Perfume Reviews

Reviews by drseid

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Asja by Fendi

*Note: This is a review of the EdP version of Asja.

Asja opens with a juicy ripe peach and powdery rose co-starring tandem with just a tinge of underlying subtle raspberry fruit before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the now airy rose takes the fore in a big way, as powdery carnation joins it as co-star with relatively sanitized thin jasmine and moderately sweet tonka bean adding support. During the late dry-down, the formerly starring rose gradually recedes and the jasmine vacates, unveiling slightly powdery vanilla and smooth sandalwood in the base that melds with remnants of the supporting tonka bean, adding a hint of sweetness to the mix through the finish. Projection is very good and longevity excellent at between 13-15 hours on skin.

Jean Guichard may not be the most prolific of perfumers, but when he *does* release a perfume one would be wise to take note, and Asja from the early nineties is another winner. Asja definitely reminds me more than a bit of vintage Poison by Dior, but it is nowhere near as brash or loud, swapping peach for Poison's plum into its spectacular rose and jasmine mix. There is a powdery nature to the perfume (which is partially attributed to carnation used in its heart and vanilla in its base) that bothers me to a modest degree, but it never gets out of control, and the perfume's positive attributes easily outweigh any concerns in that area. Where Poison defined the loud, bold nature of the 80s, Asja shows the gradual shift away from it in the early 90s, while still maintaining a lot of the same overall feel. If I had to choose between the two perfumes, I prefer vintage Poison, as it lacks the powder and pushes projection performance metrics to the limit (I *am* a powerhouse perfume lover after all), but Asja is not a Poison clone by any stretch, and it is a fine composition in its own right, fitting into "close quarters" situations with relative ease. The bottom line is the discontinued $110 per 75ml bottle on the aftermarket Asja represents one of the finest releases from the early 90s, earning a "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation, particularly to lovers of vintage Poison who would prefer a lighter touch.
11th April, 2021
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Sova by Slumberhouse

I am going to skip the usual objective note breakdown portion of the review, as Sova's notes all seem to blend together seamlessly to form an overall accord that at least on this writer's skin stays the same from start to finish. Projection is good and longevity is absolutely legendary at well over 24 hours on skin.

I haven't had a lot of luck with most Slumberhouse releases in the past, so it took me quite some time to get around to giving my Sova sample a real try on skin. Now having finally done so, the results are a bit of mixed bag. The overall development begins with a bit of a slightly sweet plum-like note before quickly morphing into its primary gourmand burnt sugar accord that stays constant through its finish. This burnt sugar accord has imortelle and prune-like facets, with even some pipe tobacco that make it smell different than caramel per se, but they are not in completely different ball parks. I can easily say that Sova is not my kind of perfume, but I can also respect it appealing to off the beaten path gourmand lovers to a degree. The bottom line is the $180 per 30ml bottle Sova is one of the best performing perfumes I have encountered from a longevity perspective, but the "above average" 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5 rated composition ultimately is not something that one most likely will want to wear, yielding it only a neutral recommendation except to Slumberhouse lovers that enjoy gourmands.
05th April, 2021
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Mahodarā by Parfums Karmic Hues

Mahodara opens with deep warm clove spice and radiant, slightly waxy frankincense before gradually transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the frankincense remains, as its waxy facet gains strength, with smooth aromatic patchouli emerging as co-star with the clove shifting to a supporting role as it is joined by slightly salty, smoky tea-like immortelle spice early, then morphing to dry, woody tobacco leaf late. During the late dry-down the woody tobacco leaf dominates as the clove and frankincense vacate, leaving remnants of the patchouli coupling with soft just slightly animalic musk in support through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at over 12 hours on skin.

This is a relatively difficult review to write. On the one hand, the perfume opens with a fantastic clove and frankincense tandem that is absolutely captivating. This only proves more-so, as soft aromatic patchouli is added to the mix in the early heart. If things stopped there, this review would be a highly enthusiastic buy recommendation. Alas, the perfume starts to fall apart about two hours into the development when the dry woody tobacco leaf is added to the mix. This tobacco comes off smelling like it was infused with vague, dry synthetic smelling woods - norlimbanol to this writer, and whether it actually has the stuff or not, the resemblance is unmistakable and takes the wearer right out of the earlier enjoyment from its strong start. That this synthetic woody dry tobacco lasts and lasts through the finish doesn't help things any. All that said, those first couple hours really smell good enough to save the perfume from succumbing to the much longer lasting disappointing finish. The bottom line is the $90 per 50ml extrait concentration bottle Mahodara highly impresses early, only to fall somewhat flat late, still earning the overall effort a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rating, but only a tepid purchase recommendation due to the vast majority of the late development being marred by synthetic smelling dry woody tobacco.
21st March, 2021
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Murkwood by Pineward Perfumes

Murkwood moves right past any detectable top notes on skin, shifting straight to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, a dominant dark coniferous green fir accord takes the fore with a subtle black licorice and black current supporting tandem undertone and with hints of additional supporting green tree moss. During the late dry-down the composition softens as the coniferous green fir remains the focus, shedding its dark facet and the licorice undertone as it adds supporting stark incense to the mix through the finish. Projection is below average but longevity is excellent at over 12 hours on skin.

Immediately after applying Murkwood on skin I knew this was some great smelling stuff. The composition is highly linear and doesn't feature a ton of key notes throughout, but what *is* there, is sublime. The coniferous green fir that is the focus of most of the development is potent and extremely life-like. The perfume near-certainly contains gobs of high quality naturals, and the dark green juice color coupled with the 34% extrait concentration stained my skin and I am sure would do the same to clothing. The incense is less forward than the fir, and early-on I really couldn't smell it until the fir softened during the dry-down to allow the it to emerge from hiding, adding another facet to the relatively straightforward development. If there is a perfume that is in the general ballpark of Murkwood (apart from its discontinued excellent smelling sister scent Fanghorn), it would have to be the initial release of Norne by Sumberhouse. Norne is great smelling stuff, but I think I like Murkwood a hair more. The bottom line is the $128 per 37ml extrait bottle Murkwood represents an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rated life-like approximation of a walk through a dark coniferous forest, earning a strong recommendation to lovers of compositions like Norne in particular, but all coneheads should apply.
06th March, 2021
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Steading by Pineward Perfumes

Steading goes on with a barley infused slightly smoky maple syrup accord with hints of supporting dry tobacco leaf before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the dry tobacco leaf becomes the sole star for about an hour and a half before the maple syrup makes a return and swaps places with it now with the tobacco still detectable, but in a supporting role joined by a faint background of coniferous greens that meld particularly with the maple. During the late dry-down the composition morphs multiple times as it first adds a near sanitized patchouli-like aspect to the maple and tobacco before finally settling on the focal maple yet again through the finish. Projection is good and longevity outstanding at well over 15 hours on skin.

