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  1. #1
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    Default Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Antoine Maisondieu at his best. It's absolutely incredible how little elements it takes to create something special when you have a solid concept and an incredible artistic direction. Sugi is minimalism at its best as opposed to the plethora of simplistic pranks we are too often asked to buy as minimalistic and modern forms of *art*.

    Sugi is an entire composition based around the most fascinating synergies amongst otherwise pretty common notes. What comes out is something unique, novel and totally plausible at the same time. Something that doesn't need to try so hard to be unique. Something that is refreshing for its natural simplicity. No make up, no gimmick, no special effects and no hype.

    The fragrance opens with freezing dark green notes (cypress) paired to pepper. The pepper here is not of the most usual quality but, instead, it verges towards the aromatic spiciness of Long Pepper which is a lot hotter than the more common Piper Nigurm. The opening is quite something for anyone into CDG's quirkiness as the pairing of these two notes, give birth to something extremely novel. Sharp, freezing and nose tingling. A rooty orris note breaks in right away and together with vetiver and smooth woody notes, start fascinating synergies between all the elements that strike for being both gentle and sophisticated as well as abstract, futuristic and rough-ish. There's an overall earthiness going on that brings to mind of wet concrete as well as an outdoorsy vibe that feels both naturalistic and industrial at the same time. Sort of a futuristic urban agglomeration surrounded by a forest. The fragrance is simple yet anything but simplistic. A gem of minimalism from people who know their stuff.

    Longevity is extremely good (yes) while projection is a bit tricky. Definitely not a projection monster but sort of like you think it's gone and then BAM.

    One of my favorite fragrances of 2013 and the best in the Monocle Series.


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    I still have not sampled this or the (Blue) series..
    Too much new stuff-this is overwhelming

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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    I have a sample of this one at home that arrived this week but have only sniffed it on paper as yet. I liked what I sniffed initially, but on paper it quickly faded. Hopefully on skin it fares better... I hope to try it this weekend and find out.
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie
    Currently wearing: As Sawira by Penhaligon's

  4. #4

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Why do you have to do this to me alfarom? Your reviews entice me every time...This one sounded awesome before I read your review, now I might have to blow my money and just pick up a bottle.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Have recently tried this also and it's very nice indeed.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Wow! and I probably wouldn't have given this a second thought with so many targets to try. That review was very interesting as I really like this house and it's originality so I have penciled in another potential target.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Sounds fantastic. Wikipedia tells me that 'Sugi' is also known as Japanese cedar. as a lover of cedar I will be giving this a try! Also Hinoki is a Japanese cypress. Seems like the good people at CDG are gradually rolling out a very interesting collaborative effort along with Monocole.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    I like it a lot and would prefer it over Hinoki (which isn't actually that close but somehow shares the vibe) but it really fades out way too fast to be bottle worthy for me. Is it just me or is there a very interesting leather note peeking through sometimes?
    Last edited by Nasenmann; 12th December 2013 at 04:54 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    It's actually pretty funny how several people find this fragrance to have tenacious lasting power while, at the same time, a lot of others claim this is pretty volatile. I start to believe anosmia to some ingredient(s) might play a relevant role here because while it isn't a sillage monster, this stuff is pretty long lasting on me (8+ hours). On a side note, I've seen also someone else mentioning how tricky this fragrance is. You think it's gone but then, unexpectedly, it blooms again. Anyway, as a general note, CDG is not something to check out for super-longevity and/or mega silage. In fact, most of their stuff is all about restraint.


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  10. #10

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    It's actually pretty funny how several people find this fragrance to have tenacious lasting power while, at the same time, a lot of others claim this is pretty volatile. I start to believe anosmia to some ingredient(s) might play a relevant role here because while it isn't a sillage monster, this stuff is pretty long lasting on me (8+ hours).
    Yes, I noticed that too but I have no idea what ingredient other than certain musks it could be in my case.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    I sampled last week. I love it.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by thebeck View Post
    I sampled last week. I love it.
    I knew I could have counted on you


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  13. #13

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    I'd like to sample this one I think. It may be too minimal for me however, idk.
    Currently wearing: Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    It's actually pretty funny how several people find this fragrance to have tenacious lasting power while, at the same time, a lot of others claim this is pretty volatile.
    I can see how this could happen. Apart from anosmia, when I tested it, it went through 2 distinct stages where I thought the fragrance had died out, but it was just that initial fresh cypress phase running out before it moved into a long lasting iris scent. In fact it seemed to blossom again and be even more radiant than when I initially applied it.

    Here's my brief impression from another thread

    Bright, fresh, unisex. Wonderful bright cypress opening with a touch of camphor to it, but nothing like the big hit from Hinoki. Dries down to a bright cypress and iris. I thought that was the end and that the scent was very short lived, but when I got home it had blossomed again with the iris, cedar and vetiver becoming beautifully radiant.
    While I walked around I thought it was one that I liked, but didn't really need to get a FB, but I think I am going to end up with a bottle sooner rather than later. Just out of interest I tried Hinoki beside it, and it makes Hinoki seem like quite a dark, potent beast. I think Sugi is far more accessible. How many woody scents can CdG make me buy...
    While it feels quite minimalist, I think there is really a surprising amount going on in this scent and I enjoyed it, even though I'd be happy wearing just sugi essential oil.

