completely. something about it clings on to you and creates a olfactory signature which is impossible to erase. it's more like smelling tons of rose petals in unision...whereas scents like Rose Poivree goes under the microscope and makes it possible for one to visualize the veins in a rose petal...it;d not be fair to compare these two frags...but we can certainly compare it to the rose used in Black Oudh as well as Oudh Damascus..and there, Lyric rules.
Micallef White Sea...isnt it an incredible scent! it was very difficult for me to wear NR after i sampled this one. White Sea simply smashes NR out of the window and onto the nearest sale thread btw, if you liekd this one and wondered if there was a milkier...even more sexier version of this...? Thn do sample Costume National's 21.
on Amouage Reflection...let me add Creed's Himalaya to the list reflection just doesnt suit the Amouage catalogue...it's like satriani playing lead for boyzone.
I've got a sample of Himalaya sitting around which I'll have to test side by side with Reflection. Himalaya didn't make much of an impression on me, although from what I recall of it I do see some similarities.
I'm curious to see how White Sea performs on skin. I don't see it as a NR replacement as it seemed much airier and lighter while NR is quite opaque. It definitely smells more natural and seems to have much more evolution than NR, though!
Full reviews of the scents that really move me are forthcoming (although I am notoriously bad at following through on this so bear with me ).
Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 11th July 2009 at 02:34 AM.
I asked the new girl at work about a few samples I had in my bag.
Reflection - "Smells nice, but for an older person. So soft.. this doesn't smell like a man at all!"
White Sea - "Ugh. Smells like an old person. Too.. musky? Too something!" (oh how I wish I had Narciso Rodriguez on me at the moment )
Sanguine Muskissime - She couldn't really smell it. At all. Odd.
Micallef Aoud - "Smells like an old person. No, I don't like it at all."
I don't usually expose people to random samples or ask for their opinion, but she is pretty cool and open minded so I figured what the heck. She herself wears Curious by Britney Spears (it smells quite nice on her, actually!) and remarked about coming across a bottle of Adidas Moves that 'smelled amazing.' She admitted though that her only exposure has been mainstream scents and we talked about how one's perceptions can change over time and I made analogies to music and art.
Guess niche isn't about to become mainstream anytime soon. I only see her maybe once a week but I'm going to keep bringing stuff for her to smell. I tried to convince her that in time she'll lose the "smells like an old person" mentality but she's not so sure, haha. She was really curious to learn more about perfumery though, and was especially interested to hear about the origin of animalics such as civet, musk and ambergris.
Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 14th July 2009 at 02:24 PM.
Funny, I now think Reflection is just "ok" (the opening and first hour or so is amazing, but then it just fades into a sweet and relatively characterless ylang/orris/jasmine melange with a hint of cedar.. too sweet and too thin).
Rien went from being unbearable to something that really has me intrigued. I can imagine wearing this to metal concerts or well, anywhere I'd think of wearing Salvador Dali pour homme. Rien is quite a bit smoother though and that makes it wearable in far more situations. Dali PH comes off as incredibly abrasive and synthetic to me while Rien, not smelling all that natural, is far from abrasive. The opening aldehyde blast is still a bit much for me but it seems my nose is adapting as with each wearing its gotten more bearable and is now bordering on pleasant.
Turquoise is really quite interesting but is just too strong and long lasting. It does start with a turpentine like juniper/coniferous note along with a shot of calone. The calone is quite strong for quite awhile in this but is always supported by enough other notes that it doesn't smell generic or indistinct. A slightly smokey mineralic smell comes to the fore pretty quickly as well (perhaps another conifer such as black spruce which smells mineralic to my nose, or the incense from the base).
All in all I find the scent quite interesting conceptually - it does an excellent job of representing the color turquoise. In regards to only those criteria I'd give it a 5/5 - but it is, as I suspected from my initial testing, a bit too thin and has too many 'high register' notes that the whole thing becomes tiring after awhile and is just not something I want to smell like all day (and it will last all day, and then some!). Subjectively I give it a 3/5.
Very nice reviews! I don't have experience with any of these but it definately gives me ideas.
Is the juice worth the squeeze?