New Leaf by Demeter Fragrance Library

This opens with a cloying green fruity note - melon or pear maybe. Quite strong at first, but settles into something a bit more mellow and generally green. It doesn't smell particularly grassy to me, more like new leaves on a hot, humid day. It has a kind of floral element that seems to approximate that hot, sweet, humid air feeling. Overall I don't particularly like this on its own - it's too sweet and fruity, and by the time it gets more verdant it's already fading away. I mostly purchased it to layer with Dirt and Thunderstorm, and in that case it does add a really nice bright green note. I think this one is only useful for layering - would not recommend it on its own, even as a room spray. It does add a nice soft green note when paired with other fragrances, however, so I'll give it a neutral.
Jul 27, 2019

Tom Ford Noir Anthracite by Tom Ford

One of my favorite Chinese restaurants in San Francisco, Old Mandarin Islamic, has a dish that is simply titled "extremely hot peppers." It consists of equal parts chicken and peppers - Sichuan pepper, dried red chilis, fresh green peppers - there must be ten different kinds. Well, this should be the official scent of Old Mandarin Islamic, as it captures all the best aspects of their spicy cuisine.

In the opening I get all of the aforementioned peppers, along with black peppercorns and bergamot that comes across as bitter and herbal rather than citrus. Reminds me of the bergamot in Hermes' Concentre d'Orange Verte. It is very unique to my nose, at least compared to what I've smelled in Sephora and department stores.

I get more wood and green notes in the middle and dry down, and the "extremely hot pepper" element settles down a bit, veering more toward green, grassy pepper than fresh-ground black pepper. There's something kind of like seaweed that, when combined with the industrial coal "anthracite" of its name, reminds me of a seaside boardwalk drenched in creosote. The creosote/ocean smell is particularly nostalgic for me, so I really like that.

This is supposedly a member of the TF Noir family, but it's something of an ugly duckling in that family. It is super dry, woody, spicy, peppery, like Sichuan food over a coal fire, and it has none of the warmth or sweetness I usually associate with TF Noir scents. It's a bit of a weirdo, and maybe they just stuck the "Noir" name on it to attract more people to what is otherwise a bit of an outlier. But if you like dry, sharp scents like Gucci Guilty Absolute or Encre Noire, you might like this.
Apr 28, 2019

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