Casran by Chopard

Astonishingly good, beautiful elements merged through a white spirit and made more subtle for it, I love Casran. As the fragrance warms with wear, different components emerge. I find a 'praline' which I expect is the melding of amber, vanilla and sandalwood. The chocolate, prune, and the aromatics serve to balance the gourmand components and not allow the fragrance to sweeten or cloy; despite which, it is sweet but mannered. No single component dominates although they seem to 'ripple' throughout the development and dry-down. This is like a colourless gemstone with facets that catch the light suddenly; it is transparent and magical. The more restrained the application, the more delightful the journey. Perhaps, the best way to enjoy this journey is to apply a tiny amount to the nape of the neck of one's partner.

FCUK Connect Him by French Connection

Remy Latour's Cigar eloped with Zino by Davidoff. They disguised themselves at first with aniseed, lavender and what seems like a restrained amber but a hint of pepper was their undoing. Suddenly, the tobacco tones presented themselves disguised as patchouli and woodland spice and their earlier charade ended with a vigour that surprised everyone and then kept distracting them for hours and hours and they lived happily ever after. If you cannot afford Zino, Connect Him...

273 Indigo by Fred Hayman

Try to ignore the overly sweet lemon pudding beginning if you can - it tends to linger as the gentle musk rises in counterpoint to it and then becomes the dominant note as a white pepper presents itself. There is the hint of aquatic notes but these serve to bolster the pepper until one realises that it was a journey perhaps ill advised unless one wishes to smell like one's nana's kitchen, with its lemon curd, flowers ready to be trimmed and placed in a vase and nana herself somewhere in the background laced with talc.

Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia by Guerlain

Oh-my-mint, fresh-mint, dirty-mint, cloying-mint... it's a mint-fest all round, all over and for all too long. The growing mint aversion inspires a sponge bath or a moist toilette and the application of something oriental or something else - anything without mint - until, suddenly, one becomes aware of a rising jasmine and just the whisper of rose. Perhaps there is some cedar in the background holding these notes together and not allowing them to create a sweet and sour-mint melange with green tea vase water that is still fresh but will become awful tomorrow. There is much sophistication in this composition. It is measured and perhaps as good as mint can be. I prefer mint crushed under foot with its aromas rising fresh and pure. I consider this an experiment or a perfumery assignment. This is probably as good as mint can be but one cannot escape the thought that one might eat mint sweets and achieve a more pleasant minty waft.

Samouraï Woman by Alain Delon

Heady, sexy fragrance offering quite a journey as the fragrance warms on the skin finally enveloping its wearer in a miasma that is overwhelmingly sensual. The aquatic elements in the male version are muted, here and the vanilla is reined in. The cedar and sandalwood merge with the rose to create a very beautiful accord. Those who like Hugo Boss's 'Deep Red' are likely to like this, too. I love it.

Antaeus by Chanel

Antaeus is one of those alluring fragrances that requires you to get a room for the sake of propriety. It's unseemly to be caught sniffing one's own wrist with such abandonment but those who understand that compulsion will welcome every opportunity to experience exactly that kind of heady distraction. It is less strident than I recall but I apply less, and less stridently; perhaps, we've both matured.

Zizanie by Fragonard

A strident fragrance that might have done well in the 1930's when people showered and bathed less frequently than now, or when they were exposed to acrid and rank smelling French cigarette smoke. But for non smokers who shower daily, this excessively potent and almost nauseatingly powdery fragrance is anachronistic.

Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone London

Almost hypnotic and almost cloying, almost overwhelming and almost too sweet, this fragrance is sudden and wanton and reminiscent of smelling something in flower - something breath-taking and beautiful one hot, summer's night. And whilst it's almost too matter-of-fact in its linearity, the shades and tones that rise and fall as it fades are quite lovely - spice and wood and that almost pungently sweet raspberry cordial. I think it best worn on one's stomach to allow its presence to inveigle itself as a kind of miasma wafting about one. This fragrance is best applied very, very frugally. It is one of those that people will crane forward to enjoy but, recoil from with equal vigour when over used.

