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  1. #1
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Hey all - this is a place to post your thoughts, in detail or not, on whatever you've been sampling or sniffing at stores or otherwise trying. Because the thread on the men's board wasn't strictly for men's scents, we'll try moving it here. Maybe the ladies can join in???
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Yesterday, in honor of S'N'S Amber Saturday, I finally tested Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan.



    I have to admit that I generally don't like ambers unless they're slathered in buttery benzoin or vanilla and spices. So I've avoided Ambre Sultan until now...

    It went on with amber, duh. It was a bit powdery (not as much as L'Artisan's, though, as a comparison) and it had a bit of that medicinal tinge. It was more animalic than most, partly from the amber itself and partly because it clearly had a heady dose of tonka (I find tonka quite animalic when it's combined with amber). As a result, there was a subtle leathery quality to Ambre Sultan, though the main theme was definitely the amber itself. There was also a spicy buzz to the whole thing, like pumpkin pie spices (probably nutmeg, mace, or cinnamon), as well as a creamy wood smell buried under everything. As the day went on, the powdery, perfumey aspects faded as some vanilla came in, leaving a more gourmand amber base.

    I guess I still prefer my amber on training wheels (my favorite is the barely-amber-at-all Ambre Naguille). While Ambre Sultan isn't as relentless as, say, Tom Ford's Amber Absolute, it still requires you to be a pretty serious amber fan in order to enjoy it. Oh, well. More for everybody else...
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  3. #3
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Today, for a lazy Sunday around the house, I'm testing L'Artisan Parfumeur L'Eau du Navagateur.



    On paper, this should be a slam dunk. With notes of coffee, spices, woods, and incense, this should be utterly perfect for me. But life has a way of throwing a curve ball every once in a while. Instead of being the woodsy niche scent I was expecting, what I got was L'Artisan's version of a 1982 masculine powerfrag.

    To start off, it's very leathery, in the way that so many 80's masculines have that specific mix of powerhouse patchouli, juniper berry, and dark spices that come together to smell like funky 80's leather. It's also quite sweaty, in a rather specific old-man-smell kind of way (not like an old-fashioned cologne, but like someone's sweaty grandpa). There's also an herbal sweetness that I think is a mace note, which plays quite well with the coffee note. But the real focus is on the sweaty leather.

    A few hours in, I can start to pick out galbanum, which is pretty typical of this style of scents. It brings out the hidden vetiver in the leathery patchouli mix, making the last half of L'Eau du Navagateur something of a sweaty leathery chypre with lingering sweet mace on top. If forced to classify this, I'd put it in the same bin as Havana or C&S's Cuba. Not that it smells like either of them, but that is has that same sort of big masculine classic bone structure paired with unique other notes (but, to be honest, just substitute coffee for the cigar notes in Havana and make it really sweaty and you'll at least have a very rough estimate idea of how Navagateur smells).

    It's a wonder that L'Eau du Navagateur never really gets mentioned here on BN. With the huge intersection of 80's powerfrag lovers and niche aficionados, you'd think that this would be the best of both worlds, or at least something to skillfully bridge the gap between the two. So, if you're a niche fan with a penchant for the artfully ugly side of early 80's scents (Kouros, et al), or a powerfrag fan who's willing to step out of eBay and into Barneys, you should really check this one out.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Great idea, Rogalal !


    Peace,Love & Juicy Couture
    Notes of Meyer Lemon tree blossom,hyacinth,sweet apple, jasmine, magnolia, honeysuckle,orris, patchouli flower, musks
    Quite an uplifting green floral with a really nice touch of honeysuckle ,hyacinth and lemon. I quite enjoyed this one.



    Memoir Woman by Amouage- gosh - how I love this dark chypre.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
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  5. #5
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Today, I've been testing another L'Artisan Parfumeur that no one really talks about, L'Eau de L'Artisan.



    So here it is, L'Artisan's (with help from Olivia Giacobetti) entry into the wide world of citrus eau de colognes. As you would expect, it kicked off with orange. There was also a green leafy facet to it that turned out to be just a tiny pinch of mint mixing with fresh, green basil (not the angry 80's kind, but something more like the smell of fresh leaves). Of course, it smelled bright and refreshing (unlike Hermes' Concentree d'Orange Verte with its dark herbal character).

