Anybody tried the Boxeuses?
My basenoter friend olfactorynewbie is so lucky to have this as a part of his collection. Somewhere here in Shanghai, we don't know how it came here. A rare frag that is never sold in the market. It is a gift from JP Guerlain to his loyal customers during the celebration of the 180th anniversary of Guerlain. We found 1 bottle from a local website. It's 180 Ans de Creation by Guerlain! The bottle just arrived in my office right now and I sprayed one on my left arm. The bottle is really heavy. Same bottle design with the Charnel Elixirs. 180 Ans is an Eau de Parfum 75ml bottle. I am not good in discerning the notes, I can only describe how it smells. It does have that Guerlainade dry down. It's a soft, powdery, ambery, leathery tonka dry down. It's like Bois Torride from Charnel Elixir. Very elegant and classy.
There's a card inside that says:
To celebrate an exceptional event, Maison Guerlain's 180-year anniversary, Jean-Paul Guerlain has composed a very contemporary fragrance which has been created in traditional Guerlain style. With Sensual amber notes that stir the senses, and a bottle which has been hand-sealed by the "dames de table", this limited edition scent, which will bot be available for sale, has all the rarity and uniqueness of a collector's item.
Last edited by volley2; 2nd September 2010 at 02:06 AM.
Wow, it's time for a new threrad already...
I love 180 Ans - Congratulations on tracking down a bottle!
And I haven't smelled Boxeuses yet, either. Anyone?
It's been crazy hot here, so I've been using that as an excuse to sample my way through some aquatics I'd been avoiding. Today, I’ve been wearing another older aquatic, Royal Delight from Creed.
This is another one where a bunch of citrus, spices, and calone somehow come together to smell like maraschino cherries, much like a very watered down Original Santal or the Floris JF I wore yesterday. But Royal Delight pairs that aquatic cherry smell with a ton of salt and lavender. There’s a violet leaf aspect, too, though this smells nothing like Green Irish Tweed.
It reminds me a lot of MPG’s Garrigue, but it’s less salty. But that’s not saying much, because Garrigue is ridiculously salty, so that means Royal Delight is still pretty damn salty, especially in the heat.
By the afternoon, the fruits finally began to fade, leaving a sour mix of herbs and leaves paired with the ongoing salt and some lingering sweetness. And that's about it. I was looking forward to the signature Creed ambergris/tonka/vanilla/sandalwood base, and Royal Delight didn't have it. There was a mild creamy sweetness if I smelled my skin where I sprayed, which was probably a very light sandalwood, but it left me a little disappointed.
All told, this is another one that's really only for Creed collectors. I'd wear JF before I'd reach for Royal Delight, but I'd pick GIT or Millesime Imperial over either. If you have a thing for weird salty lavender over your aquatic chemicals, you may love this, but I personally think you could do much better in the Creed line. This is the kind of scent they do best, but Royal Delight isn't their best by a long shot.
Amouage Opus III
Well, after testing Opus III on my skin I don't hate it anymore. The first sniff on a card was off-putting and the ylang-ylang and banana notes really came out on the card, but on my skin it played out a bit differently.
Opus III has an interesting opening that can be described in a single word: chaotic. It calls to mind the openings of some of the more daring scents by MPG. There is a whirlwind of clashing notes which creates a bit of a cacophony. Flowers, hay, something a bit dirty, a hint of indoles, powder, nutmeg or some other similar spice. I wasn't sure what to make of it except that I didn't really like it in a purely olfactory sense, but that it's interesting intellectually just trying to figure out what the heck is really going on. That's when I thought back to the premise behind these scents: inspired by libraries, dusty old books, dried parchment, writing utensils, the creative process. Things relating to the search for, and expansion of knowledge. And so, from here on out I tried to view Opus III's development with that concept in mind.
That's when it hit me. Conceptually, Opus III is genius. The opening could just smell like a cacophony of notes, but keeping in mind the inspiration behind the scent, it becomes a bit clearer what one is smelling. The opening calls to mind the image of finding an ancient text up in a forgotten attic that is covered with years, possibly decades of dust. The leather binding is dry and the pages are stiff and yellowing, and the chest you found it in is a bit musty. None of this is unpleasant, although it isn't what one would call pleasant, either. It just is.
