Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy new year!

As I said the other day, I am not going to rehash a list of best of  worst of perfumes of 2012. Too many people are doing this already, inevitably.

I ought to just mention that this time last year I wrote a lengthy (ish) post about what I was going to do differently on my blog for 2012. It was with the best intentions, but as some of you might have noticed, very little of it materialised on the written page. So this year, I am not going to make any resolutions or set out plans for my blog. I shall let it evolve (such as it does, this little indulgence of mine) and see what 2013 holds for it and me.

All that is left to say right now is a very sincere and happy new year to all of you. I hope that 2013 will be very successful and happy for you, both personally and on the perfume front. I look forward to lots of blogging, exchange of ideas with fellow perfume lovers, and just general bonhomie and perfume chit chat.

Till 2013...

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Enchanted Forest

A most curious package turned up at my door this weekend. A couple of samples of Enchanted Forest by The Vagabond Prince. I read about this perfume at Fragrantica, which was created by Bertrand Duchaufour. It focuses primarily on a number of facets of the Blackcurrant plant.

I haven't tried the perfume yet, but the thought of it is quite enticing. I love eating Blackcurrants, and anyone who has lived in England will have drunk or at least heard of the famous Blackcurrant squash, Ribena, much loved by my two young daughters. I find the smell of the blackcurrant (including leaves, etc) quite curious at times. Let's face it, the plant can smell like cat piss, and the fruit itself can smell a touch skanky.

I can't wait to try Enchanted Forest. The perfume is meant to be a spicy, woody chypre and includes notes of patchouli, moss, vetiver, castoreum, balsam fir and, I presume, various blackcurrant notes.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Shopping centre hell and Miller Harris La Fumee

I should point out firstly that shopping centre hell and Miller Harris do not automatically go hand in hand, were you unable to arrive at that conclusion yourself!

After days of rain, grey cloud and the sort of dullness that makes the day go dark at 2 in the afternoon, we had to get out of the house. Perhaps I am just unimaginative, but England seems to be one of those places where there is very little to do on a sad winter afternoon, other than visit a shopping centre. So it was that we jumped in our car and headed to Bluewater, a large shopping centre not far from the dreary drabness of Dartford, south east of London. 

I'm not sure what possessed us to do this (desperation actually) but the place was heaving with the masses, no doubt seeking the so-called post Christmas bargains. I'm not going to bore you with the details of four hours spent in suburban hell, save to say that I managed to escape for twenty minutes to John Lewis, where I saw a bottle of Miller Harris La Fumee. La Fumee is a masculine incense perfume. Now, I have to state upfront that La Fumee was underwhelming on my skin. However, it should also be said that I am still recovering from a bad cold, so my sense of smell is not what it should be. My wife said it smelt very good, so I have to take her word on this, until I manage to sniff it again. Today, it smelt like a light incense to me. Nice enough, but no wow factor for me. We shall see.

As for Bluewater, I'm in no rush to return. At least, not for another month, until the sale madness has subsided.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Post-Christmas recovery

Well, I'm glad to report that I am over my Christmas cold/flu/chest infection, or whatever you want to call it. Fortunately I was over the worst by Christmas eve, which at least meant I could spend the big day with my family, participating in some sort of way.

I have to confess that I have not worn a lot of perfume over the last week (my sense of smell, like my appetite, has virtually disappeared). I wore Luten's Cedre on Christmas day, but other than that, it has been a scentless period for me.

I hope Santa brought all of you some lovely gifts. I didn't receive any perfume-related gifts this year. It was all boys toys for me - a remote controlled helicopter (dangerous - already I've come close to slicing off one of my fingers, not to mention near damage to my children) and a remote controlled Aston Martin car (a lot safer, other than bruised ankles). The helicopter is more exciting though. Pity the battery life is only 7 minutes!

I'm sure I will post again before the New Year, but already I know I will not bore you with yet another of those predictably best of 2012 lists. There are enough bloggers doing that already.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas

I finished work on Friday and am now on holiday until the new year. Happy days, except last week I came down with a stinking cold that has turned into a lung infection. It has put a bit of a dampener on things in the lead up to Christmas, unfortunately, but I hope I am over the worst now.

I planned to blog quite a bit over the last few days, but as you can imagine, I did not feel as motivated as I might have hoped to be. Perfume has been one of the last things on my mind!

Anyway, before you start feeling sorry for me, all that remains to say is a very happy and peaceful Christmas to you all. I hope you all get to spend time with your nearest and dearest.

I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

SOTD - Divine L'Homme Sage

Following on from my post last week about wearing Divine's other excellent Masculine, L'Homme de Coeur, I thought I would give L'Homme Sage a run. 

I've had samples of this one for years, and it still smells as lovely today as it did back then. L'Homme Sage is one of those perfumes that is unapologetically masculine, yet is by no means a cliched male perfume. Not remotely. It is a perfume that has a strange, yet compelling juxtaposition between almost soapy, almost herbal and almost smoky, without ever resolving any of these directions. If I were to try explain what it smells like, I would suggest you smell Andy Tauer's Lonestar Memories, as there is a note they share in common, at least to my nose, of slightly weedy brush/herbs, possibly ones that have been slightly charred by a fire. That's where the smokiness comes in, but it is a much more toned down effect than Lonestar Memories. 

As I said before, I don't know of a dud in the Divine lineup and I've long been a fan of Yann Vasnier's work. Comes highly recommended.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Histoires de Parfums 1969 and 1740

I've had samples of the Histoires de Parfums line for years now. Since my acquisition, a number of newer perfumes have been released, but every now and then I revisit my samples and today I wore 1969 and 1740. 

The strange thing is, to my mind, the associations with these two are slightly wrong. 1969 is meant to evoke the spirit of the end of the sixties, free love, and all that. Now, clearly I wasn't there (who was?), but based purely on my own associations of what I would have thought of the summer of love (albeit that was 1967 no?), I would have thought 1969 would be laden with patchouli, sandalwood perhaps, smokiness, a bit of unwashed skank and perhaps a hint of herby ganja. In fact, 1969 smells quite spicy, but mostly of cardamom and nutmeg, a whiff of citrus and some light woods. It is totally the opposite to what I would have expected (or liked).

