Code of Conduct
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 83
  1. #1
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Smell anything new and fun? Please share your thoughts...

    ************************************************** **************

    Yesterday I finally wore Christian Dior Dior Homme.



    Yeah, I'm a little behind on this one. Mostly because I never really liked it on paper at the store, so I never bothered to get a sample. Imagine my surprise when it ended up smelling really great on my skin...

    At the heart of Dior Homme seems to be a mix of orris root and vanilla, but they seem to keep some sort of green notes going at most points, also. I could never have figured it out without reading the notes, but it's apparently sage in the top keeping things from going gourmand. In the heart, I swear I smell some strawberry, but the scent is still dominated by the orris/vanilla combo, even as some leather notes come in. Sadly, the leather notes smell kind of plasticky to me, and proved to be the reason I'm not running out to buy a bottle right now.

    Given time, the base was more orris and vanilla (with the vanilla eventually outlasting the orris), joined by some green galbanum and oakmoss, keeping things in classic chypre territory instead of letting things go gourmand.

    My overwhelming thought was that Dior Homme would completely make more sense as a Chanel Exclusif than a mass-market mens designer scent. It's unisex in the niche/luxury way, not in the Macys cologne counter way. The only thing keeping this from being a textbook mid-century feminine scent is the lack of aldehydes and upfront flowers in the topnotes. Other than that, this is very much a classic feminine recipe. Which is a compliment, not a put-down.

    I can see why this is so often thrown around as a must-try iris scent. I'd also suggest that women who enjoy the Chanel/Patou style classics should really give Doir Homme a test-wear. Oh, and don't trust how it smells on paper. It need skin to shine...
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  2. #2
    PaulSC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    1,194

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    This morning I wore a sample of Six Scents, Series 1, No. 3, "The Spirit of Wood." (If I'm not mistaken, I got my sample from rogalal some time ago, so it's fitting that I weigh in on one of these threads he's so kind to keep rolling...)

    I blind-bought the very same scent a few days ago. I was buying a favorite from Series Two, and I wanted to bump my order up to the free-shipping minimum, and Spirit seemed like one of the best-reviewed of the bunch. I thought I had a sample around the house somewhere, to try before buying, but I searched and couldn't find. Then I was going through a travel kit last night and there was the missing sample, with a bunch of others I threw together to take on a recent trip.

    Thankfully, I thoroughly enjoyed today's sampling. I've read more than one comparison between Spirit and CDG/Monocle Hinoki, and that association makes sense to me, but Spirit is less warm/dry than Hinoki -- it has a cool/fresh woodiness that I also find in CDG Man 2. On the other hand, Spirit has none of Man 2's smokiness. Finally, it seems to have loads of Iso E Super in common with both of those CDG comparison scents.
    Spray it, don’t say it…
    WARDROBE

  3. #3
    mtgprox05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,255

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Smell anything new and fun? Please share your thoughts...

    ************************************************** **************

    Yesterday I finally wore Christian Dior Dior Homme.



    Yeah, I'm a little behind on this one. Mostly because I never really liked it on paper at the store, so I never bothered to get a sample. Imagine my surprise when it ended up smelling really great on my skin...

    At the heart of Dior Homme seems to be a mix of orris root and vanilla, but they seem to keep some sort of green notes going at most points, also. I could never have figured it out without reading the notes, but it's apparently sage in the top keeping things from going gourmand. In the heart, I swear I smell some strawberry, but the scent is still dominated by the orris/vanilla combo, even as some leather notes come in. Sadly, the leather notes smell kind of plasticky to me, and proved to be the reason I'm not running out to buy a bottle right now.

    Given time, the base was more orris and vanilla (with the vanilla eventually outlasting the orris), joined by some green galbanum and oakmoss, keeping things in classic chypre territory instead of letting things go gourmand.

    My overwhelming thought was that Dior Homme would completely make more sense as a Chanel Exclusif than a mass-market mens designer scent. It's unisex in the niche/luxury way, not in the Macys cologne counter way. The only thing keeping this from being a textbook mid-century feminine scent is the lack of aldehydes and upfront flowers in the topnotes. Other than that, this is very much a classic feminine recipe. Which is a compliment, not a put-down.

    I can see why this is so often thrown around as a must-try iris scent. I'd also suggest that women who enjoy the Chanel/Patou style classics should really give Doir Homme a test-wear. Oh, and don't trust how it smells on paper. It need skin to shine...
    Well, now that you've tried the original, it's time to try the Intense and Cologne versions!
    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

    Obsessions of the Moment- Kristiansand EDC, Green Irish Tweed, Zizan

    Granted, we've known each other for some time. It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine. ~ Common Sense

  4. #4

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    got 5 samples in the post today
    frederik malle - musc ravageur
    caron - third man
    caron - yatagan
    lutens - chergui
    perfume generales - papyrus de ciane

    trying yatagan and chergui today, first impressions? think i prefer the chergui.

