Friday, 31 January 2014

A*Men Pure Malt

Let me start by saying that I like A*Men Pure Malt. I've had a largish decant of it for a few years now, and every now and then enjoy wearing it. Perhaps it is also worth mentioning that I like Angel, and the original A*men, for that matter. 

What I don't get about A*Men Pure Malt, is the reference to notes such as 'peat' and 'smoky'. Most reviews and note lists seem to suggest that Malt in this context refers to malt whisky. If this is the case, I don't personally think that A*Men Pure Malt smells remotely like any whisky I have drunk, and without wanting to sound pompous, I have drunk quite a few, being a fan of malt whiskies. 

I think A*Men Pure Malt smells very good, no doubt, but it is neither smoky nor peaty in my opinion. If you want good examples of smoke and peat in whiskies, try Laphroaig, from Islay for example, or perhaps even Talisker from Skye. Neither of those smell remotely like A*Men Pure Malt. Perhaps I am too harsh in expecting some olfactory photo-accurate representation of a malt whisky.

So what does this ramble achieve? Probably very little. But to re-emphasise, Pure Malt is a very nice perfume, and surprisingly musky in the dry down, which I like.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Aqua Universalis and Universalis Forte

I'll admit that I am not really sure what the difference is meant to be between Aqua Universalis and Forte. My presumption is that it would suggest different concentrations, but on my skin, certainly, they smell very different, particularly in the top notes.

I'll cut to the chase and state that I far prefer the original. Forte is too sweet, for starters, and in the opening has a curiously sour citrus note that does not sit comfortably with me. The sour smell is dank, a bit like clothing that has not dried properly.

Not very scientific, very subjective, but there you have it.

Incidentally, I really do like the original very much. It is essentially a laundry musk with citrus, but done very well.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Sort of catching up

Gosh, it is already the 10th of January. Where does the time go? Before we know it, bloggers will be honing their best-of-2014 lists!

I don't think I have read a single perfume blog so far in 2014. It isn't for lack of wanting to, but there just isn't the time in my life at present. Work commitments are a bit hairy, to say the least, plus we have been focusing on family time, as my older daughter Hannah turns 7 next week, and we had her party last Sunday.

If you were expecting a proper perfume review from me, dream on. I have been wearing perfume on some days, but in the mad rush I more often than not haven't. Arrh!

This week I did go on a bit of an orange theme, but only by spraying four different perfumes on scent strips and having a good time comparing them all side by side, so to speak. The four in question were Atelier Cologne's Neroli, Serge Luten's Fleurs d'oranger and two of Francis Kurkdjian's, Aqua Universalis and Aqua Vitae.

Neroli smells fantastic in the top and middle notes, and then fades considerably, as to be expected with this style of perfume, but it is a lovely fragrance. It does what it says on the tin, but there are plenty of other good neroli perfumes out there that are very similar. 

Fleurs d'oranger is a powerful orange blossom fragrance, but overall far more of a white floral, with spices and cumin. It is bold, and certainly not a perfume that I would easily be able to pull off but I do like it a lot.

Aqua Universalis  and Aqua Vitae are both very much orange and musk. Universalis is the muskier of the two, and a bit more dry and woodsy. I think it smells amazing, and with this one I can very definitely see the link back to Kurkdjian's work with Gaultier's Le Male and Fleur de Male. Vitae is my least favourite of the four. It is a touch too sweet for my liking, and looking at the notes, I can see Tonka Bean and vanilla listed, which is no surprise.


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