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

    Anyone try anything new and fun? Tell us about it!

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


    Today I'm wearing L'Artisan Parfumeur Fou d'Absinthe.



    This was the first real "niche" scent I bought a couple of years ago and I'm still trying to figure it out. On my skin, it starts off like some sort of green-tinged parchment paper, while the silage has that trademark sparkly absinthe note. There's pine needles in the background, too.

    By the heart, there's some distinct sweaty funk in there, too. It could be the black currant, or maybe the star anise (both of which can get kind of sweaty/pissy). But that sweet green sparkly absinth makes up for any grossness.

    If you're a fan of green scents, or woody scents, or you just want to try a great example of perfume as art, you've really got to try Fou d'Absinthe. Much like Timbuktu (another notable art piece from L'Artisan), I can't guarantee you'll like it, but you'll have to respect it...
    Last edited by rogalal; 3rd July 2010 at 07:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Yesterday, I test-wore Fresh Citron de Vigne.



    It kicked off with a sparkly lemon soda smell that reminded me of L'Eau par Kenzo pour Homme, but without the ginger. Some other citrus notes came and went, most notably that artificial orange that reminds me of Tang, along with some sweet yuzu. There was a green tinge in the background, too. As the aldehydes which made that sparkly soda effect faded, it kind of reminded me of Clinique's Happy for Men, but with that subtle green in the background.

    Given time, the citruses faded and the green note turned out to be fennel. By the end of the day, the whole thing was very faded, leaving a sort of sweet fruity smell instead of any real noticeable basenotes.

    In the end, I prefer L'Eau par Kenzo over this. It gets that sparkly ginger ale just right. But if you like these sorts of super-bright summer citrus scents, Citron de Vigne is probably worth a sniff.
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    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    A few days ago, thanks to a hidden tester at the NY Creed boutique, I got to give a full day's wearing to Windsor.



    The top smelled like minty, expensive gum - as if you made a gum flavor out of fancy natural ingredients. Once it was pointed out, I could tell how the minty quality was actually a trick created by the mixture of lime and eucalyptus.

    The famous rose note stayed subtle, mostly flavoring the wood notes, which were the stars of the show.

    Given time, the whole thing faded to a light, papery wood note, heavy on the eucalyptus. I have to say that I usually don't like eucalyptus in perfumes, because it usually makes them smell like cough drops, but Windsor was more like walking through a grove of eucalyptus trees than like medicine.

    All in all, Windsor didn't really excite me. While it was based largely on wood, it was never the kind of heavy smoky wood scent that I like so much. Instead, it wore very light, smelling pleasantly woody up close and occasionally throwing off some polite rose silage. It was very much a boardroom scent, as opposed to a big niche art bomb. Also, it should be said that it's actually kind of weird. The minty lime going to woods with the rose silage certainly didn't smell like anything else I've tested. The closest comparison I can make is Penhaligan's Hammam Bouquet, with it's dusky, old-timey man-rose, but they're only similar in spirit, not really in smell...

    I can certainly see why Creed didn't give this a wide release. Next to MI or GIT, anyone but the most ardent Creed fans and lovers of classic aristocratic masculine fragrances would probably think Windsor was just too strange. But if that's what you're in to, it's probably worth a test.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    I skipped over Fou d'Absinthe at Aedes a few weeks ago because it didn't seem the sort of thing I would like...which is precisely why I ought to have tried it.

    Been busy reorganizing my life recently, which has left little time for sampling. Hopefully I can go on a bit of a run now.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Sampladelic Sunday morning before I do my SOTD proper

    Left arm Creed Himalaya , its nice , reminds me of something else , not very complex , linear

    Right arm Creed Virgin Island Water , again its nice nothing spectacular kinda like fancy sun block

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    ^ I love Virgin Island Water for how smooth and seamlessly it transitions though all of its notes, not a sharp edge in sight. Plus it's just so bright and cheery I find it a very uplifting scent. Rogolal, Fou d'Absinthe is a definite winner in my book, I see a bottle in my future come fall. I haven't really been sampling much new recently but I just got a few samples with my Sel de Vetiver bottle, and maybe I'll add my thoughts on them once I get a chance. I wore too little of a sample for an accurate review, but I FINALLY have tried Santal Noble now, and BOY was the hype well deserved!
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  7. #7
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    A few days back, I test-wore Heeley Cardinal.



    I had tried this one before and liked it, but not as much as Nasomatto's divine gross-out Black Afgano, which I ended up buying instead. Fast forward a few months to Aedes with Kevin Guyer, where I asked for suggestions of woody incense scents. They sprayed this for me and something just clicked. That churchy incense with all that cedar! Within a second, I was in love.

