Cittá di Kyoto by Santa Maria Novella

Extremely elegant iris. I read the comparisons to Daim Blond but I see a stronger resemblance to Equistrius. Same Iris/leather composition (a bit of Cuir Plain Fleurs there maybe?) but more woody and considerably less sweet than either Daim Blond or Equistrius. In short if you like those two but find them a bit on the feminine or sweet side for you, try Citta di Kyoto.

Black Tourmaline by Olivier Durbano

This is such a masterpiece that it seems it makes the entire Olivier Durbano stand out. To me it is simply terpentine, pine resin and smoke. I can't say I get the leather that's why to it is a very inorganic, dark, dead, black, gothic, difficult to wear fragrnace. I bought this in the summer so I am looking forward to winter to really appreciate it. The violently realistic smoke accord brings to mind Le Labo Patchouli 24.

Red Vetiver by Montale

This a joy to own and wear. Think of it as the composition of Terre d' Hermes with the citrus toned down and the geranium turned up a notch, plus the balmy sweetness of Vetiver Tonka. On me lasts forever.

Amoureuse by Delrae

This is the true "masculine" tuberose. Sort of what I expected when reading about Carnal Flower which disapointed me on the wearability domain. The opening is like putting tuberose and a LOT of grass in a blender. Actually an aetherial blender, a whirlpool, a hurricane. On mys skin it is not heady at all. It is bitter green with the accent on the fume quality of the tuberose, not the headiness. In this sense it is to tuberose what Sarassins is to jasmin. The bitter grassy character persists through the heart of the fragrance and then in the base honey and musk emerge. Only there I could find hints of sweetness ar anything that could point towards a feminine character. In short, this is a unique tuberose and a must try for Carnal Flower lovers. Big thumbs up.

Sagamore by Lancôme

If I had to pair this with a person description it would have been "funky old guy". As foetidus says the opening is quite unique. Like smelling two scents at the same time. It felt like my head was banging inside a glass bell. First thoughts: this has gone bad! But no. This is it This is just wild composition. Different notes running wild on your skin for the first five minutes, competing for domination of your nostrils. Something tart peaking its head every now and then. And then it all calms down to a peppery, woody, powdery delight. What is really striking is how such a classic base can pair so beautifully with such an individualistic opening.

parfums*PARFUMS Luxe: Patchouli by Comme des Garçons

Strangely enough this is the one scent that really stands out from the CdG line. Patchouli like no other. Or not? I am 100% with Trebor in that it shares a lot with Borneo 1834. Probably the same origin of patchouli. The greatest differences are the incredibly strong immortelle note in the opening of Patchouli which is replaced by the light camphore note in Borneo. In fact it is immortelle/fenugreek/curry/basturma all mixed together and only for the brave. The topnotes also have an increddible texture, thick, resinous and salty.You can almost feel the scent in your nostrils. If you don't enjoy the initial shock and awe of the opening this will equal an assault with gas. But if you like immortelle and shocking scents you will be rewarded by smoky heartnotes and the driest illusion of chocolate. The chocolate notes with a hint of smoke stay on the skin for a good 24 hours.Well let's get to the point: is it worth the money? If you are looking for a patchouli signature scent that you are going to wear every day, then probably yes. And you will get your money's worth because it will stay on you for the whole 24 hours. This is parfum strength.It is stunning. Drier and more commanding than Patchouli Leaves. In any other case probably not. But if you are patchouli fan try to find a sample of it.

Fougère Bengale by Parfum d'Empire

After a cursory first contact with this perfume I felt a very strong attraction although I could not figure out what I liked exactly. What stayed in my memory was a very warm, herbal aroma. Later I had the opportunity to try it with a generous spray in a perfume shop. Initially, what surprised me is a touch of vinegar, that others might describe as chutney. Coriander can often create such a sour topnote or basil. What dominates the heart of the perfume is a very faithful reproduction of the scent of tobacco leaf. Immortelle? Although not mentioned in the note pyramid I can clearly understand the affinity (notes from http://www.parfyym.pri.ee/. : Topnotes: lavender, Heartnotes: tonka beans, tobacco, spices, laurel, Basenotes: mint, moss, ginger, patchouli, gingerbread)But what was revealed in the drydown of the scent was really a surprise. It is the most faithful reproduction of a natural scent that I associate with summer holidays: the smell of wet straw, whether it is in a straw mat stretched on the sand on a beach, or in a straw hat or a wicker chair that was left exposed to the humid night air. It is a very characteristic odor, herbal and totally unique. If this means anything to you, try FB. Well worth it.

