Perfume Reviews

Reviews by rickbr

Total Reviews: 151

Pathetique by O'Driù

Pathetique is one of the most dry and foward criticism of Angelo to the perfume industry as the name says it all. It's a mock of what marketing has become in the perfume industry, with all the perfume dinasties, fancy imaginary materials and fake royalty histories. The way the name is written on the bottle and it's described shows that this intentions here are ones of bringing back (or bringing for the first time) the ethical path to perfumery again (path etique).

This certainly works because of the wonderful and sensual scent that unfolds on skin. It is for me one of the sunniest moments in Angelo's work as a whole. The languid impression that i feel on Satyricon base is the mood here overall, like a kind of feline enjoying the spot of sun in the middle of the afternoon. It opens with a beautiful honey flower impression that is set against of a quite coconut woody aroma - this is certainly an effect gave by a proeminent use of amyris wood, which has in itself this woody coconut sensation. Then you get a green berry-like aroma that is contrasted with something slightly aldehydic and woody and at this moment i feel like Satyricon is channeling a compact shape of Givenchy masterpiece Insensee. It settles down to a cozy and slightly incensy woody base that lingers on skin with very subtle sweet tones. Overall, it's a fragrance that gives me a relaxing and honest experience. The path is simple: do very good fragrances that speak for itself. They don't need to please everyone with generic marketing ploys, they just need to be genuine and well orchestrated. That this has to be reinforced at this moment of the game it's what is really pathetic in the perfume industry.
15th April, 2017

Satyricon by O'Driù

In Satyricon Angelo and his collaborative team draws inspiration from Ancient Rome from a Dyonisian perspective, something that seems to appeal to the irrational, the instincts and emotions on perfumery. It's a more philosophic take on the lust and pleasure principle appeal that perfumery as whole seems to explore, but ones that promises you chaos, classic influences and a plethora of nuances and delivers it. Just like Peety, Satyricon is again a chameleonic scent and channels very different things through its presence on skin.

It opens in a weird way like some of Angelo creations, with a green humid aroma that seems to come from chamomile and sage together. This is contrasted with a very dry and burnt like leathery aroma. Once you focus on it the scents gives you a blast of spices, a duet of dry clove against a cumin that delivers here the sweat of human bodies that the description says. Then, there is the wine and food nuances, and the combination of spices and wine makes of think of mulled wine. There is an intriguing pineapple effect here that seems to go in and out of focus on the first moments of the development. Then it's replaced by a riped plum aroma that seems to give with the clove and a dry amber background a sort of vintage chypre aura. But Satyricon is here to enjoy the ride, so it shifts again into something more resinous and vanilla like, a very cozy and languid base after the sensory overload of the first moments on skin.
15th April, 2017

Peety by O'Driù

Reviewing Peety is something different than reviewing other fragrances from Angelo. This happens because my first hate and despise and dismiss for what Angelo had to offer in O'DRIÚ started with the launchment of this one. Was Angelo mocking all perfume lovers by creating something that would suggest you to enhance it using your own pee? I took my perfume passion too serious and i let my prejudices win me on this. I hated peety, i wrote about my feelings and then moved on. And since life is very ironic, here i am today seeing that i was wrong and there was something very solid about Angelo work if you cut through the provocative aura.

Peety is a junction of words: pee and pity, but not pity in a condescending way. It's interesting to see that the latin word from which pity derives, Pieta, goes into a more divine direction, something related to devotion and loyalty. Thinking about the junction of words it seems to have two meanings here: a unique bond between the perfumer and the final user and at the same time a narcissism of a person, an almost religious devotion to itself, something that is very suitable in our modern days.

It is described as a dadaistic perfume, which at the first time i thought odd since most of dadaism artworks seems devoid of a easy to read meaning for me, which is not the case here. But then, searching about dadaísm i could understand why: Peety is in its essence a dadaístic perfume in a way that it challenges the culture and values of current perfumes - in special the frivolous way which the industry sell massive uniqueness, a fragrance that it's so special to you and for other thousands of people like you. And it certainly uses an outrageous element - pee - to scandalize and shock the audience and I'm a proof of that.

But i wanted to understand, after all, if adding your pee to peety would be just a way to criticize the system or a very avant-gard and radical way to make something unique, bespoke to you. I thought, a fragrance is full of elements that are added to preserve it, so would a few drops of urine ruin it? Also, if we have always accepted materials like beeswax (which is regurgitated by bees), ambergris (whale's vomite), civet (extracted from the anal glands of civet) and musk (also from glands), what would be using your own pee? Just another animalic material, this one got in a ecofriendly fashion.

Wearing Peety without pee is already in itself a satisfying experience. Again i see the classic influens of Angelo showing on here, from a scent that seems to incorporate fougere, animalic and sweet fruity aspects altogether. It has that chamaleonic aura that many classics have, one that keeps you guessing what you are wearing: it's sweet, riped fruits? Or maybe dry spices? What about aromatic herbs against sensual ylang? Or even an animalic castoreum combined with dry amber and patchouli? And what about a sweet and smoky tobacco aroma against a minty-like ginger? Those are the varied layers of Peety and it's a very rich experience trying to pay attention into all of them.

Using my own pee on Peety in fact changed this experience. I added three drops to half of my sample and expected two weeks before wearing it a day after i wore the regular one. I expected a more fruity nuance to emerge based on what i discussed with Angelo, but curiously Peety got very focused and chaneled a very good masculine fougere chypre from 80's in this incarnation. Suddenly a clove-ish aura got stronger in contrast with dirty musks, patchouly, making the herbs standing too. It seemed to exhale a very mainly aura, almost raw and keept from being too much by the subtle sweetness showed in the resins of the base, constrasting with some hints of moss. It wasn't something outrageous or shocking, it gave me more a nostalgia feeling of a time where fragrances seemed to be made from a singular vision to be shared and appreciated with the ones that enjoyed it. It seems to fulfill the first meaning of pity instead the second one and it was a moment of breaking through what was a taboo for me. Still, i think this will be the first and the last time that i wear my own pee as the final layering touch in a fragrance.
15th April, 2017
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Eva Kant by O'Driù

From all Angelo Orazio Pregoni creations Eva Kant seems to me maybe the one that stands out as one of the most easiest to approach. Don't understand me wrong, this is certainly a fragrance that has Angelo written all over it: first, for the use of art in an unconventional way, this time drawing inspiration for a more popular form of art, the comics. Also, it is a fragrance that pays homage to Italy by using a character that has become part of italian popular culture. And, as Angelo Itself, Eva Kant is, with Diabolik, an anti-hero and her fragrance is certainly not a straightfoward interpretation of a woman.