    Of course, the real test of a citrus cologne isn't the topnotes, but how well it handles the inevitable breakdown. Many smell refreshing and juicy in the beginning, but the orange ends up being that awful saccharine Tang smell. Others rely too heavily on petitgrain to extend the citric feel - petitgrain is a wonderful ingredient, but it can smell just awful by itself. Still others use orange blossom, which is another wonderful note, but it can be a loud, shrieking drag queen of an indolic flower (which does have its place, but can feel like a terrible mismatch with a refreshing hot weather citrusy eau).

    Thankfully, L'Eau de L'Artisan didn't fall into any of these traps. Instead, after about an hour, it faded into a quiet soapy neroli smell that sat, barely there, until late in the day, when just a pinch of orange blossom started to peek out from beneath the quiet soap. But really, the basenotes are quite unimportant in a scent like this, which is specifically intended to be re-sprayed repeatedly through the day.

    Whether or not L'Eau is worth testing really depends. Like any other citric eaus, it's pretty pointless as a spray-in-the-morning-and-wear-it-all-day scent. But, if you enjoy a good orange spritz, I'd easily recommend this as much as Chanel's Eau de Cologne or Eau d'Hadrien, and I personally liked the bright freshness of this L'Artisan more than either of the Hermes Eau's.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    That's one of Olivia's works that I've yet to test, Rogalal, but after that write up, I'll be sure to grab a sample of it before next spring! Thanks for the heads up.
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  7. #7
    Dependent knit at nite's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    I tested Gem by Van Cleef and Arpels (original formulation) todays. A chypre from 1987.
    Per Fragrantica: The top notes are accords of peach and plum, and spicy-woody accords of cypress, cardamom, coriander and rosewood. Heart notes: tuberose, jasmine, rose, iris and ylang-ylang enriched with a spicy clove is in the heart. The complex base is composed of patchouli, oak moss, amber, civet and vetiver. The perfume was created by Roger Pellegrino in 1987.
    Per Perfume intelligence notes are: a rich woody oriental parfum with top notes of marigold and camomile, heart notes of tuberose, ylang-ylang, sage and cloves, on base notes of cypress, patchouli and vanilla

    quite a difference in the two listings.

    Nice classic perfumery. Could be unisex on a chypre lovin' male
    Last edited by knit at nite; 5th October 2010 at 07:45 AM.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Re: L'Eau de L'Artisan - it might also be worth mentioning at this point just for the intensely curious that this IMO is the definitive 'smell of freshly cut grass' scent - I think it trumps (or at least equals) both Herba Fresca and Eau de Campagne for this.

  9. #9
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    Re: L'Eau de L'Artisan - it might also be worth mentioning at this point just for the intensely curious that this IMO is the definitive 'smell of freshly cut grass' scent - I think it trumps (or at least equals) both Herba Fresca and Eau de Campagne for this.
    That's true - I missed it in my review, but there was definitely a point after the orange faded and before the soap took over where L'Eau was very much a green fragrance.

    Today I'm testing another often-ignored L'Artisan Parfumeur scent, last year's Cte d'Amour.



    Cte d'Amour was designed by Celine Ellena, but it smells more like something her father Jean Claude would put out as a Hermssence than anything she's done at The Different Company.

    It kicked off with a very Jean Claude-esque mix of pepper and white florals that reminded me of his Eau de Gentiane Blanche. The pepper burned off pretty quickly as a tropical floral smell took over. It was definitely coconutty, but not in a cheesy way (it was more like a watered down floral version of Creed's Virgin Island Water than like a trashy coconut dessert). There was also a spicy green feel to it, which smelled like the green pepper note J.C. Ellena loves to use, but minus the bell pepper undertones. I could also clearly smell taragon, though it took a good 6 hours before it became prominent enough for me to recognize it. All of this rested on a sort of waxy white floral note that I couldn't place, given a subtle hue of sweet moodiness but just a tiny pinch of syrupy immortelle, hidden in the background.

    I know that really doesn't make sense as much of an explanation of what Cte d'Amour actually smells like, but I think that if you can imagine Jean Claude Ellena doing a minimalist version of Virgin Island Water, you'd be pretty close.

    In terms of minimalism, this is one of those scents that gets it right. While it doesn't do a lot or scream at you with loud florals or chemical smoke, it's still going after 12 hours now and it's been pumping out green, peppery coconut-water sillage all day. It just does it with a quiet confidence that you wouldn't expect to have this type of sillage and longevity.

