Perfume Reviews by iodine

Araia by O.P.S.O

Pleasant, conventionally feminine fragrance, opening with some fresh citrus notes followed by nice powdery, sugary flowers- I read violet, heliotrope and osmanthus in the pyramid- resting on a base of rose tinged, sweet, uncomplicated musk. Nothing new, nothing exciting, just a correct and simple scent.
9th November 2014

Patchouly by Etro

Etro Patchouly is so far the best approximation of my ideal patchouli- my landmark being Lush solid deodorant Aromaco, whose “perfect” take on patchouli is still to be found in an actual fragrance or in patchouli EO.
The opening is not camphoraceous enough to my taste- but I guess my love for that note isn't that common!, but reasonably green and cool, with hints of mint, geranium leaf and a fresh rose. Then patchouli gorgeously displays its facets of walnut, crunched dried leaves, freshly dug earth and also some interestingly bitter inky notes. No sweetness, no boozy notes, only an elegant and refined dryness and depth.The base is a powdery, soft amber- musk leaning on sandalwood, enveloping, comfortable and long lasting.
A beautiful fragrance, perfectly unisex and great in cool weather.
29th October 2014


Norne by Slumberhouse

A precious tiny vial- miraculously escaped from a theft during its long way home from LA to Italy via Switzerland in my sister in law's's bag- delivers a dense, sticky (REALLY sticky, but maybe its due to some evaporation occurred in the meantime), dark green juice. The expectation is high, 'cause I love pine scents and the appreciation of Slumberhouse here on Basenotes is so enthusiastic...
OK, it does feel like having a walk in a dark, mysterious forest- BTW I love the name!-... just after having had an intense painting session, with the pungent, orangey smell of turpentine still lingering on clothes... And- hey, those people camping must have burnt their bacon! And- don't touch pine resin, it will glue your hands and hair together! Anyway, it smells so beautiful here...
If I could get past the green sticky stains on my décolleté, the fleeting but definitely present smell of roasted meat- or burnt tyre, the poor availability in my country and the price, I'd say I've found a great forest fragrance. The drydown is beautiful, rich, deep, mossy and it definitely reminds me of my true holy grail in the forest scent category- AbdesSalaam Attar's Hindu Kush. I guess I'll be sticking to it.
15th October 2014

Indu Kush / Hindu Kush by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

A blast of pines and hesperidic notes in the opening, fresh and balsamic at the same time as only terpenes could be. This forest on the slopes of Hindu Kush is sun kissed- though high and, hence, cool-rather than misty or shady. The resins glisten and melt into a perfect blend of spices- none particularly prominent but all together conveying a green, peppery, resinous feel.
Under this coniferous top a thick, cooler bed of moss lies, slightly bitter, reinforced with a dark, earthy patchouli. The heart and base of HK play around a rich incense note that stands out among the signature resins blend of AbdesSalaam Attar fragrances.
A superb fragrance, rather simple in its composition yet rich, complex and profoundly meditative. One of the best scents on the forest theme, in my opinion, definitely one of the most beloved in my own wardrobe. Totally unisex, with good projection and lasting power.
3rd October 2014

Chillum by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

A smoky, fresh or even cold take on sandalwood, this weird fragrance.
The opening is almost foody, with smoky notes reminding me of Tyrolean speck or other seasoned meats- not exactly how I would like to smell in the morning, or ever. The evolution is centred on sandalwood, restrained in its natural sweet and caramelized facets by some astringent, cold notes- I read there's ginger in the composition. The drydown retains some smokiness in the rich, slightly powdery woody base.
In a line of fragrances that I love, Chillum is maybe my least appreciated, though I can imagine a sandalwood lover finding some interest in this fragrance.
Both projection and longevity are moderate.
27th September 2014

Jasmin de Nuit by The Different Company

The Different Company line has always left me quite cold, none of their fragrances has ever really struck me, JdN itself was a huge disappointment, when I was looking for a more realistic jasmine.
Then, last July, after a holiday in Kefalonia, where I could smell jasmine literally everywhere, I decided to revisit some fragrances I had overlooked and fell for Jasmin de Nuit! It's not the flower itself- to be truly honest I barely can detect it, one could mention tens of more meaningful fragrances in this respect- but the particular association with spices- cinnamon, cardamom, aniseed, a hint of clover and mace- that enhances the natural stink of jasmine to create a smooth, soft animalic feel. The fragrance is quite linear, not evolving much in time, revealing a creamy musk-vanilla base in the drydown, well reminiscent of cookies, as other reviewers suggest. This particular aspect proved decisive for me getting a full bottle of JdN: the second more ubiquitous scent in Kefalonia was cinnamon, generously sprinkled on cookies, pastries and cakes (and also savoury dishes). A spritz of Jasmin de Nuit and, instead of in greyish Milan, I'm having my morning walk to the bakery in Karavomilos!
4th September 2014

