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  1. #1

    Cool The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    The coins and wrinkled singles have filled up the jar I keep in my kitchen and that means it's time to waste it all on perfume!

    Some of you may remember that last year I held a Blind Sampling Tournament, where I began blindly sampling 22 different fragrances, narrowed them down to 10, and pitted them against each other in a round-robin, March Madness-style tournament. The winner of the entire tournament was Ambre Precieux, defeating such giants as Tobacco Vanille and Ambre Sultan.

    The bracket can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/cgu8h85


    The purpose of the contest was to find that next great bottle (and have fun doing it). And it worked! Not only is Ambre Precieux one of my favorite fragrances, but I also ended up getting a split/decant of Tobacco Vanille and a tester of A Taste of Heaven over the course of the following year, and today I enjoy both of them very much. So 3 worthy bottles actually resulted from the tournament. Furthermore, doing the tournament was a great time, and I got to digitally meet and talk to a lot of different basenoters from all over the world. It was a cool experience.

    Well, now I'm looking for a new addition to the wardrobe. I want something really special to add that is unique, different from anything that I own, and highly wearable--something I'm comfortable with and can use often.

    I've spent months doing research, watching youtube reviews, reading store and house descriptions and finally managed to narrow everything down to 16 samples (the perfect number for a tournament!). Some samples were carefully and wisely selected. And some of the samples I picked had nothing to do with my months of research, I just picked them on a whim at the last minute and said "to hell with research!"

    This year the theme is: NICHE ONLY. I've just about exhausted the designer world for the moment, mainly because they're so easy to find and test, but the niche universe is still relatively new to me.

    I began by looking for a fragrances that combined Incense and Mint (yes, I love mint, I know many of you hate it and I'm okay with that, I'm at peace with your distaste for mint), and fragrances that could be described as "elegant woody" and just sort of branched off from there. So you might recognize an Incense, Mint, and Woody theme present among the samples. One fragrance, "Atlantic," may even be an Elegant Woody Fragrance with Notes of Mint and Incense (as they're all in the pyramid). But maybe it smells like old gum scraped off the sidewalk...WHO KNOWS!? At the same time I also just went with some frags that sounded good to me, with no particular note or style as the focus. And there were a couple that I had been wanting to sample since last year's tournament (per the fine suggestions of informative basenoters like yourselves).

    So without further ado, I present This Year's Contestants!. For the sake of interest, to the right of each fragrance I've included its:

    1) Basenotes score, in the order of: Postive, Neutral, Negative reviews (For example: 30-10-5 would mean this fragrance has received 30 positive reviews, 10 neutral reviews, and 5 negative reviews)

    2) Fragrantica score, in the order of: Overall score out of a possible 5, followed by the number of votes/scores submitted (For example, a "4.5/100" would mean that out of 100 votes or scores submitted, the fragrance averaged a score of 4.5 out of a possible 5.)


    The Contestants Are:


    Ambre 114: Histoires de Parfums 16-0-0 4.6/100

    Ambre Russe: Parfum d'Empire 31-4-3 4.37/199

    Atlantic: Strange Invisible Perfums 1-0-0 5.0/1

    Avant Garde: M. Micallef 2-1-1 4.38/24

    Cereus No.6: Cereus 0-3-1 4.0/6

    Cereus No.11: Cereus 3-2-0 3.6/10

    Coze: Parfumerie Generale 19-8-2 3.96/107

    De Bachmakov: The Different Company 5-2-1 4.41/38

    Frank No. 2: Frank Los Angeles 9-0-0 4.27/11

    Gaiac: M. Micallef 12-0-1 4.46/81

    Jade: Olivier Durbano 3-2-0 3.97/33

    L'Ombre Fauve: Parfumerie Generale 18-2-2 4.54/29

    Memoir Man: Amouage 22-7-3 4.28/166

    Ormonde Man: Ormonde Jayne 28-10-6 4.51/67

    Thundra: Profumum Roma 5-7-1 4.13/23

    Wazamba: Parfum d'Empire 9-4-4 4.0/151


    Some things to note:

    I'm really excited about this tournament because other than Amouage, M. Micallef, and HdP, I've never tried any fragrances from the other houses. They're completely unfamiliar to me. And even my experience with the other 3 is very limited (to maybe 1 or 2 frags).

    Ambre 114 is the highest ranked fragrance between basenotes and fragrantica. Russe, Gaiac, and L'Ombre Fauve also hauve high rankings.

    Cereus No. 6 and Thundra are the lowest ranked fragrances, particularly on basenotes, where their negative reviews outweigh their positives. Hmmm...I wonder why?

    Memoir Man and Ambre Russe are the most reviewed of the group.

    Fragrantica loves Ormonde Man , Basenotes not so much (is this Luca Turin backlash at play?).

    I know absolutley nothing about Wazamba, De Bachmakov, Thundra, or Avant Garde other than what was described on Luckyscent.

    As far as the tournament is concerned, here's a few categories I put some frags into:

    Heavy Hitters: Classic, respected fragrances with lots of fans and reviews.