  5. #5
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    Well, now that you've tried the original, it's time to try the Intense and Cologne versions!
    Are either of them improvements on the original? I'm a little scared of flankers...

    Yesterday, to compare and contrast, I wore another masculine-friendly iris, Chanel 28 La Pausa.



    In contrast to Dior, which was incredibly smooth, 28 La Pausa is quite rough. It's not Yatagan or anything, but I always think of Chanel as being ultra-smooth iris and suede, but 28 got a little funky.

    To start with, 28 La Pausa is based on that kind of iris that has subtle hints of bleu cheese in the background (like MPG's iris, but not nearly as scary). It has orange on top, made dirty with a combination of pepper and a pinch of lavender. This combination of orange, pepper, and cheesy iris makes up most of the top and heart of 28. Eventually, the iris dies down to a sort of sweet soapy smell while the orange and pepper fade as well. Then surprisingly, a rather obvious vetiver note comes through, mixing with the irisy soap like some sort of punked-out Gendarme. It gets sweeter as the day goes by, eventually revealing labdanum and possibly some other sweet resins, still over that irisy soap.

    In the end, I think I liked Dior Homme better than 28 La Pausa. Though they're based on the same ideas, the Dior is all about suave refinement, while the Chanel seems to focus on walking the line between dirty and clean.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  6. #6
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Today I'm wearing another Chanel, Bel Respiro.



    Bel Respiro kicked off with green ivy leaf over a sort of soapy musky smell, which was probably an intricate combination of flowers and white musk, but basically smelled like expensive, old French soap but somehow less specific. This confusing-expensive-soap-with-green-notes proved to be the theme of Bel Respiro. In the top and the heart, there was something bright and citrusy as well (the first time I tried it, it was much hotter and I got grapefruit and vetiver, which I didn't smell much at all this time). Slowly, the ivy leaves morphed into petitgrain, which then led into hawthorn (that bright woody note that Creed loves in their classics) and eventually into sweet, green resinous galbanum. If this sounds like some sort of dream green woody scent, bear in mind that the biggest element is always the confusingly diffusive old French soap smell. It's almost like a green woody fragrance trapped in a fog of confusing soapy chemical smells. At points, I even thought I smelled a pinch of "woody amber" contributing to the non-specific cloud. To make things more confusing, the smell on my arm was generally fairly light, while the soapy weirdness threw off plenty of silage.

    I've honestly avoided Chanel scents for quite a while now, just because I find them so confusing. Bel Respiro isn't doing anything to make me less confused...

    But I know it's quite well-loved around here with people who know much more than me, so I may be missing something, but I guess I personally prefer my scents with a bit less mystery.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  7. #7
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Yesterday evening I gave a wearing to Serge Lutens A La Nuit.



    I think this is officially now my favorite jasmine I've tried, but with a huge warning.

    To start, it smelled just like the jasmine in really expensive jasmine tea. It didn't have that bubblegummy smell you get with real jasmine oil (which is fun, too, but it's that tea jasmine that I've been searching for). It had some distinct indoles going on, but they only stuck out for the first minute or two. After that, all was perfect. Given a while, the jasmine died down to a sort of minty green base.

    My only problem? Holy crap - it's so strong! A half a squirt released absolutely lethal jasmine fumes, tearing down the block ahead of me and completely filling my office with the smell of fancy jasmine tea. Then, it ended. After a few hours, the jasmine just sort of died away, leaving just a thin, transparent green nothing of a base.

    If this were more of a standard strength that made me more comfortable wearing it, I'd pick up a bottle in a second. I'm no fragrance apologist, but I just don't want to smell this strong.

    But, for those who enjoy throwing some silage around and love themselves some jasmine, A La Nuit may be your grail...
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  8. #8

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Today I recieved samples of Chanel PM, Aramis Havana, and Cartier Must Pour Homme. I have only tried the Cartier and I already like it although I can't describe it well.

  9. #9
    mtgprox05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,255

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Are either of them improvements on the original? I'm a little scared of flankers...
    100% YES! But, perhaps not improvements, but embellishments, in either direction. Now, just so you understand, because many on here don't. Dior Homme Cologne, is EDT strength, NOT EDC. DHC happens to be a top 5 scent for me, as I think it's the far better and more wearable alternative to the original. While the original seems to just sit on skin, DHC becomes a part of the wearer. And the Intense version is Dior Homme with chocolate and leather amped up.
    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

    Obsessions of the Moment- Kristiansand EDC, Green Irish Tweed, Zizan

    Granted, we've known each other for some time. It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine. ~ Common Sense

  10. #10
    Emlynevermore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    upstate New York
    Posts
    1,211

    Smile Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    I sampled By Kilian's Back to Black a few nights ago but neglected to write anything down and now I've forgotten what I wanted to say. Oops.



    Last night I wore Parfumerie Generale's L'Ombre Fauve.



    Amber scents are among perfumery's oldest ideas but remain easy to like. Invariably, niche firms see this as an excuse to crank out ditzy, unambitious versions at a fivefold markup. Thankfully, PG have not quite gone this route with L'OF.

