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  1. #1

    Default Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Hey all,

    I've been sniffing and jotting down notes on Phoenicia Perfumes for some time now, and was planning on starting discussion thread for the brand, but I wanted to wait until we'd settled back into the new/old site first. These scents have been mentioned in other forums, and there's been some peripheral discussion about them here and there, but as the brand has some cool new things on the horizon, I figured it was time to get something more concrete going.

    Once we get the fragrance database side of things settled, I'll transfer some of these thoughts over to the appropriate review sections; but for now, perhaps those of you who've had chance to try them can chime in. Also, David, the perfumer, is a member of Basenotes, so perhaps he'll drop in now and again to give us some updates on projects that he's working on and shed some more light on some of his scents.

    I've reviewed Far NWest, Gone But Not, Reucher Fleuri, Realoud, Realoud Feral, and my personal favorite, Skin Graft. I'll post piece by piece whenever I get chance, but I'll start with one of the more eponymous ones—and one of the only fragrances that I know of that has a skunk note it.

    * * * * *

    Far NWest

    Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.36.05 PM.jpg

    Fir, caraway, cedars, skunk, choya loban.

    Because of the nature of the material involved, this is a scent that’s undergone some fine-tuning since I first tried it, and the final result was worth the wait as David balanced what must be a challenging material to work with quite nicely. I first tried this at the FRAGments event earlier in the year and it was this and Skin Graft that piqued my interest in the first place. As I’m sure is the case with many, I was curious to see how the sulfurous, rubbery smell of skunk was being used, and it’s definitely the centerpiece of this one.

    When I’d first tried it earlier in the year, the main note didn’t strike me as being all that strong. Instead, I got more of a coniferous blend than anything else. With subsequent versions, the levels developed into what they are now, and the final result marks a tension between compelling and challenging; it’s pitched just right for the materials involved. In earlier versions, the spruce-like coniferous notes dominated, but now they harmonize with the distinct odor of the skunk to produce a unique twist on the dirty musk genre. A parallel might be drawn to Juniper Ridge’s Caruther’s Canyon in that Far NWest is essentially a dirty, forest floor scent, but whereas the former is literally “nature in a bottle,” Far NWest is more of an aesthetic composition, building a bridge between mimetic representation and creative, imaginative rendering.

    Perhaps the best way to describe the effect of this is too talk briefly about what a skunk actually smells like for those who’ve never had the (mis)fortune of smelling one. Contrary to what Warner Bros. might lead you to believe, the smell of a skunk isn’t all that offensive. It’s more intriguing than repulsive, drawing associations to rubbery, almost ammoniac scents; its very tenacious, and somewhat thick and oily smelling. It’s not barnyard, nor does it resemble human body smells, instead it leans more toward a synthetic, industrial type scent that you might expect to find in, let’s say, glue of some kind. It’s mixed here some underlying conifer notes that don’t stand out as particularly identifiable, but they do swing more toward blue/green wet pine and spruce type notes that you might expect to smell while trudging through forest close to the Pacific coastline. The coniferous notes harmonize with the rubbery notes of the skunk to produce a jarring, yet oddly energizing combination that stays fairly linear through its lifespan. Without question, it’s skunk—and anybody who’s experienced that scent will recognize it immediately—but here it is presented tastefully and without the kind of sensationalism that you might expect from such a unique material.

    This is the kind of scent that could be too easy to dismiss as a gimmick or a hook into the rest of the line. And while that’s largely what drew me into David’s world, Far NWest doesn’t rely on the skunk as a gimmick—instead, it’s tastefully handled and crafted in a manner than should be of interest to anyone who finds themselves drawn to animalics or dirty scents in general. This is hardly a versatile fragrance—but it’s one that you might find yourself reaching for whenever you need a touch of woodsy filth in your life.

    So, has anyone else tried this one yet? How skunky is too skunky? Anyone else run into prominent skunk notes elsewhere?

    * * * * *

    Up next: Gone But Not
    Last edited by deadidol; 6th November 2013 at 08:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Very nice review! I have an earlier version and the new "skunkified" version with the vintage juice described in his blog is on the way to me. When it arrives I will do a comparison between the two versions.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Gone But Not

    Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 12.30.26 AM.jpg

    Fruit, elemi, cognac, white rose, jasmine, musk.

    According to Phoenecia’s own blurb, Gone But Not is an imaginative merging of Jean Patou’s Joy and Jovan Musk with a whack of harsh, caustic hairspray added for good measure. At the outset, the scent’s quite fresh-smelling, but it does also feel natural and rich (I’d smelled an earlier version of this as well and it smelled far more industrial than its final release). The rose is readily apparent in the mix, boozed up by the honeyed-cognac and a touch of dirty jasmine that tries to edge its way into the picture. There's a slight edible, juicy quality to to this, but it's not overly fruity in a sickening, synthetic sense. Rather, the industrial edge is present lending the fragrance an air of synthy complexity despite the fact that it's primarily natural materials throughout. Elemi serves as a balancing component, attenuating the composition's brightness to keep it from exploding into something tacky, but it also partners up with the musk to create what is arguably the scents strongest asset. The musk is sightly furry with a touch of sweetness to it (a bit like Kiehl's Musk), but the elemi compliments it brilliantly by offering a sort of fatty frankincense tone.

    What’s smart about this scent is the pairing of the industrial, phantom-synthetic aspects to the rich, bodied naturals. This oxymoronic combination is effective in that the fragrance does indeed latch itself onto your memory. The result is a surprising, unlikely grouping of notes that works better than it probably should. While it’s not as blindingly original as something like Skin Graft, it’s a solid offering for fans of yellow, slightly citrusy scents who aren’t afraid to wander into highly unnatural territories.

