Yatagan by Caron

Caron - Yatagan
Yatagan smells like the most tall and vibrant pine-tree, deep in a Turkish forest, beaten by a hot sun and cold nights, surrounded by fern and green spices, dark musty-moist earth, and 'used' by animals as a mark in their territory.
Driven by a sweetness that can't choose whether it belongs to the also present sour- or bitterness, Yatagan radiates a green-spicy, resinous/smoky-woody, and dark, warm-animalic tonality, that is pronounced and slightly dirty-banal. It has a warm and round feel to it with raw edges, that doesn't make it a 'shy' smell - some people embrace it, some people turn their back on it. It starts with an in-your-face green and sharp spiciness with an anisic touch; fir/thyme/wormwood/cumin/pepper/cardamom and something like fenugreek - that already gets warmed up by the base-notes. Lavender, vetiver and maybe fir-balsam takes it to a very solid and fine-tuned, ‘fresh' base with oakmoss/frankincense/cederwood/peru-balsam and castoreum - that enlightens Yatagan in a magic glance. It has a very fine balance between oily-resinous and smoky-woody with a animalic-soapy aspect.
I liked Yatagan very much from a blotter, but on my skin it settles down in restless mood that makes me a bit uncomfortable. But despite that, I can feel that there is a lot magic going on, and it shows an obstinate, self-assured, classic confidence that's hard to find among modern masculine's. Bottom-line is, that Yatagan hits as hard as a yatagan- so its no surprise it causes casualties.

Opus III by Amouage

Amouage - Opus III
Its impossible to understand that this got through the trials and made it to a real perfume, that is actually being sold. Made with very good materials and a great deal of artistic freedom - Opus III still manages to disappoints very much. It feels very unfocused, almost like the ingredients don't like eachother and cant seem to blend into to something that above all, just smells good.
The opening has no sparkle or freshness and smells like dusty-musty, very old books full of moths. It smells like the oldest perfume in the world that was dug up out of the ground in ancient Egypt - like the aromatics had passed there date of expiry. There is no lifting effect of the florals - jasmine/ylang/violet and the opening shows a difficult combination of carnation/thyme/nutmeg/mimosa that together seem to radiate a uninspired, sad and depressing mood that gives it a grey-like color - there is no joy here… Its dryout smells bitter-sour; with dry cedarwood and sweet-like sandelwood with warm incense/benzoin/vanilla. You can really smell the quality of the ingredients here - especially the sandelwood, but also the dryout feels restless and unsettled. Somehow this whole perfume smells like how myrrh smells on its own - alienating and slight obnoxious to my nose. Also the word shoepolish comes to mind when I sniff Opus III; shoe polish for black shoes you can wear on a funeral, matching it with this perfume: Opus Funeralus.

Jour d'Hermès Absolu by Hermès

Hermes - Jour d'Hermes Absolu
The good thing about this one is that it keeps a nice, natural sour citrus-note for a long time, that gives it a zesty-juicy and 'pity'-feel. There is bergamot, neroli, a peach-note and cherry/red-, strawberries and together with some spicy ginger this grows to an almost too sweet jasmine/rosewater-stickyness, that smells almost marmalade-like. It moves in a fluid transition to its heart, but after that it smells too big, too loud, with a chemical white floral-note that has a harsh soapy feel to it. The dry-out is nice - very lush, round, and softly with a silky lactone-heliotropine-vanilla sauce, a ‘cracked' spicy-greenness, and dressed up with synthetic musk's, that behave more in way that you feel them, than actually smell them.
But in the end - the dryout doesn't save this perfume as a whole, and calling this something new, is like stating that Flowerbomb is the best floral in the world. Jean-Claude Ellena may be a brilliant perfumer for sure, but I think, at Hermes he got stuck in a too save and almost bore, prefab-style of working that doesn't always does his talent justice anymore. I like to see him go solo - making perfumes that aren't locked in the artistic framework from the commercial point of view.
This, Jour d'Hermes, is a very safe, unoriginal and overstated perfume that is almost Hermes unworthy. I thought this was a pre-Ellena perfume from Hermes - it smelled like something from 10-15 years ago - and I even got flashbacks to the Bubblicious-chewing gum from back in the days, and cheap fruity-aromatized tea. It may be jour d'Hermes but it surely wasn't jour d'Ellena...