Steading is a tough composition to pin down as the perfume shifts gears several times throughout its development... and it is all good. The natural maple syrup accord seems to be the most prominent throughout, but the tobacco is also quite key and resembles that of dry tobacco leaf found in fine cigars. The most puzzling aspect to the composition's development is in the beginning of the late dry-down, as what can best be described as a patchouli-like facet emerges to meld perfectly with the maple and tobacco. I don't believe there is any patchouli in Steading, but rather the illusion of the ingredient or something similar, which smells absolutely incredible when combined with the other components and is probably my favorite part of the perfume's fascinating journey. The bottom line is the $128 per 37ml extrait bottle Steading provides the wearer an incredible journey from start to finish, earning it an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation to all. Very impressive!
02nd March, 2021 (last edited: 04th March, 2021)
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Apple Tabac by Pineward Perfumes

Apple Tabac skips any detectable top notes on skin, moving directly to its highly linear heart progression. During the heart and continuing through the late dry-down the composition features a focal natural smelling slightly bright, fresh red apple, with an underlying celery accord. Projection is average and longevity outstanding at over 15 hours on skin.

What can I say? Apple Tabac was a complete surprise on my skin, and not a good one. I get no tobacco at all, and the apple, while very natural smelling - just as one might expect a freshly bitten into red apple does not smell like something that would mesh with tobacco even if it *was* there. Instead, I get an odd, celery-like supporting accord that I have to believe is actually the fir, that with this perfume is not playing well with my skin chemistry, as I can't believe this was the intended effect. As is, it smells quite off-putting, and unfortunately the longevity performance metric is through the roof superb, which in this case is a bad thing as Apple Tabac is a major scrubber. The bottom line is the $128 per 37mm extrait concentration Apple Tabac swaps the intended tobacco for horrific smelling celery, earning it a "poor" 2 stars out of 5 rating and a strong avoid recommendation. One can only hope that this was just a skin chemistry issue that others will not encounter.
01st March, 2021
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Boreal by Pineward Perfumes

Boreal goes on skin with an herbaceous aromatic mint underpinned by coniferous pine before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the coniferous green pine takes the fore with the aromatic mint leaf remaining now in support, pairing with stark, natural smelling aromatic cedarwood. During the late drydown the mint vacates leaving remnants of the now subdued pine supporting the natural cedar that takes the fore through the finish. Projection is minimal, and longevity below average at 5-6 hours on skin.

Coming off my impressive sample of Christmas Wine from Pineward Perfumes yesterday, today is the next randomly chosen vial from the sample bag, Boreal. The posted notes for Boreal sounded wonderful on paper save for the mint, which before wearing the perfume had this writer puzzled whether it would work with the rest of the notes. Now wearing the composition I am happy to report it actually does. The closest approximation I can use to describe the mint, is the fragrance of aromatic mint leaves in Moroccan Mint tea, for example. When you add them to the coniferous green pine the combination surprisingly blends together rather well, with the natural smelling cedar adding a hint of sharp supporting bite to balance the mint. The late dry-down is a bit of letdown in comparison, as the pine and cedar tandem while pleasant is extremely subdued... too subdued for my tastes. The biggest disappointment with the otherwise impressive Boreal, however, is its ho-hum performance metrics. The perfume is more of a personal journey, as projection is very poor. That in and of itself could be a positive depending on the wearer's objective, but the below average longevity isn't. Too bad. The bottom line is the $128 per 37ml extrait bottle Boreal is a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rated effort that smells great but drops the ball a bit in its relatively poor performance, still earning a solid recommendation to coniferous lovers.
28th February, 2021
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Christmas Wine by Pineward Perfumes

Christmas Wine opens with the faintest dash of plumed orange with underlying coniferous green fir immediately detectable. As the composition enters its early heart the coniferous fir takes the fore in a big way, supported by a slightly tart cranberry spiked mulled wine accord. During the late dry-down the mulled wine accord gradually fades before vacating, as the fir looses most of its pungent green facet, leaving the now soft, near-powdery coniferous remnants to take command through the finish. Projection is good and longevity is very good to excellent at around 11 hours on skin.

Wow, what a surprise this perfume was. With a title "Christmas Wine," I nearly dismissed the perfume out of hand, believing it really wouldn't be my kind of thing at all... I was wrong. In truth, the extremely well-done coniferous green aspect melds surprisingly well with the tart mulled red wine accord to create a winning result not wholly unlike that of the very good Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens, though I think I like Christmas Wine more. If there was anything I would improve on, it mainly is the perfume proves highly linear. In truth, that in and of itself is really not a deficiency, but more of a personal preference that this writer can easily look past and enjoy the perfume for what it is. The bottom line is the $128 per 37ml extrait bottle Christmas Wine is a "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 rated winner from relatively new house Pineward Perfume whose current and future releases demand attention, earning it a strong recommendation to "cone heads," like myself in particular.
27th February, 2021
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Mātangi by Parfums Karmic Hues

Matangi opens with a very brief blast of relatively sharp orange blossom with an underlying soapy ylang-ylang before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart a green tinged jasmine emerges and takes the fore, supported by the now more prominent neroli spiked soapy ylang-ylang and a rose-like geranium, with slightly creamy orris adding additional support. During the late dry-down the composition morphs into a smooth vanilla driven perfume with mild supporting relatively dry amber through the finish. Projection is good and longevity is excellent at over 12 hours on skin.