Sarrasins by Serge Lutens

My meeting with Sarassins was a moment of perfection, where everything feels as it should. The presence of the ceremonial bell jar, the mystical liquid coloration. The anticipation of a blind buy. And finally, the scent! Transparent jasmine. Not the scent of a flower when you move close to smell it. The smell of the night air as you pass outside a hidden garden of jasmine bushes in full bloom. There is no trace of the animalic side of the flower's scent. The entire range of the perfume is transferred to an ethereal level over and above the actual flower. Difficult to isolate another note that obscures the brightness of the flower, at least to any appreciable extent. The feeling you have as you open the bottle is that it captures the night air from a secret garden. That perhaps explains the contradicting dark color that the creators decided to give this ethereal perfume (and here "ethereal" does not mean 'weak'). It is the color of the night sky, what you see when you pass outside this garden of jasmine and in order to enjoy the fleeting scent you inhale deeply tilting the head back.

Anice by Etro

I feel compelled to write a review for this one after having read the existing reviews. IMO even the positive ones do it wrong. Yes, it is called "Aniseed". Yes. the first seconds of application are consumed by an ouzo blast. But from then on it is a whole different story. The salty sweetness of liquorice comes in only to pave the road for a delicate green an floral accord which anchors to the skin with a hint of white musk. By the end of the journey all that is left to remind the aniseed is a cool salty feel that complements the florals making them less feminine and more etherial. Ultimately this is an excellent cool summer skin scent without any ozonic hint which is good and rare.

Vétiver by Annick Goutal

I just cannot believe this was released in 1981. It is an abstract impressionist scent up there on the same rank as most Duchaufour creations. If you are looking for another vetiver steer clear. If you are a hardcore vetiver fan give it a try with an open mind. The driest, most bitter vetiver and all over fragrance I have ever tried. In a nutshell, the scent of naked tanned skin after a long day lying on the beach, no suntan applied. There is a late afternoon, late summer feel to it. Something that is going away, fleeting, reminiscent. Unique!

Opium pour Homme Eau de Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent

A real beauty. Fortunately my skin loves intense fragrances so this never gets too strong on me. I even wear it in hot summer evenings. Interestingly enough I hated the Eau de Toilette version which I tried first. I wasn't really expecting to like the EdP but wow......! Medium sweet (on my skin)) velvety oriental which gave me the visual impact of a red transparent pillar lifting from the point of application. There was something familiar to this imagery that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then looking at the directory notes I noticed it is a Jacques Cavallier scent, the same person who created Le Feu d' Issey. And then I knew that this is were I got the imagery. The exact same sensation of a "cold fire" lifting from the skin. Sander Man also creates the same impact.

Ambre Précieux by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Immediately: amber soft round much like the Ambre Gris. More simple though. There is a hint of a medicinal creaminess, someone in the forum calls it the Nivea accord if you know what I mean. A few minutes into the topnotes: an alarming cheesy note appears. This is also found in Santal Noble. This is nothing to worry about, it is soft, a bit metallic. All MPG fragrances go through a phase in their opening where you get a discordant note that you cannot think what the hell it is doing in there. You just have to give it some time to relax on your skin and suddenly this note either disappears or makes sense.Fifteen minute into the wearing: perfect balance and roundness, minimal sweetness and a hint of saltiness which is due to the remnants of the metallic, cheese note in the opening. The whole construction by now feels more discreet than it actually is. I always think MPG scents as living on your skin and actually choosing where to settle. This one settles under the skin. It feels as if it is the natural odor of the wearer. And by no means does that imply that it is a fragrance with poor sillage.Half an hour later: discreet wood and a hint of cinnamonThe excellent site parfyym.pri.ee lists note as (if my imagination and google help me translate from esthonian):Top: berries, lavender (probably the metallic note)Mid: ambergris, vanilla, nutmegBase: ambergris, peru balm, tolu balmI usually check the note listing after I do a detailed wearing to avoid being influenced. I suppose I perceived the balms as wood, nutmeg as cinnamon. Berries are a mystery to me. Lavender must be of a non typical kind. Vanilla is a note I tend to lose as a note per se but perceive it as “sweetness” but it is definitely there. I also tend to associate scents with colours. I get a blue-grey quality out of this scent which might be a subliminal association from the lavender. I cannot stress strongly enough that I consider this and Santal Noble as sibling scents. The same construction on a different base.

Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

This is amazing. Come on! This is patchouli. A light patchouli but stop with that nonsense that what's in the name is not in the juice. And the drydown is not vanilla. It is vanilline. The cheap white powder that is used as a substitute of the expensive real thing. I always prefer the real thing when I cook but I must admit that the use of vanilline in a fragrance is ingenious. It brings the soft roundness of vanilla, without the sweetness and with a strong peppery burn in the nostrils. How come no-one thought of this before? Big thumbs up for the idea (by the way, vanilline is a by-product of paper manufacturing).