    Memoir Man
    Ormonde Man
    Ambre 114
    Ambre Russe

    Sleepers: They sound good to me, but there's very little info on them.

    Frank No. 2
    Atlantic
    Jade

    Wild Cards: I don't know anything about these! (other than the flowery prose found on lucky scent)
    Wazamba
    De Bachmakov
    Thundra
    Avant Garde

    These categories mean absolutely nothing!


    Notes About the Tournament for 2012


    This year every fragrance will be sampled blindly until the very end. No fragrance names will be revealed until a winner is declared.

    There will be more pictures in this year's tournament...probably.

    Once again, giveaways will abound (though they will abound less and less often, but abound better when they do)

    The procedures and style will be different than last year's tournament (I don't know if this will make it better or worse, but I do know that if you didn't see last year's tournament then it doesn't matter anyway )



    Tomorrow I will explain everything: Tournament Procedure and Process, Contest Rules, Etc.


    See ya soon!


    Buysblind
    Last edited by Buysblind; 25th November 2012 at 07:24 PM.
    Check out my current NICHE SALE, you can't beat these prices!

  2. #2
    Super Member suds's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    waiting...

  3. #3

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Subbed. Many great fragrances there, I think you'll enjoy Frank no 2.

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Quote Originally Posted by suds View Post
    waiting...
    with interest.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    This is very cool! I wasn't around on here last year to see it, so I'm very interested to see how it goes this year! Great idea!

  6. #6

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    So glad I'll be around this time
    We want a niche forum.

  7. #7
    Basenotes Junkie Teach13's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    I'd call you a nerd, but this is exactly the kind of thing I enjoy doing...all the time. So.......I guess I'm happy to see a fellow nerd having fun
    "We don't fail because we aim too high and miss, but because we aim too low and hit" - Les Brown

    "When you're all alone, when no one is watching, and there's no one around to impress, that is who you are" - Greg Laurie

  8. #8

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach13 View Post
    I'd call you a nerd, but this is exactly the kind of thing I enjoy doing...all the time. So.......I guess I'm happy to see a fellow nerd having fun

    Oh yes, I'm in full-on nerd-mode right now.


    Can't argue with that.
    Last edited by Buysblind; 25th November 2012 at 11:22 PM.
    Check out my current NICHE SALE, you can't beat these prices!

  9. #9

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    You should probably take out Ormonde Man out of heavy_hitters as it is quite mild and subdued. Wazamba on the other hand should be there in HH bunch close to the top. Good luck and have fun.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    "I want something really special to add that is unique, different from anything that I own, and highly wearable--something I'm comfortable with and can use often."

    I couldn't agree more Buysblind. Different is good but I want to be able to wear it and wear it often if it is a great scent.

  11. #11
    Dependent southerngardens's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    This looks like a HOOT!!!!
    I'm not OLD...I'm VINTAGE!
    Currently wearing: No. 5 by Chanel

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Looks like this should be a lot of fun.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Since you love Mint + Incense, would recommend you add Serge Lutens L'Eau Froide to the sample list of as well.

    GL & HF
    AUSSIES, join our exclusive niche split club.

    https://groups.google.com/forum/?fro...s-niche-splits

    Currently splitting:

    Amouage - Tribute, Homage and OPUS VII
    Andy Tauer - Noontide Petals, Miriam and Loretta
    HdP - Veni, Vidi, Vici and Rosam, Ambrarem, Petroleum
    The Different Company - Oud Shamash, Oud for Love and Aurore Nomade
    Guerlain - Sous Le Vent, Angélique Noire, Bois d'Armenie, Cruel Gardenia, Rose Barbare

    and many more niches up for split...

  14. #14

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    I actually remember last year's tournament, is that sad or what?

  15. #15
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    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Very cool. Any contest with de Bachmakov is a winner no matter who wins!!!
    * * * *

  16. #16

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Alright, alright, alriiiigghhhhtt....

    I'm back. And the contest can begin.


    I'm accepting the first 20 contestants, or if that doesn't happen (b/c it probably won't), anyone who signs up by Wednesday, 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

    To enter the contest:

    1) Send me a PM with the following in the message title: "Sample Tourney 2012: USERNAME"

    2) Inside the message, include your shipping information, in the event that you somehow win.


    PART ONE: The Preliminary Round...You Do Lots of Work!

    For the next four days I will be blindly sampling 4 fragrances a day. Fragrances will be assigned a random number between 1 and 16. I will write a brief description of each. If you are a contestant, you must guess which fragrance I am describing out of the list of fragrances that I have provided above, in the original post. After I have described all 16, send me a PM with a list where you include the Fragrance Number and what you believe is the NAME.

    For example: #1: De Bachmakov #2: Coze #3: Ambre Russe etc.

    Include all 16 fragrances in your list. You will receive ONE point for every fragrance you correctly guess. My wife will be adding up your scores (LUCKY HER!) as I will not know which fragrance is which number until the very end of the entire tournament. I will post your scores after I have collected your lists. This will kick off the tournament! And unfortunately, for this part of the contest you will be relying on my insanely inaccurate and misleading descriptions. So...Good Luck!

