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Patrick by Fragrances of Ireland

I love Patrick’s soapy spicy, old school and very green feel. It’s an effortless wearing fougere with citrus, lavender and patchouli up top, some clean cinnamon/carnation and subtle florals (rose) in the middle and pillars of patchouli and coumarin holding everything up from the base.

Somehow Fragrances of Ireland work their magic and still make this feel and smell nicely mossy and fresh with a leathery undertone. It’s far from simple but it comes across as effortlessly uncomplicated.

It undoubtedly shares some similarities with other fougeres like Paco Rabanne Pour Homme and Worth Pour Homme, but where the others can feel a little weighty perhaps slightly dated, Patrick keeps an air of freshness and light on it’s feet, agile even and it has a charming cozy quality that is quite uncanny.

I eagerly await Fragrances of Ireland’s next masculine scent.
Jul 27, 2021

Sauvage by Christian Dior

Sauvage is the smell of a future nobody wants.

..from afar it seems ok, but the closer it gets the less you will like it.

Bottled shrieky dystopia.

Jul 20, 2021

Boss Number One by Hugo Boss

Boss Number One starts off with a blast of alcohol but within 10 seconds becomes a sweet honey set against sharp herbs. The rose is present and apparent but doesn’t take over in a singular soliflore kind of way. The honey is nicely blended with the rose and doesn’t ever feel urinous like a previous version of Boss Number One I tried and found revoltingly horrid. I still sometimes shudder at the thought of that ‘dark honeyed’ scent.

I don’t get anything like tobacco. As it transitions from top to heart there are some passing similarities in effect to Kouros. It gets very soapy and green with what registers as it dries down as juniper, sweet artemisia and the tiniest hint of galbanum. Throw into the mix a ‘green apple’ shampoo accord and this somehow veers further away still from the original. There’s also a familiar treemoss/birch/ambergris accord and patchouli which keeps the scent going for hours.

This is a throwback to the 1980s but not because of any similarity to the original. Very powerhouse-styled without the stuffiness of many late 1970s releases but the emphasis being on a honeyed soapy amber and moss blend. If you enjoy classic masculine scents and didn’t wear the original scent you might enjoy this. If you are used to the vintage this might not feel worthy. Not a typical fougere except in a dad’s aftershave kind of way, but a welcome surprise to see a classic masculine in the midst of the current Boss lineup. Refreshingly enjoyable and will probably rock this with a crisp white shirt. 8.5-9/10

Passing similarities to -
Kouros, Lumiere Noire Pour Homme, Bogart Signature

Notes that I detect in this 2019 formulation.
Top - Honey, Herbs, Rose
Heart - Artemisia, Galbanum, Juniper, Orris, Green apple shampoo
Base - Treemoss, Amber, Patchouli, Sandalwood

Update 16th May 21
Having worn this regularly for the past few months I am appreciating it even more than I initially did and have changed this to a 8.5-9 out of 10 up from 7. It’s extremely well balanced, smack bang between herbal dry and sweet never becoming arid or cloying. I reach for this more often than I care to admit. Tremendously underrated in its current formulation.
Nov 26, 2020

Explorer by Montblanc

A very pleasant blast of fresh clary sage and semi sweet sharp citrus on first spray and nicely done too. The ambrox is clearly there but doesn’t shriek the way it does in Sauvage and the other ambrox-heavy ilk. It just plays its part like a steady bass part keeping everything tidy. There are vetiver and leather listed as notes but they don’t stand out individually - more like well blended facets of the aura but if any one note does stand out it’s the clary sage for me and it adds some real interest because its so unusual in this style of scent. In fact the clary sage does get more leathery as the fragrance dries down but always keeps the freshness too.

The question everyone keeps asking - does it smell like Aventus? Mmm-kinda-ish, if you tilt your head to one side and squint. As someone that has worn Aventus for some years I’ll say its quite different and it doesn’t smell like a clone although you can tell what the folks at Mont Blanc were aiming for. The basic structure of citrusy top notes and clean woody musks throughout will seem somewhat familiar but it has its own character.

Mont Blanc have managed to pull off a competent designer scent in Explorer in a style littered with nice tries and missed marks.

There’s enough space in my wardrobe for this too.

Thumbs up.
Apr 1, 2020

Incident Diplomatique by Jovoy

I received a sample of this from a generous BNer last year and loved it from the first spray so after using every drop of my sample I had to buy a bottle and did so from the wonderful Jovoy in Mayfair.

