All Samples Have Been Reserved. Thanks To All Who Were Interested.
***Will Notify When More Samples Are Available!***
Thread: Above By Fred Miller
I Created A Fragrance In 2008 For Women & Men With The Name Above. I Haven't Released Much Information About It Because I Was Waiting For My Trademark Approval. On Nov. 3 It Will Be Published For Opposition In The Gazette. More Information Can Be Found At http://www.FredHMiller.com.
*****REVIEWS ARE BELOW*****
All Samples Have Been Reserved. Thanks To All Who Were Interested.
***Will Notify When More Samples Are Available!***
Let us know if you make more samples - I'd be interested in trying it!
I'm a colognosaurus. Rawr!
Received my sample of Above for Women by Fred Miller yesterday and had a chance to make it my SotD today.
The fragrances' Website features the notes of: rain, honeysuckle and white rose. There sure are more and my first impression right out of the vial and after about 20 minutes being in it was that I was wearing an extra light version of Chanel Allure Sensuelle and I almost wanted to write in brackets (Summer Mist). It is light, acquatic and gourmand at the same time. The only other example of gourmand acquatic that I have personally encountered would be that of Nilang de Lalique, but honestly, there is no comparison between the two. Above is sweet and cool at the same time. Although there is no exact note representing the rain, the coolness can be felt throughout the whole duration of the fragrance and it is about average -- 5-6 hours with 4 tiny sprays. I had to renew, reapplying to different parts of my body and it was producing the same effect, only this second time I was somehow thinking of Fragonard Eclat, however on the clothes it is still very vibrant after 12 hours after the first application.
Above does not appear particularly concentrating on either honeysuckle or white rose, they are impressions, in the head of a wearer. What I get is magnolia, jasmine, light vanilla, marshmallow, hints of musk, light woods and almond milk. I wanted the accent to be more on honeysuckle, but I am just not getting it trying hard as I might.
On the poetic side, I was looking through the recipes last weekend and I was trying to find something similar to what I tried in Europe called Zephyr dessert -- it is an Italian chef Giovanni Pastillo's invention (he was cooking for Marie de Medici and I was quite indignant to read how his life was butchered up in a Wikipedia article) -- and it is a fluffy, ethereal souffle made of apple puree, lemon juice, vanilla and gelatin, sometimes covered in chocolate. So, Above is that Zephyr in its freshest form.
Thank you, Mr.Miller for sending me your sample.
Above for Women by Fred Miller
Notes: rain, honeysuckle, and white rose (from www.fredhmiller.com)
Above for Women (hereafter called AfW) starts with an alluring salted suede note that is reminiscent of clean sweaty skin. It teeters on the edge of being edible in the same way that Serge Lutens' Daim Blond does--flip-flopping between a buttered popcorn effect and well worn leather. Soon after, a delicate rose note emerges. It is a little bit unexpected given the salty skin impression so far, but the juxtaposition works rather well. The rose does not quite civilize the salty accord, but the salty accord certainly gives the rose a bit of a wild side. The rose continues to the middle development, is joined by mixed white florals, and as the salty notes fade, vanilla takes on the foundational role. The middle to late drydown is in keeping with most modern women's vanilla-floral offerings. In fact AfW seems as solid a composition as most designer scents I have tried. The delicacy of the rose mid-note can either be interpreted as thin and sparse or as transparent and minimal, depending on your perspective. In the long run, though, AfW is an interesting interpretation on a traditional fragrance form--it is different enough to set itself apart from the crowd, but recognizable enough to provide some comfort. Definitely worthy of sampling!
Above for Men by Fred Miller
Notes: patchouli, honeysuckle, and fresh cut grass (from www.fredhmiller.com)
Above for Men (from now on, AfM)...wow...edible chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, burned sugar, sweetened condensed milk. This is a rich one! If I did not know it was a men's fragrance, I would suggest that it beats by a long shot the most luxurious vanilla-based body butter from Bath and Body Works. AfM is incredibly heavy, slightly waxy, and stays that way for a very long time--so much as to be exhausting. I do find the smoky burned notes that linger throughout to be quite interesting. Then, when the woods appear late in the drydown, the fragrance reminds me of premium cedar incense cones I have smelled. Overall, despite my love for rich orientals, I found AfM to be too much. I would say that both men and women can easily wear AfM, as long as it is worn with a light hand!
