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  1. #1
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Hey everyone - if you test out anything interesting or have any notes to share about things you've been sniffing, please share them here!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~

    For the last few days, I've been testing Parfums Delrae. Today I sampled Amoureuse.

    OK, so imagine a spicy apple pie, heavy on the cinnamon and nutmeg. Sweet but tart enough to not be cloying. Now, take out the apple and replace it with citrus and peaches. And pair that up with tuberose. And some lily to give it a pinch of green wetness.

    So it's tuberose with sort of gourmand-ish but not goumand dessert spices and tart fruit. It's really quite hard to describe and probably doesn't smell at all what you'd think it smells like from my description.

    For one, there's no vanilla or officially gourmand notes. Instead, there's moss in the base, but it never smells mossy, more like dessert-spiced tuberose that goes from citrusy and a pinch green on the top to mossy and a pinch woody in the base. But it's really all about that tuberose with the pie spices.

    Though it's not really what I'm into, I can see this being grail material for someone.

    --------------------------------------------------

    Over the last few months, I've worn every Delrae now (I'm pretty sure...) and it's clear that what Delrae does best is to find a happy medium between niche artsy weirdness and conservative womanly wearablilty. She has a knack for taking recipes that are generally used by the weirder niche crowd and somehow giving them a perfumey sparkle and a feminine balance. She takes the avante garde and, with the skilled hands of her perfumers, makes them into something my mother could wear, without sacrificing quality or creativity or dumbing things down.

    In the case of Mythique, which I wore yesterday, Delrae takes the tried and true violets-over-leather recipe and turns down both the brightness and the funk. Violets can be screechy, and leather can be raunchy (for the unabashed violets over leather experience, check out Armani's Cuir Amethyste), but not in the hands of Delrae. It eventually twists and turns through some nice flowers and ends up as a fruity patchouli jam, which again could be cloying or overly thick (think Lutens), but is perfectly balanced in the Delrae universe.

    In Bois De Paradis, which I wore the day before, Delrae sanitizes a heady benzoin amber. It's another well-worn niche recipe: buttery benzoin, honey, and amber mixed with fruits and woods, which usually comes off as VERY rich (Lutens' Santal de Mysore or Costume Nation Homme come to mind). But Delrae somehow keeps it from ever feeling too thick. There's a citric, peachy fruitiness on top that's almost sparkly and perfumey (aldehydes, I'm guessing) that makes Bois De Paradis's decidedly rich, thick ingredient list somehow come off as perfumey and bright, but with depth.

    In the end, I prefer my violets screechy and my leather dark and my honeyed benzoin unabashedly rich and thick, so I'm afraid Delrae just isn't the house for me, but I appreciate the quality of their scents and the work they put into them. And, as an aside, the bright, perfumey quality shared by all of their scents gives them just enough of a feminine edge that I'm never quite at ease in them. In a way, I'm more comfortable in big realistic nichey florals than I am in subtle perfumey politeness. But if you like the ideas behind Lutens and Malle and some of the more difficult niche, but just find them a bit much and are more happy in your Chanels, pretty much anything from Delrae would definitely be worth testing and may turn out to be new favorites.
    Last edited by rogalal; 10th April 2010 at 04:31 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    1889 - Moulin Rouge
    by Histoires de Parfums

    Notes
    mandarin, plum, cinnamon, rose, iris, absinthe, patchouli, musk, vanilla, leather

    On my skin, this is mostly a peach-accented cinnamon-tinged soft leather. It brings to my mind the taste of lipstick, the scent of rouge and the velvety powdery touch of soft suede gloves. Picturing the dressing room in a Moulin Rouge production thus hardly requires a stretch of imagination and in that respect I think this is a well-executed fragrance. But I doubt if the can-can dancing girls actually drink before a show; the listed 'absinthe' is noticeably absent (pun unintended). Also IMO it leans a fair bit towards 'feminine' in case any adventurous guys out there are wondering...

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today I tried J-C Ellena's Voyage d'Hermès. There's a new gin that's been on the market for several months, Oxley, that's "cold-distilled," i.e. distilled in a vacuum to lower the boiling point to avoid cooking the essences. It has unusually bright and clean citrus and juniper flavors, and the top notes of Voyage d'Hermès are lot like that.

    After the top notes have burned off, it's pretty much just Rose Ikebana or Poivre Samarcande -- Iso E Super with a bit of that grapefruit Ellena has been putting in the Hermès fragrances.

  4. #4
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Hey there ROtto! Good to hear from you.