Within a few minutes the chaos of the opening has settled down and a very dry and powdery note begins to emerge, along with a hint of banana. Thankfully, the banana note was much more quiet on skin than on paper, and it called to mind nothing more than some ripe bananas hanging on a hook over in the corner of the room. The dry and powdery note has a couple facets and calls to mind two things: the smell of chalk dust, and the smell of a certain type of paper that for some reason made me think of the smell of a Bible I had as a child. There is a hint of sweetness, but the notes remain very dry, but thick and lush. The texture of the scent is so very very full, very dense, slightly stuffy even, but never suffocating.
A slightly rubbery note begins to emerge. Erasers. Yes, the smell of those all too familiar pink erasers. Dusty books and dry paper, chalk, erasers. This could very well be the smell of a small room where Einstein or Feynman pored over tomes of knowledge, jotted thoughts in a notebook and scrawled out equations on a chalkboard. The room is small and dusty and a bit stuffy but it is warm and comforting. It smells very old and yet familiar, comfortable.
Over time the woods of the base press through the chalk/eraser/paper accord, modifying it so that everything smells older, drier. The whole room is now but an image on a piece of film tucked into a photo album in a chest that you will someday find in the future. An old memory, almost forgotten, now recalled in sepia tones.
I don't know what to make of the scent. Conceptually, as I said, it is really genius. After settling down within the first 15 minutes or so, it becomes very comfortable to wear, although it is a very dry powdery scent with a hint of dry woods (papyrus, a gentle sandalwood). Not feminine, per se, and not masculine in any kind of modern sense. It is just old fashioned. It is more the smell of a time and a place and thus is not directly associated with gender, as the time and place recollected are unrelated to either gender as well.
It's very strong and longevity is fantastic. Sillage seems moderate. I wouldn't wear this often, but it would be the perfect scent to wear while doing some intensive studying, especially when all cooped up inside during winter, whether it be in a dorm room, library, or fireside in the den.
4.7/5 conceptually, 4/5 subjectively.
I may pick up a small decant or a few more samples for the few days this winter when it would really hit the spot. This is a one spray scent, in my opinion, so I could probably get away with a mere 2mL to last me all winter.
Worth a sniff if you are into conceptual scents, or are looking for a dry powder comfort scent (think Or des Indes, although this is a bit less ornate/luxurious, although this smells higher quality and far more 'comfy').
Iris Pallida 50ml
Ungaro I 75ml
and more! - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more
ointments and perfume delight the heart....
Being unfamiliar with L'Artisan, I decided to buy some samples, and they arrived today.
Although shown as unisex, I found Timbuktu, Dzing! and Dzongkha too feminine for my taste. They reminded me of something that my dear old aged Mother would wear. Tea For Two was more interesting with it's tea note, but far too powerful at the top for me.
While I was at it, I tried MPG George Sand which had a vinegary smell to my nose.
I also retried Tauer's L'air du Desert Marocain. It really is a well crafted fragrance but much like several Parfumerie Generale fragrances, also so well crafted, there is a sort of soft furry note which just doesn't agree with me. It gives me a headache. Such a shame, 'cause it really is a beauty.
Life's a bitch. If it were a slut it'd be easy.
That being said, heavy lavender has a very leathery quality, especially with all that salt. I can see how that could totally be a leather note and I'm just reading a couple of the ingredients while other people are better at smelling the big picture. There was a thread a little while back about missing the forest for the trees - I'm probably doing that, focusing on little details while everyone else sees the whole composition better.
Today I wore another aquatic, Skye by Geo F. Trumper.
Skye exploded out of the vial in a crazy chemical stew of sweet spicy weirdness. The primary components seemed to be a mix of really artificial bathroom-cleaner lemon and lavender, but cut with calone and somehow very sweet. There was a pinch of neroli in there, as well as a distinct powdery note. And something spicy and green, like maybe juniper berry or something similar. The end result smelled like someone mixed the Aqua Velva aftershave my dad wore when I was growing up with a bunch of super-sweet fake lemon and somehow made it aquatic. Honestly, it's pretty awful. I can see what they were trying to do - combining classic chypre elements with barbershop powder, while updating it with aquatic elements - but it's a discordant jumble, really.
