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Russian Leather by Memo

Memo Paris calls this the scent of a "frozen fern", as it's supposed to smell like a winter forest in Russia. And I think it accomplishes that to great effect. I smelled the entire Memo Paris line once and this one captivated me particularly due to its rosemary and pine notes (two aromas which I realize I really love in perfumery). Russian Leather uses high quality ingredients like basil oil, cedar leaf oil, Siberian pine needle oil, lavender, mint, rosemary oil, patchouli oil, and cypress absolute. It definitely feels like a high-quality fragrance, and performance is great as well with moderate projection and good longevity (6 hours at least). The scent to me smells really 'cold' (especially with its mint note) and basically smells like a coniferous forest, with individual notes of pine, mint, rosemary, cypress, and basil really coming out (it's not much of a 'leather' scent truth be told). Regardless, I really enjoy this one, especially in the wintertime, and it's one of my favourite fragrances ever.

4.5/5


Sandalwood Cologne by Geo F Trumper

This is a beautiful gentlemanly sandalwood cologne that has a large citric and vanilla feel to it. The opening to my nose is notes of creamy, sweet sandalwood coupled with lemon and vanilla, while the drydown...It's really creamy in scent, like a custard made of sandalwood oil if that makes sense. Apparently a lot of people compare this to Chanel's classic sandalwood fragrance known as Egoiste (though I haven't smelled that one). This fragrance is also a near perfect pairing with Proraso Red aftershave as it contains a near identical sandalwood note to the one in this fragrance. Projection for this cologne is strong while longevity is also good at over 6 hours of good projection. It actually performs like an eau de parfum rather than a 'cologne', and I presume it probably is one. Overall, it's in my top 3 sandalwood fragrances of all time, along with Tom Ford Santal Blush and the discontinued Art of Shaving Sandalwood EDT.

4/5


Eucris Eau de Parfum by Geo F Trumper

This is a modern iteration of the old gentlemanly gothic fragrance by Geo F. Trumper known as Eucris - purportedly worn by James Bond, and initially created over a century ago - of which I used to own the eau de toilette, until I got this eau de parfum, which in my opinion is superior in all aspects. In comparison to the EDT, the EDP has less of a sparkly blackcurrant opening and smells instead like the drydown of the EDT but from the get-go. So it's a sombre mix of notes to my nose such as oakmoss (LOTS of oakmoss in this), blackcurrant, cumin, coriander, and musk. In the drydown, the blackcurrant becomes much more prominent and sweetens up the fragrance somewhat (though it's very dry still). It's a dark, austere traditional gentleman's cologne and makes me think of rainy days and gothic architecture. I also love pairing this with the $5 perfume oil known as al-Rehab Dakar (a clone of Drakkar Noire); they oddly work really well together. Projection is moderate, just like in the EDT, while longevity is significantly improved at at least 6 hours strong projection. Overall, it's a one of my favourite fragrances of all time by a British house that still preserves their long-standing fragrance tradition.

4.5/5


Holidays by Mancera

Very unique tropical opening with lots of coconut and tiare flower with some citrusy elements; reminds me of Virgin Island Water somewhat. Drydown is somewhat generic and reminds me of suntan lotion, and the coconut amps up along with vanilla. Good scent but not great, with the opening being the best part.

3.5/5


Wild Python by Mancera

Amazing osmanthus and tuberose opening that smells a lot like neroli to me. Amazing drydown as well that smells similar to the opening but with less tuberose. Mostly a white floral scent and leans feminine. But man is this amazing! I love it even though I'm a male. If only I didn't have enough neroli scents to last a lifetime, I would have added this to my collection.

4.5/5


Velvet Vanilla by Mancera

Fruity opening, lots of pear, bit of white florals, not much vanilla. Drydown is similar but the vanilla is slightly more. Tbh I prefer the masterpiece Black Vanilla to this, though the pear note is well done in Velvet Vanilla. Black Vanilla by Mancera is a true vanilla masterpiece, while Velvet Vanilla is mainly a pear juice scent (barely any vanilla in it).

4/5


Black Gold by Mancera

Very unique lavender, violet, and leather opening. Never smelled anything like it. Kind of like a lavender scented version of Dior Fahrenheit. Very masculine and gentlemanly. Drydown is similar. Good but ultimately a pass due to my dislike of violet as a note. Top marks for originality though.

4/5


Wild Candy by Mancera

Very odd opening that's not very sweet at all, haven't really smelled anything like it. Drydown is much sweeter and reminds me of some Indian sweet. Maybe Kulfi? Nice scent overall.

4/5


Aoud Café by Mancera

Opening smells like coffee and Ruh Khus (pure Indian vetiver oil). Drydown smells similar. Coffee note is strong and black. Not very sweet. It's ok but not a huge fan of the notes in particular.

3.5/5


Choco Violette by Mancera

The opening smells of violets and chocolate, but the chocolate is the dark unsweetened kind. Don't really like this but I have a love-hate relationship with violet as a note. Not very sweet at all.

