This is Not a Blue Bottle 1.1 by Histoires de Parfums (2015) comes across like a cynical attempt to parody designer woody amber perfumes by jacking their most-annoying facets up to 11, then adding some things meant to distract you from that fact until you realize its too late. They even stuffed all of it into a sarcastic package that lies to you about what it is from the start, so you know someone's getting a chuckle here. Gérald Ghislain has created all the entries in this series so far, and all perfumes in it are built entirely out of synthetics, making the "Not a Blue Bottle" line the antithesis of the rest of Histoires de Parfums output. I went into smelling this with an open mind because I like a good piss take as much as anyone else with a sense of humor, but I think the messages was lost here in how horrible this turned out. I mean, jokes are meant to be funny for the audience right? Julien Rasquinet also stepped in to help Ghislain here, and together they concocted a woody amber bursting with metallic sharpness and scratchy minty-peppery accords that finish on a bed of synthetic patchouli that feels like the terpenes and nothing else. By the way, this is meant to be unisex, if you can believe it.
The opening is an airy metallic aldehyde that you might recognize from scents like Chanel Platinum Égoïste (1993), Parfums MDCI SB/Invasion Barbare (2005) or Penhaligon's Sartorial (2010), but cranked to high heaven, conjoined with a bigarade note that is very fleeting after the opening few minutes of the scent. Beyond this, a geranium note also enters the fray, being minty rather than rosy or metallic (we have enough aldehydes for the latter), and supposedly a honey note is listed but I don't get that. Instead, I get a heap of black pepper, synthetic of course, but everything merges to sort of make a high-octane version of Cartier Roadster (2008) without the cedar or vanilla thus far. Finally, a super-pungeant all-terpenes synthetic patchouli comes forward, just like what is in the disastrous Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Monsieur. (2016) which came after this. Maybe Bruno Jovanovic was inspired by the use of sharp floor cleaner citrus aldehyde mixtures and intense patchouli on display here? I can't say, but like that scent, This is Not a Blue Bottle 1.1 becomes an exercise in this noxious chemical patchouli smell over scratchy "amberwood" dimed beyond control with only a hint of white musk to show something pleasant. Wear time is until the cows come home and projection is nagging but not killer. I feel like if you enjoyed this, it would best be used in cooler months or when indoors, because heat would bring out the worse in the base. Hey, at least the perfume doesn't smell "blue" right?
This is Not a Blue Bottle 1.1 feels more masculine than feminine to my nose, only because there is nary a thing here that reminds me of anything a conventionally-minded woman would consider tasteful about it, since this has no florals, no sweetness, nor resinous or sensual elements, no chill whatsoever. Quite the opposite, This is Not a Blue Bottle 1.1 goes total "FragBro" in the mega-assertive "notice me senpai" department with the way it is all spiky elements that photobomb at every opportunity until you just give up on it and wash it off, or become dead inside from wearing it. I've smelled much worse in this train of thought, and there isn't anything inherently dangerous about how this wears, since I don't get any kind of asthma attacks from overdosed aromachemicals like I have from several designers or mass-appeal niche labels that play Toxic Avenger with your respiratory system, but neither do I enjoy anything about the experience presented. If you want something with a sharp woody dry down and a bitter citrus top, there are scores of better options even synthetic ones if that's your cuppa, and if total avant-garde perfumery a la Comme des Garçons isn't intense enough for you, I guess this may be an option. This is Not a Good Perfume 1.1. Thumbs down.
A lot of fun to be had here. Working from the good examples of those who have come before me, I sprayed carefully. What you get is a decidedly synthetic citric-amber, but really not at all unpleasant. The performance is stellar and would be a good choice for those nights out where you want to be smelled over those with no imagination.
It's a fairly recognisable formula with some sweetness and a highly modern edge. Would recommend testing before buying; thankfully HdP have an excellent samples proposition.
I over-sprayed as usual and for me I smashed all the generic aspects out of this by doing so. It's terrific up top, packed full of aldehydes and citrus -- a fizzing freshness that evolves into a pretty sophisticated scent in my opinion of sweetened amber and musks.
A gorgeous, lengthy and relatively cheap wear that suits summer just fine.
I am not a fan of screechy woody ambers by any stretch of imagination and This Is Not A Blue Bottle seems to be loaded with the stuff. Fortunately my first encounter with it began last year with a modest dab from a sample because anything more than a single spray is likely to bring me back to the dentist office for a root canal.
Today I wore a single spray to the chest under my shirt. Such a restrained approach to wearing paid dividends. It kept a leash on the screechy base and allowed the rest of the composition to shine. From the electric, almost ozonic orange-laced aldehydes at the top to the warm ambery glow of honeyed musk in the heart. It might not have worked out for some but for me, it did. Beautifully.
I can't deny the synthetic signature of This Is Not A Blue Bottle is such a departure from the house' typically richer baroque style but it is clearly intentional and somehow IMO they made it work. The KEY to unlocking its magic is to wear it sparingly.
This Is Not A Weapon of Nose Destruction but it comes close. The power on tap is unbelievable. A single shot to the solar plexus announces my (fragrant) presence with the subtlety of a sports commentator. I dare not attempt it but I believe 3-4 sprays will be the olfactory equivalent of an air raid siren. Joop! Homme has finally met his match.
Olfactorywise, this rates a Neutral from me. It smells like a good designer and reminds me somewhat of Cartier L'Envol. But I appreciate Histoires de Parfums' audacity to take a cheeky piss on the reigning designer woody amber trend with this irreverent release. That's why I'm giving this a thumbs up'.
I could almost give this a neutral - maybe I'm feeling so let down because I like this house, but this is an annoying, synthetic and terribly modern smelling perfume, especially given the name of the house. Modern history, I guess.
The base is a typical, generic synthetic woody amber, and it's almost all I can smell from the opening. It's such a dominating smell, I get too discouraged to even think much about the other notes, and the way their literature describes them (electric orange, metallic geranium) is more telling than the listing here.