    So, if you're a fan of Jean Claude Ellena's work, you'd probably appreciate Cte d'Amour, as it's clearly an homage to his style from his talented daughter. And it manages to do that without resorting to any of his repetitive cliches (cumin with grapefruit, etc.) Or, if you're looking for a fun summer scent that incorporates coconut in an intelligent, mature way, this might be a good choice.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    12 hour longevity on an all natural fragrance? Impressive. That's another scent I plan on sampling once the weather warms up!
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    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    12 hour longevity on an all natural fragrance? Impressive. That's another scent I plan on sampling once the weather warms up!
    I think it's technically organic but pretty certainly not all natural. The ingredient list still has all the usual suspects: Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Citral, Cinnamal, and Benzyl Benzoate...

    I guess these things are refined from plants??
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  12. #12

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Well, Limonene, linalool, citronellol, etc are all components of many natural oils - so you're going to see them listed on basically any fragrance whatsoever, natural or not.

    Benzyl salicylate is found in jasmine and ylang ylang and some others, too. Benzyl Benzoate.. hmm.. a little research says it's the main constituent in tolu balsam. I bet what you are reading as immortelle is in fact tolu balsam, which is somewhat similar in smell..it's a waxy caramel like note.

    So honestly, nothing in that list is a guaranteed synthetic. Also, Ecocert has given their verification that Cote d'Amour is in fact all natural, so I'd say it's safe to assume it really is.
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    Dependent knit at nite's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Re-sampled Opium - I don't know what notes made me detest this a few decades ago, but my reaction was exactly the same as it was back then, Sorry- more for the Opium lovers.

    Also sampled- Bond N Y Coney Island Wearable but mediocre- a nice scent for sleep.
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  14. #14
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Today Ive been doing a side by side comparison of LArtisan Parfumer Mre et Musc and Mre et Musc Extreme.
    VS.

    Mre et Musc (the original) behaved much more like a properly-structured perfume. In fact, it turned out to be a fruity leather chypre. It went on with a pinch of blackberry, but paired with green elements. The green elements were strikingly similar to the subtle mix of mint and basil I recognized from the LEau de LArtisan I wore a couple of days ago. The heart was a quiet mix of the berries and the green elements, with a deep suede leather bubbling up underneath over the course of the day while the green elements faded. There was a dark quality to the leather, which I know was a rubbery lapsang souchong tea note (because this was very prominent in the Extreme version though it was quite subtle in the original). By the end of the day, the berries had mostly faded away, but their sweetness was echoed by green galbanum, which led to a proper chypre base, which fit well with the lingering suede.

    I found Mre et Musc quite well-behaved, but it has a litany of terrible reviews here from ladies who find it sour and disgusting. I can see how the herbal topnotes and the smoked-tea suede could be a bit offputting if you were expecting very forward, modern-style fruit, but I think it works quite well if you go in expecting a 70s suede chypre with an interesting pinch of berries in the mix.

    Mre et Musc Extreme, on the other hand, is a bit of a challenge. For the record, its way more than just an EDP version of the original. It has very little discernable progression Instead, it blasts everything at you right from the start. In addition, it really amps up that rubbery tea smell while losing the green herbal components and the chypre base. It also has a peppery quality (especially in the sillage) that I didnt get in the original version. So, basically, it hits you in the face with a mix of blackberry and smoky, peppery, leathery rubber.

    As an aside, being a child of the 80s, I fondly remember Strawberry Shortcake. They were dolls for girls, but they also released little collectable plastic figurines, which my sister collected. The gimmick was that they were scented. I remember making excuses to come into my sisters room and smell them. Which is kind of strange, because they smelled terrible, like a mix of 90% rubber doll smell and 10% berries, but for whatever reason, I found them intoxicating. Mre et Musc Extreme comes remarkably close to recreating that sensation. I have a weird fondness for it, thanks only to nostalgic novelty, but I cant imagine what appeal this would have to most people.

    As the day wore on, Mre et Musc Extreme very slowly found its footing as that rubber note faded enough to the background to function as subtle character, instead of the rather misplaced focus of the scent. By the afternoon, the smell was wonderful, focused on the berries with the suede in the background, but it was a rough ride getting there.