    My brain remembered trying it before. And, it definitely has a reputation as the poor-man's Avignon (despite it costing way more). But the balance just clicked. They made me a sample, which I wore a couple of days later.

    In all, Cardinal is actually a pretty simple scent. It's the heady mix of frankincense and myrrh I smelled gushing from the huge Catholic church a block or so from Saks earlier on my trip. And it's cedar.

    A while back, I found out that a tiny herb store 50 feet from my apartment is actually a well-respected source for essential oils (ouch, my wallet hurts...). I bought a few to get to know some more obscure notes. One that I picked was Juniperus Virginiana, Virginia cedar. It's an interesting smell that, on its own, goes through top, heart, and base notes. The top is cedar or juniper - the smell of redwood trees, warm and wet in a dense moist forest. With time, it gets drier and somehow "creamier" and ends up as a sort of creamy wood dirt (like the mix of rotting bark and pete that makes up a forest floor, but somehow muted and creamier) with only lingering wafts of the original lively, moist tree smell. This isn't the pencil shavings/hamster cage cedar at all.

    Anyway, Cardinal was clearly based on this Virginia cedar. I could even follow the progression of the virginia cedar through the course of Cardinal, which was more of a woody forest on top and creamier in the base. In a way, it takes a few choice ingredients and manages to combine them absolutely perfectly.

    But, I didn't end up running back to buy a bottle. I really liked it, but it felt like I had unlocked its puzzle, somehow. It reminded me of my experience with Hinoki, after just having worn plain Iso E Super. Hinoki lost a lot of its mystique when it was so glaringly obviously based so largely on one ingredient. In the end, only time will tell if Cardinal ends up being one of those scents I crave repeatedly or just a passing infatuation.

    All that being said, I do think Cardinal should be put on the must-try list of woody incense scents, alongside the CDG's and the crazy L'Artisans. If these are your thing, do yourself a favor and track down a sample.
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    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Another Aedes find that I gave a full day to was Nez à Nez Marron Chic.



    It started off as amber, like a butterscotch candy. I was ready to write it off (their Ambre à Sade was a terrible too-sweet fruity candy nightmare and I feared that this may turn out to be as much), but it keep the sweetness in check with a weird sort of nutty woody background note. I suppose this was the candied chestnut that this scent is named after.

    A few minutes in, the orris butter arrived. This was just perfect. Just imagine a deep iris/orris playing up against the butterscotch amber with smoky, nutty woods, possibly with some honey added. It was sweet, in the sense of a comforting winter scent, but never too sweet or stupid. It was too iris and woody to be a proper gourmand, but really it was a gourmand - just a really interesting, different one.

    Sadly, the base ended up just being some really boring vanilla. After the really beautiful complexity of the heart, this was quite a letdown. Marron Chic easily could have achieved Guerlain-esque levels of development and interest, but ended up falling short. I still gave it 4 stars, and look forward to trying it again when it gets cold, but the sad base ended up turning me off just enough to not pick up a bottle.

    All that being said, if you're searching for interesting irises, or intelligent gourmands, I'd heartily suggest Marron Chic as a must-try.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    One of the most interesting samples to come out of my request for incense scents at Aedes was Serge Lutens Gris Clair.



    I've sniffed Gris Clair before and knew it as a lavender scent. But the owner of Aedes insisted that it's an amazing incense under that lavender and that it's one of the best incense scents out there. Who am I to doubt one of America's best-informed perfume experts? They gave me a sample, which I wore to work a couple of days later.

    So what did I think? I never really got past the lavender. It was that heavy lavender that's so strong it ends up smelling kind of papery. They amped up the papery aspect by adding tobacco leaf in the heart, which took the lavender in a more dirty direction (not animalic, but dirty in that it smelled like dirt). This dirt aspect was played up by cedar in the base (which can have that "dirt" quality, too). The lavender stayed through the entire course of the scent, not burning off like I expected.

    There was also some sweet, lightly creamy incense playing around in the background, as promised. But it was pretty lost on my skin, where the papery dirt lavender was almost all I ever smelled.

    It's odd, sprayed in the air around me (thanks, stinky hotel room) or on clothes, there was a perfectly-blended match between the lavender and the incense, but my skin swallowed the incense, so I'm afraid Gris Clair isn't for me.

    That being said, I certainly respect Gris Clair now. On everything but my skin, it was a five-star perfume, so I'll assume my chemistry just didn't work with it and suggest that it really is an interesting take on woody incense, as well as the best lavender scent I've tried so far.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Another only-in-New-York scent that I wore was Krigler Established Cognac 66.