Still, it is the first time i see Angelo creating a scent that even if it's sold as genderless has such a very direct portrait of feminility. And as the character itself demands, Eva Kant is a complex scent, one that has to be able to show different aspects since we are talking about a master of disguises. So her scent is made to change and evolve its characteristics while you are wearing it and it does deliver what it promises as Eva Kant passes through different olfactory facets you would find in a perfume.

The fragrance starts very hot and sexy, with a proeminent use of what seems like cinnamon and pepper to form a contrast between cold and hot spices. Then, you notice that this is anchored in a bright and lemon like citrus impression, the first moment that alludes to its Italian roots suggesting a secondary mediterrean aura. This is reinforced mainly with a good fresh, slightly soapy and floral green magnolia, which is contrasted by one of the flowers that Angelo uses a lot in his creations, the voluptous and versatile ylang. It is time for another change with Eva Kant showing it's more maternal side with a very creamy vanilla that makes me think of baked goods filled with vanilla cream. The sandalwood is used here to give a woody nuance and a final contemplative aura to Eva Kant.

In a time where mainstream feminine scents seems to focus its identity more on the advertising trying to appeal many woman with fragrances without a strong personality, Angelo offers an interesting ode to a woman that might have started it's life on comics as the partner of a brilliant criminal mind but a woman that with time gained its respect, freedom and space. Eva Kant migh be an anti-heroine, but she is true to herself and not boring or incongruous. It's an interesting take on pop comic art and on the duality of the timeless and always changing soul of the modern woman.
11th April, 2017

Civet by Zoologist Perfumes

When one thinks of the differences between classical and modern perfumery I believe we can use the evolution of music formats to understand it better. Modern perfumery is very close to contemporary popular music, often built simply, using samples of familiar songs with few layers of sound. Classic perfumery would be the equivalent of recordings on vinyl records and albums where live studio instrumentation adds a wealth of detail that makes the experience very enjoyable for music fanatics.

Like the vinyl, the classic perfumery did not die, but it became a more selective and independent product. Many independent niche houses have creates perfumes with the quality and richness of the classics and one of them is Victor Wong's Zoologist, whose concept of the personification of animals in scents has yielded a collection very bold and diverse in styles.

To honor one of the most well-known animals of the perfumery Victor chose a perfumer who works with classic structures as if they were part of her existence. Shelley Waddington may not be one of the best known in the indie scenario, but her perfumes for her EnVoyage Perfumes are a journey of luxury and olfactory richness and in Civet the perfumer seems to be in one of her best moments.

Civet is one of the most difficult notes to be worked for a contemporary public, especially since the increase of its concentration within a composition will make the perfume progressively fecal, creating a challenging experience. However, the musk extracted from the Civet glands is an excellent fixative and when used wisely becomes a kind of aura that exalts the composition and adds a carnal aspect, giving a new life to the perfume.

The creation here makes me think of great perfumery classics, recreating perfumes from the glory days of the Civet. The impression I have is as if Shelley had studied the creation style of the great master Roudnitska and understood his creation dynamics. Civet works in a dynamic similar to that of one of the great classics of Roudnitska, Femme de Rochas, also remembering his wonderful Diorama (and also referring to a Guerlain classic that works on a similar dynamic of notes, Parure). All these creations are like a melody that combines spices, flowers, fruity notes and a base with nuances of moss and woods.

Civet opens with the sweet and spicy scent of cinnamon and with an impression of a dry spicy aroma that resembles cloves. In the background, you get a scent of plums and peaches giving a velvety, rich and sensual aura to the opening. Coffee is an interesting element, used for its connection with the civet by the type of coffee Kopi Luwak (made from the undigested grains and excreted by the animal). It is interesting that the roasted aroma of the coffee ends up combining with the elements of the opening and also enriching the chypre texture, compensating the current limitations to some classic materials. And it is as Civet evolves that I remember Roudnitska, able to work the carnal and indolic and contrast with the luminosity, freshness and beauty of the flowers. In civet we also have this juxtaposition in a floral body that refers to a mixture of jasmine, ylang, rose and lily of the valley. Sometimes the composition also appears to have a floral and oily appearance and it refers to the exotic touch of the osmanthus.

At last, Civet arrives at its finest moment and you can perceive the bass tone of the idea, a blend of green earthiness of moss with the dry, animalic aroma of the amber and the more creamy, woody scent of sandalwood. And in the background you can finally feel the warm touch and a tiny bit of civet mingling with the resinous and slightly sweet aroma of opoponax and a light powdery touch of iris. It is one of the most complex parts of the composition and one of the moments that often in contemporary perfumery sounds linear and simple. Civet is a masterpiece that preserves the richest and most beautiful in the past and gives a new generation a chance to experience symphonies that otherwise they would not have access to.
17th March, 2017

Ta by O'Driù

Arriving at the end of my journey trhrough Ven_Det_Ta, it is interesting to realize that we are facing a perfume that uses a metalanguage, because after all Angelo criticizes the collections launches of simultaneous niche or exclusive perfumes creating a collection about revenge, something that takes revenge In thematic and in its essence. But more than that, Ven_Det_Ta is a connected project of perfumes that end up presenting different facets about Revenge one that allows more than one reading between the concept and the execution.