In the wold of chefs (I work in the food business, for those who don't know), there's a rule: Be careful - just because an ingredient works with one other ingredient, that doesn't mean it will work with the whole dish. I knew a chef who served pasta with tomato sauce and chicken. His restaurant had some success with an orange chicken dish, so he thought it would be cool to add orange to the chicken in the pasta dish. That was the violation. Chicken tastes good with tomato sauce, and chicken tastes good with orange, but tomato sauce with fresh orange in it is ghastly. That's the rule Skye's topnotes violate. In pairs, most of the notes would make sense together, but all mixed together, you get tomato sauce with oranges cut up in it.
Thankfully, that mess settles down pretty quickly (though it pretty much guarantees that anyone who only tries Skye on paper won't give it a second thought unless they're some kind of aquatic barbershop masochist). Things got better as a surprising iris note pushed through, kicking out the green herbs and most of the lavender. So I basically ended up with sweet, lemony, powdery iris for the heart. This faded after an hour or so, leaving soapy neroli, made sweet and quite chemical by the lingering calone. That's about it - I didn't get much of a proper base except for the powdery soapy smell (white musk) that stayed on as the neroli faded.
While I'm making this sound just awful, the iris heart and the neroli were completely fine, if you're into sweet aquatics. That being said, I don't really think I'd go so far as to actually recommend Skye to anyone except for maybe fans of classic barbershop scents looking to expand into 80's aquatics, but that's a pretty slim group of people...
I had some decants come in the mail this week from a couple of trades. I love it when I get to open these packages.
Anyway, today I am trying for the first time L'Instant de Guerlain.
It is generally very well regarded here on Basenotes, so I was very excited to try it. I too, find this one to be very beautiful. When I first sprayed this on, I had a moment or two of doubt that it was going to smell too "mature" for my tastes. It didn't develop that way at all though. Instead it became a wonderful, semi-sweet, just the right amount of gourmand (I generally dislike gourmands), smooth fragrance.
I've been trying to decide all day so far if this is too formal smelling to wear to work as a daily fragrance. I'll need some more full wearings to decide that for sure, but I do know that I can't wait to wear it again.
The one thing that is bugging me about it, is I know for a fact I've never smelled it before, however there is something very familiar in the base. It wasn't familiar until it got to the base, but I know I've smelled something that bears as strong resemblance to that base. It's driving me crazy as I try to figure out what it is. Any thoughts?
Catching up, yesterday, in honor of the Sniff & Speak Opposite Gender Day, I went nuts and wore Chanel No. 5, the parfum extrait.
My mother always wore this on special occasions when I was growing up, so No. 5 has a familiarity to me, but I was eager to see what it smelled like in detail, knowing what I know now.
As expected, it kicked off with aldehydes, specifically the ones that smell like champagne. It was very powdery and soapy right from the start. There was a blast of florals when first applied, too, which were quickly enveloped by the powder. It mostly smelled, on me, like old fashioned floral-scented cold cream. It definitely had that classic "white floral" accord of rose, muguet, and ylang ylang, which smells less like it's individual ingredients and more like a distinct smell of its own. This accord, combining with the powder and some incoming iris was what I think made that cold cream smell. There was something fruity, like artificial peaches, and something spicy (I thought clove, but I'm sure they'd say carnation). But all of this was merely what flavored the creamy soapy powdery smell, which was definitely the star of the show.
I know this is blasphemy, but once the aldehydes faded, the heart actually reminded me of Old Spice, which is another powdery classic that pairs that "white floral" accord with spices (I've been saying it forever, but every woman who's into classic scents need to try Old Spice on at least once - this just made me even more sure of that).
Slowly, the legendary No. 5 creamy basenotes welled up under the powdery florals. I'm assuming it's a combination of orris, sandalwood, vanilla, and suede, but it's pretty seamless so the notes didn't really stand out - It was mostly just rich, creamy, soapy, and still quite powdery. I was expecting chypre basenotes of galbanum and moss, but I never smelled them (I'm wearing the current formulation, which is probably why).
All told, I expected to feel stupid wearing Chanel No. 5, but I actually didn't, mostly because of the Old Spice similarities, so that was a relief. But I just don't personally care very much for really powdery scents, so No. 5 just isn't going to be a favorite for me, personally.