    P.S. Feel free to talk about what you think is what based on the descriptions. Or...be as stealthy and secretive as you wish. Maybe you can even make a wrong suggestion, to throw off the competition. Do whatever you want...I don't care.


    Part Two of the contest will begin after the preliminary round. It will be a round-robin March Madness style tournament, which I'll explain in further detail when we get there. All fragrances will be included in the tournament.

    Oh, every fragrance that I sample and test over the next four days will be on PAPER ONLY. I'm saving my skin for the Tournament...and applying plenty of Cocoa Butter in the meantime in preparation. My skin is silky smooth.

    Okay, while I wait for people to enter the contest, I'll put up the first 4 descriptions of the first 4 samples. I've provided a list of all the possible fragrances for convenience's sake right above my descriptions.Here we go:


    List of All Fragrances

    Ambre 114: Histoires de Parfums
    Ambre Russe: Parfum d'Empire
    Atlantic: Strange Invisible Perfums
    Avant Garde: M. Micallef
    Cereus No.6: Cereus
    Cereus No.11: Cereus
    Coze: Parfumerie Generale
    De Bachmakov: The Different Company
    Frank No. 2: Frank Los Angeles
    Gaiac: M. Micallef
    Jade: Olivier Durbano
    L'Ombre Fauve: Parfumerie Generale
    Memoir Man: Amouage
    Ormonde Man: Ormonde Jayne
    Thundra: Profumum Roma
    Wazamba: Parfum d'Empire

    Paper Test Strip Blind Sampling Madness Preliminary Round: Day One!


    #1: This opens very fresh with a citrus/fruity top. It almost smells like a high quality designer fragrance, or maybe something Creed would release. There seems to be some melon floating around, and some anise or licorice providing a sweetness. The anise note is fairly distinct. If Millesime Imperial went slumming and had a love child with Nautica Voyage, this would be the result. I think this would make a really nice office/work scent. It's smooth and well-blended. and although it's not the most interesting scent I've encountered, it's extremely pleasant. A good Spring/Summer option. Hopefully my skin doesn't screw it all up. Half an hour later and this frag has become a non-descript, vague blob on the test strip. I wonder about its longevity. I can't imagine a woman wearing this.

    #2: Cotton Candy, Benzoin, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Tonka and Sweet Amber. That's the first thing that comes to mind. This has a bit of a gourmand feel to it. I find it VERY APPEALING. There is an excellent balance between the amber and what I believe is Cinnamon or Nutmeg. It's smooth, and the sweetness is tempered perfectly with well-blended spices and woulds. As it warms up it gets really soft and cozy, in a sexy way. There's a smokiness to this that reminds me of a freshly baked Christmas cookie, or gingerbread served with a glass of Eggnog. Nice. Unisex leaning toward masculine. I have an idea of which fragrance this might be, but I'm really not sure.

    #3: This opens with a strong Pear note. I don't think I've smelled pear in a fragrance before and I'm not sure how I feel about it. This is like a green, slightly unripe pear with a slice of lemon. Very pear dominant. I'll probably find out that there's no pear at all in this fragrance and be all embarrassed. But that's what I smell, dammit. There's not much else going on, maybe it will react different on a human. Definitely unisex. About an hour later and this has revealed a spicy bottom (!) marked by cloves. I'm pleased with its development.

    #4 I like the opening silage of this one---it's fresh and kind of sweet. This is really interesting...It definitely seems like Cumin is in play, but it's weird because it's underneath a bubblegummy sweet top. Not overly sweet, but very fresh, kind of like the top in Spice Bomb or One Million, but not that sweet, and I think I like the understatedness (is that a word?) of this one more (despite really liking Spice Bomb). The cumin contrasts really well, but it's not overpowering or exhibiting its B.O. tendencies this time around. This works just fine for me. In the past, I've found that bubblegum note has been provided by Saffron or Pink Pepper in combination with a flower like Jasmine, so maybe there's some of that in here (I don't know, your guess is as good as mine...literally, because you're relying on my impressions! ). I'm dying to know what these notes are. This is well-blended, but simple. There's not too much going on. It's a good one. Feels unisex to me.


    That's it for today! I hope to see some of you in the contest!


    By the way, the PRIZES are:

    1st Place: A 5ml Decant in a snazzy atomizer of the winning fragrance, plus your choice of 6 of the remaining samples from the tournament or) A 99% full 100ml bottle of Rocawear Evolution (Ha!)

    2nd Place: A 3ml glass atomizer filled with the winning fragrance, plus 6 of the remaining samples from the tournament of your choice (after 1st place has chosen theirs) or) a 99% full 1.7oz bottle of Hugh Parsons Blue (yuck!).

    3rd Place: 4 of the remaining samples from the tournament and a giant 6oz. bottle of "R" by Revillon (sorry silent rich, it gives me a headache!)