The final part of the saga of revenge is Ta and in a way is of the 3 creations the one unites the wearable exotic style of the perfumer with known accords in the commercial perfumery. Ta is the 3 perfume that has for me the most quiet and linear energy, with Ven being the most explosive and complex and Det being halfway in the process of revenge. At times I come to think while presencing Ta in the skin I am in an inverse process of the discovery of revenge, but at the same time it makes me think also in the reestablishment of order and normality after the act was consummated.

In Ta we have accords and notes that are classic of commercial perfumery - fruits are present in one form or another in all acts of revenge, but in the final act they are more present. They are not exactly sweet, there is a certain plasticity in the idea of ​​strawberries and in an aquatic fruity accord that remains deep, almost like a noise or a subliminal message in the composition. They make me think so much about the artificiality of the collections that are criticized here as on the artificiality of revenge itself, which can cause the sense of well-being and justice at first, but in the end it does not restore the scene to the moment before the act that caused it . There is an abstract floral chord in the composition, something with rose and tuberous tones, the part that shows another pleasing and seductive side of revenge, already execute at this point. And lastly, a base with shades of moss, vetiver and cedar restore order and bring the lull to the escalating emotions of the revenge process.

Precisely because of this sequence of aromas I like to think of Ven_Det_Ta as an inverted revenge: the order and calm in Ta, the growing but still balanced process of emotions in Det and finally all the intensity and oscillation of pleasure and brutality in Ven. The order of words may lead one to think of a linear sequence, but it is always good to remember that there is something subversive and even somewhat anarchic in Angelo's creations. Therefore, the best way to understand it is to go through the olfactory journey - rich in sensations and cohesive in its message. Mine is just a take on the overall revenge process.
16th January, 2017

Det by O'Driù

The first episode of the Vengeance saga (Ven) proposed by Angelo is perhaps the most dramatic and probably the most polarizing, introducing the concept and the primitive facets and pleasure / satisfaction that vengeance can bring. After that, I wondered, what kind of Vengeance have we pictured here? Passing the moments of Ven, the confusion and the turbulence, in which direction would it follow?

If Det was a second cinematic episode of this saga, it would be one that seems to leave room for two very different interpretations. The first is that we are facing an act of rational, calculated revenge, which still has the sweet and gratifying aspect in itself but which focuses on the execution of the plan. The second possibility that occurred to me in Det is that perhaps the revenge chosen here is not one in the sense of doing justice with one's own hands or inflicting suffering on the other, but rather what would be an overcoming revenge, one that represents success and leads to growth.

What made me think of this possibility of dualities is the main protagonist of the second episode of this harvest, tobacco. Like various resins, tobacco has a symbolism attached to the spiritual, sacred, and can mean expansion and growth. Tobacco, however, is also an important element related to the Mafia, which makes me think of how revenge is present in many cinematic representations of various types of mafias. So there are two distinct possibilities here, which one to choose?

Personally, I see Ven as the revenge executed by overcoming emotional trauma for growth and success. There are still dramatic and intense elements in Ven, with a slightly plastic, shiny and fruity opening. But there is a balanced and somewhat spiritual energy in the way tobacco is worked - balanced in the spicy and aromatic aspect, moderately sweet, slightly floral. The complex oriental base that mixes shades of amber, incense, wood and resins also makes me think of this balanced and spiritual energy. Being Ven the center of the saga, which reserves the final episode of this revenge saga, Ta?
16th January, 2017

Ven by O'Driù

Two things for me are certian when it comes to using and analyzing one of the perfumes made by Angelo in his O'DRIÙ brand. The first is that the concept itself will never be conventional or without some drama or controversy. The second is that however controversial the concept may be and how difficult it may seem at first, there is a solid and usable basis behind it that ties the experience to it and makes it pleasant and interesting. Angelo is a transgressor, but one that for me is (somehow) a classicist too - a combination of opposites that instead of colliding cooperate.

With the Ven_Det_ta trio Angelo criticizes the simultaneous releases that permeate the shelves of niche perfumes and exclusive lines - collections that in a few cases are made to connect and pass a story and that most of the time just shoot in different directions to try please everyone. At the same time, it is also critical the theme of contemporary perfumery that seems to revolve around love, romance and seduction. Examples of creations that exploit emotions with a negative connotation (such as Gucci Envy) are rare. By creating Ven_Det_ta as a trio of perfumes that connect and complement each other, Angelo explores in the aromas the emotions of the journey of a revenge act.

Ven is the first act of this journey and in a way it is an overview of revenge, an introduction to the concept that will be worked on in the olfactory trio. I realize that two forces basically govern Ven and represent two sides of Vengeance. The first of them is the more animalic side, which appears at first at the opening in general way that seems to me like herbs that pass a slightly urinous side - something that is perceived in fougeres or aromatics where there is the use of clary sage. The cumin helps to emphasize this, but without dominating the composition or giving an air of sweat to it. In the base it is possible to perceive the castoreum reinforcing the animalistic sensation at the same time that it gives a leather aspect to the idea. This strand of Ven portrays to me more primitive and animal side of the act of revenge.

Already the second main facet of Ven is shown as the most attractive and rewarding side of Vengeance, something that immediately makes me think of the expression "Sweet Vengeance". This is perceived by a boozy aroma wrapped in sweet floral touches and leading to a creamy and soft base of vanilla, which is supported in the woody creaminess of sandalwood. The use of musks seems to soften the more intense and troubled edges on both sides of the revenge and makes this first act attractive and well usable, seeking to follow something more balanced and to make a progression in the skin. Like the emotion itself, Ven is complex, curiously alternating from the highly repulsive to the highly attractive, as if the perfume itself reflected, I believe, the indecision of the revenge act.
16th January, 2017

Concentré de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès

One downside of some members of Hermès Les Colognes is a very short duration on the skin. As the aromas are refreshing, delicate and rich in its nuances their scents are just limited to a maximum of 2 hours, which today is something that few expect and even desire, thus more concentrated versions are required even for refreshing ideas and the challenge is to maintain the coherence of the original version and to make it last on the skin.

For Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, one of the first of the new members, Jean Claude Ellena chose an interesting way to make a Concentré version, exploring in the base a contrast that is present in some synthetic materials used to create a Pamplemousse accord. Ellena emphasizes the vetiver root nuances that can be extracted from a synthetic construction around a Grapefruit idea and so almost makes Concentré version a kind of Eau de Vetiver Racine, suggesting aspects of root and earth of this aromatic grass.

Focus of Pamplemousse works between the freshness of a little bitter grapefruit and a musky base with nuances of grass and woods. Depending on your expectations or aroma image of a rose it can be challenging to find it here, as its most green and dewy aspect is explored over the more fruity, honey and silky flower side. The rose for me here plays the role of a connector between the slightly bitter freshness of output and woody and musky base, keeping the theme in a modern citrus cologne.

It is good to note that despite being a perfume called Concentré, this version still retains the more minimalist aura that Hermès often use in their perfumes, so that the initial goal is reached, maintaining the delicacy and consistency of the idea with a better duration and just a little bit more of intensity. This makes it an ideal Cologne for use in daily life or for very high temperatures where it is expected a freshness that can last more than 2 hours.
18th July, 2016

Rien Intense Incense by Etat Libre d'Orange

For me the best moments of the brand Etat Libret d'Orange are precisely those that they can support a provocative and ironic concept regarding market practices with a scent that not only fits into the concept but who rescues something of the past and gives a more modern but still decent interpretation.

Rien is perhaps one of the best brand in this sense, a perfume with her name somehow takes a fun of minimalist and almost transparent compositions offering a gigantic and proud creation of leather, aldehydes and animalic touches, something that immediately reminds me of one of the most challenging classic when it comes to leather, the beautiful Robert Piguet Bandit. Rien Intense Incense goes precisely in the opposite direction that less is more and do more is more by adding another facet to the idea, incense, keeping the intensity of the composition as promised.

This is one of those scents that automatically highlights, since few still dare to do this. The composition maintains the optimum combination of leather with aldehyde and animalic elements, something that gives it a bold and different personality. You can tell that the incense fits very well, adding a fresh, camphor-like and resinous dimension at the background, something that highlight the aldehydes while softing a bit the dry intensity of leather. Sometimes you can see the floral aspect of the iris and pink adding something more delicate and sensual to the brutality of the idea, which is again bring back by the dry aspect of the woods and amber in the base.

It surprises me a little the direction that Libret Etat d'Orange took recently. It is with perfumes like Rien Intense Incense that the brand became relevant and drew attention in the scenario. It is with creations like Rien Intense Incense that it should continue. I understand the need to ensure the profitability of business with less challenging compositions, but I feel that most of brand recent launches lack this kind of personality, which go against common sense and come out victorious in what they do.
16th July, 2016

Wanted by Azzaro

Despite Azzaro being one of the french houses that releases masculine fragrances on a regular basis on the market it has been 10 years that it does not invest in something with pretensions to be a pillar within their line, a perfume with major investment in marketing and advertising and with a release that did not spare money to impress the press and influential in the virtual world. This is a good indication that the brand would not risk in aromatic territories that could be a fiasco or linger years to fall in the tastes of the audience (such as iris in Dior Homme or agarwood in YSL M7). And indeed Wanted to just strive to, as its name indicates, be desired / appreciated by a large audience, which in my opinion is geared more to a man between 25-35 years.

Wanted in a way bet in what is today the role that aquatic scentes were in the 90s: the musky woody fragrance of citrus touches. The brand invests in a special extraction sicilian lemon and combines with a fresh aldehydic touch and a moderate aquatic aspect. The most interesting part is that the lemon accord for some angle sometimes reminds you of a pineapple at the right point of juiciness. Like many modern men's fragrance, the transition is not very marked for the base notes, keeping the water fresh citrus aspect of the opening with a transparent and bright floral aroma and a controlled tonka sweetness. Finally, we have a combination of musks and synthetic materials of vetiver and ambergris which create a pleasant base but no specific definition of any raw material.

Wanted is not the kind of scent that excites me because it all seems too studied to be very nice, very easy to please. But however, there is a certain elegance that he has and is aligned with the advertising campaign in the James Bond styke. Sometimes its smell brings me the elegance of Prada Amber Pour Homme but without the complexity of it. However, compared with a perfume like Dior Sauvage, Wanted is saved by in no time sound so generic to the point of looking like a deodorant or a cheap perfume. It is an unerring aim at pleasing (even without excited) and that, in my opinion, is likely to be a success for the brand.
16th July, 2016

Acqua di Giò Essenza by Giorgio Armani

It is certain that being among the first to explore an olfactory trend is a risky thing - especially because what we imagine might fall in public taste may be something very innovative at the time it was released. However, if the bet is right you gain the advantage of working in new lands and develop something that will become the model to be followed/ copied. It happened with the scent Acqua di Giò, which although was not the first aquatic fragrance was one that explored the trend early on hit very well the combination of aquatic freshness with a fruity fresh touch and a transparent musky base, a lightness that had a satisfactory performance for the genre and a lot of consistency from the beginning to the end.

After 16 years of success of what become one of the pillars of the aquatic family, the eau de parfum version comes at a time where the masculine market is not only less prejudiced with eau concentrations parfum, previously seen as feminine, but also demanding perfumes that have better duration and projection, thus able to stand out more. There is not much to reinvent or change in the aquatic trend and Essenza is not because of that a paradigm shift or a radical change from the original. Instead it is, as proposed by the brand, a refined and deeper version of the original, lowering the acquatic aspect but without doing it in order to compromise the original identity.