As a side note, much has been made of the extrait version of Chanel No. 5 being one of the only perfumes in existence that actually uses real Grasse jasmine. At no point did I ever smell any jasmine and, as I was comparing the floral heart to uber-cheap Old Spice, I couldn't help but wonder why they would waste their money on such an expensive ingredient, only to bury it under synthetics and all that silly powder...
Last edited by rogalal; 6th September 2010 at 02:26 AM.
Catching up, yesterday I wore Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere.
It's weird. Much like Jean-Claude Ellena has his list of favorite notes that he likes to re-use, No. 5 Eau Premiere seems to pick and choose some favorite Chanel notes and rearrange them into something new.
It kicked off, as expected, with aldehydes, but they seemed to be paired with a light ginger note, so there was sort of a ginger-infused champagne sparkle on top. It quickly broke out into a heart that reminded me a bit of 28 La Pausa, with it's almost-funky orris root paired with citrus. There was another note in there that I couldn't place that ended up being the star of the show, though. The closest thing I can compare it to is the smell of tamarind pods - kind of sweet, kind of fruity, but also woody and a bit dark and always flirting with a dirty grossness that never showed through, but was clearly hinted at. It was an interesting smell, and its woody quality went a long way towards making Eau Premiere feel more unisex.
Given time, that tamarind-esque accord became all I really smelled after everything else faded. In a way, it was probably some combination of that ginger note with the citrus and the funk from the orris root mixing with some sort of wood note that made this smell, but it formed such a cohesive whole that it might as well have been a specific accord.
I applied it twice, and both times it faded before getting to any base notes (it was a hot day), so I can't really report on those.
All in all, I found No. 5 Eau Premiere quite interesting, but it didn't quite grab me. As for it's success at reinventing No. 5 for a younger generation, I didn't smell any of the things that make No. 5 magical for so many people (the powdery flowers, the hidden spices, the moody greens, or that super-creamy base). Aside from the tiny bit of aldehydes in the top (which come off more like a sparkling beverage than a classic perfume), Eau Premiere was much more a fruity/woody concoction with some interesting iris. If this intrigues you, by all means give it a try. Oh, and I personally think this would have been a much more interesting release if they'd marketed it to men...
I am copying this from the Boxeuses thread, since I have lost interest in writing reviews for the directory due to their non-appearance for months. But maybe, people are not missing out on anything at all
BOXEUSES (Serge Lutens) - first impression
Alright, I think I'll need more time with my "boozed plum". Now, 2 hours into it, the sugar plums and plum cordial or plum schnapps associations are pulling back, giving way to a moderate sillage combo with a 'leathery idea' and smoke and yes, maybe castoreum, but I am not expert enough to tell for sure. Sorry, I am very strict with my leathers being lifetime spoiled with Lanvin Scandal. That's my leather. Period. Back to Boxeuses, I agree it has nothing in common with what I recall Daim Blond to be like. I enjoy the ride on a Serge Lutens beaten track with a different twist. It somehow made me think of a wintery landscape, pre-xmas-y culinary delights and so forth. If you don't like the Lutens opulence, I think this one is not for you. Unfortunately, I have no idea of vintage Rochas Femme with its famous prunol base as I could image a comparison is in place here. Anyone?
Today, thanks to the last drops from a very small hidden tester at Neiman's, I'm wearing the upcoming re-release of Houbigant Fougere Royale.
I have to admit that I wanted to smell this more out of curiosity than out of any expectation that I'd actually like it. I'm not a huge fan of lavender, and upfront tonka has a weirdly animalic quality to my nose that I really don't like much, so my overall experience with fougeres hasn't been that great. Boy, was I in for a surprise. I really liked it. A lot.
For those of you who actually read my crazed ramblings here, you know that I wear something different every day and I almost never like anything, so that's really saying something.
To start off, the lavender was subtle. The focus was actually on coumarin (with a big thanks to the Houbigant rep for explaining it, because I couldn't figure out the note). The overall effect was green and leafy, but not in the current niche way that's like a big blast of chlorophyl or tomato leaf. This was darker and earthy and more moody, like a more mossy leaf. If you can, imagine an opening in a forest, where the ground is filled with ferns between the trees. The weather is warm and the air is moist, but the canopy of trees is keeping everything in the shade, so there's a damp chill despite the warmth. It's not the evergreen forest you get with cedar or vetiver or frankincense. This is a deep rainforest, but with a moody chill over it. It's written in grays and greens, as opposed to browns.
