You've got some really good ones there. Enjoy them!
Thread: A Forray into Niche territory
The following samples are now with me:
Mona di Orio - Vetyver
Taur - LADDM
Malle - Geranium PM
NU_BE - Sulphur
I wanted to sample an eclectic mix from a range of houses: some legendary on BN (LADDM), some conceptual (Sulphur), some with my favorite notes (Vetyver), some challenging to me (Malle).
I resisted the urge to splash them all on together! I thought I would sample the Vetyver first as it is a note I am comfortable with - owning TF GV and Lalique EN, and having tested Guerlain and others.
So far I have just popped the tops off the pots and had a inquisitive sniff. I think I'm in for a joyride over the coming days. And who knows, may even decide one is worth a full bottle purchase. I will post my impressions here and would love to have anyone else's input.
You've got some really good ones there. Enjoy them!
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I'm changing my mind with the Malle -- the drydown loses the mint and is very nice. The NU-BE range is interesting but I wasn't bowled over.
Looks like you have been to Les Senteurs -- they stock them all.
IMHO only LDDM is FBW from the samples you have!
"Thank GOD for the nose, for without it we would not be enjoying these beautiful created Scents" also Remember "Balance is everything and the key to appreciating "
Well - first impression of the Vetyver was relief that I was instantly attracted to such a highbrow fragrance. I have tried my best to give MY impressions so have stayed clear of reading too many reviews aside from the official note lists and manufacturers descriptions.
A fizzy fresh opening. I could immediately detect some citrus plus lush vetiver - although not ginger or grapefruit per se these notes probably enhanced that exciting opening. As stated in my into - I am comfortable with vetiver as a note however from the very opening this one felt like it would wear as a fairly classical masculine (reminding me most strongly of eau sauvage from my collection).
From the middle the vetiver remains the main player. here my nose is able to detect nuanced notes however it is not clear whether these are distinct additions or rather different facets of the vetiver coming in to play. I could variously detect a light pepper, faint vanilla and gentle wafts of delicate white flowers. The vanilla offers a touch of sweetness - not at all the vanilla ice cream type, more the intoxicating fresh vanilla you get from de-seeding a dried vanilla pod. There is also a faint smokiness. Not in a burning sense, more like fresh vetiver reeds that have been left out on the dry mud and scorched by the unforgiving sun. In fact that is the overall feel - a dry sun-scorched vetiver with windswept wafts of fresh leafy vetiver and light flowers from nearby.
Vetyver parts company with eau Sauvage as the citrus fresh opening yields to a more resinous intoxicating vetiver rather that becoming too soapy or formalised. The resinous feel ensures it stays interesting throughout its simple drydown. It dries down into a base of woody vetiver with musks and light smoke - almost like darkness bringing a welcome cool to the sun scorched landscape.
Overall - a fantastic vetiver experience where the spotlight stays firmly on the star of the show. In contrast to Le-labos where the named note may be more or less the star of the show - this is like seeing a solo singer hitting every single note on the spectrum. Any additional notes are merely for backing vocals and in no way detract from the star.
If EN and Sycamore are autumnal - this one is perfectly fresh for the spring. Only doubts are over the staying power and I would love to splash this on like a classic eau de colone. In any case this should not fail to get a mention when debating the best vetiver. A vetiver lovers vetiver
As a post script to the Vetyver experience - when the scent had fully run its course I could smell a faint dried saliva like smell when i sniffed really close to the skin. Maybe this would be the Labdanum? although some people have associated this smell with civet or ambergris. Anyway I doubt you could remove this without removing the heart of the fragrance.
Last 2 days have been spent with the legendary LADDM!
I think it is unfair to criticise a fragrance for failing to achieve something that it never set out to achieve in the first place therefore I would not expect it to be a versatile crowd-pleaser. I gather that its supposed to be a re-imagining of Tauer's own sensory experiences beside the desert in Morrocco - so if it has achieved this in its creators mind (which it presumably has) then it has fulfilled its objective and is technically a success. Its appeal to the general population would seem to be a added bonus to Tauer.
With that said - my own (largely irrelevant) impressions are:
WOW - WHAT a SCENT!!
This is surely what niche perfumery is all about. TBH it doesn't strongly bring to my mind a Moroccan desert breeze - but I don't care because its a fantastic scent on all levels! I could spend all week in department stores and not find a thing to get this excited about (egoiste may come closest).
What I get is a highly complex scent. The opening is a prelude to the journey ahead - wood, spice and sweetness. An initially quite coarse spiciness from the cumin and coriander is counterbalanced by the clean cool cedar. As the opening fades out an incense develops - more like smelling unburnt dry incense. The sweetness fades in and out with occasional bursts of delicious honey and crystallised rose petals. the end is a comforting delicate smooth and sweet.
This scent does so much, but never feels confused. At different points in the dry down it brings to mind other scents that I have owned or sampled but then moves on. The stark contrasts let different notes star in turn: dry spices against the clean cedar / sweet rose against the bitter background / The rough start against the smooth end.
