Perfume Reviews by IsoESuperman

New Tradition by Etro

BLUF: An herbal, woody meeting of old-school and not old but not new-school styles.

Reminiscent of opening an old wooden dresser that's been in storage for decades. Perhaps one that's been stored inside a church...or better yet, the smell of old wooden church pews that have absorbed the tiniest bit of liturgical incense. If I'm making it sound exciting or interesting, that doesn't reflect how New Tradition moves me, because it doesn't move me much at all.

I'll give Etro points for doing what they're typically good at, making a polished, fairly seamless scent. In the case of New Tradition, they manage to make (what to me smells like) carnation/clove, rose geranium, patchouli, lavender, and a woody accord melt into an unchanging tone, pleasant tone. I just happen to find the result a little boring.

If I were feeling particularly charitable, I might say that it does a remarkable job of combining a Bohemian hippie-chic patchouli & incense scent with a more traditional herbal/woody/rose fougere type thing.

It wears fairly quietly but for a long time. Although I'm nonplussed, this could be the ideal "your skin but better" scent for someone else.
29th June 2023

Oud Orange Intense by Fragrance Du Bois

BLUF: A quasi-ambery, quite sweet, easy-to-swallow (scent-wise) high priced consumable product that smells better than nothing.

Oud and orange are two things I don’t smell. The price is intense for sure, so I feel like I’m at least getting some truth in advertising.

I received a carded sample as a freebie during either a sale or swap here. I’ll never buy this, I’ll never wear it again, I’ll never recommend it, and I’ll never say I hated wearing it. This smells perfectly fine, as do 1200 other scents like it. I’m 98% sure a bunch are available at Zara for $25.

The overall powdery sweet amber gets a neutral. The price point throws it below the depths of a thumbs down. Rating scent here.
16th July 2022


Moonmilk by Stora Skuggan

BLUF: Enjoyable, somewhat novel opening. Less enjoyable, somewhat nuclear woody/amber base.

I came for the sandalwood and tea with cautiously optimistic expectations. I'm not entirely disappointed. I'm not entirely satisfied.

The first few minutes do a decent job of sticking to the note pyramid. Lime, a fairly decent black tea accord, and some cool aromatic spice (sure, let's say cardamom). I don't find anything particularly floral about it. The woody base certainly presents a strong suggestion of the synth sandalwood accord I typically enjoy 4/5 times, and here isn't all that different.

After a few hours I feels like it's droning on, maybe even somehow intensifying. When worn on the back of my hand and making contact with a shirt sleeve, it took two times through the laundry to become barely noticeable. I'm not one to pile on woody amber ACs. Railing against them feels like railing against electricity because you think the internet is bad for society. I like modern perfumery and I don't think it would be what it is without them. But like all people, I have a level of tolerance and Moonmilk creeps just over that threshold about 50% of the time I wear it.

According to the brand, "A massive accord of sandalwood makes up nearly half the formula". For sure, massive indeed. I just wish it was less massive and more moderate. What a prude.

It's not you, Moonmilk, it's me.
18th January 2022

Myst by Hendley Perfumes

*Not-in-directory review feature test*

Fantastic woody/floral number that makes me want to sit in a lawn chair in the woods during the summer and not think about anything.
7th December 2021

Cuir 28 by Le Labo

BLUF: Starts as a fun, and almost memorable, modern transparent smoky birch leather, ends as the world's most boring vetiver.

I enjoy the leather accord in the top notes/early mid. I think it falls somewhere in the middle of Cuiron's modern, transparent, almost watery suede/brown leather combo and Mona di Orio's birch smoke/spice/nigh-animalic Russian style leather. It smells good and comes off as fine-tuned and polished.

A neat party trick, that transformation from leather to vetiver, but rather a let down for this wearer because the part I like disappears and is replaced with something I don't.

If I try to have a sense of humor about the development, I do appreciate that Le Labo built in the namesake accord rather blatantly, as they often do not. But as soon as you start thinking "Cuir is actually a cuir!" it begins to lose the leather accord I like and a dry, electrical fire-y, unrefined woody vetiver comes into the mix. You got me again, Le Labo. Hilarious.