    I'm kind of curious about Voyage d'Hermes, but I'm a bit fearful of Elena-by-the-numbers because he almost always ends up throwing in cumin and turning me off. Others have described this as having that TdH flint note - does it have that generic designer woody amber in it? Those are two automatic disqualifications for me...

    Anyway, today I sampled Frederic Malle Iris Poudre.



    A really nice use of aldehydes and iris. From the name, I was expecting some flowery powdery nightmare, which is completely wrong, because Iris Poudre isn't very powdery or very flowery. The aldehydes are bright and mesh with a bergamot topnote to make an enchanting entrance. The iris is noticeable from the top, but it's the bready, deep, cosmetic-smelling orris root of Mitsouko or Dior Homme, not the powdery stuff that usually turns me off.

    Given time, the brightness fades, leaving the bready iris to mix with a polite woodsy vanilla/sandalwood mix, occasionally throwing off slightly jammy spiced violet silage.

    I'm really enjoying Iris Poudre, but with one big technical caveat: The topnotes are presented at fairly normal-to-light volume, but it gets much lighter when the aldehydes fade. So much so that it's pretty hard to smell. I tested it a second time with a much heavier application, at which point the aldehydes became strong enough to give me olfactory fatigue while the heart and base were still too light. Really, Pierre Bourdon has been at this for decades - he can certainly put together a technically flawless mix, so this all-too-quiet mismatch seems kind of lame. Then again, what I can smell is wonderful, so I'll have to come back to Iris Poudre in hotter weather or something.
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    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today I wore Frederic Malle Lys Méditerranée.



    That wet, green lily smell, paired with orange blossom. As it is wont to do, the indolic orange blossom kind of takes over, leaving the lily to mostly add a wet background greenness to the scent. From the top, there's also a salty musk element - pretty much the same accord famously used in Bond No 9's Fire Island to give the effect of sweaty bodies on a beach. It's actually a pretty brilliant combination. The indoles from the orange blossom pair fantastically well with the light salty sweat, but it never gets gross, just makes everything more interesting and a bit less floral.

    Given a couple of hours, everything was still noticeable, but the whole thing was less bright and had taken on a subtle hint of shea butter, making the scent as a whole kind of soapy or lotion-ish.

    By the base, everything had faded to a sort of floral soap smell. But the leftover floral is a subtle but note-on stargazer lily, which is a pretty spectacular feat.

    All in all, I think this a very well-made scent and would recommend sampling it to just about any floral fan. Even with all that orange blossom (which can rival tuberose in its unbridled girly mega-silage), Lys Méditerranée stays just unisex enough that I was perfectly comfortable wearing it at work. I'm not that big on orange blossom as a primary note, so I don't see a full bottle in my future, but I'll definitely count myself as a Lys Méditerranée fan.
    Last edited by rogalal; 5th April 2010 at 09:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Tonight I'm sampling Escale à Pondichéry by Christian Dior. I sampled both Escales, which had been high on my to-try list very briefly on a scent strip at Nordstroms a month or two ago. And was left rather unimpressed, whilst in a rush. Escale à Pondichéry interested me more upon initial sniff, so I included it in my recent TPC order, and now I'm giving it a fair skin test. I actually quite like this, and think it would serve perfectly for what I would intend it to be used for, a refreshing, liberally applied summer scent. However, I have many other Summer scents that I want to purchase that I think are far more interesting and dynamic than EaP. It's really an incredibly simple scent. Citrus (primarily bergamot) and tea. And that's pretty much it, to my nose. Refreshing, light, simple, transparent, but I'm not sure I'd pony up retail for it, nor will it jump to the top of my wishlist.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Hey there ROtto! Good to hear from you.

    I'm kind of curious about Voyage d'Hermes, but I'm a bit fearful of Elena-by-the-numbers because he almost always ends up throwing in cumin and turning me off. Others have described this as having that TdH flint note - does it have that generic designer woody amber in it? Those are two automatic disqualifications for me...
    I don't know about cumin... I have a jar of it in front of me, and it has that acrid dusty/woody smell that stores that sell a lot of herbs and spices get after many years, and I don't know if I've ever really smelled that in a fragrance. I got out my Ellena bottles and Voyage d'Hermès has a similar drydown to Rose Ikebana and Jardin sur le Nil -- a kind of sulfurous acridness that smells a bit like grapefruit to me, along with a lot of Iso E Super. Terre de Hermès has a kind of mineral / gunpowder accord (flint?) that Voyage doesn't have.

