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  1. #1
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    Default Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    I hadn't been to the Scent Bar in a while, and decided to use my day off before the Labor Day weekend to "make amends". I showed up around 12:30pm and Angela was the SA. I also discovered that finding parking available for longer than 2 hours near Beverly Blvd and N Flores St on a workday is no easy task. You really need to park North of Oakwood Ave to avoid feeding parking meters all afternoon.

    Nasomatto Black Afgano: I was a bit nervous about trying it, since there seem to be a lot of polarizing opinions about it, even on the Lucky Scent website. It's very concentrated, dark stuff. It starts out very smoky and sweet, with a noticeable tar note. I liked the opening a lot. Unfortunately the sweetness is overpowered by the tar note in fairly short order. The drydown just seemed like a slightly more intense version of Gucci Pour Homme, so I decided to not drop $148 on something "I already had".

    Amouage Epic (men's): This was much lighter than Jubilation XXV (which I love), and I picked up a slight sense of camphor in it. Within this genre, I like a heavy dose of frankincense and oud. This seemed to come up a bit short ... which is just as well since the Scent Bar currently has it on backorder anyway.

    Marc Buxton Wood and Absinthe: This is one of his newest line of 7 fragrances. It was fruity with a woody vetiver base. I got a distinct sense of clove as well, although this is not listed as one of the notes. It's a fairly weak fragrance, with little staying power. Certainly not something I'd shell out $140 for.

    Marc Buxton Hot Leather: This is a leather scent with a very chemical feel to it. Its leather note also seemed to be strongly subdued by the citrus notes present. Not what I'm looking for.

    By Kilian Back To Black: Bright, fruity, and boozy, which is familiar By Kilian territory. The opening is excellent, but there isn't much longevity here, and I didn't find it that special. If you're really looking for a cognac-based aphrodisiac, consider picking up a 65ml bottle of Frank No 2. For the same price, you can spray 4.5 times as much and really convince everyone at the dinner table that someone needs to drive you home that night. Bois 1920 Extreme would be another, more expensive option if you're willing to trade cognac for bourbon. Disclaimer: I am continually annoyed at By Kilian's pretentious first-pay-$110-extra-for-our-sexy-bottle-then-we'll-sell-cheaper-refills-to-you policy. So I tend to be highly critical of their fragrances.

    Etat Libre d'Orange Tom of Finland: I can't say enough about the opening of this fragrance. Sweet, orange-flavored suede with a hint of birch trees in the background. I loved it, and almost bought a bottle. My only complaint is that it has no staying power. Maybe applying some unscented oil first would keep this stuff from flying the coup sooner. It might just be my lame-ass dry skin too.

    Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque: I finally saw what all the fuss was about. This is a great smoky, leathery, tobacco gourmand with some warm amber rounding it out. It has a nice, "dusty" drydown too. To me, it actually seemed to be fairly linear, which is a good thing since I loved its opening anyway. I probably will not buy it, but only because I've got my eyes trained on a bottle of Hermès Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé instead.

    Humieki & Graef Askew: Slightly spicy, tarry grapefruit with a little bit of leather hanging out in the background. Not a warm, comfort scent, but edgy instead. I really liked it. The $220 price tag is slightly off-putting, however, particularly since there are so many good fragrances out there for less cash.

    Parfum d'Empire Wazamba: I was all excited about this coming out, but it was not very thrilling at all. It cannot hold a candle to some of the other offerings of this house (e.g. Fougère Bengale and Cuir Ottoman).

    Stephanie de Saint-Aignan Royal Palm: Strong sense of sugary grapefruit here, like candy. This is much more feminine than masculine. The touted leather note here is barely noticeable.

    Farmacia SS. Annunziata dal 1561 Sofron: Pleasant, slightly fruity, and very subtle. The price seems right too ($120 for 100ml), but I'd opt instead for this house's high-quality oceanic Hyle, which I consider to be low-cost worthy competition for Profumum Acqua di Sale.
    Last edited by Astaroth; 6th September 2009 at 12:05 AM.

  2. #2
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Nice reviews bro. Thank you. I was interested in the Buxton's and you answered what I needed to know.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    Nice reviews bro. Thank you. I was interested in the Buxton's and you answered what I needed to know.
    I gave up after trying two of them, which is probably a bit unfair, since he might have a real winner lurking among the others. Marc Buxton really seems to be hit-or-miss. I wasn't impressed with any of his biehl parfumkunstwerke offerings either, which was disappointing because some of his Comme des Garçons work (e.g. 2Man) is quite good.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Cool, thanks for the reviews. I'd like to give Tom of Finland a try, maybe I'll have better luck with it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Nice reviews man! I was really excited to try Fumerie Turque but I found it too smoky for my tastes. The smokiness reminded me of Tom Ford Extreme and I just can't shake the image of barbecue whenever I smell smoke in fragrances.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    I gave up after trying two of them, which is probably a bit unfair, since he might have a real winner lurking among the others. Marc Buxton really seems to be hit-or-miss. I wasn't impressed with any of his biehl parfumkunstwerke offerings either, which was disappointing because some of his Comme des Garçons work (e.g. 2Man) is quite good.
    Thanks for the great reviews! I'm a big Mark Buxton fan, and actually really enjoyed Hot Leather the first time I tested (though granted, I usually need at least 2-3 wears to really decide on things); that said, the one from his collection that has blown me away and that I need is Black Angel. It's identifiably Mark Buxton, but has enough stand-alone chops to be worth the price, in my opinion.