1740 is inspired by the Maquis de Sade, and in a sense, this perfume does indeed have elements of what one might think of when conjuring up sadism, kinky sex, bondage, etc. It is laden with patchouli, and certainly has a heavy immortelle note too, to my nose. There is a hint of leather, but again, images of whips and sex paraphernalia might have inspired more of a raunchy leather note. To be honest, if my sample of 1740 had been mis-labelled 1969, I would have immediately thought that this was inspired by the free love of the sixties.

Ultimately, both fragrances are decent, but 1740 definitely appeals to me more.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Scent of the day - Serge Lutens Boxeuses

When I first tried Boxeuses about a year ago, I did not care for it at all. I found it insipid, particularly for a Lutens creation.

Perhaps that was unfair. A year on, I concede that Boxeuses is a very well made perfume. It smells a bit leathery, a bit rosy, a touch of light smoke. A bit oriental. I'd happily wear it. The thing is, I still can't shake the nagging feeling that despite its credentials, it is a bit boring. I'm used to Lutens perfumes having something 'grrr' in them, even if it can be on occasion just a bit of a top note fling. All my favourite Lutens perfumes have something a bit offbeat and odd about them. They challenge. They inspire. Boxeuses does none of this for me.

Still, perhaps it is a skin chemistry thing. I've read plenty of very positive reviews of Boxeuses and as I said at the start, it is well made.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Scent of the day - Attar Bazaar Tunisian Frankincense

I can't find any note lists for this oil from Attar Bazaar. I'm interested in finding out, because it doesn't smell like the sort of frankincense perfume I am accustomed to, and I wonder if Tunisian is a style of frankincense and if so, what other notes are in here. 

This oil takes a little time to warm up on skin and when it does, it smells quite strong to me. It is sweet, with a floral tone, and when smelt quickly from a distance, comes across as almost soapy clean. I struggle to identify the more traditional frankincense note, the one that smells smoky, yet almost lemony. 

I like Tunisian Frankincense, but find it just a little too sweet and floral for my liking. The floral note is, I think, orange blossom, and it doesn't work badly, but this is not quite my style. Having said that, wearing it now and again is an interesting experience.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Numero 500

Apologies for a somewhat self-congratulatory post today, but I felt compelled to mention the highlight (to me, at least) of having reached 500 posts this week.

I know that blogging is not about quantity; it is the quality that counts. Nevertheless, I think 500 seems like quite an achievement; when I started blogging in March 2010 I never thought I'd reach 100 posts, let alone 500!

Thank you to my regular followers and readers, who provide me with a lot of motivation to continue blogging. Your comments and friendship, albeit mostly in the 'ether' are very much appreciated.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Scent of the day - Serge Lutens Five O'Clock Au Gingembre

I've read that this perfume is going to be discontinued (or is it merely going to be withdrawn back to the other side of the Channel, confined to the Good Uncle's Salon?) which if true, is a shame, because it is a lovely one. Gingembre (I can't be bothered to type it out in full again) is possibly the easiest Lutens to wear. It smells nice, fairly simple and just plain cozy. 

The notes, per Luckyscent, include bergamot, candied ginger, honey, patchouli, pepper and dark cocoa. Luckyscent describe it (presumably from Lutens ad-speak) as inspired by the afternoon tea ritual, leaving the Orient and taking us on a journey to England. I must be confused then, because to me Gingembre smells like a mild oriental take on ginger, albeit the mellow candied stem ginger, rather than the raw/tangy/spicy kick of fresh root. The patchouli and pepper add a lovely light spicy dryness to the fragrance, which goes very well with the ginger, but to me it doesn't smell like English tea. The cocoa note is not that dominant to me, but perhaps that is what also lends the dry feel to the base.

All in all, Gingembre is an easygoing, but very well done perfume and I like it a lot.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Agent Provocateur

I do love a dirty rose fragrance, and Agent Provocateur ticks all the boxes. It has quite a floral heart, which means it does veer towards the feminine, but the rose and musk, quite spicy and animalic, manage to keep this in check, making it very wearable for men too, in my opinion.

The notes on the sample I have are listed as saffron oil, coriander, jasmine, moroccan rose, ylang-ylang, magnolia, vetiver, amber and musk. There have been a number of perfumes over the years by Agent Provocateur, and I think they are all nice, but nothing beats this 2000-released bomb of a perfume. 

I'd happily have a bottle of this in my perfume collection.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Divine L'Homme de Coeur

It may seem strange stating this, but I can honestly say that I have not yet smelt a Divine fragrance that I do not like. I think ounce for ounce, they punch above their weight and put some of the more pretentious 'niche' fragrance houses to shame. 

L'Homme de Coeur is no exception. It is very well done - an iris fragrance for men that manages to take the cool aloofness of that note and makes it surprisingly warm. From a distance. That aloofness that doesn't totally disappear. Like a man who deep down is quite reserved, yet makes an effort to be congenial. Yet anyone who knows him well realises this is not his natural character. 

Last night I had the first of my Christmas work functions. I generally dislike work functions. Call me a grump, but there is something about the mixing of colleagues after hours with a bit of alcohol added that very often leads to uncomfortable situations. For a start, the conversation inevitably leads back to work-related issues, stories and office gossip. And lets face it, at some point the boss or one's 'superiors' will be discussed, usually once they've left a bit earlier. That's the point when I usually want to leave too. Perhaps I am being a bit dramatic, but I prefer to keep my private and social life separate from my work life.

I mention this Christmas dinner because I often feel out of place at many social functions, particularly work functions. I am one of those men who is naturally reserved and socialising in larger groups is a bit of a chore for me. Like L'Homme de Coeur, I prefer to remain understated and in the background a little, but sometimes try to be congenial, even if it isn't really me. I should add that this analogy is not a criticism of the perfume, but rather praise of its classy, understated structure. It is cool, suave and very well done indeed.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Caron Nuit de Noel

Before anyone thinks I'm writing about Nuit de Noel just because we are in the run up to Christmas would be wrong. And right. To an extent. I've actually used my sample of this classic Caron perfume from 1922 quite a few times over the last few months, but only at night. 

