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  1. #1

    Cool 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    This years tournament theme is "NICHE ONLY."

    Here's a link to Round 1 which has all the information about the tournament up until this point. Read it if you want to know the background or if you're a contestant you can use it as a reference for making predictions.

    http://tinyurl.com/cmn46bf

    We can let that thread sink now and any new comments or replies can now go under this one.


    After the Preliminary Round we have:

    Hobbes22 with 7 Points
    Gamma with 7 Points
    JiveHippo with 4
    Birdboy with 3




    Here is the OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT BRACKET for 2012.


    http://tinyurl.com/aa6lhef


    I don't use this bracket, only the contestants do. I still don't know the names of the fragrances. My bracket only has the numbers.

    You'll notice the bracket is broken into two conferences: The Aventus Conference and The Kouros Conference.



    Scoring is as follows for each correct prediction:



    Round 1: 1 point

    Round 2: 2 points

    Round 3: 4 Points

    Round 4: 7 points (this would mean you predicted the winner from the very beginning)


    Scores for the bracket round will be added to your scores from the preliminary round. I won't look at or add up your predictions until the very end.


    Each fragrance will be worn, and then given a score out of a possible 40.

    Broken down as follows:

    Opening: 5
    Mid/Heart: 10
    Base: 5
    Projection and Longevity: 5
    Versatility: 5
    Wife's Opinion: 5
    Intrigue: 5

    Intrigue basically refers to the interest a fragrance holds; is it hard to pin down; is it an accord I've never experienced; does it develop in unusual or unpredictable ways; etc.


    Which ever frag gets the higher score wins and goes on to the next round.

    Got it?

    Good luck!

    Buysblind

  2. #2
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    So, do I just make round #1 guesses now.....and wait till that round is done before guessing on round #2.....or guess them all now ?

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    So, do I just make round #1 guesses now.....and wait till that round is done before guessing on round #2.....or guess them all now ?
    Make all your guesses now. From 16 frags down to the last one standing.

  4. #4
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Guesses sent !

    - - - Updated - - -

    Guesses sent !

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    My guesses have been sent as well!

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Cool. Of course, I haven't looked at them, and won't until the tournament's over.

    Now I'm just waiting for JiveHippo and Hobbes22 to send me theirs and I'll start posting the results.

    Maybe you guys want to send each other your guesses so you can keep an eye on your competition throughout the tournament.

  7. #7
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    I'll be really interested in how things shake out. I checked with Gamma, and our sense of things is pretty similar.

    Looking forward to being surprised though.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    I'll be really interested in how things shake out. I checked with Gamma, and our sense of things is pretty similar.

    Looking forward to being surprised though.
    Birdboy, you won't have to wait much longer!

    I'm almost finished with the first round, or the Sweet Sixteen, as it's called. I have one final matchup going on tonight and that's it. As it is, I'm really eager to post up the results and then begin Round 2!

    At the moment, the frag I'm sampling is probably my favorite 'scent' in the whole experiment. It's well balanced, versatile, perfect for the Fall and Winter and it smells fantastic, but--IT IS SOOO WEAK! And so short-lived. It has horrible projection and longevity (and the base is almost non-existent) and because of that, probably won't even make it through Round One. I'm not a projection/longevity freak either--I like things appropriately loud or soft--but this is just sad. Arggh.

    I've noticed that a lot of the fragrances I've sampled this year have some really high points, some great moments, but they just can't manage to put it altogether in the end, or they veer off course somewhere along the way. I'm not even saying they necessarily start out great, and then fall apart. Some seem to have flaws in the opening, but pick it up in the mid and base.


    Be back soon!

  9. #9
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Low projection and longevity seems to be a growing trend. I have a few like that which I enjoy, but wonder if I my like for them would be seen as supporting a trend that I don't really agree with.

    Not that what any one person thinks is likely to make a difference....
    Last edited by Birdboy48; 18th December 2012 at 06:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Dependent hobbes22's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Hey Buysblind, sorry for my late reply, but I will get my bracket to you as soon as I can! I'll have it over to you later tonight at the latest

  11. #11

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Round One results are in. Again, here's the scoring system:

    Each fragrance will be worn, and then given a score out of a possible 40.

    Broken down as follows:

    Opening: 5
    Mid/Heart: 10
    Base: 5
    Projection and Longevity: 5
    Versatility: 5
    Wife's Opinion: 5
    Intrigue: 5

    Intrigue basically refers to the interest a fragrance holds; is it hard to pin down; is it an accord I've never experienced; does it develop in unusual or unpredictable ways; etc.

    In the preliminary round, all frags were sampled on paper. Now, in the Bracket Tournament, everything is being tested on skin. It makes a huge difference, and some fragrances that I loved on paper, aren't performing as well on skin, and vice versa.

    I still don't know the names of any of these fragrances. Only the contestants do. And it's drving me CRAZY! But I've decided to keep it real, and not even take as much as a peek until the entire thing's over. Still, it's very annoying.

    Now that Round One is over, I'd say there's about 3 or 4 fragrances I really like, 3 I'm pretty sure won't do much, and a couple that have to potential to really make an impression in Round 2.

    In Round 2 I'm taking on the Malcom Gladwell "Blink" theory and simply making a quick, gut-based decision to determine who wins. No scores, no in-depth analysis. All that's going out the window. The complete opposite of Round One (which has been TEDIOUS, to say the least). I'm exhausted.

    Anyway, here's the Round One Bracket Results:

    http://tinyurl.com/buo4n43


    WAIT! THIS LINK'S EVEN BETTER. IT'S EASIER TO READ: http://tinyurl.com/dxd4dqu



    If you're a contestant, you can take a look and see how you're doing. Do you still have a chance? Are you a goner? If you're not a contestant, you can take a look anyway, and see who's kicking whose ass, and how crazy it was that Memoir Man got knocked out by a relatively unknown, small-scale nichester.


    Round One Matchups and Results

    #5 vs #13: Final Score: 28 to 24.5: Winner = #5

    The middle stage of #5 really shines, it's a sweet, spicy wood with notes of plum, coffee and some booziness, dries down into a sweet amber skin scent with a touch of coffee. Good projection and longevity. I found this one a little stuffy when I tested it on paper but it really opened up on my skin. The amaretto-coffee accord really adds to it.

    #13....Ah, Memoir Man (I'm positive this has to be Memoir Man even though I haven't looked). What a disappointment! I had assumed MM would make it to the finals. Here's the problem: The wet, sweet, herbal spearmint in the opening just goes on and on for way too long. I like it for the first 15 minutes to half hour but it lasts at least an hour and a half to two hours on me, and it gets sickening. By then a soft, ashy incense mid kicks in and blends with the mint, but there's nothing spectacular about it to me. It's very authentic, but a little too one dimensional and quiet. I DO like the base, when some vanilla enters, I find it really nice. I hesitate to knock this out so early, because I've heard such great things about it, and I'm concerned it hasn't gotten a fair shake, but the bottom line is, #5 (whatever it is) just performed better.