    An odd take on gourmand from back in 1966, so I guess it would technically be considered an "oriental". It started off as butterscotch candy amber with a pinch of something green or herbal in the background (it ended up being lavender, but was just an herbal dirtiness in the beginning). This combination did a good job of smelling like Vin Santo, the Italian dessert wine that often smells like alcohol-laden caramel or butterscotch.

    It also had that Le Male tobacco leaf note going from the top. In general, the entire life of the fragrance was made up of the interplay between the papery tobacco (amped up by the dirt-y lavender) and the butterscotch.

    For comparison's sake, if you can imagine Le Male with gourmand butterscotch instead of the vanilla, you're kind of close, but it has a richness from the high concentration that keeps it from smelling like a designer scent, even if the notes are similar. The closest real comparison I can come up with is the cult fragrance Brandy, which has the same sort of vin santo butterscotch effect, but paired with sweet fruits instead of the tobacco of Established Cognac.

    All in all, Established Cognac was nice, but not bottle-worthy for me. I really don't like that tobacco leaf note very much, personally. But if you're looking for a more intelligent take on Le Male, or if you're a fan of tobacco leaf gourmands like Luctor et Emergo or Jungle l'Elefant, you might really enjoy it.
    Last edited by rogalal; 5th July 2010 at 01:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Of course, I couldn't take a trip to NY without visiting the JAR boutique. Following a thread by Suga, I had to try on Jardenia.



    In a way, JAR is the ultimate "niche" house. Their scents are so expensive that almost no one would ever buy them. And their scents are so weird (with one or two exceptions) that the very few who can afford them would likely not be interested. So that leaves a core group of only a few people with really strange taste and a lot of money (or serious collectors willing to save up) as the sole base for JAR's sales. And they're only available at two stores in the world and they don't do samples or web sales.

    With this sort of limited appeal in mind, they'll put out scents that no one else ever would, using ridonkulously expensive essential oils that no other houses would touch. There was an episode of American Dad where their small-town hairdresser moved to New York to ride a saddled dog and "join New York's long history of rich, eccentric weirdos". With weirdness like Bolt Of Lightning, he's who JAR aims for...

    Jardenia is, predictably, JAR's gardenia scent. Their SA said that, because gardenias don't have a distillable essential oil, pretty much all gardenia scents are actually made with tuberose. But the big difference between tuberose and gardenia is that gardenias really don't smell like anything until they start to rot, at which point, they share some characteristics with tuberose, but actually mostly smell like stinky cheese and sweet vegetal decay. Basically (I'll leave it to BN's gardenia experts to confirm or deny this), JAR is the only company crazy enough to make a scent that actually does strive to smell like this beautiful rot.

    And that's basically what Jardenia smells like. It's buttery and very rich, with a heavy creaminess that can only be from ridiculously high concentration. And when I say buttery, I mean that literally. It smells like butter. And indoles. Really, really forward indoles and butter. The indole/butter combo generated some interesting facets - at times, it really did smell like stinky brie. The top didn't smell flowery at all. Just butter and sweet, green decay.

    Given time, some light tuberose came up in the background, but stayed behind the buttery indoles, giving the only hint that Jardenia was supposed to be a floral.

    It didn't have any really discernable basenotes, beyond lingering tuberose, but it did manage to give a few hours of challenging, if convincing, decaying gardenia.

    Anyway, I can't see buying a bottle of this. This simply isn't the kind of scent I crave. But if you're interested in exploring the uncharted outer limits of big-but-close-wearing natural florals, Jardenia is worth a stop...
    Last edited by rogalal; 5th July 2010 at 01:52 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Another Aedes find that I gave a full day to was Nez à Nez Marron Chic.



    It started off as amber, like a butterscotch candy. I was ready to write it off (their Ambre à Sade was a terrible too-sweet fruity candy nightmare and I feared that this may turn out to be as much), but it keep the sweetness in check with a weird sort of nutty woody background note. I suppose this was the candied chestnut that this scent is named after.

    A few minutes in, the orris butter arrived. This was just perfect. Just imagine a deep iris/orris playing up against the butterscotch amber with smoky, nutty woods, possibly with some honey added. It was sweet, in the sense of a comforting winter scent, but never too sweet or stupid. It was too iris and woody to be a proper gourmand, but really it was a gourmand - just a really interesting, different one.

