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  1. #61
    Tarheel Golfer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010


    Kenzo Power

    Others have described Power much better than I can. It is a floral that is masculine to unisex. I can't figure this one out, and it's going to take more sampling. It's masculine, but it doesn't feel like it should be. It's not the type of scent that I normally like, but I DO like it. Whether I end up calling it bottle worthy or not, I can already say that I admire it. Its a beautiful creation that treads all kinds of lines perfectly.

  2. #62
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Yesterday I sampled Penhaligon's Lily Of The Valley.



    At the last SF meet-up, I caught Galamb-Barang sniffing the little samples in the Le Labo Olfactionary Kit. I zeroed in on a note I'd never heard of, cis-3-hexenol aka Leaf Alcohol or Pipol. There it was, that lily of the valley/muguet smell, green and wet, in all its glory. Then, I noticed that the kit also included a sample of Lily Of The Valley. Confused, I sniffed it, and was greeted with something fully unknown to me, sort of a dark, generic floral. Every lily scent I've tried, from Malle to Bond to Delrae to this Penhaligon's, is clearly based on cis-3-hexanol, and not the actual lily of the valley absolute. Confused yet? I know I am...

    With that in mind, I've smelled a lot of cis-3-hexanol without knowing it. From soy candles, to those gel soaps they sell at craft fairs, to Bath & Body Works, to the "ocean mist" Purell my boss uses at work, cis-3-hexanol is apparently everywhere, and because of that, it carries some "cheap" connotations to me.

    Penhaligon's Lily Of The Valley kicked off with that cis-3 lily note, combined nicely with some rose to make it feel more floral, and some peppery indoles. I really liked this combination - the top notes of this are my favorite of any of the lily scents I've tried. Then, as the indoles faded into the heart, I was left with just lily and rose, and the cis-3 came through loud and clear, smelling enough like that Purell my boss uses to completely lose my interest. And that's where it stayed, just a pleasant chemical stew that was way too similar to a hundred shampoos and lotions for me to like it. It's a pity, too - the peppery indolic topnotes were great...
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  3. #63
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    This last Saturday, I tested Penhaligon’s Elixir.



    The top was nice, a sort of mix of clovey cinnamon and cedar reminiscent of a toned-down, better-blended Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir with the incense taken out. Then some musk crept in as the spices faded, leaving that cedar/musk combo I don’t like because it always reminds me of a hamster cage.

    At that point, I basically wrote off Elixir. But I was wrong.

    I ended up going out dancing that night. Drinking with friends, I kept thinking I smelled Musk Ravageur, but it turned out that it was my Elixir. The musk had grown stronger, while the cinnamon spice had returned in the heat, leaving something remarkably similar to Musk Ravageur, but with light cedar where the vanilla would have been.

    It was pretty awesome, actually, but it’s just so sad that I’d have to wait through that stupid hamster cage smell to get to it again.

    So, I’d heartily recommend Elixir for cedar fans who don’t share my hamster cage association (fans of Andy Warhol Silver Factory take note!), as well as people who like the idea of Musk Ravageur, but not all that vanilla.
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  4. #64
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Sunday, I tested Penhaligon’s Bluebell.



    Bluebell kicked off with a nice carnation note, slightly clovey, with just a pinch of jasmine bubblegum. Given a minute, some rose came through, as well as a touch of that lily of the valley note.

    And that’s basically it. Just a bouquet of pretty flowers, but still completely wearable and never too girly (because of the clovey carnation). If you like your florals toxic and loud, you should skip Bluebell – it’s more of a quiet hum of prettiness than a scream of crazy indolic flowers. But if you enjoy a nice background floral scent that’s not too sweet or dumbed down, Bluebell is quite nice. As an aside, I can imagine it being quite well-behaved in hot weather, too.
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  5. #65
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Yesterday, I wore Penhaligon’s Artemisia.



    Artemisia began with an interesting mix of cinnamon-dusted cherry and iris. It was kind of bready, like orris butter, and occasionally smelled like cosmetics (but with cherry on top). Pretty quickly, vanilla came through, pushing the iris out of the way.

