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  1. #1
    Sugandaraja's Avatar
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    Default Sniffing In Amsterdam ( tests of new releases; reviews of Nuit de Tubereuse & Love And Tears )

    My day in Amsterdam earlier this year was a day of epic rainfall and not very conductive to fragrance shopping, so my day in Amsterdam this time ( despite also raining for a while - I love you Amsterdam, why must you be so chilly and damp? ) I was determined to do a little fragrance sniffing.

    Heading over to Skins, the niche emporium recommended to me by the native Basenoters, I had more to sample than I had time for, so focused mostly on what was new.

    Diptyque - Eau Duelle

    Very intriguing dry, textural vanilla. Not my style but an absolute must try for those hunting for "dry" vanillas; quite fascinating.

    Mono di Oiro: Les Nombres d'Or

    Sniffed all three.

    Cuir shocked me - smoky, harsh, meaty, seriously animalic. The lovechild of Yatagan and Lonestar Memories. A little scary, and no way is this getting skin-time on me!

    Musc I liked at first, but it almost immediately faded to nothing on the strip but a mild floral; no musk. I strongly suspect anosmia on my part; it's just too super-weak for this to be the intended fragrance

    Ambre was my favorite. Yes, it's the amber accord most of us are all familiar with, but with a nice reserved astringency I haven't previously encountered ( I get a faint touch of birch tar, but nothing smoky ). I guess it's mundane of me to like the least odd of the bunch, but oh well! It's charming.

    Creed

    The Creed section was large, and I decided to give Aventus a try. It made me smile; it's somehow... cute. Ode to a summer's popsicle, but nicely done. I'd never own it, but it's one of the few Creeds I've been charmed by.

    I really wasn't sure what to to think of Aubepine Acacia. Acacia? I smell birch tar. Oh well.

    I also decided to give Creed's Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie a sniff and now wish I had worn it. This one is WEIRD, at least on the strip. Dark jasmine with that weird raisin note I smelled in Goutal's Jasmin amped up to looming mincemeat proportions, a faint tanginess in the background. It figures that the only Creed to really grab my attention would be rather Lutensian!

    Tubereuse Indiana was pleasant; I will revisit it. It's a little reserved for a tuberose, but it had an appealing "thick" quality.

    Etat Libre d'Orange - Charogne

    The intensely indolic notes were intriguing; yes, right on the border of "OMG, did something die?" But what ruined this bold effect for me was a rather crass-smelling vanilla note. As ever, there's a certain synthetic crassness that puts me off much of ELDO; I'd love to see this extreme-indole idea handled differently.

    Of the ones I sampled, I tried two on skin: L'Artisan's Nuit de Tubereuse and By Kilian's Love And Tears.

    Nuit de Tubereuse was easily my most anticipated release of the year, but as the reviews trickled in, I began to see a consensus emerge among many perfume bloggers - it's very L'Artisan, it's very Duchaufour, but it's not very tuberose.

    Do I agree? Yes, and I'm sorry to say that Vibert/Off-Scenter's observation of an "overtly chemical artificial wood note that feels like sawdust being shoved up my nose" fits my experience of Nuit, too.

    It's definitely an interesting fragrance, one that comes across as rather extreme in style, particularly in that it has a lot of development to my nose. First comes a big rush of tart pink pepper, almost harsh; then a soft tropical floral accord that reminds me of Nasomatto's Narcotic Venus; then my favorite part; a curiously fleshy but non-sweet transition between the floral heart and woody base; then, to me, what seems to me a transparent, dry, slightly fizzy woodiness rises up and covers the flowers more and more, almost becoming smoky at points before dying down to something paler, dustier, and arid.

    If you'll forgive the macabre analogy, Nuit de Tuberose is tuberose locked in the attic and left to die.

    This isn't tuberose in the milky, foody, delicate vein of his recent Amaranthine, but rather, a tuberose in the style of Dzongkha's iris, Sienna L'Hiver's olive, and Bois d'Ombrie's leathery salsa. If you like that style of fragrance you'll be in for a treat, as this is a complex and unique fragrance, but I can't really call it beautiful; it's too dry, too harsh, and too dissonant for my tastes.

    A fragrance suffering almost the opposite problem is the new Love And Tears. Love And Tears is beautiful, in a pretty, effervescent, and somewhat minimalist way. Again, another review absolutely nailed it with "a woman's freshly shampoo'd hair", as its transparent, slightly fruity jasmine is something I've smelled a hundred times in others and even my own hair after a trip to a salon.

    That being said, the top notes of Love And Tears are as haunting to me as they are brief. They remind me of the vintage Cristalle eau de toilette I tried, and perhaps a little of vintage Odalisque; I can think of no apt modern parallel. They're limpid, dewy but not aquatic, and headily botanical, as if you were resting on the inside of a giant, dew-covered jasmine flower.

    Perhaps another virtue worth noting is that unlike many takes on watery florals, Love And Tears is strong. Maybe not strong like Olene and A La Nuit are, but more robust than its nearest modern relatives like Odalisque and En Passant.

    As the drydown progresses, L&T becomes increasingly mundane, but still a high-quality creation. For people who found Sarrasins the tamer cousin of A La Nuit due to its far reduced levels of nose-tingling indoles, you're likely to find L&T a snooze, as the indolic side of jasmine is pushed well into the background; just enough of it there to give it a little more depth and make it less shampoo-y.

    I found myself asking - in light of other jasmine soliflores, was this necessary? Does Love And Tears add something to the world? I've gone back and forth on that, but I'll say yes. Love And Tears is a little like the soliflore equivalent to a bowl of fruit painted by a great artist - the subject matter may be trite and hackneyed, but if done in a creative and beautiful way, it can still be worthwhile. Love And Tears may be derivative, but it's also gorgeous, and even if I would never shell out the cash for this, I really can't say a single bad thing about it. Also, it somehow fits in well with the general Kilian "style", in a way I can't quite articulate.

    All in all my trip to Skins was great, and though I didn't buy anything, the SA's were nice and I highly recommend the place for niche shopping; big selection, and some lines - Piver, for example - I rarely see elsewhere.

    There's a great little cheese shop beside it, too, where they let you taste everything. I think my waistline is glad I don't live anywhere near such a store, but I enjoyed visiting.
    Last edited by Sugandaraja; 7th September 2010 at 07:13 PM.

  2. #2
    tott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sniffing In Amsterdam ( tests of new releases; reviews of Nuit de Tubereuse & Love And Tears )

    Glad you enjoyed Skins! I just wish they'd get Bas de Soie sometime soon so I can test it...

  3. #3
    Sugandaraja's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sniffing In Amsterdam ( tests of new releases; reviews of Nuit de Tubereuse & Love And Tears )

    Yes, I noticed their Lutens selection was kind of patchwork in terms of what they carried ( noticed Fille En Aiguilles was absent, too ). Still, better selection than anything in my home town, for sure!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sniffing In Amsterdam ( tests of new releases; reviews of Nuit de Tubereuse & Love And Tears )

    Amsterdam, fragrances and Sugandaraja - Oohh I wish I had been there with you! ((jealous))

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