    The scent out of the vial is a less extreme, ahem, version of L'Artisan's Ambre Extreme (the first niche scent I ever sampled, btw), buttery and sweet. On skin, it begins as a slightly animalic vanilla with a touch of spice and a curious, raspy undertone of dry wood. The heart is has a wonderful "old books" quality to it with a slightly musty angle. "Musty", however, soon became "wet, almost mildewy", which I attribute to the use of patchouli here. This unusual phase eventually recedes to a bog-standard amber drydown.

    As an aside, mildew fascinated me as a child. I didn't "like" it, exactly; mostly, I was intrigued by its aggressive weirdness. Fishing around under the kitchen sink between chores for some humble cleaning product became a forbidden adventure, as did hanging up a wet bathing suit after a day at the beach.

    I appreciate Monsieur Guillaume enabling my olfactory trip down Memory Lane but I cannot realistically imagine wanting to smell of this. Had the patchouli been employed more closely in conjunction with what came before and after it, I could see myself really liking this. It also leans a bit femme, as amber does. I will definitely bust my sample back out this winter, to see if the shadow beast finally grabs hold.

    3.5/5


    I am leaving for India at the end of next week--from JFK, alas, so the rare treasure that is LaGuardia will have to wait. I will be in NYC tomorrow to sort out my visa, which should give me plenty of time to dick around in midtown. The Caron boutique seems like a must-visit () and I will make it to either Saks or Barney's. One of these days, I need to get down to C.O. Bigelow, too.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Hermèssence - Osmanthe Yunnan
    I was eager to try this since Luca Turin rated it a 5 star fragrance. I do have a 5 % osmanthus solution at home and honestly, I could only for a short while detect a faint idea of osmanthus in this. A fresh, fruity opening that I am not even tempted to think about its notes. After 15 minutes Osmanthe Yunnan is a mere skin scent. I have come to the conclusion that Jean-Claude Ellena is not my parfumeur at all, sorry, 'eau-de-toiletteur'. Are you willing to pay 170 Euros for 100 ml of a watery vanishing Eau de Toilette Hermèssence fragrance like this?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    Hermèssence - Osmanthe Yunnan Are you willing to pay 170 Euros for 100 ml of a watery vanishing Eau de Toilette Hermèssence fragrance like this?
    Actually, probably not - but I have twice included it in the 4 x 15ml box-sets from Hermes along with Vetiver Tonka, Rose Ikebana, Vanille Galante and a couple of others. I kept one for myself and gave one to a lady who enjoys it a lot - lovely summer scent.

    Have you tried The Different Company Osmanthus, which is the earlier study and a very simple, bright number. If it's pure clean upbeat osmanthus you're after this is a good place to start. It really is happiness in a bottle IMO. Like most of the Hermessences, Osmanthe Yunnan seems to be a play on two ideas and I personally really enjoy the shift in emphasis from Osmanthus into the milky Tea aspect (that then stays around for a lot longer for me) but I can understand how it might not appeal to some.

    The small white osmanthus petals are used in several desserts here in summer as well as Osmanthus Oolong Tea and I think Ellena has truly nailed it with both of these scents - I guess it's just a matter of style and taste as to whether it's your thing or not
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 6th August 2010 at 03:16 PM.

  13. #13
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    Hermèssence - Osmanthe Yunnan
    Are you willing to pay 170 Euros for 100 ml of a watery vanishing Eau de Toilette Hermèssence fragrance like this?
    That's exactly how I feel about Vetiver Tonka. It smells great, but it takes a gallon of it to smell like anything on me. One or two sprays are utterly pointless...

    Yesterday, I wore another Chanel Exclusif, Coromandel.



    Aparently, this is Chanel's patchouli scent.

    Sometimes, patchouli can have a dirty element - not animalic, but literally like dirt. So can lavender. On my skin, the main theme of Coromandel was the mix of dirty patchouli and dirty lavender. There was a lot more going on (orange and mint in the topnotes, some nice chocolate elements, and some sweet resins in the base), but the central elements were always the dirty patchouli and lavender.

    All in all, it was nice (and it scored me a compliment, too), but I'm just not a huge patchouli fan. But, if you are, I think Coromandel would be a really interesting sample.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  14. #14
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Having run out of Chanel Exclusif samples, today felt like a good day to start working my way through a sample pack of Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire. Being in an iris mood, I started with the one that seems to have gotten the best reception, Bois D'Iris.



    Well, this totally lived up to its name.

    The top was a mix of iris with smooky cedar (the forest-smelling kind, not the hamster kind) and a blast of Iso E Super. It was remarkably dry. I've grown used to iris mixed with vanilla or creamy sandalwood, so I think of it as a creamy note, but Bois d'Iris left it completely dusty and dry. It meshed together with the cedar so efficiently that it ended up smelling almost like a whole new kind of super-dry blond wood.

