Sunday, 30 May 2010

Chanel Coromandel

As some of you may know, I am working my way through the Chanel Exclusifs samples I recently received. Today I am wearing Coromandel, a fragrance that is apparently inspired by the Coromandel Laquer screens that Coco Chanel had in one of her Paris apartments. I've read differing views, but it seems like Coromandel was created by Jacque Polge with some input by Christopher Sheldrake. The theme of Coromandel, certainly to my nose, is patchouli and amber, with a smidgen of incense, and I could be wrong here, but just a hint of lily and tobacco. The reason I say this is, about half an hour in, I notice an accord that bears more than a passing resemblance to Versace Dreamer, albeit toned down dramatically. I could be speaking total rot here, but to my nose, that is what I smell. I think if I were to introduce a friend to patchouli, this is the perfume I would get him or her to try first. Coromandel is a wonderfully well executed patchouli fragrance, but it is not overbearing, which patchouli can be sometimes, and I think this frightens some people off it as a note. I actually like patchouli, but then, some of my staples are fragrances like Mazzolari Lui and Intrigant Patchouli by Parfumerie General, both of which are in my opinion hard-core patch fests.  What I love about Coromandel is that has that inimitable Chanel feel of understated luxuriance. The patchouli is most definitely there, and it smells like proper patchouli, unlike some of the dross that is churned out these days in the name of patch. But, and this is a big but, the patchouli in Coromandel smells polished and refined, like if you were to attribute an alcoholic term to perfume, this is triple-distilled and then aged in mellow casks. When I say polished, I find the patchouli, in combination with the amber, takes on an almost woody, waxed-and-polished feel. Some people have compared Coromandel to Borneo 1834 by Lutens, and I can see where they are coming from, although I think Borneo carries a much edgier feel with its camphor and coco notes, and overall, it has a far greater oriental feel to it. But perhaps there is no coincidence in this comparison when one considers that Sheldrake has worked with both Lutens and Chanel.

When all is said and done, I find Coromandel to be a compelling fragrance. I wouldn't say that it is uber original, but it is incredibly well-crafted, and like I said earlier, it carries that Chanel hallmark of understated elegance and chic, which is a hard thing to pull off with such a dominant note as patchouli is. So far, the Exclusifs impress me, although more will be revealed as I move on to some of the others. As with Bois des Iles, I can't recommend Coromandel highly enough. 

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Chanel Bois des Iles

I recently ordered a number of the Chanel Les Exclusifs from The Perfumed Court and I'm looking forward to trying them all. The reason I tried Bois des Iles first is because I read somewhere that it bears similarities to Egoiste, which I own. The notes for Bois des Iles are Aldehydes, coriander, bergamot, neroli, peach, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, ylang-ylang, iris, vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin, vanilla and musk. I must admit, the aldehydes (which I know Chanel is famous for) completely escape me. Having said that, I am dabbing from a vial, not spraying, so perhaps that is why. I also don't detect much citrus at all, and a lot of the florals are very subdued on me. I think the most prominent are rose, ylang and iris, which combine wonderfully with the sandalwood, vanilla and benzoin to create a creamy, slightly zingy accord early on, reminiscent of ginger, or gingerbread. I must admit, Bois des Iles does indeed share some similarities with Egoiste, but I think the ginger and citrus, and even the rose, come to think of it, are quite a lot more toned down. Bois des Iles strikes me as incredibly poised and sophisticated. Although quite sweet in a way, I find it relatively dry and woody, and Chanel do iris very well too. Bois des Iles dries down to a splendidly warm, cozy, comforting vanilla, sandalwood and iris combination. Egoiste on the other hand, although very good, is a touch courser to my nose, not quite as well-bred. What I find quite interesting is that Egoiste, although marketed to men, is quite frankly perfectly unisex, and Bois des Iles, I suspect, is a 'feminine' fragrance, yet also perfectly unisex, despite all those floral notes. Like a lot of the Chanels, Bois des Iles makes a statement of good breeding. It is not subdued by any means, and lasts well on my skin, yet it has minimal sillage and definitely does not shout its presence. I think it is truly a gorgeous perfume and I would love to smell it on both men and women. Although I love my bottle of Egoiste, I must admit that in my opinion, Bois des Iles is the superior perfume, and if I had tested a sample of each before owning either, I would have gone for Bois des Iles. This one comes highly recommended - I love it!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sonoma Scent Studio

I mentioned in a post not that long ago that I had finally ordered some samples from Sonoma Scent Studio. Well, they finally arrived and I am now excitedly trying them out. This post is more a general description of my initial impressions of the line and if I do any detailed reviews, these will be published later. Firstly, I want to emphasise how lovely it is that a niche, indie line can be so reasonably priced, and secondly, how refreshing it is that you can buy Laurie Erickson's perfumes in a number of different sizes. I have purchased only small samples, but one is also able to purchase 5ml, 17ml and 34ml sizes, which makes absolute sense and I wish more perfumers would do this. I can only speak for myself, but I am far more inclined to buy say two or three 5ml or 17ml bottles than I am 200ml or 300ml vats that I could bathe in.

Anyway, on to the fragrances. I purchased samples of Wood Violet, Tabac Aurea, Sienna Musk, Incense Pure, Fireside Intense, Winter Woods and Ambre Noir. I haven't tried them all yet, but so far, my initial impressions are as follows:

Wood Violet - I am pleasantly surprised by this one as usually I am not a huge fan of the violet note. Even in this case, I am not convinced this is full bottle worthy for me, but the violet is cleverly balanced with Himalayan Cedar, so although the violet does dominate in the first half of development, the cedar is well present in the latter half and it makes a nice partner with the violet. There is plum in here as well, which at this early stage is not that noticeable to me, but I have not experienced this note much, so perhaps I am not quite attuned to it yet,

Tabac Aurea - funnily enough, this was the one I thought would be a huge winner for me, and it turns out that I am luke warm about it. It is nice, but it smells like a dead ringer for Histoire de Parfums 1740, aka Marquis de Sade. This is all about leather, patchouli and tobacco, but I find the tobacco quite light. Although not listed, I can almost swear that I detect an immortelle note in here; either that, or the combination of notes eerily creates the impression of immortelle. Either way, this smells very similar to me to 1740. As I said, I don't mind this, and in fact I don't mind 1740, but it doesn't blow me away.