    One reviewer here described Artemisia as a “high street fruity floral,” which feels like an apt description. The orris/iris gives it a soulful feeling that most fruity florals lack, but it’s really not striving to be high art, either. I feel like this could be compared to either Lector et Emergo or Jungle l’Elefant, but Artemisia doesn’t have the tobacco note that lends so much depth to both of these cult favorites. Instead, Artemisia is content to just smell good without doing anything particularly daring, which would probably make it more appealing to most of the folks out there.

    In the end, if you like cherry and vanilla and enjoy a nice pinch of iris, Artemisia might be a great fit for you.
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  6. #66
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today, I’m wearing Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet.



    What an odd scent. This is definitely one of those where what I smell doesn’t match the description. On me, It kicked off with really dirty lemon, like lemon paired up against that angry basil note, as well as maybe some anise or dirty lavender or something else. What’s especially weird is that it never smelled like a classic 70’s/80’s masculine chypre, despite the chypre-style notes.

    Given time, it morphed into rose geranium leaves, with their unique combination of leafy green, licorice, and rose. After a few hours, some chypre basenotes came in, heavy on the patchouli, but were largely buried under the much-stronger geranium note.

    In a way, this has all the notes and the structure of a classic, but somehow doesn’t feel like one, just because the notes are somehow accented differently. I’m assuming that means the version in stores now is probably a reformulation, but it does have more modern appeal than I would have expected.

    I’d recommend Blenheim Bouquet mostly for fans of rose geranium. If you liked Malle’s Geranium pour Monsieur but didn’t care for all that mint, Blenheim might be a perfect fit. Or, if you really like lemon, but don’t want to smell like cleaning products or a big glass of lemonade, you might find the topnotes completely mesmerizing.
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  7. #67
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Today, I’m wearing Penhaligon’s Quercus.



    On me, Quercus is basically a traditional masculine fougére. The top is your basic lemony chypre top, but with a ton of lavender giving it an almost aldehydic brightness. There’s something green lurking in the background, which eventually ends up being a shot of eucalyptus.

    A few hours in, it’s a mix of lemony eucalyptus with some residual lavender. Naturally, the listed notes don’t include eucalyptus – it’s entirely possible that it’s a trick of lemon verbena mixing with the lavender that’s fooling me into smelling it. The notes list a floral heart, which I’m not getting, but a sweet galbanum is coming through, hinting at an upcoming chypre base.

    All told, Quercus isn’t really doing anything I haven’t smelled before, and its lightness would likely turn off many fans of this style of scent (manly power-chypres are supposed to be strong!). It’s an oddity of sorts, a scent released in 1996 trying to smell like a scent from the 70’s, but with the balls removed. As such, it’s wearable and fine, but not really getting me excited.

    EDIT: It's many hours later, and this doesn't have the chypre base I expected, but a lemony musk. Interesting...
    Last edited by rogalal; 29th April 2010 at 03:16 AM.
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  8. #68

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Cuir de Russie by Creed, very distinct smell.

  9. #69

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    I don't have anything contribute just this moment, but I'd like to thank Rogalal for his comprehensive and in-depth sample reviews of Penhaglion's here!
    Last edited by Sugandaraja; 28th April 2010 at 09:19 PM.

  10. #70

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010



    Today I tested the new LOLITA LEMPICKA fragrance L'Eau au masculin. I'm not a good reviewer so I'll be short.
    This frag. is not intoxicating like Au masculin,this is a green-woody fragrance. It starts with notes of lemon, verbena and pink pepper then become a bit sweeter because of the[I] violets[/I] (I think) and jasmine and it settle down with notes of ,olives,vetiver and mosc..(My nose can't detect the notes which are not colored).The experts should review this A.S.A.P.,this might be better than Au masculin.

    All I can say is that smells awesome.
    Last edited by Ciprian; 30th April 2010 at 07:38 PM.

  11. #71

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    A big thank you to all reviewers, Rogagal proudly leading ahead, is more than appropriate and hereby submitted!
    I really enjoy your thougts and comments!
    Last edited by timaru; 30th April 2010 at 09:12 PM.