    Black Angel Notes: Citrus, bergamot, mandarin, orange, rosemary, ginger, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, jasmine, lily of the valley, orris, styrax, guaiac, patchouli.
    It’s thought that people who hope too much will just waste their life away and never get down to doing any real work. They’re confusing Hope with Wish, its lazy cousin... When Wish whispers, “Something is just around the corner,” what comes or not is never what was wished for. When Hope whispers “Something is just around the corner,” something always is. -- Charlie Elberson

    My sale thread has some of my underappreciated fragrances looking for a good, new home...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by ComDiva View Post
    Thanks for the great reviews! I'm a big Mark Buxton fan, and actually really enjoyed Hot Leather the first time I tested (though granted, I usually need at least 2-3 wears to really decide on things); that said, the one from his collection that has blown me away and that I need is Black Angel. It's identifiably Mark Buxton, but has enough stand-alone chops to be worth the price, in my opinion.

    Black Angel Notes: Citrus, bergamot, mandarin, orange, rosemary, ginger, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, jasmine, lily of the valley, orris, styrax, guaiac, patchouli.

    I agree, this is also my favorite from his line. Around Midnight is a close second though.

    Astaroth, did you get a chance to test the other Humiecki & Graef scents yet? I have tried 4 of the 5, and Mulitple Rouge and Eau Radieusse are miles ahead of the others for me, would definitely buy fb's if I could get a better deal on them.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Silk View Post
    Astaroth, did you get a chance to test the other Humiecki & Graef scents yet? I have tried 4 of the 5, and Multiple Rouge and Eau Radieusse are miles ahead of the others for me, would definitely buy fb's if I could get a better deal on them.
    I tried Geste, but it made so little an impression on me I didn't even bother reviewing it. Someone else suggested to me via PM that Eau Radieuse is excellent, so I'll try that the next time I'm in the Scent Bar. I also tried the older Skarb about a year ago and thought it was decent, but not really bottle-worthy.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Thanks for the reviews. They were very helpful, esp. the Marc Buxton ones. I agree with you about Wazamba, BTW. It sounds right up my alley, but I found it very disappointing. Parfum d' Empire started out great, but I haven't been inspired by their four most recent releases.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyprince View Post
    Thanks for the reviews. They were very helpful, esp. the Marc Buxton ones.
    People should try all of them, however; I only tried two of them. I think Buxton has a lot of potential, but has been falling short recently. He needs to start going out drinking with Jean-Claude Ellena ...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Thanks for the reviews!

    I've saw someone in another thread describe Black Afghano as a non-sweet Duro. Does this match your impression...?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    nice reviews!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    cool reviews!!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post

    I've saw someone in another thread describe Black Afghano as a non-sweet Duro. Does this match your impression...?

    I would say that is a very broad generalization, I find them very different personally. Black Afgano maintains a sweetness through all stages for me, although it isn't always as sweet as Duro, BA dries down to a more animalic dark scent. Both are worthy of trying if you are interested in both of them.
    Last edited by Silk; 7th September 2009 at 09:26 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Silk View Post
    I would say that is a very broad generalization, I find them very different personally. Black Afgano maintains a sweetness through all stages for me, although it isn't always as sweet as Duro, BA dries down to a more animalic dark scent. Both are worthy of trying if you are interested in both of them.
    See, I was the one that made that "generalization" and I completely disagree with you're assessment of BA. If you smell both, I don't see how you can deny the fact that both are centered on the EXACT same resinous smoky leather, the same exact one! True BA starts out unique, in an oddly tarry smoky way, but it dives headfirst within the first 15 minutes into that leather accord. I found it progressively got sweeter as it sat on my wrist, and eventually (hey what do ya' know) it ended up smelling MORE like Duro than at the beginning. I really have to wholeheartedly disagree with anyone that thinks there is a reason for Black Afghano, in it's present form, to exist. The idea is interesting, and heck it's better than Duro, but when you have something SO DAMN close in you're own portfolio already, it seems a bit disingenuous to me.
    Last edited by mtgprox05; 7th September 2009 at 10:04 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    I didn't test Duro on this trip to the Scent Bar, but I don't remember its drydown approaching that of Gucci Pour Homme as closely as did Black Afgano. It seemed like a different animal to me, but I'll do a side-by-side comparison to Duro the next time I'm in the neighborhood. In any case, Hindu Grass is probably the only Nasomatto fragrance for which I'd consider dropping $148. But there are several other fragrances on which I'd pull the trigger first, so it hasn't happened yet.
    Last edited by Astaroth; 8th September 2009 at 12:45 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    does sent bar give samples?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Your description of Askew (tar & grapefruit?) really perked up my ears.

    I can't wait to get back to Scent Bar, next time I go see my parents. Love that store!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Thanks for the review Astaroth. I'm a fan of Pd'E so it bums me out a bit that Wazamba is underwhelming. They get it right everytime... 80% of the time
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Very interesting reviews - thank you ! I really liked Back to Black by Kilian. I do love the bottles too- there is some sense behind it all I think , that appeals to me. You don't throw the bottle away ,just refill, so it's environmentally sound. The bottles are good quality and I hate to throw bottles away .
    I will eventually try Black Afgano - anything that thick and dark ,like Youth Dew motor oil is worth checking out.
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Tested new items at the Scent Bar on 4 Sept 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by chaosman View Post
    does sent bar give samples?
    You can receive some free samples with a purchase, or you can buy samples directly.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Your description of Askew (tar & grapefruit?) really perked up my ears.
    Mike, your comment made me pull out my sample and try it again. It's weird juice, but I do like it.
    Last edited by Astaroth; 8th September 2009 at 06:12 AM.

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