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  1. #1

    Smile Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    I tried OC a while back (perhaps a year or so) alongside Creed Royal Scottish Lavender, Caldey Island, and Arome 3. I was initially put off by the strong herbal/mint and somewhat dirty oakmoss base. I been retesting over the past few weeks and decided to buy a bottle (drat that CS has raised their prices $20-30 in the last year), but I suppose the quality warrants the price. I'd like to give my revised assessment.

    I feel the opening is a bit brash for the first minute or so until the peppermint recedes leaving the English and French lavender in all of their beauty. I must say that this intermediate stage is probably on of the best lavenders I've ever smelled. Next, the rosemary, sandalwood, and oakmoss dry down to a slightly animalic base featuring mainly the oakmoss. The ingredients on the box support some of my early hunches that OC contains coumarin and geranium in addition to real oakmoss (the kind that is banned by IFRA). With this addition of coumarin and geranium one could almost classify this as a light aromatic fougere were it not for massive quantities of lavender.

    Overall, I feel OC is one of the finest lavender preparations available today created by none other than the John Stephen, owner of the Cotswold Perfumery and the genius behind the brilliant Cotswold cologne by the Dukes of Pall Mall. Interested parties should snag this one up before it dissapears forever.

    On a final thought, Czech & Speake says that O&C conjures up images of the English countryside in some faux Victorian setting. I would agree, but it is probably one of the more legitimate ones, despite its 1980s launch.

  2. #2

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    Wow, great review bokaba. I love this one too. It's my "go to" lavender always.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Nice to see your re-appraisal of O&C.

    I like it. It has the same cooling effect for me as Nicolai Pour Homme, I use them both in summer. There's a new l'Occitane Lavender Eau de Cologne release just turned up (they seem to riff on the lavender theme from year to year) and I want to try it out soon before it vanishes.

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Creed Royal Scottish Lavender stills remains my preferred.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Always nice to read about lavender-centric gentlemen's fragrances. I enjoy the herbal aspects of lavender but all too often it's grafted onto sweeter & warmer fixatives in the base. Unfortunately C&S is not available here for me to try out. I'm after some icy lavenders so a sample of O& C is probably worth checking out...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    I love wearing this scent. For me, the real star is the drydown when the oakmoss comes out to play. I detect some slight saltiness there too, which I find works very well in the Summer.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    It is the oakmoss and peppermint that makes this lavender special.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Any other thoughts?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    I can't wait to own a bottle of this.

    I think I posted on another thread that I got the idea of blending lavender shower gel & mint shower gel (Dr. Bronner's) together, to try and recreate the smell of Oxford & Cambridge in the shower. It sort of works, but of course, the fragrance is so much more special.

    I didn't know that the same perfumer who do this did that Pall Mall one. Interesting!
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

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  10. #10

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    I read you initially didn't like it Mike, but I had a similar reaction. I had to work with if for a while until it made sense. In the US, the cheapest retailers are Straight Razor Designs ($130 shipped) and Cambridge Chemists ($132 and 10% off for some online forum members--not sure basenotes counts though). The quality of ingredients here is stunning and it shows in the composition. If you want real bona fide oakmoss, look no further.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    How about Les Plus Belles Lanvandes de Caron? This is an underappreciated lavender for men:

    http://perfumesmellinthings.blogspot...s-perfume.html

    http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scenteds..._wth_some.html
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    I love the scent but never was in the mood to wear it. It really doesn't fit my look, either, so I have no regrets having sold my bottle. That being said, I'd still agree that this is one of the best lavender-centric fragrances on the market.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    What a great review Bokaba. Yes. It is an underrated gem. I sent for a C&S sample set and for me Oxford and Cambridge was the standout of the group. This is often described as "classical", and I understand why, but in my view this is a very modern treatment of Lavender, and if folks were open to that idea it may get more attention.
    Last edited by Foustie; 17th January 2012 at 10:51 PM. Reason: typo

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Bokaba, question: Is it okay to overspray / over apply this one? I tend to have a heavy hand with my lavender scents (I usually finish them quicker than my normal scents), mostly because I apply post-gym and it just feels good to really douse myself but also due to the fleeting nature of lavender. Of course there's exceptions (Caron Pour Un Homme, for instance).
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    It is the oakmoss and peppermint that makes this lavender special.
    agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Foustie View Post
    in my view this is a very modern treatment of Lavender.
    agree


    I donīt like very much the lavender but I love this one to death. For me this Lavander has the exact measure of harshness I can tolerate.
    my current top five (always in transition)

    Dior Eau Noire
    HdP 1725 Casanova
    eau de gloire parfum d'empire
    Dia man Amouage
    comme des garÁons man 2