Sienna Musk - again, this one leaves me luke warm. I usually like musk, but this particular style of sweetish musk, combined with the cinnamon note, does not do much for me. I know Sienna Musk has a lot of fans and I will give it another chance, but it is not really me. It reminds me a bit of the musk sweets I used to get in lucky packets when I was a small boy, slightly sweet, slightly talcy, even a bit powdery.

Incense Pure - of the four I've tried so far, this is the clear winner. If you like incense, this will not disappoint. This has got to be possibly the most linear fragrance I have ever tried, but don't let this deter you. The incense here is clear, effervescent almost and literally sings on my skin in the opening. It isn't particularly churchy or gothic and there is almost a resiny herbalness to it, like the smell of rosemary and pine combined, but in a very classy manner. The incense is there from start to finish and a gorgeous incense it is. In a way, Incense Pure is quite sheer and transparent even, but not really light. It's hard to describe, but the name Pure really does it justice. It is pure and unadulterated incense.

Once I've tried the others, I will post my initial thoughts on them too. So far, I do admire what I have tried. Some of them might not quite be me, but I can't fault Sonoma Scent Studio for being innovative and releasing some interesting product.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Summer = Citrus

I should just say that generally speaking I am not a huge fan of the citrus fragrance family. I very often love a citrus opening, then it fades fast, leaving me smelling faint woods and musk at best. Some citrus fragrances are excellent - take Eau Savage for example - and have stood the test of time, but there are others that seem to just clog up the shelves at many department stores, all like each other and very often called  sports fragrances. I recently received samples of Acqua Di Parma Colonia and Aramis  Cool Blend. Cool Blend is meant to appeal to a young, new generation of Aramis lovers, and I understand is mean to be a fresh chypre. To me it opens with a strong blast of bergamot and that is pretty much all I smell initially. I'm sure there is more in there, but nothing that stands out. There is a spicy piquancy in the heart, which I thought might be cardamom, but from the notes it seems it is actually white pepper and cinnamon. I did detect a rosiness, but now I think this might be the cinnamon note. The dry down is meant to have a creamy suede, golden amber and sandalwood accord, but I honestly don't detect the suede or sandalwood. I thought  I was smelling musk and amber. I'm not sure why it is classed as a fresh chypre - it doesn't smell anything like a chypre to me, fresh or otherwise, and I fail to see how amber, suede and sandalwood could combine to be a chypre? To me Cool Blend seems quite similar to Bulgari Pour Homme, perhaps not exactly in structure, but it has a similar vibe. It is quite mainstream, but to its credit it manages to avoid a lot of the generic cliches out there in men's perfumery, at least I think so. It smells decent, without any wow factor, and if Aramis are trying to connect to a new generation of men, these guys could do a lot worse than wear Cool Blend.

Colonia was created in 1916 and has notes of Italian and Sicilian citrus fruits, lavender, verbena and vetiver. I'm not sure if there is a difference between Italian and Sicilian fruit, but in any event it opens bright and citrusy, with a smell more of the citrus leaves than the fruit or blossoms, luckily (for me). There is quite a lemonyness to it, which I think must be the verbena, which is very realistic. To me it smells a lot like fresh lemon zest. Once the citrus fades a bit, there is more of a floral aspect. Although not listed, I thought I detected a lovely rose and jasmine combo, quite elegant and restrained, and not too floral for a man to wear. I also thought the herbal note smelled a lot like rosemary, but again, I see lavender listed, so perhaps I am confused. In any event, the heart is a lovely mix of rose, jasmine, herbs, perfectly blended. It smells classy and understated. The dry down seems mossy to me, but that might be lavender and vetiver combining. I think overall Colonia smells expensive, with very good quality ingredients. Although released in 1916, it doesn't come across as old fashioned and dated, at least not to me. Being a cologne, it isn't particularly long-lasting and is fairly subtle and restrained, but I think it is lovely and would certainly recommend it.

So would I buy Cool Blend or Colonia? Well, I think I would definitely go for Colonia. It smells more natural and of better-quality ingredients to me, and although not as long-lasting as Cool Blend, it does more for me while it lasts. I know I am not the new generation, but give me 1916 over 2010 any day, at least in this case.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Etat Libre D'Orange - Fat Electrician

The picture to the left is not the one used for the Fat Electrician marketing, but as I'm in a silly mood, bum cracks it is. Speaking of silly, perhaps I'm just a grouch, but I do find a lot of the ELDO marketing a bit silly, bearing very little relation to the fragrances themselves. Having said that though, how many perfume ad campaigns actually do? 

Fat Electrician is primarily a vetiver fragrance, one which evolves on a more oriental theme, with a nuttier, rather than grassy or earthy opening. It brings to mind Luten's Vetiver Oriental and Hermes Vetiver Tonka. The heart is still a fairly nutty, slightly sweet vetiver. As it dries down a smokiness creeps in, which might be a combination of opoponax and myrrh, but  I don't really know. At the end of the day I feel slightly disappointed with Fat Electrician. It has received a lot of favourable reviews but I just thought it would be a lot edgier and possibly might bring something new to the vetiver genre. To my nose it comes across as slightly gentlemanly, a bit staid and stodgy really. It's not that it isn't a good fragrance, it is, but I was expecting more, given ELDO's reputation for innovation and I kept waiting for the twist, or weirdness, which didn't come. Perhaps this says more about my warped expectations rather than ELDO's skill, as this is a good quality vetiver fragrance, but I still think I'll stick with some of my other tried-and-tested vetivers.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Guerlain - house of cards?

I find it quite difficult to write about anything Guerlain. So much has been written before, that for me, a bare novice, to add my tuppence worth seems almost sacrilegious. I mean, what could I possibly add that hasn't been said already? Then again, perfume is an art, and like any art, it garners both praise and criticism, from novice and expert alike, and so therefore I will comment accordingly. I was looking through some of my perfume notes the other day, which I am rapidly accumulating as I become more serious (I use this term loosely) about analysing and thinking about the perfumes I try, and I was surprised to discover that not only have I not reviewed a Guerlain perfume, I have not even tried one in at least three months. I then looked at some of my search engine histories and noticed that literally every day I have viewed some article or blog that has a Guerlain topic. So why this anomaly? Surely if I read so much about this venerable house, I would have at least sampled one of their extensive range within a 3-month period? Well, thinking about it, I have come to the conclusion that despite the sheer weight of presence of Guerlain, its products are not quite as widely available as one would think. Ok, like anything, if you really search for it, you will find it, but to take me as an example: I live in Tunbridge Wells, an affluent west-Kent town, only 50 miles or so from London, but there is only one outlet for Guerlain, Hoopers department store. In London you will find the standard Guerlain range carried in most decent department stores, but (and please correct me if I am wrong, as I don't visit London very often anymore) the more exclusive and hard-to-find ones, for example the L'Art et la Matiere, are exclusive to Paris. I've also found that it is incredibly difficult to obtain samples of Guerlain. Most SA's locally and in London will happily dish out armfuls of the latest fruity floral but try asking for a Guerlain sample and see what happens. Nada, at least in my experience. 

