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Rose Struck by Liis

Very nice soft tea scent. Uplifting, well rounded, refreshing yet calming. Reminds me of L'Occitane's The Vert but is sweeter and more appealing. Would definitely consider buying but the current price point ($165 USD for 50ml) is prohibitive.


L'Ombre dans L'Eau Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Not so sure about this one. I have a blackcurrant bush in my yard. The "blackcurrant leaves" note is nothing like the smell of the leaves on my blackcurrant bush. This is more like a bunch of random minced leaves with rose on a woody base. A bit harsh in its vegetal ways. More of an experimental perfume to my taste. Try it if you'd like to be adventurous.


Eau Rose Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Very nice. Fresh, clean, slightly soapy, slightly fruity, and uplifting. Just wish it would last longer than a few minutes or that the price reflects this fleeting longevity.

Leans a bit feminine to me and my wife.


Rosa Greta by Eau d'Italie

If you like soapy rose scents, this is for you. Soap is definitely the dominant note here to my nose. You'll smell like you're living a perpetual shower.


Rose Flash by Tauerville

Very dark, slightly mossy, and slightly fruity. Requires a certain mood to be worn. Definitely not for summmer. The dry down becomes less harsh and reminds me of the original Lagerfield perfume for men. Very gentlemanly and calm, which may be draining to some.


Rose of No Man's Land by Byredo

This is very Byredo. Think Pulp of roses. It's not real rose (and I don't think it's even trying to be). It leans too feminine to me and has a quality so soft it's almost depressing. I can't feel good wearing this.


Sartorial by Penhaligon's

I smelled this many years ago at a local small boutique and I can't get it off my mind since then. It struck me as very deep and contemplative. I've never been to a tailor shop before so I don't have that association to make, but it took me to a library stacked with old books floor to ceiling with no windows in an old damp building full of wooden decor. It placed me in that state of mind and I kept sniffing it because it gave me the strongest sense of nostalgia that I ever got from a fragrance.

I haven't bought it, simply because I have to be in a special state of mind to wear it - perhaps when I want to sit down with myself and think deeply and with brutal honesty. I find it hard to be social wearing Sartorial because it will probably wipe the smile off my face.

So because of how powerful this fragrance is, I'm giving it a thumbs up. That doesn't mean that it's right for me, because I can't think of many occasions when I can wear it comfortably. Definitely try it before buying.


Sorriso by Profumum

When I apply this on the back of my hand, I get a vanilla waft as I'm sitting on my desk typing on a keyboard, and a strong acetone/chemical facet if I bring my nose close to my skin. To me, this is Profumum's vanilla offering. I get no chocolate and no orange. It's a nice vanilla, though, as long as you resist the urge to sniff your skin where you applied it.


Oceania by Roja Dove

I would have given this a neutral rating if it weren't for the inaccessible price tag. Oceania's opening doesn't remind me of the ocean or of water, but of citrus fruits. On my skin, the sandalwood dry down arrives in less than 2 hours, way sooner than I would expect from a fragrance that costs this much.

Even the citrus opening is too subdued and shy both in quality and in projection.

If you're looking for a citrus scent, do not blind buy this one.


Acqua Solaris by Dua Fragrances

This is a good fragrance that many people will probably like. I'm not giving it a thumbs up because it comes with an implied promise to be a cheaper substitute for Profumum's Acqua Viva. As far as that promise goes, AS has a similar opening, but longevity and development are different from AV.

Solaris starts more refined, if I may, than AV in that the citrus blast has less intensity. But an hour later, you realize the reason why AV starts out with its overt intensity. AV keeps its strong promise of citrus for several hours while AS turns into a high quality cologne. Viva follows the strong citrus phase with beautiful, refreshing neroli/floral facets while Solaris retires into a woody masculine base.

What's more is that, ounce for ounce, Solaris is not really all that much cheaper than Viva. If I had to choose, I'd go with Viva for sure, even if I have to pay a little extra.

In summary, Solaris needs to work on longevity and quality if it's looking to catch up with Viva, but it is still a pleasant and worthy perfume on its own. However, if you're looking for the ultimate citrus, perfume, give Acqua Viva a try. In my wardrobe, Solaris is Viva's little brother. I use it when I want to smell fresh for a short time.