    Goodluck and Godspeed!
    Last edited by Buysblind; 1st December 2012 at 12:38 AM.
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  17. #17
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    I've actually only smelled one of these ( and I *thought* I had a lot of samples ! ) but I'll be following this adventure with interest anyhow.

    Last year's round was one of the more interesting things I saw on BN all year.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    I've actually only smelled one of these ( and I *thought* I had a lot of samples ! ) but I'll be following this adventure with interest anyhow.

    Last year's round was one of the more interesting things I saw on BN all year.

    Thanks, Birdboy. This year's is going to be a little different than last year's.

    Hey, if you haven't actually sampled some of these you can always read up on the others to try and get an idea of which one I'm describing.
    Check out my current NICHE SALE, you can't beat these prices!

  19. #19
    timaru's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Based on what I read from you overall and that includes quite a lot I have a feeling that I know what is going to be the winner... Ambre 114. It deserves it's praise.

    Other than that very good stuff indeed, I'l be following this thread with interest.
    Smellin good

  20. #20

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Quote Originally Posted by timaru View Post
    Based on what I read from you overall and that includes quite a lot I have a feeling that I know what is going to be the winner... Ambre 114. It deserves it's praise.

    Other than that very good stuff indeed, I'l be following this thread with interest.

    Yeah, I don't know...Last year Ambre Precieux won, so I'm kind of not looking for an Amber fragrance this year. However, good is good, and if Ambre 114 is all I've heard it is, then it has a very good chance of winning. At this point, I've sort of forgotten all of the details that I've read about it, and I'm intentionally not reading anymore until the tourney's over.
    Check out my current NICHE SALE, you can't beat these prices!

  21. #21
    Dependent L'Homme Blanc Individuel's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    Oh yes, I'm in full-on nerd-mode right now.
    Awesome!!!
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  22. #22

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    I didn't even know there was a Cereus No. 6


  23. #23

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Hi Buysblind....

    I remember following your blind sampling exercise last year. I found it interesting, informative, and fun.

    I'm looking forward to following this year's journey.......

  24. #24

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    @HDDP: I appreciate the Serge Lutens L'Eau Froide suggestion. It's been mentally noted and my mind is like an iron trap. I just hope it doesn't smell like Sigmund Freud and I also hope Chris Sheldrake didn't do it. Something about his compositions don't jibe right with me.

    @HDD8: Did you know there's another guy in this post named "HDDP?" Weird, eh?


    Okay, there's still way too many slots to fill in this contest, so if you have any inclination at all send me a PM with the following information: In the subject heading write "Sampling Tourney 2012: USERNAME" and in the message include your shipping information Everyone's welcome. I mentioned the prizes above, but they basically include left over samples, small decants of the winning fragrance, and a bottle of Rocawear Evolution or Hugh Parson's Blue.

    Here's some pictures taken before the Preliminary Round (which is going on now) just so you now I'm not pulling a fast one on you.

    http://tinyurl.com/bs44ua6

    You'll see 1) A pile of Luckyscent dab vial samples I emptied and dumped into spray vials on top of a Mexican food menu. I dislike dab vials, but loooove Maria's Kitchen. 2) The red jar I'm going to cash in when this thing's finally over. 3) My notebook and some more samples. 4) Sample vials wrapped in blue tape so I can properly deceive myself (I was worried b/c a few samples have green juice, but with the reflection of the blue tape ALL THE JUICE IS GREEN!)

    Anyway, here's the four mystery fragrances I sampled today.

    Paper Test Strip Blind Sampling Madness Preliminary Round: Day Two: Happy Same Day!




    #5 This smells like one fine classy and very WASPY gentleman. The kind of man who sips aged Cognac in his personal library of leatherbound books after a day of duck hunting in the marshes with his hounds. Returning to his estate he unwinds before an elegant fireplace and reads Atlantic Monthly. Honestly, does anybody know anyone like this? But how many times do you read reviews that refer to such a man? Well, this fragrance smells just like him. The top is very...Bel Ami, Bois du Portugal, PdN New York and--it kept annoying the crap out of me until finally--YES! HERITAGE! It smells very much like Heritage in the opening; lemony, pepper, lavender, etc. But what's weird is it takes a fruity floral turn and becomes cooler rather than richer. And something that smells like a pear emerges. This is fresher than Heritage, BdP, and New York. It's like a Chypre-Light. A Fruity, Floral Chypre, which I just discovered is actually a real fragrance group. I didn't know there were fruity Chypres. Well, this is kind of like that.

    #6 I get a BIG blast of amber right off the top. This smells very similar to Ambre Precieux (last year's winner), but it is less spicy and more clear. Powdery, with some vanilla, and very smooth. It's nice. It's a pure straightforward amber, definitely unisex maybe even leaning a little bit toward the feminine side. It's not as interesting or dynamic or complex as Ambre Precieux, but quite similar. If you are looking for a pure amber, check this one out. Oh...that's right. You don't know what this one is!


    I'm adding this to break the monotony of black and white text.