  12. #72
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Thanks for the nice words, everyone, but I'm mostly glad to see other people poking their heads into this thread. Lemon and verbena over vetiver, musk, and olives??? And thanks to ThGolfer for making me want to sample Kenzo Power. Now that I'm pretty much out of Penhaligon's samples, it'll be next. And I'm certainly going to have to sniff that Lempika the next time I'm out shopping...

    So now I'm down to the two classic stalwarts of the Penhaligon's collection. Yesterday I wore English Fern.



    Apparently, the fougere genre (basically a chypre with lavender on top) was invented by and named after Houbigant's Fougere Royalle, which has long been discontinued, leaving its contemporary English Fern as the defining early example. In a way, it's pretty much what I expected, a ton of lavender with a chypre base.

    The top is the expected lavender, with just a pinch of mint to give it a touch of green. The heart is still mostly lavender, but with a touch of lemon verbena. Also, by the heart, that leathery aspect of really strong lavender starts coming through. The base is, you guessed it, more lavender, with some patchouli and moss rounding it out and helping keep that leathery feel going.

    Thankfully, I had been warned not to expect English Fern to actually smell like fern, or else I would have been sorely disappointed. As such, it reminded me a lot of Penhaligon's Lavandula, which I sampled a few days ago. They both clearly use the same very upfront lavender. While Lavandula went soapy, English Fern went dark.

    All in all, as would be expected from a scent that's around a century old, English Fern definitely smells old, but in an interesting museum-piece-worth-checking-out kind of way. As with Lavandula, if you love lavender, you should really give English Fern a sample, just for an idea of how it all started...
    Last edited by rogalal; 30th April 2010 at 11:45 PM.
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  13. #73
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    OK, these BN crashes are really pissing me off. I just spent 20 minutes on Hammam Bouquet and it lost all my work. Urgh...
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  14. #74

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    bois de cedrat by Creed, similar to bdp but with citrus.

  15. #75
    Tarheel Golfer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Thanks for the nice words, everyone, but I'm mostly glad to see other people poking their heads into this thread. Lemon and verbena over vetiver, musk, and olives??? And thanks to ThGolfer for making me want to sample Kenzo Power. Now that I'm pretty much out of Penhaligon's samples, it'll be next. And I'm certainly going to have to sniff that Lempika the next time I'm out shopping...
    I do enjoy reading your sampling experiences, so do please keep it up. You're welcome on the Kenzo Power. I decided I wouldn't wear it often enough for it to be full bottle worthy, but I did go out and buy a 10ml mini off of ebay to have around when the mood strikes me. It's good stuff.

  16. #76
    Tarheel Golfer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    I've done a bit of sampling over the past week from samples I've bought on ebay, decants and samples I've acquired in trades, etc. While I'm not the most experienced on here (by far), and can't pick out many individual notes, I'll try to give my high-level, overall impression of a few of them.

    The first one is Givenchy Pour Homme Blue Label :
    The first thing that struck me about this one was the similarities with Clinque Happy. I have not seen that correlation mentioned, and it kind of surprised me. To me Happy was very astringent, and ended up being too much for me to be that wearable. Blue Label had that kind of brightness without being quite so strong. I'll wear more from my sample soon, but the first impression was that it smells great, but isn't different or unique enough to officially add to my already aquatic heavy wardrobe.

    Next up is Guerlain Vetiver :
    I have been curious about vetiver as a note for some time, so it was cool to get to experience a frag with it as the dominant note. I can certainly see why Guerlain Vetiver has a large following around here, as it is certainly a quality fragrance. It was a more "mature" scent to my nose, much the way Rive Gauche and M7 are. (note I'm not saying it smells like either of them, it just fits in the same "age range" if you will). My tastes tend toward the aquatics and "younger" smelling frags (even though I'm in my 30s) and though I decided the YSL's were too "mature" for me, I may actually enjoy wearing Vetiver occasionally. However for me I still don't think it is full-bottle-worthy at this point in my fragrance journey.

