Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme by Van Cleef & Arpels

I like classy old-school patchouli leathers. This is a bit over the top and powdery for me to really love on a day-to-day basis.The vetiver-patchouli heart is great, but it's covered up by soapy florals. I just can't quite get convinced.

Ambre Nuit by Christian Dior

This is the first time I've reviewed a perfume without having read any other reviews first.The opening is a fresh burst, all peppers and spices, a little woody and with a licorice centre.Then two themes develop in beautiful harmony. The first is a warm, slightly powdery balsamic amber. The second is a light, very clean rose smell, with a faint hint of citrus at the very end of the rose note. These themes develop together but remain independent. They are held together by an emerging patchouli. There is also a kind of dark resinous woody smell that is a lot lighter than say an Oud note but like a very light step in that direction.This is very well done indeed. I usually find that when a perfume has different, non-integrated themes going at the same time it ends up just smelling fragmented. That is my complaint with several of the Malle line. But this is perfect. Clean and warm at the same time, integrated but not fused.The powdery balsamic amber accord endures and the wood and patchouli develop a slight creamy accord reminiscent of a dark coffee or chocolate note.The middle accord does not last particularly long but the drydown has terrific longevity.This is a very well done scent that maintains the general "light spray" theme of these colognes. Clearly a bit more evening than daytime, though this is such a cold winter that I've been wearing it quite a bit during the day.

Bigarade Concentrée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Almost indistinguishable from Cartier Declaration.

Yohji Homme by Yohji Yamamoto

I think Vibert is a great reviewer and most of what he says is pretty accurate. But for me there are no serious longevity problems. Several hours in the scent is still going strong.I also think Luca Turin is a great reviewer and his review of this fragrance must be operating at a higher level than I am currently capable of because he barely mentions the chocolate and coffee notes that are the signature of this scent. Even though he quotes Duriez as saying that he got some of the ideas from Angel and Lolita Lempicka! Yohji is indeed like a mature, masculine tribute to Angel. What it achieves is a warm, gourmand masculine fragrance that avoids being (a) sugary; (b) flowery; or (c) too heavy on patchouli or leather (which certainly smell masculine but a lot of people find off-putting). I find it very wearable indeed. It really invites an intimate response but without being vulgar in any way.

Déclaration by Cartier

Synthetic mandarins and body odour. Not very interesting and not very nice.A poor man's Terre d'Hermes, definitely (poor old Cartier).

Vetiver Bourbon by Miller Harris

This smells nothing like the famous vetivers of Guerlain, Givenchy etc. The opening is dark and heavy and pungent.But mid-afternoon, the word "drydown" has never been more apt. It's the same smells but much more harmonious. The amber, patchouli and vetiver really do work very well together after a few hours.

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

The top notes are sweet and medicinal but not at all cloying or anything like that. The sweetness is quite artificial, reminiscent of artificial fruits (cherries, blackcurrents, etc) though of very high quality - almost as if an artificial-themed smell had been created from quality natural products.The star attraction is the deep dark wood at the deep dark heart. When you get this, it is wonderful.I don't find the sillage as extraordinary as some do, though, and aside from the woody highlight this is wearable but nothing special. The wood, though, is something to rave about and the rest of the scent is very well put together indeed to accompany that scent.

M7 Fresh by Yves Saint Laurent

Sweet and medicinal, definitely. Just a touch of the deep woody scent of the original. The idea of a lighter M7 makes so much sense and this is certainly that. I don't agree with those who say they can't smell the original in there - I think it's definitely there. But the Oud that was so great about the original is very faint. This is perfectly wearable, though, despite the critics.

Dans tes Bras by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Smooth skin and soft jumper, slightly wet so the smell lifts off it.Smell again: caring, comfort.A hint of salty sandalwood, soapy andmingling with the skin itself.Musky, warm wool.Am I the only person who smells this as what it was intended to smell like?

Vetiver by Etro

This is just brilliant. I often like controversial scents but I can usually understand why they're controversial. But I don't understand at all what's controversial about this qua scent. It could only be controversial qua vetiver.Despite the fact that it's marketed as unisex and sometimes even feminine, to me it's definitely very masculine, in sharp contradistinction to the unisex wateriness of many vetivers. And like everyone says, it's woody and dry and earthy. In fact, Etro Vetiver is in many ways a woody scent with some vetiver rather than the other way around. But the mix is remarkable. I usually find woody masculines a little predictable and vetivers, I'm afraid, always a little limp like they've been diluted with sugar water. But Etro Vetiver is neither predictable nor limp. It's rough, masculine and sui generis.