I suppose this adds to the aura of exclusivity, but having said that, there seems to have been a push in recent years to "dumb-down" the brand, or at the very least, increase its distribution, but only among new releases. To give you an example, Boots is Britain's most successful chain of chemists, and carries a good range of mainstream and designer brands. They never carried Guerlain, but do carry Insolence and Homme. Is this Guerlain's strategy of trying to introduce the brand to younger consumers?

One thing I've wondered about for a long time is why some of the more famous Houses don't utilise the web better for marketing and distribution? Can they not see the huge potential? I suppose it is no coincidence that true niche and indie operations such as Andy Tauer, Neil Morris, Sonoma Scent Studio, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, etc have such good websites and excellent sampling programmes and customer service. They have had to utilise the internet to the hilt in order to gain new business. In my opinion, smaller bottle sizes are the way to go, particularly if you are trying to gain loyalty from perfumistas, as we generally don't want 200 ml of juice to last us for the next five years. We want to try lots and often. I wonder how much more successful the Chanel Exclusifs would be for example, if in addition to offering such ludicrous-sized bottles, they also allowed you to purchase a sample coffret of the entire range, or say 5 or 15 ml bottles? I'm sure they would move more product in the long run and ml for ml, they would still be making the same, if not better, margins. In the same vein, it would be fantastic if one could order Guerlain samples from their website, for the entire range, in every concentration and vintage. Yes, I know this is perhaps expecting a bit too much, but why not?

Anyway, moving on, I am not doing a full review of any Guerlain perfumes today, but I am wearing Homme on one wrist and L'Instant on the other. L'Instant receives a lot of praise on Basenotes and I must admit, in my opinion this is justified. I think it is a wonderful fragrance and a great example of how Guerlain could bridge the gap between the old and the new. This fragrance is bang up to date in terms of execution, texture and structure, yet there is something about it that is undeniably"Guerlain". It has it all. I think I might slightly prefer the intense version, but both the EDT and EDP versions are well worth trying. When I first tried Homme a couple of years ago I was not impressed. It felt weak, incoherent and I couldn't get my head around it. Having tried it a few times now, I am eating my words, as it is actually not that bad. I don't think it is stunning or that original, but there is far worse out there in mainstream men's perfumery. I think my issue with Homme was more about longevity. It didn't last at all and my skin just ate it up. However, trying it now, it seems to have far greater presence - perhaps its a skin chemistry or hormonal thing, who knows. 

At the time of writing this, I have ordered some L'art et la Matiere samples (and some of the Chanel Exclusifs) from The Perfumed Court, so I will finally get a chance to try some more of the less readily-available of these lines and I am looking forward to finding out what they are like.

The Different Company - Sel de Vetiver

Following my recent bog on vetiver, I thought I would follow it up with a review of Sel de Vetiver, by the Different Company, one of my favourite, yet eclectic vetiver fragrances. The listed notes are grapefruit, cardamom, geranium, lovage, Haitian vetiver, patchouli, iris and ylang-ylang. This note list is quite unusual, at least to me. I haven't seen lovage, geranium, iris and ylang-ylang listed together before and on paper it doesn't sound particularly appealing, but Sel de Vetiver is both an unusual and beautiful fragrance. It opens quite sweet, with a bit of grapefruit and a somewhat mineral accord. The vetiver is noticeable immediately and strikes me as more rooty than grassy, but it is fairly sheer and fresh. It does conjure up the feel of being near the ocean, like driving along a shoreline with a salt-laden breeze in your face. Or perhaps I'm just being fanciful. Sel de Vetiver was created by Celine Elena, the daughter of Jean-Claude, and it shows, using a similar sheer/minimalist style, with the use of grapefruit and vetiver in particular. Although released at almost the same time as Terre de Hermes, Sel de Vetiver is quite different in many ways and I actually prefer it, despite owning a bottle of Terre. Although fairly sheer, Sel de Vetiver is by no means a light scent and it lasts well on the skin.

The heart is particularly beautiful to me - it shimmers almost, the salty vetiver and citrus tang combining beautifully with a clean cedar and patchouli accord. It strikes me as incredibly refreshing and original, without slipping into that dreaded ozone-marine territory. In fact, smelling this, I wish that Sel de Vetiver could have been released a decade earlier to set the benchmark for what a marine fragrance should smell like. The vetiver is tempered by a floral sweetness which I thought smelled quite rosy, but I'm guessing its actually the ylang, geramium and iris in combination. Whatever it is, it combines so well with the vetiver that I find I am compelled to sniff my wrist almost constantly, which can appear a little weird, I'm sure, to my office colleagues! The dry down  maintains that juxtaposition of salty/sweet, vetiver root/mineral that is fascinating. I find it quite hard to describe exactly how this smells on the skin. To me it feels almost literally how a cooling ocean breeze would smell at dusk, as the heat of the day dissipates, the air thick with ozone and the promise of a fragrant night to come. Yes, I know that might read as a bit over-the-top, but that is how Sel de Vetiver makes me feel, which surely is a good thing.

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Sunday, 16 May 2010

Oud you like to try some?