Now, I don't know if that is strange or not, but to me, Nuit de Noel is a nighttime fragrance, and not just because of part of its name. There's something about these softer, ever so slightly oriental-feeling chypres that seem better suited to darkness. Not because Nuit de Noel is edgy, or full of deep, mysterious notes, but because it is soft, velvety, creamy and comforting. I like to wear it to bed (God forbid, yes!), where I can smell it on my wrist, like a warm caress. 

I'm not sure of the exact notes, but they definitely include rose, ylang-ylang, oak moss and musk. And plenty of aldehydes too, in the opening. Not fizzy per se, but bright. There is an oriental feel in the dry down, and I think that could be sandalwood and amber. Basenotes certainly mention those notes. In reviews I've read, reference has been made to a similarity to Chanel No 5, and I get that, definitely, without it ever smelling like No 5, if you know what I mean. I think its the rose, ylang and aldehydes. I can't find the note mentioned, but there is a hint of incense  in Nuit de Noel too. At least, my nose seems to encounter this, correctly or not.

Like a few others, I don't think that Nuit de Noel smells massively like Christmas, at least not in the conventional sense of fir trees, pine sap, spices, orange and so forth. To me it smells more like winter, in that it feels comforting, as if one is venturing outside on a cold, snowy day, but is dressed in the warmest coat imaginable. I'm not quite sure how I arrive at that analogy, but somehow that is what Nuit de Noel felt like when I wore it on Tuesday, the sort of day whose weather could have frozen the brass balls off a monkey.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The terror of tuberose

Does every workplace have one? You know, the person who bathes in perfume, usually something that is obnoxiously loud and has the longevity of nuclear-ready plutonium.

I work with a lady who, as lovely a soul as she is, wears a tuberose perfume that sears the nostrils with its pungent pong. Tuberose used in moderation can be lovely, but lets face it, it can be a vulgar and loud note and, dare I say it, can come across quite 'slutty'. No offense intended, but particularly when it takes on that jammy facet, possibly paired with rose.

I always know when my colleague is in the building, as her fragrance penetrates every nook and cranny. We had a meeting late Friday afternoon, in a fairly large room about 30 feet by 20. I was sitting in the opposite corner to her, and I could smell her perfume as if the person next to me was wearing it. One would presume that she applied the perfume first thing in the morning, unless she reapplies during the day, but in any event it smelled so strong, as if the dry down were still a millenium away.

So, what's the point of my story? Not a huge anything really, except to stand as a warning for anyone who goes trigger-heavy on their tuberose perfumes. 

Friday, 30 November 2012

End of November musings

So, the last day of November. How fast this month has gone. With one month of the year left, I'm already starting to feel bereft, with that inevitable sense of loss of control. Tempus fugit and all that...

I thought I'd end off the month with a brief list of what I'm wearing, reading and listening to.

Book - I'm still making my steady way through the Game of Thrones series, but have also managed to read a Lee Child novel (easy escapism) and something far more interesting, a great book from the Harry Hole detective series by Jo Nesbo, The Snowman. Creepy, creepy stuff, I tell you!

Music - strangely enough, I'm going through a bit of a lean period. I'm a bit bored of what I've been listening to. Joanna Newsom is always good though, in small doses. That voice! it either captivates, or grates.

Perfume - well, you know. A bit of everything really. Today I wore Neela Vermeire's Bombay Bling and Mohur, while yesterday I really enjoyed a bit of a journey back in time to some of the earliest samples in my collection, Wazamba and Frapin's Caravelle Epicee. Lovely perfumes, those last two.

So, farewell November and in the meantime, I'll leave you with a video of Joanna Newsom on the Jools Holland Show, singing and playing '81.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Parfum d'Empire Wazamba

It never ceases to amaze me how perceptions of perfume can change over time. Take Wazamba for instance. When I first sampled it probably more than a couple of years ago now, I didn't care for it at all. I found it overpowering, smelling too much of pine, no doubt from the fir and cypress, and also strangely sweet. I think some of it was to do with the fact that I wore it in summer, when the warmth perhaps made it a bit cloying.

Today I picked out my sample of Wazamba and decided to give it another go. This time, it was totally different on my skin. Yes, the conifer notes were still there, but the incense was far more to the fore, smoky and swirling, mingling beautifully with the pine notes, sweetened just a touch by I don't know what - perhaps the labdanum and opoponax. Today was a really cold day here and I think the weather was a big factor in making Wazamba seem comforting, yet slightly mysterious. I can see myself wearing this a lot more over the coming weeks, as we head into winter proper and it would be perfect as a Christmas season fragrance, I think.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mona Di Orio Oud

In this perfume world of overdone, over-saturated ouds, it takes a lot to convince me that we still need another oud fragrance. 

I know that Mona Di Orio's Oud was released over a year ago, and that many ouds have been released since then, but I can honestly say this is one of the best, if not the best, Western takes on the now-ubiquitous fragrance note. The notes, according to Luckyscent, include elemi, green mandarin,  petitgrain, patchouli, nagarmotha, cedar, osmanthus, musk, ambergris and the essential ingredient, essential oud oil from Laos.

What strikes me most about this fragrance is how smooth, rich and enveloping it is. Mona Di Orio was never a restrained and subdued perfumer. All the perfumes I've tried are fairly bold compositions, and I think this probably resulted in love-it-or-hate-it opinions. The perfume I'm thinking of in particular was her brilliant Nuit Noir, a skanky take-it-or-leave-it jasmine. Mona's Les Nombres D'Or seems to have reached a larger and more accepting fan base, but smelling Oud today, I can still very much sense her bold spirit and path all the way from Nuit Noir to the present. Oud is very smooth though. No jagged edges here. No medicinal band oud, no rotting wood smells. At least, not on the surface. Like with all the very best of French perfumes, she managed to create something alluringly complex. Pull back the multiple layers and what is revealed is something with a bit more growl and flash of stockinged leg than first meets the eye.

