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  1. #61
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Today I gave a test-run to Acier Aluminium by Creed.



    To my nose, the closest Acier Aluminium got to metal was a polite wash of champagne aldehydes in the top notes. They were paired with a sort of artificial cherry smell. It wasn't the modern artificial cherry of Starburst or soda, but an old school perfumey artificial cherry (in the same way as you could describe the topnotes of Mitsouko as having "perfumey artificial peach"). There was also something in there that smelled like artificial banana. There's a specific kind of pink jasmine that grows in my area that smells like artificial bananas, and I think that may be what's going on here.

    Acier Aluminium definitely smells old. Modern scents just don't do this style of fruit, and nothing here smells anything like a current fruity floral.

    The base was a very creamy mix of vanilla and soap with a pinch of ambergris and some jasmine. It actually smelled more like a Chanel base than a Creed, to my nose. Most of the day was a long, slow slide from the sparkling perfumey fruit of the topnotes to the rich, creamy base, which was quite nice. At one point, I smelled a subtle but beautiful jasmine and I looked around to see if someone was making jasmine tea, but it turned out to be my sillage, though the smell on my skin was more a mix of the creamy basenotes and the parfumey banana.

    I'm well aware that I'm not making Acier Aluminium sound very good, but it actually all works. I'd be the last person to expect to be giving a good review to something that smelled like artificial banana, but it's incorporated quite skillfully into something beautiful. I'd also like to suggest that this is definitely something that should be tried by female fans of old Carons and the like. It doesn't have the powdery ylang overload you'd get if Caron or Guerlain put out something similar, but it still has much of the same appeal, if done with less ingredients (knit_at_night, I'm talking to you...)

    Also, though all the comparisons I'm making are to classic feminine scents, there is something about Acier Aluminium that also makes sense as a scent for a very confident, aristocratic man. I don't think just anyone could pull it off (or that just anyone would actually like it), but it gently whispers of quality and substance in a way that old Creeds are quite good at.
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  2. #62
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Interesting about the Reflection, SOS. That note also ended up bothering me in the base of Mugler Cologne, though MC didn't have that papery quality. I get that papery quality (though less spermy) in some tobacco leaf and some rosewood scents. I've always noted two distinct smells both labelled as rosewood. One is the actual smell of teak furniture, and the other just smells like a wet paper bag.

    You know, I still haven't smelled pure Ylang essential oil. In my brain, I think of it as one of the primary ingredients in that generic white floral accord that's in so many classics. In that accord, if I can spot and remove the rose and the lily, I usually think of Ylang as what's left. Does it have a gross quality to it? (I'm thinking of how some notes like grapefruit or cassis can have a nasty sub-note going on beneath the main smell)

    OK, it's been about an hour since I put the Reflection Man on paper. As a side note, there's a big oily spot, so it definitely has some essential oils going on. All I smell now is wet paper bag and cinnamon, though I could be convinced that a portion of what I'm smelling is some sort of orris, though it doesn't have any of the telltale bleu cheese smell of real orris root (at least, that's what I sniff for as a litmus test of whether it's real orris butter or not - but it sounds like I'm wrong and there's actually more types of orris than I thought, based on your previous post).

    The neroli and the aquatic notes are completely gone, and I think the pepper has been absorbed into the overall spicy paper bag smell and is probably one of the other things making it up.
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  3. #63

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    No airplane toilet in the Acier Aluminum? Aww! It sounds like Acier Aluminum sort of in the same vein as say, Caron's The Third Man. Not in smell, but in its general character, distinction, and the type of situations (and people) it would be appropriate for?

    I've found a wide range of experiences with orris. Most notably different is the C02 extract versus an absolute. The C02 extracts I've tried have been less than pleasing. Sort of a woody/waxy smell with no real hint of violets or any fruits.