I would have said "try Aqua Solaris" but Dua does not offer samples, unfortunately.


Phtaloblue by Tauer

This is Tauer's fennel offering. The prominence of fennel is why I cannot wear it, but that doesn't mean that it's not a well composed fragrance that many people will undoubtedly like.

I appreciate when a fragrance's dry down is not so woody that it becomes an entirely different fragrance. Phtaloblue's dry down retains its opening facets while adding a clean, aquatic vibe that lasts very long on clothing. It is pleasant and put together thoughtfully from start to finish. Too bad I'm not a fan of fennel and I cannot make a link between fennel and the color blue.

Overall, this is a very clean, cool, slightly metallic, moderately aquatic creation. I would definitely try it if you have a chance. If anything, it's a worthwhile olfactory experience.


L'Air des Alpes Suisses by Tauer

If vintage Fahrenheit did not exist, I would give this fragrance a thumbs up. Alas, the similarity with VF is to stark to my nose that it makes it hard for me to rate it.

I also expect fragrances to be true to their marketing, and this has nothing that brings air, alps, mountains, or Switzerland to mind.

I'm not giving it a thumbs-down because it is still a well composed, nicely made fragrance. Green, powdery, and a little rough, it retains its green powderiness throughout its life while without revealing any ugly sides like some niche offerings do. It may be too reminiscent of the 80s to some while being a welcome departure from current trends to others. Definitely worth a sniff if you have a chance.


Sabbia Bianca by Profumum

This is an example of when a niche fragrance house becomes too complacent after initially receiving plenty of praise.

Many houses have made attempts at invoking tuberose, which is a valiant endeavor that I fully support. Diptyque's Do Son nails it nicely to my nose. Other houses make an implied admission that their tuberose offerings are unable to replicate the real thing, so they market their tuberose scents by saying "this is tuberose, but with something else", which could serve to make interesting combinations while hiding the fact that they are unable to make an honest-to-God tuberose. Two birds with one bottle.

Right from the fragrance's webpage, Profumum Roma's description of Sabbia Bianca is annoyingly confusing. "Traces of pure white sand"? Sand that smells like white flowers? Where is that sand in Italy? Where is it in the Milky Way?

And the fragrance itself is true to its confusing marketing. I expected tuberose, but the sweetness of ylang ylang brought the fragrance closer to a sad, nauseating botched attempt at replicating gardenia.

I bought the sample of SB hoping to find the tuberose scent that my wife would like to wear, but it was instantly off putting to both of us. I felt bad for applying it on her wrist. It didn't get better with time, either.

Profumum, this is in dire need of a reformulation. Please test it on as many people as possible and make sure that your test subjects know nothing of the hype surrounding your name.


Classic Collection : Celebration by Royal Crown

This is so intensely hyped that I was close to blind-buying it. Thank God I didn't.

There are many adjectives that can describe this fragrance, but natural is certainly not one of them to my nose. This is a menthol-citrus combination that smells acutely synthetic. It lacks harmony while being loud and screechy. Add to that the exorbitant price and you have yourself a clear loser.

Definitely try it before you buy it.


Oud Alif by Shay & Blue

Oud Alif is Arabic for "tame oud" or "friendly oud", and that is a faithful description of this fragrance.

OA is a good oud fragrance, but not really much more. The dry down loses its oud and keeps its sandalwood. It's a safe, traditional oud to my nose while being clean and slightly refined. The price point makes perfect sense.

If you're introducing yourself to oud, this is a nice starting point. Just don't expect it to blow your mind.


L'Air du Désert Marocain by Tauer

Another overly, insanely hyped fragrance that does not deliver. Its main problem: the rose note. Not all roses are created equal, and this rose is a medicinal, eucalyptic-licorice rose that is neither friendly not airy. It maybe your type of rose, though, so it's worth trying for sure.

Like all the other Tauers I've tried so far, this is well composed and thoughtful. It is pleasing from beginning to end, although I really wish the rose note can be improved, which is unlikely given all the strange, inexplicable hype around this fragrance.

The distant dry down brings down the volume of the rose note and amplifies a note that smells like vanilla to me. Still welcome, still not mind blowing.