Oud never ventures too far down that path though and its class shines through from start to finish. Osmanthus is known for its apricot-like facets, but equally it can have a hint of jasmine too, which is perhaps why I make the connection, albeit an extended one, with Nuit Noir. The musk and patchouli ground the fragrance, acting as a good counterpoint to the rich, almost honeyed oud and amber notes and leaves me feeling extremely satisfied. If ever there was a sign of this extremely talented perfumer, who tragically left us prematurely, it is Mona Di Orio's Oud.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Oakmossy goodness

Ok, I don't think that 'oakmossy' is actually a word, but so what. Oakmoss has been in the press and in the perfume blogs quite a bit recently and it is no surprise to any of us that this pedigree perfume ingredient is in danger of disappearing from the majority of, if not all, perfumes, classic or otherwise. 

I'm not going to write about that, relevant as it is. On Monday I went up to town at lunch to get a sandwich, as I do most working days. On my way to the shops I got stuck behind an elderly lady who was giving off the most hefty sillage of chypre, laden with seriously old school oakmoss. I could be wrong, but there is a very good chance she was wearing something of a venerable vintage, being the age she was, no ageist prejudice intended. A little while later I walked behind another lady, probably middle-aged, who was also wearing what smelled like a vintage age chypre, again with a lot of oakmoss, but not quite as strong as the first. On my way back from the shops, I passed a lady who was probably in her early forties and this time I detected a more modern style chypre, smelling like it could be a Chanel from the Exclusifs range, but I could be wrong of course.

This story probably comes across a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but the main reason I'm telling it is because I was so surprised to encounter three ladies wearing chypres, let alone a couple that reeked of proper, heavy oakmoss. Its no exaggeration to say that I possibly only smell oakmoss once or twice a year in Tunbridge Wells, let alone three times in one hour!

My story doesn't really have a point, I suppose, but I must say it was a pleasure to smell the sillage of the first lady in particular and pleasing to see that chypres and good old oakmoss aren't dead, at least not yet. I wonder what the elderly lady would do with her bottle of perfume? Do you think she would pass it down to her daughter, granddaughter or niece? Or would it just be thrown on the trash pile when sadly, she may come to pass one day? Who knows. What I do know is that this smell, full of character and brio, could be a thing of the past faster than we can say oakmoss!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my friends in the USA, wishing you all a very good and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Whatever you do, I hope good food and drink feature very prominently, spent in the company of family and friends you love and cherish. And if you can wear a gorgeous perfume, all the better!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Sonomo Scent Studio scents of the day

I don't know what it is about Sonoma Scent Studio's perfumes, but so many of them seem to be ideal to wear on a cool, slightly misty, melancholy autumn day. 

Today I wore Winter Woods and Wood Violet. While I could also see Wood Violet being good for a cool spring day, when one might expect to encounter violets in nature, there is something wistful about the smell of violets (at least to me) that seems suited to the decaying season of autumn. Winter Woods is warmer in feel than Wood Violet, but both fragrances seem like they belong naturally to the in-between seasons. 

One thing I've noticed about a number of Sonoma Scent Studio perfumes is that they contain a lot of labdanum. The perfume company's website goes on to say that 'Labdanum is a thick, resinous substance with a sweet, earthy, musky, woodsy aroma'. No surprise then, that I associate a number of the house's perfumes with nature, woods, autumn, or even a damp spring.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Serge Lutens Cedre

I was given a bottle of Cedre for my birthday back in July, courtesy of my good wife. Although I didn't quite realise it at the time, she made the choice based on what appealed to her, after trawling through literally the whole export range at Fenwicks!

We recently went away to the Isle of Wight for a week's holiday. I'm not going to describe our holiday in any detail, nice as it was, suffice to say that for an island only three miles south of a bigger island (United Kingdom) it felt like three hundred and thirty three miles away. If you ever go to the Isle of Wight, you can look across the Solent from Ryde, Fishbourne or Cowes and see merry Portsmouth, with its spinnaker tower gleaming in the sunlight. Of course, this being late October, sunlight was in short supply!

Anyway, the only perfume I took to the Isle of Wight was Cedre, and I wore it solidly for a week. This is unusual for me. I think the last time I wore one bottle of perfume exclusively for three days, let alone a week must have been about five years ago. I thought I would get withdrawal symptoms, but I actually enjoyed wearing Cedre exclusively. Each day brought out a new facet, and as a perfumista, this is something I seldom experience these days. Cedre also become quite comforting to me, knowing each day as I sprayed it on that it would stay with me on my travels, constant and warm.

Ever better was that my wife wore Cedre the whole week too. She has taken to it in a big way, which is very unusual, as she is not a massive perfume fan. I'm perfectly happy to share it with her.

I'm not sure of the exact note list for Cedre, but other than a very well-executed cedar note, it also includes musk, amber, cinnamon and tuberose. I would have thought that tuberose and cedar would make an unusual pairing and in a way it is, but it works wonderfully. The tuberose is not overwhelming, but perfectly blended with dryer woody notes to work in beautiful harmony. I read somewhere that Cedre is a continuation of the Bois series, at least in feel, and I must say that I can see the link from Feminite Du Bois quite clearly. However I find Cedre to be much warmer and comforting.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Micallef - The Art Collection Vanille part 2

Following on from my last post, I thought I'd add a few more thoughts on the Micallef Art Collection Vanille. I stated that Vanille Orient was my favourite of the four. However, what I didn't explain is that favourite doesn't necessarily mean the most interesting. 

I think Vanille Orient is an easy pleaser, and easy to wear. However, with all due respect, it isn't particularly original in concept. Having said that, I don't only wear perfume for its originality. It has to smell pretty good too, which this one is.

So moving onto Vanille Marine: I think it is the most original of the four, and quite a bold move to release a marine fragrance knowing its ubiquity in the nineties. One thing is clear: this is not a marine fragrance circa 1996. It does not smell of calone, nor does it smell contrived and synthetically cliched. To my nose it smells of sea and salt, not of stagnating seaweed, which so many marine fragrances do smell like, to me. It is also rather floral, and even tinged with a greenness or herbal tone, making it smell fresh. The fresh I am thinking of here is clean skin that has perspired slightly, warmed by the sun after a dip in the sea. 

Vanille Cuir to me is a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps I like leather to be on the bold side, but on my skin the leather here is very light and overall masked or swamped by the vanilla. It doesn't smell bad by any means, but doesn't really stand out; I'm not sure what this fragrance is trying to get across.