    How do people feel about the kind of industrial notes that CdG uses in many of their scents—specifically the ones that have an aerosol type effect? I can't help but think of their EdP2011, Standard, and Odeur 71 in relation to this, but the natural components spin this one off in that they juxtapose rather than blend, which makes it all the more fascinating.
    Last edited by deadidol; 5th November 2013 at 03:15 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Nice review again! I was first wondering about the name of the perfume, but it's about dead rock stars who are Gone But Not... forgotten and still present with their music - the Kurt Cobain under the perfumes! According to a Youtube-video it's David's favourite perfume of his line.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by hoschhti View Post
    Nice review again! I was first wondering about the name of the perfume, but it's about dead rock stars who are Gone But Not... forgotten and still present with their music - the Kurt Cobain under the perfumes! According to a Youtube-video it's David's favourite perfume of his line.
    You know, the title had me thinking it would be some crazy musk trick—you put it on and it appears to be gone but it's not. But yeah, he'd mentioned the rock star thing, but I don't get anything specifically rock and roll from it. As far as concept and scent go, I think Skin Graft aligns the two most succinctly.

  6. #6
    Dependent chili_willi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Very interesting reviews, dead. Thanks for going to the trouble. I'll be on the lookout for your other takes on this line.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    I've got them all lined up (sans editing), so I'll post them soon.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Thank you, D.I. - I was reading the website the other day and wondering who the stockist is over here as they definitely appear to be worth pursuing.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Realoud

    Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 10.51.16 PM.jpg

    Hindi oud, Laotian oud, Bulgarian red rose, ruh khus, classic spices, animalics.

    Note: Because of the nature of the materials used in this scent and the difficulty involved in sourcing with consistency, variations are a possibility in Realoud, and the batch that I’m discussing is from August 2013.

    This is very special, but it's a difficult scent to pull off, and certainly not one for the those who lean toward more mainstream compositions. It opens up intensely fecal and bitter with a truly scary blue cheese type note, but settles fast into a more hay / straw type of thing that’s really fascinating and enjoyable. The rose balances it out and tames some of the more challenging aspects of the ouds, but this would still be a difficult wear in many social scenarios. But once the brutal opening has passed and the materials have started to blend a little more on the skin, the scent shifts toward a more earthy, barnyard direction with a fantastic grassy vetiver that holds the whole thing together and keeps the scent alive for an admirable stretch. This is on-par with some of the far more expensive (real) ouds on the market today, but for those who think that Creed’s Royal Oud, MFK’s Oud, and Tom Ford’s Oud Wood are actually oud scents, this one should serve as instructional to what real oud actually smells like. While it’s textured and quite fascinating, it’s an animalic and difficult scent—after all, it’s real and not some domesticated synthetic replica. Me? I love it!

    * * * * *

    Up next: Realoud Feral!
    Last edited by deadidol; 5th November 2013 at 03:14 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Thank you for posting that, D.I. - there are a few in this range that caught my eye, so your exploration will be keenly followed!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Realoud Feral

    Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 10.24.48 PM.jpg

    Bengali agarwood, roses and jasmine, amber accord, musk.

    You’d think that, given the characteristics of the excellent but difficult Realoud, this would be a real challenge, bordering on the unwearable — but it’s not at all. While it’s clearly built upon the same set of principles that allows Realoud to simply trounce more marketable “oud” scents, the materials here are a little divergent, resulting in more of a different wear rather than one that simply ramps up the filth.

    It opens incredibly strong, cheesy, and somewhat rotten smelling (again), but actually feels a little subdued in contrast with Realoud. It goes grassy, but has a slightly different scent profile that seems more woody whereas Realoud has that definite grass dry down. Like its twin, the opening is again quite difficult and off-putting, but it's just a minor hurdle to get you to a deep, evocative oud that very animalic and barnyard, but comforting as well. While I think it would be hard to choose between them, Feral’s the way to go if you’d prefer more of the wood chip impression, whereas Realoud places vetiver at the center of the scent. Great stuff, but again, totally different to what’s pedaled as “oud” today and so probably one for the purists rather than the mainstream.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Great reviews as always, deadidol! The others sound conceptually fascinating, engaging, challenging even, but your accounts of Realoud and Realoud Feral convince me I need to sample this line... somehow. I don't know which part of "intensely fecal" I should expect myself to like, but "truly scary blue cheese type note" that "settles fast into a more hay / straw type of thing that’s really fascinating and enjoyable" sounds like my idea of fun. Did the sample set come with R. Feral as well?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Excellent reviews for a reference point. I'll be honest I hadn't heard of this house up until now. Gone but not really intrigues me as does Far N West. As time progresses I will keep checking back. Very informative.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Yes - thank you for making the time to do this for us all, D.I.

    This unfettered approach to perfumery gives me great hopes for the future!

    Will definitely be reading this thread with interest.

  15. #15
    Basenotes Junkie james1051's Avatar
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    Cool In Re: Skunk smells

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post

    Far NWest

    Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.36.05 PM.jpg

    Perhaps the best way to describe the effect of this is too talk briefly about what a skunk actually smells like for those who’ve never had the (mis)fortune of smelling one. Contrary to what Warner Bros. might lead you to believe, the smell of a skunk isn’t all that offensive. ..... Without question, it’s skunk—and anybody who’s experienced that scent will recognize it immediately—but here it is presented tastefully and without the kind of sensationalism that you might expect from such a unique material.
    Bzzzt, Sorry! You lost me there. I don't need Hollywood to tell me what a skunk smells like--have experienced it first hand too many times to count (my dogs like to chase them). Skunk is a hideous! If you think MKK is a scrubber, you should try skunk! And it doesn't come off too easily. I grew up in the Northwest tramping around in the woods. Coniferous forest? Yeah that can appeal. Skunk? nope. Here are a couple of other scents you can encounter in or near NW forests that I do not recommend for perfume: Paper Mills. Volcanic mudpots. Bears. Forest Service outhouses.

