Scent Detective

The Absinthe Drinkers (Heirloom Elixir No. 23) by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

I love Absinthe themed fragrances and have several. I was hoping that The Absinthe Drinkers would be a worthy addition to my collection, but I must say that this perfume is more floral than it is absinthe based to my nose.

There is a slight absinthe in the very opening, but that fades quickly and is replaced by a very light floral aura that stays for the rest of the wear. I applied it in the morning and it lasted for around 10 hours, but it was mostly a skin scent during that time. I would say it had very slight projection for about the first hour and then became a skin scent that required putting nose to wrist to detect after that. Some people prefer their fragrance to project that way and if you are a minimalist with regards to projection and like light easy to wear florals with a hint of green then you should at least check this one out.

The main player for me was a lily of the valley presence with the initial absinthe note, slight aldehydes, light citrus, and a very, very slight green presence, perhaps from galbanum, but not pronounced in any way.

I'm going to wear this again and see if anything else stands out, but for now, this isn't a perfume that I will be pursuing further.

Sugar Plums {Holiday no.22} by DSH Perfumes

I love the smells of the holidays and was hoping this fragrance would have a wonderful holiday presence. Well, the problem I'm having so far is that it barely has any presence at all...I can hardly even smell it. In saying this, I am applying from a small dabber sample, so that does need to be taken into consideration, but this is either so diluted as to be virtually impossible to smell, or it is just not a very strong fragrance, or I'm anosmic to it, which would be sad as I wanted to love this one.

Upon application to skin I smelled a very faint sweet cinnamon and fruit wisp...but that was it. I really can't report anything beyond that as I lost any semblance of the fragrance after that initial wispy, "one and done" waft. I used half of the sample to see if I could amp it up any but without success. I also moisturized my skin this morning before applying because I could tell it was not a projecting fragrance when I received it and applied a very small dab to the side of my finger.

I was going to give this a neutral rating because the slight hint of a smell was nice, but I don't think I can do that because as a fragrance, this has completely least on my skin. It's like the old saying, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound"? Wouldn't the same principle apply here? "If a fragrance is applied and no one can smell it, is it really a fragrance"? Food for thought.

Orpheus by Clandestine Laboratories

Orpheus by Clandestine Laboratories is a wonderful perfume that's overall effect reminds me of a spicy amber rose fragrance...but wrist to nose reveals much more than that going on. As mentioned below by Brooks Otterlake, there is a bright but more subdued citrus element that is like a toned down version of the citrus in Madrid by CL. I'm really enjoying that citrus element a lot in today's wearing on Orpheus as it brings a brightness to the boozy amber feeling it conveys. There are also spices that dance and peek through the booziness in a very pleasing way. I'm thinking the incense mixed with the hawthorne which brings a spicy almond aura, along with the tobacco, is creating this wonderful spiced infusion that to me dances through and around this fragrance. I really enjoy Orpheus. It reminds me of some of Russian Adams work in some ways. I would say that Orpheus is more sheer or stained glass as opposed to RA's work which is generally thicker feeling, like a solid wall. This does not mean that Orpheus dosent' have sillage and longevity, because it definitely does. It lasts for 10 - 12 hours on my skin. As mentioned, Orpheus is a wonderful fragrance...two thumbs up!

White Fir by Pineward Perfumes

White Fir is a brilliant take on the needle resin of the White Fir tree. It has strong nuances of orange/citrus mixed with the smell of coniferous resin, some ginger, and vetiver are what I smell the most prominently. This is a glorious fragrance that makes my heart sing! A true jewel for a Conehead like me! Thanks so much Pineward Fragrances for creating another fragrance that is a "10"!!!

Bitter Sweet by TRNP (Teone Reinthal Natural Perfume)

I decided to wear Bitter Sweet by TRNP today as its been a while since I smelled it. I waited so my first impression could be uninfluenced by previous wears.

Right off the bat I had a scent memory when I sprayed Bitter Sweet on skin today. I was transported back to the old drug store on main street where I used to go as often as I had some money to buy comic books that were displayed on the old wire spindle racks. It was a wonderful time to be a kid. Can I just say that the experience today literally was, "bitter sweet", so the name of this fragrance is completely appropriate.

The smell of coffee brewing in a glass coffee pot, mixed with the smell of candy on the shelves of the store along with a very slight medicinal vibe. It was just uncanny how I literally felt like I was walking into that old drug store as a 10 year old kid again. Almost brought a tear to my eye. Not sure I'll ever do full wears of this fragrance as it's more of an experience for me than it is a fragrance I want to hose myself down in, but I'll definitely be visiting many more times to experience that bitter sweet feeling once again.

Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir

I get a lot of iris and galbanum with a hint of angelica. And, of course a slight smokiness which seems to be in virtually all Naomi Goodsir fragrances. I like it.

Pastoral by Pineward Perfumes new favorite fall fragrance! I'm overjoyed to have Pastoral in my collection. It is soooo comforting! I love the progression of this warm, autumn themed fragrance with a huge love! Sweet jammy preserves with warm pastry and spices. Honey and grains with propolis to bind all the warm yumminess together! Pastoral is a total joy to wear for me personally. I'm excited to wear the heck out of it over the next few months. Another home run from the house of Pineward Perfumes IMO. WHOOOO!!!! I smell good! LOL...

Ponderosa by Pineward Perfumes

I'm honored to be the first to review this very special fragrance that was also created by a very dear friend of mine. Ponderosa is my new favorite fragrance and that is saying something as I have many fragrances that I dearly love.

The opening of this treasure is ponderosa pine resin in all it's brilliant glory. Coniferous and beautiful. There is also an almost pine nut note lingering that lasts further into the wear as well that I love. The vanillic sweetness along with the butterscotch and cinnamon might make Ponderosa sound interesting to some, but the blending here is impeccable and makes the fragrance as a whole work on every level for me personally. I am first and foremost a conifer fan. Fir, Spruce, Pine, Cypress, Cedar, Juniper, etc. are where it's at in my wheelhouse and Ponderosa delivers big time. BUT, I also love some gourmands. Ponderosa has some sweetness like a gourmand, but it doesn't delve into complete gourmand territory and I believe the sweetness is perfectly executed in this composition. It's purpose is to create the sweet nature of ponderosa pine resin while also making this an actual perfume and not just a ponderosa pine essential oil. No, this is a full on, perfume, and what an amazing journey it takes you on. If you are familiar with the beautiful ponderosa pine resin then you know what this smells like, only Ponderosa the perfume smells even better. It is the surrealistic ponderosa pine scent of the perfect dream.

If you love coniferous notes and also love good perfumery, then Ponderosa by Pineward Perfumes is worth at least a sample. Perhaps you'll love it as much as I do. So very grateful to have this heavenly fragrance in my collection! Bravisimo Nick!!!

Oud Fougère by Agar Aura

4/21/23 often happens with me, my opinion of a fragrance has changed! LOL. I've been wearing my small sample of Oud Fougere over and over and I'm finding that any smokiness that seemed to be bothering me last year is definitely NOT bothering me now. This has quickly become my very favorite fougere! It just smells incredible and I can't quit sniffing my wrist each time I wear it!

Oud Fougere is a brilliant fragrance by Taha Sayed and I couldn't be enjoying it anymore than I am. Two thumbs up as high as possible!!!

Surprised I'm the first one to share some thoughts on Oud Foguere. Smells like burning oud wood through the whole wear. That is the main focus and aura in the opening to my nose. When the fougere elements begin to show through, they are extremely enjoyable, but they are literally peeking through a huge cloud of burning smokey oud. Over time the fougere freshness becomes more apparent, but the smokiness never leaves... interesting fragrance. I'm not a huge fan of really heavy burnt smells which I feel this fragrance has, so I generally need a sweet note like a berry or certain florals to help me through the burning stuff. I really do love the fougere elements in Oud Fougere, but as they are only a part of the whole experience I probably wouldn't buy a FB because of the domination of the smokey notes. Still this is obviously a very well made fragrance with a lot of upside for those who enjoy the smokey oud wood notes along with a fresh crispness from the fougere elements.

Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

Starts out pretty smokey, but morphs into an amazing incense and amber fragrance that is warm and inviting in all the best ways. The slightest boozy note comes through in that warm amber along with a hint of tobacco leaf. I'm not a fan of smokey fragrances per se, but I definitely am of this one. Classy and excellent combination right there. FB worthy for sure in my book.

Homme Nature by Yves Rocher

Ahh…Nature. This is what nature would smell like…if it was created in a test tube.

Unfortunately this smells like a thousand other nameless designer fragrances that I’ve smelled over the years. Very synthetic. I was hoping for a nice blast of cucumber and mint, but I think what I’m smelling for the most part is a healthy dose of sage drowning in a sea of chemicals. Smells synthetic and musty to the point of unpleasantness. Afraid I’m going to have to scrub it off and come up for air. Too overwhelming to enjoy for me. I had hopes based on the perfumer, but this one’s a miss for me.

