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  1. #1
    Asha's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Los Angeles

    Default LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Los Angeles Meetup, 13 Nov 09

    Attended by:
    Jacona (our out-of-town guest)

    With previous notice that an out-of-town BNer (Jacona) would be in the area, we managed to organize a Friday meetup! Jacona, Astaroth, Arwen_Elf and I started with a light lunch at the Kings Road Cafe, about a block west of ScentBar. It was a nice relaxed setting, and we ate healthy too! (We're so good...)

    Afterwards, we moseyed to ScentBar where the lovely Ashley and Angela (ScentBar's star SA's) were waiting for us with lots of goodies lined up on the bar. StylinLA joined us there, too. I think we outdid ourselves for sheer number of scent strips lining the shelves, and I'm not sure how good my recall will be this morning, but here goes!

    Mark Buxton
    We were mostly unimpressed with the line, and I for one was somewhat disappointed that the fragrances did not live up to the hype nor the past triumphs that Mr. Buxton had for Comme des Garcons and other houses.

    Hot Leather
    --leathery, yes, hot, no. Bland and banal smell of tanning compounds, and far outdone by Etat Libre D'Orange's Rien which was an amazing "barnyard" leather (Astatroth confirmed by making a purchase!)
    Wood and Absinthe--forgettable woody herbal composition
    Black Angel--the incense of the bunch, ok but nothing like Heely Cardinale
    Sounds & Visions--boring fougere, seemingly made because every line must have a fougere, right?
    Around Midnight--creamy woods, interesting enough for me to ask for a sample but I did not try it on skin yet
    English Breakfast--lots and lots of green, and most everybody knows I'm a sucker for green. I sprayed this one on skin, and enjoyed the cilantro (cardamom) top note. The base was a creamy amber musk, not unlike Tom Ford's new Grey Veitver. Took a sample of this one for future testing.

    Serge Lutens

    Borneo 1834--chocolate-lover Arwen_Elf sprayed this one on skin. Of course, I am completely biased toward this fragrance--one of the best Lutens' with dry, dry cocoa powder and camphoraceous patchouli, and probably a touch of vetiver as well.
    Fille en Aiguilles--pine needle, pine resin, and a fruity, waxy base not terribly dissimilar from Feminite du Bois. I'm not sure about this one yet, and the Iso E Super base was a red flag for me.
    Nuits de Cellophane--this seems to be SL's attempt at a safe feminine floral. I do not find that the house style suits this type of fragrance at all--overall I was underwhelmed


    Amaranthine--I was expecting inner thigh based on the marketing copy, but what I got was a rounded feminine floral that dried down to Chanel Cristalle. Nice, but I already own Cristalle!
    Hamman Bouquet--recommended by the distinguished StylinLA, and I must agree that its classic, dirty rose qualities are extremely fetching!
    Elixir--a lovely incense rose which is subtle and inviting. I did not take a sample, but will want to try this one again.

    By Kilian

    Back to Black-
    -it smelled great on the strip, but as with other powdery fragrances (Bond No.9 Chinatown, Hermes Ambre Narguile), on my skin this turned to an overwhelming baby-powder accord which eclipsed everything else. For this kind of fragrance, Miller Harris' Fleur Oriental works much better.
    Pure Oud--an intoxicating, somewhat clean oud scent that is understated, with a delicate balance of wood and smoke. I smelled it on Arwen_Elf's husband later, and oh my, it was lovely!