    Razzing aside, I always read DI's reviews with interest and am happy to see the thread on a line I'd like to know more about. Look forward to sampling their non-skunk fragrances!

  16. #16

    Default Re: In Re: Skunk smells

    Quote Originally Posted by james1051 View Post
    Bzzzt, Sorry! You lost me there. I don't need Hollywood to tell me what a skunk smells like--have experienced it first hand too many times to count (my dogs like to chase them). Skunk is a hideous! If you think MKK is a scrubber, you should try skunk! And it doesn't come off too easily. I grew up in the Northwest tramping around in the woods. Coniferous forest? Yeah that can appeal. Skunk? nope. Here are a couple of other scents you can encounter in or near NW forests that I do not recommend for perfume: Paper Mills. Volcanic mudpots. Bears. Forest Service outhouses.

    Razzing aside, I always read DI's reviews with interest and am happy to see the thread on a line I'd like to know more about. Look forward to sampling their non-skunk fragrances!
    Ha! I'm around skunk quite often, too (in fact, I can smell one lurking around nearby as I type this). Yeah, this is not going to be for everyone by any means, but keep in mind that it's blended in such a way that it turns into something else on the skin. Don't get me wrong, it's still kind of extreme, but it's not just skunk. (Although when you smell it from the bottle, you'd be inclined to think that it is!) Anyhow, I'll post my personal favorite, Skin Graft up next.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Skin Graft

    Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 9.19.09 PM.jpg

    Honey, Iso-E, Jasmine Sambac, Opoponax, Cedar.

    While the description of Far NWest is what initially drew me to the line, it was Skin Graft that really got my attention. This is one of those cases in which a formalist analysis of the fragrance—simply focusing on what it does and how—is difficult as this is clearly an autobiographical endeavor, one whose narrative both colors and is colored by the fragrance itself. It's my personal favorite from the line as it smells totally avant-garde, yet its surprisingly comforting as well, which speaks to the story behind it (which I'm not going to recount here, but I'm sure many of you are aware of David's experience with Stephen Johnson Syndrome).

    It's quite a linear scent that kicks right into gear and stays there for most of the journey. Essentially, what it’s doing is integrating jasmine with opoponax in a manner that allows the grittiness of the opoponax to battle with the calming effect of jasmine, and it's all structured upon a base of honey that never really reads as an identifiable note unto itself, playing instead a largely foundational role. What's astounding about this seemingly simply pairing of opoponax and jasmine is that, when placed against the honey, it produces a plastic-y scent that's akin to the smell of BandAids (yes, really). The cedar notes lend a medicinal, almost disinfectant kind of tone to the mix; and despite the fact that the fragrance is 95% naturals, I do get hefty dose of Iso-E Super that brings an oil-like shimmer to the overall blend. Once the notes settle into place on your skin, what Skin Graft essentially boils down to is a honeyed jasmine over a bed of Iso-E. It's hard to do justice and describe what this scent does without actually wearing it as the listed notes don't seem like they'd be able to create the evocative effect they create without the use of a massive amount of rubbery synthetic molecules. Yet, when you focus in closely on how the scent is structured, you find that opoponax and jasmine really are the two central players, and meditating on the way they work with one another is what makes this so calming.

    This is an impressive approach—the use of naturals to create a highly synthetic smelling scent that's largely autobiographical in nature. And that's why Skin Graft is such a successful achievement: for such a minimalist structure, what this scent underscores in the foresight of the perfumer and the stroke of brilliance that came from bringing these notes together in such a profound manner. For my money, this is both the simplest, and the best of the line.
    Last edited by deadidol; 6th November 2013 at 04:22 AM.

  17. #17
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    REALOUD vs. REALOUD FERAL


    I like ROF more than RO. ROF is higher pitched and more airy and ethereal. I think it's because of the jasmine that is in ROF but not in RO. The opening is indeed very animalic, it settles down a bit after a while and gives you these beautiful musky notes. The quality of the materials is very good and people who like animalic perfumes like MUSCS KOUBLAI KHAN and serious OUD-lovers should give this a try!

    RO is more down-tuned, somewhat muddy and dull. It doesn't contain Jasmine, but I think that is exactly what it lacks. The opening is also very animalic, though a bit muted, not so hardcore! Somewhere in the middle RO turns into a Vetiver-monster, so dense that it's almost "claustrophobic"! Like I said I think it needs some Jasmine that would add more air and space. The quality of the ingredients is also very good.

    I really like REALOUD FERAL, REALOUD is not so much my cup of tea.
    FAVOURITES:

    1. Dia Man
    2. Tawaf
    3. Skin Graft
    4. Vitrum
    5. Norne
    6. Incense Extreme

  18. #18

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by hoschhti View Post
    I really like REALOUD FERAL, REALOUD is not so much my cup of tea.
    Yeah, I think the name's a bit of a misnomer here as feral infers something more vicious, and the opposite is true. Feral just feels more developed and full-bodied than the original, and the profile is different enough to warrant a different title (unless the structure really is more similar than it appears).

  19. #19
    Basenotes Junkie james1051's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Re: Skunk smells

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Ha! I'm around skunk quite often, too (in fact, I can smell one lurking around nearby as I type this). Yeah, this is not going to be for everyone by any means, but keep in mind that it's blended in such a way that it turns into something else on the skin. Don't get me wrong, it's still kind of extreme, but it's not just skunk. (Although when you smell it from the bottle, you'd be inclined to think that it is!) Anyhow, I'll post my personal favorite, Skin Graft up next.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Skin Graft

    Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 9.19.09 PM.jpg

    Honey, Iso-E, Jasmine Sambac, Opoponax, Cedar.