Moroccan Fig by Malin + Goetz

I'm starting to think that I am, perhaps, the most exhausted seeker of a true fig scent - one that transports me to the shade of a fig tree upon first whiff. My conclusion after smelling literally tens of fig samples from old to new to cheap to niche: No one has done it yet. No one even got close enough to making me smile in olfactory satisfaction. This is so disappointing to me, but should also be very inticing to a new perfumer in search of a market breach: make that true fig scent and yours will be the glory of succeeding at what no one has done in the history of perfumery. There is a open gap in the perfume market and it's still wide open as far as I'm concerned.

One day I will grow up to become a millionaire and I'll place a bounty on the illusive scent of a fig tree.

As usual, I was hopeful when I read the few reviews on Moroccan Fig on Fragrantica. Some described it as "deeply moving" and others did not like it because it was too much like a fig tree and not enough like a person. Could it be my long sought after scent? I hoped and dreamed and, as usual, was filled with anticipation when I received my sample from the nice lady at Nordstrom who shipped it to me.

And as usual, I was disappointed. Moroccan Fig screams in every moment of its life on my skin that it's just another take, another attempt, another stumble. It's as if the world of perfumers is simply impotent and helpless when it comes to the fig tree. I really hope and pray that no perfumer would congratulate themselves on their fig recreation thinking that they're fooling anyone. You're not even close.

Moroccan Fig completely forgets about what makes the scent of a fig tree so sought after: the crisp, bright, jolly quality that makes fig trees and sunshine come together in everyone's mind as if they're twins. This is overly, unnecessarily subdued and humiliated, making it smell more like coconuts and lipstick than anything, with an incessant ashy quality that tries to replicate the fuzz on fig leaves but only replicates the disgust that I felt with Phylosikos and all the other figs.

My search will probably continue forever.


Fig Tree by Sonoma Scent Studio

Fig scents can never escape being exposed for the coconut they contain. Fig Tree is no exception, but it makes up for it by its natural composition and clever addition of green notes to better mimic fig trees. Fig Tree does not have the soapy dry down of Philosykos, which makes it better than Philosykos to my nose. I'm very close to adopting this as my one fig scent.

Not much woods here - mainly green fig leaves and fruits. The opening reminds me a little of Grey Flannel, which is a good thing.


Forest Walk by Sonoma Scent Studio

This is a nice scent, but there is no forest here. The middle phase smells like what I can only describe as black tea boiling in a kettle with a hint of spices. The dry down is very reminiscent of Lagerfield's classic Lagerfield for men. Basically an older gentleman's scent.


Siskiyou by Juniper Ridge

A cardamom bomb with coniferous sap. Projection is surprisingly good for an EdC but longevity is poor.

Natural perfumes are quite susciptible to batch variation so it's possible that I just got a bad batch, but whatever I got smells like a spice mix, not much like a hike in the woods.


Bois Naufragé 16.1 / Private Collection - Bois Naufragé by Parfumerie Generale

This is the second PG I tried and I cannot help but feel that the perfumer is unable to hide the chemical quality of his creations. The fig here is laced with an obvious face makeup (blush powder) note, making this too unnatural smelling for a fig and too feminine to my nose.


Fiore d'Ambra by Profumum

I don't see where the confusion on this fragrance is coming from. To me it's simply Amber (perfumer's amber, not ambergris) and carnations. Slightly more feminine than masculine IMO.


Ichnusa by Profumum

One of the acceptable fig scents out there. Not very natural smelling, which is why I decided not to buy it. Philosykos succeeds in evoking a much more natural fig in the opening but its dry down is almost pure soap to my nose. Ichnusa opens with a strange sweet chemical fig but the dry down is more true to the opening than Philosykos. Worth sampling.


Ambra Aurea by Profumum

Pure, strong, very long lasting amber (not ambergris). If you're an amber fan, you should try this.

The notes can simply be stated as "amber" or broken down into the constituents of amber: vailla, benzoin, and labdanum. That pretty much sums up Ambra Aurea, with extreme projection and longevity.

If I ever have to wear Ambra Aurea, I would wear no more than one dab on the tip of my finger, otherwise I can see myself getting quite lethargic with a full spray.

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