I'm a big fan of vetiver in almost all shapes and sizes, and this is easily among my least favorite portrayals. It simply doesn't smell good to me, it smells industrial and lifeless, and not in a modern, edgy way, it just smells half-assed.

Starts as a thumbs up, spends most of its life on skin as a thumbs down. Nets a neutral, like most from this house.
3rd October 2018

Explosions d’Emotions : Rappelle-Toi by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I consider myself an adventurous sniffer. There's practically nothing that I'd pass up on sniffing, should you place a bottle, sample, or tester strip in front of me. When I hear "tropical floral" however, I involuntarily make an eww face and I've the urge to pass. My opinions on most tropical florals are usually one of three things:

1) Hackneyed, boring
2) Pretty gross
3) Both

Despite the fact that I used to slurp down Hawaiian Punch by the gallon as a kid, I don't like sugary drinks and I definitely don't want to smell like one. Adding gardenia or jasmine or tuberose or mimosa to fruit punch makes it even less appealing, despite those flowers' abilities to produce beautiful soliflores.

Rappelle-Toi, for whatever reason, simply works. I think this smells great. To me it reads as a simple concoction of jasmine and gardenia notes with a backbone of white musk and a touch of incense, with very brief aromatic citrus top notes. It's modestly sweet, although it doesn't read as the listed honey note, just more of a "sweet floral" accord. It possesses an charming sense of tropical exoticism that I enjoy.

Not too heavy, not at all cloying, and somehow rather distinctive smelling, despite the rather common structure.

Off the top of my head (and I'm probably forgetting a couple) I can only think only one other "tropical floral" that I enjoy - Dusita's Mélodie de L'Amour. The Dusita is much more full-bodied and decidedly more exotic/classy, but they scratch a similar, very specific itch for me, and I can't help but enjoy them. Nicely done.
11th August 2018

The Peradam by Apoteker Tepe

BLUF: Lily and orris done to near perfection. Earthy, animalic, breathtaking, unisex floral/woody. Would run into a burning building to save. About 1.5% of perfumes I've rated on Basenotes get five stars. The Peradam is one of them.

I think this is an outstanding, one-of-a-kind fragrance. When I first tried it in 2016, it was one of the handful of times where upon first sniff, I was utterly moved and left speechless. The Peradam has the distinction of being able to do that to me time and time again. It's easy to be wowed the first time you try something. Not as easy to happen on the twentieth. It isn't 'pretty' but bewitching nonetheless.

It opens with a blast of realistic white lily, stem and all (true lily, genus lilium - not lily of the valley), paired with a dense, doughy, unapologetically stark orris root. It smells gray/white to me. This is where most of the floral animalism lies, considering the realism of the lily note. That 'imperfect' narcotic intensity is what I love about lily. There's jasmine here too, rounding and filling out the earthy floral space...although this floralcy is so distinctive and uncommon, using the word 'floral' is misleading, but it's the best I can do.

The lily mellows and becomes enveloped by the orris and vaguely sandalwoody base. Although not listed, to me the backbone seems also to be comprised of smidgen of vetiver and/or costus. In a way it is rather linear, in that the opening and drydown aren't all that different, but the orris is so multifaceted that it is never a boring ride.

An impressive display of skill and the imagination to do something original with orris butter, creating an atmosphere of earthy/rooty floral smells that is more environment than perfume. Not surprising, considering this is dosed with a healthy amount of natural materials.

I don't have a lot of regrets in my perfumed life, but I do wish I made more of an effort to shine a light on Apoteker Tepe, which is sadly defunct as of March 2018. I'd say "must sample for any fans of orris" but that'd just be cruel.

I'm hoping the love from Turin & Sanchez and accompanying (albeit small) resurgence in interest might nudge perfumer/proprietor Holladay Saltz to reboot the house. Probably not, but one can hope.
26th July 2018

Fume by Hendley Perfumes

BLUF: Norne Light, and it is wonderful.

*(Review for the "new" 2018 version, in which Hans has tinctured his own Lapsang Souchong - Fume was previously shelved because he ran into issues sourcing the Lapsang he initially used in the composition)*

Fume is a right up my alley because fir balsam is right up my alley. If you are also a fan of the note and/or material, Fume is worth a sample.