    While the description of Far NWest is what initially drew me to the line, it was Skin Graft that really got my attention. This is one of those cases in which a formalist analysis of the fragrance—simply focusing on what it does and how—is difficult as this is clearly an autobiographical endeavor, one whose narrative both colors and is colored by the fragrance itself. It's my personal favorite from the line as it smells totally avant-garde, yet its surprisingly comforting as well, which speaks to the story behind it (which I'm not going to recount here, but I'm sure many of you are aware of David's experience with Stephen Johnson Syndrome).

    It's quite a linear scent that kicks right into gear and stays there for most of the journey. Essentially, what it’s doing is integrating jasmine with opoponax in a manner that allows the grittiness of the opoponax to battle with the calming effect of jasmine, and it's all structured upon a base of honey that never really reads as an identifiable note unto itself, playing instead a largely foundational role. What's astounding about this seemingly simply pairing of opoponax and jasmine is that, when placed against the honey, it produces a plastic-y scent that's akin to the smell of BandAids (yes, really). The cedar notes lend a medicinal, almost disinfectant kind of tone to the mix; and despite the fact that the fragrance is 95% naturals, I do get hefty dose of Iso-E Super that brings an oil-like shimmer to the overall blend. Once the notes settle into place on your skin, what Skin Graft essentially boils down to is a honeyed jasmine over a bed of Iso-E. It's hard to do justice and describe what this scent does without actually wearing it as the listed notes don't seem like they'd be able to create the evocative effect they create without the use of a massive amount of rubbery synthetic molecules. Yet, when you focus in closely on how the scent is structured, you find that opoponax and jasmine really are the two central players, and meditating on the way they work with one another is what makes this so calming.

    This is an impressive approach—the use of naturals to create a highly synthetic smelling scent that's largely autobiographical in nature. And that's why Skin Graft is such a successful achievement: for such a minimalist structure, what this scent underscores in the foresight of the perfumer and the stroke of brilliance that came from bringing these notes together in such a profound manner. For my money, this is both the simplest, and the best of the line.
    Sounds great! Put this on my Must Try list. Now to find it...

  20. #20
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Re: Skunk smells

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post

    Skin Graft

    Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 9.19.09 PM.jpg

    Honey, Iso-E, Jasmine Sambac, Opoponax, Cedar.

    While the description of Far NWest is what initially drew me to the line, it was Skin Graft that really got my attention. This is one of those cases in which a formalist analysis of the fragrance—simply focusing on what it does and how—is difficult as this is clearly an autobiographical endeavor, one whose narrative both colors and is colored by the fragrance itself. It's my personal favorite from the line as it smells totally avant-garde, yet its surprisingly comforting as well, which speaks to the story behind it (which I'm not going to recount here, but I'm sure many of you are aware of David's experience with Stephen Johnson Syndrome).

    It's quite a linear scent that kicks right into gear and stays there for most of the journey. Essentially, what it’s doing is integrating jasmine with opoponax in a manner that allows the grittiness of the opoponax to battle with the calming effect of jasmine, and it's all structured upon a base of honey that never really reads as an identifiable note unto itself, playing instead a largely foundational role. What's astounding about this seemingly simply pairing of opoponax and jasmine is that, when placed against the honey, it produces a plastic-y scent that's akin to the smell of BandAids (yes, really). The cedar notes lend a medicinal, almost disinfectant kind of tone to the mix; and despite the fact that the fragrance is 95% naturals, I do get hefty dose of Iso-E Super that brings an oil-like shimmer to the overall blend. Once the notes settle into place on your skin, what Skin Graft essentially boils down to is a honeyed jasmine over a bed of Iso-E. It's hard to do justice and describe what this scent does without actually wearing it as the listed notes don't seem like they'd be able to create the evocative effect they create without the use of a massive amount of rubbery synthetic molecules. Yet, when you focus in closely on how the scent is structured, you find that opoponax and jasmine really are the two central players, and meditating on the way they work with one another is what makes this so calming.

    This is an impressive approach—the use of naturals to create a highly synthetic smelling scent that's largely autobiographical in nature. And that's why Skin Graft is such a successful achievement: for such a minimalist structure, what this scent underscores in the foresight of the perfumer and the stroke of brilliance that came from bringing these notes together in such a profound manner. For my money, this is both the simplest, and the best of the line.
    SKIN GRAFT is also my favourite from the line. What I really like about SKIN GRAFT is that it's avant-garde without being pretentious! It's inoffensive and doesn't need to scream to be heard.

    Although I like the name I think it can be a trap: Some people might dismiss it, simply because they might think that the name is kinda disgusting. Others (like me) might expect a "shocking" medicinal monster and be disappointed when they try it. Indeed I was disappointed first and it took me several wearings to appreciate SKIN GRAFT's quiet but morbid beauty.

    Since then it made it in my Top 10!
    Last edited by hoschhti; 7th November 2013 at 04:59 PM.
    FAVOURITES:

    1. Dia Man
    2. Tawaf
    3. Skin Graft
    4. Vitrum
    5. Norne
    6. Incense Extreme

  21. #21

    Default Re: In Re: Skunk smells

    Quote Originally Posted by hoschhti View Post
    SKIN GRAFT is also my favourite from the line. What I really like about SKIN GRAFT is that it's avant-garde without being pretentious! It's inoffensive and doesn't need to scream to be heard.

    Although I like the name I think it can be a trap: Some people might dismiss it, simply because they might think that the name is kinda disgusting. Others (like me) might expect a "shocking" medicinal monster and be disappointed when they try it. Indeed I was disappointed first and it took me several wearings to appreciate SKIN GRAFT's quiet but morbid beauty.