    It doesn't sound like it would appeal to you, but it's easy enough to check out. They were handing out 2ml vaporizers like candy at the downtown Hermès boutique on Saturday. As for me, the top is interesting, but doesn't stay around long enough.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    ROtto, I think cumin must be like basil - one of those notes that smells in perfume very little like it does as a cooking herb. It took me forever to "get" that basil note combined with citrus in almost every 80's masculine, mostly because I kept smelling the basil in my kitchen and it smelled nothing like it. "Perfume cumin" (as opposed to real life cumin) is a huge factor in Declaration, the top of Rose 31, and Malle's Bigarade Concentree. Those are the ones that nailed it for me. To me, it's the unmistakable smell of a sweaty NY taxi, mostly because cumin is one of those rare foods that changes the chemistry of a person who eats a lot of it to the point that their sweat smells like it.

    I haven't been shopping in a while, but will be going out this weekend (check your PM's). Too bad Hermes is closed Sunday...

    Today I tested Frederic Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire.



    A couple of years ago, on my first big attempt to break out of the Macy's scent mold and find new things, I wandered into Barneys and got roped into the Malle boutique. I knew I liked vetiver because I already had Jo Malone's very safe citrusy Vetyver, so I was pretty sure I'd like the much-more-expensive Malle. No way. I found it harsh and medicinal and thoroughly unpleasant.

    Fast forward to today. After sniffing dozens of vetivers and wearing enough weird ouds that I'm no longer afraid of medicinal scents, I'd become really curious what I'd think now. Thanks to the fine folks at Barneys, where I thankfully no longer feel like a confused little kid, I got the sample I'm wearing today.

    Well, I still think this is the most medicinal vetiver I've smelled. On the first spray, I can really picture the vetiver, the tall grasses with the super-long roots going many feet into the ground. The scent comes from the roots, and I can really smell the dirt caught up in there. It's simultaneously grassy and dirty and almost leathery, but also with a distinct medicinal tinge, somewhere between band-aids and mold. According to Malle's story, they wanted this to be the most realistic vetiver imaginable. Raw and pungent. Oof.

    Given time, the epic vetiver rounds out a bit, keeping it's medicinal pungency, but losing its sharp edges as a pinch of geranium leaf comes in. As the day went on, I kept smelling very soapy silage (a lot like Gendarme's V), but sniffing my arm, I never got that soap note, just a more and more polite vetiver/geranium mix.

    So what's the verdict? I still don't like it as much as other vetivers. My old Jo Malone Vetyver is still a wearable favorite. Creed's more-neroli-than-vetiver Original Vetiver is a stunner in hot weather. Encre Noire holds me spellbound with its forest floor landscape. And Le Labo's leathery, sweaty Vetiver 41 is still my favorite.

    I actually think that Guerlain's Vetiver does the medicinal vetiver as convincingly as Malle, but with more appealing backup notes. And Encre Noire does the vetiver/geranium combo with more panache. And if you're looking for a safe, soapy clean vetiver, Vétiver Extraordinaire would probably gross you out. And I'm cofused as to why someone would spend that much energy making such lively topnotes only to neuter them in the heart and base with soapy boringness. That being said, I think any sampling of vetiver scents can't be complete until you've experienced Vétiver Extraordinaire's jagged but pristine topnotes. Most people will either be grossed out or fall in love. I'm just the weird guy in the middle, feeling kind of "meh" about the whole thing...
    Last edited by rogalal; 7th April 2010 at 03:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today I sampled Floris Santal.



    No sandalwood here...

    Instead, the top is a nice, classic smelling mix of citrus (first orange and then bergamot) with just a pinch of lavender for brightness and a bit of something green (galbanum? basil?) to keep it grounded and not too bright. It had the definite feeling of an 80's masculine chypre, so it really confused me when it ended up as a patchouli gourmand. Once the top faded, Santal turned into a caramelized butterscotch. Apparently, there's a whole lot of notes coming together to do this, but it's very much a rich crème brûlée.

    This actually reminds me an awful lot of Bond No 9's New Haarlem, but minus the coffee and the woods. And much weaker. If you like the gourmand aspects of New Haarlem but not the coffee and the lavender, you might enjoy Santal. Or if you're looking for a lighter gourmand for warmer weather. But, honestly, I think New Haarlem is the superior scent. Oh, and if you're looking for sandalwood, you'd be better off looking elsewhere...
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Saks Atlanta were introducing the by Kilian line today as I unknowingly stumbled across it.
    I had sample quite a few of the lineup before and own b2b and pure oud but had never sampled Love before.

    A most excellent jus. The lady of the house owned it on the spot and she'll know about it this coming weekend.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Not really full wearing samples, but just quick spritzes at Neimans this afternoon: I went in to try the new Voyage d'Hermes and ended up first-time sampling that and Varvatos Artisan Black as well as Burberry Sport. Balmain Ambre Gris caught my eye and I wanted to re-test that in warmer weather and to see if I still liked it. It's sweet--too cloying for summer methinks--but I do still enjoy that and will probably have to spring for a bottle come next winter.