Chocolate Amber by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

After having bought a precious jar of tonka beans and having experimented their perfect pairing with dark chocolate I have appreciated the tonka- cocoa accord in several variations on the dessert theme. When I came across Chocolate Amber I found the perfume twin of my fondant au chocolat: the blast of coumarin in the opening, with its facets of fresh plastic, hay and tobacco- here reinforced with a boozy, sugary rum like note; the deep, rich dark cocoa, slightly bitter and powdery, though nothing as powdery and granular as the chocolate in Bornéo 1834, for instance- and the woody, slightly oily sweetness of vanilla pods.
I would define this fragrance extra gourmand, but not in a cavity inducing way, rather in a kind of elegant, sophisticated, “grown up” way.
My only negative remarks is on longevity- unlike the other, all natural AbdesSalaam Attar perfumes I have tested, this one has a really poor longevity- one hour, more or less. Too bad, as it proves extraordinarily comforting and enveloping while it lasts.
24th June 2014

Gardénia Parfum by Chanel

Gardenia opens thick, sugary and cloying like a thousand other generic tropical flowers fragrances, fades quickly into cheap shampoo fruity musky tones to writhe at last in a super synthetic candy-like vanilla. Embarassing fragrance, I spent the whole day of my wearing it (from a sample) wondering where that unpleasant smell came from – me! Nothing like the scent of real gardenias, nor an original or interesting rendition, in my opinion.
23rd May 2014

Fiore della Notte / Night Blossom by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

A black velvet flower, blooming in the deep of a dark, musty, cool forest. Being patchouli and tuberose two of my favourite notes, I was curious to smell how AbdesSalaam Attar treated them. The fragrance is at the same time quite simple and deeply mysterious, with the bolder, more carnal and slightly disturbing facets of tuberose lying on a dark, rich, intensely vegetal smelling base of moss, typical AbdesSalaam's resins and patchouli.
The website suggest to avoid wearing this fragrance at work, due to its power to stimulate a hormonal response: I've worn it in a classroom packed with- mostly male- teenagers and got through safely, anyway!
22nd May 2014

Olène by Diptyque

Indoles- it took me some time to train in recognizing indoles. Not the generic "bad smell" some people invoke, nor the "faecal when concentrated and floral when diluted" as my Organic Chemistry textbook at University stated. As anybody who has smelt them in pureness can tell, indoles smell like naphtalene- not camphor, less subtle and minty and fresh, more gray green, more oppressive and sharp, with a certain bitter inkiness that justifies the comparison with some aromatic components of faeces. I had my initiation to indoles with a lemon flower, then under a wisteria branch, now I can recognize it pretty well even in flowers where other components add to complexity- jasmine, for example. The opening of Olène is a long lasting blast of indoles- Luca Turin says something about their masterly balanced dose in this fragrance. Tiny bubbles of pungent green bitterness covering a straightforward, radiant jasmine. The evolution of the fragrance is quite negligible, only becoming slightly soapy and musky in the drydown, while its projection and sillage are both good (Review based on a sample)
17th April 2014

Iskander by Parfum d'Empire

Pleasant,even if rather conventionally “masculine” fragrance, opening with a nice bitter grapefruit note, but soon totally ruined to my nose by a massive amount of what I believe to be Ambroxan, that covers up the other interesting and well balanced notes with its powdery, woody sweetness. A bit boring, in the end, though I can't be too hard with one of my favourite perfumers around!
17th April 2014

Dalila by O.P.S.O

In my quest for the perfect orange blossoms scent this Dalila appeared quite serendipitously last year at Esxence.
I am not obviously in a position to add much to the exhaustive description Darvant gives above, I will only stress that to my nose the fragrance is almost an orange blossoms soliflore, with each characteristic facet highlighted by complimentary notes: the juicy citruses in the opening, the creamy white flowers in the heart and the gourmand, Neapolitan pastiera cake like, flowery- musky- vanillic drydown. The latter is really the best part of the whole fragrance, being realistic in its gourmandiness but remaining somewhat transparent and never cloying or sticky. It reminds me of other excellently balanced sugary bases: Etro Heliotrope, of course, and also La Traversée du Bosphore.
A very nice,smooth and easy to wear fragrance, with a good lasting power.
7th April 2014

Tabac by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Tabac opens with a mellow, comforting boozy whiff of aromatic plants like those you find in a herbal liquor- wormwood, liquorice wood, star anise. Then the eponimous note emerges, moderately smoky- my partner told me it smelt like the tiny brush you use to clean tobacco pipes!- leafy and moderately fruity- sitting more on slightly sour fruit notes -apricots and plums- than on ripe, sweet , thick ones. The result is elegant, dry and sheer, with a certain freshness. The base notes rely on the wonderful ambery, faintly bitter, resinous accord so typical of AbdesSalaam fragrances, rich in vanilla but never overly sweet. The lasting power is quite good, for a natural fragrance, while the projection is rather poor- after a couple of hours you can smell it only putting your nose close to your skin- a rewarding experience, though! Totally unisex, in my opinion.
8th February 2014