    Since then it made it in my Top 10!
    I think what's brilliant about it is that the pairing of notes seems so unlikely, but produces such a profound, otherworldly scent. It's amazing!

    I'll post some thoughts on Reucher Fleuri later today, and that'll wrap up what's currently on offer from the line. When I first tried these at FRAGments, they stood out among many of the other brands on display -- and still do. So for me, it's kind of fun to put a spotlight on some of these indie brands who, for better or for worse (depending on where you stand), are providing great alternatives to more traditional approaches of perfumery.

  22. #22
    Basenotes Junkie james1051's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Anybody know where skin graft can be found online?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Your best bet is probably to go straight to the source for right now. I think he may have some stockists in the Seattle area, but it's still a fairly small brand. From what I understand, there'll be some developments about distribution coming somewhat soon.

    Here's his website and shop: http://www.phoeniciaperfumes.com/collections/all

    [EDIT]: Apparently Skin Graft is also available here: http://www.indigoperfumery.com/
    Last edited by deadidol; 8th November 2013 at 12:42 AM.

  24. #24
    Basenotes Junkie james1051's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Your best bet is probably to go straight to the source for right now. I think he may have some stockists in the Seattle area, but it's still a fairly small brand. From what I understand, there'll be some developments about distribution coming somewhat soon.

    Here's his website and shop: http://www.phoeniciaperfumes.com/collections/all

    [EDIT]: Apparently Skin Graft is also available here: http://www.indigoperfumery.com/
    thanks!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Realoud feral got the name because initially it smelled ten times fouler than Realoud. Just this summer after three year maceration it has softened and really deepened in the company of florals, santal and animalics. It is a limited run but I just got an email from the distiller I got the original batch from and he says his still is up and running again and he knows I like my oud dirty. So yes, Feral is oxymoronic due to maceration and maturation.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Hey, David's here!

    That makes sense about the feral name. What can you tell us about the opening notes of those two? The first 10 minutes are pretty rough, but then they settle down a lot. Are there top notes at work in these, or is just the nature of the oud itself?

  27. #27

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Hey, David's here!

    That makes sense about the feral name. What can you tell us about the opening notes of those two? The first 10 minutes are pretty rough, but then they settle down a lot. Are there top notes at work in these, or is just the nature of the oud itself?
    There is no scent pyramid, just classic middle eastern oils that are commonly blended with oud. The oud dominates the opening and blue cheese is a common descriptor. Arabs love this scent profile as do I.

  28. #28

    Default Re: In Re: Skunk smells

    Quote Originally Posted by james1051 View Post
    Bzzzt, Sorry! You lost me there. I don't need Hollywood to tell me what a skunk smells like--have experienced it first hand too many times to count (my dogs like to chase them). Skunk is a hideous! If you think MKK is a scrubber, you should try skunk! And it doesn't come off too easily. I grew up in the Northwest tramping around in the woods. Coniferous forest? Yeah that can appeal. Skunk? nope. Here are a couple of other scents you can encounter in or near NW forests that I do not recommend for perfume: Paper Mills. Volcanic mudpots. Bears. Forest Service outhouses.

    Razzing aside, I always read DI's reviews with interest and am happy to see the thread on a line I'd like to know more about. Look forward to sampling their non-skunk fragrances!
    I couldn't disagree more strongly. Skunk is one of those smells that is hugely variable depending on concentration. If you (or your pet) is sprayed directly, it's horribly concentrated and intense and it overwhelms your senses, but at a distance skunk is quite pleasant and, contrary to the OP, it does bear a resemblance to human body odors. It's also a big scent component of cannabis (note that the 2010 cannabis cup winner was named "God's Pussy," hence the connection between skunk/weed/body odors). It's an intriguing note and I've been wondering why it hasn't been used more in perfumery. I'm looking forward to sampling the entire line.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    I'm looking for a little more information on FarNW. Has anyone spent a fair amount of time with the newest juice. I'm extremely intrigued by the notes. However, I'm a little concerned about the skunk notes to be honest. Are they quite literal and straight forward? Or are they more reserved and blended into the coniferous notes?
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  30. #30

    Default Phoenicia Perfumes FarNW & RealOud

    I'm looking for a little more information on FarNW and RealOud.

    Has anyone spent a fair amount of time with the newest FarNW juice? I'm love the note profile. However, I'm a little concerned about the skunk notes to be honest. Are they quite literal and straight forward or have they been used in a more reserved way and blended into the coniferous notes? Skunk from a distance is ok, skunk that just got run over by a car...not ok with me. That would be way too pungent and challenging for myself.

    Also, for anyone that's tried RealOud and or RealOud Feral...which is the least animalic between the two? I heard feral is the least challenging...however, that's not what I'm concerned about. I had the recent displeasure of trying Dior Leather Oud and although I found it to be a pretty good I just couldn't get past the civet. I CAN however, do castoreum in light amount.

    Thanks ahead of time!
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  31. #31

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes FarNW & RealOud

    There's already a Phoenicia discussion thread so we'll merge them in order to keep the info. in one place.

    There is also another thread here.
    Last edited by lpp; 25th March 2014 at 01:34 PM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Thanks lpp. If anyone could help me with the more specific information. I'm not coming up with much in terms of reviews other than deadidol's, which I know likes the skankier stuff :-)
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  33. #33

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Hopefully, bumping this thread will produce something, rynegne

  34. #34

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Ryan: the skunk is literal, but you have to imagine it merging with the coniferous facets. It reads quite rubbery. Its not like Leather Oud (which, to me, is way more like castoreum than civet), but it's a dirty scent for sure. There's nothing light about it though, so if LO was tough, you might not do well with this.