    Given time, that Tabac Blond tobacco note (and maybe a pinch of rosewood) came in and pushed the iris and cedar to the background. By the afternoon, the creamy base of the Iso E Super appeared and finally eased up the dryness. Later in the day, I was mostly just left with a not-too-sweet vanilla.

    I liked Bois d'Iris, but I think it has taught me that I do prefer my iris combined with something more creamy and luxurious. On paper, this is absolutely perfect for me (cedar and iso e super? sign me up!), but I ended up finding it a bit formal and austere. There's an androgynous, hedonistic, effete luxury to a good creamy iris and I think that's more what I like about it. Using it as a dry woody note masculinized it, but while you'd think that would give it more of an edge, it actually makes it less edgy than L'Heure Bleue or even Dior Homme.

    That being said, if you're a fan of wood scents and haven't found an iris you really like, this could easily be it.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  15. #15
    Basenotes Plus

    JaimeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    5,432
    Blog Entries
    148

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    I agree that VC&A Bois d'Iris is a winner. I've had it for a while, and it comes close to some other niche iris/orris root offerings. Way up there in my list, anyway!
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

    My Wardrobe
    My Reviews

    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    Male irato ferrum committitur.
    It is an evil thing to arm an angry man.
    —Seneca

  16. #16

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010


    Today I'm wearing my brother perfume (first time) which is Adolfo Dominguez -Bambu.
    The notes are:bamboo,amber,cotton flower,marine notes and jasmine (according to fragrantica.com).
    Sorry I can't make a detailed review,(I'm not very experienced) but all I can say is that this perfume is awesome.To me is all about the green notes,strong and a bit bitter at the beginning.The rest of them are very subtle. It has a good longevity ( above 6 hours) and projection.

  17. #17
    mtgprox05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,255

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    That's exactly how I feel about Vetiver Tonka. It smells great, but it takes a gallon of it to smell like anything on me. One or two sprays are utterly pointless...
    Lucky me I guess. It was almost too strong when I first got to test it the other day.
    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

    Obsessions of the Moment- Kristiansand EDC, Green Irish Tweed, Zizan

    Granted, we've known each other for some time. It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine. ~ Common Sense

  18. #18
    Emlynevermore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    upstate New York
    Posts
    1,211

    Lightbulb Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    I have been rushing about trying to get my things together on Wednesday but I just wanted to report that my NYC trip was a massive success. Miraculously, I somehow managed to end up not purchasing anything on the day, mostly because I want to keep my duty-free options open, but there were some big winners that will find their way into my wardrobe soon enough.

    So, highlights (no pics, sorry; I'm not the sentimental type):

    • Barney's ended up being all about the vetiver. Sel de Vetiver's briny brilliance ate away at my heart, Vetiver Extraordinaire is the Real Deal Holyfield of vetivers, and Grey Vetiver was rather better than I thought it would be. I tried lots of other things in lots of other genres there but these three made the podium. It turns out that not all vetivers bother me, just most of them. I also wanted to like Sables, Eau Noire, and Chypre Rouge more than I did, especially Sables, the most interesting of the lot but unfortunately just unwearable. Geranium pour Monsieur is quite good, too, but it is SdV that will be mine someday (probably next April or so, given the spring/summery vibe of its perfection).

    • Bendel's carries a (mostly) dignified range of designer and niche stuff, a sort of mini-Luckyscent. The Piguet EdPs caught my eye immediately, and I went straight for Bandit (a little harsh in the top, but wonderful in the drydown), Futur (green, herbal, slightly bitter--Paco Rabanne PH in a dress?) and Baghari. Oh...Baghari. Technically, it is a chypre but I have never smelled a candied-orange topnote quite like that, rather like a Dutch-style orange pomander dotted with cloves and nearly as long-lasting, too. I kept waiting for it all to come tumbling in the drydown but it held together wonderfully. I also really, really enjoyed Etat Libre d'Orange's Fat Electrician (vanilla-vetiver) and Tilda Swinton Like This (pumpkin-spice oriental), but Baghari is pretty much the first thing I am purchasing when I reenter the country.

      The Bendel's SA, Giuseppe, was unfailingly kind and incredibly generous. In addition to foisting samples on me of everything that I offhandedly-remarked that I had liked, he mentioned a few interesting things. Apparently, Michael Edwards (he of the Fragrance Database) had been in a few days earlier trying to convince Bendel's higher-ups to carry both Andy Tauer's line and that of a Siberian perfumer (??) whose name I did not get. Also, ELd'O is releasing a new fragrance in November or so called Chicks with Dicks ( Haha) and another, as-yet-unnamed limited edition fragrance to be sold over the holidays as a Bendel's exclusive, I think. Looking forward to it, as this outfit has rapidly become my new favorite niche line.