Sleight of Fern by Masque

Initial impressions of Sleight of Fern by Masque Milano. Opens with a candy fizziness. Smells wonderful. The fig sap must be sweetening the bergamot and lavender because the citrus smells a little sweeter than normal, but in a good way and the lavender brings it's herbaceous floral presence into the mix, which is a wonderful thing indeed. After the first few minutes, a leathery accord begins to appear. I prefer the opening phase, but this still smells very nice. The leather like accord definitely features the thyme note to my nose. Looking forward to the progression of this one...

Salted Green Mango by Strangers Parfumerie

Hmm…what I smell is a big slug of pomelo, which is not my favorite note, so take this review for what it’s worth knowing that. Slightly salty pomelo and that’s about it. Neutral rating from me as it won’t be an automatic reach for me.

Update: When this drys down it becomes a skin scent and at this point, I am really enjoying it as it smells like clean, slightly salty skin. Really enjoying this part of the wear, so I'm going to change my rating to a thumbs up as it teetered up from neutral in the far dry down.

Felt by Hendley Perfumes

I've had my bottle of Felt for about a year now. When I first received it, I liked it, but wasn't head over heels about it. I broke it out a few weeks ago and was immediately mad over it! It has macerated into one of the best smelling coniferous fragrances I've smelled. What a masterful blend by Hans Hendley...truly stunning! There are many notes in this perfume, but the true sign of a master perfumer is how he or she brings those notes together and Hans Hendley has hit a home run with Felt, IMO. I like cardamom, but it can overwhelm me if it is too far out in front. I love opopponax, frankincense, nutmeg, sandalwood, and admire rose, benzoin, and patchouli depending on how pronounced they are in the overall mix. Musk is also wonderful when used by a great perfumer. All I can say is that Hans really hit all the marks with Felt, at least for me. What a wonderful fragrance and a favorite now that it has really hit it's stride. I couldn't enjoy it more...10/10 for me. Bravo Hans Hendley!

Russian Musk II by Areej le Doré

Wearing Russian Musk II tonight. I haven't worn it since last fall. I've been giving it time to macerate to see if it smells anymore like the original Russian Musk.

My impressions are that it still doesn't smell like the original RM. The fir and pine from the OG RM is just not as noticeable. I continue to smell neroli in the opening of RM II, more than the lemon and conifer opening of the OG RM. Russian Musk II also has amped up the smoke and smells similar to the smoke note in Santal Galore.

I still hold by my feeling that the original Russian Musk is superior to Russian Musk II, at least it is to me.

Green Cypress by Hawthorne

Huge disappointment for Green Cypress. When I saw the note breakdown, I was pulled in as there is pine needle resin, fir balsam, and cypress in the listed ingredients. Alas...this smells nothing like any of those marvelous coniferous notes. This fragrance is not coniferous at all. It is much more herbal green and synthetic. When I put it on, my wife said, "What is that"? I asked her what it smelled like and she said, "Not smells really synthetic". I have to agree with her. Unfortunately, Green Cypress is a synthetic miasma of mediocrity. It encircled my head in it's fume and after two hours I was ready to throw in the towel and wash it off.

My initial hope was that it would be a more coniferous take on Bowling Green, but it's not only not coniferous, it's not as enjoyable as Bowling Green is either.

If I try to put into words what I've smelled for the last couple of hours, it would be, musty basil, a light wafting presence of grapefruit, and a lot of aroma chemicals.

That pretty much sums it up for me so far with Green Cypress. A missed opportunity in my opinion. Maybe this will be appreciated by others, but it is a big miss for me.

Vert by Clandestine Laboratories

Vert by Clandestine Laboratories is the best "green" fragrance I've worn. It is green...a very bright green. Not necessarily in color, but in freshness and overall scent profile. This is a crystalline green and is what an emerald would smell like to me if an emerald had an scent that was noticeable to humans. The combination of notes in the opening, key lime, yuzu, lemon, lavender, bergamot, all combine to give this fragrance a tartness that is sizzling from a citrus standpoint, but also green. There is also a settling but spicy presence from coriander and galbanum that adds another layer to the beautiful green! And, then there's the vetiver, or as Mark Sage from Clandestine says in the notes list, "loads of vetiver"! I love the way Mr. Sage has brought all of these green notes together and made their sum total much, much better than they are individually. Vetiver alone would simply not smell this good and clean to me. The vetiver's grassiness is very noticeable as Vert drys down, but it is perfectly balanced by the citruses and additional green notes, particularly the galbanum, to create a green fragrance that is memorable, wearable, and energizing.

will add that the far drydown becomes mostly about galbanum.

Very nice work once again by Mark Sage with Vert. Full bottle for me. Two thumbs up.