    Score Breakdown:

    #5
    Opening: 3
    Mid: 8
    Base: 3
    Proj/Long: 4
    Wife's Opinion: 4
    Versatility: 3
    Intrigue: 3

    Overall: 28/40

    #13
    Opening: 3
    Mid: 6
    Base: 4
    Proj./Long: 2.5
    Wife: 2
    Versatility: 3
    Intrigue: 4

    Overall: 24.5/40


    #10 vs. #11 Final Score: 23 to 22: Winner: #10

    #10: A great scent for classy hippies! The chocolate, patchouli, cannabis, vanilla and general earthiness of this fragrance works well. I like it, but I'm not sure if it's for me. The patchouli is very thick in the middle stage--too thick for me! Still, I can't deny its quality. Fairly simple fragrance despite a decent amount of notes. I like that I can tell the notes apart in this one, and that it's not one jumbled mess. It's kind of heavy.

    #11: Huge blast of alcohol in the top, lots of spicy tobacco, a good amount of funky skank and amber. I HATE scents like this--they smell dirty to me--the sour skankiness ruins it and while some people enjoy this, I definitely do not. Still, it got a decent score in the end, but there's not point to push it through to the next round. The amber dry down is nice, but it takes hours of torture to get there.

    Score Breakdown:

    #10
    Opening: 4
    Mid: 6
    Base: 3
    Proj/Long: 4
    Wife: 1 (she hated this!)
    Versatility: 2
    Intrigue: 3 (I think LIDGE does the cocoa/patchouli thing much better)

    Overall: 23/40

    #11
    Opening: 4
    Mid: 5
    Base: 3
    Proj/Long: 4
    Wife: 1 (she hated this one even more!)
    Versatility: 2 (Other than orgies and dog fights I can't see where I'd wear this.)
    Intrigue: 3 (It changes a lot, which is interesting, but I dislike 70% of this scent).

    Overall: 22/40


    #2 vs. #1 29.5 to 21.5 Winner: #2

    #2: Seemed more nuanced on paper...This one smells GREAT but it is just a little too subdued, I wish it were stronger. Smells like a freshly baked gingerbread cookie without all the negative qualities of your typical gourmand (heavy, cloying, too "foody", lack of refinement, etc).

    #1: Liked it on paper, but on my skin it's just boring. A bland citrus with some leather or something...I don't know. It got annoying the longer it lingered on my skin. I wore it out to a party and kind of regretted it. Blah.

    Score Breakdown:

    #2
    Opening: 4.5 (i love it!)
    Mid: 8.0 (smells FANTASTIC...wish it were stronger)
    Base: 4.0
    Proj/Long: 2.0
    Wife: 3.5
    Versatility: 4
    Intrigue: 3.5

    Overall: 29.5/40

    #1
    Opening: 3
    Mid: 5
    Base: 2
    Pro/Long: 3.5
    Wife: 2.5
    Versatility: 4
    Intrigue: 1.5

    Overall: 21.5/40

    #9 vs. #3 29.5 to 19 (A Blowout!) Winner: #9

    #9: I was very, very surprised and intrigued by #9 this time around. This dry chocolate note transitions into a strange woody smell--it's like licorice and oud, a little on the spicy side. The strength of this fragrances increases over time and it becomes kind of soapy and clean. Has a discernible masculinity to it. Clean woody soapy scent with a touch of dry cocoa.

    #3: I can't get over the strange pear/apple fruity note that combines with this damp, vegetal smell that borders on musty (in the opening). The mid's my favorite part as it smells very similar to Guerlain Homme L'Eau (one of my favorites!), with a distinct minty citrus. Still, it lacks the crisp, fresh sparkling quality of Homme L'Eau--it's not as alive and bright--so it's just okay.

    Score Breakdown:

    #9
    Opening: 4
    Mid: 7
    Base: 4
    Pro/Long: 4
    Wife: 3.5
    Versatility: 3.5
    Intrigue: 3.5

    Overall: 29.5/40

    #3
    Opening: 2.5
    Mid: 6.5
    Base: 2
    Pro/Long: 2
    Wife: 2
    Vers: 2
    Intrigue: 2

    Overall: 19/40


    #12 vs. #8 27.5 to N/A[B]Winner: #12[B]

    #12: ALL AMBER up top. Reminds me of a more powdery Blue Amber by Montale. Halfway through and things get a little rough and dirty--but in a good way. It develops this crusty smell that's kind of like how skin smells after it's been licked. Then it gets musky, and the amber dries out...finally the drydown is soft and and sweet and musky. Very cozy.

    #8: I'm not bothering to score this. It's a cheap, soul-less version of Terre D'Hermes. Nothing worthwhile.


    Score Breakdown:

    #12
    Opening: 3
    Mid: 7
    Base: 4
    Pro/Long: 4
    Wife: 3
    Vers: 2.5
    Intrigue: 4

    Overall: 27.5/40



    #6 vs. #15 Score: 29.5 to 20.5 Winner: #6

    #6: This IS Montale's Blue Amber but better. Clear, translucent amber. A beautiful use of negative space. Refined. Well-calibrated. Even if this one doesn't win in the end, I will probably get it. It's the perfect amber fragrance.

    #15: Tart fruit and some florals over very dry, smoky, ashy incense. So ashy, so smoky (like cigarettes, almost) and very dry. Interesting, but I really don't like this and would never want to smell like it. There's a lot going on, and it's pretty strong, but it doesn't matter if you don't like it. If someone is going for fruit and flowers over bone dry ashy incense, look no further, this is your holy grail.

    Score Breakdown:

    #6
    Opening: 4
    Mid: 8.5
    Base: 4
    Pro/Long: 3
    Wife: 3.5
    Vers: 3.5
    Intrigue: 4

    Overall: 29.5/40

    #15
    Opening: 3
    Mid: 5
    Base: 2.5
    Vers: 1
    Wife: 2
    Pro/Long: 4
    Intrigue: 3

    Overall: 20.5/40


    #16 vs. #7 Score: 19.5 to 28.5 Winner: #7


    #16: It's musty and minty. If you took Skittles and Mint and wrapped it in a wet rag and stuffed it in the basement of a shoe store next to a shipment of shoe polish it might smell like this. That's a little dramatic, but it kind of smells like all that stuff. This scent is depressing--not in a pensive, introspective, melancholy kind of way--it's just dragging, and heavy and plodding. Sort of gloomy. No me gusta!

    #7: I like this. And I think I'd like it the more and more I wore it. The opening is a little sharp and astringent, but it gets cool and comfortable quickly. Doesn't remind me of Uomo as much this time around on my skin. The mint note is great, in that it's almost undetectable as mint, and instead works to provide a very cool breeze texture to the composition. I would describe this fragrance as an accord--very well blended and hard to distinguish individual notes. Interestingly, this warms up as it dries down and this is a marked contrast from the opening and mid.

