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  1. #31

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    ROUND THREE

    And then there were eight!


    1) Aramis Havana (1994) vs Tom Ford for Men Extreme (2007)

    Boozy, spicy, dense, and unique fragrances. One an indomitable classic in the barbershop lane and the other a singularly rich, decadent gourmand in the 2000s style with an atypically earthy throughline.

    Winner: Tom Ford for Men Extreme - I appreciate Havana for the glorious throwback masterpiece that it is, but what I enjoy most about it is the riotous drydown. The unusual opulence of the Tom Ford is very "me" and I love all of its phases.



    3) Aramis Special Blend (2019)
    Bvlgari pour Homme Soir (2006)

    Two designer fragrances that march to the beat of their own drum and offer appealing accords I haven't encountered elsewhere (or at least I haven't experienced these accords presented with the same clarity). They're all-occasion scents that skew in different directions (woody-spicy vs citrus-green, respectively), with a no-frills directness that I tend to think of as casual rather than formal.

    Winner: Aramis Special Blend (2019) - The Aramis has a little more pizzaz than the Bvlgari. I love the Bvlgari's unique tea note, but after a half hour, what you see is what you get, even if what you get is pleasant. The Aramis feels simple, but it still offers a journey with distinct phases.



    3) Aramis Tuscany per Uomo (1984) vs Floris Leather Oud (2014)

    Maybe these don't really belong in a faceoff against one another, but they offer blends I think of as "daytime" with a throughline of strength with leather anchoring the composition. One is more strongly herbal, the other is floral.

    Winner: Floris Leather Oud (2014) - Tuscany is spectacular, even in current form (I actually like how the herbal elements become more prominent in the reformulation without the oakmoss "glue" holding them together), but so is the Floris, and it's the seamless, crisp, slightly formal blend of the Floris that I find myself admiring more.



    4) Cartier L'Envol (2016) vs M.A.C. Shadescents Velvet Teddy (2016)

    Two different unisex-skewing honey scents with prominent floral notes, both released the same year. Velvet Teddy is stronger, warmer, dirtier, while L'Envol is luminous and dewy.

    Winner: Cartier L'Envol (2016) - I think L'Envol's watery, translucent, amber-y effect is original and accordingly worthy of great acclaim. It's something I wouldn't want to be without. Velvet Teddy has a really well-done blend with a terrific "wild honey" note, but it's not as singular an aromatic experience.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Wow, TFFM Extreme beating Havana! Did not see that coming, as I know you love Havana a lot.

    I need to try Floris Leather Oud. Your comments are certainly selling me on it.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  3. #33

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    Wow, TFFM Extreme beating Havana! Did not see that coming, as I know you love Havana a lot.

    I need to try Floris Leather Oud. Your comments are certainly selling me on it.
    I didn't see Havana getting dethroned either. But when the matchup happened, it was clear which way it had to go.

    Floris Leather Oud is kinda in the Oud Ispahan line of things, but with geranium instead of rose, and a beautiful clean leather note that I think beautifully balances this "style" of floral-oud fragrance. It supposedly utilizes genuine oud, for what it's worth.

  4. #34
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Is the Aramis Special Blend exclusive and expensive like it sounds, or available in public outlets?

  5. #35

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Kilroy View Post
    Is the Aramis Special Blend exclusive and expensive like it sounds, or available in public outlets?
    It's a limited edition release but the big department stores seem to carry it. I got it from Lord & Taylor for $70.

  6. #36
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    I looked for it at Macy's about two months ago but the one by me didn't have it. Maybe with the holidays they got a few in. At the time, they only had the regular Aramis and Tuscany.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."

  7. #37

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Mitchell View Post
    I looked for it at Macy's about two months ago but the one by me didn't have it. Maybe with the holidays they got a few in. At the time, they only had the regular Aramis and Tuscany.
    You can always order online from these retailers.

    I haven't seen any in-store testers.