    Sadly, the base ended up just being some really boring vanilla. After the really beautiful complexity of the heart, this was quite a letdown. Marron Chic easily could have achieved Guerlain-esque levels of development and interest, but ended up falling short. I still gave it 4 stars, and look forward to trying it again when it gets cold, but the sad base ended up turning me off just enough to not pick up a bottle.

    All that being said, if you're searching for interesting irises, or intelligent gourmands, I'd heartily suggest Marron Chic as a must-try.
    Have you tried PG Iris Taizo/Oriental and/or Cuir d'Iris? Or even Dior's Bois d'Argent? If so, how do they compare to Marron Chic?
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  13. #13
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    Have you tried PG Iris Taizo/Oriental and/or Cuir d'Iris? Or even Dior's Bois d'Argent? If so, how do they compare to Marron Chic?
    Doh! I've never even heard of any of those... Clearly you've gone through an iris phase that I haven't yet...

    Today I wore Tom Ford Moss Breches.



    I have to say that I've put off sampling Moss Breches thanks to sniffing it at stores and simply not liking the topnotes on paper. I've read the BN experts lamenting its discontinuation and wondered what the big deal was. Well, now I get it...

    In a weird way, Moss Breches is sort of a study in using patchouli in ways that it's rarely used.

    The top was peppery patchouli and aldehydes. It sounds familiar, but without the rose or fruits that everyone always puts with this combo, it comes off as very different. The patchouli doesn't smell like the hippie patchouli, or the Lutens jammy patchouli, or the perfumey niche luxe patchouli. Instead, it very much smells like what it is: tall grass growing in dirt.

    Moss Breches, to my nose, smells of the greenish-brown color of crushed weeds in dirt, of stomped-down formerly-purple-hued grasses surrounded by mud. It's spicy and peppery all the way through, and the patchouli goes all the way through, too. The aldehydes take something that would otherwise come off as sort of a weird niche experiment and make it smell much older than it is.

    In the heart, it was a dense, uniquely addictive mix of spices, patchouli, green notes (galbanum? probably moss?), and smoky woods. I couldn't stop smelling my arm. I really haven't smelled anything like this before.

    The closest thing I can compare this to is Malle's Noir Epices, but N.E. has roses and fruits with all the spices and weirdness, so it stays more grounded in a traditional perfume formula. Moss Breches, while managing to smell somehow classic, doesn't fall into a formula I've smelled before.

    By the base, it's just a light, slightly chocolatey patchouli with some dirty amber and some Old-Spice-style powder. A bit weak, and kind of a letdown after the crazy ride through the top and heart, but it's nice.

    I'm not really sure I'd ever have moods where I would want to smell like this, but it's really interesting. I'm not a fan of patchouli, in general, but Moss Breches so completely turns it on its head that I kind of like it. I don't necessarily foresee a bottle in my future, but I wouldn't mind having one...
    Last edited by rogalal; 5th July 2010 at 04:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Today I wore Armani Privé Bois d'Encens.



    Bois d'Encens follows the same basic recipe of wood and incense as Cardinal (which I just wore) and CDG's Avignon. If I had to rank them, I'd say that Avignon is the most incense-heavy (to the point where it's almost feminine from all the creamy sweet resins), while Cardinal is more balanced, heavy on the cedar but with the incense still prominent. Bois d'Encens is definitely the most woody of the three.

    It goes on like a pine/juniper/redwood forest, but very dry. Given a few minutes, it actually smells like sawdust. If you're a fan of woody pine scents, you're probably going to love this. After a while, the Iso E Super became more prominent, making the silage smell smoky while my arm started to have that creamy quality when sniffed up close.

    The creaminess of the Iso E led into the incense in the base, which was almost sweet and fruity from the resins, but kept a juniper/cedar quality to it, too.

    After the Marshals debacle, where a bunch of these Prives showed up for $30, I could never ever bring myself to pay $185 for this. Minus that particular prejudice, Bois d'Encens is still a good woody incense frag and a must-try for fans of the genre, but I'd scour eBay for deals before heading out to Saks for this.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Catching up, while I was on vacation I gave a test wearing to Bond No. 9 Harrods For Him.



    In the great Basenotes tradition of naming the prominent existing fragrance copied by Bond No. 9, I give you Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir.

    For those not familiar with Pomegranate Noir, it's a really interesting combination of cedar and olibanum incense topped with a ton of clove and sweet red fruits. I personally love it, but many find it kind of loud and linear (which it is, truth be told). Harrods For Men basically takes the Pomegranate Noir recipe, tones it down, and de-"niches" it.