If you are such a person, you've probably already tried Norne. If you almost loved Norne but found it was a little too much of a good thing (or just plain too much), or disliked the fact that wherever you sprayed looked like bruised skin, this might have all the knobs turned to the right settings - it does for me. Fume is plenty substantial but not nearly as dense in feel and possesses a smoother, airier texture, lighter on the spice notes, lighter on the smoke, yet just as "pine forest" as Norne is.

Fume is also, importantly, devoid of the clove-y component from Norne. It's minor in Norne to me, but to others the clove seems a deal-breaker. The smoke in Fume is mellow but present throughout, ostensibly coming from the Lapsang Souchong tincture. There is the lightest touch of something like vetiver (listed as ruh khus) modulating the woody and smokey qualities.

I'm only going on at length with the Slumberhouse comparison because Norne is fairly well known, and this bears a striking resemblance in scent. I don't believe Fume is intended as a copy nor smell-a-like, and I feel strongly that Fume stands proudly on its own two legs. I prefer this to Norne. There is also a resemblance to Euphorium Brooklyn's Wald, which is a much more "campfire" and complex take on the fir balsam theme.

Longevity is admirable (a work day and then some) and it wears moderately close to my skin so I can enjoy it without feeling loud. I treated myself to a 9ml spray for a very reasonable $28 and it comes in a rock-solid heavy glass cylindrical bottle with a reliable sprayer, which I enjoy.

99% of the time I wear perfume because I enjoy perfume. The other 1% is when I want to smell like a landscape and not a fragrance. An imaginary utopian countryside (Cuir Pleine Fleur), the damp decay of a mixed deciduous/coniferous forest floor (After The Flood), or the coniferous elevations of my old stomping grounds in the central Oregon Cascades (Fume or Norne). There is no substitute for the real thing, but seeing as I can't fly anywhere in the world on a whim, I welcome scents like Fume into my wardrobe.

I haven't tried the previous version, but luckily there are no burnt chemical or stale thrift shop smells anywhere in sight. Thumbs up and recommended to any and all fans of balsamic conifer scents.
7th June 2018

Mx. by Eris Parfums

*According to Barbara Herman, this is pronounced "mix".

What I mainly get from Mx. is a modern blend of sheer, soft woody notes (conifers, sandal) and a birch/orris vibe, similar to that airy "incense" accord in Fazzolari's Feu Secret, but less compelling. I like that aspect of the opening, but the rest falls flat for me.

In the context of 2018 and with the skill and imagination of Antonie Lie in mind, I personally found this mundane, as well as disappointing. It's not tragically repetitive nor is it off-putting, but it does smell pedestrian and like a riff on any number of synth-sandalwood fragrances, most of which I enjoy more than this. Don't get me wrong, I particularly like that synth-sandal note/accord/whatever it is - perhaps some blend of cashmeran and other woody stuff. It's the same type of lactic, slightly sweet sandal note as I detect in Oud Malaki, SJP Stash, Pal Zileri Sartoriale, the revamped 2017 version of Santal Noble, etc. It dominates the composition for me.

The note listing gives the impression of a complex spiced, woody, potentially smoky/animalic oriental - but all I get is a pale, smoothed out, synth woody scent. No vetiver, no cacao, and certainly no saffron or castoreum.

It smells good enough, but there is little here to distinguish it from so many others in this family. Mx. is my first try from the house and I really wanted to like it, and for whatever reason, tried hard to make that happen. I went through 3 samples from LuckyScent, dabbed one, atomized the second two - all led me to the same conclusion.

The perfumer said:

"Mx. is a subtle mix of rich ingredients I love, without floral notes or diluted musks. It's not a clean, neutral, unisex fragrance, but a lush, romantic, inviting scent for everyone - whatever their gender."

I think the brief was met in the sense that something for either gender to wear was no doubt created, but as far as my tastes go, this actually is clean and neutral, and far from the lush animalic purr that Herman and Lie were aiming for.