As a long lasting version, Acqua di Giò Essenza decreases the focus on water and fruity aspect of the output to put more emphasis in conveying the oceanic freshness in a mineral and slightly woody base of good duration. Thus, it opens with the aquatic and fruity departure from the original, less evident in the marine and metallic aroma. As it evolves one perceives another fresh aromatic chord, slightly floral, that gradually leads to the aforementioned mineral and woody base. Sometimes you can see flashes after all the evolution of the aquatic aroma of the opening in contact with the mineral aroma of the base, passing a very serene and refreshing feeling.

Essenza shown even without any surprises to be an acquatic more mature and better worked from beginning to end, with a good technical performance of sillage and longevity, which makes it an excellent candidate for daily use or even as a night perfume, with a good performance for summer nights or hot and stuffy night environments.
10th July, 2016

Sunshine Man by Amouage

Sometimes I feel myself in a complicated situation to write when I am faced with perfumes like Amouage Sunshine Man. If I could review only judging their own scent, I would see a well-orchestrated composition, harmonious and rich in detail. When I look at the concept, I can see what was originally proposed. But when we add the information mainly of the brand, price and the segment where it stands it is that the things get complicated.

In a way, I see a risk in its idea, since exploring something new as one of the most famous essential oils perfume is not an easy task. Especially if this essential oil is the lavender, which for some cultures have a highly functional connotation, referring more to cleaner / bathroom to proper perfme it. Therefore, the lavender used here seems to have been well chosen, trying to minimize as much as possible this aspect at the same time that this is balanced with an alcoholic citrus aroma to pass the feeling of warmth and brightness of the sunshine. Although i don't see listed, i detect chamomile nuances that further help to give an agrestic and bright aromatic touch.

When you think the smell will remain in that olfactory path it is that the changes begin to happen. Sunshine Man turns into a more classic fougere with a slight hint of leather or suede. The tonka aroma gives the sweetness of a fougere while sage and juniper reinforce the most aromatic side of the idea along with the lavender. In a final stage, Sunshine also shows a more mellow and almost oriental side, where the lavender sweetness wins caramel and toasted touches of imortelle and vanilla, reminding somehow a more light version of Eau Noire.

Beautiful as Sunshine Man is and more faithful it is to its concept, it seems that something is missing from the extravagant DNA of this house - it's as if Amouage was trying to get out of its comfort zone and reach other public or try an exotic richness more measured in a classic aroma. That's what makes me not know how to judge Sunshine Man, as much as it is a delicious scent it does not seem to fit the price range that it is charged and not in the brand style. It's the kind of product I would have in promotional price but never pay full price they ask for.
09th July, 2016
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Polo Supreme Oud by Ralph Lauren

I see in the apparel brand Ralph Lauren a more conservative approach in the explorantion of new fragrance trends, both for the male audience as for the female one. So it is not surprising that after several brands have jumped into the Oud fashion that the brand then decided to launch his first creation with this theme that pleases the Arab public so much and has gained strength in other markets. Perhaps the time is not the apex of agarwood perfumes, but we are not in decline either.

I like how conceptually the theme of Agarwood has been worked by the brand and the perfumer, putting the accord that recreates the precious and expensive resin in the center but worked in a more abstract and complete manner. The Oud thus gains a well-cut trim, without being fussy, something that lingers in a somewhat linear fashion as one would expect from an Arabic inspiration but shows a somewhat more typical progression of Western perfumery maybe.

Supreme Oud opens with a sweet and spicy impression, something that refers to a cinnamon powder that explores the sweetness of this spice but does not make it too hot or suffocating the skin, receiving support from the fresh, hot and slightly fruity pink pepper. The agarwood aroma appears dry, woody and herbaceous, with musky overtones and you can see that the cypriol plant is largely responsible for this oud impression. Gradually, one sees a more powdery and warm side and intereting incensed nuances, as if the oud chips were being burned to release its aromatic resin in the environment. In a final stage, Supreme Oud shows a sophisticated base mixing a drier woody vetiver and the duality of sweetness and smoked aroma of guaiac wood.

While many creations of Oud show a roughess in the way the work powerful synthetic materials, Supreme Oud mainly favors harmony and abstraction as it evolves. Its smell never shown neither exaggerated nor too subtle and has good length that is expected of a composition of Oud. Although it does not bring in new combinations, its excels in delivering a woody spicy thematic that is very good and consistent from beginning to end.
08th July, 2016

A*Men Pure Tonka by Thierry Mugler

As I explained in Amen Pure Wood review, the success of the flankers of this line have been based on the balance between being able to keep a clear link with the traditional at the same time it is possible to explore new aromatic textures within the formula, creating a fragrance that is worth having for those who already have the previous ones. Pure Tonka has a difficult task in my point of view: there is already a history of flankers that showed to be excellent and popular (Pure Coffee, Pure Malt, Pure Havane), good and little-known (Pure Wood), and which added nothing interesting (Taste Of Fragrance, Pure Leather). In a way this new family member falls into a middle ground between the most successful ones and the uninteresting others.

Conceptually exploring the extraction of roasted tonka bean aroma, this variation explores the nuances of tonka: its side that reminds you of cherries, its aromatic grass aspect (well explored in the classic fougeres) and more lactonic and burnt side. The Lavender is brought here to reinforce this more aromatic part and counteract the vanillic and sugary sweetness that is brought back. Finally, we have two ends giving a driest aroma to the composition: at the opening the smell of roasted coffee, a classic note of traditional Amen, and a patchouli and something kind of amber aroma in the base.

Describing the nuances of it you can see an interesting idea indeed, but one lacking a surprise factor in the composition, and in this point of game is essential for it to be part of the best of the line. The combination of coffee, lavender, vanilla and patchouli is crafted here in a very similar way of two Maurice Roucel creations: Rochas Man and Bond No 9 New Haarlem. Sometimes the cherry aroma and burnt tonka aspect is that it gives a distinction to idea, but in general it reminds you of these other perfumes. At other times, however, its just seems the traditional Amen a little sweeter.