Monocle Scent One : Hinoki by Comme des Garçons

Monocle Scent One - Hinoki
This scent smells very compressed and reticent - it never gets really abundant. It got lots of terpenic and slight camphorous notes, creating a ink and freshly 'pressed' paper-tone that settle down in a balsamic-woody way. I like its dryout - a mix of cedarwood, cypress, fir-balsam and frankincense, which altogether has a soft greenish feel, and a slight raw, black-tarry edge to it. Hinoki starts out like the smell of sake, with pepper, cumin, and a strange lemon/lime-peels sort of note, together with a projection of fresh hay. After that it smells like washing powder - very linalool-like, which could be rosemary, that smells close to lavender here with a floral undertone of a 'canned'-like ylang/rose-combo. Then it grows greener - fern/pine-like, and also gets a sour urinal-note for a short while. From that moment it gets darker, slight tar-woody, with sharp terpenic notes.
What I think Hinoki tries to express is a meditative state of pure concentration and the sense of being totally focused on one thing with a clear mind. I guess you need this state of mind when you are devoted to the art of Japanese calligraphy. In this perfume you can smell both the ink and the paper, as well as the calmness and clarity of the person who practices this artform.
I have respect for its form and expression as a scent, but don't appreciate it enough as a wearable perfume. But I'm sure it finds an audience of people that love this scent to death - an could commit kamikaze over it...

En Passant by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Frederic Malle - En Passant
Extremely well executed perfume by O. Giacobetti, that's all about the clear and clean facets that pure, fresh water, in different states can radiate; making it extremely transparent and 'single-noted'- as well as 'pure' smelling.
It smells like a creek high in the mountains, as well as the cold freshness of snow and the prickly coldness of frozen water, while catching a more sweeter, round and concentrated note in its dryout; almost like the smell of ice-cream. The watery white florals, lilac/water-lily, smell very modest, not abundant, almost like a dewy flower that opens up early in the morning- smelling fragile but potent. Starting off with a green-bittery note of kumquats, ink and almonds, it grows into an unripe fruity, bitter-sour smell of green algae, just like when you're opening an aquarium, and gets the density of a cut leaf of aloe vera. Together in all this coolness- that feels like peppermint without the sharp herbal/camphorous note- it manages to radiate a warm undertone of woolen garments and a piquant-spicy, oily note of narcis and nutmeg.
All in all it shows the energetic feel of budding trees in springtime- pushing up and letting flow their green juices. Although its smells very white, there are also whiffs of light-green and light-blue and strangely makes me think of cutting a panel of glass- somehow you can see clearly through this. It captures that clear and serene state of mind you can get, stepping outside your house inside a sunny but crystal-clear, cold snowed-under world, where noises are dampened and the light looks brighter...
For me, En Passant smells like the closed thing to cool, fresh water, more like most cool waters and l'eau's-perfumes do- En Passant passes by all of them with a cool, soft elegance and confident grace. Still, I think a better name for it would have been: L'Eau Glacier.

Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

Parfum d'Empire - Ambre Russe
This perfume is a thick, warm and very expressive perfume with a extremely rich and 'textured', heavy-aromatic feel to it. It bursts open with a anisic cognac-note that has a chocolate-patchouli accent to it, followed by caraway/coriander/sage, cedarwood-sawdust, and a herbal-spicy note of peat, that smells a bit medicinal. This top-heavy spicebomb meets the warm, round and sweet character of blond tobacco with its own spicy topnote, and acts as the joint link between the top and the base. Together they create a heated-up, raw textured tonality that exhales a very comfortable leathery-warmth, with hints of ginger and a floral note of maybe cassie. From here it moves towards an 'oriental' amber-base with labdanum, frankincense/styrax, patchouli, milky vanilla with a gourmand-note of nougat and spiced-up gingerbread, that's being carried by a slight salty, animalic ambrette/ambergris-combo.
Complex leathery-(gourmand)-amber smelling, but at the same time fresh; its very solid and precisely well structured with passion and craft. My only complaint is that the vanilla has a sort of sterilized milky feel to it, that I don't really like, and the amber-base is almost too bursty of flavor. Overall it reminded me of Fumerie Turque, but that was more light weighted and didn't had such a big, rich top and bottom.
Ambre Russe is a tribute to classic perfumery, and focuses more on the expression of its texture, and the feel and warmth it can exhale- than rather just try to impress with a static structure that looks beautiful and warm, but never really expresses that so you cant feel and experience it. This is a cheap perfume considering its price in relationship to its quality and craftsmanship- and nothing beats it. Very impressive.