Master by Clandestine Laboratories

I've been trying for the last eight years to enjoy leather fragrances. While there are aspects of some leather fragrances I like to some degree, I have to say that they just aren't my thing. Master is a well made leather fragrance. The opening is actually extremely nice. I love the key lime note with the orange and the lychee. Add in the cognac and the opening is truly excellent. Once it drys down, and becomes all about the leather aspect, that's where I get lost. When I say that, I'm speaking of all leather themed fragrances. I guess I've come to a place where I don't need to search for a great leather fragrance, because I've realized I'd rather wear a good conifer fragrance, or a fougere, or certain Chypres, or certain orientals or gourmands. If you do love leather fragrances, then I must say that Master by Clandestine Laboratories is one you should at least sample. It is very well made and would be high on my list if I was a leather aficionado.

Wonderful and Strange Trio : The Red Room by House of Matriarch

I'm adrift in a sea of despair because I just discovered the Red Room by House of Matriarch and now I can't seem to find any of it available anywhere. I have a small sample amount left and I'm hording it like the one precious!

Seriously, I absolutely love this fragrance and want two or three bottles of it in my collection. It is cedar, but it is cedar with the best black currant note blended with the cedar, creating a fragrance that is like cat nip to this cat. I remember reading about these three Twin Peaks themed fragrances from HOM when they were released. I forgot about them for a while but then bought some of the Future's Past because it's a conifer centric fragrance and I'm a lover of all things coniferous in fragrance. I absolutely love Future's Past very much, but I didn't even give the Red Room or World of Blue a second glance. I wish I had bought the whole set right from the start because I would have stocked up on the Red Room as soon as it hit my nostrils!

I'll keep searching for you my love...LOL. I hope to be able to find this fragrance soon so I can have actual wearings instead of putting small dabs on my wrist and getting small wafts. Highest recommendation for the Red Room from me.

Mond by Slumberhouse

Ahh...Mond. My initial assessment of Mond was "colored" by the sleight of hand played by Slumberhouse owner and perfumer Josh Lobb with his joke about releasing "Red" Grev. I was completely pulled in by his online joke about Red Grev and was non plussed when he revealed the "joke" and released Mond instead. To be honest, I was put off by the joke, but of course jumped on my purchase of Mond because it had been spoken of by Josh for a long time, and I absolutely love his perfumes with a passionate love. Josh had previously described Mond as a "pumpkin vetiver" fragrance but the actual Mond that was released doesn't and didn't say another word about vetiver which caused additional head scratching among the Slumberhouse faithful. With all that said, I'd like to share my thoughts and feelings about the actual fragrance released by Slumberhouse called, Mond.

I love autumn and I adore autumn fragrances. I've purchased many fragrances that have autumnal themes with varying degrees of enjoyment. I can honestly say Mond is my very favorite of all the autumn fragrances I own or have ever tried and decided not to own. From the standpoint of it's overall accord, it is VERY DENSE. There are after all according to Josh, 73 different ingredients in this fragrance. To my nose Mond smells like a perfect autumn day in a perfect autumn village in a perfect novel that takes place in autumn. It's idyllic and better than the reality of daily life, so it lifts me to a higher plain of enjoyment. This happens with a handful of fragrances for me and one of them at the top of that list is Mond.

I've seen that some feel Mond smells like potpourri, or a fall candle but I couldn't disagree more. This is of course a personal opinion and highly individualized for each person's life experiences. My experience with potpourri is positive and there are some notes in Mond that could also be used in potpourri. However, there are many, many additional notes in Mond, and the way they are blended takes this fragrance in a much different direction than either potpourri or a fall candle, IMO. I smell the pumpkin, the cherry, the grape, the cinnamon, the whipped cream, the hay, the raspberry, the tobacco, the wine. I also recognize other notes, especially in the opening that I can't specifically identify, that give the overall accord of Mond a cornucopia of positive endophine's in my brain and takes me to a place that I absolutely love to be. I don't see how I could enjoy this fragrance more than I do. It is a complete joy to wear. Many thanks to Josh Lobb for the years he spent in developing this formula and fragrance. It is a masterpiece in my opinion. Highest recommendation from me for the brilliance that is Mond.

Santa Sangre by Bortnikoff

Opens with an almost vanilla custard note mixed with citrus that I find to be very beautiful! it! I already know that I'm going to have to get a bottle of this one. More to come as it develops.

Hermis by Guy Fox

Basil and pineapple is what I smell upon first wearing. I need to wear this a few more times before forming an opinion. So far, not something I would probably wear much.

Marra by Guy Fox

Okay, so I'll wait to pass judgment. My first impressions weren't great, but I need to give Marra more time to give it a fair assessment.

Mikul by Guy Fox

Okay, so I'll wait to pass judgment. My first impressions weren't great, but I need to give Mikul more time to give it a fair assessment.

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