Overall, the first impression of Pure Tonka as a flanker in the line leave you divided. There are some interesting nuances, but the execution seems derived from other creations and not distinguished enough from the traditional. For someone who already has all previous editions, it may not stand out as one of the best. But for someone who likes the traditional, like the idea of coffee with lavender and would like to see a hint of cherries or a more prominent tonka aroma, is a scent that has its charm and it's worth knowing.
06th July, 2016

A*Men Pure Wood by Thierry Mugler

The Thierry Mugler brand seems to explore on their line an answer to the following question that come into my head: How far you can go with flankers of a consolidated best seller on the market without tiring the audience? It is a task interesting somehow, because it requires you to be able to transform your perfume to the point it seems a new and interesting concept but at the same time keeping the link with the original creation. In some editions of the Pure Collection we have seen this approach be very successful, with Pure Coffee, Pure Malt and Pure Havane standing out among the most celebrated. The Flankers Taste of Fragrance and Pure Leather / Cuir were also able to bring interesting details the original idea, but failed to create a distinctive aroma and its evolution makes them much like the Amen so it is difficult to keep the interest in them after a few uses. I expected Pure Wood to follow suit them, though its scent seems to show that it is still possible to extract interesting variations of woody oriental theme in Amen.

First, it is interesting to note that despite the name indicating a possible dominance of the aroma of woods, Pure Wood does not go the obvious route and doesn't shows a saturation in cedar, sandalwood, oud or synthetic amber materials that can pass a heavy, dry and diffusive wooden aroma Some of these woods can even be perceived as secondary, but what really stands out and gives a new life to the smell of Amen is the use of oak wood in the composition. It brings a little explored commercial woody nuance, a scent with nuances of rum, honey and dried fruits.

Although not listed, besides the oak aroma I notice a very obvious smell of guaiac, a wood interesting for its spicy aspect and phenolic impression (smoky and rubber like) while having also a slightly sugary touch. We still have a secondary and sophisticated scent of leather aroma that mingles with the sweet, sugary scent of vanilla and roasted smell of coffee. These two notes together with patchouli end up being the main responsible for making the connection with the traditional AMen while the oak, guaiac and aroma of sweetened ambery resins give a new look to the oriental aroma composition. Although little known and commented it is one of the most interesting flankers in the line in the way ut explores the concept, bordering on an approach that would not be bad in a niche perfume or a more exclusive one.
06th July, 2016

Gothic Censored / Gothic Angel by O'Driù

The first impressions are not always the correct ones. Or when they are correct, they can not capture all aspects of a subject or person and thus lead to hasty conclusions. I realized that the quickly judgment of the work of Angelo Orazio Pregoni let myself take the exotic aesthetic and the provocations without realizing that they were only the surface of something more interesting, which is only revealed from the moment we accepted the challenge to let Angelo as a perfumer and artist takes us out of the comfort zone and make us to think about what is really happening. In this sense, it is worth visiting the Facebook page of Angelo and read the articles he published on site, which lead us to know a little more of his mind and his principles.

I do not intend here in a nutshell be able to pass things that the perfumer want to Gothic Angel, which is the second messenger in his line of angelic theme; this is more an invitation to know it. With Italian Angel in mind, the first thing I find myself thinking here is about the things they have in common and in which they differ. In common you can see some basic notes, especially a creamy and gustatory aspect, the fact that they are both scents larger than life, the kind that seems to fill an arena with its vibrant aroma and full of detail. But the impression I have is that while Italian Angel is an excellent caricature and a baroque exploration Italian aromatic culture Gothic Angel seems, like the artist makes clear, to look at the past in the Gothic art movemen but without one caricatured representation. It's like, with such move, Angelo explore the past aiming indeed an unknown future style and certainly longing for the divine as the very Gothic art.

I see in Gothic Angel one aromatically structured formula that makes me think more about the architectural style of that period and its stained glass than the painting itself. I have the impression that we are facing something that certainly sees the divine and the light, which already differs from the dark caricature I imagined. I see the use of ambery materials and in a rough form serving as the arches of the olfactory structure that develops. And the aldehydes with incense function as the glass on which the other notes of the art is painted, creating the effect of an intense and magnificent light to me.

The aspect from the past here makes me think, for some reason, the contrast between sensuality and temperance of Chanel No. 5, but played in a way that the structure becomes typically something of Angelo creations. There is to me a soapy appearance between the austere and luxurious, where aldehydes seem to raise the aroma of bitter herbs. There is a painted floral sensuality in vibrant hues and at the same time without a definite shape, but one you can feel her sensual, erotic and complex contour past the olfactory rays of light output, mixing the sacred aspect of incense. A powdery tone and between the iris and violets smell makes me again recall a similar dynamic that found in Chanel No. 5, which is repeated again at the base by the presence of a beautiful sacred and rich aroma of sandalwood. At this point the harmony allows you to realize once again the amber and dry materials of the opening, which bring the composition back to the present and future, and a creamy and vanilla scent that is very cozy.

Gothic Angel is interesting in what seems to be a kind of dichotomy in his scent. While it has a larger than life aura and worthy of an arena of performance there is something in its scent that brings me a feeling that I associate to Gothicism: the protection. The combination of warm materials such as frankincense, sandalwood, vanilla and powdery touches create the feeling that I am involved and secure under its aroma (and wouldn't this be one of the duties of an Angel?).
04th July, 2016

Ruh by Pekji

Once I have made an immersion in the 5 Pekji creations, it's hard for me to say which is my favorite, whereas all are very well made. But from the beginning Ruh stood out: its scent was what permeated my pack and stayed as an indication that the week of evaluations would be very good.

Ruh is part of creations trio that Omer defines as spatial (Holy Shit and Eau Mer also part of this trio), since they use the combination of aromas for a more abstract impression of an environment. Ruh, which means soul, it is as if captured the eastern soul avoiding falling in Western cliches. Therefore, there is no dominances of amber or ouds, synthetic or natural, in this composition.