I find the whole subject of oud and its uses quite fascinating, but I also find it quite irritating. The reason for this is the exclusivity associated with genuine oud. What I am really saying is that I yearn to try some proper ouds but the price point is insane and my wallet barely stretches to sampling niche fragrances, let alone  a wood prized by Arabian Sultans and Oil Sheiks. To date I have sampled a lot of oud-based fragrances by Le Labo, By Kilian, Montale and Micallef. However, I am led to understand that none of these (possibly some of the Montales do) contains any real oud and that they are all based on oud accords, which is a synthetic recreation of the note. Please correct me if I am wrong, or go read some of the oud threads on Basenotes, some of which date back three to five years and are scores of pages long. I am toying with the idea of ordering some samples from suppliers such as Arabian Oud, Al Munnawarra, Oriscent, Ajmal, etc, but as I already said, the price point is staggering for what you end up getting. I understand a lot of this stuff is highly concentrated, but still folks, my daddy is not an oil baron and I am not the love child of Bill Gates, so I might need to seriously reconsider.

While on the general subject of oud, is it just me, or is there a lot of snobbery surrounding the whole real oud/fake oud debate? I find especially on Basenotes a school of oud lovers that sneers at people's appreciation of oud-accord perfumes such as those I mentioned above, just because they are not the real thing. In the next breath, some of these people then go on to brag about how they are going to "drop a couple of $350" this weekend on a tola or two of whatever insanely expensive oud is on offer online. If these guys are speaking the truth (and why should I doubt them, I'm not jealous - goddammit yes I am!) I still struggle to understand how they could spend these sums of money regularly on what amounts to a few millilitres of juice. To be fair, one person's $350 could be another's $3.50, who am I to judge! In any event, I still wish they would be able to accept that a lot of us just don't have access to these "exalted" ouds, or don't have the cash, plain and simple, and start losing their oud attitude. Actually, that would make a good rap line, don't you think?

Anyway, lets move onto the main subject of my post today, Micallef Oud Homme and By Kilian's Pure Oud. The Micallef opens very bright, with plenty of sweet rose. The oud is evident and is quite similar to the accord used in Czech & Speake's Dark Rose. There is a slight medicinal edge to the oud, but nowhere near as intense and forceful as some of the Montales. As the top fades, we are left with a fairly straightforward oud-rose combination, but a very well done one at that. I find that oud can often be quite a sombre affair, but in Micallef's case, the effect is bright, zippy and happy. It's a bit like Montale's Black Oud on happy pills! The heart notes contain a lovely, fresh rose accord that is on the sweet side and for some reason this phase makes me feel like I am being soaked by rays of bright sunshine, streaming in through a window - radiant, is how it makes me feel. In the dry down all the notes fade and smooth out, with that overall feeling of happiness and sunshine never leaving me. To my mind  this is a great example of an all-year-round oud fragrance. It isn't too forceful, yet it isn't bland either and would make a great introduction for someone looking to try an oud fragrance for the first time.

Pure Oud is a strange one. It opens with no sweet or citrus notes to speak of. It's a severe, woody oud from start to finish, with little embellishment. There is a hint of the barnyard, but overall it feels very woody, not resinous, but quite dark and brooding. I'm reminded of the elementalness of raw wood for some reason, but also of old, decaying wood, slightly mouldy and dusty. There is a slight camphorous note in there, not really detectable unless you sniff really closely. As it moves through the heart to the dry down, the woodiness becomes more complicated, with a mushroomy note and a vague hint of something sweet, but its hard to pin down. The fragrance remains quite severe, earthy, a little decaying right to the end. I would say this is one for the hardcore oud (or should I say ord-accord?) fan. I think quite a few people might struggle with this one and although I did find it quite compelling, I wouldn't say it is an easy perfume to wear. Again, I would recommend trying this one, although it has to be said that By Kilian is hardly the cheapest niche line in the world. Definitely one to sample first before purchasing.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

A post about vetiver

Vetiver was one of the first perfume notes I fell in love with. When I first smelled its use in Guerlain Vetiver, I was shocked by its smell, but in a good way; I had never smelled anything like it before and I was smitten. I went on a bit of a vetiver bender for a while after that, gradually acquiring samples of Vetiver Extraordinaire by Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle, Route de Vetiver by Maitre Parfumeur Gantier and Turtle Vetiver by Les Nez. I have a number of other vetivers in my collection, but the ones I've mentioned here are probably my favourites. You'll notice that these ones are all better examples of the strength of the vetiver roots, rather than the grassiness or nuttiness that this plant can also convey and for me is my favourite manifestation of the note. Hermes Vetiver Tonka is a good example of the nutty accord one can exploit, while examples of grassiness include Creed's Original Vetiver and even Guerlain's gold standard, which is bolstered by nutmeg and tobacco. Another vetiver I adore and struggle to categorise is Sel de Vetiver, by The Different Company. Try it if you haven't already.

I want to write a bit more about Turtle Vetiver (TV) and Vetiver Extraordinaire (VE). I wore them side by side, one on each wrist. I was interested in comparing them because previously I thought they smelled quite similar. VE opens with a stunning wet, dark, earthy and rooty accord. The vetiver is strong and if you aren't a fan of vetiver, this might well be too much for you. For me it is one of the most wonderful openings in a perfume, unlike anything else I have ever encountered. This is no nutty, grassy or sweet vetiver. Rather, it smells like rotting, wet leaves on a damp, misty autumn day, but rotting in a good, natural way. This perfume always evokes autumn for me and it is my preferred season for wearing this. Compared to TV, once the initial blast has worn off, the vetiver stays much softer and earthier, with more of a plush, restrained feel. It's dark and musty, but not in the sense of a mouldering building, but vegetal and organic. I always think of earth, leaves and countryside when I wear this; a true outdoor scent. VE does become fairly linear from the middle onwards, but then, I find most vetiver-centered fragrances do. VE retains a surprisingly sophisticated air for such an outdoorsy fragrance and I think this is a work of genius by Dominique Ropion.

TV opens at a much higher pitch than VE. There is also a very high concentration of vetiver in this fragrance, but I find it cleaner and less earthy, with a more watery feel to it, but not in the sense of being weak, and definitely is not a marine fragrance. Its initial feel is more like Route de Vetiver I think. The vetiver here if anything gets stronger as the fragrance progresses and is for hard-core vetiver fans. It does brighten a little and despite its strength, I'm constantly reminded of a watery theme, like I'm smelling the roots submerged in a creek, but live roots, not decaying vegetal matter. Again, the progression later on is quite linear, although it does retain that wateriness and perhaps just a touch of salt. Perhaps there is an ambergris accord in here?