I could imagine this fragrance is hard to appreciate for the uninitiated especially if normally used to fragrances with some sweetness. There is hardly any here...but be patient. It opens dry and you will quickly reach for a glass of water to rehydrate. The quality is not in question at any point of the development and this is actually the best combination of vetiver and patchouli I have come across to date. It has plenty of depth and breadth. The blend creates a wonderfully dusty ghost note and texture of cacao and there is a hint of orange citrus but blended in as part of the whole with no separation. This fragrance is really all about the Javanese and Haitian vetivers, all spicy and dark with a smidge of earthiness and the patchouli in a supporting but essential role. Very masculine although sold as unisex.

The fragrance feels serious and probably why the name Incident Diplomatique was chosen. Could imagine most wearers would use this in a formal or business setting but I happily wear this any which way I can and all year round.
Once into the drydown there is more of a woodsy amber quality with the sandalwood joining the party and bringing in some welcomed sweetness to lighten the mood. It also brings out more of the rich and opulent facets of this beautifully composed Eau de Parfum.

To subdue some of the initial dryness I usually spray under clothing to allow the oils to heat quicker and blend with my skin oils. 3 to 5 sprays is plenty for any situation with the oily consistency helping.

Having tried the entirety of Jovoy’s current lineup this is my unrivalled favourite easily edging out Private Label and Psychedelique.

Longevity is ample at over 12 hours on my skin with projection falling into that perfect aura goldilocks zone. I highly recommend this especially to lovers of all things vetiver.

A solid 10/10.

Sep 10, 2019

Rien Intense Incense by Etat Libre d'Orange

Whatever notes are in this are entirely and utterly smooshed by an enormous note of turpentine.

All it’s good for is cleaning paint brushes.

Mar 26, 2019

Mousse Illuminée by Rogue Perfumery

A few weeks back I was in search of a good solid classic fragrance with oodles of oakmoss in the style of those great Fougères and Chypres of the 80s but with a scent emphasis specifically on moss. Most of all I wanted something that had continued to develop creatively from the 80s down an imagined path of an unregulated fragrance industry and so would feel like a full-fat classic with a modern twist.

All Rogue Perfumery fragrance releases to date are Non-IFRA compliant so are as full-fat as you can get. Mousse Illuminee was all about a sweet resinous moss (in this instance treemoss). It was exactly what I had been searching for, so much so I was speechless for a good twelve minutes whilst I was in heaven and my mind was trying to deconstruct this magical scent.

How would I describe it? Imagine going for a walk on a clear night, through a green damp forest but with a silvery luminosity provided by a full moon overhead. That combined with the earthy scent of fallen logs and the foliage underfoot. Sweet, spicy and slightly floral with a herbal and resinous undertone I just couldn’t get enough of it. Rich frankincense and something akin to bay added to the already ethereal aroma to join this mystical moss.

Two sprays will last the day, project plenty and easily fill a room.

Rarely does something click so completely and I was so completely bowled over by it I bought Mousse Illuminee immediately after smelling it for the first time from a sample....I should have bought more. This is not only full bottle worthy but could effortlessly become someones signature scent. Absolutely stunning.
Bravo Rogue Perfumery, Bravo Manuel.
Nov 27, 2018

Chic for Men by Carolina Herrera

I will start by saying I wore this fragrance continually from about 2006 until 2014. It has had at least 2 reformulations in that time, but I will not give this a bashing as this is an unfortunate reality of the industry and rarely have reformulations improved the scent or longevity. However there is a distinction in the original to the most recent formulation.

The original was a true masterpiece that could be compared to the original Dior Homme, Polo (Green) by Ralph Lauren or Dior Fahrenheit but without the stature afforded by the marketing campaigns of the largest designer houses.

It was a gorgeous warm oriental spicy slightly aquatic scent that opened with a fantastic short lived watermelon, bergamot and harsh pepper that quickly settled to a heart dominated by cardamom, musk and amber and dried down to an amazingly gorgeous tonka, musk, amber combo that I have yet to see rivalled by any fragrance since.

While there are certainly more complex frags than this, the scent was truly marvellous and enjoyed by men and women alike wherever it was worn - a serious favourite that was frequently complimented and adored.

Unfortunately as I mention above the fragrance underwent 2 separate reformulations which took the scent from a masterpiece of its day, which would easily rival the best formulation of YSLs La Nuit, to a weak diluted cousin that had its top notes eliminated almost entirely and its heart and base weakened not only in potency but sophistication.

If you are able to find an original bottle of this or even 1st reformulation (still with clear atomiser tube) grab it and enjoy. It would project at arms length for at least 4 hours and sillage was superb for at least 6. I would get 10 hours longevity from this and still get whiffs from outerwear for days afterward. The last incarnation of this with the black atomiser tube will leave you disappointed and wondering what the fuss was about and likely to have you leaving a negative reviews.

The masterpiece version was so versatile there was no time or place you wouldn't wear it except the most formal of occasions.

Chic for Men you are sorely missed. Carolina Herrera's best by a proverbial mile.
Jul 21, 2017

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