  8. #38
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Mitchell View Post
    I looked for it at Macy's about two months ago but the one by me didn't have it. Maybe with the holidays they got a few in. At the time, they only had the regular Aramis and Tuscany.
    Do you like Tuscany Danny?

  9. #39
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    It's a limited edition release but the big department stores seem to carry it. I got it from Lord & Taylor for $70.
    Thank you. Amazing research posted here by the way. I like the way you judge each on its own merits, not in comparison.


    ps- I haven't given up on Havana , by the way. It's just been so humid here, hard for anything to leave the skin.

  10. #40
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Kilroy View Post
    Do you like Tuscany Danny?
    Yes, sir, I do.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    I'm surprised Tom Ford survived to this point.
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  12. #42

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    I'm surprised Tom Ford survived to this point.
    I am, too, but the heart wants what it wants. It's good stuff.

    At any rate, TF Extreme is an atypical release for the house and doesn't really embody any of the Tom Ford cliches. It's dense, rich, and layered, and, as a boozy, dirty gourmand, it sits in one of my favorite fragrance subgenres.

  13. #43

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    ROUND THREE

    And then there were four!

    1) Cartier L'Envol (2016) vs Tom Ford for Men Extreme (2007)

    Elegant, sweet, stylish masculines with fruity or floral elements. These kinds of scents have been a theme in my collection, and so I'm not surprised to see two of them make it to the end, but I'm somewhat surprised that these are the two to win since neither of them showcase my favorite note, tobacco. (It may be that I own so many tobacco scents because tobacco has many different aspects, and no single scent can encapsulate them all.)

    I suspect these two have survived because of cleverness and distinctness. Both of these achieve things I've not encountered elsewhere and express fully-realized visions.

    Winner: Tom Ford for Men Extreme (2007) - Maybe L'Envol is the greater achievement--I've said this before, but its dewy, shimmering translucence is an undercelebrated effect--but TF Extreme is more me: rich, opulent, playful, and, well, odd.



    2) Aramis Special Blend (2019) vs Floris Leather Oud (2014)

    Two houses known for being a bit barbershop-y in essence. Floris has branched into niche territory, while after years of floundering, Aramis has only begun to try and return to its roots. Both of these scents represent an attempt to reconcile these "old-school" brands with the current market.

    Aramis Special Blend brings an old-school approach to a more contemporary scent profile, with a resulting scent that feels somehow outside of time.

    Floris Leather Oud, released as a pair with Honey Oud, saw the house attempt to reconcile the floral oud scent with its British identity, designing a kind of more buttoned-up take on the Oud Ispahan style.

    Winner: Floris Leather Oud (2014) - Aramis Special Blend is really very good (though it also got a leg up in this competition by sitting out a round), but I have to go with the Floris, which is more complex and so nicely balances its contrasting elements.



    FINAL ROUND

    Floris Leather Oud (2014) vs Tom Ford for Men Extreme (2007)

    I'm astonished that these are the two we're left with, but here we are! These are the survivors.

    You could think of this as being a pairing of a day scent and a night scent, though I don't know that people would totally agree with my categorization.

    The Floris makes me think of sitting in a leather armchair in a solarium filled with fragrant flowers (indeed, I used to frequent a kind of high-end indoor nursery that smells a lot like it and it takes me back there whenever I wear it).

    The Tom Ford for Men Extreme has a bit of swagger, a bit of playfulness, and a bit of richness. It's a scent that offers a lot of complexity and can wear a bit differently from day to day, but ultimately embodies what I'd wish we'd see more of from the luxe-niche brands: rich, fully-realized aromatic concepts with an eye to offer something a little different.

    Winner: Floris Leather Oud (2014) - Here, at the end, the Floris takes the award. I can't rationalize this decision, but when I put these two side by side, the choice was clear.


  14. #44
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One (Now Complete)

    I had a feeling you'd end with Floris, based on past comments.
    Nice thread, man. Well done.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."