Milano Caffè by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

I must have been distracted when perfumer AbdesSalaam Attar launched his project on Italian cities here on Basenotes- I would have loved to take part in the development of a fragrance inspired by my home town!
Fortunately others did and what a beautiful result!
To be truly honest, this fragrance has a much more immediate and flattering beauty than the city itself- I wish Milan were so warm and spicy and open to the world! AbdesSalaam has decided to catch a very peculiar glimpse of it, through the ubiquitous smell of coffee that oozes from every bar and private house and the lively spiciness of a slice of East Africa in the heart of the city- a handful of streets in the semicentral district of Porta Venezia where a multiethnic community resides since many years.
The fragrance is smooth, rounded and polished like a coffee bean. It starts rather green, with minty and herbal notes, then gets softer, powdery with a coffee- cocoa accord (reminding me more of the cold remains of coffee in a cup than a steaming hot espresso). There is a certain sweetness , but it never turns gourmand or edible (drinkable, I should say!). The woody and slightly bitter facets of coffee and cocoa are highlighted here, along with a balsamic, resinous quality that I have found in every Profumo fragrance so far. The spiciness is supplied by mostly pepper and cardamom throughout the whole fragrance.The drydown is a deliciously bittersweet, amber, at the same time warm and dry and austere, with hints of a resin with slightly lemony undertones (labdanum?) and cedarwood.
The lasting power is rather good for an all-natural fragrance, though a certain liberality in spraying is necessary to obtain the effect. The projection is moderate, on the other hand, but most of the fragrances of this line are intended to be this way. The fragrance is indicated as masculine on Profumo website but it's perfectly unisex in my opinion.
20th January 2014

L'Autre by Diptyque

I love spices- reading about the history of their diffusion in the Western world, discovering the chemistry behind them and, of course using them while cooking. I've recently started making my own mixes- garam masala, pain d'épices mixture, ras- el- hanut- having a lot of fun with my mortar and pestle. Now, as I love smelling the garam masala mixture sizzling in the pan and I love finding fragrant traces of it in my kitchen even a few days after, I'm really ill at ease with feeling like I've rolled in it! Cumin- not too sweaty- a lot of cardamom, fenugreek, something herbal fresh and aromatic (thyme? laurel?) on a thick, slightly oily, sweetish resinous base... Although I appreciate the originality of the formula, the strong association with Indian food makes it unwearable for me.
28th November 2013

parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Ouarzazate by Comme des Garçons

I love the opening of Ouarzazate, its bitter, dry herbal notes with hints of spices- I'd say cardamom and anise- and even a trace of sweetened tea, enveloping the smoky, yet luminous and light heart of incense.
Too bad the evolution is very swift and the drydown relies on molecules that, as someone previously stated, have become heavily widespread in mainistream fragrances, hence smell a bit common and banal, in the end, though not unplaesant at all.
Considering that I'm appreciating only a half of the fragrance I could have given "neutral", but the idea behind the Incense Series is so fascinating, and the whole series so coherent that I won't be fussing over!
11th November 2013

Nombril Immense by Etat Libre d'Orange

A soft, quite harmless, safe and unsurprising patchouli- musk fragrance. Nothing to get excited about: the patchouli is polished, clean, devoid of its more animalic and earthy facets, the musk, though very prominent since the opening, is not too offensive to my nose- i.e. not too synthetic, nor too unpleasantly waxy smelling. Instead, it gives a "furry" quality to the whole fragrance, that in the end tends to smell a bit stale and weary. Projection and longevity are both quite poor- at least when dabbed from a sample.
4th November 2013

Patchouli Patch by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Autumnal PatchouliPatchouli Patch opens marvellously, with a ripe, mellow and smiling Osmanthus note that sublimes the natural fruity, boozy shades of patchouli.Then, the flowery- fruity opening deepens with leathery, almost metallic and spicy facets -the official list says star anise, Luca Turin says fenugreek... to my nose it's a kind of Indian spice mix, none particularly detectable- among which an earthy, dry but not too camphoraceus, alas!, patchouli sits royally. The fragrance feels airy and luminous, with a kind of Early Autumn vibe.Everything would be perfect if, at this stage, a huge, "furry" musk didn't emerge and slowly overwhelm every other note. It must be my hyper sensitivity- and poor endurance- with most musks, but the rather long drydown isn't welcome to my nostrils, though it never reaches the offensive level.It's a pity, as the top and mid notes are truly beautiful and skilfully balanced.
29th September 2013