    The top of Harrods For Him is a sweet fruity aldehyde that comes off kind of lemony, mixed with the fruits that will eventually form the fruit portion of the Pomegranate Noir mix. The red fruit ends up being rhubarb, which actually works surprisingly well with the cedar, clove, and incense. Given time a pinch of familiar woody amber (that metallic "men's designer scent" smell) comes in. To be fair, it actually smells pretty good with the cedar and incense, but I really hate this overplayed note so I still reserve the right to complain.

    That's about it. It's pretty textbook Bond. If you like the sort of high-concentration fragrance that bridges the gap between informed luxury and masculine designer scents, Harrods For Him is a picture-perfect example of that. If you kind of like Pomegranate Noir but found it too loud or just a little too weird, you'd probably love this. It also has a lot of the nicer elements of Polo Double Black, so if you're a fan of that (especially the dark fruit in the base), please do give Harrods For Him a sniff.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    For comparison's sake, I naturally had to give a full wearing to Bond No. 9 Harrods For Her.



    Having just been to the Caron boutique, I had flowers on the brain, specifically that familiar mix of rose, lily and ylang ylang that comes together to create the typical, classic "floral" accord. I've smelled this mix a million times now, but it just recently started making sense to my nose.

    This is what Harrods For Her smelled like. It's a very 80's smell, and quite loud. With time, it got buttery and richer, and eventually got kind of powdery, presumably from some aldehydes that were helping the top smell so much like a classic perfume. After an hour or so, it settled into the smell of soapy flowers with a hint of cherries - though it wasn't the literal cherry of a current fruity floral, but the aldehydic "perfumey" fruit of a classic.

    All in all, I could actually see many of the ladies of Basenotes really enjoying this. Sure, it lacks to subtlety of a Caron or a Guerlain, but if you're a fan of traditional, big, classic florals, this could be right up your alley.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Today I wore Ralph Lauren Polo Double Black.



    On me, Double Black was mostly that metallic "woody amber" note. It paired it with coffee and what smelled to me like plum or rhubarb. While this sounds pretty interesting, it was actually kind of a muddy mess that didn't really smell like anything, just a generic "masculine designer" smell. The rhubarb didn't smell like rhubarb as much as it just made the whole thing smell sweet and generically "fruity" (the note list actually says mango, but it really doesn't matter because the fruity smell itself is so non-specific), while the coffee (a note I usually love) mostly just made the whole thing smell kind of brown and dirty.

    The note lists for Double Black sound really interesting, but it's put together in such a way that it's like someone melted a bunch of crayons together, hoping for a multicolored rainbow, but ended up with a nasty brown puddle with everything over-mixed.

    My apologies if you're a fan, of course. This is just my opinion. But if Double Black sounds good to you in theory, or if you do like it, I'd suggest you sniff Bond No 9's new Montauk, which does the same basic thing, but better.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    rogalal - did you smell any of the honey note in Moss Breches, which IMO is what makes it so endearing?

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    edit oops: referring to rogalal's review of Bond No. 9 Harrods For Him.

    Ah heck that indicates that I'll have to try it! Didn't want to revisit Bond (although I love Wall Street) but I found Pomegranite Noir a little too concentrated, well, it's an oil if I'm not mistaken - the sampe I tried was but too heavy for me.

    I order samples from Aedes today so will try to review upon sampling:
    Aedes de Venustas
    Oranges and Lemons, say the Bells of St. Clement's
    Menthe Fraiche
    Nightscape
    Cologne Pour Le Matin
    Mark Birley
    +1 their pick
    Last edited by cedarnotes; 8th July 2010 at 03:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    rogalal - did you smell any of the honey note in Moss Breches, which IMO is what makes it so endearing?
    Not really, but I was having trouble wrapping my head around the sweet base. I chalked it up to a chocolate note coming from the patchouli, but it totally makes sense as honey. Thanks.

    And Cedarnotes, please let us know what you think of the samples!
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Ive just given myself a quick sloosh from Juliette Has A Gun : Lady Vengeance which I really didnt want to like before I even tried it but surprisingly it aint half bad . First off it really is very sweet vanilla and patchouli , oddly no rose just something I cant nail down maybe fruity or just maybe Im confusing the rose for fruity , my palette aint all that sophisticated

    Im really quite liking it ..... Im amazed

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    My sample of the day has been Creed Zest Mandarin Pamplemousse. It stays quite close to the skin, more EDC/EDP than the Millessime strength that carries more, but it's a nice fragrance ideal for the hot weather.