    Score Breakdown:

    #16
    Opening: 2
    Mid: 6
    Base: 2
    Pro/Long: 3
    Wife: 1.5
    Vers: 3 (great for wakes, funerals, and sitting shiva!)
    Intrigue: 2

    Overall: 19.5/40

    #7
    Opening: 3
    Mid: 7.5
    Base: 4
    Pro/Long: 3
    Wife: 3
    Vers: 4
    Intrigue: 4

    Overall: 28.5/40

    #4 vs. #14 Score: 22.5 to 23.5 Winner: #14

    #4: This is the most frustrating fragrance of the tournament. It smells great, and features a superb balance of cumin (or cardamom and coriander), pink pepper, and amber. But it is just SOOO WEAK! I felt bad eliminating this, but it just did not deliver at all in the projection/longevity category--to the extent where it actually impeded the various stages of the fragrance.

    #14: The opening is like beautiful spring flowers marked by fresh citrus which all dry down into this creamy, vanilla-lemon "Allure Edition Blanche" base. This could be an excellent Spring/Summer fragrance, and I'm dying to know what it is. Different than anything else in the tournament, and definitely geared toward the warmer half of the year--it has "Spring" written all over it.

    Score Breakdown:

    #4
    Opening: 4.5 (would be 5 if it was stronger)
    Mid: 7
    Base: 3
    Pro/Long: 1.5
    Wife: 3
    Intrigue: 3.5

    Overall: 22.5/40

    #14
    Opening: 4
    Mid: 7
    Base: 3
    Vers: 3
    Wife: 1 (maybe she was in a bad mood? I don't know!)
    Pro/Long: 2.5
    Intrigue: 3

    Overall: 23.5/40



    ROUND TWO SCORES UP WITHIN THE WEEK. STAY TUNED!
    Last edited by Buysblind; 27th December 2012 at 03:06 PM.

  12. #12
    Dependent Akahina's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Love this. Problem is that the picture of the chart at tinyurl.com is so blurry I can't even guess what most of them are either!
    My Favorites

    1. Amouage Epic man
    2. Dior Leather Oud
    3. Perris Monte Carlo Oud Imperial Black
    4. Le Labo Patchouli 24
    5. Amouage Opus VII
    6. Byredo Bullion
    7. Norma Kamali Incense



    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.


    The IFRA can bite me!

  13. #13

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Akahina View Post
    Love this. Problem is that the picture of the chart at tinyurl.com is so blurry I can't even guess what most of them are either!

    Akahina, thanks for the feedback. It's important to be able to read the names.

    I didn't know the picture was blurry. I'll try to fix it... The problem is, I can't look at it!

    My wife has to take the picture and upload it since I'm doing this whole thing blindly.

    Okay, she fixed it!

    Here's the new link: http://tinyurl.com/dxd4dqu

    If you can't see this, get your eyes checked!

    Adios!
    Last edited by Buysblind; 26th December 2012 at 07:13 PM.

  14. #14
    Dependent Akahina's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Much better. Thanks!
    My Favorites

    1. Amouage Epic man
    2. Dior Leather Oud
    3. Perris Monte Carlo Oud Imperial Black
    4. Le Labo Patchouli 24
    5. Amouage Opus VII
    6. Byredo Bullion
    7. Norma Kamali Incense



    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.


    The IFRA can bite me!

  15. #15
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    ACK, #13 bites the dust in the first round !

    I suspect that's gonna deep-six a number of people's prediction sheets.

  16. #16

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    I'm going to jump right into Round 2 since I'm in the mood.

    I'll post each matchup and update the bracket at the end of the round.

    This time, I'm making quick decisions and going with my gut:

    ROUND 2: Blind Sampling Madness 2013: Bracket Tournament

    #7 vs #14: Fresh Fest!

    These are the two freshest scents in the tournament which is otherwise made up of spicy woody incensy semi-gourmandy things, and it's completely coincidental that they wound up in a head to head battle this round.

    #14: Creamy, lemony fresh florals with a sweet sugar candied frosting coating the whole thing. It's like a sophisticated, understated H.M. by Hanae Mori--minus the chocolate--and probably at least 5 times the price.

    #7: Chilly, bracing coolness, very clean and very crisp. This is driven by cold spearmint, and the top is the most lucid invocation of an icy breeze I've encountered thus far in my fragrance journey. The composition heats up ever so gradually, and the slightly sour, slightly bitter spice becomes warmer and just a touch sweeter (via amber) as it settles in.

    Do I want the cold bracing mint and spices of #7, or the sweet candied lemon and gentle flowers of #14?

    This is not a tough decision. I think #7 works much better on my skin and fits my personality more than #14, which I like, but believe could perform better altogether on someone else.

    I'm really beginning to like #7. It's a solid contender and could be an excellent scent for work.

    Winner: #7

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    ACK, #13 bites the dust in the first round !

    I suspect that's gonna deep-six a number of people's prediction sheets.

    I had high hopes for #13 (since I'm pretty sure it's MM), but it just didn't come through for me.

    I almost bought it blind--convinced I would certainly love it.

    How you making out so far, points wise?
    Last edited by Buysblind; 31st December 2012 at 01:57 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quite some surprises! I'm 50% knocked out after round one, and my overall winner has been knocked out already!

  18. #18

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamma View Post
    Quite some surprises! I'm 50% knocked out after round one, and my overall winner has been knocked out already!
    Gamma, don't worry, I think it's rough going all the way around!


    Let's continue...

    ROUND 2: Blind Sampling Madness 2013: Bracket Tournament



    #6 vs #9: A Question of Comfort

    This was a tough matchup. On the one hand I was dealing with a fragrance that was immediately appealing, comforting, and basically flawless in and of itself. On the other hand, I was smelling something completely unlike anything I've tried, intriguing, yet lacking the immediate likability of the other fragrance.

    #6: This is the perfect amber. And when I'm looking specifically for an amber fragrance I will buy this. There's no doubt about it. It doesn't over do it. It's not overly sweet or heavy. And it's not so reserved as to be frustrating. It's delicate, yet affirming. Had Ambre Precieux not won last year's tournament, this would certainly be heading toward the finals.

    #9: This one almost smells like it's from another planet. I'm having a tough time making out the notes. What I though was a dry chocolate note may not be after all. It could be some kind of rare wood. Either way, it has interesting characteristics: It's clean and almost soapy, masculine and somewhat modern, and it's very fresh but also has an outdoorsy dampness to it. There's a fogginess to it which contrasts with its general fresh cleanliness. Overall, it's very hard to pin down, but I'm finding that I really like it.

    This is a question of something that's comforting, easy to understand, and immediately likable, versus something that's bizarre and enigmatic, yet also quite appealing. I wouldn't choose a fragrance just because it's weird--I have to like it too.

    And I like #9, and I'm deciding to push it ahead to the next round. One of the reasons I do this tournament is to discover new and interesting fragrances, and this one completely caught me off guard. We'll see how it fairs in the next round.