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Good questions. I think overspraying would make it kind of dirty/animalic smelling from the oakmoss. It's in the same realm as Creed's RSL--there's a lot more going on than just lavender. I would apply Atkinsons, Caldey, and other such lavender with reckless abandon, but probably not this one.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    i wish it last 2-3h more!
    on me it last about 4h
    Tell Hugo, he isnt boss anymore.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have been meaning to getting around to trying this frag. I like masculine florals and Lavender is a note I enjoy but is underrepresented in my collection. My interest is piqued again. I especially want a WEARable 19th century late victorian style fragrance. I'm a big fan of that historical period. Floral scents then were popular to wear for men.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Creed Royal Scottish Lavender stills remains my preferred.
    If it lasted twice as long on my skin I would own a bottle of this.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Quote Originally Posted by vulgarrhymester View Post
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have been meaning to getting around to trying this frag. I like masculine florals and Lavender is a note I enjoy but is underrepresented in my collection. My interest is piqued again. I especially want a WEARable 19th century late victorian style fragrance. I'm a big fan of that historical period. Floral scents then were popular to wear for men.
    Check out Ungaro II (primary notes: lavender, civet, carnation, jasmine, rose, sandalwood and vanilla). Also, although it's not a lavender oriented scent, a scent w/ a very 19th century Victorian feel to it is Amouage's Opus III.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 18th January 2012 at 04:39 AM.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    I wonder if the lavender is synthetic, lavender essence, or n lavender absolute like in CPuH.

    Dear me but the notes of Ungaro II look good. I wish it weren't discontinued.

  22. #22
    autumngleeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Check out Ungaro II (primary notes: lavender, civet, carnation, jasmine, rose, sandalwood and vanilla). Also, although it's not a lavender oriented scent, a scent w/ a very 19th century Victorian feel to it is Amouage's Opus III.
    thanks for the headsup, especially on Opus III I wasn't aware of that one. I should have checked out ungaro II already. I owned Ungaro III and loved it. It was on heavy rotation for awhile. But the fact that Ungaro II was discontinued dissuaded me from checking it out. I was afraid I would love it but then face the disappointment of it being hard to find afterwards. But yeah, the pyramid looks interesting. I'll take your word for it then. The reminder was nice...my queue is getting long, but like I said, florals that men can carry are my thing.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Merely View Post
    I wonder if the lavender is synthetic, lavender essence, or n lavender absolute like in CPuH.

    Dear me but the notes of Ungaro II look good. I wish it weren't discontinued.
    The listed ingredients for Oxford & Cambridge are: Alcohol, Parfum, Aqua, Limonene, Evernia Prunastri Extract, Linalool, Coumarin, Geraniol, Citral, Citronellol.
    I don't think that actually answers your question, but in my opinion, the lavender here (whatever its source) is far from synthetic smelling.

    As for Ungaro II, just between us, unused bottles can still be had for an absolute steal on ebay. But don't tell anyone, OK ?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Oxford and Cambridge probably uses natural lavender absolutes/essential oils. Lavender, though quality varies with price, is not as expensive as something like Bulgarian rose otto. Of the ingredients listed it contains, solvent (alcohol & water), some citric chemicals, genuine oakmoss, lavender, tonka, and geranium.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    This scent has caught my interest several times, and now it is definitely on my to-buy list and probably my next purchase! Thanks for spending those £75 for me
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Quote Originally Posted by bokaba View Post
    Good questions. I think overspraying would make it kind of dirty/animalic smelling from the oakmoss. It's in the same realm as Creed's RSL--there's a lot more going on than just lavender. I would apply Atkinsons, Caldey, and other such lavender with reckless abandon, but probably not this one.
    Thanks B. Good to know. I stumbled upon a sample in my 'pile' this morning looking for something else, so I can't wait to wear it again this week.
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  27. #27

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    Quote Originally Posted by bokaba View Post
    Oxford and Cambridge probably uses natural lavender absolutes/essential oils. Lavender, though quality varies with price, is not as expensive as something like Bulgarian rose otto. Of the ingredients listed it contains, solvent (alcohol & water), some citric chemicals, genuine oakmoss, lavender, tonka, and geranium.
    How do you know it contains tonka and geranium? Coumarin is not tonka (it can be found in many oils, including lavender absolute, hay absolute, etc) and geraniol, too, is found in many many oils.
    ***For sale:

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  28. #28

    Default Re: Lavender Extravaganza--Oxford & Cambridge

    I was refering to synthetic components that mimic naturals. I've smelled tonka and coumarin side by side and they are similar except tonka is sweeter. Geraniol is more floral and honeyed than actual geranium oil.

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