    The third one is Terre d'Hermes :
    What a pleasant surprise this one was. I know it has been very popular on BN for a long time, but with my tastes leaning heavily to the aquatics the descriptions of Terre's "earthiness" had me leery of trying it. Its "orange peel" or "bitter orange" accord adds just enough citrus to make it very appealing to me, and the underlying "earthiness" in the base isn't too much at all. It actually makes it a well rounded fragrance. It could fit into the workhorse, wearable at any time, anywhere, any season category. I have a feeling I'll be wearing from my decant quite a bit, and decide at some point during that if I want to spring for a full bottle. After one wearing I can certainly see that happening, however it may have to pass my wife's "what is that smell" test. I wasn't around her much the day I wore it, and it was mostly gone that night when we did get home. Anyway, if I spray on a frag, and she doesn't comment I know it may be a keeper. She only tends to comment when she doesn't like one. I'm not sure which way she'll go with Terre.

    The fourth frag I've sampled is Dolce & Gabbana :
    Despite it not getting a lot of love around here I've been a fan of Light Blue Pour Homme for a while now. I had only ever sample the original D&G Pour Homme on a card in the past. I liked it, but at the time wrote it off as something I wouldn't wear often enough to justify a purchase. I probably still wouldn't purchase a bottle of it, but I acquired a decant in a trade and I'm glad I did. It's different enough from the rest of my wardrobe to help round it out a bit. It's a little bolder and maybe heavier than a lot of what I own. It may not get a lot of wear heading into summer, but I could easily see turning to this more often in the fall.

    Fifth and finally for this post is Paul Smith Story :
    This one has been on my "to test" radar for a long time after seeing it in "what's similar to.." threads for some of my favorites. I have not been able to find a tester at any stores near me, or anyone with decants of it, so I turned to ebay and bought a couple of carded samples. I'm wearing this one as I type this, and I'm happy with my purchase. My first impression was that those that described it as similar to Mugler Cologne (one of my favorites) were right. This is especially true in the top notes, where there is a lot of similarity. As it has dried down it has taken a little different path. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it still smells familiar. I have a feeling it's similar to something else I've sprayed on a card from a store tester before. Maybe Prada Amber or YSL L'homme??? But don't hold me to either of those because it's been a while. Anyway, its a pretty light smelling scent, but it does seem to project pretty well. I am thoroughly enjoying wearing this one, and could possibly see it as a bottle purchase when I'm done with these carded samples. It certainly suits my aquatic/fresh/citrus/light scent tastes.

    EDIT(Update): After wearing Paul Smith Story a little longer, and contemplating it, I think I've figured out what it reminds me of. Not Amber or L'homme, but Versace Man Eau Fraiche. In fact I think it has a closer resemblance to Eau Fraiche than it does Mugler Cologne. I have also decided it is probably a keeper, but I'll sample more to make sure.
    Last edited by Tarheel Golfer; 2nd May 2010 at 03:15 AM.

  17. #77

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - April 2010

    Oy Vey! This is a tough one to write about......

    Tauer Orange Star
    I really like Andy Tauer, he's a genuine, kind man. But this fragrance, his newest release, is truly putrid. No putrid isn't a strong enough word (must go to the thesaurus), nidorous (there, that's better). This is really really bad. I'm almost at a loss for words. It's not the gruesome "who-the-hell would wear this" monstrosity that is Hilde Soliani Stecca, nor is it the intentionally grotesque sperm and blood of Secretions Magnifique, no it's a whole other ball park. It's where a combination of notes, that may have worked separately, come together to smell GOD AWFUL. Honestly, I could only last 5 minutes before it needed to get washed off, and then it STAYED. I really can't describe it, I didn't give it nearly enough time, but it was some grossly synthetic clementine, mixed with something chalky, and an uber resinous amber, with no finesse at all. Truly ghastly.

    Edit: And it's nuclear strength, stinking up my whole sample bag!
    Last edited by mtgprox05; 2nd May 2010 at 12:51 AM.
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