It stayed pretty linear for hours, but the overall smell was beautiful, so I'm not complaining. Unfortunately, I got the literal last drops from the sample, so it wasn't enough of a full application to get last through to the base notes, so I don't know where it went, but there had to be moss in there - I could smell that from the top.
There was talk at one point that this re-release would actually be exclusive specifically to the San Francisco Neiman Marcus, but no one said anything about that today. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'll be picking up a bottle of this if I can...
If possible, I'd definitely suggest trying a sample of Fougere Royale. If you're into green scents, it's a take on the genre I haven't smelled before. If you're into forest scents, it's likewise a unique take on that genre. Or if you're just a perfume aficionado, it's worth tracking down a sniff just to smell a scent that defined a category.
While passing through the stores, I also smelled some other interesting things.
Hermes Eau Claire de Marveilles - like someone toned down the weird gross moss/chocolate of Elixer de Marveilles and made the whole thing clean and soapy. I need to give it a real test before reaching an opinion.
And apparently my Saks does carry the Cartier Les Heures du Parfum exclusives, they were just hidden (apparently, the SF Saks perfume department is so small that they actually only put out a small selection of what they carry - odd.) My favorite was XIII, which was a woody incense, but in a more creamy, feminine vein with a little bit of something funky rumbling in the background. I also found I interesting, in a confusing way. More creamy incense, but paired with a funky sort of weirdness. On paper, it was baffling, like someone mixed elements of Jicky, root beer, and L'Air du Desert Marocain. I need to get a sample to sort this out - that description just can't be right...
The biggest surprise were the new Chantecaille exclusives. I didn't much like their simplistic regular scents, so I had no hopes at all for their exclusives, but they were surprisingly nice. Their Vetiver was a straightforward heavy green vetiver over an incense-laden sandalwood, which seemed quite wearable (and I'm a sucker for a new vetiver). Kalimantan was the big surprise, a woody incense, but in the creamy, more feminine style of Costes or 10 Corso Como. Both qualify as required sampling for me.
The new Acqua Di Parma Essenza was nice, like the expected citrus cologne, but with a gritty dirtiness to it that made it stand out. Nice enough, but I feel like I've smelled a million of those by now, so it's hard to get excited over another one (yet, strangely, I didn't think that about the Chantecaille Vetiver - I guess it's a matter of personal taste...)
Catching up (I swear half the time I try to come here, the site is down…), I wore The Different Company Sel de Vetiver on Tuesday.
This is another one where what I smelled doesn’t really agree with the reviews here, or the notes elsewhere. On me, Sel de Vetiver kicked off with a mix of aldehydes and cypress, which made for a very distinctively old-school feminine take on woods. It’s possible that this was my nose misreading a mix of bright nutmeg and a particularly woody iris (that’s what the notes say, but I can’t detect any iris in here to save my life). This classic-smelling top was quickly joined by the expected vetiver. As the scent progressed, the focus definitely became the vetiver, which did have a pinch of saltiness to it, but not enough to gross me out (I don’t like salty scents much). Throughout the day, I smelled the cypress from the top occasionally, too. By the late afternoon, I could clearly smell the geranium in the base.
All in all, I didn’t much care for the old-school feminine topnotes, though I have to admit that they did make for a clever pairing with the vetiver. Somewhere out there, there’s a woman who’s scared of big vetiver scents who will find Sel de Vetiver very wearable because of those topnotes.
Yesterday, I wore Victrix by Profumum.
Finally, I’m trying a Profumum. I’m not sure about the rest of the line, but I’m struck by how Victrix smells like an attar of essential oils, but watered down into a perfume concentration.