    In the end, I could pretty confidently recommend Mre et Musc (the original) to fans of classic feminine scents with an unusual edge. I can see how it could have been futuristic and groundbreaking in the late 70s, though it makes a bit more sense now as a bridge between classic structures and the niche movement it was setting the groundwork for (I felt the same way about the LEau du Navagateur I just tested, which was from the same era). Mre et Musc Extreme is a bit more of a challenge. If youre completely comfortable with the classic French idea of waiting an hour or two for your perfume to smell good, youd probably appreciate it more than me. Or, if youre such a die-hard aficionado of lapsang souchong tea that you dont have those rubber doll association with that rubbery tea smell, you may just love it.

    Also, theres also a Mre et Musc extrait available (the one in the silly berry-shaped bottle). Has anyone tried it? Where does it fall in terms of these versions?
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    I love that berry-shaped bottle, however silly it may be...



    As far as I know, the berry bottle is a limited-edition packaging of the original M&M. The extrait version is sold in a smaller (15 mL) bottle and I've never sniffed it. In fact I don't recall trying the extreme, and it's been a couple of years since I sampled the original. I should sniff them side-by-side as you've done!

    (How would you compare M&M extreme with Costume National Scent Intense, another tea-fruit-leather composition?)
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    That berry bottle has always reminded me of those fruit-shaped plastic things full of fruit drink they used to sell with curly straws at amusement parks back in the 80's...

    I'll have to re-sniff Scent Intense. All I clearly remember about it was not liking it. I thought it was an amber?
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    It is an amber, but a "clean" one (if that makes sense), so potentially its effect might not be so different than the white musk (that I seem to remember) in M&M.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulSC View Post
    I love that berry-shaped bottle, however silly it may be...

    I love that bottle! Too bad Mure Et Musc bores the berries out of me...

  19. #19
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugandaraja View Post
    I love that bottle! Too bad Mure Et Musc bores the berries out of me...
    Same here- I love the bottle- hate Mure Et Musc !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
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  20. #20

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    LS Fall Pack just arrived – first impressions:

    MFK Absolue Pour le Soir

    The opening takes me back to schooldays in Wanganui going to the annual “Agricultural & Produce Fair’ – ferris wheel, ghost train, dodg’ems and candyfloss on one side and sheep mustering competitions, livestock exhibits and forklifts and tractors on the other. It’s not the animals so much as the stuff they used to spray around to clean the place and the whole overall vibe . . . ‘barnyard’ will do nicely, but it's more interesting than that to me, and it’s great – it goes to soon, actually - great opening.

    Shortly after there is the Cologne Pour Soir I know and love, just tamed a bit - not so sweet and certainly not as bombastic and then not too long after it has made itself known it seems to warm up and then sit back and just take it easy. I had planned to buy Cologne Pour Soir for winter (probably still will) but this is a more relaxed and subdued take on it with just a subtle touch of musky funk in there . . . I actually find it less in your face than CpS, which I quite like.

    Vero Kern Onda EDP

    I’m speechless, really. There is something in this I can’t put my finger on – it’s like the smell of gasoline or some vaporous fuel that has been spilt and mixed with rain and soaked into old wood and the scent is blowing round an old tumbledown boat yard. Along with that there’s the smell of a really old car my uncle used to drive in the early 60s where petrol fumes had soaked into the leather seats along with a bit of exhaust smoke (I’m not talking Bentley here – the complete other end of the scale).

    And then, hovering behind all this, there is a benign presence that over time comes forward and envelops the whole shebang - there are plants and flowers nearby but out of sight and their scent is rising. Incredibly compelling and somehow, despite the clunky analogies, really sophisticated and elegant – I’m blown away by this one, I think it has a timeless beauty about it.

  21. #21

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    mr. reasonable, that was a lovely description of the feeling of those two fragrances. You really should review more often, I mean that.

  22. #22

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    I hate to follow Rogalal and mr. reasonable, but here goes.

    Tonight I am re-testing Profumum Dolcis in Fundo. I first smelled this at the very start of my perfume journey, and of course, gave it a 5. When a perfume smells so good you want to drink it and dive into a pool of it, that is a 5 rating.

    I just rerated this fragrance to a 4, but really, I still feel the same. There is not complexity here, there is only the juicy orange that segways into a creamy vanilla that then transitions into a true semi-sweet vanilla. Not high art, but I continue to feel how well this accomplishes it's very simple goal. For a citrus semi-gourmand, you would be hard pressed to find a better representative.