On paper Matangi hits all the right buttons for this writer's perfume preferences... Jasmine, vetiver, and ylang-ylang are all favorites. Of course, a published note list doesn't mean that much, it is what the wearer actually sniffs, and when analyzed from that angle, the composition is a bit of a mixed bag. The jasmine is the real focus of the perfume through its heart phase. Unfortunately the jasmine featured is more of a green tinged, slightly sharp version quite unlike the indolic heady jasmine grandiflorum this writer prefers. The ylang-ylang is more successful, but it couples with the geranium to yield a bit of a dough-like soapy floral accord that smells good but not great, while undermining the jasmine to some degree in the process. The vanilla led late dry-down is surprisingly pleasant, with the supporting dry amber never calling attention to itself, instead providing just the right amount of body to the vanilla, enhancing the overall effect. The bottom line is the $90 per 50ml bottle extrait strength Matangi may be a bit of a mixed bag, but the "good" to "very good" 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5 rated perfume's whole is better than the sum of its parts, earning it a recommendation to floral indie perfume lovers.
21st February, 2021
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Ungaro pour L'Homme I by Ungaro

Ungaro pour L'Homme I opens with a powerful nose tingling aromatic lavender and sharp bergamot citrus tandem with a bit of the coniferous green pine and bitter-green herbal wormwood from its middle showing early before it gradually transitions to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the bitter-green herbal wormwood (artemisia) takes the fore in a big way, as earthy patchouli and pine provide first tier support, bolstered by slightly sweet sandalwood rising from the base. During the late dry-down the wormwood and other green aspects gradually recede and finally vacate, leaving the slightly sweet sandalwood to pair with supporting relatively dry amber and remnants of the earthy patchouli through the finish. Projection is very good, as is longevity at around 10-12 hours on skin.

Getting right to the point, Ungaro pour L'Homme I is superb smelling stuff. I usually don't care much for the smell of wormwood, and in most of its perfume implementation it can really come off as overpowering and off-putting like in the horrific smelling A Taste of Heaven (Hell, in actuality). Instead of *that* monstrosity, here the perfumer deftly combines it with just the right balance of supporting earthy patchouli and relatively smooth wood to balance its bitter-green aromatic herbal aspect. The late dry-down while much more behaved is no less enticing, as the sandalwood melds perfectly with the dry amber. The bottom line is Ungaro could have easily stopped at the sadly discontinued and hard to find $250 per 75 ml bottle on the aftermarket Ungaro pour L'Homme I, as decades later it remains a classic and the best thing the house ever released perfume-wise, earning it a "near masterpiece" rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 and a super-strong recommendation to vintage perfume lovers everywhere.
14th February, 2021
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Partner by Révillon

Partner opens with slightly sharp aromatic lavender spiked natural lemon before gradually transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the lemon remains, now relatively dulled as tonka bean from the base adds a touch of sweetness, with herbaceous clary sage joining sharp woody cedar and the tenacious remaining aromatic lavender in support. During the late dry-down the lemon and aromatics vacate, revealing just slightly animalic musk and vanilla-like heliotrope that remain prominent through the finish with the dry natural smelling cedar in support. Projection is below average, as is longevity at 3-4 hours on skin.

Ah the wonderful house of Revillon... I keep trying vintage offerings from the house and keep being impressed. Today we have one of the lesser known EdC offerings from the early 1960s called Partner. Definitely the first thing that stands out when the cologne is sprayed on skin is the lemon. The initial lemon open is impressively natural smelling and relatively long-lived for top notes. The perfumer must have used some of the supporting notes to maintain the lemon scent well into the heart phase, but it does shift gears from its natural smell to one more of lemon drop candy which is a bit less appealing to this writer. That said, it still smells good, and when coupled with the lavender and cedar it works to a large degree. I can't help making the unwanted connection, however, to the smell of Lemon Pledge furniture polish. It isn't quite the same, but the cedar and lavender give the dulled lemon a bit of a varnish accord that makes it hard to ignore the mental connection. Luckily, the late dry-down, as little of it there is, smells superb, as the composition turns musky, woody and relatively dry. I guess the main problem that I have with Partner has nothing to do with its relatively good scent profile on the whole... No, it is its lagging performance that proves wanting. I guess one can only expect so much from an Eau de Cologne. The bottom line is the discontinued $70 per 100 ml bottle on the aftermarket Partner is a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rated effort that has its share of minor shortcomings, but still impresses on the whole, meriting a solid recommendation to vintage perfume collectors... Just try and forget I said anything about Lemon Pledge.
06th February, 2021
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Gothic Censored / Gothic Angel by O'Driù

Gothic Angel opens with a very brief dash of near transparent grapefruit citrus and soft lavender, with underlying dark woody resinous frankincense before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the dark woody frankincense intensifies into the star, with stark, near woody dry tobacco and gothic dull rose floral support early and slightly sweet amber folded into the mix late. During the late dry-down, the dark woody frankincense fades into the background, as the remnants of the amber turn slightly powdery, joining relatively dry sandalwood and slightly animalic musk through the finish. Projection is below average and longevity is somewhat deceptive, as the perfume can be smelled on skin for a good 8 hours, reemerging a couple hours later after its apparent disappearance for another two.

Angelo Orazio Pregoni has always captivated me with his ability to innovate, especially using his trademark combination of culinary herbs that others like Gardoni of Bogue have emulated over the years to great success. In the case of Gothic Angel, this perfume I am afraid lacks both innovation and most of the style that makes Pregoni's work so great. There really is none of the trademark herbal mix here, instead we get an annoying slightly peppery, dark woody frankincense that comes off smelling artificial, not entirely unlike the vague dry synthetic woody accords that are so common (and so terrible) found in perfumes du jour offerings on store shelves. That Gothic Angel goes about getting to the off-putting accord by a more natural route doesn't make it any more compelling. Only in the late relatively dry sandalwood and slightly powdery amber driven dry-down does the perfume start to smell decent, though still lacking any real distinctiveness or innovation one would expect from a talented nose like Pregoni. No, this one I am afraid comes off like it was "phoned in." I get plenty of "gothic," but there is nothing "angelic" about this dud. The bottom line is the 160 Euros per 50ml bottle Gothic Angel (also called Gothic Censored) is a disappointing "below average" 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5 rated outing from a perfumer that clearly has much more talent, earning a firm avoid recommendation. I recommend trying any number of the other far superior offerings from O'driu instead.
31st January, 2021
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Eshu by Prin

Eshu goes on skin with a brief touch of soft cinnamon spice with a supporting cedar wood undertone before gradually transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the cinnamon remains, gaining a bit of strength as it joins fine black pepper and natural smelling cumin spice in support of the focal moderately aromatic woody accord, with the cedar mingling with other vague woods (aka norlimbanol) and woody pine-like frankincense. During the late drydown the composition is heavily weighted to the norlimbanol driven vague woods with the cedar remaining in support to add realism. Projection is excellent, as is longevity that skirts outstanding at just under 15 hours on skin.

