Pacific Rock Moss by Goldfield & Banks

Typically I like Goldfield & Banks creations, but Pacific Rock Moss is a definite pass for me. It has a salty lemon and atmospheric opening that puts it in the fresh aquatic genre, with a bit of sea air aromatics and sage. Unfortunately, it's all been done before with much better silage and longevity. On me it was a skin scent in 30 minutes, even on a warm sunny day. Pleasant but while it lasts, so I'll give it a generous neutral rating.

Oud Tobacco by Montale

I'm a fan of Montale fragrances, but I find navigating through their many offerings and misleading names a bit daunting. While Basenotes is a reliable help, the only real way to sort out what your individual tastes are is to visit a Montale boutique. I visited Montale Paris boutique several years ago but had never smelled Oud Tobacco. However, I saw several trustworthy reviews that intrigued me enough to order a sample. To my nose, Oud Tobacco somewhat breaks out of the Montale mold, in that it's not a screechy, overly synthetic concoction. While Montale offers an endless variation on the oud note, including fruity and sweet, Oud Tobacco actually seems to strike an unusual balance normally absent in many offerings from the house. The opening is a fruity citrus and saffron with hints of oud and incense underneath. There's a slight floral that follows without losing the fruit and incense. Oud isn't a main player, except as a base for the overall structure. Tobacco isn't prevalent either and whatever may be there is deep within the scent. I like this one enough to order a full bottle.

Gentleman Eau de Parfum by Givenchy

Vanilla and tolu balsam centric fragrance that unfairly gets compared to DHI solely because of the iris note. In truth, Givenchy Gentleman EDP is nothing like DHI or Valentino PH or Prada L'Homme or any of the other iris dominant scents that are ubiquitous at your local department store fragrance counter. I personally am not a big iris fan and mostly find it old lady or cosmetic feminine and tend to avoid it. However, I do own DHI and my favorite Amouage Interlude Black Iris. Givenchy Gentleman is another that does a good job taking away the cosmetic iris tone by flooding it with a rich vanilla and tolu balsam. In fact, the iris here is a supporting note rather than the feature of the scent. My only disappointment is in performance. It's a bit subdued for an EDP even though it does have some depth. Fairly casual and IMO a better cold weather option. You can always carry a pocket atomizer and reapply if it underwhelms on your skin as it does mine. I still get about 4 hours of moderate to light sillage and it is very pleasing to the nose. I haven't tried any of the multiple flankers and probably won't as they don't seem interesting at all. I'd recommend this one, but better found at a discount.

Molecule 01 + Patchouli by Escentric Molecules

Finally some cool, dry weather to break out Molecule 01 + Patchouli. Although this could easily be worn year round, it just seems more appropriate for a sunny cooler day. This is pretty much what one would expect Iso E Super and patchouli to smell like. For me, this is a dry, airy patch that's been cleaned of all the more earthy, chocolate like elements so it pairs well with the musky-woody nature of IES. To my nose there's a touch of anise or licorice quality, especially in the opening, that provides some slight depth but for the most part it's a fairly light, if not transparent scent. I like it, as I do all the offerings from this minimalist house.

Oud Satin Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A saffron spiced rose water like oud fragrance that is not as jammy sweet as Oud Satin Mood. I actually like Silk Mood slightly better as it is a bit more diverse as an oud scent. Yes it's a bit synthetic but it it still smells nice and I would enjoy smelling it but I don't think I would purchase this for myself.

Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I was given a 2ml sample of MFK Oud with a recent purchase. I had not smelled this fragrance before but have worn Oud Silk Mood, Satin Mood and Cashmere Mood before. I enjoy oud, but tire of the endless rose-oud, saffron-oud, patchouli-oud scents that every niche house seems to have a version of. While MFK Oud doesn't follow the oud house pattern, it also isn't anything memorable either. As other reviews have noted, MFK Oud is just bland. It seems unfinished and maybe even minimalist in it's lack of identity. Not sure if there are fragrance consumers who want to smell this way, but I'm definitely not one.

724 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

724 does seem like a mix of several MFK fragrances that have been pared down and put back together, but with some slight modifications. I was given a sizeable sample of Gentle Fluidity Silver and wore it frequently throughout the spring and summer of this year. 724 smells so similar to GF Silver that to me owning both would would be redundant. I'll be buying a bottle of GF Silver when my sample runs out and would probably feel the same way about 724 if I'd worn it as much. Definitely a crowd pleasing scent, but not exactly original, even within the MFK line.