    • The Caron boutique was a little hard to find, up there on the second floor of the PHYTO Salon, but absolutely worth it; rogalal was right, if you are ever in NYC, you *have* to come here. First off, those urns are gorgeous. Second, Diane, the Caron ambassador, is the most knowledgeable SA I have ever encountered. I spoke with her for about an hour, uninterrupted (as there were no other customers), and by the end of it, she was throwing various facts and books and pictures and samples and old versions of current scents and secret versions of unreleased scents at me, and I greedily lapped all of it up. I must have said "wow" more in that hour than I have in my entire adult life. The two standouts among those I sampled were Pour un Homme Impact (which is parfum strength, not EdP as I had thought; the lavender in the opening is the best I have ever encountered, and lasted a solid two hours on my skin in 90F weather) and the (discontinued??) Coup de Fouet (peppery, like its sister Poivre but slightly more transparent and wearable). In appreciative hindsight, I wish I had bought something from there, though I expect I will rectify that situation somewhat in the coming years.

    • Bergdorf's Men section was merely OK, though I finally got to try Habit Rouge Beau Cavalier. It was as advertised, HR + oud, and you know what? It works! I want this. I went back across the street to the Basement and the women's section to try my luck with the rest of the old Guerlains but none had me swooning (Shalimar parfum is something though, ain't it?). Annick Goutal's Vetiver has an interesting saline character and a few of the Jo Malone's are OK, if a bit weak. Unexpectedly, I finally got to try Sisley's Eau de Campagne, tomato leaf and all; very nice, something I will revisit, but nothing I can see myself wearing now.


    And that was it. I did end up going back to Bendel's late because I just had to give Baghari a skin test and I had forgotten to sniff Secretions Magnifique. SM is quite abominable--blood and semen, metallic and tenacious--and serves, to my mind, as a reminder how diverse our respective tastes are, because there are clearly people out there who adore and wear this stuff.

    Well, God love 'em, because I found a few other things that day I feel the same way about.
    Last edited by Emlynevermore; 10th August 2010 at 05:29 AM. Reason: No reason...I just didn't want the "Edit" notification to feel neglected through lack of use.

  19. #19
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Emly, I'm glad you finally got in your epic shopping trip! And you even found some tomato leaf to smell! Whatever you find at the Duty Free had better be pretty epic to be worth passing up so many winners...

    Anyway...

    It seems I’m a little behind, but I’ve continued working my way through the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire.

    Today I’m wearing Orchidée Vanille.



    Vanilla, yes. Orchid, no. Seriously, most orchids don’t even have a smell. Semantics aside, Orchidée Vanille went on with vanilla (duh) and some sweet ginger with some other nondescript fruity things going on in the background (definitely cassis giving it a bit of a fruity floral vibe, as well as something citrusy). Something here (probably the mix of ginger and vanilla) made for a mix that smelled quite a bit like some sort of root beer float-flavored candy, which kind of cheapened the topnotes for me. This candied root beer note faded within an hour or so, leaving the vanilla to slowly darken and feel a bit more chocolaty, until, by the late afternoon, I’m left with some chocolaty vanilla with something almost dark and woody (kind of like toasted nuts) lurking in the background.

    Orchidée Vanille somehow managed to walk the like between an insipid candied fruity floral and a deep, interesting “oriental” fragrance quite well. It never got stupid-sweet and always kept a grown-up edge to it, even with the root beer note. But it never fully crossed over into “classic” territory – it’s very much a modern composition.

    If you like candied vanillas that manage to avoid being too sweet, Orchidée Vanille might be perfect for you. While it doesn’t smell like either of the two, I think it has some of the same mass-appeal-meets-luxe vibe as Balmain’s Amber Gris or Estee Lauder’s Amber Ylang Ylang, so if you like that sort of sweet-but-smart-but-slightly-mainstream vibe, you’d probably enjoy this.

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

    Yesterday, I spent the day in Muguet Blanc.



    There’s a specific “floral accord” mix of notes (rose, ylang ylang, and muguet) that’s so synonymous with the basic idea of perfume and that’s so common that it took me years to even be able to recognize it as anything other than “generic white flowers”. From Old Spice to pretty much any chypre or fruity floral, everyone uses this mixture. To this day, I’m very lucky if I can actually discern the specific ingredients. Muguet Blanc plays around with this mix. It’s actually quite interesting to smell this mix without it being buried in the heart of a chypre or smothered in powder, like it so often is.

    Instead, Muguet Blanc plays up the Muguet a bit (actually, it’s that Cis-3 Hexenol note that everyone uses for lily). This can be dangerous. That Cis-3 note can smell an awful lot more like a soap or cleaning product aromachemical than like part of a proper perfume. Most perfumes try to fancy it up with melon or cucumber and play up its aquatic green nature. Thankfully, Muguet Blanc plays up its floral aspects, and makes the whole thing just a pinch dirty with some pepper and indoles.

    It ended up with a base of sweet green resins (probably labdanum). This is actually quite a clever mix – I’m surprised more perfumes don’t do this. It keeps the “round, green” feeling going without dumbing things down. It also hints at a chypre base with the later addition of a pinch of vetiver.