Ruh for me is mainly a combination of coffee aroma, fruity roses, spices and white flowers. It's something I really associate with an oriental atmosphere, a full-bodied aroma, striking, rich in its nuances. The first thing I notice is the smell in Ruh Roses, sugary and fruity roses. They mix with the smell of spices, which seem abstract in composition. The aroma of coffee is remarkable to me and shares the scene with the smell of roses, as if someone was taking a roasted coffee freshly prepared in an environment where the aroma of them spreads.

In the background of the composition, I realize a white floral sensuous aroma, which at first I thought it was a lily of the valley chord, but which is actually jasmine combined with the rose producing this sensation. This is a narcotic jasmine aroma, an aura almost neon and with fruity grape nuances that only appear discreetly at the very end of the composition.

One thing that strikes me is that in Ruh to avoid the cliché of oud it seems to suggest it the mainly through the presence of rose and spices It's like you mentally fill the aroma that is formed with the oud. Another interesting thing is that Ruh has a fantastic duration of the roses on the skin. It develops working, as some Arab perfumes, more in a linear way while keeping the main notes, so that you will realize the different details of them over time. It is a magnificent scent, high quality, a beautiful modern homage to the east.
25th April, 2015

Odoon by Pekji

This is perhaps the easiest to enjoy from the first five Omer creations in his Pekji brand. The author is very clear to his intentions with odoon: a Platonic representation of a woody aroma, that is, the soul of a wood. Thus, its smell is unadorned, basic, simple yet complex at the same time. What in general serves as support structure, both in nature and in perfumery, here is the main star of the composition.

Odoon develops just as Cuir6, in a kind of notes gradient scale that would be considered the base notes in a creation. Omer made it to be a wood scent where everyy one has a different experience about its smell. Mine is related to some key woody aromas that unfold in two phases for me.

In the first phase, I mainly detect the smell of sandalwood and cypress. The cypress for me has something woody and green, a medium moist aroma, as if the tree was still drying after the rain. Soon after it appears a first sandalwood aroma step, which seems an Australian variety, having a dry aura and which resembles cedar.

Once you pass this phase, which here acts as an entrance, i start to observe an interesting transition chord. It brings me the smell of wood chips, as if they were being cut in a sawmill and theirs powder smell permeated the air. Once this impression passes, I get the mineral part and abstract Cedar impression of iso and super, which forms a pleasant and well recognizable aura. Mixed with it i smell a second scent of sandalwood, with a creamy and salty nuance that what brings me to the mind a peanuts aroma (which can be found in another context in Bois Farine of L'Artisan).

Although Odoon is not one of my favorites, is certainly a fine perfume in its complex simplicity. Its theme is more related to the male audience than female, but I think the dominance of iso and super base can make it work for both. It Achieves what it sets out to do with a calibrated tune and components that seem to have quality.
24th April, 2015

Cuir6 by Pekji

If there is a theme that is perfect to be explored literally and completely is leather. It is one of the classic themes of perfumery, after all the art of composing aromas began to develop more intensely in the ocident in leather treatment process to eliminate the not so pleasant smell of leather, something that was not desirable for a luxury item. There is not (thank God!) any animal leather absolutel, what we know as leather aroma is an abstraction of the combination of classic and modern materials capable of evoking for us the smell intrinsically related to it.

Cuir6 is exactly that, an evocation exercise of leather aroma, a kind of mixture of an abstract approach, due to the reasons mentioned above, with a hyper-realistic implementation, since the perfumer addresses it from start to finish evoke, mixing a classical aura with a modern interpretation.

Right away you realize this ode to bygone eras, the classic and fine aromas of leather. This is especially true when using the glossy, polished and finely rubberized / smoky aroma that the rectified birch note gives into the composition. The resin of this tree is one of the classic leather accords, a key piece in cuir de russie fragrances. But as the author said, the orchestration around it gives you a more modern face without stealing its richness. Right away you realize a spicy sweet and sultry scent, something that makes me think of cinnamon or cloves. To this mixture is a smell that reminds me of beeswax and also boozy dry drinks. This is due, i guess, to the generous use of saffron in the perfume - which surely makes Cuir6 a creation expensive to manufacture. But in addition to this, is very elegant, evolving the smell of leather between the overlapping saffron and birch to a base where you realize the leather arising from an amber accord, incense and musk - a mildly Animalic musk that makes me think distantly in agarwood bases too.

Certainly Cuir6 may seem simple at first, but that is because he works an olfactory gradient of polished brown aromas range varying subtly. It certainly will not please everyone, but in classic leather category stands out for its refinement, theme approach, complexity and excellent performance in the skin. It is for me one of the best of a line that so far has shown a much higher quality than the average.
24th April, 2015

Eau Mer by Pekji

In my exploration of Pekji creations going first on the ones i thought i wouldn't like I chose as a second candidate Eau Mer. The name is a play on the pronunciation, which in French is similar to pronunciation of its creator's name, Omer, and contains an aquatic theme, the second most dreaded subject for me after animalic scents.

I was less afraid tough after I read the description of Eau Mer, which is inspired by Omer childhood memories, when his uncle took him and his brother to fish. The author defines it as an overview of an aromatic and acquatic mediterranean aroma - a mixture of ocean salt smell, gasoline, jasmine, algae, ouzo. On another level, the author also defines a clean aroma, a sterile hospital environment, where the smell is mixed with water from the ocean breeze.

In my view, Eau Mer explores interestingly the salty nuances that you can get both of vetiver and anise roots - here represented by the typical alcoholic drink of Greece and the island of Chypre, Ouzo. Vetiver seems to me the main thing here, providing the damp aroma and herbal algae and the distant water tap. The opening has a metallic, salty tone, but that blends to the clean aroma and slightly floral jasmine - which I suspect to be the sambac variety due the neroli flower nuance that variety that this variety has and that is in evidence here. The anise smell appears soon after, and it is interesting that it seems in fact less sweet here, slightly alcoholic and complementing the light floral smell. As it reaches the base, vetiver gets increasingly dominant, an slightly salty and green woody aroma that makes me think of a very good quality vetiver and that intrigues me for not having the earthy nuance so evident.

