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Spice Blend by Christian Dior

Spice Blend is a redundant fragrance in a crowded sea of woody-spicy-aromatic fragrances. This smells like a "lite" Bvlgari Man In Black or Azzaro Wanted by Night - both of which I find more interesting. Dior could have done something really special with this...maybe like I don't know...amping up the spice a bit or adding an interesting wood element? This smells like the base of 100 various woody-spicy scents I've tried and does nothing to differentiate itself from others within the same genre. If I had to rate this out of 10 I'd give it a 4/10 for simply smelling pleasant but a 1/10 for originality. This is not the Dior that released the likes of Vetiver, Granville, Leather Oud and other countless classics within the Privee line.

This should have been bottled as a department store release alongside Sauvage. It would sell like crazy with the Dior name and the unoriginal but pleasant modern woody-spicy smell that you can get for 1/4 the price from Bvlgari or Azzaro.
Aug 7, 2019


Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum by Burberry

I have to say that that when I received this as a Christmas gift from my parents in 2017 I put my basenotes elitist hat on immediately. The fragrance was a part of one of those standard fragrance bundles with a matching deodorant. Initially, I was thinking...why?...Why the hell would my parents buy this knowing that I'm a huge fragrance collector? My initial response waned rather quickly as I was touched by the gesture. I figured whatever...I'll give it a fair shake first and I'm glad I did. A few points below I think need to be taken into consideration.

Does it smell good? --- YES
Does it have great longevity --- YES
Is it versatile? --- YES
Was it challenging? --- NO
Nice bottle? --- YES
"Crowd Pleasing?" ---YES

Are you getting something that is slightly unique among a crowded designer fragrance counter? I think so. Mr. Burberry didn't follow the overtly sweet tonka overload or the ever growing list of designer aquatics. Yes, it does have cardamom which seems to be the new tonka...sure. But, I think this one is quite pleasant. It's fresh but not overly in your face like some of the "just out of the shower" type stuff out there. It's got a little spice mixed in as well and a decent synthetic-woody base which to me stands out among other designers out there. I put this on the same playing field as Ralph Lauren Black and Double Black. Somewhat unique, fresh, long lasting and appealing to the masses.

Should you go out and spend the MSRP on this? No. I don't think it warrants that. However, I would pick this up if it were discounted or at a deal rate in a product bundle. Hats off to Burberry for this one, aside from London, I've dismissed the line in the past. Mr. Burberry has me paying attention to the line again.
May 23, 2018


Woody Perfecto / 107 by Parle Moi de Parfum

This one is awesome. Vetiver and coffee...Dior Vetiver meets Chanel Sycomore. Fresh like the Dior with some of the earthy/smokey vibes of Sycomore. Top notch vetiver fragrance.
Jun 21, 2017


Ombré Leather 16 by Tom Ford

Tom Ford Ombre Leather 16 is essentially a dry suede and violet fragrance. Think Tuscan Leather minus the ash and raspberry notes. Those seeking a straight forward "leather" or suede really (to my nose) definitely give this one a try. Not nearly as loud as Tuscan Leather but longevity matches what I get from TL (14+ hours on skin.) I'm giving it a thumbs up because it's a very nice fragrance. However, I think it does lose a bit for simply being a non-sweetened variant of Tuscan Leather.
Sep 26, 2016


Artek Standard by Comme des Garçons

This is one of my absolute favorites from the line. A great example of how synthetics can be used to create a wonderful perfume. CdG Artek Standard combines a clean lemon-musk-ginger-tea with a sharp cedar note that serves as the backbone of the scent.
Jun 23, 2016


Vétiver by Christian Dior

Modern and posh, yet classic and minimalistic.

A super clean and sharp vetiver coupled with a hefty dose of citrus rind. A rootier aspect peeks through along with a muted citrus in the dry down of the fragrance which lasts literally days on clothing and hours & hours on skin.