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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Pour_Monsieur View Post
    Ive just given myself a quick sloosh from Juliette Has A Gun : Lady Vengeance which I really didnt want to like before I even tried it but surprisingly it aint half bad . First off it really is very sweet vanilla and patchouli , oddly no rose just something I cant nail down maybe fruity or just maybe Im confusing the rose for fruity , my palette aint all that sophisticated

    Im really quite liking it ..... Im amazed

    So a while in and my initial thoughts were a little hasty ... this is terrible , really really bad , a proper little scrubber and no mistake . Its somewhere between a urinal cake and an old ladies handbag BLEUGHHHHHH , neg rep for Francis Kurkdijan for this nasty lil mofo ....... I wont hold it against him I still love him

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Of course, I couldn't take a trip to NY without visiting the JAR boutique. Following a thread by Suga, I had to try on Jardenia.



    In a way, JAR is the ultimate "niche" house. Their scents are so expensive that almost no one would ever buy them. And their scents are so weird (with one or two exceptions) that the very few who can afford them would likely not be interested. So that leaves a core group of only a few people with really strange taste and a lot of money (or serious collectors willing to save up) as the sole base for JAR's sales. And they're only available at two stores in the world and they don't do samples or web sales.

    With this sort of limited appeal in mind, they'll put out scents that no one else ever would, using ridonkulously expensive essential oils that no other houses would touch. There was an episode of American Dad where their small-town hairdresser moved to New York to ride a saddled dog and "join New York's long history of rich, eccentric weirdos". With weirdness like Bolt Of Lightning, he's who JAR aims for...

    Jardenia is, predictably, JAR's gardenia scent. Their SA said that, because gardenias don't have a distillable essential oil, pretty much all gardenia scents are actually made with tuberose. But the big difference between tuberose and gardenia is that gardenias really don't smell like anything until they start to rot, at which point, they share some characteristics with tuberose, but actually mostly smell like stinky cheese and sweet vegetal decay. Basically (I'll leave it to BN's gardenia experts to confirm or deny this), JAR is the only company crazy enough to make a scent that actually does strive to smell like this beautiful rot.

    And that's basically what Jardenia smells like. It's buttery and very rich, with a heavy creaminess that can only be from ridiculously high concentration. And when I say buttery, I mean that literally. It smells like butter. And indoles. Really, really forward indoles and butter. The indole/butter combo generated some interesting facets - at times, it really did smell like stinky brie. The top didn't smell flowery at all. Just butter and sweet, green decay.

    Given time, some light tuberose came up in the background, but stayed behind the buttery indoles, giving the only hint that Jardenia was supposed to be a floral.

    It didn't have any really discernable basenotes, beyond lingering tuberose, but it did manage to give a few hours of challenging, if convincing, decaying gardenia.

    Anyway, I can't see buying a bottle of this. This simply isn't the kind of scent I crave. But if you're interested in exploring the uncharted outer limits of big-but-close-wearing natural florals, Jardenia is worth a stop...
    I think you got it right Rogalal. I do love it but I am hesistant to buy because right now, I still have a lot of Ajne Fleur Blanche left and they do smell ,sort of similar.

    However Jardenia is on a whole new level with the gardenia. I got fresh mushroom too . Excellent longevity ,better than Golconda longevity . What do you think Rogalal - do you find Golconda rather light ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Doh! I've never even heard of any of those... Clearly you've gone through an iris phase that I haven't yet...

    Today I wore Tom Ford Moss Breches.



    I have to say that I've put off sampling Moss Breches thanks to sniffing it at stores and simply not liking the topnotes on paper. I've read the BN experts lamenting its discontinuation and wondered what the big deal was. Well, now I get it...

    In a weird way, Moss Breches is sort of a study in using patchouli in ways that it's rarely used.

    The top was peppery patchouli and aldehydes. It sounds familiar, but without the rose or fruits that everyone always puts with this combo, it comes off as very different. The patchouli doesn't smell like the hippie patchouli, or the Lutens jammy patchouli, or the perfumey niche luxe patchouli. Instead, it very much smells like what it is: tall grass growing in dirt.

    Moss Breches, to my nose, smells of the greenish-brown color of crushed weeds in dirt, of stomped-down formerly-purple-hued grasses surrounded by mud. It's spicy and peppery all the way through, and the patchouli goes all the way through, too. The aldehydes take something that would otherwise come off as sort of a weird niche experiment and make it smell much older than it is.

    In the heart, it was a dense, uniquely addictive mix of spices, patchouli, green notes (galbanum? probably moss?), and smoky woods. I couldn't stop smelling my arm. I really haven't smelled anything like this before.

    The closest thing I can compare this to is Malle's Noir Epices, but N.E. has roses and fruits with all the spices and weirdness, so it stays more grounded in a traditional perfume formula. Moss Breches, while managing to smell somehow classic, doesn't fall into a formula I've smelled before.