Santal by Fragonard

Lemon takes cousin, Bergamot to his first dance where he's hoping to meet Lily of the Valley. Sandalwood is expected to arrive with Amber but probably much later meanwhile Tobacco is burning up the dance floor and Lemon is smitten. It's all Lemon and Tobacco with only a few glimpses of Bergamot chatting awkwardly with Lily of the Valley. Everyone is surprised by how energetic Lemon turns out to be but Tobacco is starting to notice Lily of the Valley and Amber. Soon, all three are dancing together with Bergamot standing by holding the drinks when Sandalwood arrives in short pants with his hair neatly combed by his Nana. Neroli siddles up to Bergamot who's given up on Lily. Lemon is at the punch bowl. Amber slaps Tobacco for flirting with Lily but it's actually Lemon's scent that still lingers on Tobacco's collar. Tobacco reminds Sandalwood that he has to be home early or he's grounded but Sandalwood cannot find his scarf. Everyone searches for it and, sure enough, someone has used it to tie up Bergamot and Lily of the Valley. Amber looks guilty but blames Tobacco because she's still annoyed about Lemon. As the night fades, everyone starts whispering and saying unkind things about Sandalwood despite which they all walk home together carrying Tobacco and Lemon who are under the weather.

Brut by Brut Parfums Prestige

My first fragrance. The fragrance that taught me all about over use. The fragrance that earned me the nickname Le Pew. A fragrance I still over use occasionally as a kind of primal therapy without pain because I love being transported to other times and places. As a fragrance, I expect Brut informed parfumiers that vast change had come in the business of men's perfumery - that a vast market existed requiring various responses in promotion and in the construction of the fragrances. Specifically, more masculine names and packaging were required to broaden the commercial viability of men's lines. Similarly, woodier base notes and tobacco, heavy orientals and spices needed to augment the experimentation of women buying for their men who had never worn fragrance before. The sweet and unctuous tones in Brut somehow made the patchouli and sandalwood, the leather and civet of '70's creations seem reasonable and timely; perhaps, even, essential in the evolution of fragrance composition. Brut was the irresistible idea whose time had come. Now, burdened by its enormous success, it has become the greatest of all fragrance clichés. But climb into that wardrobe when next you're in a nostalgic mood and over use it, all over, again, all over again. You will be transported to another time and place; and you will moth proof your wardrobe. Weeks after the event, as you wear something from the wardrobe, a waft - rather familiar and warm and as welcome as an old love - will swirl about you and you will smile.

Quorum by Antonio Puig

Deft certainly, self-assurance and bravado underpin this wonderful fragrance which forgoes sophistication and nuance in its powerful embrace. Somehow, it seems to suit darker complexions, smokers and long hot summers notwithstanding that I'm blond, don't smoke and it's winter where I am. Quorum can warm a room, or clear it, and I don't mind at all sometimes.

He Wood by Dsquared2

He Wood is a pleasantly amusing name. It is a pleasant enough fragrance well suited to crowded carriages or offices or groups of people needing moth proofing. The wonderful packaging is assuring; one can be stylish and safe - that is, own a really interesting looking bottle of toilet water without creating the unsettling illusion of bravado, élan or masculine confidence. Sometimes, beige is enough along with clean underwear, a well pressed cuff and a home packed lunch box. Essentially, a pleasantly banal scent that proves that cedar can be the king of beige.

Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme by Van Cleef & Arpels

Too rarely one discovers a fragrance of such haunting quality and genius. Whilst this was something of a rediscovery, the impact was no less welcome. Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme is a masterful creation which embues one with the kind of carefree dissocation that one reserves for moments of private satisfaction. It's like a warmly remembered and still amusing in-joke that one need not - nor can - share with anyone else... and the mood lingers beautifully. This is a superb composition.

Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme by Salvatore Ferragamo

Exquisite bottle - perhaps, misshapen by the intense discordance in the fragrance it contains. It opens to a crescendo of green fig and the initial conflict begins as the fig competes with the grapefruit creating an astringent note which seems to serve as the conduit to all the accents that rise and fall, smear and clash until it all seems to exhaust itself and implode in the strangely discordant and crippled way of some synthetic blends. I suspect it might suit naturally acrid bodies where the astringency might serve a purpose to freshen and tone natural smell.