Side by side then, I think both VE and TV share a similarity in as much as both are very good examples of intense, vetiver-focused fragrances and both tend towards the root, rather than the grass. However, I think overall TV has the stronger vetiver note, while VE has a bit more sophistication about it and is earthier and has its roots firmly in woodland soil, while TV is of the waterways. Both are very well done and I would definitely recommend sampling them, particularly if you are a fan of vetiver, or interested in expanding your vetiver repertoire.

Vetiver Extraordinaire is a work of genius in my opinion and this (along with Musc Ravageur possibly) is the full-bottle-worthy fragrance in the Frederic Malle line, for me. I am generally quite lukewarm about the Les Nez line but Turtle Vetiver is very good and quite out of keeping with Isabelle Doyen's general work in my opinion.

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Hoopers department store pamper party

You may recall from one of my earliest posts that we have two department stores in Tunbridge Wells. Hoopers is situated right across from the train station in a prominent position. It is in a lovely, old-fashioned Victorian building, and inside, although modern in product, it retains an atmosphere of a slightly earlier age. Although there are obviously lifts and compliance with fire and health & safety regulations, the spaces are intimate, the corridors narrow and the stairways constructed of solid wood. 

I pop into Hoopers quite often, as their service is lovely and they carry a good range of perfumes. They have the whole Amouage line, excluding attars, Grossmith, Creed, Lalique, Guerlain, Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Roget and Gallet, La Prairie and Rochas. In addition they carry all the usual designer fragrances. This past week Hoopers held a pamper party, which is basically a day where you buy a ticket, have access to free manicures, pedicures, demonstrations, receive a discount off any purchase and are given a goodie bag. I suppose this is pretty similar to the types of marketing events you encounter at the top American department stores like Bloomingdales, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and so on, although I'm sure on a much smaller scale. A lady that I have become quite friendly with in the perfume section, Melanie, invited me to the most recent one. I accepted, but was a bit nervous because it isn't the sort of event men often go to. Incidentally, Melanie is very generous with providing me with samples, and if you are reading this, thank you so much! The event itself was really nice, although I was literally the only guy in the store, as I feared. However, Melanie befriended me and helped to make me feel less out of place. I wasn't able to stay very long, but I did purchase a 10%-off sample set of the  Amouage men's line. It's not the entire line, but the six best-selling, which are Gold, Dia, Jubilation, Reflection, Lyric and Epic. I have had samples of all of these before but have sadly run out, so it was a good opportunity to stock up again. As always, Amouage's packaging is excellent and the set comes in a black box, with the samples set in a velvet template. Each sample is topped with a silver or gold (obviously not genuine) cap. Oh happy days! If they'd have had the women's set in stock I would have purchased it too, because I am as much a fan of the ladies' as I am of the mens' range. I was also given a lovely goodie bag that included minis of Prada Amber and L'eau Ambree, quite a few facial samples, a Cartier Declaration body wash, some other perfume samples and a travel and toiletry bag. Very generous I think, particularly in these troubled economic times in England. Again, a big thank you to Melanie for encouraging me to attend and for keeping me company!

If any of you reading this are from the Kent area and like perfume, I would encourage you to visit Hoopers' perfume department (and the whole store in fact). You might just find something there that will surprise you.

Just to set the record straight, I am not affiliated to Hoopers in any way and I am not plugging their store to earn money - it's purely because I like their friendly staff, they carry a good range of perfume and I think they deserve some word-of-mouth marketing.

Plague or perfume?

Guess what folks? I is a sick puppy. I started getting some severe stabbing pain in my ribs on Wednesday and shortness of breath. At first I thought I'd pulled a muscle between the ribs, but after seeing the doctor I have ben diagnosed with pleurisy! Yikes, this sounds like TB or the plague no? Well, in actual fact pleurisy is an infection and inflammation of the fluid and lining of the lungs. The pain, which feels like being stabbed in the ribs, is caused by the friction of the rubbing of the two membranes or linings. Believe me, not nice. So now I am on a course of strong antibiotics and have been ordered to take plenty of rest and painkillers too. The weirdest thing is that nothing preceded this and I am perfectly healthy (I think). If it hasn't cleared up by Monday I might need to have a chest x-ray and a blood test.

On a brighter note, I've finally ordered some samples from Sonoma Scent Studio in California and I eagerly await them. Dammit, why aren't they here already? I haven't been doing much ordering recently, due to budget constraints, but for some reason sales associates at my local department stores have been flinging samples my way, but a lot of them are duplications of what I already have. I should say no thank you, but I appear to have a compulsive need to collect samples! This week I was given all the Tom Ford masculines (not the private blends), Aqua Di Parma, VC&A Oriens, Dior Miss Cheri, some of the Pradas and I'm sure there's more.

I haven't done a lot of testing the last few days for obvious reasons, but I did try Uncle Serge's Douce Amere and Tom Ford Black Orchid. I like Douce Amere and there are rumours that this is to be discontinued, which is a shame, because it is a well-crafted scent, with absinthe, anise and a nice herby kick. I think it's perfect for a spring day as it is quite refreshing. Black Orchid is interesting. Although a feminine scent, I found it quite wearable for a man, with a very interesting opening. Its quite floral, and the opening packs a punch, but the dry down is smooth and lovely.

I had a look in my wife's closet the other day (as one does, ha ha) and found a couple of perfumes I forgot she had. One is Poeme by Lancome and the other is Volupte by Oscar De La Renta. I might just give them a go, although I suspect they will be too much for me to wear in public, but that won't be a problem considering my current condition. All I need to get now is a bell to wear around my neck, or is that a millstone!

Have a good weekend y'all.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Dzing! - L'Artisan Parfumeur

Image credit -

Dzing was launched in 1999 as Desir de Cirque and was created by Olivia Giacobetti, a lady well known for her fairly ethereal creations, who has done a lot of work for L'Artisan and more recently, Honore des Pres. The notes for Dzing! are listed as ginger, white cedar, fresh toffee caramel, daffodil, saffron, benzoin, musks and leather. The associations with the circus are fairly obvious, if to my nose a slightly cleansed version, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Having said that, this extremely original and unusual fragrance is still quite dirty and evocative. It opens with a smell a bit like damp cardboard and dirt. It sweetens a bit after this and the leather comes to the fore quite quickly, but its not a smoky leather; its more like the smell of riding tack and stables. As I said, this is vaguely animalic, but not in a dirty, unwashed way. Rather, it reminds me a bit like the smell of a pen where animals have been kept previously, but no longer. The toffee note is possibly meant to evoke the smell of candy floss, but I don't really find this is the case. It is compelling though, and slightly unusual in its pairing with the leather, saffron and daffodil. I find it a bit disconcerting actually; it leaves me with a vague sense of unease, as if something unusual is about to happen. Weird, I know. 