A grail vetiver that I'm sad to see Dior's discontinue.
Sep 10, 2015


Tam Dao Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

Leaps and bounds better than the synthetically charged cedar fragrance that is the Eau de Toilette version. The EdP has a very nice sandalwood base that combines quite well with a fresh lime and milky coconut to add to the creamy-fresh vibe of the sandalwood. Definitely my favorite from Diptyque.
May 13, 2015


Cuir6 by Pekji

The opening of Cuir6 is loaded with a smoky and natural birch tar that comes off super dry and somewhat stark and honestly a little weird (there's something else in here I'm not connecting the dots on - somewhat spice-like.)

Over a little bit of development time, Cuir6 warms up a ton and throws gobs and gobs of labdanum over the leather as the smoke fades to black. At this point, Cuir6 begins to smell like a hardcore amber (think TF Amber Absolute) with leathery undertones.

All-in-all a great fragrance for anyone amber lover seeking a leather or leather lover seeking a good amber fragrance...best of both worlds with Cuir6. Big thumbs up.
Apr 20, 2015


Kiste by Slumberhouse

Peach Tea and Cavendish Pipe Tobacco with boozy and creamy undertones throughout the life of the fragrance. Kiste is probably the most "versatile" and approachable fragrances that's been in the Slumberhouse lineup. The fragrance is bright, yet carries an Appalachia fall feel.
Apr 8, 2015


REALOUD by Phoenicia Perfumes

The one point I wanted to make here is to not let the price point of the 5ml splash bottle scare you. I'm wearing a small dab on the back of each hand and the fragrance smells absolutely wonderful. Anyone looking for something with a kick of real oud, earthy vetiver and rose undertones should really try this out. Such a relief to find a rose and oud combination that isn't the standard overtly sweet and synthetic combination of the two.
Mar 16, 2015


REALOUD Feral by Phoenicia Perfumes

The one point I wanted to make here is to not let the price point of the 5ml splash bottle scare you. I'm wearing a small dab on the back of each hand and the fragrance smells absolutely wonderful. Anyone looking for something with a kick of real oud, earthy vetiver and rose undertones should really try this out. Such a relief to find a rose and oud combination that isn't the standard overtly sweet and synthetic combination of the two.
Mar 13, 2015


Calling All Angels by April Aromatics

Good, but not great. Has nothing on NK Incense. Natural, sure...but not worth the money if I am to be honest. Heavy dose of labdanum, benzoin and vanilla with some light woods and vague whiff of toasted honey. Smells very similar to AbdesSalaam Attar Mecca Balsam, with less spice.
Feb 8, 2015


Tango by Masque

Not much else to say, other than this is a beautifully done amber fragrance with hints of culinary influences. A popular genre, but this one doesn't feel tired. Definitely my replacement for Tom Ford Amber Absolute when it runs out.
Feb 2, 2015


Patchouli Absolu by Tom Ford

Typically, I really dislike patchouli, even when used in moderation. However, this scent utilizes patchouli around a series of other notes that bring out a wet earth quality of the patch coupled with a somewhat standard woody base (norlimbanol?).

Either way, this scent is really evocative of a springtime walk through a wet forest. The earth is wet from earlier rains, vegetation is starting to grow back. Your feet dredge through the damp mud and agitate some of the forest floor greens, these smells waft through the cool, crisp forest air.

I'm a bit surprised at how good this fragrance is to be quite honest. For lovers of patchouli and those simply looking for a nice scent with earthy qualities, you might want to give this a try. Patchouli Absolu is a breath of fresh air in a lineup of Tom Ford scents that have been all over the board, ranging from boring to extraordinary...this one falls somewhere in-between. A nice fragrance indeed.
Jan 30, 2015


Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

Naomi Goodsir Bois d'Ascese is at the pinnacle of all smokey fragrances I have tried to date and I'm a lover of the genre. Bois d'Ascese starts with loads of cade and possibly hints birch tar and/or nagamotha which creates a realistic rendition of a desert campfire billowing smoke into the crisp cool air. Oakmoss and Somali Frankincense provide a very nice smokey-green aesthetic in the middle/base of Bois d'Ascese which takes you away from the fire and inside some sort of protected shelter. Labdanum adds some blanketed warmth to the base of this fine fragrance. Definitely one of my favorite scents I've encountered so far on my fragrance journey. Although I thoroughly enjoy fragrances like Norma Kamali's Incense and Sonoma Scent Studio's Fireside Intense, I like this one a bit more - the shifts from top to base notes is nothing else out there in the dark incense and smokey genres. I cannot write gracefully enough to do this fragrance any justice; 10/10 for me.
Aug 15, 2014


Lampblack by Bruno Fazzolari

Lampblack starts like you might expect a new best-seller department store fragrance from Gucci to be honest a translucent blast of citrus, but, it's very quickly joined by what I assume is nagarmotha. At the point nagramotha joins the grapefruit notes, Lampblack builds its artistic identity and becomes quite unique while maintaining a sense of wearability throughout.

I'm reminded of the smell in my old art room in high school (I know I know...here we go with the art stuff...but hear me out)...citrus school cleanser for the tables, wet paper mache drying in the corner, paints being mixed, clay pots baking from a previous class as you're working on a quick ink sketch...A very abstract and slightly strange smell...but one I remember distinctly.

Lampblack changes gears again after the abstract "art class room" stage passes. In the middle I smell a very very light black pepper sitting against a note that I'm unable to recognize...I can only describe the note as light, it's evoking white images...faintly resinous and sweet.

Lampblack would fit right into the CdG lineup...an evocative shapeshifter of a fragrance.

Lampblack is a nice, very trippy wild ride of a fragrance with artistic tie-ins. Unique, inspiring and evocative; yet pleasant, in an environment with many scents that are quite the opposite.
Jun 19, 2014


Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio

This fragrance from Sonoma Scent Studio is definitely true to the name. Incense Pure seems to be more of a literal interpretation of incense resins. It feels very sappy, resinous and slightly piney, the fragrance feels alive...as if you're literally at a tree in Somolia smelling the Frankincense oozy down the side of the tree. The ambergris adds a freshness that amplifies the resins and woods are the backbone (I think cedar mostly and slight sandalwood.) Resins weave in and out of the other notes making the fragrance feel both cold and warm at times...if that makes sense. A vegital orris and patch give the fragrance an extremely green feel which adds another dimension to the fragrance.

If you enjoy a crisp, clean incense but hate some of the "super churchy" stuff that's out there or find some incense fragrances too smokey, you need to try Incense Pure.
Mar 21, 2014


Bohemian Black by House of Matriarch

Starts out with limoncello up front and center accompanied by a strong herbal accord for the better part of a few hours. Bohemian Black then completely morphs into bouquet of amped up white florals lying on a bed of citrusy resins & incense, and a very warm/light/sweet amber. Intensely rich woods seem to further amplify the floral notes.

I love the opening of Bohemian Black. It's really nice for a lack of a better description...Love the sweet limoncello jockeying for position over a wonderful, intensely herbal accord. What I'm not in love with is the heart which is very long lasting and all about white floral notes. The base is a decadent, incredibly rich Mysore Sandalwood which is simply wonderful.

This is more "Bohemian" than it is "Black" to me. I would have liked a little more spice, smoke or wood with the overtly floral dry down...something to shake it up a bit in the very rich heart as the intense herbal notes do in the opening. Nice, but the heart of the fragrance wasn't for me, although unisex, this leans a little too far into feminine territory as it does get powdery with the richness of the florals (not my thing.) If I could have the opening, skip the floral notes and then jump into the Mysore base I would be buying this instantly. If you're looking for an interesting fragrance with floral notes, look no further.

One thing I will say about the line is all of the scents I've tried before have KILLER longevity and sillage. House of Matriarch Perfumes are well worth the money in terms of performance, quality of materials and uniqueness. The line exudes both quality luxury.
Feb 28, 2014


Black No. 1 / Blackbird by House of Matriarch

Let me just start by saying...to say I strongly dislike leather is an understatement. I really have a general distaste for fragrances with strong leather accords and this one does have a strong leather accord. HOWEVER, if leather was like this in all fragrances I would not have such strong negative feelings about "leather forward" fragrances.