Le Baiser du Dragon by Cartier

The progression might well evoke the mystery of kissing a magical creature. In the dry down, there is the ambivalence that informs the recollection of a heightened moment in which one cannot be sure whether something remarkable occurred; something that might have been imagined. There is much to savour in this fragrance including the poetry of its marketing. At least, to the extent that the name is apt. It opens wonderfully, progressing to an enveloping and intoxicating miasma which suddenly reveals itself. It's as if it responds to bodily warmth requiring nothing less to enliven the fragrance. At this point, it is utterly distracting and compelling. I imagine this is the moment of that magical kiss and the beauty of that moment is marvellous. I don't care which came first - the name or the design. For my part, I will come, again, to this magical potion because I find it intriguing.

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

Discretion or delirium resides in one's own hands and is dependent entirely upon one's approach to this superb fragrance. It has the power to overwhelm. Used discretely, it is a warm enveloping fragrance of ethereal proportion, but, though dangerously tempting for those smitten by M7's elegant Oriental charms, over use will cause swooning. M7 is appropriately romantic and sensual. I have to curb my desire to keep re-applying it because it has remarkable longevity; the real issue is a kind of intoxication or addiction. I adore it.

Extraordinary by Avon

The initial burst of chocolate is almost startling reminding me of a 'Jaffa' a chocolate coated mandarin confectionary eaten at cinemas in Australia. For this outrageous opening, alone, 'Extraordinary' is worth trying. The dry down is quite delightful. The chocolate gourmand tones are subdued by the warm vanilla and musk amply assisted by the patchouli and sandalwood as the sillage remains fresh and warm but never cloying. Although intended for females, I wear it for fun. It is a surprisingly effective counterpoint fragrance for Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme.

Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

A fragrance I like no closer to my nose than my feet. After showering, apply to well dried feet before putting on socks. Drakkar Noir is a footwear fragrance offering wonderful longevity that suits an active life style involving hiking, strenuous exercise or landscaping but I wouldn't use it otherwise because I find it prosaic.

Jacomo de Jacomo Original by Jacomo

After the dischordant, violent entrance - the astringent bluster and bravado of the clove - we find Harry Highpants in sensible shoes.Begins with a bang but ends with a whimper. Perhaps the clove serves to anaesthetize the nose to the pedestrian nature of this composition. Despite all of this, I find myself drawn to it because I love clove even when it's brash. Secretly,. I want the drama and intensity to linger longer or to cascade in an olfactory kaleidoscope of equally impressive tones.

Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

A pleasant beginning and a surprisingly demure and elegant development which is mellow, velvet like, warm and comforting like a leather chair in an exclusive club that improves with age.

Eau de Vetyver by L'Occitane

A beautifully well rounded and elegant fragrance which begins with a sensual flourish, burns brightly and then mellows. It is a glimpse of something wonderful but all too short lived.

1000 by Jean Patou

Jean Patou 1000 approaches perfection. It alludes to something utterly sublime. I find it captivating, alluring, hypnotic and, above all, humbling. In its siren song there is the self-forgetfulness that comes from the realization that somethng truly transcendent can be achieved through mastery or inspiration or sheer genius. It embues one with the aura of elan.

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

As romantic as the last twist of tissue paper round a bunch of violets. A wonderful fragrance both demure and assured exuding the confidence that never expresses itself boisterously or boorishly. This is a fragrance for a stylish and sophisticated romantic.

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

Think of a blind date with someone who is pleasant but not sexy, funny, intriguing or beguiling... and the date passes ever so slowly. Eventually, you try to leave but she asks for a lift. Being a gentleman, you offer to assist and, on the way, she reveals that she is needy and unstable... and you just can't leave anyone in that state of turmoil. What began as a disappointment begins to cloy, degenerating into something very uncomfortable indeed. You know that someone, somewhere will love her, adore her and find her fascinating but you do not. Habit Rouge is a habit I will not form. It's as sexy as my grandmother's best friend and smells just like her. It was a blind date kind of purchase which made me realize again just how wonderfully individual each one's perception of a fragrance can be.

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