    On to the new stuff:

    Burberry Sport... nice citrus and ginger opening, but juniper overload on me (I'm sensitive to that note though) and a boring, synthetic cedar-amber base. Pass.

    Varvatos Artisan Black... decent and pleasant enough, but simply likable and uninteresting. Good for being a fruity masculine though.

    Voyage d'Hermes... I like it. How much I like it is hard to say. It is extremely JCE and yet different than the Jardins and Terre. I like the grapefruit top, I like the musky base, not sure yet about the woody heart. I'll need to sample it alone and without the similar, yet poor by comparison Burberry Sport. I really can't tell if the wood smells iso e super artificial or not because the Burberry smelled so artificial that it tampered with my sense of the Hermes. Definitely a possible purchase for me, in competition with TdH or another Jardin (I already own and love Nil).
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today I sampled Estée Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang.



    Nice gourmand amber.

    In a sense, this reminds me of what Ambre Narguile would be like with the pipe tobacco and woods taken out and the cinnamon toned down. Add to that a nice but kind of subtle floweriness in the top, and you've pretty much got Amber Ylang Ylang. It never smells as much like apple pie as Ambre Narguille, but definitely is more of a cinnamon-roll gourmand than a big herbal, medicinal true amber. Aside from the flowers in the background at the top, it's pretty linear and lasts a decent while (in all practicality, the composition is 90% basenotes, so it's not really going anywhere).

    I'll take Amber Ylang Ylang any day over a powdery, herbal amber bomb, though I can see how amber purists may not really care for it. I say check it out, though you'd probably be smart to wait until fall unless it's still suitably cold where you are. In any case, I think this is probably one of the best new widely-available scents out there right now. It's certainly worth a sniff the next time you're at the mall. And this is one of the few frags where I can honestly say the if you like the first test sniff, that's pretty much what you'll get a full day of.

    And it's completely unisex, to my nose, as long as you like sweet frags.
    Last edited by rogalal; 9th April 2010 at 03:45 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today I tested Heeley Verveine.



    Why doesn't this get more love here? It's easily the best warm weather tea fragrance I've ever smelled...

    There's a cafe near my work that makes the best Arnold Palmers. They squeeze their own lemonade every morning and mix in a chiffonade of fresh mint. Mix that with some black tea and it's the most refreshing thing ever. Verveine manages to smell like a beautiful perfume interpretation of that.

    Verveine uses that common trick of mixing bay leaf with a bit of coriander to smell like tea (everyone from Green Green Green and Green to X for Men to Chergui does this), but Heeley cleverly tones down the coriander and pairs the bay leaf with lemon verbena. It's a brilliant combination, because the grassy green elements of the verbena play up the tea quality of the bay leaf (and help give the illusion of a bright, fresh mint without giving the scent any unwanted toothpaste qualities). This leaves the lemony facets of the verbena to shine brightly (even more so than an actual lemon note would have). It's a genius trick of the nose that combines familiar notes into something both compelling and unexpected.

    Because it's verbena and not regular lemon, the fresh lemony note lasts the whole day, while a combination of fig leaf and tomato leaf eventually fill in for the bay leaf after a few hours. If anything, this lends a richness to the heart and base that replaces the hyper-refreshing effervescence of the topnotes. If you really smell for it closely, you can almost pick out the coconut aspect of the fig leaf, but it never crosses anywhere near tropical territory.

    So who would I recommend this for? Anybody. This is a perfect example of the kind of niche scent that's completely unisex. And it smells great, in a simple but amazing way. Anybody interested in tea scents should really check out Verveine. And I would go so far as to say that this could actually bridge the gap between the people who dislike perfume (who would probably love the fresh clean tea quality) and niche-snobs who would appreciate Verveine as a really perfect example of minimalism at its best.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    ^^^ I like it but don't love it. There is an odd dirtyness in there, and I am a known hater of bay, which pokes it's annoying head quite strongly into this one. It's good, sort of reminds me of Mountain Dew (I don't know why), but eventully it wasn't a FBW scent for me.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    MTG, Yeah I knew you wouldn't like Verveine because you don't like Green Green Green and Green, which is like Verveine's more herbal, fruitier cousin. But I'm a sucker for bay leaf...

    Today I sampled L'Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu.