    Winner: #9 (SEE EDIT BELOW)


    EDIT

    I had fragrance #9 on one arm and #6 on the other. During the day, I kept getting whiffs of something really nice. When I checked, each time it was #6. On the other hand, I grew tired of #9. Something about it seemed a little off, and kind of smelled like a mushroom or fungus. By the end of the day I realized #6 deserved to win, and it that #9 really wasn't my best option. So, #6 will go to the next round!

    - - - Updated - - -

    ROUND 2: Blind Sampling Madness 2013: Bracket Tournament

    #2 vs. #5: Spicy Woods Duke It Out!

    #2: This is would make a great Fall/Winter scent. A well blended accord of lightly spiced woods, that turns just a little sweet and smoky. It seems like some florals (iris?) quietly add to the background. This is one of my favorites. The composition maintains its presence without ever becoming heavy or intrusive. It could easily be dressed up or dressed down.Seems very unisex. I'd really like to see what this is like out of the bottle rather than a sample spray vial.

    #5: Something about the plum and coriander really reminds me of Egoiste (in the opening). This is a solid fragrance and the plum note is really well done. Another thing I really like about this one is that it features a prominent coffee and liqueur combination that doesn't begin to emerge at all until after about the first hour and a half. It then dominates the dry down. Overall, has a nice spiciness to it. Even though this one's not going to the next round, I may grab a bottle at some point, as it's really good. I just don't like it more than #2.

    Despite tough competition, #2 moves on. It's a very well crafted, subtle scent, yet solid and sturdy. Not to mention, it smells great.

    Winner: #2
    Last edited by Buysblind; 28th December 2012 at 06:07 PM.

  19. #19
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Hey wait ! I picked #9 !

    Does that mean I get half-credit ??

  20. #20

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    Hey wait ! I picked #9 !

    Does that mean I get half-credit ??

    Haha....No, sorry Birdboy! I was ready to push #9 through but it just wore on me as the day went on. I still haven't seen anybody's guesses yet, and it's for cases just like this why I wait till the end. If I had known you picked #9 I probably wouldn't have had the heart to pull a reversal on you!

    I'm wondering who's in first place right now...


    Okay, here comes the last matchup of the 2nd Round!



    ROUND 2: Blind Sampling Madness 2013: Bracket Tournament




    #10 vs. #12: An In-House Battle: Parfumerie Generale

    Somehow the 2 PG fragrances I selected for the tournament ended up in a head to head battle in the 2nd round (or at least I think they're the 2 PG fragrances. I don't know for sure, but all signs indicate that they are).

    #10: I like it. It's dry chocolate and earthiness, a touch mineralic, fairly straight forward and simple. It features big notes, blended together but still identifiable. Nice, but lacking something that I'm looking for. Some of the frags in this tourney have what feels like a very delicately, expertly crafted balance and calibration, and that's something I'm into at the moment. On my skin at least, this doesn't have that, or it's over my head, and I'm yet to experience it.

    #12: Wet socks amber. This is all about the dry down, where it gets really cozy and warm and nice. But if I put this on I wouldn't want to leave my house for at least 2 hours. It smells like wet clothes that have sat out too long. I really dislike the first hour of this, and I'm not crazy about it until about 3 hours in (when I really like it), but I can achieve a similar affect with other amber based fragrances that I enjoy from the beginning. I'm pretty sure this is L'Ombre Fauve.

    So #10 moves on.


    EDIT: I gotta say, while I'm not going back on this, and I'm still pushing #10 through, the dry-down to L'Ombre Fauve is incredible. It's such an inviting, addictive smell, and really rewards your patience if you get past the opening. I'm mentioning this because I don't want to dismiss L'Ombre Fauve as a fragrance that isn't worthwhile. I think it could make an excellent 'personal' fragrance, one to be enjoyed intimately while at home or somewhere private. The blend of animalic musky crustiness and sweet, rich amber is really something. And if you're looking for something like this, indeed, check it out.

    Winner: #10 (which I'm pretty sure is Coze)

    Round 2 is Complete! The Bracket, with Round 2 Results will be posted up later today. We're now down to the Final Four!
    Last edited by Buysblind; 29th December 2012 at 06:01 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    It would have been a surprise if #6 didn't pass, it's still the favorite to win.
    We want a 'Niche' forum.

  22. #22
    Dependent hobbes22's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Really enjoying reading these comparisons! Pretty sure I am knocked out at this point, but this is still fun to follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    EDIT: I gotta say, while I'm not going back on this, and I'm still pushing #10 through, the dry-down to L'Ombre Fauve is incredible. It's such an inviting, addictive smell, and really rewards your patience if you get past the opening. I'm mentioning this because I don't want to dismiss L'Ombre Fauve as a fragrance that isn't worthwhile. I think it could make an excellent 'personal' fragrance, one to be enjoyed intimately while at home or somewhere private. The blend of animalic musky crustiness and sweet, rich amber is really something. And if you're looking for something like this, indeed, check it out.
    L'Ombre Fauve is one of my favorites. Like you, I find the drydown the best part, and I imagine a lot of people write it off before they get to the good stuff. The opening is okay (I like it), but I love the later stages.

    That is, y'know, if #10 is actually L'Ombre Fauve...

  23. #23

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Hey guys, Here's the Round 2 Results in Bracket Form!

    http://tinyurl.com/a55lxwq


    So you can clearly see who has made it to the final four. Any surprises?


    I'm almost 100% positive about 2 of the 4 remainders (which frags they are), but the other 2 I'm not so sure about.


    @BrianTowers: #6 is a tough one, because while I'm not looking for an amber scent this time around (after all, Ambre Precieux won last year), I can't deny the quality and likability of it. It almost got beat by #9 (which was odd and different), but just proved to be a better fragrance in the end.

    @Hobbes22: What's strange about L'Ombre Fauve or "#12" , as we should call it, is that despite not liking the opening, I don't know if it could be done differently and still work. So it's almost like you have to accept it for what it is. It reminds me of the ugly duckling story. And I wouldn't be surprised if my interests returned to it somewhere down the road.

    I'm glad you guys are enjoying reading this stuff! It's been really fun to do the tournament this way and I can't wait until it's over and I can read the list and see who's who and what's what. I'm sure there's a few shockers that lie ahead.

    Now, it's time for the Final Four!

    Be back soon...

  24. #24
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Hummm.....what would have been my second choice to win the whole thing has made it to the final four...

  25. #25

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    The Final Four: First Matchup: #10 vs. #7

    Timing, Timing, Timing...

    The new year has just begun....and just in time. Right when I started to feel as though I was getting stuck in a rut, I was granted a clean slate and the impetus to make a fresh start for no reason other than a change in the date. Trivial? Perhaps. Cliche? Definitely. But at this point I don't care--I'll take it! Anything to get rid of this apathetic lethargy and general lack of motivation I've been experiencing for the last couple of months.

    So what does this have to do with #10 vs. #7? A lot!