    So, all in all, I think Muguet Blanc may qualify as a lily scent for people who don’t like lily scents, because it doesn’t resort to any of the aquatic clichés so common to the genre. Or, if you simply have a soft spot for a green floral chypre (albeit modernized), Muguet Blanc might make a great sample to try.

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

    Based only on paper at the store, my personal pick as my favorite of the Collection Extraordinaire was my Saturday test, the one by Mark Buxton, Cologne Noire.



    I can’t help it – I’m a sucker for very upfront black pepper over woods. A pinch of some sort of sweet citrus came and went (justifying the “cologne” in the name), but the real star was the bright black pepper.

    Unfortunately, things went south for me when the heart ended up being that metallic “woody amber” note. Things picked up again when the base turned out to be a dusty cedar note, but the damage was done.

    My unwillingness to humor “woody amber” is well documented here already, but I actually kind of enjoyed Cologne Noire. For the less snobby people here who enjoy a good woody amber as well as a good peppery woody niche scent (Redneck & JockWithScents spring to mind), you may well really really enjoy Cologne Noire.

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

    For a Sunday dinner party, I wore Gardénia Pétale.



    This actually turned out to be my favorite of the Collection Extraordinaire. Much like Orchidee Vanille, it skillfully rode the line between mass-appeal and luxe niche weirdness. The weirdness was supplied by the gardenia itself. Not having an odor until they start to rot, gardenias are a pretty challenging scent, smelling nothing like flowers and more like stinky cheese mixed with indoles. Gardénia Pétale actually does include the indolic cheese smells, but somehow manages to offset it with traditional floral elements, including a pinch of tuberose and jasmine, as well as more modern feminine perfume elements, like that sort of ubiquitous citrusy/vanilla/amber/wood basenote that pretty much all the women’s designer scents use nowadays.

    Somehow, though, they made it work. I wasn’t offended by the mass-market elements or turned off by the weird ingredients. If you’re looking for a heavy, scary monster of a gardenia scent, this isn’t it (try Jar’s Jardenia for that), but it you enjoy a challenging gardenia note when properly tempered with other pleasant ingredients, Gardénia Pétale may be perfect for you.


    Only one left - I'll report back tomorrow, hopefully!
    Last edited by rogalal; 11th August 2010 at 05:17 AM.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  20. #20
    mtgprox05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,255

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    I'd just like to add that I have come around big time on ELDO Fat Electrician. Upon first test many months ago I hated it, and have since been too afraid to retry it. But another recent 180 for me in Givenchy Vetyver has taught me to enjoy the particular vetiver accord that I feel both Fat Electrician and GV share in common, that being a slightly sweet and nutty interpretation of a normally unsweetened note. I'm really enjoying my sampling of FE tonight.
    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

    Obsessions of the Moment- Kristiansand EDC, Green Irish Tweed, Zizan

    Granted, we've known each other for some time. It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine. ~ Common Sense

  21. #21

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    You're doing a great job, rogalal! Thanks!

  22. #22
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Thanks for the nice words, Larimar. I always wonder if anyone ever reads my long-ass posts.

    MTG, I just bought a sample of Dior Homme Sport from scented monkey. I don't have high hopes for anything with Sport in the name, but that's the only flanker they had available. As a side note, this was the first time I'd checked out their sample program. There's no niche or anything, but they have samples of pretty much any mass market thing you can name, even some really hard to find ones...
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  23. #23
    Basenotes Institution
    Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Exactly Where I Should Be
    Posts
    16,465

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Thanks for the nice words, Larimar. I always wonder if anyone ever reads my long-ass posts.
    I do , Rogalal ......I look forward to your review posts!
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Definitely, I do, rogalal! I like to read about other experiences and impressions. I somehow acquire an ability to use their judgement (whether I share their tastes or not) to draw conclusions on my own possible likings (with regard to e.g. blind buying). I owe people like you here a great deal of my wonderful fragrant experiences! Keep going! *bigthumbsup*

  25. #25
    jcrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of Cambridge
    Posts
    1,386

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    I received a sample of PdN Balle de Match yesterday.

    A really impressive scent, with a truly realistic grapefruit opening. It's the only supposed grapefruit scent that I've ever smelled which doesn't smell like something the cat left behind. I'm particularly looking at you, Czech and Speake Citrus Paradisi. (Or should that be Citrus Catapissi??).
    Life's a bitch. If it were a slut it'd be easy.

  26. #26
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Thanks for being so nice, everybody!

    I'm a little slow to react here, but I'm curious about that Bamboo frag Ciprian listed above. I'm a little scared of the marine notes, but "bamboo" and "cotton flower" with jasmine and amber??? I can barely imagine jasmine and amber together, much less with marine ingredients and weird woods...

    Anyway, today was the last of the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire, Lys Carmin.



    This was a bit of a letdown, a pretty standard fruity floral based around a sort of apple/cassis mix, made creamy by a nondescript base of vanilla and sandalwood. Its big selling point was pink pepper on the top and a tiny pinch of lily in the background, but all that really did was make it smell peppery for a few minutes while the lily just made the apple feel a bit more "green".