Imperial Tea by By Kilian

Killian - Imperial Tea
This is Imperial Green Tea, if you ask me- certainly no black; although I get whiffs of blackish, but that's due to Bois d'Ascese that's still on my skin- next to eachother they make quite a good match. Imperial Tea starts with a sour and bitter, greeny peach/green apple-note that immediately sorts out a bitterish green tea-effect, that basically stays present the whole time. It gets a sharp lime/citral-note with a touch of spearmint, the bittery of nutmeg and smelly armpits, together with the smell of wet swimsuit and fresh towels- making it smell like walking into an indoor swimming-pool. A polished white floral-note with a slight soapy-indolic aspect, creates a nice round and soft, modest feel.
This perfume stays very light weighted, with no surprising twists and turns; it behaves consistent and polite- just like someone from royal-blood drinking tea at tea-time, following the royal etiquette. The thing I like about Imperial Tea is, that it reminds me of a cup of first-flush Darjeeling tea, with that moist nectarine-like, herbal-sage tone and the way its grows sweeter, at a certain moment giving the impression of the last few very sweet sips of a cup of tea, very poorly stirred. Also, towards its dryout the bittery-note meets the fresh pencil shaving-graphite note that nicely gives the bitterness more form and function in conjunction with the green mossy-woody base wrapped in jasmine-spicy scented white cotton. Altogether this makes an ok-like perfume, well-structured, with a friendly easy-goingness, that gives the impression of the 'taking-a-break'-moment with a fresh cup of tea, while sitting in your favorite chair, sharing a moment with yourself.

Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

Bois d'Ascese
In my opinion, this is how CdC Black should have smelled like- this is the real black stuff! The first whiff is nothing really, and then suddenly it bursts open: first a black peppery-note followed by a tsunami of black, tar-smoked burned wood with an undertone of eucalyptus, penetrating and pungent smelling, that hits the nose like opening the door of a hot oven, turned up really high. It smells of like when you're cleaning the chimney of your house, standing on the roof, while smelling the coal-smell of the barbecue from the neighbors at your left and the road that's being newly asphalted-smell on your right... It also reminds me of a very strong cup of coffee made from really old beans, lapsang souchong-tea, and the smell of 'cigarette-fingers'.
After a while it gets a rubbery-tone, not a fresh clean one, like in Bvlgari Black, but more like of old auto-tires that have been running quite a while. It gets a resinous-woody note later on, like cederwood, with a slight anisic waxiness, and a mossy-dark green with a salty touch; which in the end smells a bit too cheap. I guess, iso E super and calone play a major role in here as well. The strange thing is that after I took a shower the next day, it started smelling in the same blackish way again, but now more as the thick and pungent smell of diesel-oil; so, longevity is not one of its problems. On the other side, its deep tar and black smokiness- although aggressive at start, almost polite smelling, later on- could be one of its problems at the same time. I can imagine people who really detest this kind of smells- as for myself, I love the smell of fossilized amber, birch-tar, and nagamotha.
Bois d'Ecsese keeps exhaling a blackish warm smokiness, just like the simmering of a campfire, right after it has been put out. In the end it gets a slight leathery/animalic note but maybe that's due to the fact I'm smelling my own skin, because this thing lasts an incredibly long time- mingling with the bodily scents of a whole day, and the next… Bois d'Ascese is a rare gem- and it manages to get a hold on me, in an admirable kind of way; I guess its motto is: black is beautiful...

Felanilla 21 by Parfumerie Generale

Parfumerie Generale - Felanilla
What an absolute dreadfull experience to do a review on this one. Waste of time for the making of the thing, waste of time for reviewing it and waste of natural materials, if they had been used... It starts with a bitter, gritty vanillin-note that smells a bit like myrrh, very unattractive, and it gets worse. It leads to a very bold and crude rubbery smell, a bit like the inside of a plastic bag, together with a dusty, old carpet-note and a rancid buttery/oily one. Very alienating- overall this part smells like the fear you feel when your memory is being triggered by a scent that smells like ''a house with bad memories''.
It radiates a very sad mood- something like a very old graveyard after the rain, when the smell of the decayed bodies comes out of the humid ground- the smell of death. It also reminds me of cheap shoestore that sells sportclothing, and the smell of gunny-bags. Felanilla doesn't show any joy- just sadness and the feel of someone who is in mourning. The flower-note that it may have reminds me of African marigold with a hint of sprouted beans. The vanilla-note grows stronger and gets pumped up, with a thick pastry edible 'bottom', and a hard, dirty plasticy side to it- which doesn't smell that bad... But then, its pretty difficult to go wrong with vanilla or vanillin, its too save in here to use it as the main dryout.
As a whole Felanilla would make a great aroma for latex-paint or something similar. But on the positive side, what a great name Felanilla is for a perfume- its the one thing that I do like about it. I think its a very old word in a very old, forgotten language, and probably means: 'fresh decayed human flesh....'