Concentré D'Orange Verte by Hermès

Realistic orange note that lasts about 20 minutes on me, then fades to a mossy patchouli with some light herbal aromatics. Performance isn't great but probably isn't meant to be more than a refresher or out of the shower scent. It's pleasant and enjoyable for what it is.

Ombré Leather parfum by Tom Ford

Louder and more obnoxious than the original with more floral notes in the opening and less jammy fruits, although they are still there. I like leather fragrances, but everything from TF just seems so overboard. Not for me.

Intoxicated by By Kilian

Yes, this smells like AMen once did (maybe still does), but I get a nice coffee and cardamom accord in the opening and middle that I absolutely love. The late stage is all AMen patchouli, but I still like that vibe. Just wish this had a bit more punch as AMen used to. Debatable if it is worth the price of a bottle, but it is a good scent.

L'Heure Verte by By Kilian

A nice licorice version of Straight to Heaven IMO. At least I get similarities in the dry down with the anise note lingering in the background. Slightly better performance than most Kilian fragrances, but not enough to make me want to own this. I'd still like this on another person and find it unique.

Back to Black, aphrodisiac by By Kilian

I want to like B2B, but it's just too sweet and powdery (baby powder) for my liking. I love tobacco scents, but too many other offerings cover this in a much more sophisticated way - Naxos is my favorite. The sweetness in this seems highly synthetic and gives it a more cherry cocktail quality that detracts from the richness I like in tobacco fragrances. Definitely not for me.

Straight to Heaven Extreme by By Kilian

Dried fruit, rum, vanilla and patchouli that tones down the cedar in the original and while sweeter, still manages to smell close to the original S2H's DNA. While I like the Extreme scent much better, it still underperforms on my skin, with minimal sillage and longevity for a niche fragrance ar $325 for 50ml. I like it but won't consider purchasing it.

Crème de Cuir by BDK Parfums

Creme de Cuir is a really nice fragrance by BDK that is appropriately named. The heart of this fragrance is a sweet vanilla, musk and suede that wears very light and powdery Opens with a citrus accord that didn't last long on my skin and fades to the vanilla-musk. It gets sweeter as it wears and the powdery nature never really dissapates. It never comes across as a strong leather in any way, maybe because of the sweetness. Could easily be worn year round and is totally unisex. I like it, but because it does not project or last more than two hours on my skin, I would never consider it FBW. Neutral for me.

1861 Naxos by Xerjoff

A different take on a tobacco fragrance for me. Naxos is a honeyed lavender and bergamot opening with an underpinning of soft tobacco that gradually becomes richer as the scent dries down. There's a slight vanilla and cinnamon detectable but the scent never strays in the gourmand direction, nor is it at all ashy or smokey. I like it because it's highly wearable and could be unisex, although leans masculine IMO. This is much sweeter or stickier than your typical tabac fragrance. Very well done and great quality. Better for cooler weather but could be worn in all but the highest heat and humidity. Happy I own it.

Pas Ce Soir by BDK Parfums

Purchased Pas Ce Soir blind as a gift for my daughter based upon YouTube recommendations. Not disappointed as the scent is exactly what she likes. A sweet mix of bright fruits paired with soft iris and light jasmine, yet there is a bit of warmth and depth underneath. Not a gourmand per se, but could be mistaken for a cotton candy in the early stages. The floral notes carry the heart without giving up much of the initial sweetness. IMO this is a perfect young ladies night out scent. Not a screamer but something different, noticeable and feminine.

Interlude Black Iris Man by Amouage

As other reviews have noted, Interlude Black Iris seems to be an attempt at dialing down the original Interlude Man and making it any easier wearing scent. To my nose, the opening is not as jarring as with the original and the dry down is similar, but perhaps a more blended version of incense and leather. The Iris (Orris) is present and smooths the overall fragrance out without being prominent or detracting from the original. I personally like Black Iris better, but I'm sure many would prefer the original. No reason to own both IMO.