I'm still looking forward to trying more from Eris, but less so than before I tried Mx.
15th April 2018

Diorissimo Eau de Toilette by Christian Dior

(For the extrait/parfum, a 1980 bottling)

This strikes me as a stripped-down floral done to near perfection with high quality materials. The opening is almost tropically floral without leaning into fruit punch territory (no surprise to see ylang listed). Rich, lush, deep - all without feeling heavy or cloying. In fact, it's alarmingly light and airy at the same time. I find it hard to describe this contradiction.

It prominently features a full-bodied lily of the valley note which is also not cloying, as it sometimes can seem to me. This lends a beautiful, crisp, dewy white/green vibe without feeling too stuffy. I found the tropical ylang to burn off fairly quickly, at which time the LotV pretty much takes over. There is a woody backbone to this that brings to mind sandalwood, not as a featured note but rather part of the matrix, providing attachment points for the florals.

Beautiful stuff. While very floral-forward and feminine (as far as my tastes go), if I had a craving for a LotV scent, I'd have no problem breaking this out and dabbing some on while I'm out and about on a spring day. It is also very much a time-machine scent. We had a large patch of LotV in my front yard growing up. My mom was a flower/gardening nut, as well as a wearer of this perfume oil called Rain from a local apothecary (funny enough was called Lily's of the Alley) which was primarily a LotV soliflore, but way more heady/rubbery than this. It takes me back.
25th March 2018

Diorama by Christian Dior

(For the Eau de Toilette, a 1978 bottling)

Opens as a fresh green/white chypre with a noticeable lily of the valley note. Pretty sure there is some jasmine involved too. It's quite mellow. Watery isn't the best descriptor but this has a fresh watery quality to it. Light on its feet. I have to say, the decant I'm smelling has survived remarkably well, being almost 40 years old. It doesn't smell old at all, quality nor composition wise. There is a clear bouquet of fruit that starts to come out but is never sugary, heavy, or cloying – brings to mind peach and red berries. It's complimented by the florals and offset by an increasingly prominent green character that strikes me as mildly vegetal, perhaps a small dose of galbanum and/or violet leaf. It's not astringent, though.

Maybe 45 minutes in the fruits have receded, the white florals have come forward more, and the jasmine is clear as a bell…but instead of smelling like straight indolic jasmine, it smells like jasmine incense. I get an unlit incense vibe or some kind of resin. It has started to take on an oh-so-slight powdery feel, like super fine talcum powder with oriental underpinnings. It's so fine that “powdery” seems like the wrong word to use, but I'm at a loss for a better one. 90 minutes in and everything in pretty much status quo, except there is now a leathery component to the base. Given the time period, my bet is on castoreum.

Roudnitska is no slouch, that's for sure. This is an expertly balanced fragrance. Fruit that is never too heavy, jasmine indoles that purr rather than growl, on an airy yet substantial base of powder that isn't powdery. The good old days, am I right?

A friend says, "What's not to like? Diorama is gorgeous."

I couldn't agree more.
25th March 2018

Nombre Noir by Shiseido

BLUF: A humid dark rose chypre. A compelling rose note, damp and dewy with some subtle red & orange colored spices (like in Egoiste). Pretty scent, ugly asking price.

Nombre Noir is charming. I find it downright pretty. I don't think it is off-the-charts amazing or innovative in terms of structure, but I do think it is a skillfully balanced and pleasing fragrance. In the opening I mostly detect a mossy dark rose/patchouli mix. Considering the year it was released (1981), the restraint of all three main notes is admirable. In fact I'd even call it delicate. It has plenty of substance but is never close to heavy or overbearing. It has a rounded, smooth texture that agrees with my tastes very much.

After about an hour, I start to pick up on an airy, mildly sweet tannic red wine vibe. Presumably from the rose and woods, maybe the light clove-spiced carnation too. A sandalwood/rosewood base lightly supports everything in a complimentary fashion. Unlike my vintage-loving cohort, I do not find much of a connection to Ho Hang Club. Then again, I don't find a HHC/Antaeus commonality either.

Nombre Noir seems to be famous for two reasons. Reason one, and probably the lesser, is that it's the first commercial perfume that Serge Lutens helped breathe life into, as far as I know. The second, and likely the reason it now goes for $2000/15ml on eBay is that Luca Turin basically creamed his pants over Nombre Noir…is what some lesser, cruder, truly classless person might say. He fawned, prices rose.