3 Fleurs by Parfum d'Empire

Parfum d'Empire - 3 Fleurs
A very lush and with loose-hands blended flower-perfume made with beautiful, good raw materials. I think 3 fleurs is just a name, because there is more going on. It has a green beginning of galbanum and geranium, with a minty-citrus and rosy note. Then I get a rose-note that smells like PEA (not a real, complex fleshy-oily Otto), that quickly gets taken over by a honeyed, tropical-fruity jasmine-note and a sweet-indolic undertone of ylang-ylang, very natural smelling. There is some nutmeg/clove in between that gives some 'grip' in the middle of the moist and wet-dewy flowery potency, before tuberose grows and becomes more apparent with its slight champaca-like, sour bitterness.
Overall 3 Fleurs smells fresh, radiant, slight oily-warm and has a rawish & polished feel at the same time; once it settles, it settles in a very comfortable way with a nice green tea herbal-note. When the jasmine and ylang are fading, a juicy peach-note joins in, together with white musk, giving its character more of a dull tone- less vibrant and alive. It sits nice and quiet on the skin and mellows down in a soft sweet fruity-flowery, airy tonality with a slight indolic undertone. Very nice to smell this on a woman in springtime, with the sun still not too hot and a fresh gentle breeze that caresses her skin, blending in the interluding scents of the summer, in harmony with 3 Fleurs. Simple, but very well executed and in this case: less is more.

Obsession by Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein - Obsession
Once upon a time there was the turbulent 80's- a perfume-area that took some loud screaming and bombastic perfumes for its credit- like Obsession and Poison, but also light airy ones, like Cool Water; which is quite the opposite. Obsession screams at the top of its lungs with a seducing tonality, from start to finish, and it doesn't back down. For me, Obsession tries to smell like a combination of Opium and Poison, mixing up oriental and gourmand. It surely draws attention- its a very heated perfume, which for me mimics the animalic lust, painted as an just finished abstract painting, still wet, made with emotional intensity, much dynamic movement and bright, thick colors.
It smells like sugared, slight unripe orange-peels impregnated in polishing-beewax, poured over with a warm sweet honey-sticky gourmand sauce of rose/jasmine, marinated with cinnamon, red and black pepper, cumin, and vanilla-pods- finished off with some oily orangeblossoms and a splash of luscious sandalwood-oil. So far, so good, but to gain its extra volume it is stuffed heavily with nitro-musk's; and that makes Obsession go through the roof and burst out of its party- dress. Its a big, American-styled perfume with not a hint of subtleness, and it dries out in this cloud of powdery and slight soapy, lactone-vanillin-musky amber, with a syrupy pineapple/mango-note and the sort of rough and bitter feel of the waxiness in the background.
I think this perfume is well-constructed but too save to my taste, although I can imagine that it can really shine on some women. The only thing I like is its opening, the sugary orangepeel/polishing-beewax note; the rest is a sort of obsession to smell like something new, without any new idea's, instead lending them from here and there. But above all- Obsession is about its obsession for Nitro-musk's.

Patchouli Homme by Réminiscence

Reminiscence - Patchouli pour Homme
Made by someone with a long history of working in the refinement of crude oil petrol-products industry, this perfume hits almost as hard as the smell of ammonia. Excessively loud, crude and chemical smelling- this one gives me the physical feeling of nausea. Its has a petrol/oily metallic-note all through its structure: a metallic lime-note that smells like woodglue, hesperides with a sharpened knife-feel, rusty-metal flowers, and a tightened patchouli-note that's built from empty Coca-Cola cans out of a garbage-bin and smells a bit like mayonnaise. This perfume sorts out a strange, alienating effect- it makes me feel very unhuman an a bit sick in the stomach. Patchouli for men? More like- Patchouli for the garbage-can...

Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules

Essentric Molecules - Molecule 01
Geza Schoen doesn't only has a good nose for making well-structured perfumes- he also has a nose for trends. His Molecule 01 is an example of how to use a minimalistic approach to its full and maximal effect and create a scent that not only does behave and 'smell' in a way like other scents don't, but also sells like hell...
One very important quality of an perfumer is to spot effects in a perfume and magnify them to such an extent that people can relate with them, and give the wearer the feeling it does something 'personal' to him/her. Molecule 01 is not a perfume, nor can it be called a scent. In the way that Geza Schoen approaches the iso E super-molecule, put it in its specific dilution as here, it becomes more of an olfactory special-effect sketch. For me it behaves very 'taste'-like; bitter, sour, salty and very slightly sweet, are the main themes that are being transformed, distorted and accentuated by the wearer's skin, at times light and at times more dark; sometimes loud smelling, at other times quiet- playing with the volume-knob. Its also about form and content; sometimes it smells thin, sometimes more weighted, more full-bodied.
At first when I sprayed this on, I couldn't smell anything- on my skin it took a while before Molecule 01 showed some notes. For me it smells like one thing only, and that's driftwood; in particular of Desire Blue by Dunhill, which has the iso super E cranked up very high. Molecule 01 also has an airy and marine-like quality and a slight limonene-like and 'inky'-undertone. Its an exercise in the most rendement giving, scent vs. skin-behavior of a single scent-molecule, in a specific dilution, that sorts the most magical outcome possible. I think its a very good thing that Molecule 01 is among us- it something else, not new, but certainly a piece of craftsmanship that's deserves its popularity.

Black by Comme des Garçons

Comme de Garcons - Black
I wonder why they called this black because it smells just as green.
It opens with a very nice frankincense-note, with a bitter anisic-overtone on top and a soft candlewax-kerosene-note with citrus-undertones. It gets more smoky-tarry amber, sticky labdanum-like and oily-woody cederwood/cypriol, spiced up with some rosemary and black pepper, which altogether smells very potent- very blackish...with a dry-warm and roundish feel to it. But then a greenish, sour, plasticy hairspray-note comes in together with the warmth of melted rubber, that gives this perfume a change of color- it starts acting as a fougere, with a clear green tone. And then, the C-12 aldehydes start to really grow and grow and manifest themselves in a overdosed cloud of limonene-waxy stuff, that sort of deafens my sense of smell, making it hard to smell anything else- giving my nose a Black-out... It overshadows the beautiful opening, which was very dynamic while this smells bored. Somehow the waxiness gets a sweetly 'cheesy'-tone, like Maaslander, a cheese we make here in Holland. This could be due to perubalsam that's in here, which also can catch a sort of cheese-like note.
Towards and in the dryout there is more room for the resinous-smoky frankincense, the tarry-amber, the balsamic-peru balsam, woody-cedar and a soft, vetiver greenish mossy-feel. It settles down in a dark, rawish way with a touch of sharpish green which smells not as potent as its start-off, but very likeable.
Overall I think Black's character is a bit too tame and reserved to be a really adventurous perfume- the smoked, tarry leather-note that it should have, smells more like a slight plasticy shoestore-suede one instead....not bad but I expected more after its very promising opening- instead, in the end, Black leaves me a bit Blue...

Fougère Royale by Houbigant

Houbigant - Fougere Royale
Few people know how the real thing did smell but a lot of people know that it cannot have smelled like how it is today. This cannot longer be called Royale- instead from now on, its 'just' a fougere... It smells like a chemical crusade to revive it once highly original spirit and in my humble opinion it fails miserably.
It is a fougere, no doubt, but it 'feels' as a imitation of Fougere Royale- it behaves as an schizophrenic person who tries to be her/himself. I get so many flashbacks to different modern fougere-based perfumes that its difficult to get a glimpse of what it really stands for. But I guess that's what you get when you try to reproduce the original with as many synthetics that used to be in the original Fougere Royal as natural materials. No wonder it smells like Kenzo pour homme, Drakkar Noir, Azzaro man, Allure pour homme and Cool water. As soon as I spray this it smells sharp in a unfresh way- cumin/cardamom/fir/lavender dressed up in a bubblegum-waxy jacket with a slight fruity smell of red berries. There is a ylang-ylang tropical fruit-note together with a petrolic-oliness, some orangey-neroli and the smell of sawing a metal tube. It gets a candied-greenness that reminds of hairspray and cheap vetiver which altogether smells thin, plasticy and 'horrible'. It really has that hollow, refined white sugary sweet-like note that's kind of penetrating.
The thing I do like is the way it manages to smell like fresh crushed fern, between the fingers- that sweet green fir-like, oily-spicy peppery-tone, but that vanishes rather quickly... No real oakmoss- more of a resinous, polished cedarwood-note dipped in a white musk that smells sharp and out of tune. What does smells nice in here is a dusty smell of wooden sawdust, that gives it a rough-edged feel, but it gets lost in a blurry, soapy smell of fabric softener, and of course, coumarin. I'm gonna try to wash this of my hand now...and leave myself with this one question... How on earth would the original have smelled like?