Eshu has a very long official list of ingredients, but I confess most of them just don't register with my own experience wearing it on skin. The key standouts are the peppery vague woods and the pine-like frankincense. There really isn't much to write about as the composition is highly linear from start to finish. I *will* say that the open and early heart represent the best the perfume has to offer, as the cinnamon is very skillfully implemented by perfumer Lomros to the point of one really having to pay attention to find it but it definitely is there, adding the perfect early balance to the peppery woods. Alas, the rest is just a pretty decent woody frankincense offering that does little to distinguish itself from its peers save the more precise use of the norlimbanol in the base balanced by natural smelling cedar that yields a more realistic overall woody profile than others that usually enter scrubber territory. The bottom line is the $140 per 30ml Eshu has little outright wrong about it, but never gives the wearer a reason to want to choose it over its contemporaries, earning it an "above average" 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5 rating and a neutral recommendation to all.
24th January, 2021
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Emotion by Helena Rubinstein

Emotion opens with an effervescent aldehydic rose before gradually transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the rose remains as star, now turning airy and slightly soapy, as supporting moderately powdery iris joins slightly sweet lily of the valley and green jasmine white florals, with moderately animalic musk and near ashy oakmoss rising from the base. During the late dry-down the rose vacates, as the remnants of the iris become more creamy than powdery, now supported by a subtle woody amber accord through the finish. Projection is average, as is longevity at around 8 hours on skin.

Emotion was a blind buy that intrigued this writer due to its perfumer being the legendary Jean Kerleo (of Patou pour Homme and Patou pour Homme Prive fame, among so many other masterpieces). Emotion appears to be either his first composition, or if not, then one of his first; though unlike his others it gets almost no discussion. So, is Emotion inferior to Keleo's greats that get all the talk? Having worn the perfume several times now it is clear that Kerleo very much was on his game, even in 1960 with Emotion. The aldehydic rose open smells heavenly, with the rose so natural, and the aldehydes kept just enough in check that they enhance the rose, ultimately adding a fine soapy aspect that one might expect to smell with high end toiletries at a five star old school hotel. The composition also uses iris to tremendous effect, where it starts off powdery, but as time passes turns creamy, with the transition so seamless it completely sneaks up on you. Finally, Kerleo proves that a woody amber base can actually smell refined and completely appealing, unlike what almost has become the ubiquitous cop out in so many perfumes today. If there was anything I would improve on it would solely be the middling performance metrics, but this is really barely worth mentioning in the grand scheme of things. The bottom line is the $40 per 60ml bottle on the aftermarket Emotion is an "outstanding" 4.5 stars out of 5 rated first effort by Jean Kerleo that merits much more visibility than it has received, earning as strong a recommendation to classic perfume enthusiasts as I can muster.
16th January, 2021
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KSM by Kristel Saint Martin

KSM pour Homme goes on with an aromatic lavender infused relatively sweet cotton candy-like accord before gradually transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the lavender infused cotton candy accord remains, eschewing part of its sweetness, now supported by soft cedar wood and powdery amber rising from the base. During the late dry-down the composition finally loses the sweet cotton candy accord completely as remnants of the soft cedar wood and now slightly sweet and powdery amber add in just a touch of faux non-animalic musk through the finish. Projection is good and longevity outstanding at around 15 hours on skin.

When I blind bought a bottle of KSM pour Homme I really had no idea what I would think of it. The perfume was released towards the beginning of the (then) new millennium which really didn't have many perfume offerings that distinguished themselves and there was little information available of the particular perfume in question. The published notes list while a bit outside my normal comfort range looked like there could be a hidden gem in the making, so I took a chance... I shouldn't have. No, KSM is not a *major* miss, but like most of the middling offerings that mark the very early 2000s, KSM too is very much a bland, undistinguished perfume of its day. The open, in particular, is a shoulder shrug, with its mundane, sickeningly sweet synthetic smelling cotton candy profile. The heart gets a bit better when the cedar wood is added into the mix and some of the sweetness vacates, but then it too is marred by slightly powdery amber that while never going overboard makes the whole thing just a nondescript generic blob that is so forgettable I am already erasing it from my mind as the words are written here. The primarily soft woody-amber late dry-down is the best thing the perfume has to offer, but it never separates itself from thousands of others that are similar. The bottom line is the long since discontinued $65 per 100ml on the aftermarket KSM pour Homme is another "eh" perfume from the early 2000s that has "me too" written all over, earning a middling "average" 2.5 stars out of 5 rating and an avoid recommendation. Oh well, another blind buy gone bad.
11th January, 2021
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Flamenco Néroli by L'Orchestre Parfum

Flamenco Neroli opens with sharp citrus bergamot with a touch of underlying bitter orange before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart an extremely life-like slightly green bitter orange neroli takes the fore, with moderately sharp honeyed jasmine support. During the late dry-down the jasmine vacates, as remnants of the neroli now support natural smelling cedar wood through the finish. Projection is very good and longevity outstanding at well over 15 hours on skin.

I remember several years ago reviewing a trio of perfumes (the Ephemera line by Unsound) where the idea was to have the perfumer compose scents that were inspired by pieces of (what I guess some would call) music. The perfumes created were largely awful, just as the techno music that inspired them to my personal tastes. I remember remarking in a review of one of the torturous trio that the scents based on sound concept was definitely up my alley, but I would have strongly preferred perfumes composed in tandem with classical music. Well, fast forward a few years later, and we come to the L'Orchestre house that does just that. This review is of the first perfume of the house I have tried called Flamenco Neroli based on music found at https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=4AlUysPyUes&list=RDAMVM4AlUysPyUes performed by classical guitarist Mathias Berchadsky.