Last edited by Asha; 6th November 2009 at 11:06 PM.
If anybody else would like to try the two Above fragrances, PM me and I'll pass the samples along!
Nice reviews, Asha and Twolf! I'll add mine in a bit. Overall, I would say I was pleasantly surprised by these scents. Exactly as you said, Asha - solid. I would say they're as competent as many well-known commercial scents, the women's more like designer, and the men's like a very strong niche. I'm like you in preferring the women's, but my wife actually prefers the men's - and she chose it blind over a designer scent of similar "ooomph" - CK Obsession For Men. I would be very interested to smell the men's at a lower concentration such as EdT (it has to be EdP or parfum, to my nose!) Honestly, if the men's as an EdT was tweaked properly, it would probably compare very favorably with many of the stronger designer scents on the market.
Fred Miller Above For Men
This is something of a powerhouse fragrance, with an impact which reminds me of both '80's powerhouse scents and some of the stronger niche scents on the market. It's a very interesting gourmand that seems to make everybody scratch their head trying to figure out what it is. I prefer it a bit light because that's where it comes across perfectly. Smelled too strongly, it comes across "foody". There is also a heavy incense presence behind the gourmand. My wife said the incense reminded her of both Japanese temples and the "ko" (fragrance) ceremony which is a lesser-known cultural institution of Japan. In my mind, the advertised slogan of "mysterious" is certainly justified.
The scent has an assertiveness comparable to heavier incense scents like Armani Privé Bois d'Encens, and the Guerlain gourmands, but with less formality. There is - thankfully - enough complexity to keep it interesting. Fresh notes in the top are very important in keeping it from being too heavy. Soapy, earthy, woody, and smoky notes all emerge at different points in the evolution. The drydown is long and quite pleasant. Skin testing is highly recommended - the fragrance loses its balance on paper.
I should note that my wife picked this scent over Calvin Klein Obsession For Men in a blind test. When I repeated the test later, she was annoyed, because she felt the difference was so obvious, that I was wasting her time with a double-check. My son also thought this was interesting, but he still prefers designer aquatics. I think this is clearly a competent scent, but it's not quite my cup of tea, since I prefer more sweetness and woodiness in my gourmands.
Fred Miller Above For Women
The men's and women's scents are obviously related, which I like. I found the ladies' scent to be the more attractive of the two. I get both aquatic/briney notes and a light gourmand. There are oriental, sharp/fresh, and floral aspects as well, but the floral notes are not enough to make this difficult for a man to wear. Nevertheless, I feel that this would be an attractive scent on a woman. Like the men's, it dries down very nicely. Longevity is good, and development is noticeable but not excessive. I have to be honest - my teenage son thought it reminded him of "baby wipes", although that is a fairly nice backhanded compliment, given the remarkable abilities of functional perfumers these days. My wife definitely preferred the men's scent. I found it interesting that we both preferred the scent for the other gender.
This scent seems comparable to many commercial and niche offerings on the market, although perhaps a bit on the stronger side. Like the men's, it is clearly a modern scent - there is nothing dated about it. I prefer it light - too strong, and the fresh/briney aspects become too powerful - almost acrid. This one is definitely better and more balanced on skin than on paper - people need to test these on skin to get a real picture of what they are like.
Based on these two initial scents, I'm very much looking forward to future scents by Fred Miller.
If anyone would like to try Above for Women, please send me your address and I will pass my sample along. Thanks for the idea, Asha!
I have been applying Above for women over the past week, since I received my sample (thank you ever so much Mr Miller). I wanted to wear this 3 or more times before writing a review.
I did not read any literature on this scent nor did I even try to find out what the "notes" were, since I did not wish to have any subjective thought process. I was quite surprised when I came to this page to see; a) what the notes are supposed to be and b) what other peoples perception of this scent was.
What follows is my scented perception of Above for Women.