    #10 is an excellent fragrance. It's different. It has an exquisite chocolate opening that I WISH! lasted a little bit longer. It touches upon the gourmand side without giving in to its sweeter tendencies, balancing it through the use of a dry coffee note. And it blends several different "earthy" elements together very well--mainly patchouli, cannabis, and some kind of woods. I like it. I enjoy it. I'm glad it made it to the Final Four. And I may purchase a bottle somewhere down the line. Maybe. But I have two issues with it: 1) As I get to the heart of the fragrance, it seems there is something (perhaps depth) that is lacking, just the slightest bit. I find myself looking for something else, but unable to find it. It could be my skin, that can sometimes devour even the strongest EDP. I don't know for sure. 2) Its character is on the heavier side of the spectrum. This is not an uplifting fragrance. It's not the least bit depressing either, but it makes me want to be kind of lazy. I would look to it on laid back, autumn nights, when I'm just hanging out with some friends having some beers and laughs.

    #7, on the other hand, with its cold, bracing, peppermint-powered citrus and cool, clear incense is ALL ABOUT invigoration and productivity! I generally wake up around 4:30 A.M. And on some mornings, that sucks. This is something I can throw on that will provide an immediate boost during these dark winter mornings and leave me feeling alert and refreshed. Far superior to your average 'fresh' fragrance with synthetic ozonics, sharp citrus notes and middling spices, this one persists with a robust, effortless quality that feels neither niche or designer. It's kind of how I imagine a quality 'vintage' scent, but with a modern appeal. Suitable for work and early mornings (though it would work perfectly well at night), this is exactly what I need to get back on track and make sure I enter 2013 on the right foot.

    So, not only for its outstanding quality and the simple fact that I love it and already feel addicted to it, #7 also wins as a result of timing. For me, this could very well be the fragrance of 2013.

    Winner: #7


    ***********Stay tuned for the results of #6 vs #2, coming soon...**********************

  26. #26

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    I agree with your opinion on #10, I immediately liked it and thought I'd buy a bottle.. but after a couple wearings I did notice the heart and drydown lacked a little substance and depth. I still like it a lot, but feel that it could have been amazing if it just had a little something extra.

  27. #27

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamma View Post
    I agree with your opinion on #10, I immediately liked it and thought I'd buy a bottle.. but after a couple wearings I did notice the heart and drydown lacked a little substance and depth. I still like it a lot, but feel that it could have been amazing if it just had a little something extra.
    What would you score it on a scale of 1 to 10?

  28. #28

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    What would you score it on a scale of 1 to 10?
    I have a little notepad and write down an overall impression score on all the fragrances I sample, just looked up #10 and I gave it 8.2/10 and I think that is still accurate.

    I usually find that fragrances I give 8.8 or higher are full bottle buys (or added to my wishlist).

  29. #29

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamma View Post
    I have a little notepad and write down an overall impression score on all the fragrances I sample, just looked up #10 and I gave it 8.2/10 and I think that is still accurate.

    I usually find that fragrances I give 8.8 or higher are full bottle buys (or added to my wishlist).
    That's cool that you keep track of them like that. I didn't expect you to actually have an exact score already filed away!

    I'd probably score it similarly, somewhere around an 8.

    Having tried 2 Parfumerie Generales for the first time in this tournament, I'm interested in trying others. I thought Coze and L'Ombre Fauve (or what I think are Coze and L'Ombre Fauve) were pretty good, and definitely interesting.

    - - - Updated - - -

    *************

    With one finalist, #7, already selected, we head into our other semi-final match....


    The Final Four: Second Matchup: #6 vs. #2

    Wardrobe Requirements

    One thing I feel my wardrobe is lacking is woody scents, in particular, a relaxed woods-based fragrance that I can wear comfortably in the evening, whether going out or staying in (Terre d'Hermes functions fine as my daytime woods, but at night, I'd like to be able to wear something different, more mellow). I'm also not looking for anything loud, formal, or too "foresty" (Norne's got me covered in the forest department). And in this tournament, I believe I've stumbled across exactly what I'm looking for as far as a relaxed, night-time woods-based fragrance: #2.

    #2 doesn't shout and it doesn't intrude. It's projection is moderate, though strong enough to pique one's attention (and hold it for a moment). It's warm without becoming heavy, and sweet without condescending to a certain crude, tackiness I feel many gourmands are guilty of. It also doesn't really smell like anything I else I own or have smelled before. The closest I can think of would be a strange hybrid of Eau des Baux and Spicebomb, but it really doesn't smell anything like either of them and is much more subdued than both. Classy, casual in its elegance, and relatively simple (there aren't too many things going on at once), #2 is a winner in my book (careful...I didn't say THE winner!).

    #6 is the perfect amber. I've discussed this already. It's full-bottle-worthy and I am certain I will buy it in the not-too-distant future. I can't say anything bad about it.

    But right now, I'm looking for woods, and in the meantime I can get my amber fix with last year's winner, Ambre Precieux.

    #2 is a great fragrance, and although it may not be as 'perfect' as #6, it's what I want now, and it's much different than anything else that I own. It will do an excellent job filling a specific gap in my wardrobe and will see plenty of use as I find it interesting, immediately appealing, and highly wearable.

    Winner: #2


    The Tournament Bracket will be updated later today. We're headed into the finals!

    #7 Versus #2


    Who do you think will win?


    See you soon!

  30. #30
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Well, #7 sounds like the sort of thing you were looking for when you first started this sniffing, and the seasonal timing is right...

    But you never heard me say any of that.

  31. #31

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    Well, #7 sounds like the sort of thing you were looking for when you first started this sniffing, and the seasonal timing is right...

    But you never heard me say any of that.

    Wait....

    Are you saying you picked #7?


    That would be crazy!


    Don't tell me if you did or not....


    I guess we'll just have to wait and find out.

    BY THE WAY...

    Here's the official updated bracket in case anyone wants to check it out:

    http://tinyurl.com/al7d4q2
    Last edited by Buysblind; 7th January 2013 at 01:07 AM.

  32. #32
    Dependent hobbes22's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    So, what scent won the finale? Both sound worth trying out, I need to sample these...

  33. #33

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes22 View Post
    So, what scent won the finale? Both sound worth trying out, I need to sample these...

    And the final results are in...

    Click on the image below to view!

    Fragrance Contest Final Winner.jpg


    ***********************************************

    It's over!

    I just ordered a bottle of Strange Invisible Perfumes "ATLANTIC" and I can't wait till it gets here so I can begin wearing it.

    And I found a great deal on Gaiac as well ($65 for a 30ml bottle), so I scooped it up while I had the chance.

    Both should compliment each other well.

    Anyway, this has been a lot of fun!

    If anything, it's taught me how different our perceptions are regarding smell. For example, here's a little something I wrote when sampling Ormonde Man--what is commonly regarded as a spicy, woody fragrance: #14: Creamy, lemony fresh florals with a sweet sugar candied frosting coating the whole thing. It's like a sophisticated, understated H.M. by Hanae Mori--minus the chocolate--and probably at least 5 times the price.



    Lemony fresh florals? I was convinced, after sampling this, that it was De Bachmakov. Man, was I off....