    This is the orange of a fresh picked fruit. There is nothing synthetic feeling or smelling to me. The vanilla is creamy then austere, again uncomplicated, but true to it's purpose. It retains a slight orange feel all the way until the final drydown, mixing and mingling. Happy and carefree. And that is exactly what this fragrance does - smell good in a happy and carefree way. There is a place for this, I've no doubt.

    This was from a dab vial, not sprayed. My only fear is that I am unsure if I really would want to smell like this all day. My second fear is that I do, and it is not cheap, and only comes in 100ml bottles.
    Last edited by cello; 8th October 2010 at 02:12 AM.

  23. #23
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by cello View Post
    mr. reasonable, that was a lovely description of the feeling of those two fragrances. You really should review more often, I mean that.
    Ditto here - it's really great to hear from more people!

    Cello, did the orange and vanilla in Dolcis in Fundo stay separate or did they melt together into a creamsicle? I still dream of finding a citrus vanilla mix that works for me, but my skin sweetens everything and they never quite work out...

    Today, I finally got around to my last untested L'Artisan Parfumeur sample, Th Pour un t.



    I think I could safely call this a jasmine for people who don't like jasmine perfumes.

    It kicked off with a mix of lemon and cumin that reminded me in theory of Jean Claude Ellena's trademark grapefruit/cumin mix, but brighter (because of the lemon instead of the grapefruit, as well as a tiny pinch of mint) and cleaner (because there was way less cumin in Th than in your average Ellena composition). After a few minutes, the jasmine slowly swells up underneath this mix, eventually eclipsing the lemon and making itself at home with the green leafy mint and the subtle cumin. As the day went on, some fruity corander came in under the jasmine, and there was also a noticeable orangey citrus element in there. Because this happened in the afternoon and orange molecules simply can't last that long, I'm assuming it must have been orange blossom, but it combined with the jasmine to form a rather cohesive blend that was more than the sums of its parts.

    Th Pour un t is oddly notable for being quite subtle. Unlike the big jasmine perfumes I'm getting used to smelling, Th always smelled pretty and light and summery, which I can imagine being quite a turn-off for big jasmine fans. Also, as an aside, lemon + cumin does not equal tea according to my math, so I think this may be a bit of a disappointment for fans of tea scents, too. But if you want a pretty, light, breezy floral that's polite and youthful without being dumbed-down, or if you like jasmine but not the big explosive jasmine perfumes that usually feature it, Th Pour un t might be a good fit.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Rogalal, there is a period of creamsicle to DiF. The orange is very prominent at first, with a wiff of vanilla. Then they blend into a creamsicle effect, then the vanilla is more prominent with a citrus edge. then soft not too sweet vanilla. So, yes, it is there, but it didn't bother me in the least. But I will say that creamsicles and eskimo pies are my two favorite icecream treats to this day, brought forward from childhood. I don't know, it may be too much for you, but certainly worth a sample if these notes interest you.

    I saw your review of Sushi Imperiale, and there is a similar vibe to this of course. But DiF is much more natural smelling, and SI brings on the spice. I own SI, mostly for the spice effect on top of citrus. Cinnamon in particular, which I love in SI.

  25. #25

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    cello, Rogalal, thanks.

    I'm interested in checking out the Profumum now! The only one I know is Antico Caruso, which I bought. It's a smooth almondy EDP, nice winter comfort scent with a city vibe, I read it as 'barber shop' but that has different connotations to different people.

  26. #26
    Basenotes Junkie CX827's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by cello View Post
    mr. reasonable, that was a lovely description of the feeling of those two fragrances. You really should review more often, I mean that.
    Agree
    Overall this is one of my favorite threads and enjoy reading the reviews put a little story to help better understand the whole picture. Excellent

  27. #27
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Cello, thanks for the Sushi Imperial comparison - that helps a lot...

    I went shopping today and smelled quite a few things. A few stand-outs:

    Nasomatto Nuda: Jasmine on top with something odd - like a plasticky component I couldn't place. Dried down on the card after a couple of hours, it smells like spicy hot peppers, but with a powdery "pinkness". Really interesting, but certainly not "normal."

    Serge Lutens Bas de Soie: Iris. Reminded me of Iris Bleu Gris, with its cheesy undertones, but with the addition of a green leafy element I think may be ivy?