Anice by Etro

A clever scent that manages to carry you on a relatively straight line across a range of anise scents. So you get a bit longevity of the anise theme through a clever use of ingredients. The opening is, unsurprisingly, reminiscent of ouzo or sambuca (what do you expect when anise smells are being carried by a lot of alcohol?).The problem is that it's not clear who would want to smell like this.Unlike the Yohji Yamomoto smell where licorice is used to bring together other scents, this is just licorice.

French Lover / Bois d'Orage by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Take Angeliques Sous La Pluie and make it (a) a little bit more masculine, (b) a fair bit longer-lasting and (c) a bit woodier or spicier.It sounded perfect. I usually like warmer fragrances but have been looking for something a bit cleaner, lighter and professional. I really wanted French Lover to be that fragrance for me. But increasingly, I think it's not. It's a great effort, but it's not the one for me. I like French Lover, I do. I like it much more than Geranium pour Monsieur. But I just can't get happy with it. It can seem very harsh in its dryness - almost to the point of being cold.I also feel that the elements never become a greater whole - just nice individual elements.

Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Really excellent. New chemical-soaked paper and thick permanent markers (of the old-school variety that still had that funny smell), burnt rubber, a variety of animal scents (musk, leather, and the horsey smell), iris and vanilla. This is somehow about the sexiest most addictive combination out there. One of the few scents I know that is truly a bit dangerous (though it is mostly my phsychology that is affected by it, not the psychology of those around me).

Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma

Opening: the lemon on opening is to me more reminiscent of something like Eau Sauvage than the citrus in Colonia. For me, this is the start of a scent that is not an experiement based on Colonia (as Assoluta is) but a different scent, albeit in a similar genre. The ginger is faint but a nice subtle balance to the lemon. So far, so fine but nothing too exciting.Unlike Assoluta, the citrus does not hang around for long and the scent very quickly becomes all about Myrtle. This white floral heart is really like a softer version of so many generic feminine fragrances. It is balanced first by a slightly harsh woody base and then by the Bergamot (or is it the Neroli?), which is again quite faint and really plays second-fiddle to the Myrtle.The next stage is Intensa at its most appealing. The woody scents are much fuller here (there is a clear and noticeable variety of wood smells, described accurately enough in the pyramid as lignum vitae, cedarwood and smoky woods) and the musk and leather are introduced very nicely, tending at times towards being slightly powdery but with enough restraint that this will appeal to those who like powdery scents but will not bother in the slightest those who find powdery smells a little unappealing. The patchouli is also very well harmonised with the leather and incense smells but sometimes it catches you in quite a stark way. Although a little dry, this is done very well indeed.Overall, I really am impressed with the drydown here. But the Myrtle in the middle really irritates me. It ends up being very masculine for an AdP and is deliberately intended to be so. But it starts off smelling so feminine. Why? Why?The other thing is that this scent is just not compatible with other AdP products. So whereas Assoluta could be worn with Colonia shaving cream and moisturiser, there is not the same match between Colonia and Intensa.I think I'll stick with Assoluta.

Hamptons by Bond No. 9

This is awful. I completely agree that this smells like something straight out of the Creed stable (and SMW in particular). I don't have much time for many Creed scents. I certainly don't have much time for SMW. I gave this a lot of opportunities to do something for me. I tried it over and over again, followed its "development" (in this case, more of a disappearance after 20 minutes). I then tried it again a couple of days later with the same results. It smells clean and fresh but there is a dischord about the whole apparatus.

Bleecker Street by Bond No. 9

At the more unisex end of Bond No 9, this one is not too bad. The herbs, woods, mosses and cinammon are nice, fresh and wearable. The patchouli and amber make it a lot more interesting without being too heavy. That sounds perfect. I have been looking for something fresh enough to wear at work and in hot weather but with some drier, more old-school masculine touches to make it interesting to me. It has good longevity (especially compared to the terrible Hamptons). In the end, I'm not quite convinced. Bond No 9 reminds me of Creed in that the stuff smells expensive without being particularly well-executed. This is better than some but just not quite right in the end.

Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

I bought a bottle of this on spec after reading so many good reviews. It certainly smells like old oranges in dusty desert dirt. And that bit is nice enough. I'm still not convinced, however. It's strong and cloying in a way that I don't love. I wear it from time to time but at the moment I just can't quite give it the thumbs up.

Angéliques Sous La Pluie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

At first it has very strong juniper notes and, like several of the EFM, a harsh alcohol scent. This means that to start with it smells like a premium martini.The harshness fades quickly, however, leaving a very nice, light and clean scent. The cedar is widely commented upon but that and other so-called "green" elements are much lighter than in French Lover. But the clean and green side is balanced by a softer, slightly powdery angelica, all held together and adorned by a very fine touch of pepper.This is definitely great for work, especially for banker and barrister types who do not want to carry too heavy a scent.Others will be sorry that it is so light, almost invisible. If you want to be sure you are smelt, this may not be the scent for you.

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