    Other miscellaneous things tried at ScentBar:

    M Micallef Note Ambree--after the hype on the boards, I expected something that could out-do MPG Ambre Precieux. Instead, I got a yeasty hippie amber that was nauseatingly sweet.
    M Micallef Patchouli--interesting but definitely not the best patch I've tried. I may eventually sample it just for completeness, though.
    Ulrich Lang Nightscape--this was a yummy smoke and spice patchouli that I would like to try some day. It was not as "weird" as many of the other niche scents I smelled yesterday, but I think it could be a great men's daily wear fragrance.
    Patricia de Nicolai Patchouli Homme--pepper, pepper and more pepper, with hardly any patchouli. I was disappointed, but took a sample so I could spend some time with it later.
    Nasomatto Black Afghano--smoky, tarry, woody herbs and resin. It seems almost toxic, but strangely alluring.
    Keiko Mecheri Iris Pourpre--hard to explain, barely iris, but somehow gives a "purple" impression with fruits, light florals, woods and a vanilla base.
    Keiko Mecheri Olibanum--rich and resinous at first, but soon turns thinly spicy. I think this one may need to be tried alone, without other fragrance distractions.

    After a couple hours at the ScentBar, we walked to the nearby Le Labo boutique to sample the entire City Exclusives line and some of the regular line.

    Guaiac 10--smelled wonderfully creamy with a dreamy, woody guaiac, but sadly faded within about 5 minutes to a clean musk base
    Vanille 44--nice vanilla, a little bit like cooking extract but made less foody with some wood notes added. Rather one-dimensional overall.
    Poivre 23--the winner of the batch, with balanced pepper and spice notes backed with an ambery musk drydown. Still not worth the price, though!
    Aldehyde 44--Aldehydes. Musk. Give this one a pass.
    Musc 25--Musk. Aldehydes. Give this one a pass, too.
    Tuberose 20--actually more citrus than tuberose. It was decent but not terribly special.
    Oud 27--really skanky oud with musty, "wet wood" qualities, later drying to a smoky vetiver and wood base.
    Labdanum 18--on my skin, smelled nicely of amber ("I love amber") at first, but later turned to a boring vanilla powder which is done miles better by anything Guerlain.
    Pathcouli 24--smoky leather with barely any patchouli. The smoke note is linear and long lasting on skin, and it gets thin and a bit boring. I have smelled much better leathers, but this one is worthy of a sample.

    There were many other fragrances sniffed, but these are the ones I remember most!
    Last edited by Asha; 14th November 2009 at 04:58 PM.

  2. #2
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Lincoln, Nebraska
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    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Wow! Asha, Thanks for all the notes. I agree on LeLabo Aldehyde. It just totally underwhelmed me. I got nothing at all.
    It sounds like you had a fantastic time & accomplished quite a lot of testing, too.
    Currently wearing: French Cancan by Caron

  3. #3
    arwen_elf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Southern California

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Again, I am impressed with your memory. Amazing!!!!
    We all had a very good time. More comments later on...

  4. #4

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Sounds like you all had an awesome time. Thanks for the great report and especially for your opinion of De Nicolai P.H. I now know not to waste my time sampling that one.

  5. #5

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    You seem like quite the refined nose and enjoy how you've found many other fragrances that you already owned or tried that out did what you tried on your sniffrage. Great way to stay with a critical mind and a tighter budget. Ulrich Lang Nightscape is on my list of patchouli frags to try--Gotta get a sample.
    Your nostrils, which will dilate immesurably in unspeakable contentment, in motionless ecstasy, will ask nothing better for space, for they will be full of fragrance, as if perfumes and incense; for they will be glutted with complete happiness, like angels who dwell in the peace and magnificence of pleasent heaven.
    (From Maldoror by Comte de Lautreamont)

  6. #6

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Enjoyed your report, Asha! I am disappointed that you didn't like Note Ambree, though. My favorite amber is Ambre Precieux (I treasure my bottle). Note Ambree for me is a totally different animal. On me, it's a gorgeously blended ethereal floral amber. Just love it!

  7. #7
    RainDropSparkle's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Thanks for your report Asha! Too bad about those LL Exclusives...they sound a little disappointing...

  8. #8
    arwen_elf's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Southern California

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    We also tried some perfumes from the ELDO line
    The guys liked Tom of Finland
    We all smelled Secretions Magnific from a manufaturer sample vial. We were very careful handling the little vial because we did not want to get any on our hands. It was disturbingly eeky.
    Jasmine and Cigarettes was very pleasant, but it really smells like cigarettes to me.
    P. the Palace is a nice floral, I don't understand the must be a joke. I thought it would be skanky, but it is not.