As soon as I sprayed Flamenco Neroli on skin I knew this one was something pretty special. The composition is relatively minimalist, and for the most part it is a linear neroli soliflore. Neroli soliflores are hardly anything new, but by adding in some sharp supporting jasmine to the mix, coupled with the use of some superb quality neroli makes for an exceptional heart accord. The linear development is very slow and subtle to the point that by the time the composition reaches the late dry-down many, many hours later, the fine cedar that emerges just seems to meld with the now supporting neroli perfectly. As for the perfume matching the music, I guess I am not imaginative enough to make the connection, but I *can* say the minimalist, classically structured perfume, and the equally stellar minimalist classical guitar companion piece are both spectacular. The bottom line is the 140 Euros per 100ml bottle Flamenco Neroli is a fabulous "excellent" to "outstanding" 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5 rated neroli soliflore that makes this writer eager to sniff more from the house while listening to more great related classical music pieces in the process... Sound Scents indeed!
08th January, 2021
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Meander by Amouage

Meander goes on with a minty, slightly sweet aromatic smoky frankincense with soft pink pepper support before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the starring slightly sweet minty frankincense remains with the supporting pink pepper morphing into black pepper, thickening as it is joined by near-creamy orris, and earthy, woody patchouli-like cypriol rising from the base. During the late dry-down the remnants of the black pepper, cypriol and frankincense join with woody vetiver and slightly sweet sandalwood through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at well over 12 hours on skin.

I don't know why the composition is called Meander, as its development actually is pretty linear to the this writer. It starts off with an odd minty bent that takes some time getting used to, but the pepper infused, earthy, woody cypriol and frankincense primary heart accord grows on you, if never wowing. The supporting orris is a nice subtle touch that softens the earthy aspect of the cypriol. The truth is there isn't much to write on Meander... The perfume doesn't change much from start to finish, and is pleasant smelling but not anywhere near inspired in its construction or execution, leaving the wearer unimpressed. For me, it is just one of many examples of at least the past half decade of Amouage mundane misses that make one ponder what happened to the great house producing masterpieces like Dia Man? The bottom line is the $340 per 100ml bottle Meander is a "good" smelling but unimpressive 3 stars out of 5 rated perfume that really should never have been created, meriting a neutral shoulder shrug recommendation to all.
02nd January, 2021
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Rubikona by Puredistance

Rubikona opens with an orange blossom and slightly sharp bergamot citrus tandem before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the orange blossom remains, now supporting additional dulled, slightly powdery rose, iris and ylang-ylang florals that take the fore with smooth cedarwood, slightly creamy vanilla and warm clove spice additional support. During the late dry-down soft patchouli joins the creamy vanilla, dulled rose and smooth cedar in support of slightly animalic musk unveiled in the base that becomes the focus through the finish. Projection is average but longevity outstanding at over 15 hours on skin.

I have worn Rubikona several times now, and really find it quite confounding. The primary heart accord is very complex and picking out individual notes is relatively difficult. The overall effect can be best described as almost Chapstick-like, for lack of a closer descriptor. The rose is the most prominent, but its presentation is quite unlike most others of the floral, and not really in a good way. At this point I would have to say the composition is relatively innovative but unimpressive results-wise. As time passes, however, it improves, as the odd Chapstick floral accord recedes to allow the musk and patchouli from the base to meld with the rose and cedar remnants to present a slightly powdery "feminine" leaning dry-down that is much more pleasant smelling, if not more conventional. The bottom line is the $590 per 100 ml bottle Rubikona has a very odd, warm spiced laden rose floral led heart, but the late dry-down salvages the composition on the whole, turning a disappointing offering into at least a "good" smelling 3 stars out of 5 rated one, earning a neutral buy recommendation to all.
30th December, 2020
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Ho Hang by Balenciaga

Ho Hang opens with a slightly sharp nose tingling lemon and bitter orange tandem, with supporting basil spice before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart geranium derived sweaty lemon infused rosewood takes the fore, with the basil support remaining, adding a touch of oakmoss and aromatic patchouli to the mix. During the late dry-down as the geranium and basil vacate, the composition shifts gears, turning into a slightly powdery vanilla driven affair, with just a touch of benzoin derived sweetness and mild cedar wood support through the finish. Projection is average, as is longevity at around 8 hours on skin.

Ho Hang Club was a "like" but not "love" for me, so when I blind bought the earlier released Ho Hang (sans Club) I didn't know what to expect. Would it be similar to Ho Hang Club? The answer thankfully is "no." In truth, Ho Hang is a far superior composition. The sweaty lemon accord in the heart is the defining aspect of the perfume, reminding me immediately of the same accord found in YSL pour Homme which was also released in the early 70s, just prior to Ho Hang... Once I found out one of the perfumers behind this marvel was Raymond Chaillan the comparison made perfect sense, as Chaillan (also behind greats like Monsieur Carven, Givenchy III, Opium and so many others) was the nose behind YSL pour Homme as well. The least appealing part of the composition's development is the rather bland woody-vanilla finish, but it certainly smells good, and considering the invigorating open and sublime middle any minor gripes can easily be forgiven. The bottom line is the approximately $300 per 100ml bottle on the aftermarket Ho Hang may not be the finest perfume created by Mr. Chaillon, but it runs with the best of them, earning an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation to lovers of 70s compositions like YSL pour Homme.
25th December, 2020
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Incident Diplomatique by Jovoy

Incident Diplomatique goes on with a very brief, near transparent mandarin orange citrus before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart a sharp, near-piercing woody vetiver emerges and takes the fore, combining with a co-starring bitter unripe and slightly rubbery grapefruit-like accord. During the late dry-down the composition stays highly linear as the vetiver remains through the finish with the odd bitter grapefruit gradually receding to reveal supporting earthy patchouli and dry sandalwood as time passes. Projection is average, but longevity outstanding at over 15 hours on skin.