    By the base, it's just a light, slightly chocolatey patchouli with some dirty amber and some Old-Spice-style powder. A bit weak, and kind of a letdown after the crazy ride through the top and heart, but it's nice.

    I'm not really sure I'd ever have moods where I would want to smell like this, but it's really interesting. I'm not a fan of patchouli, in general, but Moss Breches so completely turns it on its head that I kind of like it. I don't necessarily foresee a bottle in my future, but I wouldn't mind having one...
    Another of my faves- I'm pissed that it's been discontinued. Even the SA agreed it smelt damned good on me. How can I possibly buy this and hoard.......
    Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 9th July 2010 at 10:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Gardenia View Post
    Rogalal - do you find Golconda rather light ?
    I feel like Golconda acts like a natural extrait-strength fragrance (like a Yosh) where it sits on the skin and smells great when you smell yourself, but doesn't project much. In that respect, it lasts me all day, but I've never gone nuts and put on a bunch, just wanting to reek of it, though I should totally try that some day when I'm feeling ridiculously extravagant...


    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Gardenia View Post
    Another of my faves- I'm pissed that it's been discontinued. Even the SA agreed it smelt damned good on me. How can I possibly buy this and hoard.......
    Moss Breches isn't really hard to find yet. I got my sample just a couple of months ago from Neimans. At least locally, they're selling out of the small bottles, but those enormous square-ish "apothecary" bottles are still everywhere.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Today I wore Divine L'Homme de Coeur.



    This is my first test of a Divine, and I'm not incredibly impressed.

    L'Homme de Coeur kicked off with a sort of dark green herb mix. I thought it was a particularly dark basil, but the notes say juniper berry. There's a pinch of lemon in there for brightness, but this really doesn't smell like the top of a classic masculine chypre, despite what the notes would suggest. Instead, the whole thing is engulfed in a weird chemical haziness. It's not the "woody amber" chemical haze that surrounds so many modern designer scents, but it has the same sort of fuzzy perfumey feel.

    Given time, the herbal woodiness of the juniper berry melded with the mystery haze note while the heart of the scent got much more sweet and creamy. It was clearly vanilla (though Luckyscent swears it's iris), but the juniper-tinged chemical note kept it from feeling gourmand - it was just sweet.

    The base remained sweet with the vanilla, but paired it with a green vetiver note so it never smelled like dessert.

    It's really hard to describe why specifically I didn't like L'Homme de Coeur. Somehow, it felt like they came up with a decent but slightly boring scent and tried to hide its imperfections by adding that mysterious hazy chemical smell over the top, knowing they could get away with it because masculine designer scents do that all the time with "woody amber" (see my thoughts on Polo Double Black).

    To make matters worse, it's an expensive niche scent, so I have higher expectations. It's not that it's bad, it's that it's not as intelligent as it thinks it is...
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Yesterday I wore Diane Brill EDP.



    I guess Dianne Brill used to be a notable NY club scenester, and now has a line of cosmetics. Nowadays, she'd be considered a "faux queen" (a woman who acts like a drag queen), and her style is clearly pretty loud, based mostly on her bottle design and the rabid silage of her namesake perfume.

    I mostly had to try Diane Brill because it's the scent Chandler Burr described as "Ambre Narguille on nitrous" (and TPC was having a sale...). I'm not sure about the Ambre Narguille comparisons, but Diane Brill is actually quite interesting. The problem is that, ultimately, it smells like someone trying to make a groundbreaking artful scent with a really tiny budget. You can tell the ideas are there, but you can smell the shortcomings, too.

    The main theme of Diane Brill is butter. It's that same rich buttery note (benzoin maybe?) from Costume National Homme or the cult classic L'Feu d'Issey. On the top, it's paired with oranges. If you've smelled Fresh's Cannabis Santal (which is basically oranges over vanilla cupcake frosting), this is the same idea, but oranges over melted butter.

    With time, it develops some cinnamon and eventually an iris heart came through. This is the best part, with the combination of ciinamon-dusted iris and lingering butter combining into something surprisingly bright (possibly thanks to some leftover citrus?). The only problem is the iris itself. If someone did this with real, deep, luxurious orris root, it could have been unbelievably good. Unfortunately, you can easily smell that this is just some chemical iris accord and the whole thing smells more like the drydown of a cheap fruity floral than the amazing perfume it could have been with better ingredients.

    By the base, I was left with a kind of generic mix of vanilla and iris, which, again, could have been great (these are the two primary Guerlinade ingredients), but suffered from a sort of blandness.