    And the one I thought was Ormonde Man? It turned out to be Avant Garde by M. Micallef, which most describe as a sweet, tobacco and cocoa incense frag.



    Biggest Disappointments

    First Place: MEMOIR MAN: Even after this got eliminated in the tournament I wore it several more times just to make sure, but again and again I was let down. This did nothing for me (and I almost blind bought it, but decided to do this tournament instead!). I found it to be a quiet, kind of boring scent....though something about it still kind of haunts me.

    2nd Place: Ormonde Man: Not at all what I had expected or wanted out of it. Another frag I almost purchased blind but decided not to at the last minute.


    Biggest Surprises

    1st Place: Atlantic of course, but...

    I was also really surprised by Frank Los Angeles No. 2. It's a very solid fragrance, great coffee and cognac note in the dry down, beautiful plum up top, and can be had for $65.

    Thundra What I thought all along was "Avant Garde" was really Thundra. And this one smells really interesting. In fact, I ordered more samples of it just to wear it a few more times and decide what I really think about it.

    You Stink! Awards

    Ambre Russe: Uggh. I did NOT enjoy this. I'm surprised it gets so much love and so little hate. I'm not surprised by the love, actually, but I am surprised that more people don't hate it.

    Wazamba: Count me out.

    Least Interesting

    Jade, Cereus No. 6, and De Bachmakov



    I will get a bottle of Ambre 114 at some point. It's excellent stuff and deserves all the praise it receives.

    To the contestants, thank you for participating. I'll tally up your scores soon and send you PMs regarding your prizes.

    If you've been following this thread, thanks for reading and feel free to discuss any of the fragrances involved. I've FINALLY looked at the list, so their names are no longer a secret.

    I hope this thread wasn't too esoteric or alienating, though I realize it was probably less accessible than the blind sampling tournament I held last year. I have to admit, it got a little crazy, and even I lost track of it at times.

    My plan for next Fall is to do a faster blind sampling tournament, starting right off with the bracket round, where I sample 32 designer frags and eventually get it down to one. I'll be collecting ideas and samples in the meantime.


    I'll post the winning contestant's Username once I have the results.




    Buysblind
    Last edited by Buysblind; 10th January 2013 at 02:34 AM.

  34. #34
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Nope, I didn't start thinking Atlantic would take it until the final match-up. But it's cool to see that it won, as I suspect few people have heard of it before. I'm probably not the only one who thought MM would be the winner, particularly based on your original impressions.

    My second choice was Giac, as I've heard a lot of good things about it.

    But yes, Frank and Atlantic : I suspect I'm not the only one who will be looking samples.

    Perhaps there were a few more apples and oranges in this contest, compared to all the ambers in the first contest, but I found it really interesting, enjoyed the vicariousness of it all, and will be looking forward to the next contest !

  35. #35

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    Nope, I didn't start thinking Atlantic would take it until the final match-up. But it's cool to see that it won, as I suspect few people have heard of it before. I'm probably not the only one who thought MM would be the winner, particularly based on your original impressions.

    My second choice was Giac, as I've heard a lot of good things about it.

    But yes, Frank and Atlantic : I suspect I'm not the only one who will be looking samples.

    Perhaps there were a few more apples and oranges in this contest, compared to all the ambers in the first contest, but I found it really interesting, enjoyed the vicariousness of it all, and will be looking forward to the next contest !
    The next contest is going to be a straight bracket tournament of 32 designer fragrances. I'm gonna do some polling and questioning around here to determine the final 32 that I use.

    I plan on making the next one less complicated--this got a little out of hand at times, and might have been hard for the casual observer to follow. Still, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    If you placed among the finalists you will surely be able to sample Atlantic and Frank No. 2 if you decide you want to. I'm curious to see how others receive Atlantic. I don't think most people will enjoy it as much as I do. But it's definitely one of those ones that you shouldn't write off at first, it gets better and more addictive with each wear--whereas at first, it seems maybe a little too simple, even generic perhaps.

    I'll be in touch!

  36. #36

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Like you, I am a little suprised about the love for Ambre Russe on this site. I wore it a few times, and just can't get myself to like it.

    Thanks for doing this - I have never tried Atlantic or Thundra, but now I am very interested - I will have to track down samples of these soon.
    Seasonal favorites:

    1. Creed - Spice & Wood
    2. Creed - Aventus
    3. Dior - Vetiver
    4.
    by Kilian - Straight to Heaven
    5. by Kilian - Cruel Intentions
    6. Puredistance - Black
    7. Tom Ford - Plum Japonais
    8. Neela Vermeire - Trayee
    9. Creed - Royal Oud
    10. Chanel - Egoiste

  37. #37

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    I just stumbled across this thread today, and even though it's already over, I must admit that it was a really fun read.

  38. #38

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Partario View Post
    I just stumbled across this thread today, and even though it's already over, I must admit that it was a really fun read.
    Thanks, Partario. Glad you enjoyed it!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    Like you, I am a little suprised about the love for Ambre Russe on this site. I wore it a few times, and just can't get myself to like it.

    Thanks for doing this - I have never tried Atlantic or Thundra, but now I am very interested - I will have to track down samples of these soon.
    Yeah, I can't guarante much of anything as far as Thundra is concerned. Sometimes it goes through the 'strange' zone and emerges on the other side as a clean, sophisticated, and modern-feeling scent. But other times, it continues down the strange path and becomes more off-putting as it develops. It's a tough nut to crack.

    Thanks for the comments and for reading!

  39. #39

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Since no one commented on Wazamba, I agree it stinks, worst from the line by far. However, I quite like Ambre Russe.
    And yes, it would help to have more common stuff and going straight for the brackets, but it was an interesting read once more!
    We want a 'Niche' forum.

  40. #40

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    It was fun to participate in it, thanks for running the tournament Buysblind! I'm curious to see how the points added up for everyone.

  41. #41

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Adding your scores now....

    Be back soon!


    FINAL SCORES!

    Okay...

    The final scores for this year's Blind Sampling Madness Tournament Are:

    Gamma

    Prelim Round: 7
    Bracket Round: 12

    Final Score: 19 Points

    Gamma scored 4 round one points, 4 round two points, and 4 round three points in the bracket tournament.


    BirdBoy48

    Prelim Round: 3
    Bracket Round: 11

    Final Score: 14 Points

    Birdboy scored 5 round one points and 2 round two points and 4 round three points in the bracket tournament.


    JiveHippo

    Prelim Round: 4
    Bracket Round: 14

    Final Score: 18 points

    JiveHippo scored 6 round one points, 4 round two points, and 4 round three points.


    Hobbes22

    Prelim Round: 7
    Bracket Round: 9

    Final Score: 16 Points

    Hobbes scored 5 round one points, 4 round two points, and did not submit any predictions for round three!!! If you had correctly predicted Coze to enter the finals you would have won the tournament again, but you didn't submit anything. I was able to see you had Mem Man going to the finals, but in the Kouros Conference you had Avant Garde matched up against Coze, but didn't predict the outcome. I'm sorry Hobbes! I don't check anybody's predictions until the very end of the tournament and by then all the results are in. Had I known, I would have alerted you, but due to the nature of the tourney I can not know anything until the very end!