Rush by Gucci

Gucci - Rush
If you would distill the warm skin of a couple of new-born babies, rubbed in with Zwitsal body-lotion, drenched in mothermilk and add a touch of fresh human-sweat you will capture pretty much the essence of Rush. Its start is loud, big, and cranked up by lactones and other sharp smelling synthetics. But close to its dryout it starts to evoke a real human kind of warmth that's subtle and very worthwhile- there simply isn't anything like this. Maybe this effect is generated due to perubalsam/iris as natural substances, I don't know- and somehow it reminds me of vanilla but I don't really seem to smell it, which is a good thing. Rush is a very clean, fluffy white cloud of misty, vaporized candied milk-pearls, impregnated with a slight raw animalic, oily-denseness, that radiates the intense analogue, compressed warmth of the oily, slightly sweaty skin of a hundred newborn-infants, hitting you as a soft, warm breeze on a sunny day. Seriously good stuff.

New-York by Nicolaï

Patricia de Nicolai - New York
I can smell that this is an impeccable created masculine, but I find it difficult to really like or love because it reminds me of 3 other perfumes: Eau Sauvage edt, Etiquette Blue and Yatagan. I cannot help to think of one of the three when I smell New York. Its opening is sweaty-cumin, sour-bitterly bergamot, thyme/rosemary and a high-pitched green lime/vetivery-note. When a soft lavender-note joints it becomes very cologne-like, with a raw green-breezy note, witch smells very classic.
From the start-on it also catches a clean soft-soapy note that grows more intense and important during its development. After the opening it gets a very clean, smooth, lactone, Mysore-sandelwood artisan handmade soap-tone, that smells like how bathfoam looks like. Then a clean vetiver-note, soft-warm oakmoss, cool myrrh and a bubblegum-toothpaste note are joining, that altogether gives New York an incredible, magnifique soft, round and velvety glance that feels extremely comfortable. I'm also able to smell clear bitter and sour taste-like smells; which I enjoy because for me that indicates that a high amount of natural ingredients has been used.
For a long time during the dryout I found it difficult to keep up my attention- its rather weak, a bit flat with not too much going on; a bitter-like cedarwood-note on a light amber-base with still a polished clean soap-note, but a little more salty/sour-like and pungent here. In my opinion it smelled too save, lightweight and dull to do its overall composition justice- it kind of disappears into oblivion or somehow bleeds to death... But after a while, when the soapy-note loses its strength more and more, more basenotes become apparent: patchouly, incense, iris and ambergris(?) create a steady accord- still no heavyweight- but it is subtle and present at the same time, radiating a tobacco/leathery-like and rooty-earthy warmth.
This perfume somehow reminds me of Peter Gabriel's 2010 live-version of ''Here Comes The Flood''- beautifully drifting in a simple an calm way, melancholic-emotional yet self-assured, but slightly missing the rawness of PG-voice. Superb stuff- and I must admit im really starting to like New York and forget the perfumes which it resembles- this could be love one day…

Yvresse / Champagne by Yves Saint Laurent

YSL - Champagne
I stumbled upon this one in a lot of perfume-vials that someone gave me. I never smelled this out of an original Champagne-bottle, so it was nice to find this one. Created by Sophia Grojsman in 1993, this perfume is the greatest achievement of the new-skool in modern perfumery. Overlooked, forgotten, too subtle and light-weight feminine for some maybe, but this is an incredible, original wonder.
What an amazing opportunity it must have been for her to create a perfume that had 'Champagne' written al over and in its briefing... This perfume celebrates Champagne- suggesting the opening of the bottle, till the half empty-glass that's found the next day. Driven by a mixture of moist, sticky nectarine, fleshy lychee, juicy orange/bergamot and a peppery nutmeg-note, this is the summum of a fresh opening. The most extraordinary thing about this perfume is that it makes you think, you actually stick your nose in a glass of champagne and 'smell' the bubbles, that stimulating carbon-dioxide effect that 'touches' your nose. Together with a big cloud of an airy, anisic-mentholic(peppermint) note that radiates intense freshness even more, and a white-rose note with a slight petal-oily quality, to give it a transparent flowery aspect, it gives a great sense of chilled coolness. There is also the mineralic-note, a slight sour-salty-bitter note that contributes again to its cold, watery freshness. The green shine of vetiver comes through, the warm softness of oakmoss and a clean, brushed-off patchouli-note, that leads to a stimulating spicy-green, slight woody, soft and round classic cyphre-accord with a 'chilled' sensation to it. And even in its dryout it maintains its slight sour-salty-bitter quality, which gives it great character- somehow this reminds my of Mitsouko (it must be the vetiver/oakmoss-combo).
Champagne smells so insanely and deliciously good, that you don't need a bottle of the real thing. I guess this is why the wine-farmers in the Champagne insisted that YSL would change its name. According to Sophia Grojsman herself, this perfume is her greatest effort and the one she enjoyed making the most- I guess that sums it all...