Disappointment is the first thing that comes to mind with Incident Diplomatique. The published key notes list of vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, orange and nutmeg had "winner" written all over it, and coupled with my prior positive experience with another Jovoy vetiver focused release, Private Label, I confess to almost blind buying a full bottle of this one thinking it couldn't be much lower risk... I am glad I didn't. The mandarin open is almost nonexistent in longevity and so subdued they shouldn't have even bothered. Then there is the "heart from hell," where somehow the perfumer found a way to mess up such great potential by infusing the sharp, woody vetiver with an odd, bitter grapefruit accord that smells absolutely terrible. The late dry-down doesn't really salvage much, as the heart accord remains through most of it, with the supporting earthy patchouli and dry sandalwood just adding another facet late that isn't even close to enough to balance the stench. I never thought I would write such a negative review of a woody vetiver composition because it is really tough to ruin one, but here we are... The bottom line is the $180 per 100ml bottle mega-stinker Incident Diplomatique finds new ways to destroy normally desirable woody vetiver, earning it a "poor" 2 stars out of 5 rating and an avoid recommendation even to hardcore vetiver lovers.
24th December, 2020
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Varen by Stirling Soap Company


Varen goes on skin as majorly green... mossy green, driven primarily by oakmoss before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the focal oakmoss grows in strength as supporting aromatic lavender and hay-like coumarin join-in, with woody cedar and slightly softer green tree moss adding support. The composition stays highly linear through the late dry-down as the supporting cedarwood becomes a bit more apparent with the aromatic oakmoss led green "fern-like" accord gradually softening through the finish. Projection is above average, and longevity very good at 10-11 hours on skin.

Varen (Fern) is an original composition by Sterling co-owner Rod Lovan that resulted from a project for a Dutch shaving forum. I first was acclimated to the perfume through Stirling’s Varen shaving soap. It was the first soap I had bought from the artisanal soap company and did not have any idea as to what to expect, but when I opened the jar the aromatic oakmoss, lavender and coumarin laden “fern-like” accord came off immediately, and while I got that it was a classic fougere, it did not quite resemble any fougere I had sniffed to date. In actuality, the “fern-like” aspect is front and center from the get-go in all Varen's forms (shaving soap, bar soap, aftershave and EdT). It is a rather rough, old-school aromatic fougere concoction created in an IFRA oakmoss neutered world without the pesky regulations getting in the way. The composition could definitely use some balance and polish, but Varen is all about brash boldness... It makes no pretension to fall into today’s tastes... No, this stuff is more old school aromatic fougere to my nose - all about displaying what the perfumer feels a green fern would smell like if it had a scent. It definitely takes some time to warm to due to its distinctiveness, but it ultimately delivers. The bottom line is the $25 per 50 ml bottle Varen may not be "love at first sniff," but the "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rated old school fougere in time wins the wearer over with its brazen distinctiveness, earning it a solid recommendation to old school classic fougere lovers that abhor IFRA driven restrictions in modern perfume.
19th December, 2020
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Glastonbury by Stirling Soap Company

Glastonbury opens with a blast of aromatic lavender with a tinge of underlying green oakmoss before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the aromatic lavender remains, now in support of co-starring aromatic, earthy patchouli and the now co-starring aggressive mossy-green oakmoss growing much stronger as time passes, supported by underlying softer green tree moss and sharp, woody vetiver. During the late dry-down, the composition stays relatively linear as the aromatic lavender gradually vacates, leaving the patchouli and oakmoss co-stars remaining through the finish, with the woody vetiver just detectable in support. Projection is very good to excellent, and longevity excellent at just over 12 hours on skin.

I first was introduced to Glastonbury through my hobby of traditional shaving, where Stirling is a well-known rapidly growing artisanal Men's traditional shaving company owned by a married couple (the Lovans), both involved in different aspects of the business. The husband, Rod Lovan, among other things is responsible for the formulations of the various shaving and bar soaps, aftershaves, and EdTs. Many of these are "inspired by" compositions that I have not tried, but Mr. Lovan had several original creations including a couple non-IFRA compliant oakmoss laden compositions on the site that looked right up my alley... Varen, and the focus of this review, Glastonbury. Glastonbury is billed as a patchouli forward composition that "will put you in the middle of a field with a soft, grassy breeze blowing while Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page engage in an epic guitar battle in the background. " Well, my imagination is not so good as to envision all that, but what it does do is take me back to the great patchouli and oakmoss driven 70s/80s powerhouse days of Givenchy Gentlemen and Giorgio for Men. No, Glastonbury is no clone of either, though certainly the formula in a small way pays homage to those greats and will most likely appeal to lovers of both. The patchouli and aromatic lavender could use a bit more balance with the oakmoss in the EdT reviewed here (somewhat interesting that they are much better balanced in the bar, shave soap and aftershave products), but while the composition might benefit from some polish, its rustic charm comes through giving it some distinctiveness that sets it apart from the pack in an unexpected way. The bottom line is the $25 per 50 ml bottle Glastonbury EdT may be improved by some final tweaking, but perfumer Rod Lovan successfully captures the spirit of the great powerhouse 70s/80s offerings, complete with non-IFRA compliant oakmoss that packs a punch, earning a "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation to old school patchouli and oakmoss driven powerhouse lovers.
19th December, 2020
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Eau de Révillon by Révillon

*Note: This is a review of the 1977 original release of Eau de Revillon (Eau Fraiche).

Eau de Revillon (1977 vintage) opens with a gentle tarragon spice tinged green oakmoss and sharp citrus bergamot tandem before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the oakmoss takes the fore, joining co-starring woody vetiver from the base, with the tarragon spice remaining in support, joined by aromatic lavender. During the late dry-down the composition turns slightly musky/woody, as remnants of the vetiver and oakmoss join slightly animalic musk and relatively dry sandalwood through the finish. Projection is good, but longevity is below average at 5-6 hours on skin.

Having been impressed with most of the original Revillon offerings targeted to Men like Revillon pour Homme and French Line, completely by chance I saw a similarly styled 4 ounce bottle to Revillon pour Homme on sale called Eau de Revillon and took a chance on a blind buy. There really isn't a lot of information on the perfume on the web, with most centered around a re-release from the late 90s under the same name in a completely different bottle, but from the published list of notes most likely is different from the 1977 original release reviewed here. No matter, I am happy to report that the 1977 release is sublime stuff, reminding me of compositions like vintage Diorella. Eau de Revillon doesn't publish the perfume concentration on the bottle or box, but it wears like a classically structured old school Eau de Cologne with a smooth, light, somewhat aromatic woody nature, and with mossy green oakmoss prominent throughout but never administered heavy-handed. This stuff was most likely marketed to women, but it is easily unisex and extremely pleasant smelling on anyone. The bottom line is the sadly long-since discontinued and rare 1977 version of Eau de Revillon (Eau Fraiche) is an "outstanding" 4.5 stars out of 5 rated masterwork that smells incredible, only marred by ho-hum performance that any vintage perfume lover should snatch up without hesitation if one comes across a bottle on the aftermarket.
19th December, 2020
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Brazilia by Mantigo

Brazilia opens with a tropical mango fruit accord mixing with underlying grassy greens. As the composition moves to its early heart, things stay very linear as at first the mango and greens remain in the same proportion as open before slowly the grassy greens grow in intensity to become the star with coniferous fir joining the remaining mango in support. During the late dry-down the grassy greens and mango vacate the composition, leaving the coniferous fir, joining slightly powdery oakmoss with hints of moderately sharp vetiver and cedarwood in subtle support through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at approximately 12 hours on skin.