    #7 Have you ever smelled Lorenzo Villoresi's Uomo? No? Then have you smelled this? Well, if you have, you've smelled Lorenzo Villoresi's Uomo. This smells just like it. The resemblance is startling. Lemon and Bergamot over Pepper, Vetiver, Coriander, and Cardamom and other stuff. This is a good every day scent for work. It's very well blended, smooth, and has a nice minty note that keeps it cool all the way. But it still packs a little spicy kick. This is really well done. However, I find Uomo much more lively. It's more dynamic, and in the words of Bigsly the Blob Hater, there is greater "note separation." (As a side note, I don't think Bigsly liked Uomo very much or found it to have any dynamism or note separation for that matter). Although this isn't what I'm looking for at the moment, it could be a great signature scent for the right person. It's a traditional citrus-aromatic with some woods and it stays fresh and smooth enough to never feel dated. It has a timeless feeling and could easily appeal to an older gentleman or a young guy who wishes he were an older gentleman.

    #8 Jesus, what is it today? The opposite of opposite day? Same Day? This is the 3rd fragrance I've sampled in a row that smells exactly like another fragrance. I own Terre D'Hermes and I sampled Red Vetyver in last year's tournament, so what is this lackluster carbon copy I have on my test strip here before me? The opening is practically identical to TdH. It's just a teency eency bit more sour (in a bad way). It lacks the earthiness of Red Vetyver. It seems the mineralic flint note has been replaced by some kind of...violet? I dunno, flowers are not my forte. This is a castrated version of Terre d'Hermes. TdH Light. "Oh, well Terre d'Hermes has always been castrated!" What's that you say, you Kouros loving Musc Koublai Khan fanatics out there? No it hasn't. Go drink a bottle of Yatagan! And if you think TdH has been castrated, then wait until you get a whiff of this eunuchy mimic. At least Red Vetyver is a good imitation of TdH. But this is just appalling. And guess what? I know what it is. Do you?

    HASTA MANYANA!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Anybody else want to enter the contest?


    You guys know it's free, right?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by scentiMENTAL1 View Post
    I actually remember last year's tournament, is that sad or what?

    No. That's awesome.

    Okay....

    I'm extending the timeline to enter the contest until Saturday. By then all my initial impressions will be up and we'll be ready to start the tournament bracket.

    Here's today's samples:

    Paper Test Strip Blind Sampling Madness Preliminary Round: Day THREE: Is My Nose Breaking? Why Does Everything Smell Like Chocolate?


    #9 This is a weird one...It opens with...chocolate? And some kind of earthy/rooty vegetal smell. Now it's taking a turn and it smells like crumbled blue cheese. There's also some berries poking through. The blue cheese/gorgonzola note is really weird. I'm wondering if there's some kind of reaction with the paper test strip that's throwing off the composition. I don't really like this. It's hard to tell what's going on and it's all over the place. I've had enough of Crumbled Bleu de Chanel!

    #10 This is a good one. Dry, dark chocolate , dirty, earthy patchouli (i think), and some cloves that smell like weed (the kind you smoke, not the kind you rip out of your garden--unless you grow pot in your garden!). Very original and different. I like it, though I'm not sure if it's something I could wear too often.

    #11 The opening smells like boozy chocolate liqueur, to be specific, those little bottles wrapped in tinfoil you see around the holidays. When this wears off I'm left with spicy tobacco. There's an accord I've smelled in Ambre Sultan and Absolue Pour Le Soir, it's musky and a little skanky. The scent seems sort of subdued or reserved. At least on paper.

    #12 This is weak. Or I'm anosmic to something in it. It kind of smells like wet socks. Sour, minty musk. I think there's even some sweat in there, the sour, musky kind (like in Kouros). The whole thing is so faint. I'll be damned if this is something I had high hopes for. Now it's half an hour later and the scent has actually increased in strength. As it develops it gets really dirty, skankier, muskier, and...patchoulier. I'm not crazy about this one at the moment.


    WARNING: These last descriptions may be horribly inaccurate. For some reason everything smells like it opens with chocolate...but I can remember ordering only one sample that actually had chocolate listed as a note. I have no idea why I'm smelling chocolate in everything.
    Last edited by Buysblind; 28th November 2012 at 01:27 AM.
    Check out my current NICHE SALE, you can't beat these prices!

  25. #25

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Haha, you had one of those days were we get stuck smelling the same all the time, the brain fools us.
    Mine are usually about fish fresh from the market or salad dressing.
    We want a niche forum.

  26. #26

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_Towers View Post
    Haha, you had one of those days were we get stuck smelling the same all the time, the brain fools us.
    Mine are usually about fish fresh from the market or salad dressing.

    Fish? Yuck. I got fish from Hypnose once and couldn't never look at it the same.

    Besides chocolate, I'm not sure if I was supposed to be smelling crumbled blue cheese either.

    It's really possible my nose was shot from all the sniffing I've been up to the last week.



    The Final 4 Impressions will be posted tonight. YOU CAN STILL ENTER THE CONTEST. For some reason I have a paltry number of constestants this year and I would like to increase the number before moving on.