To be honest, I had a really difficult time wrapping my nose around Victrix. It was clearly a mix of stuff, but it came together into a cohesive whole that I found very tough to put into words. The best description I could come up with was that it smelled kind of like celery, but boiled, dank celery, with a darkness to it. It also reminded me of the smell of water that’s had artichokes boiled in it, but after the artichokes are removed. There was also a bright element, kind of like the sharpness of pine, but minus any smell of actual pine. This sort of dank green vegetal smell lasted for hours, until it faded to a smell I only recognized from the olibanum essential oil I tried a few weeks ago. It was kind like the smell of chemical fertilizer – green and resinous, but somehow artificial – it’s the smell of Miracle Gro, not anything fecal like “natural” fertilizer.
That’s about it. I was expecting recognizable vetiver and woods, but any of those were absorbed into the dank vegetable smell. Victrix was certainly interesting, but I didn’t like it very much. In this same vein, I much preferred the topnotes of Byredo’s Green (though Green let me down with its weak soapy basenotes). But I can see why Victrix has its fans – it’s distinctive and different and presents a unique vision of greenness.
Continuing my trend of smelling things that no one else smells, today I’m wearing Jasmal by Creed.
Straight from the vial, Jasmal smelled mostly like jasmine (predictably), but dirty. It wasn’t the indoles typically paired with jasmine, though. I couldn’t quite place what it was, but it reminded me of the fecal aspect of oud, but without that actual oud smell – maybe a tiny pinch of civet, but it felt more “flora” than “fauna”.
The stank quickly went away, replaced by the familiar round, wet, green smell of Cis-3 Hexanol (that green aquatic leaf ester note that’s halfway between lily and cucumber). On me, this faux-lily note almost overpowered the jasmine for much of the heart of Jasmal. The whole thing got a pinch more woody as some galbanum crept in, while there was a sweet citrus quality going on because of the bergamot.
By the early afternoon, the whole thing has pretty much faded, with just a pinch of bubble gummy jasmine remaining, tempered with the galbanum. From the notes, I was expecting ambergris in the base, but maybe that was actually what gave that odd animalic note to the topnotes.
Oddly, Jasmal reminds me of Windsor, in two ways. First, it’s officially floral, but somehow unusual enough to feel more unisex than one would expect. Second, it seems to be based on very few notes, which come together in unexpected ways (seriously, who would expect ambergris to make jasmine remind me of oud?). As such, Jasmal has kind of failed me, because I was on the hunt for a great, simple jasmine scent, which Jasmal certainly is not. But it actually ended up being much more interesting than I expected, so that makes for a good trade-off.
In the end, I’d recommend Jasmal to male fans of interesting, weird, classic male florals (like Windsor or Hammam Bouquet) – not that it smells like either of those, but because it holds the same sort of quirky appeal. It could also be a jasmine for women who don’t like their jasmine to up-front and literal. And if you enjoy watery, almost aquatic florals, but with an almost woody dark quality, Jasmal may be perfect for you.
I went to Saks yesterday and sampled Cooper Square by Bond No.9.....This is fantastic.....Made the purchase.....Big Bottle of course!!!
I get how everyone else totally sees this as a leathery oriental. That cherry-ish note is playing around over a sort of a creamy suede-ish oriental note. But I still smell all that salt, and there's definitely a chemical aquatic note in there. To me, that makes the whole thing read as aquatic, but it probably was misleading for me to categorize Royal Delight as an overall "aquatic" scent, largely because it lacks the violet leaf that Creed usually uses in their textbook aquatics. I guess I'm trying to say that this isn't GIT, but it still makes sense in the same line as GIT. Maybe this is the definition of an aquatic oriental?
Parfumerie Generale (Private Collection) - Bois de Copaiba
Well, I was about to leave from my local store here (got samples of Epic Woman and another Ubar ) and spotted this specific one among the many PGs and said "I have never tried this one" sprayed it on and eventually left.
It's fantastic! And I don't mean this to turn it down, but it sings so loudly "L'Heure Bleue" that I could hardly believe it. It's quite potent just like L'Heure Bleue is. The main difference to me is that Bois de Copaiba is a tad less 'ladylike' if that's an issue for you personally with L'Heure Bleue and the underlying woody note present in Bois de Copaiba. The downside, of course, is the drydown and that's where they split up eventually - the Bois goes into the 'bois' and loses its magic a bit. DO TRY IT if you are beguiled by L'Heure Bleue but do not dare to pull it off as a guy I should possibly add that my L'Heure Bleue comparison is vintage EdP.