I like Nombre Noir perfectly well. If I were able to find a 10ml decant for say $40, I'd be all over it. But in this dark rose chypre genre of yesteryear, I'll take L'Arte di Gucci over this any day.

In fact, if I were to break it down into a single, do-no-justice sentence, I'd say, “A woodier, softer, lighter, less rosey, L'Arte di Gucci”.

Recommended sniffing if you can do so for a reasonable price.
25th March 2018

Eau Delà : Fortis : L'Eau Forte by Les Liquides Imaginaires

I won't go into detail about what it smells like, because it really is very similar to Black Afgano in scent (not strength), just a little more "cashmeran woody" and less smoky. Something like an admixture of 70% Black Afgano, 15% Chopard's Oud Malaki, 15% a cumin version of Molecule 1. It wears lightly and is a decent woody/spicy/rubbery/synth-oud cypriol companion for about 20 minutes until it starts to reveal the semi-transparent "niche dark woody" base I've smelled a hundred times before.

It doesn't smell bad, it doesn't smell great. It smells like in a year from now, I'll forget I have the sample and forget I wrote a review of it...if you can call this a review.
13th January 2018

London Oud by Fragrance Du Bois

Do you like fragrances that have oud on the label but barely smell of oud? Are you one of the few people who likes the YSL flanker L'Homme Libre, but wish it cost 20x more? If so, this is an exciting day folks - London Oud is here to answer your prayers!

That snarky intro isn't totally fair. There very well may be real Laotian oud in here, with its straight-laced lacquered tone and airy nuances of fruit, but I honestly think this smells 90% identical to L'Homme Libre. I do like L'Homme Libre quite a bit (the only L'Homme I like) therefore I also like London Oud. London Oud smells a bit more polished, softer, and rounder. Overall, it is more interesting.

For details of what London Oud smells like, check out reviews for the YSL, or get a sample from LuckyScent like I did (worth a sniff for $6). The pyramid for London Oud here is considerably different than that of the Fragrance du Bois website, which shares more notes with Libre, patchouli being the most important.

100ml of L'Homme Libre can be had for ~$45
100ml of London Oud can be had for ~$860

The latter smells of quality more so than the former, but I know which I'd pick.
22nd July 2017

Anabasis by Apoteker Tepe

BLUF: A style of fragrance that is usually a snooze-fest for me, but this I found exciting. A super clean, grassy, green, minty, clean, clean, clean woody offering, with a very, very light touch of something smoky/resinous (birch? incense?).

Expectations were not high here, but at first sniff I was hooked. In a handful of ways it is similar to another fragrance I also love - Tindrer (Baruti), but this is much more transparent and less compact, if that makes any sense. Anabasis is also much more natural smelling. The perfumer/proprietor of Apoteker Tepe, Holladay Saltz, purportedly makes a point of using some naturals in all her work and having smelled them all, I believe that. For me personally, having both Anabasis and Tindrer might be redundant, but I'm tempted to prove myself wrong. The initial sniff caught me off-guard, because the photo of the bottle on Basenotes has brownish/amber colored liquid (Pavlovian response) and incense and cedar are listed in the notes...but it smells completely bright and green. Turns out that's because it is the wrong photo (instead The Holy Mountain is pictured at the time of this review).

Certainly not a groundbreaking fragrance, but seems to be to be made with quality materials and by someone with a clear vision and skilled hand. Longevity in a vacuum is on the low side, but relative to this genre, pretty on par – about 4 to 5 hours before becoming a skin scent. I admit that the top notes are by far the most compelling part, but I think it's a solid structure from start to finish, the base losing some of that hyper-fresh minty feel and taking on a more familiar woody/musky one.

Recommended sampling if you are bored with the same old fresh fare like I am. Fairly priced at $110/50ml. Thumbs up.
22nd February 2017

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

BLUF: Different from all other vetivers I've tried.

I know we all have our own take on what "powdery" means, but I perceived this as a powdery, white floral, clean take on vetiver. It doesn't smell at all like Dior's Privée Vétiver, but I feel like they are painted on similarly dry vetiver canvases.