Overall, I think the collection is decent, but I'm not sure how much vanilla I want at this point in my life. They smell very decent and are well executed for the most part. If I were to recommend two, it would be Vanille Orient if you want a slightly different take on Spiritueuse Double Vanille, and Vanilla Marine for something a bit quirky and by far the most interesting in the line in my opinion.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Micallef - The Art Collection Vanille

I received samples of the four perfumes in the Art Collection Vanille a few months ago and have tried them on and off for a few weeks. As the name of the collection suggests, vanilla is the main theme, presented in different styles, covering leather, oriental, floral and marine. The four perfumes are Vanille Marine, Vanille Fleur, Vanille Orient and Vanille Cuir. 

Of the four, Vanille Orient appealed to me the most. The first thing that struck me when spraying on Vanille Orient was how similar it was to Guerlain's Spiritueuse Double Vanille. The Guerlain  includes notes of pink pepper, bergamot, incense, cedarwood, rose, ylang ylang, benzoin and vanilla. Vanille Orient, according to Micallef's marketing material, has notes of vanilla, sandalwood, vanilla flower, musk and amber. Judging from the notes then, there is not much in common between the two other than the vanilla, but unless my nose is playing tricks on me, I feel there must be more in common, as they do smell very similar. Interestingly, the opening of Vanilla Orient has, to me anyway, a subtle oud note. I could be wrong of course, but that is what I detect. 

If I'm being honest, while Vanilla Orient is hardly original, and bears more than a passing resemblance to Guerlain's SDV, I actually prefer it to SDV. I've mentioned it on this blog before, that I find SDV to have serious longevity and sillage issues on my skin. I like its smell but struggle to detect it quite often, whereas Vanilla Orient has more presence and longevity on my skin and smells good.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Anything but perfume Sunday

As it is a mellow Sunday evening here, I thought I'd share what I'm enjoying at the moment, other than perfume.

Film-wise, I bought a box set of four great Woody Allen movies, including Annie Hall Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Hannah and Her Sisters and Manhattan. I've always been a great fan of Woody Allen but I know he is not everybody's cup of tea.

I've been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series. So far I'm on the fourth book, with another three to go, I think. I haven't seen the TV series, Game of Thrones, but it is very good, I am told. Science fiction meets medieval fantasy, but it is intriguing.

I haven't been listening to a lot of music, but rather watching a lot of music videos off You Tube. I also play the guitar, so have been spending time learning some of my favourite songs in some alternative tunings, such as open D and G. Joni Mitchell in particularly plays in a lot of different tunings, while Keith Richards favours open G.

I thought I'd share a link to a You Tube video of Bon Iver playing I Can't Make You Love Me. I was a fan of Justin Vernon a long time before he won a Grammy award earlier this year. I love the high range of his voice - I can imagine he would have made one hell of a choir boy...

I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I'm back!

I don't know whether that is good news or not, depending on one's point of view, but I'm glad to be back, after spending a lovely week in the Isle of Wight. We didn't have great weather, mind you, but then again, we never thought the weather would be great in late October. With that mindset, it was actually enjoyable!

I haven't done a lot of blogging recently, as some might have noticed, partly a result of being away on holiday, but I am also going through one of those phases when thoughts and ideas are not coming to the fore as readily as they might have done previously. Oh well.

I was also shocked to read about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, not just in the USA of course, but also in the Caribbean, Cuba and Haiti. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this, but in particularly to my blogging friends who have been directly affected. My thoughts are with you and you know who you are.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

A visit to Les Senteurs

I was in London for a meeting today and naturally I managed to get over to Belgravia from Aldgate (it isn't out of the way, really it isn't!) and spend a fleeting twenty minutes sniffing a few perfumes and chatting to the nice people there. There wasn't a huge number of new offerings, but I did come away with samples of Parfumerie Generale's Bois Blond, Francis Kurkdjian's Amyris and a perfume called Terre De L'Encens by Irish perfume house Cloon Keen Atelier. I had never heard of Cloon Keen before, so I'm interested to find out what this one smells like on skin.

While there, I also tried on skin a couple of Bruno Acampora oils, Musc and Nero. Like most oils, these take a while to warm up on skin, but Musc is an intriguing perfume that smells like mushroom to start with, then becomes a swirling melange of herbs, spice and musk, of course. It isn't a clean musk, nor particularly skanky, but it is complex and mysterious. Nero starts off with a woody vetiver/saffron accord that is not miles away in feel to Black Afgano. As it develops it becomes woodier, with patchouli and musk, but again, it continually evolves and smells complex to my nose. Very interesting overall.

Tomorrow I am off to the Isle of Wight with my family for a week's holiday. Depending on what internet access is available, I may try blog a bit on holiday, but am not entirely sure.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Lisa Hannigan

I thought I'd take a break from perfume today and post a link to a great You Tube video of Lisa Hannigan performing a trio of songs including the touching 'Little Bird' in the NPR Music Studios. If you've never heard of her, she used to sing with Damien Rice (that isn't him to the left of her by the way). Both are Irish singer-songwriters. If you enjoy intimate studio recordings, I'd recommend you have a look at some of the other Tiny Desk performances; they are very good indeed.

Incidentally, my scent of the day was Amouage Jubilation XXV. It smells as beautiful today as any other time I've worn it. Full bottle worthy.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Teo Cabanel Alahine

The last couple of days in England have been dark, murky and misty affairs. The sort of days where the air smothers you like a blanket, dense and close. In the height of summer that would equate to humidity hell, but on cool and damp autumn days, it is more like a silent embrace before the kiss of death.

I wore Teo Cabanel Alahine this weekend. I wrote about it in June, when I found that I could wear it without any qualms. I mentioned that while it is a cozy ylang-ylang ambery musk, I detected a resinous quality to it that recalls incense, even though the note is not mentioned or commented on in any reviews I've read. When I wore it again yesterday, I had forgotten that review actually, but after the initial opening, I immediately detected that incense-like feeling Alahine evokes for me. Two thoughts crossed my mind - this smells delightful and no way is this a feminine perfume. I honestly find it to be perfectly wearable by a man and the resins on my skin, while sweetish, are dry enough to suit my tastes.