    So, the final results are:

    1st Place: Gamma (19)
    2nd Place: JiveHippo (18)
    3rd Place: Hobbes22 (16)
    4th Place: Birdboy48 (14)


    Great job guys, it's been a blast!

    I'm putting together prize options and I'll PM you soon to let you know how it's all going down.

    Thanks!

    Buysblind



    BTW: EVERYONE had Memoir Man and Coze fighting it out in the finals (except Hobbes, who had Mem Man and _________ in the finals), and Memoir Man taking the whole thing. I thought that was really interesting that you all had the same final predictions. I probably would have precicted the same if you had asked me before everything began. Mem Man and Coze were the two frags of the tournament (and Ormonde Man) that I almost bought blind before deciding to do this instead. Goes to show you, sometimes it pays to sample. However, I will never stop buying blind!
    Last edited by Buysblind; 12th January 2013 at 06:10 PM.

  42. #42

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Some interesting results. Thanks for doing this BB, its been fun!
    Last edited by JiveHippo; 26th March 2013 at 04:30 PM.

  43. #43

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    That was pretty close in the end! I'm really curious to smell Atlantic and Gaiac, both sound great. Thank again Buysblind for setting this up.

  44. #44

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Congrats on your victory, Gamma!

    You'll definitely get a chance to sample Gaiac and Atlantic.


  45. #45

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    A fun thread Buysblind, thanks for doing this!

    Just a thought, but it would be cool if the next time you did this, you got samples contributed by members and thus had NO idea what you were smelling, niche, designer, celeb scent or otherwise. I'd be willing to chip in a few samples for that cause, as I'm sure others would, too.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  46. #46

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    A fun thread Buysblind, thanks for doing this!

    Just a thought, but it would be cool if the next time you did this, you got samples contributed by members and thus had NO idea what you were smelling, niche, designer, celeb scent or otherwise. I'd be willing to chip in a few samples for that cause, as I'm sure others would, too.
    Thanks for reading!

    That would be awesome. But I don't know how many people would be willing to participate...but I'd love to do it!

    I still remember when you had sent me an unmarked sample of Kobe and I replied that it smelled like a cheap, synthetic high pitched citrusy designer like Light Blue or Chrome...and that Fou d'Absinthe smelled like the inside of an old man's leather shoes that he wears without socks (I'm still convinced that was mislabeled). Lol. Every review I read about Fou d' says it's so fresh, like a cool pine forest. No mentions of old feet.

    Something to think about for the future though. That would be a trip. I plan on doing another tournament around May/June.

  47. #47

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    I have finally made it through the decants and samples that Buysblind generously sent over! Here are my notes on the ones I received:

    Strange Invisible Perfumes Atlantic (the tournament winner)
    This is a really unique scent! It starts off with a nostril tingling pepperment, key lime, ginger ale, juniper berries and some bright cedar. It could be the smell of a refreshing cocktail. Slowly sandalwood and incense start coming through as the opening fades. A trace of peppermint lingers about into the drydown. Very unique, with a good overall smell, though I feel I could potentially get bored of the smell if I were to wear it regularly.
    86/100

    The Different Company De Bachminov
    Refreshing watery cucumber and citrus with some light spiced woods. Though, it has a slightly bitter vegetal smell too it. I think it could be the shiso leaf, mixed with something else. It does kind of smell like goya melon, or bitter melon. That aspect is a little off putting, but does give it a unique edge.
    76/100

    Parfumerie Generale L’Ombre Fauve
    This starts off with a stale dried soap smell- exactly what you might smell if you bought a bar of cheap soap, used it a couple times, and left it to dry. Not ideal! Though, as this opening fades we are left with actually a nice drydown which is similar in nature to Musc Ravageur. It is more mellow than MR though and fades faster.
    81/100

    M.Micallef Gaiac
    The vetiver really stands out over the other notes in this one for me. Powdered vetiver and pale woods. It's in the same vein as Mona di Orio’s Vetiver. Good overall. I don't know which I would choose between this and MdO Vetiver, they may need a side by side comparison, I might be totally off.
    85/100

    M.Micallef Avant Garde
    Citrus opening being balanced by a hint of something dirty in the background, then transitions quickly into a velvety lightly spiced suede. Has a freshness that contrasts with a deeper backdrop. Slightly generic department-store feel. Very similar to Scotch & Soda Barfly, without the calone, and less vanilic in the drydown (swapped with tonka). Light musk throughout. It's similar in nature to Mechant Loup as well, not necessarily with its notes, but more overall feel and balance. I would choose Mechant Loup over this every time.
    80/100

    Ormande Jayne Ormande Man
    Musky preserved lemons. Absolutely unique and very nice, but it does have a muskiness that I don't think is fully appealing.
    82/100

    Cereus No.11
    Smooth and clean vetiver, with a nice dose of anise that starts strong and weakens over time. Citrus at first that fades fast. Some woods support everything in the background. Nice, quite good longetivity. Certainly a good vetiver option.
    86/100

    Enchanted Forest (not in the tournament)
    I was expecting the worst with this one, considering what I've read, but I am a fan of Bertrand Duchaufour. It starts off with a blast of black current, sweet and candylike, together with stem and leaves. A coniferous pine scent quickly moves its way to the forefront. It is sweet but not overly so. There's a nice dense substance to this scent, it's definitely not light. As it dries down everything is smoothed out, things become a little creamy, and a hint of incense is added. Overall I was pleasantly surprised, I like it, in particular the drydown. Not exactly bottle worthy though.
    85/100

    Slumberhouse Pear+Olive
    This is unique! The opening leaves me confused, I don't know what smell this is. I get something like raw floured buttery dough, but slightly sweet, with a sprinkle of olive oil on top. Overall I get a gourmandish rich buttery/oily smell that resembles something like an unbaked pear pastry. Weird and the scent combination seemed better in my head than it played out. Though, there is something strangely appealing about it.
    75/100


    Overall, a very interesting batch. I can see Atlantic being one of the better scents in the bunch, definitely. It would be a showdown between Coze, Atlantic, Memoir and No.11 for me (from the ones I smelled), and at this point I'm not sure which I would have picked. I think Memoir is probably the best composition, and I do like it quite a lot, but sometimes it doesn't sit right with me. They're all about equally good, I think it would just depend on what I'm feeling that day!

  48. #48
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    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    I had never even heard of Atlantic before reading this thread and now I really want to try it. Thanks guys.