Just as Holy Shit, Eau Mer was a pleasant surprise, one that I did not expect to like and that pleased me. In its exploration, it mades me think of an old classic Annick Goutal which was recently reformulated- Annick Goutal Vetiver - but without the watermelon nuance that sounded strange at the Annick creation. It is a creation that fulfills the purpose of the author's memory at the same time offering a quality interpretation thereof and easy to use. Certainly falls under the category of good vetiver perfumes.
24th April, 2015

Mon Nom est Rouge by Majda Bekkali

Since amber fragrances are not necessarily my favorite style, i moderately appreciate this one. The problem for me with an amber accord is that it ends dominating a fragrance and give it a kind of a standar amber face - incensy, sweet in a muffled way, a little bit grey maybe. What makes this more interesting to me is the focus on the fresh, incense aspect at first - which seems to me to be curiously openened by a bright aldehydic aroma, which reforces the fresh aspects of incense, and it's extended by the spicy pink pepper note (a similar effect can be seen on Le Labo Baie Rose 26). Close to skin you notice a sweet cinnamon and rose aroma which seems to be related to the rouge in the fragrance name. But after some hours it ends in a standard, but balanced, amber accord. Not something that i would need a bottle i guess.
25th August, 2014

MAAI by Bogue Profumo

What to say about this one? It's intriguingly familiar and at the same time it's quite unique. Is the son of a relationship between Vero Profumo Rubj EDP and Kouros? Or Maybe his father is Santa Maria Novella Potpourri? Or Maybe both? Kouros is the first fragrance that comes to my mind, a descendant of its fougere structure with hints to its animal nuances but without the powdery aura. But soon the clove and resins stands out and i start to see the angular bones of potpourri too. And then, his mother Onda EDP sweet tuberose and orange flower pops up in a way that i almost start imagine a passionfruit aroma on this too (which i know it doesn't exhist). And then, all the familiar resemblances goes away and what is left is an spetacular old fashion resin floral base which is made modern for my by its very direct approach - this doesn't have any flourish aromas that don't make a good contribution to the structure. Very good indeed.
25th August, 2014

Farnesiana by Caron

Caron Farnesiana EDP - this is pleasant, but is less gourmand than the parfum concentration. The opening is more powdery and floral, with a more noticeable retro thing. Then the powdery part goes, the mimosa shows it's almond nuances and is joined by a pleasant vanilla and opoponax base. It's lovely, but i still favor the marzipan wonderfullness which is the parfum.
25th August, 2014

APOM pour Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

This is Solo Loewe after he won the lottery, got rich and did a sex change surgery. Now he is she, with a little bit of boobs (more orange flower), but the same overall structure, only with an attitude "Bitch please i'm a new person now".
25th August, 2014

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum by Guerlain

Guerlain should be fined for doing this with an iconic and classic fragrance. This is what happens when you prostitutes your brand in a desperate attempt to cash from any possible way. This is not Shalimar, this shouldn't be called shalimar, this is a pleasant but unrecognizable Guerlain fragrance - linear, loaded in sweet musk, with an acquatic opening (on Shalimar! For God Sake!) and with some spicy florals. When you don't care about your image or history, you sell yourself like this for money, which is shameful.
25th August, 2014

Piu Bellodgia by Caron

My impression is that Piu Bellodgia seems old-fashioned on skin, and if this is good or bad is up to you. Overall it has a powdery, spicy floral aroma, with something slightly fruity somewhere, some flower with a pear touch (i suspect it might be the lily of the valley accord). I dislike a sour edge that comes now and then on it, and i think that the base is very safe and don't add too much. It might work on the right woman, but i am not impressed with it.
05th January, 2014

Tibet Ur Bottom $ by Smell Bent

What i like about Smell Bent fragrances is that they don't take themselves serious. I know that it's not the unique brand that does this, but, unlike Etat Libret, they don't dive into an erotic world to achieve this. The names are funny, silly, as it's the illustrations, but the fragrances are not silly. They can be simple, compact, but they get where they were intended to get. You can, most of times, link the fragrance with its name and concept, like in Tibet Ur Bottom, where you receive a incense fragrance to match the meditation theme. It's not your usual church incense, but more of an airy, slightly sweet and mineral incense, suitable to wear anytime. And, something that I always praise on his scents is that you don't need to commit with a full bottle, if you like it you can purchase a 4ml spray to wear occasionally. It'd be so nice if more brands offered 4ml sizes for reasonable prices like Smell Bent does!
04th January, 2014

Jeune Homme / Pour le Jeune Homme by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

You have to be an enthusiastic of neroli/orange flower fragrances to enjoy this one. As said before, it's a conventional cologne fragrance, based on this note, with excellent materials and this is what makes it stand out. I like that there is something on neroli that makes me think of a certain kind of scented rubber/vegetable loofah and i get it here on the exact amount to be pleasant and not uncomfortable. I smell something peppery and woody at the background too, but on me Eau Jeune is all about citrus notes surrounding the neroli, which is not a bad thing at all because is very hot here lately. Don't know if you need it if you already have top neroli-centered fragrance, but it's worthy sampling it anyway.
04th January, 2014

Sanguine Muskissime by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

It opens with a realistic and fresh citrus accord that reminds me of oranges and tangerines at the same time. There is something on this part that is similar to some mandarine scents, like Hermes Eau de Mandarine Ambree or Guerlain Acqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic, with the difference that the two mentioned seems more sweet and Sanguine Muskissime is more bitter and fizzy. It's a very simple fragrance, light, that after the refreshing citrus part goes into a faint musk and slightly woody drydown with some citrus aspects. It's more of a refreshing aroma to be wore after bath, because it's very discreet even if you take a bath of it
04th January, 2014