    Ylang smells very tropical. It's a distant cousin of jasmine, and has some of the same white flower smell, but is more tropical - almost kitschy-tropical. It also has - like some jasmines - a banana like note under the surface. It's got a fairly thick and almost leathery, or perhaps suede-like texture. Of course, there are some variations here depending on what distillation you go with (1st, 2nd, 3rd, complete, etc). The variations seem to be primarily in how earthy/leathery and how tropical and sweet it is.
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  4. #64
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    No toilet chemicals in Acier Aluminium for me. I'm a huge hater of that specific mix of lemon and verbena that reminds me of Lemon Pledge (no Derby for me, I'm afraid). I wouldn't compare it to 3rd Man at all, actually. 3rd Man is loud and 80's, while Acier is all about subtle charm. It's very Creed, but the understated old Creed of Selecion Verte, Santal Imperial, or Windsor.

    I had read here in a few places that MPG's Iris Bleu Gris was the closest thing you could smell to real iris, so I keep that in mind for comparison's sake. I actually found it almost unwearable, thanks to the cheesy note, but it's an interesting smell, like a mix of freshly ironed shirts and waxy wood. I'm guessing by your description that it must be based on the CO2 extract.

    That's interesting about the ylang. I think it's time for me to take another trip to the essential oil store...

    Complete side note: If you're anywhere near a Bloomingdales with a Space NK in it (list here), they have HdP now and are very generous with the samples...
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  5. #65

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Thanks for the heads up on the HdP. Sadly, nowhere near. I'm in the middle of Wisconsin.
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  6. #66

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    I'm not going to describe it, because I can't, but paging SOS from 2 years ago, L'Antimatiere is AWESOME. I think I'm in love.....
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  7. #67
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Today I finally did a full wearing of perennial BN favorite Creed Bois du Portugal.



    Yeah, I know. It took me forever to get around to one of the most-loved scents on BN. Honestly, it's because I've smelled it so many times at stores and not like the topnotes. Well, on my skin I still didn't like the topnotes...

    On first application, Bois du Portugal smells old (not just the recipe, but they actually manage to recreate the smell of a very old bottle where the topnotes have gone a bit "iffy" - and yes, my sample is brand new, with the new style of sample label Creed's only been using for a couple of months now). The specific mix of old-school lemon and dark herbs somehow actually smells dusty. Thankfully, the woods come in quickly. I mostly smelled sandalwood, but not the usual kind. It wasn't the creamy sandalwood of Tam Dao or the hyper-realistic sandalwood of Santal Imperial - Instead, it was the sawdusty dark sandalwood of Santal Noble. There was also a pinch of hawthorn wood, which seems to be a classic Creed trademark. Somehow, once the woods came in, the fusty lemon ended up smelling more like a fusty, perfumey pineapple to me. It all ended with the beloved Creed base of creamy vanilla and ambergris.

    I can see how this is one of the most popular of the classic Creeds with the guys around here. There aren't any forward floral notes, and it doesn't have anything too quirky going on (like the banana in Acier Aluminium). It's not powdery, either. It's also the closest thing Creed has to the classic male scents like Equipage or Derby. But, to me, it's also one of the least interesting classic Creeds because of all that. Selection Verte's mint makes it more lively and intriguing, and Acier Alumium's weird fruits and flowers make it way more interesting (even if it demands a bit more confidence from the wearer), while Royal English Leather's crushed-fennel-seed suede is one for the true aficionados.

    All that being said, if you enjoy classic men's scents, you could still do way worse than Bois du Portugal. I just think you could do better within Creed's classic lineup...
    Last edited by rogalal; 1st October 2010 at 04:10 AM.
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  8. #68

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Hmm, no mention of lavender? It's a REALLY prominent component of BdP to my nose. I guess we just have different perceptions of these things, but I wonder if just possibly your sample had gone off, given that it smelled "off" to you? Maybe the newish sample vial was filled from an older source or was improperly stored?

    Edit: Thinking about this more, maybe your "dark herbs" are the lavender. That makes sense actually.
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  9. #69
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulSC View Post
    Hmm, no mention of lavender? It's a REALLY prominent component of BdP to my nose. I guess we just have different perceptions of these things, but I wonder if just possibly your sample had gone off, given that it smelled "off" to you? Maybe the newish sample vial was filled from an older source or was improperly stored?