The heart of the fragrance is probably its most circusy and animalic phase, where the toffee and leather really amp up with the joining of the musks. Still, it is a bit odd-ball and unsettling, which is part of its appeal to me. If anything, the leather and musks intensify into the dry down, at least on my skin. That circus vibe never totally leaves me and when I'm in the wrong sort of mood I can find it a bit cloying, but I can't deny that this is one of the most unique and challenging perfumes I have worn. It comes highly recommended by me, but I'm not sure this is an easy one to pull off. I also couldn't see it being a daily or signature scent for me, but out of all L'Artisans' creations of this period, Dzing! really stands out and is surely a must-try for anyone seriously interested in perfume.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Geste - Humiecki & Graf

I'm not sure what it is about Humiecki & Graf, but both their name and the name of lots of their fragrances sound very slavic and depressing; perhaps melancholy would be a better word. There seems to be a fair bit of negative blog press about them, although a few people also think that this is about as niche as it gets, so I thought I would give Geste a go. The notes list is short and sweet - soft amber, musk, violet petals and fir resin. I am not usually a huge violet fan, as I find this quite a difficult note to appreciate and pull off, but lately I've been considering trying out a few more violet-based perfumes. 

Geste opens with a big burst of spirity aldehydes, and with what I perceive as a brief zing of lemon and petitgrain, although these aren't listed. A candied violet accord emerges as the aldehydes linger, albeit slightly more subdued, smelling a bit to me like floor polish. The violets take on a doughy smell after a while and the fragrance becomes a bit more thoughtful and even a touch melancholy to me. It ever so slightly reminds me of L'Heure Bleue, but not for long, as the sweet amber and musks start to take control. In the heart the doughy violet, musks and amber do a bit of a jig together, but ultimately, this fragrance is mostly about musk, with violet in the supporting role. These are laundry musks to me, a bit fuzzy and even slightly metallic, catching the back of my nostrils. This might be amplified by the fir resin, although this note is not that evident on my skin, at least, I don't think so. The dry down continues pretty much on the same theme and at this point, depending on my mood, the musks can start to become a bit cloying. I would have liked it if the musk was a bit dirtier and the amber slightly dryer, but having said that, this might not have worked with the violet.

Overall I do think this is quite an intellectual fragrance. It's more complicated than one would think from the short list of notes, but ultimately I think it is not really me. My favourite part is when the aldehydes fade to a doughy, violet, slightly dreamy phase, before the musks kick in. Its not bottle-worthy for me, but I am keen to sample more from this line - I think it is possibly slightly unfairly overlooked.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Let's try some Histoires de Parfums - Ambre 114 and 1740 Marquis de Sade

I've had a little box of samples from Histoires de Parfums for over a year now. This is a funny line - they all sound really great on paper, yet when I tested them, most didn't translate onto skin. This line flies a little beneath the radar I think. I know they've recently released their tuberose trilogy, and Marquis de Sade seems to garner some praise, but overall they seem to languish a bit in the perfume twilight zone, no?

Ambre 114 has the following notes (spelling from package insert): Thym, Noix de Muscale, Rose, Geranium, Patchouli, Santal, Cedre, Vetiver, Ambre, Vanille, Feves Tonka, Benzoin, Musc. Wow, that took me about two minutes just to type out. Must be a scent bomb. If you're wondering (or your French is crap like mine is), Noix de Muscale is nutmeg. This fragrance opens spicy and slightly herbal. Thyme and nutmeg seem like a slightly unusual pairing for top notes to me. The opening reminds me a little of Serge Luten's Ambre Sultan, which I think contains quite a lot of thyme too, but Ambre 114 is not quite as powerfully intense and herby. The rose and geranium temper the spices and I can detect quite early the patchouli and sandalwood, which add a slightly creamy accord. Amber comes to the fore quite quickly, but it is not a sickly sweet amber; rather it is quite dry and mild. I can pick out a bit of vetiver that grounds the fragrance. Ambre 114 softens considerably thereafter. The amber is definitely the focus, sweetened a little by the sandalwood and vanilla. I like this fragrance, I really do, but I can't help feeling slightly underwhelmed, especially after reading this list of notes longer than my arm; I thought it would translate into something a bit more complex and with oomph. I think it's worth sampling, but hey, I'll stick to my gold standard of ambers thank you very much, so its still Ambre Sultan all the way for me.

So on to probably the most talked-about fragrance in the line, 1740 Marquis de Sade. Notes are: Bergamot, Davan Sensualis, Patchouli, Coriander, Cardamom, Cedre, Cistus, Bouleau, Cuir, Vanilla, Immortelle. Oh heck, I've just read immortelle; we don't get along very well. This opens with a brief bergamot blast and then turns spicy and thick. I don't know exactly what Davana smells like, but I can detect a spicy piquancy which I think is the coriander and cardamom and the patchouli is very much there, but luckily not too overpowering. There's something about this at this point that reminds me a little of Arabie by Serge Lutens, but sans the stewed fruit accord. I can already detect the dreaded immortelle. This scent never develops into a full-on leather fragrance to me. I find that it is increasingly all about immortelle, sadly. I do get a bit of vanilla and cistus in the mix and what smells like birch tar, which may be the cuir, but this is all drowned out by immortelle. Have I mentioned that word yet? Ok, this isn't Sables, in case you're wondering, but I do find this note quite heavy here. I do sort of like it, but I wish they had amped up the leather and spices and chucked the immortelle. In case you're wondering, I don't really find this a leathery, kinky or outrageous scent, as might befit some nut-job like the Marquis, so I wonder just how much of a marketing ploy this was. Then again, this house flies under the radar, so I am not sure how much of a role marketing plays.

In summary, neither of these is a poor fragrance, and like I often say, try them yourself; they're at least worth sampling. Incidentally, (or at least this time last year, when I made a purchase) this sample set is very reasonably priced and they all come in a nice plastic case with a leaflet that lists all the notes. 