    We also tried the new CdG Daphne. It is interesting, very floral, but not my thing. I like Stephen Jones much better, with a very loud violet.

    Yes, Pure Oud smells great, especially on Mr. Arwen
    Last edited by arwen_elf; 14th November 2009 at 09:10 PM.

  9. #9
    Lean in closer, dear

    Quarry's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Thanks for report. Does my heart good to know BN noses gathered at the ScentBar.
    "I live in the garden, I just sleep in the house." -- Jim Long
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26120182.html"><img src=""> Bel Ami by Hermès</a></div>

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Los Angeles, U.S.A.

    Cool Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Thank you, Asha!---You deserve a round of applause.

    I was especially intrigued by your comments on Kilian Back to Black. Being a sucker for pipe tobacco scents. . . Do you 'all know there's not a single review of it here on Basenotes?

    Strange since it would seem to be one of the more talked about newly released niche scents--and despite the hefty price tag there's decants available at Lucky Scent, The Perfumed Court etc.

    Thanks again. Sounds like a good time was had by all


    My Wardrobe


    Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

    My Antaeus can beat up your Armani.

  11. #11
    The power of bleu
    shadesofbleu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Jayhawk country!

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    It's always fun to read about these BN get-togethers.

    I'm curious about the Ulrich Lang NIghtscape ... it's nice to read your thoughts on it.

    arwen_elf, LOLing at your description of Secretion Magnifiques. Disturbingly eeky, indeed!
    I've trademarked the color bleu
    Currently wearing: À la Nuit by Serge Lutens

  12. #12
    ubuandibeme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Chesterton, Indiana

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    ELdO frags are so suprisingly good...the Putain des Palaces does'nt get skanky until you put it to skin - then it becomes a complete & utter skankfest, skank-o-rama, and even skankerific! (seriously, it does! ) Secretions Magnifique, while disturbing, is similar to Putain des Palaces in that it becomes putridly vile when put to skin - and I do mean VILE!

    Your sniffing day sounds SO fantastique! Asha, your nose & memory are remarkable. Thanks for the quick preview on the Le Labo's too - but you know I still want to sniff them all for myself!!! ScentBar is on my wishlist of places to visit, sounds great! A pat on the back to everyone who made time for getting together

  13. #13

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Oh my gosh that sounds so FUN!!! Thank you for such detailed sniffing notes, it's *almost* like being there I would LOVE to go to Scentbar. Next time I'm in LA its a must.

    Secretions Magnifique is EEK indeed! Do you think anyone actually wears that? Its too bad about Jasmine et Cigarette. And Divin'Enfant was started out so beautifully but faded to did Encens et Bubblegum. Smoky yuck.

    You have me intrigued with Penhaligon's Elixir though....

    Thanks for sharing!!
    beauty guru & perfume whisperer
    twitter @daly_beauty

  14. #14
    arwen_elf's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Southern California

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Oh I forgot to mention that I loved Borneo 1834. I almost bought it, but I really liked the Osmanthus Interdite and my little travel size Osmanthe Yunnan is almost gone.

    Next time! It is definetly going on my Wanted list.

  15. #15
    BlackCat's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Southern California

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Glad you all had fun and sniffed lots of stuff. Hopefully I'll make it next time.
    For sale: JL Scherrer parfum (reduced price) and more!

    "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." ~ Jane Austen

    “Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume” ~ Jean de Boufflers

  16. #16

    Default Re: LA Basenotes Meetup, 13 November 2009

    Thanks for the detailed reporting, Asha & co!

    Was anyone more knocked out by Amaranthine than Asha...? I do love the creaminess and the dirty spice, in addition to the florals and the green notes.

    I don't have access to most of the scents you all tried, but it was an interesting read in case they cross my path some day!
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

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