The vetiver starts off in the background and seems to be of the grassy/green sort, and is joined by soft florals and sweetness (smells more like vanilla, but tonka is listed) and some hesperidic top notes. Some hours later, it takes on the more smoky/crunchy aspects that I associate with Java vetiver (the kind listed in the notes here), and at this point most of the "powder" and florals have died down considerably and it's primarily a woody/vetiver scent with a touch of dry aromatic herbs of which I cannot pinpoint.

Nice overall, not your typical take on the namesake note, but not compelled to pursue any further than my sample. Worth sampling for any vetiver fan, as I know of no analogs.
22nd February 2017

Berlin im Winter by Baruti

BLUF: One of the most unique and well thought out fragrances I've come across. Niche creativity with 80's designer performance. Just fantastic.

Really neat opening, a different kind of dark. Immediately I detect plum, damp synthetic woods, lavender, and a little iris...but it's not waxy or powdery. Instead it is velvety soft to the touch and dark purple, almost brown. The way the fruits, incense, and faint coffee note interplay is really comforting and beautiful, as it all lies atop a gently humming lavender base. As it dries it takes a decidedly more balsamic turn but it doesn't lose what I liked about the opening. It's not linear, but it's close; fine by me because I love everything about every part of this.

This probably isn't helpful information, but if I really try, it ALMOST smells like organic decay in a temperate rainforest a la Oregon Coast Range. Were the sweeter plummy/cassis aspect not there, it might smell a bit like digging in the groundcover at the base of a huge Western Hemlock where the permanently shaded damp forest floor is composed of shed bark, spent pine needles in the throes of decomposition, sap, and other plant detritus. I find both the scent and the imagery it conjures absolutely beautiful, almost Zen-like for me.

There is a pronounced density during the lifespan of Berlin im Winter (and many from Baruti - all Extrait de Parfum), which by the way, has longevity that is just short of permanent, but it's not an overstuffed/impenetrable type of dense. There is still room for the notes to breath. I seem to smell a compact core of balsamic woods, both ripe/juicy & leathery dried fruit, and resins, around which the rest of the notes (a dark rose/lavender combo & faint coffee) orbit on irregular elliptical tracks - coming into clear view and then zipping back off into space, only to show up again after you've forgotten about them.

rbaker - "A contemporary masterpiece"
purecaramel - "Masterpiece? Oh, yes."
myself - "What they said."

Some will find this weird and unwearable. For others, like myself, it will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling that there is hope for modern perfumery yet.

I eagerly paid full retail for a bottle within hours of trying the sample a good friend graciously sent me. Few have connected with/left an impact on me the way Berlin im Winter has, I'll surely never be without it. I've been wearing it for close to a year now and have been daunted by reviewing it, as I am with many of my favorites. Part of me wants to write a FrankieChocolate story about it, but I won't...or is that what I just did?
6th February 2017

Ernest by Deco London

Gillette Cool Wave aftershave gel from the 90's (but obviously slightly nicer, more polished) with a citrus top. If you've smelled Cool Wave, you're quite familiar with what Ernest smells like.

Leather? Sandal? Vetiver? Amber??? "Hey guys, stop the line, stop the line! You forgot to bolt on the base notes again..." maybe my sample slipped through QAQC, who knows. Might be for the best though, because I'm wondering how those would mesh with a sporty/cold-ish aquatic vibe. The base, to me, seems more like lavender and white musk.

As pleasant as it is utterly derivative. Neutral.
2nd February 2017

Frank No. 3 by Frank Los Angeles

BLUF: This is in regards to the “reorchestrated” version released in 2016…I think – because the fragrance/juice/liquid is now an orange-pinkish color (in my LuckyScent vial) and smells nothing like what the reviews from 2008-2012 describe.

What I smell is unequivocally disappointing: an overdose of heliotropin and ethyl maltol, even more so than L'Homme Ideal (which I can't stand), some cheap, sweet, powdery "tobacco" notes, and an amalgamation of recent masculine designer releases currently sitting on the counter of any given Macy's. It basically smells like someone mixed a cheap knockoff of Back to Black with a cheap knockoff of L'Homme Ideal.