I'm trying to get a little more focused on my sampling, with the San Francisco Meet-Up in just a couple of weeks. I want to finally try some scents I've really liked on paper that I would consider buying at the meet-up. In that spirit, today I'm wearing YSL Body Kouros.
After almost falling in love with classic Moschino Pour Homme, largely thanks to its mace note, I was excited to try Body Kouros, another scent theoretically based on mace.
The mace in Body Kouros is just as I liked it in the Moschino - A bright, sweet, woody, spicy smell halfway between cinnamon and nutmeg. There's a very short-lived blast of lemon in the topnotes, as well as a sort of woody darkness under the mace. Unfortunately, something just won't sit right on my skin. Body Kouros had some other bright ingredient in the heart (maybe the eucalyptus or the anise the other reviews mention - neither of which I smelled clearly). The mace was always there, clear and sweet and bright, but the other mystery brightness clashed with it, leaving a weird, almost chemical sourness on my skin. As the day went on, the weird sense of a pleasant smell with something just sort of "off" lurking in the background never left. By the afternoon, the off-note brightness was replaced by a weird smell remininscent of chrlorine or bleach hiding behind the lingering mace. Because this is from 2000, I'm assuming it's my old nemesis "woody amber".
All in all, I really wanted to like Body Kouros. I understand that a Kouros flanker would be disrespecting its heritage if it were purely fresh and clean and didn't have hints of "ick" to give it some balls. But I'm afraid I'm just not enjoying this. If you have a love for metallic current masculines, you may appreciate Body Kouros more than me, but I'd highly reccomend that anyone who likes Body Kouros should really track down a sniff of the rare (but not impossible to find) Moschino Pour Homme for a slightly more pleasing take on mace.
Do sample Bois de Copaiba! It is interesting and I was complimented on it (I hardly ever get ). I think top and heart are really nice with an interesting, yes haunting twist. Maybe the current EdP is worse than Bois de Copaiba? I only know the current extrait is rather flat compared to my vintage EdP. I'd be curious to read your observations here.
And how does Bois de Copaiba fit in to this?
I think starting an own thread would be interesting since there are experts around for this. I am certainly not. I think if you find the current extrait powdery you'll feel the same way about the vintage EdP or even worse. You guys all meet up soon for a Basenotes shopping day, right? Why don't you ask one of your friends to swap a small vial with you? The vintage EdP is still available on ebay, if you like it.
Bois de Copaiba could give you what you are asking for with no/little powder, but it's lacking the magic in the drydown turning more towards the "bois" aspect of it.
Catching up, I spent Saturday morning going around town warning the stores that the Basenotes SF Meet-Up would be coming (we could use a few more people – anyone going to be in town the 25th???). Along the way, I sprayed on the new “C” for Men by Clive Christian.
On paper, C’s similarity to Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather was pretty striking (the SA’s were even commenting on it). On skin, it did smell quite similar, but with an herbal facet in the background (I’m guessing juniper berry, but it was quite subtle so I really don’t know). It was also a bit smoky, an element which would become more important with time.
By the heart, a very burnt birch tar came through, so “C” ended up straddling the line between Tom Ford’s synthetic leather smell (which focuses more on the realistic smells of the chemicals and dyes used in leathermaking) and the classic birch-tar-based Russian leathers.
By the base, the Tom Ford-esque elements faded and oud came in, pairing up really well with the smoky birch tar. As time passed and the birch tar slowly faded, the whole thing got sweeter. At first, it was the sweet creamy base of Iso E Super – later, it was a subtle vanilla and creamy incense under the oud.
All in all, “C” for Men really is a pretty amazing leather scent, especially if you like smoky woods with your leather and enjoy a clean, creamy oud. I really liked it, but not $385-for-a-bottle liked it. Oh well, if I win the lottery, this will be one of the first things I pick up…
Today I’m wearing the new Bond No. 9 Cooper Square.
This is actually a very old-school smelling scent, and very well done, at that.
It kicked off with that mace note I’ve been enjoying lately (it’s woody and sweet and somewhere between nutmeg and cinnamon – it was the main bright ingredient in Body Kouros), paired with bergamot and a juniper berry note that went a long way towards making Cooper Square smell more like a classic 80’s powerhouse than a current niche.