    The next round is the face-off, where frags start getting knocked out. It'll be fun. Especially since you will know what the frags are, but I won't. You'll fill out a bracket (March Madness NCAA style) and you'll be able to see how off-base some of my impressions are while secretly rooting for your favorite one to make it through.

    Be back soon!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Alright, here's the last 4 samples of the group:

    Paper Test Strip Blind Sampling Madness Preliminary Round: Day Four: Out Without a Bang


    #13 I like this immediately. This mint is more apparent in this one than any other I've sampled so far. And there's incense too. The mint is very plant-like--a wet, herbal mint....And the incense disappears, and then comes back almost in waves. It seems to play back and forth with the mint, and the incense becomes ashier with time. The mint seems to move to the background and the mildly smoky incense comes to the forefront. This is not a loud scent, but it's unique, and one I immediately liked.

    #14 A pale yellow and white scent. A citrusy floral. Very spring-like. It also seems there's some light spice to it, maybe pepper or coriander. It's a familiar scent, but at the same time there could be a couple notes I've never encountered before. I can't identify the floral note but it's kind of sharp, but in a really fresh way, and could be one that's used more often in women's perfumes. The floral accord really emerges as the scent settles in. This is unisex leaning toward feminine.

    #15 This is a WEIRD one. Talk about your Froot Loops, Apple Jack Fun Dip Sweet Tarts opening...I've heard people compare M7 Fresh to Froot Loops and even some lunatic compare Invasion Barbare to Fruity Pebbles, but this takes the cake. A very synthetic frosted fruit opening follow up by......CIGARETTES IN AN ASHTRAY? Is that myrrhe? I don't know what's responsible for it, but it smells like the house of a smoker. A serious cigarette-ash base. And in the middle it's spicy and smoky. A very strange transition throughout. Don't know if I could wear it, But at least it's interesting.

    #16 Here's a Haiku!

    Damp musty green tea
    And unremarkable mint
    Neither here nor there


    And there you have it--16 Blind Samples and 16 Impressions. I'm dying to know what they are, but won't know for a while. However, my wife will post a link revealing all the samples' names once I receive the guesses from the contestants.


    So, if you're in the contest or wish to enter, after you read through the impressions, take a look at the list of Fragrances that are on the test list, and try to guess which is which. I'll post the answers after I receive all the contestants replies...

    You can still enter the contest! Just read through all the rules and stuff. Registration is open until Sunday @ 8 PM.
    Last edited by Buysblind; 1st December 2012 at 12:48 AM.
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  27. #27
    Dependent Possum-Pie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    You are a trip! This sounds like fun, I could see myself trying something like this, I can be OCD about some things. I think I will follow your progress...

  28. #28
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Oh brother, I've only smelled one or two of these, but it seems there are some that YOU like right off the bat....at least on paper, so it will be interesting to see if your enthusiasm continues for these same ones as they pass through the rounds.

    It may be like comparing apples and oranges for some of these, but even that will be interesting.

  29. #29

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Thanks for sharing so far, good luck in future with your scents tournaments and enjoy!

    Quite an impressive listing and detailing above.
    Currently wearing: Antaeus by Chanel

  30. #30

    Default Re: The 2nd Annual, 2012 BLIND Sampling Tournament Will Begin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    Oh brother, I've only smelled one or two of these, but it seems there are some that YOU like right off the bat....at least on paper, so it will be interesting to see if your enthusiasm continues for these same ones as they pass through the rounds.

    It may be like comparing apples and oranges for some of these, but even that will be interesting.

    That's right, Birdboy I'm curious to see how these frags react on skin as opposed to the test strip. I'm hoping the ones I liked just get better and the ones I didn't like develop differently. Fat chance of that.


    It's good to see some of you guys following this!


    Okay...My Side of The Preliminary Round is COMPLETE!. Now it's time for the Basenoters who entered the contest to send me their lists with their guesses. So remember, just list the Fragrance Number, and what you believe is the name. My wife will tally up your score and I'll let you know how many you got right. That will be your score before we begin Round 2.

    I've made my guesses already. I went through my list of impressions and read reviews on Fragrantica, Basenotes, and a bunch of other websites and tried to determine what I was sniffing. But of course, I don't know how many I got right or wrong, and I won't know until this tournament's completely over. But, I will post my guesses (after I receive yours). And my wife will post a list revealing the correct fragrance names and matching numbers that you can look at to see how you did (and how I did). I will not view this link (though it will be very tempting) because it would ruin the experiment. Then, finally, I'll set up the tournament bracket for you to fill out--at this point, you'll know which fragrances are battling which, but I will still not know. Got it?

    By the way, anyone still wishing to enter is free to do so, since the Prelim Round is still open.


    So for the sake of convenience, and to condense everything into one easy-to-use place, I will post below a list of the fragrances involved in the tournament (they're listed in alphabetical order, so it has nothing to do with the random numbers they receive), and all of my impressions from the preliminary round. In the meantime, I'll wait for your guess lists! Let's try to get them in by Tuesday night.