    Edit: Thinking about this more, maybe your "dark herbs" are the lavender. That makes sense actually.
    Sniffing the vial versus a lavender sachet, I think you're right. A big chuck of the "dirty" "dusty" and "old" that I was getting is the interplay between the lemon (and verbena) and the lavender, though I don't think I would have been able to figure that out without your help. Do you think there may be just a pinch of basil or rosemary or juniper berry in there, also? One or more of those three, in conjunction with citrus, are usually the culprit when I think something smells "classic and masculine", so I was assuming it was one of them, though I couldn't really pick one out.
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  10. #70

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    I'm not going to describe it, because I can't, but paging SOS from 2 years ago, L'Antimatiere is AWESOME. I think I'm in love.....
    Wow.. I almost forgot all about that scent. Hearing this reminds me of "the saga" I had with L'Antimatiere. Crazy stuff. Months later I ordered another sample thinking I'd be ready to try it again, but by that time I was in a new relationship and never did muster up the courage to "risk" wearing it again. I ended up giving that sample away with a swap, completely unused. The odd thing was that the sample had begun to get cloudy.. or more like a milky, opalescent white. Very odd!
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  11. #71

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Sniffing the vial versus a lavender sachet, I think you're right. A big chuck of the "dirty" "dusty" and "old" that I was getting is the interplay between the lemon (and verbena) and the lavender, though I don't think I would have been able to figure that out without your help. Do you think there may be just a pinch of basil or rosemary or juniper berry in there, also? One or more of those three, in conjunction with citrus, are usually the culprit when I think something smells "classic and masculine", so I was assuming it was one of them, though I couldn't really pick one out.
    Re: other herbs, that seems quite possible. If it cools off as much tomorrow as the forecast says, I'll wear BdP and see what my nose tells me. I'm accidentally on a lavender kick -- I wore Pour on Homme de Caron yesterday and Serge Lutens Gris Clair today!
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  12. #72
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulSC View Post
    Re: other herbs, that seems quite possible. If it cools off as much tomorrow as the forecast says, I'll wear BdP and see what my nose tells me. I'm accidentally on a lavender kick -- I wore Pour on Homme de Caron yesterday and Serge Lutens Gris Clair today!
    Did you get on the list for the Fougere Royale re-release? It's not like any lavender I've experienced before. Just amazing...
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  13. #73

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    No, I didn't know there was a list! Should've paid more attention at Neiman's I guess.

    I did wear Bois du Portugal today, however. I wish my nose were half as discerning as yours. Seems possible there's some kind of leafy herb among the top notes. If I smelled my skin up close I'd get a bitter/sour note that reminded me of the basil in Chanel Pour Monsier Concentree -- but thankfully not as strong, since it's a dealbreaker for me in the Chanel. Anyway, I can't be sure if it's just a product of how the other notes are blended -- or even if it's a grassy facet of the vetiver. I could definitely smell the bergamot more clearly than before, so that was my reward for sniffing attentively...
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  14. #74
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulSC View Post
    No, I didn't know there was a list! Should've paid more attention at Neiman's I guess.

    I did wear Bois du Portugal today, however. I wish my nose were half as discerning as yours. Seems possible there's some kind of leafy herb among the top notes. If I smelled my skin up close I'd get a bitter/sour note that reminded me of the basil in Chanel Pour Monsier Concentree -- but thankfully not as strong, since it's a dealbreaker for me in the Chanel. Anyway, I can't be sure if it's just a product of how the other notes are blended -- or even if it's a grassy facet of the vetiver. I could definitely smell the bergamot more clearly than before, so that was my reward for sniffing attentively...
    I actually found BdP quite confusing. And you got vetiver?? I'm losing it... And I have yet to actually smell bergamot, one of Creed's legendary house notes, in a single Creed. Just my stupid nose.

    Anyway, today I wore Floris Edwardian Bouquet in honor of the coordinated Friday theme on the womens' board, scents introduced between 1900 and 1910.



    The topnotes of Edwardian Bouquet mostly smelled like fancy soap to me. I'm not talking about the current fancy soaps (Fresh, Agraria, et al), but the kind from when I was growing up, when people would buy those silly little pink guest soaps shaped like roses that smelled like perfumey flowers.