Ambrette 9 by Le Labo

This came as a complimentary sample from Luckyscent. Maybe that's why i like it so much. I didn't have to pay for it. Yes it's close to the skin and longevity is poor but it is one of those pick-me-up scents that make you feel clean and fresh and happy, like riding on a silver cloud. It has this friuty-floral-tart vibe that is a little feminine but makes you feel cool and easy. I got that vibe from Les Nereides Fleur Poudree de Musc also. Lovely stuff.

Opoponax / Impérial Opoponax by Les Néréides

Previous reviews have said it all. All I have to add is that this is what Obsession Men could 've been had the people who decided to market it have had better taste.

Fleur Poudrée de Musc by Les Néréides

A trully unique concept. A floral but sour openning, a combination that never fails to captivate me, delicate but with a strong presence. Then what you least expect kicks in. A good strong oldfashioned musk. The real thing. Starts on the femine side of unisex, jumps into the masculine to waltz back to the middle of the range. Scentemental says it brings to mind Arome 3 and that just adds another one in my to-sample list. The only thing that drustrates me is that longevity is way below average but I think that this is due to me being anosmic to some types of musc. The way my clothes smell the day after the application is beyond description though....

Serge Noire by Serge Lutens

First time i tried this I was actually scared by it. It seemed to have a huge opening, dry and inensy. When I tried it several months later it seemed mush more tamed. Come to think of it that's probably because i ve smelled Musc Ravageur in the meantime. Where MR is sweet cinammon and vanilla SN is dry cinammon and clove. The second driest SL after Gris Clair. Edit: I wonder if it is just my idea, but SN feels to me just like an addition to the Bois family. Bois des Epices or Bois d' Incense for that matter. I did a side by side of SN and Feminite du Bois and the similarities are amazing. It is like playing the same melody with different instruments.

Lalique pour Homme Equus by Lalique

Never before have I thought so little of a fragrance's topnotes and so much of the drydow. What is this? How did they do this? Probably the most evolving fragrance i have tried.

Eau de Vetyver by L'Occitane

Earthy, warm, fleeting, one of the best though. It combines vetiver with mastic (a combination that I have loved in Encre Noir) to create a bitter intoxicating opening. Poor longevity keeps it from getting my top ranking. IMHO puts VE to shame.

Dans tes Bras by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

What I love about this fragrance is how it reminds me of another Roucel creation, Iris Silver Mist. I get the same salty, non sweet creaminess from those two fragrances. Maybe I also get the mushroom note. Something i wouldn't expect though is a combination of heliotrope with something else which for a feew brief moments in the opening reminds me of immortelle. i wasn't expecting that. Overall a very comfortable skin scent.

Daim Blond by Serge Lutens

What is there not to like here? I 've read people complain about the apricot. If you read the list of notes it says "apricot stone" which to me means the pit of the apricot, something like bitter alomond. Yes it is sweet, but there is a bitter almond note in the heart. Apricot per se? I don't think so. Other than that I really can't imagine how Sheldrake managed to liquefy a pair of suede gloves, infused with the subtle perfume the owner (probably a woman) was wearing. Having said that i don't mean that it is a fragrance unwearable by men. On the contrary. It feels like the loot from a passionate love affair. That's the kind of feminine presence it brings with it. Unbelievable composition. Extremely comfortable to wear and makes you feel comfortable wearing it. For leather lovers together with Montale Aoud Cuir d' Arabie and Nostalgia it forms a Holy Triad of different but exquisitely evocative leather scents. Big thumbs up.

Opoponax by Santa Maria Novella

For the life of me I cannot imagine a woman smelling that way and being considered feminine by straight men!All in all this is a wonderful scent. My first SMN, which I bought from an ordinary pharmacy in Athens, Greece. You see in Athens this is the only place you can find SMN products. An ordinary pharmacy in a posh suburb. Now this is madness.Back to the scent, I detect a bitter citrus in the opening which remains as a soapy basenote throughout the life of this scent on my skin. But instead of being a fresh citrus, it is bitter and thick to the nose. Soon a leathery accord takes over with a deep discrete herbal tone that reminds me of the harshness of fenugreek.Absolutely masculine, quirky, hard to like probably, bordering the animalic, has a very acceptable longevity on my skin.I wonder how it will be like layerd with something on the opposite side of the bitter-sweet spectrum..... (Obsession and Daim Blond come to my mind.....)

Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne

My initial impression of this was "where's the orris, where's the noir". But I actually loved this one. Definately bottle worthy. It pulls off a very nice trick: it uses all the peripheral notes to create an accord that amplifies the very transparent and fleeting iris note. It is like a big chorus taking the weak voice of a child and transferring it accross a thatre. The iris is there but suddenly you realise that not all that you think is iris actually comes from the iris. Excellent!

Iris de Nuit by Heeley

Probably the least feminine iris. It's iris and cedar mostly. Understated. Something a little sour in the heartnotes that I cannot quite put my finger on. If you find most iris scents sweet try this one.

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