Image from Juliette by the Marquis de Sade

Winter has returned to the muddy isle that is the United Kingdom. After two glorious spring weeks in late April, the last week has been grim, cold and frankly, awful. The picture to the left is not quite how things look in England right now, but it does represent the mental state of my mind, which has reverted to winter blues. On that note, I haven't had much inspiration for blogging this weekend. Its not that I don't wan't to write, its just that I've been busy with my family and there aren't enough hours in the day. This didn't stop me from actually wearing perfume though.

No major reviews today - just a few brief musings. On Saturday I didn't go out at all, stuck at home doing tasks I'd put off for weeks, such as sorting out storage in our loft and under-stairs cupboard. Yuk. As I was holed up, I figured I would try some more feminine stuff, so sprayed Fleurs Oriental by Miller Harris on one wrist and Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy! on the other. Woah. Ok, Fleurs Oriental is actually quite good. Its remarkably similar to  Shalimar, perhaps slightly less voluptuous and dryer. Its not overly feminine to me, but then again, I wear Shalimar without feeling particularly self-conscious. 212 Sexy! goes on with a shrill, berry blast that becomes a sweet floriental. Or is it a fruitchouli? I don't know. Whatever. Its unremarkable in my opinion and this is one that I would definitely not try again. Having said that, my wife sniffed my wrist and said she liked it. I can't win.

On Sunday I was back in more familiar territory. I went perfume browsing in my local Fenwick department store, but there was nothing new on the shelves, so I spritzed on two that I've sampled a fair bit and I think I will review these in more detail another day. I sprayed on Chergui by Serge Lutens and Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford (not layered by the way, but thinking about it, its possible these could go together. So shoot me.) Chergui is one of the most popular Lutens, and I can see why. It is spicy, full of sweet yet fragrant hay and tobacco and despite the sweetness, has a dry feel about it, a bit like an Arabian or north African wind. Grey Vetiver is not hugely original, but for a mainstream release I think it is very well done and has enough going on to warrant the good press it has received. The vetiver is more of the grassy, slightly green variety and reminds me a bit of Guerlain Vetiver, without the soapiness or nutmeg, but its not an aped copy. It is quite dry at times and although not a sillage monster, it does have tenacity and lasts well on my skin. I'd say it comes across as quite sophisticated and its one that Dad at the club or son at the office could wear quite comfortably. Clever Tom.

Well, that's all I tried. One thing I did do is order some more perfume samples, which I haven't done for about two months. I'm on a tight budget you see. Times are tough and we are feeling the squeeze I'm afraid, especially as we are on one income as my wife was on maternity leave this past year and thus the single income blues struck. Anyway, enough about my lament; I ordered 6 samples from Sonoma Scent Studio in California. I've read a lot of good stuff about this perfume line and I eagerly await my samples. Incidentally, their prices are extremely good value for money - only $3 - £3.25 a sample and their larger sizes are very reasonable. I'll update you once they arrive. Have a good week y'all.

Image credit: - dreamy.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Le Labo Iris 39

I might have said it before, but although I like the concept of Le Lebo (poncy ultra-exclusive nothwithstanding), many of their fragrances leave me feeling slightly short-changed. I know this house has many fans, and I do enjoy Oud 27, but there are not many that have truly blown my socks off. The notes for Iris 39 include Iris, patchouli, rose, ylang-ylang, musk, violet, ginger, cardamom and civet.

Iris 39 opens with a strong, earthy, even carroty iris accord and stays like this for quite a long time. Its not a powdery iris and not particularly feminine either. It never becomes sweet, and is fairly spicy, almost incense-like at one point. I can't really detect the spices individually, such as the ginger and cardamon, and the rose and ylang-ylang are even more elusive to my nose. However the sum of all these notes creates a type of zingy buzz for a time. As the fragrance progresses, the focus stays on iris and the civet, if it is in here, embellishes the other notes, rather than taking over, which is as it should be.

I find this a well-blended fragrance, like a lot of the Le Labos. The only note that really stands out is iris; at least, I think so. Its a good unisex iris and never becomes too powdery, despite the iris and violet combination. As iris fragrances go, this tends towards being rooty and earthy, rather than powdery or woody and never comes across as too cold or austere, as iris-dominated fragrances often can be.

Do  I like Iris 39? Yes, I actually do. Again though, its another of the Le Labos that doesn't quite blow me away; I don't necessarily need to be blown away, but at this price point, one would hope for a few more fireworks. Having said that, this is well-crafted, elegant. sophisticated and perfect for both sexes. It is interesting enough to warrant attention, yet could be worn to the office or on a night out. 

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Serge Lutens - Fleurs de Citronnier

I'm usually  a little nervous of any flower theme by Serge Lutens. His perfumes are big and bold, often oriental and last for hours. I love the smell of lemon blossom, a smell I can easily identify with, as I grew up with a lemon tree in my garden, and my association with this flower (and orange blossom for that matter) lies with late spring, when it is just starting to warm up sufficiently to realise that summer is just around the corner. However, I needn't have worried in this case - Fleurs de Citronnier is simply wonderful.

Fleurs de Citronnier has quite a simple construction and its notes consist of lemon blossom, neroli, tuberose and musk. However, simple is not necessarily inferior and this is a gorgeous, lush perfume, without ever being too floral and heady. It opens with an exquisite lemon and neroli top note; if I could bottle just this accord and have it last for ages, that would be a dream scent for me. Its a very realistic and refreshing accord, perfect for a spring day. It sweetens as the tuberose appears, but thankfully the citrus notes are strong enough to temper the usually heady control that tuberose usually exerts in a fragrance. I say thankfully, because as much as I admire tuberose, it is quite difficult for a man to pull it off when presented in exuberant concentrations. Its actually quite unisex for a tuberose fragrance and I felt as if I had no problem pulling this one off. The musk is a lovely addition to the fragrance, its presence preventing this from being too straightforward. In the late dry down this fragrance is all about the musk to me, and I'm almost certain its the same musk or musks that are used in Muscs Kublai Khan. I wouldn't say they are dirty necessarily, but they are voluptuous in a fleshy, skin-scent sort of way.

I'm actually blown away by Fleurs de Citronnier. I'm not sure I'd wear it in the colder seasons, although I could see the initiall blast of lemon and neroli being a good reminder that spring does exist, but I think it is perfect for late spring weather. This is a massive thumbs up for me and it comes highly recommended. Like all Serge Lutens fragrances, longevity is never a problem and it lasts for a good ten hours on my skin.