    FRAGRANCES

    Ambre 114: Histoires de Parfums
    Ambre Russe: Parfum d'Empire
    Atlantic: Strange Invisible Perfums
    Avant Garde: M. Micallef
    Cereus No.6: Cereus
    Cereus No.11: Cereus
    Coze: Parfumerie Generale
    De Bachmakov: The Different Company
    Frank No. 2: Frank Los Angeles
    Gaiac: M. Micallef
    Jade: Olivier Durbano
    L'Ombre Fauve: Parfumerie Generale
    Memoir Man: Amouage
    Ormonde Man: Ormonde Jayne
    Thundra: Profumum Roma
    Wazamba: Parfum d'Empire


    IMPRESSIONS LIST

    #1: This opens very fresh with a citrus/fruity top. It almost smells like a high quality designer fragrance, or maybe something Creed would release. There seems to be some melon floating around, and some anise or licorice providing a sweetness. The anise note is fairly distinct. If Millesime Imperial went slumming and had a love child with Nautica Voyage, this would be the result. I think this would make a really nice office/work scent. It's smooth and well-blended. and although it's not the most interesting scent I've encountered, it's extremely pleasant. A good Spring/Summer option. Hopefully my skin doesn't screw it all up. Half an hour later and this frag has become a non-descript, vague blob on the test strip. I wonder about its longevity. I can't imagine a woman wearing this.

    #2: Cotton Candy, Benzoin, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Tonka and Sweet Amber. That's the first thing that comes to mind. This has a bit of a gourmand feel to it. I find it VERY APPEALING. There is an excellent balance between the amber and what I believe is Cinnamon or Nutmeg. It's smooth, and the sweetness is tempered perfectly with well-blended spices and woulds. As it warms up it gets really soft and cozy, in a sexy way. There's a smokiness to this that reminds me of a freshly baked Christmas cookie, or gingerbread served with a glass of Eggnog. Nice. Unisex leaning toward masculine. I have an idea of which fragrance this might be, but I'm really not sure.

    #3: This opens with a strong Pear note. I don't think I've smelled pear in a fragrance before and I'm not sure how I feel about it. This is like a green, slightly unripe pear with a slice of lemon. Very pear dominant. I'll probably find out that there's no pear at all in this fragrance and be all embarrassed. But that's what I smell, dammit. There's not much else going on, maybe it will react different on a human. Definitely unisex. About an hour later and this has revealed a spicy bottom (!) marked by cloves. I'm pleased with its development.

    #4 I like the opening silage of this one---it's fresh and kind of sweet. This is really interesting...It definitely seems like Cumin is in play, but it's weird because it's underneath a bubblegummy sweet top. Not overly sweet, but very fresh, kind of like the top in Spice Bomb or One Million, but not that sweet, and I think I like the understatedness (is that a word?) of this one more (despite really liking Spice Bomb). The cumin contrasts really well, but it's not overpowering or exhibiting its B.O. tendencies this time around. This works just fine for me. In the past, I've found that bubblegum note has been provided by Saffron or Pink Pepper in combination with a flower like Jasmine, so maybe there's some of that in here (I don't know, your guess is as good as mine...literally, because you're relying on my impressions! ). I'm dying to know what these notes are. This is well-blended, but simple. There's not too much going on. It's a good one. Feels unisex to me.

    Thanks for reading....go stretch your legs!

    #5
    This smells like one fine classy and very WASPY gentleman. The kind of man who sips aged Cognac in his personal library of leatherbound books after a day of duck hunting in the marshes with his hounds. Returning to his estate he unwinds before an elegant fireplace and reads Atlantic Monthly. Honestly, does anybody know anyone like this? But how many times do you read reviews that refer to such a man? Well, this fragrance smells just like him. The top is very...Bel Ami, Bois du Portugal, PdN New York and--it kept annoying the crap out of me until finally--YES! HERITAGE! It smells very much like Heritage in the opening; lemony, pepper, lavender, etc. But what's weird is it takes a fruity floral turn and becomes cooler rather than richer. And something that smells like a pear emerges. This is fresher than Heritage, BdP, and New York. It's like a Chypre-Light. A Fruity, Floral Chypre, which I just discovered is actually a real fragrance group. I didn't know there were fruity Chypres. Well, this is kind of like that.

    #6 I get a BIG blast of amber right off the top. This smells very similar to Ambre Precieux (last year's winner), but it is less spicy and more clear. Powdery, with some vanilla, and very smooth. It's nice. It's a pure straightforward amber, definitely unisex maybe even leaning a little bit toward the feminine side. It's not as interesting or dynamic or complex as Ambre Precieux, but quite similar. If you are looking for a pure amber, check this one out. Oh...that's right. You don't know what this one is!