Upon application of Above for Women, I am aware of a very noticeable "food note", a rich one if you will. For me, this "note" would be a combination of; Hazelnut (Noisette), Crème Brûlée and cacao. I noticed also quite a strong Oriental styling to this "food-like" combination, yet without the typical "spiciness" overused in so many Orientals these days, which makes for quite an interesting olfactory experience
As the scent wears on my skin I am made more aware of the Oriental swaying of the composition, whether intentional or not, which moves slightly away from the "rich food note" toward a floral note. This "floral note" not a very discernible flower, but the impression of a flower, much as an 80's style scent would have had. It is a flower which brings to mind a larger than life "Georgia O'Keefe flower" painted in florescent but we are not able to distinguish which flower it is...it just is. To me this seems to be in keeping with a classic 80's idea; a big and bold fragrance , one that makes a statement, yet not having anyone think "Gee, that is a great (insert name of flower) scent." or "You smell just like..." This scent cannot really become categorized too quickly, it takes a little thought and patience to try and categorize it, but then again, why would one want to? This fragrance has something about it which brings to mind vintage Giorgio Beverly Hills, not what is now sold as it. Not that it smells anything like Giorgio, yet it has a strong personality, and it has an abstract personality that encompasses different fragrance families while not committing entirely to any, most of all it is the floral note which refuses (in my opinion) to want to be labeled...yet desires to be noticed. The "food note" is just there to entice people to sniff more heartily.
Besides being rich, Oriental, food-like, floral and unique, this fragrance has amazing tenacity, it maintains its personality from start to finish; it does not switch gears along the way and decide to become something else, or jump off the cliff and surprise us with a "presto change-o" -I am now a fruity aquatic scent-, it stays true to what it is.
Now having said all of that, you would ask; is this a scent I would wear on a regular basis, no, it is not what I would choose for myself; is it a scent I believe could become wildly popular, yes by all means, this has what it takes to be embraced by the mainstream. This scent, while not being my typical "type" of scent, is quite pleasant to wear and experience nonetheless; much like dining at a restaurant you would not normally choose and being completely surprised by how tasty the fare is.
I feel this fragrance could become a top scent if marketed in the proper venue to the correct demographic. The proper venue would be a Sephora or other high-traffic, well shopped store. I feel the proper demographic would be the average fragrance shopper. This would (and should) be just the scent to fit the "I want something super special smelling, yet readily available at the local mall." type of consumer's desire. I do not know if this would appeal to the "Niche" market as it is not "weird" nor "revolutionary" enough to garner that clientele, but who knows.
Overall I would have to give this scent high notes and commend Mr Miller on his creation. Again, while it may not by my "type" of scent, I am able to see how well it should perform in the mainstream marketplace.
Best of luck
Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source
I'd love to sample if you have any left.
I received my men's sample today... absolutely love the richness of the honeysuckle in this. It triggers a sense memory from my childhood of drinking the nectar from honeysuckle blossoms behind my house. Freshly cut grass is also named as a note here, but I get more aromatic sharpness than green sourness in this.
About an hour later I'm left with toasted vanilla with a very floral patchouli. Everything smells smooth and natural, but perhaps a bit feminine for my tastes. I would like to test this again during the warmer months... I can see the honeysuckle blooming beautifully on humid days. Above would also work well as a candle/room fragrance.
Hey Fred, these are really impressive. I've got the men's on one hand and women's on the other. I'll post some reviews once I've had a chance to get to know them, but initial impressions are good! The GF will try them shortly as well and I'll relay feedback.
I'm a colognosaurus. Rawr!
My sample has been sent on and arrived to a new home in Oklahoma.
Visit my website! http://www.smelloutlandish.com/ 10% discount with code: BASENOTES
I passed my samples on to arwen_elf at our meetup this past Friday.
lilkcceleb was good enough to send me two free samples - Above For Women and Above For Men. I was unfortunately in the middle of a cold when they arrived and I've been slightly congested since. But they deserve reviews sooner than spring. And I think most everything smells normal to me now. I'll also include my wife's opinions.
The most important thing (for us) is that we both like both scents. I've bought lots of samples from various places and Above For Women is the first one Kitty has worn for a day and then asked to wear again a couple of days later.
Details, details. We found both scents dominated by vanilla. I would call them both gourmands. To me, Above For Women smells like some kind of custard - not flan or crème Brule, maybe more the custard in an English Trifle. There are fruity notes along with the vanilla and powder in the dry down. Above For Men reminded me immediately of cookie dough. I think I may detect some patchouli that adds a little dryness. Vanilla is one of the most universally liked scents, so we smell it in a wide range of products. But these vanillas do not seem over-familiar. They don’t smell like candles or air freshener of Wal-Mart body sprays. And their differences from each other are significant.