  49. #49

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamma View Post
    I have finally made it through the decants and samples that Buysblind generously sent over! Here are my notes on the ones I received:

    Strange Invisible Perfumes Atlantic (the tournament winner)
    This is a really unique scent! It starts off with a nostril tingling pepperment, key lime, ginger ale, juniper berries and some bright cedar. It could be the smell of a refreshing cocktail. Slowly sandalwood and incense start coming through as the opening fades. A trace of peppermint lingers about into the drydown. Very unique, with a good overall smell, though I feel I could potentially get bored of the smell if I were to wear it regularly.
    86/100

    Glad you liked it. The samples surrender to chance has are very strong on the bracing peppermint side, which I really, really enjoyed. The bottle I ordered directly from Strange Invisible Perfumes is not as bracing or cold. It's cool in the opening, but it lacks a little bit of the sharp punch that the sample had. Still a great fragrance that I now wear often, but a little disappointing when I first received the bottle (I'm over it now!). Not the first time that happened, I had a very similar experience with a Piper Nigrum sample Vs. the bottle.

    The Different Company De Bachminov
    Refreshing watery cucumber and citrus with some light spiced woods. Though, it has a slightly bitter vegetal smell too it. I think it could be the shiso leaf, mixed with something else. It does kind of smell like goya melon, or bitter melon. That aspect is a little off putting, but does give it a unique edge.
    76/100

    Yeah, the bitter vegetal smell didn't go over well with me either.

    Parfumerie Generale L’Ombre Fauve
    This starts off with a stale dried soap smell- exactly what you might smell if you bought a bar of cheap soap, used it a couple times, and left it to dry. Not ideal! Though, as this opening fades we are left with actually a nice drydown which is similar in nature to Musc Ravageur. It is more mellow than MR though and fades faster.
    81/100

    M.Micallef Gaiac
    The vetiver really stands out over the other notes in this one for me. Powdered vetiver and pale woods. It's in the same vein as Mona di Orio’s Vetiver. Good overall. I don't know which I would choose between this and MdO Vetiver, they may need a side by side comparison, I might be totally off.
    85/100

    Weird...Vetiver never even crossed my mind with this one. I don't detect it at all. I find Gaiac sweet, almost bordering on the gourmand, woodsy and spicy. It kind of smells like a fresh baked gingerbread cookie. I ended up with a small bottle of it and love it. I gotta check it out later today and see if I can pick up on the vetiver.

    M.Micallef Avant Garde
    Citrus opening being balanced by a hint of something dirty in the background, then transitions quickly into a velvety lightly spiced suede. Has a freshness that contrasts with a deeper backdrop. Slightly generic department-store feel. Very similar to Scotch & Soda Barfly, without the calone, and less vanilic in the drydown (swapped with tonka). Light musk throughout. It's similar in nature to Mechant Loup as well, not necessarily with its notes, but more overall feel and balance. I would choose Mechant Loup over this every time.
    80/100

    Did you find it very weaK? I liked it but found it too weak to consider.

    Ormande Jayne Ormande Man

    Musky preserved lemons. Absolutely unique and very nice, but it does have a muskiness that I don't think is fully appealing.
    82/100

    Good to see you picked up on sweet lemons too because I thought there was something wrong with my nose. "Lemons" are rarely mentioned in relation to OM. This is one I'd like to experiment with again at another time.

    Cereus No.11
    Smooth and clean vetiver, with a nice dose of anise that starts strong and weakens over time. Citrus at first that fades fast. Some woods support everything in the background. Nice, quite good longetivity. Certainly a good vetiver option.
    86/100

    Did you test this one on your skin or paper? I really liked it on paper, and thought it could end up winning the whole thing. But as soon as it went on my skin it completely fell apart. Smelled really generic and boring on me. All the cool little notes I picked up on paper disappeared.

    Enchanted Forest (not in the tournament)
    I was expecting the worst with this one, considering what I've read, but I am a fan of Bertrand Duchaufour. It starts off with a blast of black current, sweet and candylike, together with stem and leaves. A coniferous pine scent quickly moves its way to the forefront. It is sweet but not overly so. There's a nice dense substance to this scent, it's definitely not light. As it dries down everything is smoothed out, things become a little creamy, and a hint of incense is added. Overall I was pleasantly surprised, I like it, in particular the drydown. Not exactly bottle worthy though.
    85/100

    Yeah, I was hesitant to voice my distaste for this at first, since I received a free sample, but I've decided I really don't like this one. The black currant is waaay overdone, IMO. But it's good to see the sample did not go to waste!

    Slumberhouse Pear+Olive
    This is unique! The opening leaves me confused, I don't know what smell this is. I get something like raw floured buttery dough, but slightly sweet, with a sprinkle of olive oil on top. Overall I get a gourmandish rich buttery/oily smell that resembles something like an unbaked pear pastry. Weird and the scent combination seemed better in my head than it played out. Though, there is something strangely appealing about it.
    75/100

    Yes! It's definitely buttery. Pear + Olive's a personal favorite of mine these days.

    Overall, a very interesting batch. I can see Atlantic being one of the better scents in the bunch, definitely. It would be a showdown between Coze, Atlantic, Memoir and No.11 for me (from the ones I smelled), and at this point I'm not sure which I would have picked. I think Memoir is probably the best composition, and I do like it quite a lot, but sometimes it doesn't sit right with me. They're all about equally good, I think it would just depend on what I'm feeling that day!

    Gamma, thanks for coming back with your impressions, I enjoyed reading them!

  50. #50

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    Weird...Vetiver never even crossed my mind with this one. I don't detect it at all. I find Gaiac sweet, almost bordering on the gourmand, woodsy and spicy. It kind of smells like a fresh baked gingerbread cookie. I ended up with a small bottle of it and love it. I gotta check it out later today and see if I can pick up on the vetiver.
    I am glad, you wrote this, Buysblind. I was quite puzzled when reading Gamma's comment on Gaiac, because to me this fragrance was always exactly as you described it.

    At the same time I am wearing it now. And Gamma is right. There is Vetiver. And his phrase of a „powdered vetiver” is pretty good. You could also use the analogy of a vetiver mist or so; something that is all over but not covering in it's quality.

    Thanks, I am enhanced!

  51. #51

    Default Re: 2012 Blind Sampling Madness Tournament: Bracket Round!

    It's been a while since I tried Gaiac, but I'm going to try it again, maybe tomorrow's SOTD. I don't remember smelling any gingerbread cookie but that sounds very appealing. I just remember the light vetiver.

    Avant Garde was not unusually weak to my nose. Perhaps you are anosmic to something in it? I found it quite average in its strength.

    No.11 I tried on skin and found it pretty nice, I'll try again soon and report back.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I tried Gaiac again twice, and have it on now. The vetiver is taking a less predominant role than I originally remembered, but it is there. I don't smell exactly gingerbread cookies, but I do smell something cookie-like. It's a nice warm scent, with a sprinkle of earthy vetiver on top. I think this would be a great comforting fragrance for fall-winter-spring.

    No.11 I also wore again recently and I still find it very good, though perhaps it is a bit generic, yes. Again, the vetiver stands out for me- maybe I am particularly sensitive to vetiver in fragrances. It's safe, masculine, has good longetivity and moderate projection.. something I could see wearing to work or anywhere that I don't want my fragrance to draw much attention. It does sacrifice uniqueness for versatility.

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