A very 80’s leathery note came in under the bright, herbal mace note, further enforcing the 80’s retro feel. The heart was a long, slow fade from the bright mace over leather to a more fruity leather, all of which happened under the thoughtful watch of a very 80’s powerhouse patchouli. It’s hard to describe it – it reminded me of a Lutens trick (not that this smelled like anything Lutens would do, though) where the leather merged seamlessly with a sort of red fruit smell to form something weirdly cohesive. Theoretically, this sweet fruity characteristic was probably the listed cognac note. Given a few hours, it dried down to a distinctively 80’s chypre base of powerhouse patchouli and vetiver with the green sweetness of galbanum continuing to flavor the remaining leather.
I have to say, if Gucci or YSL put out a scent like this today, there would be a 20-page thread here filled with people peeing themselves with delight, gushing about how they’ve returned to their roots. But, this is a Bond No 9, which means that it’s too expensive and/or “foofoo” for most powerhouse collectors to take it seriously. So, aside from a few brave souls (like Gary above!), Cooper Square will probably end up getting lost in the huge pile of Bond No 9 releases, which is a shame because there are a lot of people here who have been waiting many years for something retro of this caliber to come along, and most of them will probably end up skipping over Cooper Square…
rogalal, it just came to my mind that HdP's 1725 Casanova comes quite close to L'Heure Bleue's drydown according to Luca Turin and I can see his point. Are you familiar with it?
I just realized that I never posted my thought about what I wore Sunday or last night, so I'm playing catch-up.
Sunday morning: Nasomatto Duro
A loud blast of oud leading into a loud blast of burnt birch tar leather. It lacked the panache of Clive Christian's New "C" for Men, which did this same thing with way more subtlety and character, but it made up for it with sheer, loud exuberance. Then it dried down to a really loud puddle of that metallic "woody amber", which, in extrait concentration, mostly smelled like ammonia. I have to begrudgingly admit that that mix of birch tar and "woody amber" actually smelled kind of interesting while they coexisted, but the following hours of pure ammonia were more than I could handle.
Sunday evening: Hermés Concentré d'Orange Verte.
I really expected this to be a pretty straightforward citrus-topped cologne, but it was much more of a classic-style masculine chypre, complete with the juniper berry and angry 80's basil making the citrus topnotes quite dirty and dark. It even ended with a chypre base. While I do enjoy a bit of dirty grit with my citruses, Concentré took it a bit far for me, quite literally drowning any brightness from the orange in a rough sea of angry retro spices. I can see how lovers of masculine classics enjoy this, but it wasn't really my style.
Yesterday night: Hermés Eau de Gentiane Blanche
A perfect example of minimalism in fragrance. I swear this only has three notes: black pepper, some sort of creamy/musky/soapy white floral, and that Ellena green bell pepper note. It starts as pepper over the mystery flower and slowly gets greener as the black pepper fades and the bell pepper comes in and takes over. It's not minimal on silage (it's actually quite strong) and I could clearly smell the bell pepper on my arm the next morning, so it's got longevity, too. It just doesn't do very much, so your enjoyment really depends on how much you like black pepper and that weird flower note.
Today, I've broken out my sample pack of the three new-ish Sisley frags. Fittingly, I'm starting off with Eau de Sisley 1.
I remember really liking this on paper at the store when it came out, largely thanks to the citrus in the topnotes, but the citrus I almost fell for faded almost immediately on my skin. This left something I'm having trouble describing. Imagine the drydown of a really stereotypical fruity floral, the part where the last of the heart is fading into the base. There's a lingering fruitiness from some almost-faded cassis, and there's a generic sort of flowery quality, probably from some ylang. But it's mostly just a sweet chemical stew, not quite vanilla, not quite amber, and not quite musk, but with sweet elements of each. It's an unremarkable smell I've encountered dozens of times in unremarkable women's designer releases. Somehow, Eau de Sisly 1 manages to recreate the most boring, tepid part of an already overplayed stereotype and translate it into the star. In the base, a decent galbanum came in, but it felt pretty unremarkable, too. All in all, I think Sisley has managed to create one of the most boring releases I've smelled in quite a while. That's not to say that it smells bad. It's just really "meh."
Hopefully, 2 and 3 will make up for this...