I was a little surprised I didn’t smell rain or honeysuckle. But neither did Kitty and she hasn’t had a cold. I have to conclude that the other notes combine well with the vanilla to make a specific smell, in somewhat the same way that bergamot, oakmoss and amber make chypre instead of three individual notes. But also our noses aren’t as experienced as other reviewers’.
Longevity and surround are both excellent, with Above For Women being the more powerful. Strength is partly a function of how well we like a fragrance. After the first sprits on Kitty’s wrist, she said, “Yes, now the other wrist and both sides of my neck.” For that whole evening I could smell Above from 3-6 feet away. Even at bed time a full day later I could smell it on her skin. Above For Men is not quite as strong. Kitty said she couldn’t smell it on me after about 4 hours. But the interesting thing is, I kept being aware of it all evening (a second evening - we tested different fragrances on different days). I get quickly used to most fragrances that I apply to myself. Often something in my mind relegates the smell to background and I can’t smell it after 10-15 minutes. Maybe because vanilla is so familiar, my mind kept reacting to, “hey, there’s something here that’s sort of vanilla but different.”
So, when these are available for general sale, I expect we’ll be buying full bottles.
I've had the opportunity to sample Above for women twice now over the past couple of days (thanks lilkcceleb, for the generous samples!). Both times I tried it, it reminded me of a cross between Encens & Bubblegum (without the incense) and Annick Goutal's Songes (vanillic jasmine). It's funny how the marshmallow is simultaneoulsy a texture and scent here - fluffy - and it becomes more apparent as the fragrance dries down. I get an impression of tropical fruity florals. I think there is some mandarin, and something that keeps it feeling fizzy and light, preventing it from becoming too sickly sweet and cloying. I LOVE that there is no patchouli. I really like this! And it's long lasting, too. I would probably get a lot of enjoyment out of a full bottle, as it's right down my alley - sweet, happy and cheerful. These are just my impressions without knowing anything about the ingredients. I actually like this better than Encens & Bubblegum to be honest. Next, I'll sample the men's version.
I thought I was on the sample list for January, but evidently not.
Thank you, Fred, for sending me the samples. Today I tried the women's version. Here's my review:
“Above” starts out with a disconcerting top note that smells like mice. Yes, you read correctly - mice. It goes away after a few minutes, leaving a strong floral scent, but the pitter patter of little pink feet, furry bodies, and black pellets is definitely there. This is a note that I detect (in much lower concentration) in basmati rice and certain Frascati wines. I like the mouse note in basmati rice and Frascati, but in Above it’s overpowering at first, then disappears much too quickly to add a subtle basmati-Frascati feeling to the scent. If it were toned down and made to last, it could be interesting. On reading the other reviews, I see that others have called the mouse smell “buttered popcorn”. Yes, buttered popcorn has that note, too, especially the flavoring used in Jelly Bellies. After the initial blast of mouse cage/popcorn, the scent becomes a strong, generic, synthetic-smelling floral. I’m not big on florals, so this phase isn’t really my cup of tea, or rather my bouquet of drugstore roses. I don’t detect anything that smells like honeysuckle, but then I’ve never smelled a “honeysuckle” accord that actually smelled remotely like the real thing. Eventually the floral dissipates enough so that a slight vanilla pudding scent becomes detectable. In the end, vanilla pudding lite is all that is left. This is not a scent that I would likely wear myself, but I can see how, with lots of aggressive advertising, it could do well as a mass-market product.
The men’s version of Above starts out in a jerky way with coconut, the mouse smell which I shall henceforth politely refer to as “buttered popcorn”, and a “men’s” accord that’s probably the usual lavender/cedar combination. The different notes seem to exist in parallel (or in very different corners of space) rather than blending. Later, when the notes come together, I seem to detect a lot of coriander, chocolate, vanilla, condensed milk, and a light floral note in the sillage that may be supposed to be honeysuckle, or it could be jasmine. At this stage, I like the scent a lot. It eventually dries down to a toasted almond macaroon that finally trails off into rich, condensed-milk vanilla pudding or one of those Indian sweets made with condensed milk.
Despite all of the food notes, I like the men’s version of Above much better than the women’s and would wear it myself. In fact, I’ll probably use up my sample. In my opinion, both versions of Above are unisex fragrances, so the men's/women's distinction is arbitrary.
I received my sample of Above for Men and it was better than I expected. A very sweet vanilla and patchouli. Although it's advertised as an edt the strength is definitely edp. This is impressive and better than the usual generic scents you would find at department stores.