    Amouage Gold: Like a classic feminine aldehyde with a dirty undercurrent, but nowhere near the powdery civet nightmare I was expecting from the reviews.

    Parfums Regence Santal: Another old-world feminine aldehyde marketed to men. Actually quite similar to Gold, based only on the topnotes on paper, but Santal felt darker and lacked some of the creamy depth. I ended up picking up a bottle.

    Parfums Regence Oak Moss: I really don't have the vocabulary to describe this scent. It's lush and green, with a dirty undertone (the same way that patchouli can have a dirt quality to it, though it didn't smell like patchouli). There's also a chemical aldehyde brightness on top. Odd, but mesmerizing, like clay mixed with dirt and soapy grasses and strange warm plastic, but that doesn't even come close to actually describing it. Thank goodness I got a sample, so I can take a proper day to try to figure it out sometime...

    The three new Honore de Pres scents: Vamp a NY smelled like tuberose at first but opened up into a mixed floral. Love Coco was pure Thai food, with coconut, coconut milk, and even Thai purple basil. I Love les Carottes was quite simply the most carroty iris I've ever smelled. They gave me a sample and I have to admit that I'm completely intrigued... Any of these three could pass for Giocabetti L'Artisans - don't let the novelty packaging and the silly names scare you away!

    For my actual pick to wear for the day, I tried on Guerlain Arsene Lupin Dandy from a tester at the boutique.



    It's been quite a while since I've smelled a new Guerlain that so artfully respected and yet completely remixed the Guerlain history. Thankfully, they put away the cherry syrup and the marshmallow fluff, dusted off the old L'Heure Blue/Mitsouko ingredient box, and set about making a really difficult masculine version of them.

    One thing I love about Guerlain at their most full-on is that they have the power to leave me at a complete and utter loss to describe what I'm smelling. They can use such intricate mixes of unusual ingredients that I honestly have no idea what I'm experiencing. With that in mind, I'll do my best to put into words my day in Dandy...

    It started off with really noticeable fennel seed. It was the fennel seed from L'Instant Pour Homme, but mixed with something I couldn't figure out that reminded me of L'Heure Bleue. It wasn't iris or vanilla or whatever makes LHB so doughy - it was more some kind of boozy spice. If you can imagine L'Heure Bleue with the Guerlinade stripped out, leaving just the moody greens and the spice mix, and then replace the iris and dough and vanilla and everything else with a mix of birch tar leather and the butterscotchy benzoin of Bois d'Armenie, you'd be close, but it's still way more nuanced than that.

    As the day has gone by, Dandy has smelled different every time I've smelled my arm. Sometimes, it's boozy butterscotch or a burnt caramel mixing with benzoin. Other times, it's really dirty leather, complete with that old-man sweat smell. Sometimes, these mix with the fennel seed and the boozy herbal element, but sometimes they don't.

    Part of me thinks that the unknown herbal element may actually be a dirty chypre base and it's the galbanum doing something strange with the other elements that's confusing me. There was also a point in the heart where I thought I smelled the boozy Jagermeister accord from Quand Vient La Pluie. Other times, I could smell licorice.

    On a purely intellectual level, I'm finding Arsene Lupin Dandy to be utterly fascinating, but nothing about it is really making my toes curl. I was really expecting a proper Guerlinade base, but there's not vanilla/orris/rum/spices to be had here. I do enjoy interesting leather scents, but the old man funk is a little off-puting (just like it was in the L'Eau du Navagateur I sampled last week). If Guerlains are your thing, you've probably been waiting a while for one to come along like this. Also, in terms of niche scents, there's no reason a woman couldn't wear this. The herbal butterscotchy sweetness is pretty strong, so it shouldn't scare you if you can handle some animalic leather with it.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??
    Currently wearing: Lys 41 by Le Labo

  28. #28
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Sometimes samples of the day are informative, but not destined for the wardrobe. For instance, I now know that I am NOT a Tim McGraw fanboy. I enjoyed both the original McGraw and the Southern Blend flanker. The first one is a green, boozy gourmand that is very enjoyable (for me) and reminiscent (to me) of some damn good niche. The second is a very pleasant light scent that smells surprisingly natural. I love putting it on after a shave. But the fact that I liked them both bothered me. I was worried that being a frequent fan of Tim McGraw's music might have impaired my olfactory judgment.