While I enjoyed wearing Alahine in the summer, it was perfect for a cool and dreary autumn day, when I found it comforting and reassuring, without being cloying. I think it is a brilliant perfume.

Friday, 19 October 2012

L'Artisan perfume set

I bought a L'Artisan perfume set yesterday from Fenwick. You may have seen it or something similar in years past. L'Artisan used to do 15ml bottle sizes, back in the day. I personally think, as a perfume fan, that 15ml is possibly the best size. No 200ml crap for me, thank you. 

So, I bought a set of 3 x 15ml bottles of Timbuktu, Fou d'Absinth and Coeur de Vetiver Sacre. There is also a 'feminine' equivalent, but off the top of my head can't remember the set, other than Mure et Musc was included. Considering I paid a 50% off price for the set, I don't think it is bad value for money at all and in fact even at full price it isn't bad at all.

I've written about Timbuktu a couple of times before, and Fou d'Absinth. I like both of them a lot, going so far as to say they are in my top five of L'Artisan fragrances. But what about Coeur de Vetiver Sacre? Looking back at reviews when it first came out in the second half of 2010, the most polite way of putting it is that responses were muted, to say the least. I was particularly struck by a very scathing review by a fairly well-known blogger, whose name shan't be mentioned here. The review essentially said (very edited version by me) that the perfume idea was great, but the execution diabolical, going on to say that the perfumer hadn't really paid any attention to detail, producing an inferior scent, with a poor evaporation curve. Now, I am not a perfume technician by any means, and reviews are subjective, of course, but I felt it was a bit below the belt. Personally, while I don't think that the fragrance is that brilliant, it is certainly wearable and an interesting take on the vetiver theme, with an amber undertone. If I have a criticism, it is that the fragrance is too slight, with minimal sillage and presence, but it smells perfectly decent and I have no qualms wearing it.

I still have a very soft spot for L'Artisan, one of the pioneer niche houses, and no matter what some people think of the line, they have produced some wonderful fragrances over the years. I mean, who can forget Dzing!, Voleur de Roses, Poivre Piquant, Dzonkha, Tea for Two, Passage D'Enfer, Bois Farine, Safran Troublant, Mechant Loup and Patchouli Patch? The list goes on...

 And I am happy to be the proud owner of three very wearable small-size perfumes. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Penhaligon's Juniper Sling

Wearing Juniper Sling today, I couldn't help think that while it smells nice-ish, it seems slightly derivative and reminds me of a number of other fragrances, all veering towards the masculine. 

The notes include cinnamon, orange brandy, angelica, juniper berry, cardamom, leather, black pepper, orris wood, brown sugar, black cherry, vetiver and ambrox. Anyone reading that list of notes would be forgiven thinking it is a fairly rich and complex fragrance. In reality, and I've worn it a number of times, I mostly get some gin/juniper note, a smidgeon of pepper, a bit of a zing/zest from the angelica and then it very quickly slips into a lightly spiced woody base, mostly from vetiver. Forget orange brandy, I can't smell cinnamon, I get perhaps a little cardamom, forget leather, cross out orris wood, no cherry, black or otherwise and brown sugar? Nope, I get more sugar from the Rolling Stones song of the same name.

Perhaps I'm coming across a bit snarky, and as I mentioned, Juniper Sling smells ok, but it doesn't add anything new or special to my perfume experience. There is something about the feel of Juniper Sling that reminds me of Creed's Aventus (not a dead ringer, but there is something about it, particularly in the dry down), another perfume I do not care for much.

The worst thing about Juniper Sling is its price. Penhaligon's sells it for £110, which to my mind, for a perfume that is neither very original nor long-lasting (it is a very subdued and short lived fragrance), is nothing short of daylight robbery. In the current market, £110 for niche is not that much I suppose, but I can still spend about £68 for most bottles of export Serge Lutens, far better value for money, in my opinion.

Monday, 15 October 2012

A Sunday in London

Yesterday my wife, daughters and I spent the day in London, which, naturally, involved some visits to perfume stores! The real reason for going up was that my wife was taking part in a 10km run for charity, raising funds for The Stroke Association. One could choose three different distances, 5km, 10km or 15km, each 5km comprised of one lap around the Serpentine, which is a lake in the middle of Hyde Park, central London's largest green space.

My wife ran incredibly well, shaving four minutes off her personal best, completing the 10km in just a few seconds over 53 minutes. I shouldn't brag I suppose (but I will anyway) but she was the 13th woman home and came 60th overall, out of a field of 164 (10km field only).

Anyway, it was a lovely autumn day in the capital, the parks full of vibrant autumn colours, the leaves just starting to turn to shades of yellow, red and gold. In between lunch and supper, and taking the kids to Hamleys, a large (and manic) toy department store in Regent Street, I managed to pay visits to Selfridges, John Lewis and Liberty. I've mentioned in the past how pushy the sales people can be in the perfume departments at Harrods, for example, but I'm beginning to think that Selfridges is going the same way. I could hardly go anywhere without a sales associate descending upon me with a sacharine smile, trying to force me to smell something. I just wanted to be left alone in peace to browse and sniff at my own leisure. I didn't spot a whole lot of new stuff at Selfridges, but did try Guerlain's Rose Barbare for the first time. I don't know where the Barbare comes from, because it certainly is not an edgy fragrance, but it does smell nice. Having smelt Rose Nacree du Desert not so long ago, I think the two have a similar, if not identical rose note, but they aren't the same fragrance, obviously. I also tried Armani Prive Bois de Encens again. Sigh. If I could sever a limb to get a bottle of this, I might be tempted... What a beautiful incense fragrance.

Moving on to John Lewis, I have a voucher to spend there, and I was trying to find a perfume to buy. I tried Commes des Garcons 2 Man and Diptyque's Volutes, but I am not convinced that I like either enough to buy a full bottle. 2 Man is nice, but it reminded me a lot of Gucci Pour Homme and I already own a bottle of that. Volutes is decent, but I have my eye on a number of more interesting tobacco fragrances, albeit at a much higher price, sadly. I also tried the new leather limited editions of the Mugler classics, Alien, Amen and Angel. I don't know what I am missing, but to me they all smell just like the original. Perhaps my nose is not as good as others but hand on heart I could not detect a molecule of leather in any of them. I don't know what the fuss is about, frankly.