Overall a scent that puts a smile on my face. Excellent power and projection. I think this one could play out quite differently depending on climate and body temperature. My thoughts were even validated by a colleague who complimented my new perfume (a real rarity)
I love vetiver, but find MdO's version to be middle of the road for most of it's life, and then, like you, I get something off-putting in the drydown. Something subtle and urine-like. Not a bad scent overall, but too many other vetivers out there that are better - and don't have that "off" note.
I enjoy the nu_be line, but still haven't tried Sulphur. looking forward to hearing your take on it.
LDDM is an excellent one for sure, and the Malle is quite good - after the first 20 minutes.
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, indeed - right at the very end of the Vetyver hence I didn't even mention it in my initial impressions. Thought it was a very good vetiver but to get the desired effect I had to really splash it on (used up nearly the whole sample vial) compared to the LDDM which is obviously a less-is-more kind of scent. I may need to check out CDG Vettiveru for a splash on.
Ion-one that's an excellent description of LDDM...reading it makes me want to do a blind buy ASAP
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I just sampled LDDM a few weeks ago and can't wait to get a FB- gorgeous drydown..
The Mona scent was ok but overpriced..
The other 2 I have no knowledge of..
Last few days have been spent with Geranium P.M
Mint is normally a non-starter for me in a fragrance so I knew I was in for a challenge when the first sniff literally resembled a peppermint mouthwash. The opening is an intense saccharine sweet icy mint - It really does smell like you've spilt some mouthwash. The overall feel from the mint is cool - fresh and invigorating. For me, the mint never disappears but becomes less intense. As the mint becomes more muted the other notes become discernible. There is a pleasing modern green fresh floral that emerges. Quite linear and predictable. An overall translucent Ellena-esque feel adds an air of lightness.
Strangely - the trick with this one for me was not to focus too hard. When actively concentrating on the scent all I could find was mint. It was only when I 'took my eye off the ball', forgot what I was wearing that the other pleasing notes emerged - and then it felt like I was really wearing a balanced fragrance not like I had an accident with my bathroom cupboard! The overall journey reminds me of how it might smell when Davidoff get round the developing: Cool Water Mint Blast.
Overall a perfectly pleasant modern masculine fragrance. This is a very socially acceptable scent - almost focusing upon what general society takes to be agreeably fresh and non-offensive. No one could complain about this one on public transport or in the office. Ironically this is where my problem starts. I am more that happy to smell this on others, and would be happy to smell like this fresh out of the shower - but as a fragrance its just not my cup of tea. Perhaps its just got too much mass-appeal, its a slightly compromising composition that seems eager not to offend. Definitely an anti-powerhouse. Recommended for those who object to that "old man smell".
To be fair I was predisposed against this, and just couldn't get over the mint - so would have to give a neutral. Its a cruel irony that our least favorite notes are always the strongest most long-lasting! I would, however, not hesitate to recommend this to someone looking for a mint dominated niche fragrance or someone looking for a fresh modern masculine on the proviso that they don't mind mint.
LDDM decimates all!
Finally got round to trying the NU_BE. I must admit to being a sucker for a novel concept and this one seemed to be very intriguing!
It took me a few wears to 'get it'. When testing we may try hard to make comparisons to what has come before or fit a new scent into a particular genre or category. This proved impossible. I was just about to give up on this one and then realised I don't need to put it into any pre-existing category. Sulphur tends to transcend categorisation in such a simple way, it smells neither traditional nor modern, neither conventional nor challenging. It is what it is. The scent seems to be very true to the brief - quite an elemental smell; familiar and novel in equal measure.
I think this is one scent it is possible to review without mentioning a single note - this is because the notes aren't there to smell like themselves, they have been used as vehicles to deliver a certain feeling and atmosphere. This is an alchemy where the final result is far greater than a sum of its parts. A complex scent that seems so simple / elementary.
The opening is true to type. Thick, gaseous, all stifling. The rich - almost boozy opening intoxicates the senses. It never quite feel like you're wearing the scent, it is as if you're surrounded by a dense gas. The smell novel yet somehow familiar.
The density soon clears and again, true to type, the smell is quite elementary: earthy and mineralic. Bringing to mind slightly the mineral/flinty feel of TDH, but where TDH is finely polished this is more raw and unadulterated. The overall feel is clean. Not in a citrus or soapy way, but, clean as in uncontaminated and sterile. The smell is like going in to a remote cave of rock that was formed by volcanic processes thousands of years ago with a smouldering of subterranean activity suggesting continuity with the distant past. Not a new smell just a smell that always was. This is clean but in a dark and unconventional way like the feeling after using coal-tar soap.
In sum - a fragrance that is very true to its conceptual brief. Novel but somehow reassuringly familiar. The apparent simplicity a result of complex alchemy. It may take a few samples to 'get it' or rather, not to worry about not getting it and enjoying it just for what it is. I like it a lot - just don't believe i'd wear it often. A great scent for people that don't want to be obviously wearing a scent. Edgy. Postmodern.
Love your write-ups, ION-ONE and concur in your reaction to Tauer's LADDM. Do stay true to your own nose. There's no such thing as a communal nose, anyway.
Well done, ION-ONE - your descriptions are wonderfully informative - looking forward to reading more.