For a brief 10-15 seconds in the opening, there is something like a nod to Salvador Dali Pour Homme underneath it all – a weird grungy patchouli, but it is swept away post-haste, in a torrent of sugary almond pig slop, along with any hope of my enjoying it. The powdery almond tonka slop gets even sloppier as it continues to dry down, eventually leading one of the messiest, uninspired, most piecemeal bases I've ever smelled.

The one thing I like about the drydown, relative to the rest of the show, is that the sweetness of the heliotropin has waned a bit. This would be what I consider a "lipstick on a pig" type of situation.

This is a huge miss for me, it's just way to sweet and overtly synthetic for my tastes, not to mention boring. “Insipid” comes to mind. Just another overly sweet tobacco/candy scent.

If this is somebody's idea of an improvement over the original No. 3, first, I find that hard to believe, and second, if this truly is an improvement, you couldn't pay me to wear whatever this used to be. Nowhere near neutral territory.
12th January 2017

Tindrer by Baruti

BLUF: Spyros does a green one in his signature style, an amazing green one. Earthy, vegetal, green/damp (almost watery), and eventually woody. Touches of sweet violet. Heliotrope is not prominent (thank g*d). Review could be considered biased: the reviewer f***ing loves this house.

I haven't seen anyone talk about this fragrance since it came out in May (I think it was May...), not on Basenotes anyway. I personally think it is his second best work, next to Berlin im Winter. Although perhaps they cannot be directly compared, being in very different genres. It certainly is my second favorite Baruti. Created as "a happy/sad" perfume, Tindrer is pure joy for this guy.

To me, this clearly seems to share a commonality with Melkmeisje. Almost like a remix, the way Berlin im Winter (aka Indigo RMX) is a remix of Indigo. It has that same sharp, natural snap in the opening, but instead of it feeling bright pastel yellow in Melkmeisje, in Tindrer it is a deep sparkling green. They both strike me as sort of paradoxical, in that they simultaneously seem futuristically synthetic and natural smelling. Like all from the house, this Extrait de Parfum lasts forever on my skin, and any clothing it touches.

It certainly seems like the most "wearable" fragrance from the house. As much as I love the ones I do, I'm not surprised when people are uneasy about wearing them; they are not common fare. Everything seem to be in balance here, even the dose of white musk in the base. Like other Baruti releases this smells like nothing else I've tried from other houses (except for the new Dama Koupa, not yet in directory at time of review, which reminds me of Dior Homme Parfum).

Tindrer is probably the most unique green fragrance I've tried to date, and one of my favorites. Those include Eau de Campagne (classical), Palais Jamais (unique and dusty/smoky), and now Tindrer (unique and futuristic). Oddly enough I own none of them, but come spring, I will have this.

Bravo Spyros. I love what you do and I hope you keep doing it for years to come.
8th December 2016

Eau de Lavande by Diptyque

BLUF: At the time of this review update (28MAR2019), this is my ideal stripped down lavender. Warm and realistic.

I've done a drastic 180 on this little number. The original rating was neutral and after wearing it from a sample a few times back in 2016, I was nonplussed. I revisited the sample recently and was frankly smitten, then immediately sought out a bottle.

I still find it to be more or less a lavender soliflore, straightforward as well, but this has such excellent depth and realism that I feel compelled to change my review. I don't find it as dry as I used to. Aspects of it are dry to be sure, but it also has a humid/rich quality as well. Unusually rich relative to many of the airy fresh florals Diptyque is known for, but leave it to Giacobetti to nail a light/heavy juxtaposition with freshness and warmth perfectly paired.

There is an almost smoked/smoldering quality to it, like you pulverized high-elevation french lavender (herbal and green), made incense sticks out of the mash, dipped it in lavender absolute, and burned the stick. I see spices like cinnamon and nutmeg listed, and I don't smell them outright in this smokey aspect, but perhaps they contribute to it. Whatever is creating that effect, I really love it. Bravo once again, Olivia.