    Real Oud Feral is tamer than Real Oud and has a grassier dry down. You'd like the second part of both of these, but as it's real Oud as opposed to, say, nagarmotha, it's literally quite cheesy upfront. LO, to me, is tame compared to these, but the profiles are really quite different.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Thanks yet again deadidol. I can deal with the rubbery facets of a skunk note, that part I find nice...like the smell of a drag-race track with burnt tires. It's the extreme sulfuric smell of freshly hit skunk that is somewhat off-putting for me.

    Civet is most definitely what kills LO. Initially, I was highly impressed. Then about 10 minutes in this extremely pungent and started to smell like wood chips at a petting zoo...and thoughts of an elderly person's house in the 70s flashed thought my head (I don't know why lol...that's just what I got.)

    I think I may have to try Oud Feral and FarNW. But, both definitely sound like they'll be a complete hit or miss for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Ryan: the skunk is literal, but you have to imagine it merging with the coniferous facets. It reads quite rubbery. Its not like Leather Oud (which, to me, is way more like castoreum than civet), but it's a dirty scent for sure. There's nothing light about it though, so if LO was tough, you might not do well with this.

    Real Oud Feral is tamer than Real Oud and has a grassier dry down. You'd like the second part of both of these, but as it's real Oud as opposed to, say, nagarmotha, it's literally quite cheesy upfront. LO, to me, is tame compared to these, but the profiles are really quite different.
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  36. #36

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    and thoughts of an elderly person's house in the 70s flashed thought my head (I don't know why lol...that's just what I got.)
    Fascinating! I totally get a '70s vibe from LO as well. To me, it's all sketchy motel room with anachronistic decor. There's a wall of embossed brown and orange geometric wallpaper; a musty, heavily used bed; two oversized fabric lamp shades; and a brown thick-pile carpet that's totally stained up and reeking of smoke. The place is completely deserted, but there are traces of recent human activity. It's totally silent, but there's an ominous humming sound coming from an unidentifiable source. It's *the* scent of Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays.

    That's what makes LO so fascinating to me—it's totally evocative. I find the rest of the Dior line almost entirely uninspired and pedestrian by comparison, but LO is a masterpiece of evocation and imagery.

    I'd certainly seek out Phoenicia, but I'd push you more toward Skin Graft which, I think, is his best work yet. There are some new things on the horizon from him soon—one of which is a musk bomb.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Ya LO is one of the most evocative fragrances I've tried to date, hands down!

    I'll check it out, thanks again for the input. Doesn't seem like many people have tried the line yet. I did discuss briefly with David what I would enjoy in terms of the 3 oud fragrances. He did say that Oud Taiga is going to be extremely musky...very, very nice guy btw. I don't have much experience with musky fragrances so he explained to me that real musk smells like "clean diapers." As of right now, I'm leaning towards trying Real Oud. The earthy/grassy dry down sounds very appealing to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    I'd certainly seek out Phoenicia, but I'd push you more toward Skin Graft which, I think, is his best work yet. There are some new things on the horizon from him soon—one of which is a musk bomb.
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  38. #38

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Evogel, Mick_Trick, and Rowan- have all spent time with Phoenicia, so they might provide some additional feedback as well.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Both RealOuds are actually quite friendly after the first 20 minutes or so - not that I have any problems with the opening to begin with since I actually love blue cheese.

    RealOud is clearly the denser and more intense of the two, much focused on earth and vetiver, whereas Feral takes a step back - it's structurally more open, which gives space for the rose to unfold and the composition to breathe and sing. In other words, RealOud feels like having my nose pressed into the earth; Feral on the other hand, lets me turn my head to the side for a bit of air.

    Just waiting for Skin Graft to return...

  40. #40

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Thanks for sharing rowan. I'm going to pick up RealOud standard and FarNW, I'm pretty sure after mulling over what I've read. The Ruh Khus vetiver pulls me right in. I'll share my thoughts here when I talk myself into pulling the trigger. Seems Skin Graft might be available here at Indigo.
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  41. #41

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Seems Skin Graft might be available here at Indigo.
    Skin Graft is being retooled as it has a honey material in it that became unavailable. It'll be back soon.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Thanks for sharing rowan. I'm going to pick up RealOud standard and FarNW, I'm pretty sure after mulling over what I've read. The Ruh Khus vetiver pulls me right in. I'll share my thoughts here when I talk myself into pulling the trigger. Seems Skin Graft might be available here at Indigo.
    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Skin Graft is being retooled as it has a honey material in it that became unavailable. It'll be back soon.
    Yes do report back, rynegne - let's keep this thread afloat.

    I wonder if the Skin Graft at Indigo Perfumery is old stock (and therefore worth checking out) or if they simply haven't updated the inventory to reflect its being out of stock.

  43. #43
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    I am really looking forward to his next two perfumes "Musk Cargo" and "Oud Taiga". If I understand it correctly both perfumes will contain real deer musk (which is from a vintage batch that is over 30 years old, so no animals got killed recently)!
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  44. #44
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    I'm looking for a little more information on FarNW. Has anyone spent a fair amount of time with the newest juice. I'm extremely intrigued by the notes. However, I'm a little concerned about the skunk notes to be honest. Are they quite literal and straight forward? Or are they more reserved and blended into the coniferous notes?

    I have an older and the new "skunkified" version. Both versions sit quite heavily on the stomach, but surprisingly the older version, although containing less skunk, is even heavier than the new "skunkified" version! In the older version there is a huge tension between the skunk and the woodsy notes and that can be sometimes overwhelming. In the new one the skunk is much drier and that makes the perfume more wearable, although there is more skunk in it which I find quite astonshing! In the new one the woodsy notes are more covered by the skunk and in both perfumes I don't really detect the tire-rubber note.

    Basically the new "skunkified" FAR NWEST is more wearable due to the drier nature of the skunk, but still it's quite heavy.
    Last edited by hoschhti; 27th March 2014 at 09:31 AM.
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  45. #45

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Thanks for sharing hoschhti!