    Bertrand Duchaufour's meditation on the rare karo karounde flower is pretty much impossible to describe to someone who hasn't smelled it, but I'll try. The heart of Timbuktu is wood, but it's not the friendly sandalwood or cedar we're all used to in woody fragrances. It's more of a dusty, antique teakwood (though the notes officially say papyrus wood). It's the smell of a really really old antique shop, or a room in some old castle that's been untouched and uncleaned for decades. Pair this odd smell with karo karounde, which is a flower that smells more like weird herbal, boozy wood than a flower. There's something a little bit sweaty going on, too, which may be an element of the karo karounde, or it could be a pinch of star anise, or maybe it's the mango they list in the notes, which can be quite funky if it wants to be.

    Timbuktu is distinctive and confusing and a pretty difficult scent. It's one of those that easily earns 5 stars as a piece of art, but that I can only give 3 in terms of personal wearability. It's one of those scents that you really have to be in the mood for. Wear it to an avant garde art opening or a really edgy fashion show, not to work or dinner. That being said, in the pantheon of perfume-as-art niche scents that simply have to be experienced at some point if you want to be a true fragrance connoisseur, everyone really needs to at least give Timbukto a try. Very few will love it, but it's required smelling...
    Last edited by rogalal; 11th April 2010 at 01:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    So I also kind of cheated today. I'm actually meeting some folks tomorrow to sniff around the city, but I found myself in the area for a meeting this afternoon and couldn't resist just a little pre-party sniffaround.

    At the Hermès boutique, I picked up a sample of Voyage d'Hermès (it's actually a super-cute little mini!)

    If you've read that long Chandler Burr article about Jean Claude Ellena designing Un Jardin Sur la Nil, it gives some background about him being hired by Hermès. One of the reasons they hired him was to give Hermès fragrances a signature, the same way that you can tell a classic Chanel or a classic Guerlain because they have a signature feel to them. Hermès wanted that, and I think Voyage d'Hermès is the perfect expression of Ellena's (and by association, Hermès's) signature style.

    I've only smelled it on paper so far, so I don't have the details, but it's kind of like the greatest hits of Hermès - the filthy oranges of Terre d'Hermès, the slightly funky grapefruit of Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, and, on a broader scale, the interplay of freshness and dirtiness and the signature lightness of most of Ellena's later work. All rounded into one scent that has it's own definitive smell, but has an instant familiarity because it's made up of the DNA of so many other Hermès scents.

    I'll hold off on any real commentary about details until I give it a full wearing, though.

    They also had a hidden tester of the new Vetyverio behind the counter at the Diptyque boutique.

    Speaking of companies with a signature that spreads through many of their scents, many Diptyques (aside from some of their more famous ones like Tam Dao and Philosikos) share a certain DNA, lifted repeatedly from their signature scent, L'Eau. Many of their scents feature L'Eau's signature interplay of citrus, florals, and that signature clovey Diptyque herb mix. Vetyverio (at least the topnotes on paper) takes it place squarely in the Diptyque pantheon because it wears its Diptyque DNA on its sleeve. The citrus and herbs listed in the notes aren't played against the vetiver in the typical modern way, where everything seems to be there to makes things fresh. Instead, they envelope the vetiver in the Diptyque signature, creating something more classic-smelling and almost barbershoppy than au courant niche.

    Bond No. 9's new High Line was kind of a disappontment. On paper, it was a pretty niche-by-numbers wet, green lily of the valley scent with little hints of other flowers in the background. I'm one of the few people here who will admit to being a Bond fan, but this didn't excite me at all. Though they're using it to introduce a new line of shower gels, which I'm really looking forward to. Here's hoping they put out some greatest hits in shower gel form...

    The new Marc Jacobs spash cologne, Biscotti, turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Nowhere near the gourmand trainwreck I expected, it was actually a rather nice lemon/almond mix that seemed quite wearable, at least on paper. Hot weather folks might actually want to check this out.

    While not available for sale yet, there was a tester of the new Tom Ford Azuree Lime. At least on paper, it reminded me of his Neroli Portofino, straightforward refreshing bright citrus. From the bottle, the topnotes were bright and true and not candied or fake-smelling and quite nice. I'll be interested to try this on when samples are available. I'll have to hit up my favorite Tom Ford SA tomorrow - hopefully Neimans has a tester, too...

    The scent I ended up spraying on and giving a proper wearing to was the new By Kilian Rose Oud.



    Really, it's what the name says. I can't help but compare this to Montale (as pretty much everyone here will). While Rose Oud is an extrait concentration and is quite strong, it doesn't have that really thick, deluxe feel of Montale's Black Aoud. But while your opinion of Montale's ouds will likely be made or broken by the plasticky, rubbery, medicinal oud hystrionics that Montale revels in, Kilian leaves only a minute or two of light medicinal, subtley animalic wackiness in the topnotes (just to anchor it as oud) and quickly gives way to a rather expensive-smelling westernized clean oud paired with the rose.