    In Lys Carmin's defence, it never got stupid-sweet or marshmallowy. It certainly didn't smell bad, just a little uninspired.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  27. #27

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010



    I did a quick review of this before and completely trashed it. At the time I was hyperosmic to the teak note in any scent that featured it, and it is featured here prominently.

    Now that my chemical sensitivities seem to have fully subsided, I need to reevaluate a number of fragrances, and Lacoste Challenge is one of them.

    Normally I dissect scents by breaking them down into the notes I perceive and how they interact and come and go and generally end up with a rather technical write up, but I'm not going to do that here. Not much, anyhow. Recently I picked up some real frankincense at a really nice new age store, and - not having picked up a proper incense burner yet - rigged up a little aluminum foil 'bowl' that got placed onto a light bulb and put the frankincense in there. The heat from the lamp was sufficient to get the frankincense to start to melt and even smoke ever so slightly, and the scent was a glorious resinous lemon that had just a hint of a pleasant throat tickling sharpness to it. I'm not sure if the frankincense will smell different when burned in a proper burner, but all the same the smell was extremely pleasant, soothing, and yet very vibrant and alive.

    There I stood, looking rather foolish I assume, my nose held carefully just a few inches above the light bulb, taking in the glorious aroma, and suddenly I had that thought come to me that all of us BNers know so well, "Wait! I've smelled this before. But.. where?"

    I pondered it for a bit and suddenly it hit me that Lacoste Challenge smelled this way for the brief few moments before I was overwhelmed with the teak accord. Curious, I fetched the sample and put on the tiniest of swipes, in fear of the big bad teak monster, and found that the scent was not nearly as vile as I remembered. Actually, it was rather pleasant. And there it was, clear as day, the connection to the frankincense.

    The lemon and ginger along with the teak (if you aren't hyperosmic to it, which I thankfully no longer am) combine in such a way to make a sharp, resinous lemony aroma that tickles my throat in the same way that the frankincense smoke did. The profile of the lemon/spice/resin accord is so close to the accord created by the melting frankincense that it's uncanny. Challenge is fairly linear and doesn't project well, but neither did the frankincense with my rather lackluster burning rig.

    If you aren't familiar with the smell of frankincense burning/melting as such, I could easily see the sharp elements of this scent being seen as grating or synthetic (and it does read as synthetic to me in the sense that I can't think of any natural material that maintains a sharp/rough quality to it for as long as this note persists, and yet it reads as natural in the sense that it smells so close to the melting frankincense). If you are familiar with a good quality lemon frankincense though, I think this scent does an excellent job of capturing that scent.

    As I said, the scent is fairly linear, doesn't project so well, and can register as a bit synthetic in "feel", but I find all of those drawbacks are offset by how well it captures that lemony aroma of good frankincense. I previously had it rated at 1 star due to my inability to deal with the teak, but now that my hyperosmia has faded, I'm going to give this 3.5 stars. Not because it's groundbreaking or composed of amazingly high quality materials - it is neither - but simply because of its ability to recreate that frankincense burning/melting experience for me.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 12th August 2010 at 08:26 AM.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  28. #28
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Today I’ve been wearing Underworld by Soivohlé.



    This is interesting. It’s a natural perfume based on balsams. To be honest, if I hadn’t recently begun sniffing the essential oils at my local shop, I’d be completely baffled by Underworld. It smells like a mix of galbanum (the real thing, not the green chemical smell in so many perfumes) and balsams (either tolu or peru, or maybe both – I have no idea) and oakmoss tincture.

    In real terms, it’s almost impossible to describe Underworld in terms of comparing it to other scents or common notes – it really doesn’t smell like anything else out there and its upfront notes are really uncommon. It smells green and very, very, very dark. But there’s an element of sweetness that’s almost fruity, but is an aspect of the balsams, not an individual note. If I had to describe it symbolically, it’s like if you had green paint and orange paint meeting in the middle and mixing to create brown.

    The first few hours were unquestionably dark, with things lightening up and getting sweeter as the day went on (I find myself enjoying Underworld more as the day goes on and the sunshine finally makes its way in). Despite these balsams in question coming from trees, they don’t smell woody, though, by late in the day, they have a fresh brightness that hints at pine, but never really smells like it. They’re closest to smelling real myrrh or real ambergris, but with a distinct sort of shellacked-dirt element instead of anything animalic.

    There’s a recognizable pinch of dill on the top, which thankfully never gets pickle-ish and fades quickly. There’s also vetiver in here. In fact, most people describe Underworld as a vetiver scent, which I think is quite misleading, as the vetiver stays in the background – the balsams are always the stars of the show.

    According to the notes, there are also flowers and leather in here, but I never smelled them.