Jubilation XXV Man by Amouage

Amouage - Jubilation XXV
In the same way that Ferrari made history by building cars around their engines- Bertrand Duchaufour has done it by building perfumes around Frankincense. Both are made with flair, stylish precision, deep passion and fine-tuned with great craftsmanship. Jubilation XXV is a very good perfume that breathes in a very baroque kind of way but is approached with a minimalistic point of view. All notes are mixed to gain a maximal effect on eachother and on the perfume as a whole. This perfume doesn't show any bumps or flaws on its road and it accelerates and speeds up as smooth as a Ferrari with automatic transmission.
A very distinct rich, spicy opening (with a surprising jammy blackcurrent-note), results in an evenly rich, an layered, intense dryout. After ca. 45 minutes it smells very similar to Feminite du Bois, with the same (gourmand)rosy-peachy-cederwood tone, which I found very surprising, and a bit disappointing because it was familiar. But in a way, that's a good thing because it has a very mellow, gentle and simple feel to it which gives this perfume a chance to take a rest from the intensity of its top- and base-notes. The difference is that its dryout is more smoky-animalic-resinous orientated. Its also the best part of it- a gorgeous honeyed-frankincense with a back-up of tar/smoky-amber, myrrh, cedarwood, labdanum, peru-balsem, iris, and a touch of sandalwood and oily orangeblossom- it also gets a slight leathery, raw-edged, oily skin-feel to it and the waxiness of beeswax.
Overall the sweetness in the whole perfume is perfectly balanced, and it holds the same intensity from start to finish. Very flowery too, from the lavender in the top, the rose in the mid, to the iris in the base. Great thing about XXV is that its basenotes already shine their light and warmth upon the top- and mid-notes, as soon as you spray it on your skin- great interplay and dynamics between the ingredients. I imagine that this modern perfume dresses up and blends very well with the scented interior-ambiance of a Ferrari oldtimer- they're both classics with an independent, luxurious and distinctive feel of soul, air and beat of heart.
Somehow Duchaufours's perfumes, especially its dryouts, seems to connect and communicate with the warmth of the human blood-stream; that changes, adapts and personalizes the perfume to the skin of its wearer. His perfumes have a customized feel-fit to them, and really settle down on your skin- in their own special way. I guess this links the color of Ferrari-red to the color of human blood; and vice versa...

4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

4711 - Eau de Cologne
Yes, its still among us and after all those years it still smells like 4711- probably the most well-known perfume in the world. Not so natural as the original, I suppose, but it still manages to surprise, time after time... Very fresh, zesty-orangey, green-herbal spicy, with a nice neroli-note linked to lavender as main act, this still impresses. It could be rounder and softer but I guess this 'sharpness' its part of its elegance. A splash now and then, can do wonders- really uplifting... Maybe too recognizable for some people, and that may be the reason why its use nowadays is a bit off neglected- but this stuff still smells so highly original and potent that it will be with us till the end of human mankind. I also forecast that somewhere in the near future, 4711 will grow into fashion again, someday- at least is has time enough to await its moment...

Black Afgano by Nasomatto

Nasomatto – Black Afgano
Nice name- bad perfume. Can anyone bring a stop to these kind of 'scents', please? This gives me a headache while just sniffing at the bottle. It is loaded with very loud chemicals, mixed with nonchalance- in a bad way. There is no poetic effort in Black Afgano and no storyline, not even a few kind words that put some light on its matter... And the matter is that it tries to scream too loud, with too little to say- no whisper of beauty or refinement, it just needs attention and to be looked at. It screams: look at me!, in a slobby dress standing on one high-heel, having lost the other one. Black Afgano is a dirty black whore, a false, mean big-mama that hates white men. The hash-note that Mr. Gualtieri puts in is a great idea but it stands alone in a dry-out that smells as sharp as Vicks steam-capsules for a blocked nose- which is also the best way to smell Black Afgano: when your sense of smell is temporary gone... This one is a total waste on a breath of fresh air through the nose- avoid.