    In the end, Rose Oud is quite nice but I can't imagine one couldn't find something nicer in the thousands of real ouds and attars out there. And Montale's Black Aoud just has that indescribable something that makes me like it more and think it smells richer, despite its having a bunch of elements that I'd usually hate. That being said, I got some nice compliments at my business meeting - One person said it reminded him of Nag Chaampa, but nicer, while another called it disturbingly sexy. OK then.

    Oh, and the next By Kilian will apparently be Amber Oud...
    Last edited by rogalal; 11th April 2010 at 02:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    MTG, Yeah I knew you wouldn't like Verveine because you don't like Green Green Green and Green, which is like Verveine's more herbal, fruitier cousin. But I'm a sucker for bay leaf...

    Today I sampled L'Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu.



    Bertrand Duchaufour's meditation on the rare karo karounde flower is pretty much impossible to describe to someone who hasn't smelled it, but I'll try. The heart of Timbuktu is wood, but it's not the friendly sandalwood or cedar we're all used to in woody fragrances. It's more of a dusty, antique teakwood (though the notes officially say papyrus wood). It's the smell of a really really old antique shop, or a room in some old castle that's been untouched and uncleaned for decades. Pair this odd smell with karo karounde, which is a flower that smells more like weird herbal, boozy wood than a flower. There's something a little bit sweaty going on, too, which may be an element of the karo karounde, or it could be a pinch of star anise, or maybe it's the mango they list in the notes, which can be quite funky if it wants to be.

    Timbuktu is distinctive and confusing and a pretty difficult scent. It's one of those that easily earns 5 stars as a piece of art, but that I can only give 3 in terms of personal wearability. It's one of those scents that you really have to be in the mood for. Wear it to an avant garde art opening or a really edgy fashion show, not to work or dinner. That being said, in the pantheon of perfume-as-art niche scents that simply have to be experienced at some point if you want to be a true fragrance connoisseur, everyone really needs to at least give Timbukto a try. Very few will love it, but it's required smelling...
    I HATE GGG and G. Detest the stuff. But I don't hate the Heeley, it just failed to move towards a FB. I don't know what I like more about that one than the MeB. Regarding Timbuktu. It was a sample I got with my first TPC order WAY back in early 2008. I remember, being very confused with it on first try. Second try, I just outright didn't like it. I revisited it some 2 years later a couple of months ago, and again was confused. My 4th overall sampling of it, I no longer was as confused, and sort of liked it now. I find it shares a lot of resemblance to it's cousin Dzonghka, which I, too, HATE. The incense accord and some of the fruit I find is what connects them, but whereas Timbuktu is pleasantly fruity and ethereal, Dzonghka smells like sweet and sour pickles, ick!
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Yesterday at our impromptu meet-up I sampled (thanks to a hidden tester at Neiman Marcus) the upcoming 10 Corso Como Uomo.



    The primary note was a very burnt wood smell. It wasn't the Iso E Super smoky smell (though it's certainly in there), but more like liquid smoke or tar. It was a piney redwood smell, but more like a campfire. I'm pretty sure it's a pine tar note. JaimeB verified that it wasn't birch tar, while Galamb Barong surmised that it may be the result of a technique in which wood is charred before having its oils distilled. It reminded me of the roughness of a Nasomato, or DS & Durga's Cedar with its burnt basenotes.

    I kept trying to smell vetiver, because there was something bright in the background, but it turned out to be ginger. The other notable element was something funky in the background. At times, it bordered on a state farm livestock smell, but always pulled back before getting too gross. This reminded me of the fecal weirdness at play in the background of CDG/Artek Standard or their Dover Street Market.

    The base was mostly the creamy base of Iso E Super, with a touch of myrrh or vanilla, maybe. I'm assuming that, to many reviewers here, this will be the weak point of Uomo, but I like Iso E Super and don't really see it as a problem.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Here we go

    Bois d'Argent Cologne by Christian Dior (2004)
    I fell in love with this scent first spray. It has soft incense and vanilla/patchouli base that goes on for hours. In the top notes I smell a blast of honey..that fades as quick as you can say basenotes. After about 15 min in it goes straight to the base...this a list of soft notes and it does not disappoint to say the least. It can now enter my TOP 10
    Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior (2004)
    This was not love at first sniff. First of all, I hate the smell of Curry. I dont even like Indian food.......but, I love the smell of Maple Syrup. First test all I can smell was the curry. Then it calms down and lets me meet my old friend maple syrup again. Maple Syrup got acquainted with my long-time friend Coffee. Then we all headed for a cedar mill..When everything is done mixing up...it takes about 20 min...It ends up smelling like Butterscotch. This one too heads straight towards the base.