    Today, while I was in Target, I found - locked down with wire - a bottle of the new flanker, McGraw Silver. I sprayed the back of one hand. Smelled it as it dried down. Aquatic. Synthetic. Modern. Somewhat milky and creamy, but in a slightly plastic/monomer way. Reminded me of something very mainstream that I could not remember. Did fit the silver image very nicely. Here is the website graphic:



    Here is the website. Here is another review. In the mouse-interactive pyramid, you will find aquatic notes, lavender, sandalwood, and musks. The "white musk" stuff is definitely there, and the creamy sandalwood is reminiscent of Quiksilver, which I love, but I hate to say it's just not as good here. Also some brief moments of Chanel powder, but just a trace, and not very moving. Later, I remembered what it reminded me of - the tail end of the recent Izod fragrance, which starts off with a really amazing fresh citrus accord, but deteriorates later into something a bit creamy, plastic-like, and synthetic.

    My general feeling was that "silver" fragrances like the one Gentleman, Aventus, blah blah blah, are "in" right now, and this was a very standard take on that.

    However, the quality is lacking here, and I know for sure now that I'm not a Tim McGraw fragrance fanboy.

    When I got back to my wife, pushing the cart in the laundry detergent aisle, I walked up to the opposite side of the cart. She immediately had two words, and only two words, in her cute way of dispensing with all unnecessary things like prepositions and verbs....

    "Terrible smell!"

    * * * *

  29. #29

    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Today, while I was in Target, I found -
    Here is the website. Here is another review. In the mouse-interactive pyramid, you will find aquatic notes, lavender, sandalwood, and musks. The "white musk" stuff is definitely there, and the creamy sandalwood is reminiscent of Quiksilver, which I love, but I hate to say it's just not as good here. Also some brief moments of Chanel powder, but just a trace, and not very moving. Later, I remembered what it reminded me of - the tail end of the recent Izod fragrance, which starts off with a really amazing fresh citrus accord, but deteriorates later into something a bit creamy, plastic-like, and synthetic.

    My general feeling was that "silver" fragrances like the one Gentleman, Aventus, blah blah blah, are "in" right now, and this was a very standard take on that.

    However, the quality is lacking here, and I know for sure now that I'm not a Tim McGraw fragrance fanboy.

    When I got back to my wife, pushing the cart in the laundry detergent aisle, I walked up to the opposite side of the cart. She immediately had two words, and only two words, in her cute way of dispensing with all unnecessary things like prepositions and verbs....

    "Terrible smell!"

    Thanks for saving me the pain and suffering of trying this one. It sounds wretched.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: SAMPLES OF THE DAY - October 2010

    Yesterday I finally tested Penhaligon's Opus 1870.



    Odd - for a scent named after 1870, this smells very 2000's...

    In terms of basic genre, Opus 1870 is your basic niche woody incense with pepper on top and vetiver in the base. Once the pepper on top burned off, the heart was very thin on my arm, but threw off plenty of smoky wood silage, so I'm assuming this has an extraordinarily high percentage of Iso E Super, which behaves that way. What kept Opus from smelling like any other CDG/Duchaufour incense scent was the inclusion of a subtle berry smell paired with just a tiny pinch of clove. It wasn't as in-your-face as the berries and clove in Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir, and it wasn't as clove-intensive as CDG's Sequoia. Instead, the red notes stayed in the background, enhancing things instead of taking over.

    As the day progressed, the the scent filled out more as the frankincense came in, which led to a vetiver base.

    All in all, I'm a sucker for scents like this. Seriously, if you mixed up a big vat of cedar, iso e super, frankincense, vetiver, and pepper, I'd probably wear it happily. That being said, this is such a common niche recipe at this point that it really comes down to personal taste which one will best suit you. As for me, my needs are currently being met by Six Scents The Spirit Of Wood, which is this but less sweet and more forest-smelling, as well as 10 Corso Como's dirty Uomo, and the aforementioned Pomegranate Noir, with its loud bullhorn of clovey cedar and incense. Opus 1870 also struck me as the specific kind of niche that Marc Jacobs Bang is trying to recreate. So I don't see a bottle in my future, but Opus 1870 is still very much worth testing if you like these sorts of scents. And, for the Bang fans who may be getting curious about other scents like it, but more nuanced, Opus 1870 would be a great place to start.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??
    Currently wearing: Lys 41 by Le Labo

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