    My Detailed thoughts on Phoenicia Real Oud Batch 08/13*

    Top Notes:
    I'm wearing RealOud right now as my package has just arrived. Initial dab on the back of each hand. Wow. I'll share my more detailed thoughts later...but upon quick sniff I don't get the blue cheese.

    However, the opening reminds me of Copenhagen Chewing Tobacco. My college roommate used to chew the original blend, I chose the flavored stuff (thankful to have quit about a year ago,) so when I would smell Cope it was like a punch to the face, the smell grabs you. If you've ever tried Copenhagen dip, it doesn't really smell like tobacco but it is indeed have a pungent sour woody smell. Obviously RealOud doesn't smell like tobacco, but it's the general pungent sour wood qualities I find somewhat similar at quick sniff. Deeper sniffs you can smell the earthiness of the vetiver battling quietly with the deep and dark oud notes.

    1 hour and change in:
    About an hour or so in and a deep oud has settled and begun to evolve. A light vetiver is more visible in the background...giving the fragrance a touch of earthiness. I'm not finding this one challenging at all. Not really seeing it as super animalic...more like a mellow sour wood.

    About 4 hours in:
    RealOud has settled, the pungent sour wood has morphed into a dry woody fragrance with very light smokey undertones from what I believe is the Ruh Khus. I've never smelt oud burning but this is what I imagine it smelling like as its burned. Smooth and super mellow at this point. And later around 5 hours now...rose, vetiver and oud create a safer fragrance that is earthy, lightly floral/smokey and absolutely woody throughout. RealOud has transitioned from something that would be seen as challenging to some into something incredibly smooth, likeable and unique.

    Final Notes:
    Excellent fragrance, I haven't smelled anything like it to date aside from some similarities to a hindi oud attar and an oud oil blend I've smelled and used myself in blends...but honestly this blows each of the raw materials along with any "fake oud" fragrance I've tried out of the water.

    The opening does not bother me at all as it didn't come off as blue cheese or barnyard to me at all but Copenhagen Long Cut and funky sour wood. I can say this means something coming from me as I couldn't handle the opening of Dior's Leather Oud. If you do test this one and have trouble with the opening of this one, try not to abandon the fragrance...unless it is intolerable for you...Because RealOud mellows out and sits closer to the skin after a brash opening to create a really solid woody/vetiver fragrance. It's among the top fragrances I've tried to date.
    Last edited by rynegne; 29th March 2014 at 12:07 AM.
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  46. #46

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Thanks for the kind analysis Ryan This current batch of RealOud is drawing to an end. I will be sending Mr. Deadidol a sample of the next batch, it is not as fecal, zooey, cheesy at opening but does have a very strong high note to it's opening, the formula remains the same. I think I may like it more but time will tell. There are still hints of barnyard but subtler. The oud taiga is macerating now and the musk cargo starts final formulation next week. Both musks contain the forty year old deer musk, i don't really yell about this because some animal cruelty vegan perfume peeps get irate at the thought of using even vintage animalics. Expect Oud Taiga in late April. I am also very excited to be asked to speak at Sniffapalooza in May and will let you know how it goes. Skin Graft will have to wait until after summer to see if the propolis I used initially is forthcoming from the hives I got my honey from. The chemistry of honey is very unique to each source and season and no other honey will meld properly with the opoponax. Luminous Olfactory Vibrations to all!

  47. #47

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Looking forward to trying the new ouds David, along with Skin Graft when it's complete. Keep up the quality work and innovative fumes!
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  48. #48

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    I'm just now seeing this thread after some time away. Rynegne, you have now experienced a legitimate oud oil. Blended yes, but the real deal. I think you would like Feral just as much. Both are incredible fragrances, and I'm still entertained by them after a month or so of wearings. Also...you're all in for a real treat with Oud Taiga. ;-)

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  49. #49

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Yes, I have! I've tried several oud-based attars, a few Hindi which bear some resemblance to RealOud. But, this stuff is really good. I cannot believe there's not a ton of buzz around this fragrance. Honestly, I didn't find it challenging in the least bit...although I could see how it may rub some the wrong way. The result of the dry down is something really special though.

    I'm excited for Oud Taiga, although I don't have much experience with musks or musk-based fragrances. Based on what David's done with RealOud standard, I'm anticipating its release. Also, highly intrigued by Skin Graft...thanks a lot deadidol. Now I have to wait until summer for that one :-)

    I'm excited to try FarNW, hopefully on Sunday. I've sniffed from the vial and I think it's going to be a good one. It's going to be tough to beat RealOud though!

    Quote Originally Posted by cwill View Post
    I'm just now seeing this thread after some time away. Rynegne, you have now experienced a legitimate oud oil. Blended yes, but the real deal. I think you would like Feral just as much. Both are incredible fragrances, and I'm still entertained by them after a month or so of wearings. Also...you're all in for a real treat with Oud Taiga. ;-)

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  50. #50
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Rynegne, I encourage you to try the "feral" version. I like it more than the normal RealOud. RealOud Feral is more airy, very heady and narcotic.

    Skin Graft is simply gorgeous! It is avant-garde without being loud, cruel or pretentious. A very peaceful and calm scent.
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  51. #51

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    I do want to try RealOud Feral soon, I'll probably order a sample in the near future, possibly when Oud Taiga comes out next month...a birthday present for myself :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by hoschhti View Post
    Rynegne, I encourage you to try the "feral" version. I like it more than the normal RealOud. RealOud Feral is more airy, very heady and narcotic. Skin Graft is simply gorgeous! It is avant-garde without being loud, cruel or pretentious. A very peaceful and calm scent.
    FAR NWEST

    Wearing a small splash of Far NWest before my significant other gets back from work (I wasn't sure how rough or skanky this one was.) Turns out Far NW is not rough at all or skanky. I was afraid the skunk would be quite sulfuric in nature. You know the smell if you've encountered a dead skunk in passing as it's instantly recognizable. This is not the type of skunk note that's in Far NWest. Honestly, if I didn't know there was skunk in this fragrance, I'm not sure I would make the connection.