L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

Guerlain - L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme
Not very Guerlain-like but what a marvelous masculine this is. Refined, sleek, elegant, detailed, focused and multi-faceted, this perfume has the intensity of the encounter of someone you meet for the first time, realizing that you know that person already, and belongs in your life. That moment of recognition and joy that makes life lighter and brighter. The first whiff of L'Instant shows instantly what it has in store; the follow-up is a beautiful declaration of what it has to offer, highlighting its most intimate scent-secrets with the zoom-in of a microscope.
This is such an expressive perfume, it shows so much that its difficult to pin all of its notes down. Fresh black pepper, cumin, the spiciness of cedarwood with a hint of lavender, bergamot and greeny petit-grain, the rye- and gingerbread-note, sticky salty licorice, ylang-ylang with a rose-accent and a sandalwood feat. vanillia-impression. Its like a scent-carrousel that's being turned, you never know what's floating by and hits your nose.... No solid, steady accords- I have the feeling of flying on a magic carpet through this perfume. The salty licorice-note is a theme and stays till deep in its dry-out. L'instant has a very rich and a solid, but airy structure, and the notes in here feel really connected with eachother. It also builds up a lot of analogue, natural-felt warmth that gets really hot on my skin- like a combination of chilipeper and hot iron. There is a clove-note suddenly, then grounded coffee and a caramel/candid-note, that smells gourmand-like. This stays present in its dryout that's being lined up with an oily-leathery and tobacco-note, the salty licorice as a binding factor and an iris-oakmoss combo dipped in a sandelwood-vanillia sauce, that carries it. While this fades out with a slight dry-spicy and resinous-tone, it's a very little bit too powdery-soapy for me. But honestly, this feels like a perfect scent, made with great craftsmanship, passion and a lot of magic. Even by trying to smell through this, trying to figure out how and what makes this perfume so good, it doesn't let me... I can only get absorbed by it, letting me enjoy its beauty and very friendly nature- its doesn't ask, it just gives.
This is a marvelous scent, that needs to be cherished and hugged- the same thing that it does to its wearer. A future classic, made with high-class materials and very Guerlain-worthy.

Vanille Bourbon by Il Profumo

Il Profumo - Vanille Bourbon
This one shows how difficult, and easy, it can be to make a 'vanilla' that smells classic yet modern. It manages to stay away from the too screamy, high-pitch vanillin-ones, sweet and with the very obvious creamy-note, too familiar and dull. Although vanilla contains for about 95% vanillin, the other 5% gives it a dark and dirty-earthy touch, that makes real vanilla(absolute) so thrilling. This perfume catches a perfectly pitched tone and sings it effortlessly. Not only delicious and very edible but also fresh, broad and complex smelling. Instead of being too clean, creamy-smooth, it has more of a very cool-fresh, clear subtle and slightly raw character. So very well balanced that it puts me in that now-and-wow sweetspot where everything is Zen- it just feels so comfortable and luscious, but also very grounded. Its gets a gingerbread-like, and a cold-sweet resinous-note that gives it backbone. But the best thing about it is that it has a slight salty-animalic touch in its character- which makes a very nice counteract against the sweet and creamy smoothness. The dryout has that toasted-note of hot and dry earth in it, which means that real Bourbon vanilla was used here. A very good 'vanilla'- and to my taste, this is the best in the field.

Opus VII by Amouage

Amouage – Opus VII
Well, this one sorts out the same effect as Angel did back in the days. Either you like this or you don't- there is no middle-of-the-road here. It explodes with a mix of pulpy-cardamon, wormwood, red chili-pepper and something like green paprika. Almost at the same time there is hint of lavender and the big fleshy animalic note which smells like a combination of wet goats-fur and beaver-piss with a touch of fatty fish. I imagine myself someone who sits at the table in his sweaty socks with the heater full-on, eating a tuna-salad with capers after a long walk in the rain with his wet-furry dog sitting close by. Its that same damp, wet and warm animalic smell that VII manifests. Later this changes in more of a old cheese/bad yoghurt with the backup of smoky, hot-peppery incense that connects with a ashy-ink, and a waxy, dry cedarwood-note. Together with its 'fleshy' body this makes a real nice and tight accord which dries up in a very nice, 'dried by the sun', hot-spicy, resinous-woody/graphite, slight salty-animalic kind of way. This dryout is a lot more quiet than the loudness of it first words, I must say, and it fades rather quickly, at least on my skin.
VII has a very tightly woven structure, which leaves no room for airiness or a breath of fresh air. Its character is that of a highly placed CEO in a tight suit- it behaves stoical, reserved and humorless with a hint of autism. Nevertheless I like VII for the statement that it makes, that sort of arrogant, recalcitrant, middle-finger in the air feeling that it gives me- it doesn't care what you think about it. VII is surely not for everyone and I doubt myself even to call this a perfume... But I think its a brilliant example of modern perfumery, of art- and it holds up its own place in the Amouage-line.

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