  15. #45

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One (Now Complete)

    Fragrance Street Fighter is so satisfying. While reading these death matches I was picturing everything in all its 16-bit pixel arcade glory, replete with the husky voice of the fight host: “Round 3 . . . FIGHT!!

    Damn, it seems the Tom Ford and Aramis gangs have some serious street fighting thugs.

  16. #46
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    ROUND THREE

    And then there were four!

    1) Cartier L'Envol (2016) vs Tom Ford for Men Extreme (2007)

    Elegant, sweet, stylish masculines with fruity or floral elements. These kinds of scents have been a theme in my collection, and so I'm not surprised to see two of them make it to the end, but I'm somewhat surprised that these are the two to win since neither of them showcase my favorite note, tobacco. (It may be that I own so many tobacco scents because tobacco has many different aspects, and no single scent can encapsulate them all.)

    I suspect these two have survived because of cleverness and distinctness. Both of these achieve things I've not encountered elsewhere and express fully-realized visions.

    Winner: Tom Ford for Men Extreme (2007) - Maybe L'Envol is the greater achievement--I've said this before, but its dewy, shimmering translucence is an undercelebrated effect--but TF Extreme is more me: rich, opulent, playful, and, well, odd.



    2) Aramis Special Blend (2019) vs Floris Leather Oud (2014)

    Two houses known for being a bit barbershop-y in essence. Floris has branched into niche territory, while after years of floundering, Aramis has only begun to try and return to its roots. Both of these scents represent an attempt to reconcile these "old-school" brands with the current market.

    Aramis Special Blend brings an old-school approach to a more contemporary scent profile, with a resulting scent that feels somehow outside of time.

    Floris Leather Oud, released as a pair with Honey Oud, saw the house attempt to reconcile the floral oud scent with its British identity, designing a kind of more buttoned-up take on the Oud Ispahan style.

    Winner: Floris Leather Oud (2014) - Aramis Special Blend is really very good (though it also got a leg up in this competition by sitting out a round), but I have to go with the Floris, which is more complex and so nicely balances its contrasting elements.



    FINAL ROUND

    Floris Leather Oud (2014) vs Tom Ford for Men Extreme (2007)

    I'm astonished that these are the two we're left with, but here we are! These are the survivors.

    You could think of this as being a pairing of a day scent and a night scent, though I don't know that people would totally agree with my categorization.

    The Floris makes me think of sitting in a leather armchair in a solarium filled with fragrant flowers (indeed, I used to frequent a kind of high-end indoor nursery that smells a lot like it and it takes me back there whenever I wear it).

    The Tom Ford for Men Extreme has a bit of swagger, a bit of playfulness, and a bit of richness. It's a scent that offers a lot of complexity and can wear a bit differently from day to day, but ultimately embodies what I'd wish we'd see more of from the luxe-niche brands: rich, fully-realized aromatic concepts with an eye to offer something a little different.

    Winner: Floris Leather Oud (2014) - Here, at the end, the Floris takes the award. I can't rationalize this decision, but when I put these two side by side, the choice was clear.

    this has to be the most tempting bottle of perfume I have ever seen. Pity about the price. Peut-être dans la prochaine vie

  17. #47

    Default Re: Wardrobe Death Match: There Can Only Be One

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Mitchell View Post
    I had a feeling you'd end with Floris, based on past comments.
    Then you knew me better than I knew myself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabidsenses View Post
    Fragrance Street Fighter is so satisfying. While reading these death matches I was picturing everything in all its 16-bit pixel arcade glory, replete with the husky voice of the fight host: “Round 3 . . . FIGHT!!

    Damn, it seems the Tom Ford and Aramis gangs have some serious street fighting thugs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Kilroy View Post
    this has to be the most tempting bottle of perfume I have ever seen. Pity about the price. Peut-être dans la prochaine vie
    It ain't cheap, though I did get it at a significant discount.




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