After finding a new bottle for a mere ~$35, I've taken to spraying this on the cloth of my desk chair at home, my pillow case (as I like to do with Puig's Agua Lavanda), and even spraying it in bath water. I don't even really enjoy baths all that much, but this smells so good I suppose I look for any chance to get a waft.

Not overly complex, but for my tastes, I'll be surprised if I find a spartan yet warm lavender that I like more. I still adore Agua Lavanda, but that leans more fougere/mossy/dandy. Eau de Lavande is more...not potpourri exactly, that'd be selling it short. It's just so richly lavender and I love lavender.

I understand the Les Florales line has been axed as of 2019, at least the tall 100ml bottles that this came in. But I've seen Eau Mohéli, Geranium Odorata, and Eau Rose come back in the classic rounded Diptyque bottles, as well as L'Eau des Hesperides and L'Eau Neroli from the (also supposedly defunct) Les Eaux line, so hopefully they'll keep this around as well considering how recklessly I've been spraying this on household items.

In a nutshell, for me, warm and rich lavender done to near perfection. Thumbs up.

Original review below, for the hell of it:

I can't help but be repetitive here - this is a dry lavender soliflore. It is straightforward herbal, bitter, dry, lavender with some very very quiet spice facets.

It feels incomplete to me, but is still pleasant. I guess it might not be fair to call a soliflore incomplete, but look at me, Mr. Grinch, doing it anyway. It lasted a total of 2-3 hours before becoming imperceptible (3 hours might be generous).

Eau de Lavande a nice calming lavender fragrance, but for the price, I can't totally get behind this one.
6th October 2016

Five by Bruno Fazzolari

Not that it needs to be said again, but for good measure, this is a fantastic modern take on the classic EdC/citrus aromatic genre.

The opening of this and some others from Fazzolari (Monserrat, Room 237, Seyrig) contains some sort of aromachemical that jumps off the skin in an aldehydic fashion but with more warmth, a warmth that I could swear is actually exothermic. It's fascinating to sniff. I've never experienced a true analog of this sensation from another house.

As previously mentioned, it's a very creative take on a classic structure. Five is full of crystal clear fresh green/herbal notes that are simultaneously futuristic and realistic. I agree with what Colin details about the "ozonic/watery" feel. There is something in here like that, but it's no where near the "ozonic" that we've grown to know.

Everyone else has nailed most of the specifics, so I won't go any further except to say I found the drydown disappointing. About 90 minutes in to this, on my skin it turns into something a bit mundane, similar to (gasp) the drydown of Green Irish Tweed. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but a familiar end to such a brilliant opening is a bummer. It almost landed this in neutral territory for me.

I might buy another sample, but I won't be buying a full bottle.
23rd September 2016

Villa Lympia by Oriza L. Legrand

There is a sunscreen (brand name escapes me, not a popular one) that my parents used to slather me up with, back in the 80's. This is almost a dead ringer for whatever that was. Of course, it's a touch nicer, as it's primary function is to smell nice, not block UV rays.

It's a very linear, non-descript floral with some "marine" notes in the mix, and a semi-musky base. Not unpleasant, but to me, it really comes off as a bit plastic and not super refined.

Sand notes? Only when I rolled around on the beach between the ages of 4 and 10, have I smelled the sand notes here.
30th August 2016

Liaisons Dangereuses, typical me by By Kilian

Excuse my French, it's pretty frightful, but I think it's pronounced "Liaisons Peachshampoo". I say this because 1) It's not dangerous, at all, and 2) It smells like, you guessed it, peach shampoo.

Not a bad fragrance, just a badly named fragrance. Oh, and wildly overpriced. It's a pleasant smelling, mellow fruity floral, but it's not dangerous by any stretch of the imagination, and it's not something I'd ever pay more than $0.40/ml for.

When By Kilian hits the mark for me, they leave me thoroughly impressed, but when they swing and miss, they end up coming across as middle-of-the-road designer territory to me.

Maybe the liaison took place in a hotel with nice toiletries and this is supposed to smell like the post-coital "wash off the shame and evidence" shower? Too complicated of a backstory, even if it's my own.

A delicate watery rose in the drydown provides a tad a of saving grace, but after trying 4 times over the course of a year, I keep coming to the same conclusion.
26th August 2016