    As far as a leather note goes, I find orris root/iris often reads as a clean leather to my nose. Somewhat soapy/leathery in some cases.
    Last edited by Darjeeling; 13th December 2013 at 01:37 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darjeeling View Post
    As far as a leather note goes, I find orris root/iris often reads as a clean leather to my nose. Somewhat soapy/leathery in some cases.
    It totally makes sense!


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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Hmmmmmm tempting me to get a sample of this. I read your review on carbon and automatically went for it as i found Nu-be to be quite an intriguing new house. Only problem was that carbon initially gave me that smell of an indian fellow in the heat sweating profusely after having eaten a curry.. (most likely the combination of sandalwood and cardamom) wasn't altogether pleasant lol. But theeeeeen i gave it a few more tries and it turned out to be a lovely warm smell that made me feel relaxed and calm.

    So if you gave carbon 7.5 then i'll probably have to give this one a go,

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Try it before you buy. This is COMPLETELY different from Carbon. The Nu_Be is a perfect warm spicy fragrance with no particular twists. Incredible balance, amazing execution, endless wearability. Sugi is more *novel* (sorry the lack of better words). Sort of colder, smooth but for certain aspects also angular...two completely different ballparks, IMO.


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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Aye the notes are totally different so will be a different vibe. But i'm still interested in giving this one a go. I like fragrances that aren't muddled with a myriad of notes.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Good luck! Looking forward to your thoughts...


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  20. #20

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    It smells just like cryptomeria (sugi). Reminds me of my days doing tree work.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Having worn Sugi on skin a couple times now, here is my take (I would post in the review section but alas, yet again we have another missing fragrance in the directory)...

    Sugi

    Sugi opens with a turpentine-like coniferous pine and cypress wood tandem. As the composition reaches its early heart the coniferous elements recede as a black pepper-laced natural cedar emerges seemingly out of nowhere to star through the entire mid-section with the remnants of the open as barely noticeable support. During the late dry-down the pepper-laced cedar remains in a supporting role as slightly sharp, somewhat lemony vetiver takes the fore through the remainder of the composition's lifespan. Projection is below average and longevity is slightly below average at 6-7 hours on skin.

    Sugi's turpentine-like pine and cypress open is definitely an acquired taste. It comes on all at once and may scare away folks seeking a "crowd-pleaser" early, though its off-beat unexpected start is very much in-line with the quirky Comme des Garcons house style. The unexpected piecing open quickly fades over a twenty minute span with the fragrance seemingly completely dying. Out of nowhere, it rises from the ashes with a gorgeous peppery cedar that takes over and dominates the vast majority of development before sharing the spotlight with nicely done vetiver that meshes with the pepper and cedar seamlessly. My guess is that those not scared off by its first 20 minutes will be very happy with the latter rewards on offer, and this reviewer is no exception. A minor gripe with Sugi that merits at least a mention is less to do with its fragrance profile and more-so its somewhat below par performance characteristics, particularly in the longevity department. The bottom line is the $120 per 50ml bottle Sugi is a bit tough to enjoy early, but it gets really good real fast, earning a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 and a solid recommendation (especially to fans of the house).
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie
    Currently wearing: As Sawira by Penhaligon's

  22. #22

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    With this rave from Alfarom - whose taste is always the best - and drseid's hard to attain rating of "very good" 3.5 out of 5 stars - I may have to blind buy this bottle. Hinoki is a favorite. Laurel was good, not great. Sugi sounds very good indeed.
    SUMMER COLOGNES: Gabriella Chieffo Aquasala • Dior Homme Cologne • Boudicea the Victorious Oxford • Penhaligons Lothair • Molecule 01 • Azemour les Orangers • AdP Essenza • Byredo Sunday Cologne • Ginepro di Sardegna • Maestrale • Iris Nazarena • Versace Pour Homme •

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by drseid View Post
    Having worn Sugi on skin a couple times now, here is my take (I would post in the review section but alas, yet again we have another missing fragrance in the directory)...

    Sugi

    Sugi opens with a turpentine-like coniferous pine and cypress wood tandem. As the composition reaches its early heart the coniferous elements recede as a black pepper-laced natural cedar emerges seemingly out of nowhere to star through the entire mid-section with the remnants of the open as barely noticeable support. During the late dry-down the pepper-laced cedar remains in a supporting role as slightly sharp, somewhat lemony vetiver takes the fore through the remainder of the composition's lifespan. Projection is below average and longevity is slightly below average at 6-7 hours on skin.