    So who would I recommend Underworld to? I’m not sure. If you’re only interested in it as a vetiver, don’t bother, but if you’re interested in exploring a dark world of moss, decaying earth, and wounded trees oozing fragrant saps, you should really pick up a sample. Or if you just feel like you’re stuck in that sampling rut where everything is starting to smell the same and need a hit of something truly different, don’t be afraid to give it a try.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  29. #29

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    [QUOTE=rogalal;1904152]Thanks for being so nice, everybody!

    I'm a little slow to react here, but I'm curious about that Bamboo frag Ciprian listed above. I'm a little scared of the marine notes, but "bamboo" and "cotton flower" with jasmine and amber??? I can barely imagine jasmine and amber together, much less with marine ingredients and weird woods...


    Well,I think you shouldn't be scared about those marine notes.Even it sounds weird, that list of notes ,I think they are all mixed very well together.If you have the chance to test it ,please do,I really like it.

  30. #30
    rogalal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Berkeley, California
    Posts
    3,392
    Blog Entries
    33

    Default Re: Samples Of The Day - August 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Ciprian View Post
    If you have the chance to test it ,please do,I really like it.
    It's on my list now... Thanks for bringing it up.

    Today, for the coordinated Hermés Friday, I’m wearing Kelly Calèche.



    Technically, I have the EDP on my left arm and the EDT on my right, to do a comparison, thanks to two samples from a nice BNer who insisted that they're quite different. He was quite right.

    Both versions started off the same from the vials, bright fruity berries, a pleasant smell that lasted all of a couple of minutes before drying down to a very light leather scent.

    The main theme of Kelly Calèche seems to be this sweet, fruity, floral leather. The EDT is less sweet and more herbal. I can clearly smell basil and got a tiny pinch of cumin early on. The rest is rounded out with a sort of leafy smell that ends up as a salty vetiver that hides behind the leather for a while before eventually emerging as the focus of the scent. Later in the day, that subtle tomato leaf note that Ellena loves pairing with grapefruit and cumin starts to peek through. As a whole, the EDT is actually quite masculine on me, getting even more so as the day goes on.

    The EDP is sweeter and more feminine and keeps the fruity quality for a bit longer. I get less spice (and no vetiver or leaves), but there seems to be a minty, almost mentholated note adding a brightness to the first few hours of the EDP that the EDT lacks. In the end, the floral notes are much more the focus of the EDP (especially as the day progresses), while the EDT is much more focused on the interplay between the green spices and the leather.

    By the end of the day, both formulations are sweet, with the EDP being a sort of rosey sweet, while the EDT is more of a sweet, green, peppery, resinous galbanum.

    The morning silage was primarily the fruity leather smell, though I couldn’t tell which formulation was causing it, of course. By the time the two formulations really diverged, it was a few hours in, which was late enough that I didn’t get much silage any more.

    It’s nice to smell a leather scent that isn’t all heavy and paired with overly-bright violets (sorry, Cuir de Russie fans) or old-fashioned white flowers. Instead, Kelly Calèche is actually quite subtle and effusive. There’s really not that much to smell on skin, but it maintains a polite silage cloud nonetheless. It’s also nice to smell a Jean-Claude Ellena that doesn’t just recycle his 4 or 5 favorite notes like he always seems to do now (seriously J.C., it’s time to lay off the grapefruit/cumin/Iso E Super/green pepper for a while…).

    To be honest though, I’m having trouble getting really excited about Kelly Calèche. It’s nicely done, but its “thin” quality just isn’t pushing my buttons. It lacks the richness that I enjoy from finer scents, relying more on quiet understated prettiness (in the case of the EDP) or the light pairing of greens and leather (in the EDT) than the luxurious concentration I expect from an expensive perfume. It’s not minimal in terms of the number of notes (there’s a lot going on here and everything keeps developing nicely, especially in the spicy green EDT), but it does what it does very quietly, even though it does throw some silage around.

    In terms of recommendations for others, I think it could be a really good option as a summery take on leather, or as a leather scent for people who don’t like leather scents. The EDT could also pass as an interesting "garrigue" spicy-herbs scent with leather.

    As for the EDP versus the EDT, go with the EDP if you want it more rounded and sweet and feminine, and the EDT if you prefer something more dry and herbal and masculine. Next to each other, the EDP’s sweetness feels more pleasurable than the EDT’s dry greens, but the vetiver playing against the leather in the EDT is actually more what I’m into and I keep finding my nose drawn more towards it as the day progresses. Maybe I need a good strong wearing of the EDT alone (with a much heavier application) to fully appreciate Kelly Calèche
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

Similar Threads

  1. Today I Bought: August 2010
    By petruccijc in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 161
    Last Post: 1st September 2010, 09:08 AM
  2. Today I Bought: August 2010
    By petruccijc in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 217
    Last Post: 31st August 2010, 08:02 PM
  3. SOTD: Wednesday August 4, 2010
    By volley2 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 80
    Last Post: 5th August 2010, 05:58 AM
  4. SOTD: Sunday 1st August 2010
    By MFJ in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: 2nd August 2010, 04:36 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000