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

This is a beauty! It opens with a distinct stem/leafy green note, like a tomato garden in the 90 degree heat of summer. There is a slight pineapple note introduced that serves to soften the garden note and sweeten it. This doesn't stand out, but was a surprise and I liked it.

Then the rose - a red rose, not pink or white. I'm not a rose fan, but this was soft and transparent, and gave the impression that the rose was floating on dew. While not aquatic at all, I do sense the "water" of the name. It sweetens slightly after several hours, but possibly this is just the stem note fading.

Lovely, simple composition. This is not daring or pretentious, but makes a statement nonetheless.

Very much a thumbs up for this rose fragrance!

Iris 39 by Le Labo

To me, this is a violet predominant fragrance, with iris being pushed fairly well to the background. For that reason, it started to get on my nerves after a while.
It opens nice and green, with some spices that make it very interesting. Ginger! This gives it a tang that was pleasant. But the iris never jumped out for me. It felt more soft floral, soft spicy floral. It was very airy and light throughout, until a hit of patch moves in to add some earthy weight. But overall, the violet still hangs on. So it is airy, green but slightly earthy. Never powdery nor rooty iris.
I just couldn't get along with this iris fragrance. One of the few iris themed fragrances that I disliked.
It gets a neutral because it is well constructed.

I am King by Sean John

This opens with an indistinguishable fruit smell, but hard pressed, I would say orange and pineapple. The pineapple was the only saving grace here, as I really like pineapple notes. There was an attempt at a synthetic lime note, but not well executed.

It never really shifted from here, but did attempt to introduce a hint of vetiver to close things out. The closing out was approximately 1.5 hours after the beginning. Poof, gone.

Gents, pass on this one and keep sniffing other options. Your money would be much better spent.

Ferré by Gianfranco Ferré

This is a fruity little iris fragrance that is lush, rich and very wearable.
The opening is thick and luscious fruit, with the pineapple standing out to me. But this fruit is rich and well blended into the theme of the fragrance - the iris.
The iris is introduced as a soft powder, supported by a floral blend that highlights magnolia and jasmine. The magnolia creaminess offsets the powder for a delightful soft scent.
The drydown gets a little Kenzo-ish with the basmati rice note popping up, but it rights itself with some faint wood and vetiver. Never crisp, but instead, blended softness.
Possibly a very distant cousin, at best, to Malle's Iris Poudre, but a nice iris based fragrance in it's own right. It is certainly worth a sniff for those that might struggle with earthy iris, as this is as smooth as it gets for an iris-centric fragrance. Beautiful use of fruit notes, well blended soft florals with an easy and smooth drydown.
Worth the very reasonable cost of admission!

Dark Rose by Czech & Speake

The notes are saffron, agarwood, rose, sandalwood and white amber - and I list them because this is exactly what this fragrance smelled like to me. One that happens to be very true to it's notes.
It opens with a mentholated, medicinal note over the faintest of red rose - the oud present and accounted for, and the rose just starting to show through. The rose becomes much richer, with a hint of saffron spice as it moves into the heart. I like this rose note, it has personality and doesn't drown in heavy notes. Rich and red it is, and rich and red it stays. Sandalwood starts to make it's way in and the rose takes a back seat - but always there. The final thrust is a musk like taming of the sandalwood and rose.
I really liked this one! Dark? Well maybe. But not too much so. It finds a very equal balance between darkness (interesting) and lightness (wearable) that makes this one stand out.
Very nice, Czech & Speake - a winner from this house.

Malabah by Penhaligon's

This opened with Penhaligon's usual clear citrus notes, mostly lemon. The earl tea note wraps itself around the lemon to produce a very authentic lemon tea accord. This was wonderful and fresh. Great opening!
There was not really a clear mid section for me. A subtle rose, a hint of spice, but really just the remainder of the opening. The fragrance became much less present during this time, but the opening was so bright that it probably just got lost in the comparison.
Sandalwood presents itself for the base, and it is a smooth pleasant sandalwood. I didn't really smell the amber, but it's likely contributing to the smoothness and adding just a touch of weight, although this stayed light on it's feet. Oriental in classification maybe, but I would almost consider this a warm weather option. Spring would be perfect.
Malabah is subtle, with an amazing blast of an opening. And while it lost it's punch a bit midway, it was fresh and pleasant throughout. Enjoyable!

Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens

It is sandalwoody, but as a background to spices. I would place this in the Serge Spice catagory.
There is quite a bit of cumin in this, but it is a fairly well behaved and blended cumin, so beware if that is an issue for you. There is a creamy texture to this, thick and fairly sweet. It is, after all, a Lutens. Creamy cumin with a caramel hint, and always the faint background of sandalwood.
In the end, I wouldn't pick this as a sandalwood favorite if you were truly out to sniff the woodiness of the note, but for a spiced fragrance, the sandalwood offers a nice compliment. And you might also need to be a Serge Lutens fan.

English Fern by Penhaligon's

This is not really a genre that I enjoy, the fougere. But this was certainly pleasant.
It opens with a minty green and lavender. There is a spice that comes into play, my guess is it is the geranium that joins the lavender. There is a slight soapy phase (barbershop? I've never been to one ) There is also some anise that rises up. I liked this phase, rather interesting. Then it fades into the drydown, which is boggy green with oakmoss and some woods - the oakmoss smell being more prominent to me.
A very nice, if old fashioned, masculine smell. Very well done again, simple and effective. Penhaligon's seems to do these type scents very well.

Dulcis in Fundo by Profumum

I first smelled this at the very start of my perfume journey, and of course, gave it a 5. When a perfume smells so good you want to drink it and dive into a pool of it, that is a 5 rating.
I just rerated this fragrance to a 4, but really, I still feel the same. There is not complexity here, there is only the juicy orange that segways into a creamy vanilla that then transitions into a true semi-sweet vanilla. Not high art, but I continue to feel how well this accomplishes it's very simple goal. For a citrus semi-gourmand, you would be hard pressed to find a better representative.
This is the orange of a fresh picked fruit. There is nothing synthetic feeling or smelling to me. The vanilla is creamy then austere, again uncomplicated, but true to it's purpose. It retains a slight orange feel all the way until the final drydown, mixing and mingling. Happy and carefree. And that is exactly what this fragrance does - smell good in a happy and carefree way. There is a place for this, I've no doubt.

Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

OJ Woman is a beautiful, green forest. Blended and smooth, never sharp. She opens with a green, creamy texture, even a hint of mint. Sappy almost. The wood floats in (hemlock from the notes, although I've never smelled this before), and if the scent never strayed from this smell, I'd swoon all the way through it. Truly gorgeous. This part is actually exactly what I've been looking for in a green fragrance, as most greens are just too sharp for me to enjoy. It is also softly powdery at this stage.
But then, the forest starts to burn - incense rises up. There is an acrid smell to this. I've taken motorcycle rides through forests recently burned by fire, and this was the smell. This was a little uncomfortable for me, as I wanted my green forest back. But it smoothes back out to finish softly green and woody again. This one is a shape shifter, with distinct phases, while at the same time transitioning so smoothly that the overall impression is one of a gentle jarring of the senses. Beauty.

Lily of the Valley by Penhaligon's

This announces it's intentions right up front with a beautiful, greenish and fresh Lily of the Valley. It must be just like sticking your nose right into the flower itself, including the faintest of rubbery smell that you get from many flowers. I thought this was a beautiful rendition of the Lily, but a clean Lily it is. A rose and jasmine faint floral combo join in the middle, and it stays fairly linear until fading into a soft sandalwood/lily combo, green throughout.
This is a great spring frangrance, invigorating with it's green and natural smell.

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