Brazilia was a vintage blind buy that I had absolutely no idea of what to expect. There is almost no information on the composition anywhere, so all there was to go by was an attractive bottle housing light green juice, and a dark green box with a Toucan on the front. Having now sniffed Brazilia, the Toucan and light green colored juice really capture the spirit of the composition perfectly. The mango fruit that asserts itself early sets the tone of a tropical location, but the greens counter it to make the composition much more versatile than one might imagine. If there is one gripe that comes to the fore, it has to be that until the late dry-down things stay pretty linear. Indeed, while one usually notices a quick transition from the opening top notes to the middle heart accord, in the case of Brazilia this just didn't happen. Either there were no top notes or the transition to the heart accord was so gradual that until the coniferous fir arrived there really wasn't much development at all. Indeed, the progression is so slow that the late dry-down really sneaks up on the wearer, as the composition changes gear completely late, becoming moderately powdery and woody. After many, many hours of the linear mango and greens this change-up is quite welcome, giving the wearer a much needed respite from the primary accord that can become slightly grating at times. It should be mentioned that even though the composition is labeled as an Eau de Cologne, this stuff is *strong* with projection and longevity both quite solid and unheard of for something thus described. All-in-all, the bottom line is Brazilia is not a composition one should go out of their way in finding as it is quite rare and far from inexpensive on the aftermarket (my bottle cost around $100 for 100ml), but if you long for a composition with a tropical vibe that still keeps its versatility intact one could do far worse than the 3.5 star out of 5 "very good" rated Brazilia by Mantigo.
19th December, 2020
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Bon Monsieur by Rogue Perfumery

Bon Monsieur opens with a nose tingling combination of sharp bergamot citrus and aromatic lavender with green coniferous fir balsam in support before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the aromatic lavender remains in full force, eschewing its prior bergamot companion, with the coniferous green fir balsam growing in strength to become co-star, bolstered by significant tree moss from the base, and soft carnation and slightly minty geranium floral support. During the late dry-down the composition softens, as it becomes slightly less green with the fir balsam receding, unveiling soft, non-animalic musk, and a dry cedar and sandalwood tandem that joins with remnants of the moss in support through the finish. Projection is excellent to outstanding, and longevity excellent at well over 12 hours on skin.

I had high hopes for Bon Monsieur when it was announced. Rogue has produced so many winners that a "masculine" targeted perfume would likely be another, encouraging me to skip the sampling stage and move directly to buying a bottle blind. Now having received my bottle and wearing it multiple times I can definitely say Rogue has another stellar offering on its hands. Unfortunately, this one is an old school aromatic lavender and tree moss laden fougere that has more than a passing resemblance to the late 80s Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels that I already own, sans most of Tsar's sweetness and with greater performance. Tsar is no slouch, so comparisons (and dare I say improvements) over it are laudable, but Tsar, like most aromatic fougeres, always came close to winning me over but never *quite* got me to love, and Bon Monsieur similarly comes up just short. If one already owns vintage Tsar I personally don't think investing in Bon Monsieur needed, but if you love Tsar and don't own it, this one improves on the already successful classic aromatic fougere formula and should be a mandatory sample, if not a blind buy. The bottom line is the $156 per 75ml bottle Bon Monsieur may not have quite stolen *my* heart, but its quality is quite apparent and it may just steal yours, earning a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation to lovers, but not owners of Tsar and similar aromatic lavender fougeres.
18th December, 2020
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Jungle L'Éléphant by Kenzo

Jungle L'Elephant goes on with a very brief dash of nose burning sharp mandarin orange and cinnamon-like cardamom spice before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the cardamom spice remains as significant support, as a slightly sharp green mango, warm clove and powerful almond-vanilla-like heliotrope floral accord takes the fore with soft semisweet amber rising from the base, joining the supporting cardamom. During the late dry-down the composition eschews most of its heart notes and sweetness, unveiling a soft, slightly powdery, creamy vanilla joining remnants of the smooth amber, with just a hint of patchouli through the finish. Projection is very good and longevity outstanding at over 18 hours on skin.

Jungle L'Elephant is posing quite the quandary to this writer. It has moments where it is difficult to wear, even nauseating, with its overdose of almond-vanilla heliotrope and weird green cardamom infused spiced mango, but others, during its late dry-down where it softens and smells rather pleasant. I have worn the perfume many times and even blind-bought a bottle, but in the end, while I still don't completely know what to make of it and despite its superb pedigree (being composed by the great Dominique Ropion) my gut tells me the negatives outweigh the positives and ultimately Jungle L'Elephant collapses under the weight of its overpowering green, warm-spice and heliotrope laden heart that just is too much to bear. The bottom line is the $50 per 100ml bottle at discounters Jungle L'Elephant shows flashes of near-brilliance late, but the perfume ultimately collapses under the weight of its nauseatingly powerful heart, earning it an "average" 2.5 stars out of 5 rating and an avoid recommendation to all except potent cardamom-laced heliotrope lovers.
13th December, 2020
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Calvin by Calvin Klein

Calvin opens with a sharp bergamot laced herbal green mix of sage-like artemisia and oakmoss rising from the base, with underlying anise-like tarragon support before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the bergamot vacates, leaving remnants of the artemisia to couple with the now focal tarragon and rugged mossy green oakmoss with sharp, woody vetiver and earthy patchouli adding significant support. During the late dry-down the development stays highly linear staying herbal green throughout, as the tarragon, oakmoss and woody vetiver remain the focus with relatively dry sandalwood adding support through the finish. Projection is outstanding, and longevity excellent at over 12 hours on skin.