Finally, I went to one of my favourite London stores, Liberty. Some people moan that Liberty staff are cool and aloof, but praises be, they leave you to your own devices! Just what I like, grumpy grouch that I am. I sniffed a lot of stuff at Liberty, but was most taken by Commes des Garcons Luxe Patchouli. Of course, typically, the perfume I loved the most was also staggeringly expensive at £155 for 45ml of juice! I thought it was fantastic, but no way am I paying that sort of price for a perfume.

So ended our day in London and I must say, while I loved sniffing all the perfumes, I still came away thinking that if I had the money, Bois de Encens would have been my purchase of the day.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

On the subject of spam, part 2

Following my recent post on a classic spam comment, I received another one today which I think takes the cake, produced below verbatim, sans links:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "YSL M7 and Jazz reincarnated":

Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site, for the reason that i want enjoyment, since this this website
conations in fact pleasant funny information too.
Feel free to visit my homepage - {Online Reputation Management 

My dear spam friend, I think your online reputation is shot, never mind your management...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Cartier Declaration d'un Soir

Call me a grouch, because I don't really see what is so fantastic about the new Declaration flanker, d'un Soir. It doesn't smell bad by any means, but I don't personally think it bears much resemblance to the original. To my mind, particularly in the dry down, it reminds me far more of Roadster, without mint, and I detect a lot of musk.

Those of you who've read my blog for a while will recall that I am a big fan of the original Declaration and I still much prefer it. As I said, d'un Soir is wearable, but I don't really see its point.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Joop Homme revisited

Some of you may recall that I wrote about Joop Homme Wild just a few days ago. I described how sweet and forceful I found it, and also mentioned the original Joop Homme. Following that post I was curious to try Joop Homme again, to see how how it compared to what I remember it being like. I sprayed Joop Homme on one wrist and Joop Homme Wild on the other. The interesting thing is that side by side it is even more apparent how fruity, sweet and strong Homme Wild really is. I thought the original was strong and sweet, but by comparison it is actually much dryer and more complex. I was very interested to see that Joop Homme was created by Michel Almairac, a very talented perfumer who also created L'Artisan's Voleur de Roses, Bottega Veneta and the updated Ivoire, and has worked in tandem with Dominique Ropion. The notes include bergamot, cinnamon, orange blossom, jasmine, honeysuckle. sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, amber, tonka, musk and vanilla. 

Released in 1989, Joop Homme has a bit of a retro feel now, but not in a bad way. Despite the notes, it is not floral to my nose, but it could be that the heavy bass notes conceal the floral heart. To my nose it smells like tobacco, yet the accord is not listed - perhaps it is the combination of the patchouli, amber, musk and vanilla that create this impression.

Joop Homme is strong, and lasts all day, but I have to admit that I quite like it. Joop Homme Wild on the other hand, is a strong, sticky mess of sweet and fruity notes that overpower and make me feel quite sick until the base is reached, when it becomes a lot better. What is it with fruity notes these days?

Saturday, 6 October 2012

On the subject of spam...

Folllowing Meg from Parfumieren's couple of very amusing (yet in a way sad) posts on spam comments on her blog, I thought I would reproduce verbatim a spam comment I received this week:

"whoаh this blοg is fantaѕtiс i loѵe reading your 
posts. Keeρ uρ the gоod work! You recognizе, lots of рeople are ѕеaгching round 
for thіs іnfоrmаtiοn,
you соuld aid them gгeаtly.
Also visit my webpage : brand name laptops" (link removed - but it was laptopsspecial)

Some of the spam posts I receive are actually quite clever, and rather devious in how they verge almost on the convincing, but this is is just pants - poor effort Mr or Mrs brand name laptops! Incidentally, if you are reading this post, dear spammer, please buzz off and annoy someone else in future. Thank you.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Scent of the day - Penhaligon's Endymion

My feeling is that Penhaligon's has made a concerted effort to modernise and bring themselves out of British Victoriana and into the 21st century over the last three years or so. Hiring Bertrand Duchafour was probably a good step, and some of the releases of recent years have been quite daring or quirky, including Amaranthine, Sartorial and to a lesser extent, Orange Blossom and Juniper Sling.

Endymion is one of the older fragrances, but to my nose does not really smelly fusty. I often read comments on blogs that refer to British Reserve, Britishness, fustiness and other terms, that while not quite derogatory, are a bit nose-sniff-in-the-air, as if British people are not daring, but perhaps rather staid and boring. Well, I don't agree with that. Perfume aside, Britain has produced some of the greatest innovators the world has known. Anyway, I digress.

Back to Endymion, the notes include bergamot, mandarin, lavender, sage, geranium, coffee absolute, vetiver, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom, musk, leather, sandalwood, incense, frankincense and myrrh. What a list of notes, as long as my arm. In reality, Endymion is by no means a basic, simple perfume, but the notes as listed do not manifest themselves quite as complicatedly either. Endymion is quite sweet to start, and a bit spicy. I'd say that the opening is the most generic part of it, following which it becomes lightly herbal, with a hint of leather and just a whiff of incense to carry it through to the dry down. I think it is a very nice fragrance and not really that masculine. I think the notes blend together very well, so it is hard to say that I can detect that many specific notes. The coffee note is subtle, but if you look closely it is there, pairing well with the resinous incense notes.

Penhaligon's perfumes have a reputation for poor longevity, but Endymion lasts fairly well. It isn't a strong perfume by any means though.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Joop Homme Wild

I came across Joop Homme Wild today for the first time, at my local Boots Chemist. While I was never a massive fan of the original Joop (or the myriad permutations that have since followed) I did think it was different to most of the other mainstream stuff out there for men, and I still think so.

Joop Homme Wild (the advertisers tell us): some angel is waiting to discover your bad side, and if this is the case (you lucky and brave man you) let the perfume notes of pink pepper (for a vibrating, spicy freshness - since when does pepper vibrate people?), rum absolute (for an addictive and sulferous note - seriously folks, since when does smelling like rotten eggs turn on the ladies, or does the word wild mean a vibrating fart in this case?) and woody blonde tobacco (for a twisted masculine dry down - what does twisted mean exactly in this context?) trigger instant seduction. Amazing. I can only guess that the advert presumes this man, when he isn't letting off twisted, vibrating sulferous farts, is hoping to instantly seduce girls, poor things.