Mistral Patchouli by Atelier Cologne

To the Lighthouse Forget patchouli, and mistral as well. This fragrance has nothing of the typical patchouli facets- except maybe for some feeble, yet nicely hovering mustiness- and nothing cold or wild, as the eponymous wind is supposed to be. Mistral Patchouli is, instead, a sunny, serene, marine - but not in the sense of aquatic- refreshing fragrance. It starts with a sightly dry, bitter, crispy grapefruit and continues with a rather unusual, smooth fennel note (star anise, the official list says). Base notes are, for a change in Atelier Cologne line!, pleasant and long lasting: lemony, salty wood, with the slightly dusty note mentioned before. Mistral Patchouli makes me think of an old house by the sea, the smell of empty rooms that have been locked for months suddenly flooded with light and marine breeze that carries scents of plants and woods washed on the shore.
28th June 2013

Oyédo by Diptyque

juicy coolness Oyedo opens with an exhilarating, juicy note- it's said to be yuzu, but for me it's simply a perfect citrus, one I would never get tired smelling. The dripping citrus soon gains flesh thanks to a fruity note- tamarind, the official pyramid lists, but I must admit I have no clue of how tamarind smells- that reminds me somewhat of sweet, slightly sticky, musky grapes. The heart of the fragrance is weirdly enlightened by an aromatic, camphoraceous note of thyme, that adds a touch of iridescent, metallic greenness. The drydown is soft, fruity sweet musk- this is my less favourite part of the fragrance, I'd wish the head and mid notes would last forever... Oyedo is a fragrance I love wearing in hot weather, when it proves uplifting and refreshing. The sillage and lasting power are both quite good.
25th June 2013

Yuzu Fou by Parfum d'Empire

yuzu & hinoki A blast of sparkling, juicy citrus notes, reinforced in mineral, slightly urinous and animalic facets opens Yuzu Fou. The general fresh, sappy feel of the opening is prompted by aromatic, minty, mildly resinous notes that smoothly and impeccably slide in a sweet, green tinged cedar. This phase reminds me the smell of some hinoki (a Japanese variety of cypress) burning sticks I sometimes use.(Only at this point the stated "homage to Japan" this fragrance is meant to be makes some sense to me, but I've never visited Japan, so I can't really tell). The lasting power is quite good, a good eight hours in warm weather. A beautiful fragrance, as many others in the remarkable PdE line, maybe more on the masculine side.
22nd June 2013

Aloha Tiaré / Tiaré by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

white flowers gourmand Aloha Tiaré opens with a fizzy, sparkling, citrussy note that fosters fleshy exotic white flowers- frangipani and tiaré- while tempering their headiness. The evolution is towards a heart of tropical , pulpy fruit- peach, banana, coconut- and jasmine The drydown is an excellently balanced gourmand vanilla, signature of many fragrances of the house, with the right dose of sweetness that retains a certain resinous, honeyed, slightly bitter quality. Aloha Tiaré is a fun fragrance- you could imagine yourself wearing it at a party on the beach, with flower lei, fancy cocktails and so on, but it also proves pleasantly displacing when worn in an everyday context. The sillage and longevity are good, also in hot weather.
21st June 2013

Oolang Infini by Atelier Cologne

harsh tea Oolong tea is a fragrance in itself, combining the typical herbal and woody notes of tea with delicate floral bouquets, with subtle differences from plantation to plantation. I was curious to test this fragrance, but also wary, as I've seldom found a true and good tea note in fragrances. (Moreover, during the nineties, the market was so dumped with self styled tea scented products to discourage every tea-lover in the hope of finding a realistic note). Oolang Infini, for the first half an hour seems miraculously able to give a true tea sensation- maybe not an oolong (too much citrus, not enough flowers), but a definite herbaceous, ligneous and slightly tannic scent. Unfortunately, as it often happens to me with Atelier Cologne fragrances, what follows turns out to be a nondescript, rather harsh and thin woody base, that makes me forget the beauty of the opening.
17th June 2013

Trèfle Pur by Atelier Cologne

leafy green I don't like much reviews starting with "this fragrance smells exactly like this other one", but I'm going to except right now: this fragrance smells almost exactly like the room fragrance Sous Les Feuilles by Esteban! A fresh, herbaceous, slightly floral opening- tomato stems, sunny citrus, grass and leaves. As usual for me with most fragrances of Atelier Cologne line, the opening is juicy, invigorating, suggestive. In half an hour- count that I'm testing it in a rather hot day, so the evaporation times can be accelerated- a green, sharp, synthetic note makes a solo, to fall then on a rather common woody- ambery base. A nice, harmless and a bit boring fragrance, impossible for me to wear on skin, after having used for a long time the aforementioned Esteban room fragrance.
16th June 2013