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    Thumbs up Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    I have been sampling on-and-off the past few weeks but honestly just been too lazy to write about anything.

    Today I sampled Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta:



    Notes: Cedarwood, Vetiver, Amber, White Musk
    From BN Directory

    I love the original Colonia and this round of sampling goes by way of rubber-stamping a FB purchase of it (As per mtgprox's recommendation in the October '09 version of this thread, Penhaligon's Castile is on deck--EDIT: Incidentally, thanks for that ). I did a side-by-side comparison on my inner forearms--a good place for sampling, btw, as it does not interfere with my SOTD but is far enough from my wrists not to get washed off or, indeed, onto my wristwatch.

    Anyway, Assoluta opens with a crisp, clean cedar. I was slightly taken aback by this because Colonia slaps you in the face with a citrus topnote that is bracing on its own but almost caustic in comparison (he said, with a pang of guilt). The green snuck up on me, as I tend to expect woody notes in the heart and base, but it was a welcome surprise. The creamy amber comes through in the heart with an undertone of "apothecary spice", which I assume is the listed vetiver. Vetiver gives me a bit of trouble but I'm working on that, too. The musk in the drydown seems slightly "tinny" but I won't hold to that after only one sampling.

    I must admit that the citrus-rose nexus of Colonia is my favorite part, and the absence of both here does not detract from the composition so much as highlight the relative linearity of the Assoluta. The two certainly share the same DNA and are clearly brothers, especially in the latter stages. A bit like listening to a rock song you know and love, minus the catchy opening guitar riff and the virtuoso drum solo in the middle; it still pushes the right emotional buttons but your thoughts invariably turn to what's missing.

    Still, I find Assoluta dignified and reassuring, and can happily recommend it for office wear.

    3.5/5
    Last edited by Emlynevermore; 12th April 2010 at 09:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by megatropolis View Post
    Here we go

    Bois d'Argent Cologne by Christian Dior (2004)
    I fell in love with this scent first spray. It has soft incense and vanilla/patchouli base that goes on for hours. In the top notes I smell a blast of honey..that fades as quick as you can say basenotes. After about 15 min in it goes straight to the base...this a list of soft notes and it does not disappoint to say the least. It can now enter my TOP 10
    Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior (2004)
    This was not love at first sniff. First of all, I hate the smell of Curry. I dont even like Indian food.......but, I love the smell of Maple Syrup. First test all I can smell was the curry. Then it calms down and lets me meet my old friend maple syrup again. Maple Syrup got acquainted with my long-time friend Coffee. Then we all headed for a cedar mill..When everything is done mixing up...it takes about 20 min...It ends up smelling like Butterscotch. This one too heads straight towards the base.
    I, too, am not a huge fan of curry, though I don't necessarily detest it. But you got to admit, it's really weird yet SO interesting to smell in Eau Noire. Like my brain keeps telling me that this isn't supposed to smell good, it's too weird, but my nose keeps going to my wrist, and I smile. One of the most beautiful scents and pieces of "art" I've ever smelled, yet I have no desire to actually own a bottle or wear it regularly.
    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Emlynevermore, I don't mean to hype it up too high. But wait until you try Castile, it's ALL about neroli/rose to my nose.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Very weird....I have fallen for both VERRRRYYY HARD! I cant stop sniffing myself...You Did Warn ME!!!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    bond#9 new haarlem, rich coffee gourmand wonderful

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    Emlynevermore, I don't mean to hype it up too high. But wait until you try Castile, it's ALL about neroli/rose to my nose.
    I am a big fan of the "if you like _____, then you might love _____" type of suggestion. I have come to realize that I will quite like far more fragrances than I will ever be able to own and use, so the sampling process is as much about finding the "best in genre", as it were, for potential purchase as it is broadening my olfactory horizons or just plain enjoying myself.

    To be honest, I would be quite happy with a bottle of Colonia right now, but Castile has been sticking in my craw since you mentioned it. Just glad to finally know whether I like it or not sometime in the next few days.

    Peace of mind is a funny thing, ain't it?

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today I sampled Creed Sélection Verte.



    Bright mint over lemon, eventually getting sort of tea-ish before a quick fade into minty ambergris.