    I hope I'm not selling this too short. It did remind me of L'Feu d'Issey, which is a cult classic for a reason. And it's probably one of the more interesting feminine designer scents I've smelled in a while. I certainly respect it. But I just wish she could have taken this exact same idea and hired a really great nose to hash it out and source the best ingredients, price be damned. As such, it feels like a great perfume that's being held back by budget concerns.
    Last edited by rogalal; 10th July 2010 at 04:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    I feel like Golconda acts like a natural extrait-strength fragrance (like a Yosh) where it sits on the skin and smells great when you smell yourself, but doesn't project much. In that respect, it lasts me all day, but I've never gone nuts and put on a bunch, just wanting to reek of it, though I should totally try that some day when I'm feeling ridiculously extravagant...


    Moss Breches isn't really hard to find yet. I got my sample just a couple of months ago from Neimans. At least locally, they're selling out of the small bottles, but those enormous square-ish "apothecary" bottles are still everywhere.
    Re Golconda :Well put- this is true - it does seems to have a lot of naturals in it so it behaves as such . Like you, I find it does stay but has no projection. It seems I become a little asnosmic to it after a while - still very compelling though.

    Re. Moss Breches :Yes the big bottles are very much still available - very sad it has been chopped though. It was/is a goodie.
    Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 10th July 2010 at 06:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Today I wore Divine L'Homme de Coeur.



    This is my first test of a Divine, and I'm not incredibly impressed.

    L'Homme de Coeur kicked off with a sort of dark green herb mix. I thought it was a particularly dark basil, but the notes say juniper berry. There's a pinch of lemon in there for brightness, but this really doesn't smell like the top of a classic masculine chypre, despite what the notes would suggest. Instead, the whole thing is engulfed in a weird chemical haziness. It's not the "woody amber" chemical haze that surrounds so many modern designer scents, but it has the same sort of fuzzy perfumey feel.

    Given time, the herbal woodiness of the juniper berry melded with the mystery haze note while the heart of the scent got much more sweet and creamy. It was clearly vanilla (though Luckyscent swears it's iris), but the juniper-tinged chemical note kept it from feeling gourmand - it was just sweet.

    The base remained sweet with the vanilla, but paired it with a green vetiver note so it never smelled like dessert.

    It's really hard to describe why specifically I didn't like L'Homme de Coeur. Somehow, it felt like they came up with a decent but slightly boring scent and tried to hide its imperfections by adding that mysterious hazy chemical smell over the top, knowing they could get away with it because masculine designer scents do that all the time with "woody amber" (see my thoughts on Polo Double Black).

    To make matters worse, it's an expensive niche scent, so I have higher expectations. It's not that it's bad, it's that it's not as intelligent as it thinks it is...
    Wow, I'm shocked. I don't get nearly anything you mentioned about it. I get a slightly metallic note in the topnotes, but what my brain says is that it's a rather unique mix between the iris and juniper berry. It doesn't smelly chemical to my nose at least. It also reminds me very much of something Creed would come out with. It's very demure, suave and refined in my opinion. Young and gentlemanly.
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    Default Re: Sample Of The Day - July 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    Wow, I'm shocked. I don't get nearly anything you mentioned about it. I get a slightly metallic note in the topnotes, but what my brain says is that it's a rather unique mix between the iris and juniper berry. It doesn't smelly chemical to my nose at least. It also reminds me very much of something Creed would come out with. It's very demure, suave and refined in my opinion. Young and gentlemanly.
    Doh!

    I get where you're coming from. I really don't understand or recognize a narcissus note and that's supposedly a big part of Coeur. That chemical buzz may have been my brain misinterpreting the narcissus.

    Iris still confuses me, too, because it seems like there are two very different iris notes out there. There's one that's like powdery, slightly creamy soap. And then there's the super-rich, cosmetic, bready, cinnamon-tinged kind. The creamy soap kind is what I think of as the cheap fruity floral women's designer kind, while the rich bready kind is the stuff I associate with nicer scents, like L'Heure Bleue or Malle's Iris, and even Dior Homme. My big complaint with Diane Brill yesterday was that it used the cheap soapy iris and not the good bready kind. When perfumes pair iris with vanilla (a mix I usually love), the bready kind becomes the basis for the beautifully complex Guerlinade, while the soapy kind just smells kind of generically sweet and creamy (which certainly has its place, but isn't really compelling enough to base a scent on - my opinion only ).

    I do agree that the interplay between the sweet creamy elements and the dark green juniper berry was interesting, but it didn't get me worked up enough to fall in love...
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