Blackbird begins pretty loud as an extremely soft and mellow Italian luxury black leather with what I can only describe as "strong green notes." I don't the pot vibe, sorry. I'm guessing that's just part of the Seattle story or the pot in the Pacific NW is much different than here in Chicago. This is more plant material like a conifer forest deep in the woods of the Pacific NW. Blackbird dries down to a pronounced head shop incense with leather and the unmistakable plant material notes playing second fiddle ever so lightly in the background along with a light floral (tuberose?) Each accord seems to come back during the dry down, like a hook in a song. Definitely a wafting scent after starting off quite strong as described by other reviewers. That's to be expected of a fragrance with a 33% concentration. This is one that I think is worthy of the hefty price tag. If you've been looking for a scent and nothing has been unique enough for you or just hasn't moved you...I urge you to try this one. 10/10 in my book and I'm only 4 hours into my wearing. My wallet will hate me, but I might have to get this one.
Feb 27, 2014


Norma Kamali Incense by Norma Kamali

This is the epitome of a great incense fragrance. Norma Kamali Incense is other worldly and it's an absolute shame that it's been discontinued.

Top notes are brash combination of dry/cut wood and almost a pine tar/turpentine smell that subsides over quite some time and give way to a wonderful semi-sweet labdanum/frankincense/myrrh combination. NK is atomic in terms of both projection...longevity and sillage with day long staying power. Not for the faint of heart, but for every true lover of incense fragrances.
Feb 18, 2014


Turtle Vetiver Back by LesNez

Incredible Vetiver FragranceTurtle Vetiver Back is an incredible fragrance and one of my favorite vetivers. I get a totally different vetiver with this one, totally different than anything else out there and that's what I really like about this one. To my nose Back has a slightly vegital oceanic vibe, like an inlet marina. When I sniff, I can clearly smell beautiful Haitian Vetiver, which happens to be my favorite. The vetiver note is supported by coconut lacatone and what I assume to be mimosa absolute that gives it a sweet floral undertone. Turtle Vetiver Back brings to mind the most remote Caribbean island with white sand, coconut trees and copious amounts of vegitation surrounding its shores. This is one that cannot be replaced once I'm out, truly different, truly magnificent.Pros: Raw, Beautiful, Tenacious, Thought EnducingCons: Not as long lasting as some vetiver fragrances"
Sep 12, 2013


Frank No. 2 by Frank Los Angeles

Incredible Fragrance for the Price As drseid says this one is very hard to describe. The only thing I can really say is the Fragrance has really nice transitions from top to middle and basenotes. Throughout long life of Frank 2 LA, it stays rich, classy and bright. The silliage and longevity of Frank 2 LA is extremely good for an eau de toilette. When I'm out of my EDT I will be purchasing the updated EDP version which I'm guessing performs just as well, if not, better.Pros: Price, Longevity and Overall ScentCons: Old bottle was flimsy and cheap looking which has been since updated."
Aug 9, 2013


Dior Homme Sport (original) by Christian Dior

My favorite Sport Fragrance to Date A very refreshing blast of powdery citrus on top...not "old person" powdery at all the iris is done very lightly in the background. Not really anything like Dior Homme, but a good counterpart for summer wear.Pros: Interesting take on Sport FragranceCons:
Jul 31, 2013


Loyalty for Men by Express

Very Nice Fragrance - Similar to Chanel Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme This stuff is actually pretty good. If you've tried Chanel's Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme, this stuff isn't too far off. It's more subdued than Eau Extreme with the addition of some very light white musk. Highly recommended for those that really enjoy Eau Extreme...it's different enough to justify owning in my opinion.Pros: Long Lasting & Relatively InexpensiveCons:
Jul 3, 2013

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