Calvin has proven quite elusive to find on the aftermarket nowadays except at what some may consider "crazy" prices, making sampling the perfume difficult over the years. Luckily, I was able to get my hands on a mini from the 80s to see what all the fuss is about as I don't recall smelling much of it back then. The first thing I noticed when applying the perfume on skin was its powerhouse strength. The oakmoss and herbs project seemingly for miles and miles... Anyone growing up in the 80s would recognize this strength as "the real deal." If I were to gauge influences for Calvin, it would have to be perfumes of its age like the original Polo, and it in turn influenced perfumes that immediately followed like Quorum by Puig. In truth, I think it is closer to the latter. There really isn't much in the way of development throughout, and while Calvin smells excellent, it never challenges the *true* greatness and originality found in its much more accessible Polo predecessor, making the argument for seeking it out somewhat tenuous. The bottom line is the $433 per 100ml bottle on the aftermarket Calvin is another "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 rated example of the sublime powerhouse 80s, but it doesn't quite distinguish itself from its contemporaries to merit the hunt and relatively stratospheric cost of seeking it out today, earning it a recommendation solely to 80s vintage perfume completionists.
06th December, 2020
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Italian Censored / Italian Angel by O'Driù

Italian Angel opens with a warm ylang-ylang derived banana, with hints of natural citrus fruit and underlying dark chocolatey coffee before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the banana and citrus vacate, leaving the dark chocolatey coffee remaining as star, but gradually folding just slightly sweet pipe tobacco into the mix with a subtle dulled rose floral undertone. During the late dry-down the perfume morphs into a relatively gentle woody vetiver affair, as the tobacco gradually recedes and finally vacates before the finish. Projection is average, but longevity is very good to excellent at just under 12 hours on skin.

I have had a sample of Italian Angel lying around for about five years now... I think the negative impression received when I tried the Ven-Det-Ta trio of duds from the house directly before it, made me question if the extremely talented Angelo Orazio Pregoni had finally "lost it," and resultantly I passed over trying the perfume back then. Now coming back to my sample all these years later, I confess I made a mistake. All the deficiencies I found in the "terrible trio" are avoided in Italian Angel. Instead, the perfume is not only quite wearable (something that O'driu, despite my love for the house is frequently lacking), but does a very good job of presenting the wearer with a true fragrance journey. The composition starts out with warm banana and citrus fruit, but then turns into an almost semi-gourmand with its chocolatey black coffee, then brings things back from gourmand territory by adding the natural smelling pipe tobacco sans the typical hyper-sweetness one frequently finds. By the time the wearer gets to the late dry-down, the perfume morphs yet again to focus on the woody facet of vetiver, while toning down the sharpness usually found. In short, I love it. The bottom line is the approximately $200 (160 Euros) per 50ml bottle Italian Angel is an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rated interesting and exciting perfume journey by Angelo Orazio Pregoni that is highly recommended to both classically structured perfume lovers, and fans of innovative perfume brands like Slumberhouse alike.
29th November, 2020
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Ta by O'Driù

Ta eschews distinct top notes, instead opening at its early heart with a slightly sweet, strawberry infused melon fruit accord that gradually folds in supporting woody vetiver, relatively sanitized tuberose and powdery oakmoss rising from the base. During the late dry-down the fruity accord vacates with the tuberose fading considerably, as the powdery oakmoss takes on the starring role, with the powder growing in significant intensity and the slightly sharp, woody vetiver remaining through the finish. Projection starts out good, but increases to excellent as time passes, with longevity outstanding at nearly 24 hours on skin.

Ta is the final part of a three part perfume edition by O'driu. I will eventually review the other two parts separately, but in the case of Ta, the key heart accord that resembles an almost strawberry-like infused melon is very different than the usual culinary herbs used by Angelo Orazio Pregoni in his perfumes, and I can't say that it is in a good way. What it *is*, like it or not, is quite innovative and distinctive. The use of tuberose and vetiver here meld with the fruit more as support, almost as thickeners. While not particularly pleasant, the overall effect is at least decent and wearable until the extremely powdery oakmoss takes hold over time. It is no secret that this writer is a *huge* oakmoss fan, but not when used to emphasize its powdery green facet as in Ta. By the time the perfume gets to the late dry-down, the oakmoss is powdery to the extreme, and the sharp, woody vetiver seems to only call more attention to it. At this point to this powder-averse writer, it is time to start scrubbing. The bottom line is the discontinued Ta starts off somewhat strange but wearable, but turns into a loaded powder puff, earning it an "average" 2.5 stars out of 5 rating and an avoid recommendation to all but those craving powdery oakmoss and odd fruit.
26th November, 2020 (last edited: 27th November, 2020)
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Drone by Ephemera by Unsound

Before beginning the review, it should be noted that Drone (and its sister compositions Bass and Noise) are compositions that are each inspired by pieces of synthesizer music from presumably top artists in the space. The music composition related to this specific perfume is by artist Tim Hecker and can be found at http://vimeo.com/90461558.

Drone opens with relatively fresh ozonic aldehydes with just a touch of underlying sweetness. As the composition moves to its early heart the ozonic accord remains as subtle, jasmine-like airy hedione joins in along with slightly sharp vetiver. During the late dry-down the composition shifts gear as relatively soft, smooth patchouli joins what amounts to a synthetic light musk accord with traces of smooth vague underlying woods and maybe just a hint of a tonka laced white floral accord for minor added sweetness through the finish. Projection is average, but longevity very good at around 11-12 hours on skin.

Coming off one of its scary sister scents, Bass, it was with great trepidation that Drone was applied on skin. Luckily, it became clear early-on that Drone was considerably easier to accept than Bass, with a more sedate demeanor. The composition is quite airy and ozonic early, gradually working in slightly heavier facets like synthetic musk and vetiver as time passes. Nothing comes off as overpowering or unpleasant but the composition definitely keeps to the intentional synthetic theme of the Unsound project. In some ways Drone has some passing similarities to last year's Serpentine from the premiere brand known to feature synthetics quite effectively, Commes des Garcons, but this is nowhere near as impressive. Drone is the most easily digestible composition of the three Unsound project sister scents, but something about it just seems a bit too mundane to quite set it apart. The bottom line is the 80 Euros per 30ml bottle Drone is easy enough to wear and is a welcome relief from the heavy-handed presentation of Bass, but it just does not do enough to distinguish itself, earning it a very "average" 2.5 stars out of 5 rating. My recommendation is that if Drone appeals to you; give Serpentine a sniff first before making a purchase.
22nd November, 2020