Gentle Fluidity (Silver Edition) by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Juniper and clean musk is what I mostly get from Gentle Fluidity Silver. It's supported by a faint vanilla that provides a bit of sweetness and there's an non-descript wood in the base. Nice juniper note for those that like the cool gin vibe, but nothing terribly daring. In fact, it leans towards a designer style day scent. Could be unisex, and my wife likes it. I also like it but it's a pretty commonplace scent in today's market, but done very, very well. Think Dior Homme Cologne, but more gin than ginger. Thumbs up.

Amyris Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

The less daring, wear all around MFK fragrance for men. Everyone seems to agree Amyris is the safe bet from MFK and you'll either love them or hate them for it. I find the fragrance to be simple and pleasant and don't really run a mental analysis of the name, price and value relative to the smell. I enjoy clean, fresh scents and apart from the touch of mandarin and rosemary in the opening, Amyris stays in the middle of the olfactory field. I love the iris and tonka bean accord in the dry down. It's not as sweet as the Chanel or as heavy as the Dior that it gets compared with. Amyris is far more a clean scent. I have the EDT and get decent silage and longevity for around three hours and a skin scent for another three. Acceptable for my tastes and I found this one at a great discount, so I'm all the more happy with it.

Molecule 01 + Iris by Escentric Molecules

I'm a big fan of Escentric Molecules, especially the Escentric # fragrances and the Molecule 01 + fragrances. Molecule 01 + Iris, smells exactly like what you would expect if you are familiar with the iso-e-super note and Iris. However, the iris here is not a powdery or lipsticky tone as I was expecting, which for me makes it quite preferable. So often I find iris to be the smell of a lady's makeup bag. Perhaps the iso-e-super takes the powdery effect away and rounds it to a more woody, fresh air scent. Either way it works really well. Anybody could wear this, as it is quite natural smelling and very uni-sex. Highly recommended.

Acqua Viva by Profumum

First Profumum fragrance that I've owned, purchased almost blind and at a huge discount, from a friend who was thinning out his collection. I tried not to let my friend's opinion influence my rating for this scent, but I find that he is mostly correct.

The opening is a sweet, sparkling lemon over woods, there's a hint of a light floral underneath, but it's vague and only smooths the lemon and woods over. It's very bright and uplifting at the opening then fades to a fairly generic citrus/cypress. It doesn't project much after the first 10 minutes and is a fair skin scent within 3 hours. I like it, but it is a bit of a disappointment considering the brand and the original retail price. I'll keep it and wear it in hot, humid days, but can't recommend it.

Molecule 01 + Mandarin by Escentric Molecules

Molecule 01 + Mandarin, or more specifically, Iso-E-Super + Mandarin is a perfect combination of notes. While I never cared for Molecule 1 on it's own as it played games with my perception, this combination is heaven and garners a lot of compliments when I wear it. I don't normally wear fragrance for compliments and thus don't frequently receive them, but this fragrance is a huge exception.

Opens with a sweet, sparkly mandarin and dries quickly to a mandarin plus cedar accord. There's a light creaminess, which is the IES musky tone blending in, but all in all it's very simplistic. Easy to wear and perfect for spring and summer. The more your skin heats up the better it projects, but otherwise it has an average level of sillage. Due to the fickle nature of IES to each wearer, I would recommend sampling first to see how it works on your skin, but for me it's a strong recommendation.

Megamare by Orto Parisi

I really like every creation I've tried by Alessandro Gualtieri, from both the Nasamatto and Orto Parisi houses. Megamare may be the most unique to date. While the scent profile leans to aquatic, it is seems illusional, as there is almost no sweetness or floral notes involved. The opening is a mineral-salt water note that has some ozonic undertones, it slowly evolves into a musky-ozonic scent that reminds one of the ocean air or a seaside atmosphere. I'm hard pressed to pick out any individual note, aside from a soft musk. It does indeed last forever on my skin, even after a shower, but the sillage is at normal strength throughout. I like this a lot and will wear it frequently through spring and summer.

Replica Under the Lemon Trees by Martin Margiela

A very middle of the road fragrance that falls into the designer aquatic/freshie/EDC's shelf. Under the Lemon Trees opens with a weak, generic smelling citrus accord that doesn't really last long before fading into the tea and floral middle. It's a bit feminine at this point and still reminiscent of a designer perfume. Not a big sillage, but will last on skin for close to 5 hours. Pretty boring and can be found in many other less expensive versions IMO - see CK One or any of it's flankers.

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