    The top is really a love-it-or-hate-it. It's either the most refreshing hot weather splash ever or lemon Plegde mixed with toothpaste. In a way, it's kind of both. They use verbena to extend the lemon note, which combines with the mint and the light hawthorn in the heart to smell kind of like tea. Then, after about four hours, it collapses into a light verbena and mint-tinged ambergris, which isn't as gross as it sounds like it should be.

    This one was supposedly vaulted, but remains quite available, if only in the big flacons. And it can be found in the new flacons, so they must still be making it...

    Sélection Verte is definitely worth a test. Aside from Bois du Portugual, it's one of the most wearable classic Creeds. But save it for a hot day.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Parfumerie Generale Private Collection: L'Ombre Fauve- Not my thing... Incense, Amber and Fir. I will stick with the clean fir of GESTE.
    Montale Blue Amber Eau de Parfum- 84 Chevy Caprice Int w/Vanilla scented freshener and a middle aged man wearing Obsession behind the wheel.

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    Thumbs up Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    I took the opportunity today to give a full wearing to something I had sampled (and loved!) near the end of last year after Dimitri's clarion call in praise of it,


    Washtingon Tremlett's Black Tie:



    Notes: Saffron, Nutmeg, Galbanum, Sage, Roses, Geranium, Tuberose, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Patchouli, Musk
    From BN Directory


    Perversely, I couldn't smell a thing for the first ten minutes or so after applying post-shower-n-shave. It (finally) opened with a sensuous, slightly green floral on a warm aromatic background; the notes list says galbanum, nutmeg, and sage--all of which make sense in retrospect. The rose crept in shortly thereafter, although it was fully an hour before it hit its stride, eventually dovetailing with the saffron to recreate the familiar heart that projects without shouting. A couple hours later, the basic structure remained intact, buttressed by a patchouli vibe softened with a touch of sweetness. Even a full 15 hours after application, enough character and sillage remain for me to throw on a tux and catch the third act if I hurry.

    It was my disappointment with current-formulation Ungaro III that led me to seek a gentlemanly rose with a black cape in tow, and Black Tie is as close as I have gotten to date. Not as densely gothic as No.88; more subdued than Caraceni 1913, possibly with a drier rose as well; less sweet than Rose 31, which ends up slightly carrot-y on me as a result.

    My only hang-up is the sticker shock; $160 seems steep for something that demands pressed clothing and probably does not fare well in hotter temperatures. Black Tie is to me like Dimitar Berbatov is to Manchester United: Undoubtedly offers something unique at the front end of the lineup but in reality will see limited playing time and ultimately could never justify the price tag.

    Recommended for any professional setting with a dress code but would just be SO perfect for a formal evening out. Decant me in!

    4.5/5
    Last edited by Emlynevermore; 14th April 2010 at 03:08 AM. Reason: I am a compulsive, but depressingly reactive, spell-checker

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    Talking Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by megatropolis View Post
    Montale Blue Amber Eau de Parfum- 84 Chevy Caprice Int w/Vanilla scented freshener and a middle aged man wearing Obsession behind the wheel.
    I forgot to add that I nearly pissed myself laughing at this, as it appears you are intimately acquainted with my ex-girlfriend's father and his mode of transport.

    I take it you are a fan, then?

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today I sampled Nina Ricci Ricci Club, the Haute Concentration (which is still an EDT, and the original is an EDT, too - confusing...)



    The better end of the ubiquitous 80's woody man-chypre family.

    Being an 80's masculine, of course the top is that 80's lemon, which many love but I find quite torturous and reminiscent of Lemon Pledge when used badly. It's almost always paired with that 80's basil note, which seems more mossy and almost leathery than any basil I've ever cooked with. Naturally, Ricci Club has this combo as its topnotes, but the magic is that it manages to make them work. For one, there's a brightness that's kind of minty in there (I think it might be lemongrass or verbena) which keeps the fragrance out of that musty cleaning product territory. There's also a big shot of bergamot, which acts as a sweetening agent and keeps Ricci Club from falling into that dark, dingy lemon/basil trap that ensnares so many classics from this time.

    Ricci Club winds its way through a woody cypress heart (thankfully without the requisite shot of hawthorn), which would be unremarkable were it not for the residual sweetness that set it apart. Naturally, a dark mossy vetiver chypre base rounds out the scent.

    All in all, I think it's the sweetness from the heavy bergamot that makes Ricci Club stand out. Other than that, it follows a tried and true recipe. It's the kind of hard-to-find masculine classic that either smells like pure class in a bottle or old man smell, depending on how you perceive this kind of scent. If you're into classics and can hunt down a sample, it's definitely worth sniffing for the interplay between the sweetened top and the really dark 80's masculine elements.
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