Moving onto the actual fragrance, I cannot smell pink pepper in the opening, unless the opening is so fleeting the notes burn off before I can hold paper strip and wrist to my nose. I am instantly met with a sickly sweet puff of notes, which make me think fruitchouli for men, yet I am guessing this is the rum absolute. I've smelt rum done a lot better in perfume, for example in Lubin's Idole. I've drunk a fair bit of rum and while it is often a sweet drink, it is not cloyingly sweet. To be fair, Wild gets better as time passes. The tobacco notes do come in to balance the sweetness a bit, but as with the original Joop, it is a sweet concoction throughout. The tobacco doesn't smell blonde to me though. It is rich and sweet and heady, which to my mind is more like pipe tobacco than blonde. I have to say though, that after about three hours, Wild is rather wearable, but it is a pity it has to be so sweet, ponderous and bluntly forceful in the top and heart notes.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Nina Simone - How it feels to be free

I've been watching a bit of X Factor tonight, which for those of you that don't know of it, is a 'talent' singing contest, similar to American Idol and in fact, there is now an American version of X Factor. I watch these boys and girls singing, lips quivering, arms and hands gesticulating, like gangsta-rappers-cum-divas, and think, where's the real quality, the true passion, the genuine musicianship. 

That is why I've posted this You Tube link of Nina Simone at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1976, singing "How it feels to be free". That to me is a true example of a brilliant talent - a woman who sings with conviction, passion and no need to wave her hands all over the place  - the one time when words should speak louder than actions.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Floris Mahon Leather

I got samples of Floris' Private Collection a few months ago, but must admit that I haven't really tried them until now. Mahon Leather was the one that I was most keen to try, being a fan of leathery fragrances. 

Floris' website states that Mahon Leather is inspired by the Spanish island of Minorca, the birthplace of Juan Famenias Floris. It is also inspired by a Minorcan liqueur called Calent, an infusion of wine and spices, and the aroma of leather horse tack. The notes include leather, saffron, deep woods, amber and vetiver.

I have to say that on skin I don't really identify any notes that smell like spice-infused wine, but Mahon Leather is certainly leathery. However, it isn't a whip-crack of leather or kinky BDSM paraphernalia. Rather, it does smell like Spanish leather, so read a fair amount of soapiness. I don't mind this, as I enjoy the smell, and there is enough vetiver, amber and woody notes to balance this, while never deviating too far from a leather theme. I'd say that Mahon Leather does seem quite gentlemanly, but in a good way. It certainly isn't slight or fleeting, but equally it isn't a powerhouse of a scent, which I personally think is a good thing, where leather is concerned. Even though there is that gentlemanly aspect to Mahon Leather, I think it could be worn by a woman, and indeed, I'd love to know what the ladies think of this one, if you've tried it before.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Scents of the day - Sonoma Scent Studio

Today was an incredibly rainy day in my south eastern corner of England. I arrived at work sodden, miserable, just a touch cranky and cold. In keeping with the weather, I needed some comfort, now that autumn well and truly is here, so wore Sonoma Scent Studio's Tabac Aurea and Winter Woods. 

I know I've written a lot about Sonoma Scent Studio before, and I assure you I do not get commission or free perfumes from them, but I can't help but say what good value for money perfumes come from this line and how good they are. Winter Woods is less smoky and intense than Fireside Intense and I think perfect for the autumnal weather and Tabac Aurea, with its amber, tobacco and immortelle notes, is great for those cool days too.

I don't think I've found a dud in the line yet. Incense Pure is my all-time favourite and while I don't love Violet Woods and Sienna Musk, I know they are well received too.

Perhaps the best thing about the house is that they offer the perfumes in a number of different sizes, ranging from samples, to 5ml, 15ml, 30ml and so on (at least they did the last time I looked) which is just fantastic. Chanel with their 200ml bottles of Exclusives could learn a thing or two...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Balmain Ivoire de Balmain

I came across Ivoire de Balmain in one of my local department stores. I understand that this is a relaunch  of the original Ivoire under new licence with InterParfums. 

Now, I never tried the original Ivoire, released in 1980 (or 1979) so I can't compare the original to the current version. What I do know is that I like the current version, which is housed in a very pretty bottle, I might add. Ivoire is soapy, no doubt about it, and fairly green too. I suppose one might class it as a green floral chypre, but to my nose it doesn't really have an oakmoss base, and while the notes list rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang, I am sure I am also detecting some muguet and galbanum. If not, the combined notes certainly created that illusion then. I am not usually a fan of soapy fragrances, but there is something about the way Ivoire presents the soapy note, not too chilly and austere, warmed with a little patchouli and vanilla, that makes it very appealing. 

I have to be honest and say that I think I would struggle to pull off wearing Ivoire as a man, but I certainly like how it smells and would love to smell it on a woman. I'm sure there will be those people who remember the original and no doubt compare it to the current version, and bemoan the state of the perfume industry with reformulation and so on, but at least they've brought back a perfume that could so easily have been assigned to the annals of history.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Humiecki & Graf Bosque

Humiecki & Graf is one of those perfume houses that I've probably steered away from. After reading the reviews and notes of some of their fragrances, I've had that gut feel that they will be all weirdness and unwearable. I'm sure that is unfair, but there you have it.

Well, I wore Bosque for the first time today. It has notes of grapefruit, primrose, narcissis, buffalo grass, vetiver, saffron and musk. Many of the reviews I read raved about the vetiver note - all I smell is a weird and sickly sweet musk, yet in a strange way, quite compelling. I don't know if this is the sum of the parts of florals, grasses and musk, but it is very odd. I don't personally smell vetiver very much, if at all, but perhaps this is because I am expecting the vetiver I know and love. As for buffalo grass, I couldn't even begin to tell you what that is meant to smell like, not having any reference point.

After all this, I feel that Bosque ended up smelling just like I thought a Humiecki & Graf perfume would smell like. Call me short sighted. Having said that, I don't dislike it. It is strangely compelling, but it is all about musk in my book, a very odd and skin-like musk.


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