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  1. #1
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Sample of the Day - June 2014

    Today l tried Violette Fumee by Mona di Orio.

    For the first hour on my skin, this is bitter, acrid & earthy, & hits the back of my throat like the eye drops l was given as a child after eye surgery. Not one of my most pleasant childhood memories. Gradually l pick out notes of lavender, vetiver, leather & most prominently, a dark tobacco, not the sweet cherry kind. The whole strikes me as very masculine, & it's not until two hours in that l get a hint of violet, but it's far more the leaf than the sweet bloom that l smell. Very slowly it dries down to a more palatable base of vetiver with a lemony frankincense, still going faintly after nine hours.

    l was attracted to this by reviews describing it as a "smoky violet", but it did not live up to my expectations. l got nothing in the way of violet flowers, & instead of a soft wisp of smoke, l got something very unpleasantly acrid & dark. The base is much more bearable, but it takes a long time to get there. lt's a long time since l tested Black Violet, but l remember that one as being far more wearable for me.

    Hope to see many of you sharing your sampling experiences here this month; all are welcome!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  2. #2
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    Today l tried Shanghai Lily by Tom Ford.

    From the outset, this is a very muted fragrance; l have to put my nose right up to my arm to even smell the topnotes, & l agree with the reviews that use the word "ephemeral" to describe it. l get a woody floral accord, joined after a while by a little smoke, some vanilla, & later vetiver. l get very little in the way of floral notes, except for maybe some rose, until around four hours in when a salty lily finally appears, along with a wisp of incense. All that's left after five hours is a trace of woods, before it fades out altogether. Nothing resinous or animalic here.

    Having read the notes list along with some rave reviews on some of the blogs, this one held so much promise for me. But it was so frustratingly faint on my skin that it was like straining to identify a tune being played on a distant radio. And this was on a warm day, when normally quiet fragrances would grow huge on me. lf the volume were cranked way up l would probably enjoy this one a lot more.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    Thank you so much for your impressions of these, Teardrop. From reviews I had read, they both sounded incredible. I will still sniff Violet Fumee but your description of Shanghai Lily as "a muted fragrance" means it's a no-go for me.

  4. #4
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    You're welcome, foxbins! l would be interested to hear your impressions if & when you try either of these.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    I gave a second try to Santa Maria Novella Iris last night, and I still find this a fairly simple and straightforward iris fragrance, and linear in nature. There is a soft, rooty, earthy iris with a delicate and gentle powder note. There is really not much else that I detect. This is very pleasant, but I found myself bored a little bit over time, possibly expecting some change or shift.

  6. #6
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    Today l tried Pear & Olive by Slumberhouse.

    For the first hour, l get green, oily pear, quite fresh in a shampoo-like way, but also oddly sickly. At this stage it turns my stomach slightly, until the note of massoia bark begins to emerge, & it all becomes more bearable. The massoia lends a pleasant woodiness to the heart, with its suggestion of coconut shell - not flesh - & its touch of milky fig. Some time later there's a little ambery sweetness, & nine hours in, the base of crisp, dry woods is still going.

    l have to admit that l really don't like pear, the fruit or the scent, but l was hoping that the rumoured coconut note & the promised olive note would combine to make this one worth a try. Sadly, there was no trace of the juicy, salty olives l longed for, & not enough coconut to offset that nauseating opening.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by teardrop View Post
    Today l tried Pear & Olive by Slumberhouse.

    For the first hour, l get green, oily pear, quite fresh in a shampoo-like way, but also oddly sickly. At this stage it turns my stomach slightly, until the note of massoia bark begins to emerge, & it all becomes more bearable. The massoia lends a pleasant woodiness to the heart, with its suggestion of coconut shell - not flesh - & its touch of milky fig. Some time later there's a little ambery sweetness, & nine hours in, the base of crisp, dry woods is still going.

    l have to admit that l really don't like pear, the fruit or the scent, but l was hoping that the rumoured coconut note & the promised olive note would combine to make this one worth a try. Sadly, there was no trace of the juicy, salty olives l longed for, & not enough coconut to offset that nauseating opening.
    Yes I got that shampoo vibe too. Another miss for me.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    Tony Gard Man
    Ck Euphoria for Men
    Black XS Potion

    While all of them were ok, only this one stood out as strikingly well-made and with a captivating notes development.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    Back to my sample of House of Matriarch Bohemian Black today. An interesting scent indeed.
    Madhat Scents - My personal limited run artisan perfume project. Jour et la Nuit (17/18th Century Style Chypre - Oakmoss/Resins/Musk/Vintage Civet Tincture.) / Bespoke 8.30.14 (Apple, Cavendish Pipe Tobacco, Vanilla, Smoke, Woods & Resin.)

    ***MadHat Samples now available at Surrender to Chance here.
    ***

    SALES THREAD Slumberhouse, CdG & More...

  10. #10
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sample of the Day - June 2014

    Today l tried some Demeter samples;

    Dirt is indeed the scent of dry topsoil, with hints of minty leaves & fruit, rendered fresh as well as earthy by a touch of ozone. The fresher aspects fade after an hour or so, but it lingers as an earthy skin scent for a surprising eight hours, giving off nice little wafts, & ending in a faintly floral base. l really like this one, & look forward to giving it a proper full wearing.

    Rain is a calone-like aquatic, slightly salty, & rather reminiscent of Calvin Klein's Escape. There is something quite dark-green, like vetiver, underpinning it. This one is quieter, & fades to nothing after only ninety minutes. l guess interpretations of rain can vary enormously, as it is not the rain that has a scent, so much as the things being rained on. Rain will of course smell very different depending on the climate, the local vegetation, whether it's raining on an English city street in winter or in a sweltering Mediterranean village in summer, etc. l'm not sure of the setting for this one, but it's not the intoxicating "garden after the rain" scent that l was hoping for.

    Thunderstorm strikes me as mainly patchouli & woods, along with a kind of burning smell, not unlike Gorilla Perfumes' The Smell of Weather Turning. There is also a suggestion of wet concrete or asphalt. This has by far the strongest projection of the three, & is still going strong after three hours when l go for a post-workout shower. The feel is very masculine, & not terribly pleasant to my nose. lf this scent is in any way related to a thunderstorm, then for me it conveys more of the tension in the air before a storm, rather than the cathartic release brought on with the freshening of the air, when the heavens finally open.

    These are the first Demeters that l've sampled, & l tried to approach them as l would any perfume; trying to resist being suggestible & smelling certain things just because the label says l should. l tried instead to sniff for actual notes, & notice how they made me feel. For me the only one here that lives up to its name is Dirt. Perhaps because l do a lot of gardening, this one made me feel happy, as l do when l'm actually digging around in the dirt. Had l not tried this one, l probably wouldn't have been too impressed with this line, but Dirt is very cleverly put together, quite complex, & much longer-lasting than Demeter's scents are reputed to be.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

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