    Far NWest starts off with a noticeable rubbery/musky note which almost gives the fragrance petro-like qualities, which I love. The skunk is neither fecal or pissy for a lack of better words, I am not into "dirtier" fragrances like that honestly. The opening of Far NWest smells somewhat like taking fresh fir needles directly from the tree and rubbing them in between two pieces of black rubber really fast so both the needles and rubber are heated but not fully burnt.

    As with RealOud, Far NWest opens pretty loud but settles quickly into a pleasing scent that hugs closer to the skin as wonderful wafts of the musk and fir notes of the scent sneak up to the nose ever so lightly. Quite the thought evoking fragrance. I've never had to pleasure to visit the Pacific Northwest. However, I've spent much time in the forests of far Northern Wisconsin and this fragrance brings me there. Narrow roads, tall pines and baking asphalt in the summer heat...that's Far NWest for me. Love it.
    Last edited by rynegne; 29th March 2014 at 06:57 PM.
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  52. #52

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Wearing RealOud Feral today and I have to say I enjoy RealOud more. While I'm finding *RealOud Feral to be THE reference OUD fragrance between the two, I like the transitions in RealOud (the standard version.) What I absolute love about RealOud is the fact that the fragrance starts as an equally solid oud and completely shifts to an entirely different fragrance with the Ruh Khus and rose. RealOud (standard) will be the more difficult pill to swallow for some, but I think it yields a better end result...a shape-shifter oud that plays the pungent oud part well and transitions into something beautiful and surprisingly agreeable after the kick in the mouth up front of stanky oud. Both are equally good, I just prefer RealOud and I'm interested to see how Taiga brings a different style to the plate.

    *RealOud Feral is a linear literal interpretation of how really dank oud smells: wet, animalic, sharp and pungent. A no-nonsense, realistic woody oud fragrance that brings you to the forests in which it's harvested. This is much how you'd expect someone to smell that's harvesting oud in the jungle. Sweaty from the jungle's heat and woody from handling the wood and bundling it all day in the unforgiving jungle.
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  53. #53
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Kind of funny that what you like about RealOud is what I dislike about RealOud: Somewhere in the middle of its development it turns in this huge Vetiver-Monster!

  54. #54

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    RealOud definitely will not sit well with you if you're not a fan of vetiver! Personally, I find the combination extremely weird yet comfortable. But, I am a fan of vetiver fragrances so that is not surprising. I like how the approach to RealOud is MUCH different than the typical rose/oud combo...RealOud gets dirty...digs through the rose garden and lays the uprooted roses on a bed of vetiver rather than pushing an overtly floral rose over a layer of synthetic oud. Both are extremely good!

    Quote Originally Posted by hoschhti View Post
    Kind of funny that what you like about RealOud is what I dislike about RealOud: Somewhere in the middle of its development it turns in this huge Vetiver-Monster!
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  55. #55
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    RealOud definitely will not sit well with you if you're not a fan of vetiver! Personally, I find the combination extremely weird yet comfortable. But, I am a fan of vetiver fragrances so that is not surprising. I like how the approach to RealOud is MUCH different than the typical rose/oud combo...RealOud gets dirty...digs through the rose garden and lays the uprooted roses on a bed of vetiver rather than pushing an overtly floral rose over a layer of synthetic oud. Both are extremely good!
    I actually like Vetiver, but in RealOud there is almost nothing that balances the Vetiver, it becomes kind of "suffocating".

  56. #56
    Basenotes Junkie james1051's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Source(s) of samples of this line?

  57. #57

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    I can see where you're coming from. It's definitely a punch of vetiver and it comes out of nowhere, like a completely unexpected party crasher. The vetiver could be dialed back a bit to lend itself to the woody qualities of the oud rather than play its own solo in the fragrance so to speak, but that's the part I particularly like about RealOud vs. Feral. Funny how different noses are

    Quote Originally Posted by hoschhti View Post
    I actually like Vetiver, but in RealOud there is almost nothing that balances the Vetiver, it becomes kind of "suffocating".
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  58. #58

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    There's a sample pack on the site. No sampler of the Feral version though. David did mention he's running low and that was before I purchased my bottle of RealOud Feral a week ago.

    http://www.phoeniciaperfumes.com/col...cts/sample-set

    Quote Originally Posted by james1051 View Post
    Source(s) of samples of this line?
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    *** NEW Lavhim (Lavender, Incense, Candle Wax, Clove, Fir Needles, Cognac & Green Leaves)*** / Jour et la Nuit (17/18th Century Style Chypre - Oakmoss/Resins/Musk/Vintage Civet Tincture.)

  59. #59

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Thank you so much Deadidol, looking forward to try this avant-garde american line.

  60. #60

    Default Re: Phoenicia Perfumes: Discussion Thread

    Definitely give RealOud (if you like oud/vetiver/rose) or RealOud Feral (if you like linear straight up pleasant barn-yard oud) a try when you get a chance. They are both extremely fine fragrances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darvant View Post
    Thank you so much Deadidol, looking forward to try this avant-garde american line.
    Madhat Scents - My personal limited run artisan perfume project.

    *** NEW Lavhim (Lavender, Incense, Candle Wax, Clove, Fir Needles, Cognac & Green Leaves)*** / Jour et la Nuit (17/18th Century Style Chypre - Oakmoss/Resins/Musk/Vintage Civet Tincture.)

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