    Sugi's turpentine-like pine and cypress open is definitely an acquired taste. It comes on all at once and may scare away folks seeking a "crowd-pleaser" early, though its off-beat unexpected start is very much in-line with the quirky Comme des Garcons house style. The unexpected piecing open quickly fades over a twenty minute span with the fragrance seemingly completely dying. Out of nowhere, it rises from the ashes with a gorgeous peppery cedar that takes over and dominates the vast majority of development before sharing the spotlight with nicely done vetiver that meshes with the pepper and cedar seamlessly. My guess is that those not scared off by its first 20 minutes will be very happy with the latter rewards on offer, and this reviewer is no exception. A minor gripe with Sugi that merits at least a mention is less to do with its fragrance profile and more-so its somewhat below par performance characteristics, particularly in the longevity department. The bottom line is the $120 per 50ml bottle Sugi is a bit tough to enjoy early, but it gets really good real fast, earning a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 and a solid recommendation (especially to fans of the house).
    Fantastic review David but I was genuinely wondering, no orris at all???


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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    Fantastic review David but I was genuinely wondering, no orris at all???
    Nothing detectable on my skin....
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie
    Currently wearing: As Sawira by Penhaligon's

  25. #25

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Good review, drseid! Sugi does that "ressurrection" trick on me too but personally I much prefer it in it's initial incarnation and the second one is also pretty weak projecting. Sugi develops very peculiarly and I'm not sure I can accept that split personality as a CdG or avantgarde feature - I'm leaning more towards "unfortunate composition". Sugi suffers from schizophrenia which is by no means depreciating any of it's personalities - that just comes down to personal preferences. However, they are different enought to like one and not like the other - that's tricky.
    Last edited by Nasenmann; 15th December 2013 at 06:37 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by drseid View Post
    Nothing detectable on my skin....
    That's interesting. On my skin, after the initial blast, there's a pretty remarkable orris note bonded with both pepper and a grapefruit/pomelo accord.


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  27. #27

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Here's my take. Be warned, there are carrots.

    A highly unique and original scent that doesn’t rely on an overly extravagant composition or any gimmickry—it fact, the ugly-ass bottle even undermines the possibility of smoke and mirrors, leaving the fragrance itself to do all of the talking.

    Out of the gate, it smells crisp, refreshing, and more than a little like a carrot juice smoothie. This comes from the combination of peppery notes merged with the slightly bitter facets of cypress. It’s sharp and spicy, but keeps from becoming an overly culinary affair—it stays very natural and plant-like. I don’t get much iris personally, and I’d assume that it’s there for structure and smoothing of the more jagged notes—of which there are a few. Last, it drifts into a fairly sharp vetiver scent—not unlike Encre Noire, but not quite as dark or gritty. And that’s about all it does.

    But it does this very well indeed, and stands out from other coniferous scents through nuance. Whereas with other CdG scents in which you often get a playful side-by-side merging of something industrial against something natural, the impression here is less of a merger and more of a study—as if a natural object were placed onto a disinfected surface, fluorescent lights serving to amplify the natural facets even more. The sense of something artificial is present, but is never insincere.

    This challenges genre expectations; it’s a scent that’s “safe” and “accessible” for a wide reception, yet it’s interesting enough for a more discriminating nose to enjoy as well. In that sense, it’s a success.
    Last edited by deadidol; 16th December 2013 at 06:36 AM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Why do you have to do this to me alfarom? Your reviews entice me every time...This one sounded awesome before I read your review, now I might have to blow my money and just pick up a bottle.
    LMAO!

    Yeah. Me too. Better than Hinoki? Damn. Gonna have to git me some smell action on this one!
    * * * *

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    It's actually pretty funny how several people find this fragrance to have tenacious lasting power while, at the same time, a lot of others claim this is pretty volatile. I start to believe anosmia to some ingredient(s) might play a relevant role here because while it isn't a sillage monster, this stuff is pretty long lasting on me (8+ hours). On a side note, I've seen also someone else mentioning how tricky this fragrance is. You think it's gone but then, unexpectedly, it blooms again. Anyway, as a general note, CDG is not something to check out for super-longevity and/or mega silage. In fact, most of their stuff is all about restraint.
    That's my guess, too - a large molecule in the musk / amber / resin / woody amber range.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nasenmann View Post
    Yes, I noticed that too but I have no idea what ingredient other than certain musks it could be in my case.
    If the woody note depends on a woody amber, that could be it. I find some of them unpredictable, and that others almost have to be "learned" to be detected at low concentrations.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebeck View Post
    I sampled last week. I love it.
    The kiss of wallet death.
    * * * *

  30. #30

    Default Re: Comme Des Garcons Monocle Scent 03 - Sugi: A GEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    That's my guess, too - a large molecule in the musk / amber / resin / woody amber range.
    I didn't get any of the usual large molecule culprits from it though -- if they've got something in here that's doing that, they've hidden it quite well.

    Someone above mentioned a leathery note, and there's a pyrolone aspect to it that can come off as leathery, but I think it's just the pepper / coniferous opening that creates that semi-bitter effect.

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