    The top was mostly comprised of that classic "white floral" accord, but it wasn't buried under powder or spices like it usually is, so it provided a great opportunity for me to try to pick it apart. I could definitely smell rose, as well as some Cis-3 Hexanol posing as lily. There was also something that smelled kind of tropical (like pineapple, maybe), but very waxy. From my notes with SOS above, I'm assuming this was the ylang. Combined with a soap note, it's amazing how these ingredients come together into the generic smell of flowers that's in pretty much anything that's supposed to smell "flowery" from the last 80 years or so. From Old Spice to Chanel No. 5 to floral soaps to fabric softener to grandma's dusting powder, this particular mix is so unavoidable that I never even bothered to think of it in terms of the notes that actually make it up.

    In the heart, everything stayed soapy while the florals faded as some galbanum came in, paired with some rather surprising hawthorn, which made the whole thing smell surprisingly like a classic men's scent (I kept sniffing my other arm to make sure I wasn't having BdP flashbacks, but no, it was the Edwardian Bouquet). The base was more soap, but with some creamy elements mixed in (maybe vanilla, sandalwood, or amber - but it really didn't matter - the soap is the point).

    I actually really enjoyed the topnotes, but mostly as something to pick apart, and I was surprised by the complete 180 this took from grandma florals to grandpa soapy woods. So, it kept me entertained, but I don't think I really have any use for Edwardian Bouquet in my collection. I rarely want to smell like soap, even if it is the classy old kind...
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  15. #75

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    It's funny because I see people smelling bergamot all over the place, especially on a lot of fragrantica reviews, in scents where to my nose the bergamot is not at all recognizable in the blend. Bergamot is really one of the easiest notes for people to get to know who don't have the time, access or commitment to familiarize themselves with tons of essential oils - it's the smell of Early Grey tea!

    I sometimes detect it in a roundabout way in some of these scents, or see how it may be used to help bolster a citrus accord, soften pepper notes, etc, but it's pretty rare actually that I get a real discernable bergamot blast in scents that list bergamot. I suppose that's just as well because it seems like 70%+ of scents list bergamot as a note and I'm glad that they don't all have an Earl Grey tea opening!
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  16. #76

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    It's funny because I see people smelling bergamot all over the place, especially on a lot of fragrantica reviews, in scents where to my nose the bergamot is not at all recognizable in the blend. Bergamot is really one of the easiest notes for people to get to know who don't have the time, access or commitment to familiarize themselves with tons of essential oils - it's the smell of Early Grey tea!

    I sometimes detect it in a roundabout way in some of these scents, or see how it may be used to help bolster a citrus accord, soften pepper notes, etc, but it's pretty rare actually that I get a real discernable bergamot blast in scents that list bergamot. I suppose that's just as well because it seems like 70%+ of scents list bergamot as a note and I'm glad that they don't all have an Earl Grey tea opening!
    Bergamot isn't Earl Grey tea, though; it's Earl Grey tea minus the tea leaves. The overlap is huge and obvious, but the difference is significant.
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  17. #77

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    True PaulSC, very true. Although some of the cheaper and heavily perfumed Earl Grey teas do almost smell purely of bergamot. My thinking is that since people are familiar with the smell of tea, it should be easy to discern/isolate the bergamot element.
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  18. #78

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Costume National 21



    Beautiful stuff! A gentle citrus and floral opening, transitions into a slightly spicy sweet heart and ends with some creamy woods and incense. Soft, creamy, comforting, deep, and resonant. I've never really tried a "creamy" fragrance before, and this one sets the bar high. This very well may go onto the buy list!
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  19. #79
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    I've been wanting to try 21 forever... You're making it sound good.

    So, weird question. It's October and time for a new sample thread. Since half the stuff we mention is unisex or actually technically feminine, should we move this thread off the mens board and into the new mixed board??
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  20. #80

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY: September 2010

    Yes, I definitely recommend a try.

    And yup! I'd say it'd fit nicely there
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