    #7 Have you ever smelled Lorenzo Villoresi's Uomo? No? Then have you smelled this? Well, if you have, you've smelled Lorenzo Villoresi's Uomo. This smells just like it. The resemblance is startling. Lemon and Bergamot over Pepper, Vetiver, Coriander, and Cardamom and other stuff. This is a good every day scent for work. It's very well blended, smooth, and has a nice minty note that keeps it cool all the way. But it still packs a little spicy kick. This is really well done. However, I find Uomo much more lively. It's more dynamic, and in the words of Bigsly the Blob Hater, there is greater "note separation." (As a side note, I don't think Bigsly liked Uomo very much or found it to have any dynamism or note separation for that matter). Although this isn't what I'm looking for at the moment, it could be a great signature scent for the right person. It's a traditional citrus-aromatic with some woods and it stays fresh and smooth enough to never feel dated. It has a timeless feeling and could easily appeal to an older gentleman or a young guy who wishes he were an older gentleman.

    #8 Jesus, what is it today? The opposite of opposite day? Same Day? This is the 3rd fragrance I've sampled in a row that smells exactly like another fragrance. I own Terre D'Hermes and I sampled Red Vetyver in last year's tournament, so what is this lackluster carbon copy I have on my test strip here before me? The opening is practically identical to TdH. It's just a teency eency bit more sour (in a bad way). It lacks the earthiness of Red Vetyver. It seems the mineralic flint note has been replaced by some kind of...violet? I dunno, flowers are not my forte. This is a castrated version of Terre d'Hermes. TdH Light. "Oh, well Terre d'Hermes has always been castrated!" What's that you say, you Kouros loving Musc Koublai Khan fanatics out there? No it hasn't. Go drink a bottle of Yatagan! And if you think TdH has been castrated, then wait until you get a whiff of this eunuchy mimic. At least Red Vetyver is a good imitation of TdH. But this is just appalling. And guess what? I know what it is. Do you?

    Secret Buried Prize: PM me your name and shipping info and I will send you a free 5ml decant of Abercrombie and Fitch Fierce....it might even be 10mls, I'm not sure, but I think it's 5. In the subject title write "GIMME DAT DECANT, FOOL!

    #9 This is a weird one...It opens with...chocolate? And some kind of earthy/rooty vegetal smell. Now it's taking a turn and it smells like crumbled blue cheese. There's also some berries poking through. The blue cheese/gorgonzola note is really weird. I'm wondering if there's some kind of reaction with the paper test strip that's throwing off the composition. I don't really like this. It's hard to tell what's going on and it's all over the place. I've had enough of Crumbled Bleu de Chanel!

    #10 This is a good one. Dry, dark chocolate , dirty, earthy patchouli (i think), and some cloves that smell like weed (the kind you smoke, not the kind you rip out of your garden--unless you grow pot in your garden!). Very original and different. I like it, though I'm not sure if it's something I could wear too often.

    #11 The opening smells like boozy chocolate liqueur, to be specific, those little bottles wrapped in tinfoil you see around the holidays. When this wears off I'm left with spicy tobacco. There's an accord I've smelled in Ambre Sultan and Absolue Pour Le Soir, it's musky and a little skanky. The scent seems sort of subdued or reserved. At least on paper.

    #12 This is weak. Or I'm anosmic to something in it. It kind of smells like wet socks. Sour, minty musk. I think there's even some sweat in there, the sour, musky kind (like in Kouros). The whole thing is so faint. I'll be damned if this is something I had high hopes for. Now it's half an hour later and the scent has actually increased in strength. As it develops it gets really dirty, skankier, muskier, and...patchoulier. I'm not crazy about this one at the moment.

    How ya doin so far? 4 more to go!


    #13 I like this immediately. This mint is more apparent in this one than any other I've sampled so far. And there's incense too. The mint is very plant-like--a wet, herbal mint....And the incense disappears, and then comes back almost in waves. It seems to play back and forth with the mint, and the incense becomes ashier with time. The mint seems to move to the background and the mildly smoky incense comes to the forefront. This is not a loud scent, but it's unique, and one I immediately liked.

    #14 A pale yellow and white scent. A citrusy floral. Very spring-like. It also seems there's some light spice to it, maybe pepper or coriander. It's a familiar scent, but at the same time there could be a couple notes I've never encountered before. I can't identify the floral note but it's kind of sharp, but in a really fresh way, and could be one that's used more often in women's perfumes. The floral accord really emerges as the scent settles in. This is unisex leaning toward feminine.

    #15 This is a WEIRD one. Talk about your Froot Loops, Apple Jack Fun Dip Sweet Tarts opening...I've heard people compare M7 Fresh to Froot Loops and even some lunatic compare Invasion Barbare to Fruity Pebbles, but this takes the cake. A very synthetic frosted fruit opening follow up by......CIGARETTES IN AN ASHTRAY? Is that myrrhe? I don't know what's responsible for it, but it smells like the house of a smoker. A serious cigarette-ash base. And in the middle it's spicy and smoky. A very strange transition throughout. Don't know if I could wear it, But at least it's interesting.

    #16 Here's a Haiku!

    Damp musty green tea
    And unremarkable mint
    Neither here nor there


    Send me your lists!.

    See ya!
    Last edited by Buysblind; 2nd December 2012 at 03:42 PM.
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