Muscs Koublai Khan and other musks

Perfume notes (from Luck Scent) - vegetal musks, costus root, labdanum, grey amber, vanilla, patchouli, ambrette seed, moroccan rose)

This is a post mainly about Muscs Koublai Khan by Serge Lutens. I am a huge fan of this line anyway, but have only sampled very few of the non-export line, which are only  available in Paris. Ok, I'm only across the channel, but first, I don't travel to France very often, and second, I am not inclined to spend £100-plus on an untried bottle. Having said that, each year a non-export perfume is released to the rest of the world on a limited edition basis. This way I have managed to at least sample Chergui and Fumerie Turque. In December 2009 Muscs Koublai Khan was also released this way and I was extremely excited, as out of all the Serge Lutens line, this seems to be the one that generates the most discussion on forums (incidentally, I have read that the non-export release for 2010 is going to be Cuir Mauresque!). 

So what about the reviews? I must admit, I find a lot of reviews of MKK quite amusing. So many of them play on the Mongol Warrior association and use the concept of dirty musk to describe MKK as smelling of circuses, a man's unwashed privates, sweaty saddles and horses, dust rising up off the steppes, and so on. It was fascinating to read, if a bit fanciful, but I also know that I am quite tolerant of 'skanky' perfumes in general and I don't usually find musk a challenge; I'm not anosmic to musk, I smell it well enough, it just doesn't smell that dirty or animalic to me. Having said that, I do know there is a distinction between the so-called 'dirty' musks and the 'clean' musks, of which the latter are often referred to as laundry musks. The whole area of musks is very complex and I don't have the technical skills to go into any detail. If you want to read an in-depth review of musks, please refer to Helg's blog, Perfume Shrine, here

The opening of MKK is quite bright, with a brief burst of what seems like citrus and a rose note that is immediately obvious to my nose. The musk is evident from the start and it is clear that this is not a clean musk; it is dusty and reminiscent of fur, but clean fur. There is an element to the musk though that feels (more than smells for some reason) of the steam that is released by an iron in a laundry room. Its a slight tickle or buzz at the back of the nose, ever so slightly metallic or ionic, just beneath the florals. The musk does intensify and if I'm in a particularly imaginative mood, I can probably make some association with mongol warriors and sweaty horses, but honestly, I don't find this particularly animalic or dirty like so many do. In the heart the rose note subsides and the musk becomes a bit dustier and drier. That furriness is still evident, which does give it a slight animalic edge but not overly so. The rose is still there, but very subtle and in the background. In the dry down MKK has become fairly linear - its still dry, dusty, slightly furry, perhaps a little sweetened by the vanilla. I'm not able to detect any patchouli, but it must be there, lending a somewhat animalic vibe. I still get that slightly fuzzy, ironing/laundry buzz, like freshly pressed clothes, which I assume must be some sort of musk in the mix, but the effect is not laundry-clean.

So, is MKK worth the hype? I think so, but perhaps not in the way it comes across on the boards. It definitely is not a clean musk fragrance, but neither is it the skank-fest other people find it to be, at least not for me. Generalisations notwithstanding, I have read that women often find musks to be stronger and more animalic than men (perhaps we are just stinky bastards) and perhaps its no coincidence that a lot of the posts I've read that describe MKK in hard-core skank terms are by women. In any event, whichever way you look at it, MKK is a very well-crafted fragrance and is worthy of the attention it receives, perhaps just not in the way its often portrayed.

So what about some other musks? To be honest, I find the so-called dirty musks more interesting than the cleaner, laundry-type musks and the following are ones that might tickle your fancy:

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle - sultry, sweet, musky and loaded with sexual frisson, this is a musk for a night on the town, with a bit of naughty loving afterwards!

Musk Reinvention by CH I Hate Perfume - I haven't tried this personally but I have read that it is quite an intense musk, albeit somewhat linear.

Horny Little Devil by Smell Bent - this is quite a quirky one. Its a perfume oil, and is quite a insidious musk, striding the line between well behaved and ever so slightly kinky. An unusual twist is its mix of pepper and chocolate, the chocolate making this reminiscent of Musc Maori by Parfumerie Generale.

So, if any of you can think of some other musk perfumes that are dirty, skanky, sweaty, lusty, or whatever, please drop me a line and let me know!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Ego Facto - Sacre Coeur

Perfume notes (from Lucky Scent) - aromatic notes, Chablis accord, fruit notes,  ginger, patchouli, leather, tobacco. 

Image credit: - sacre-coeur-morning

When I first looked at the notes for Sacre Coeur at Lucky Scent, I felt this was a fragrance that would really work for me. The notes were appealing and I wondered what the chablis accord would smell like. I don't know, I wish I could say I like this, but it did not speak to me at all. It opens quite fruity, which I take must be the Chablis, but to me this does not smell anything like grapes, let alone Chablis. I've drunk a fair bit of Chardonnay in my time and I know perfume is not necessarily meant to be 'photo-realistic' in its portrayal of smells but even so, I was hoping this would at least resemble some sort of wine note, but alas no. The opening and heart in particular have a certain generic, even department-store feel and I'm reminded of Chanel Allure for some reason (the men's version). I get cedar, I get musk, I get fruity sweetness and foremost in my mind is the question "why is this called Sacre Coeur?" I've included a photo of the Sacre Coeur in Paris only because it seems like the obvious connotation, but I honestly don't know if this was the inspiration for this fragrance. In any event, the late middle and base notes are an improvement. The fruit, although still there, is dulled by what I perceive as even a touch of incense, although I suspect it is base notes doing this. I know my nose is not necessarily the best in the world, but I don't find any tobacco here to speak of and I struggle to find any leather either. I know that wearing and appreciating perfume is not always about 'getting it', and especially not 'getting the notes' but even so, I can't quite find any inspiration from this fragrance. I am not a perfume snob, honestly, and I know that the price point and marketing of the Ego Facto line is not really as a niche concept, but I can't help feeling a bit disappointed that this comes across as a fairly bland, albeit quite well done designer fragrance; there's nothing wrong with that and let me not dissuade you from at least sampling it, but it did not work for me at all.

If anyone can explain the reasoning behind the name, please email me and let me know. I did a quick search on the net but did not discover anything obvious and I was too lazy to dig any deeper.


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