3/5


Hindu Kush by Mancera

The opening reminds me a lot of Black Afgano. Has a cannabis like note but lots of incense. Drydown is all incense. Not a huge fan tbh but I can see it's uniqueness and artistry.

3/5


Sartorial by Penhaligon's

This is a beautiful gentlemanly barbershop fougere scent that smells like a niche version of Brut aftershave. The dominant notes in this are a mix of lavender, the scent of metal, green herbal notes that smell of oakmoss, and a splash of honey. The mix of the 4 notes is extremely pleasant. I especially like the herbal green notes in this, and in fact I prefer this to Houbigant's Fougere Royale (another barbershop fougere that I used to own). Performance is also pretty great with this fragrance. Maybe the best of the Penhaligon's lineup, along with Castile.

5/5


Devin by Aramis

What a wonderful green scent this is! To my nose, this is a mix of leather, pine, galbanum (which smells like grass), and jasmine. Beautiful, gentlemanly, old-school chypre that reminds me of Polo Green but is actually better than that by far. Performance is also pretty good (not amazing though). Very good green fragrance overall that reminds me of a rainy day at a golf course.

4/5


Bleecker Street by Bond No. 9

This is a beautiful grassy green scent that basically has only 3 notes to my nose - the scent of grass, violet leaves, and blueberries - making a kaleidescopic mix of purple and green notes (purple from blueberry, green from the grass, and both from the violet leaves). It's very cooling, green, and herbal. Performance is also fantastic. However, it doesn ot really smell like Creed's Green Irish Tweed at all (contrary to what some people say). Interestingly, it reminds me a lot of a fragrance known as Tulip Silk by Ghallager Fragrances. They use the same green base which smells like fresh green stems in a florist's shop. A very enticing scent, and the alternating purple and green of the bottle is very apt.

4/5


Coney Island by Bond No. 9

This is a really unique fragrance that smells like nothing else out there. It opens with the scent of a margerita on the rocks - full with the scent of lime, tequila, and ice. As it dries down, I smell oddly the notes of chocolate and guava. I think they were trying to capture the feel of Coney Island in New York with treats and fruit juice and margeritas everywhere. Performance is also stellar. Due to the gourmand nature of this fragrance but with its fresh opening, it may be a bit strange for some. However, I personally really like it. I feel it's like a niche version of Tommy Bahama Set Sail St. Barts (a fragrance which I sold once I smelled Coney Island).

4/5


Oud Minérale by Tom Ford

The greatest aquatic fragrance ever made in my opinion, this fragrance smells of a very unique mix of gasoline (that's the 'oud' part) and a rainy, cold, windswept northern beach in Canada (that's the 'minerale' part). It smells like what the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones would smell like. I first tried this fragrance on a Canadian day in the winter and was immediately put off by the gasoline opening, but within 30 minutes it was radiating a wonderfully desolate, melancholy, rainy beach scent off my skin into the cold winter air. Now I'm addicted to the gasoline opening as well. Performance is stellar on all metrics as well. A veritable masterpiece by Tom Ford, though only for lovers of gasoline along with rainy desolate beaches, and perhaps an acquired taste for everyone else.

5/5


Bat (original) by Zoologist Perfumes

This is an extremely interesting fragrance created to smell like the environment, food, and body of a bat. Zoologist - a very fascinating niche perfume house from Toronto - does not aim to capture just an animal's own scent, but the scents of its environment and diet as well. Thus, Bat is composed of "soft fruits, damp earth and minerals." It was developed by Dr. Ellen Covey, the owner/perfumer at the indie house Olympic Orchids, and herself a professor at the University of Washington who studied bat biology for years. Covey wanted Bat to smell like "the cool, earthy, damp limestone cave where the bats live, the fruit that they eat, and the clean, musky smell of their fur." She succeeded with me and apparently others, too; Bat won the Independent Category of the 2016 Art and Olfaction Awards. As for the scent, it is extremely spot-on to the description. It smells literally like wet earth, and is full of the geosmin chemical (the same chemical that causes the scent of 'petrichor' - the after rain smell of wet soil). The only thing this is comparable to is CB I Hate Perfume's Black March, which also has a large wet soil scent (but is far more fleeting than Bat). On the drydown, I somewhat smell the tropical fruits (mainly banana) but the wet soil scent remains throughout. It really smells like you're smelling a cave! I for one am obsessed by this sort of scent, so this is one of the best fragrances I've literally ever smelled. Sillage and projection are also both through the roof, lasting over 10 hours with just 1 spray (especially as it's an extrait de parfum). This is honestly a masterpiece of perfumery, and unparalleled as far as dark green earth scents go.

5/5


Blasted Heath by Penhaligon's

This is a really fantastic marine aquatic that smells realistically like a windswept, cold, and rainy beach in Britain. The dominant notes are seawater, seaweed, and sage to my nose, although there are also noticeable menthol and eucalyptus notes (though not listed). Apparently there's whiskey and tobacco in the drydown but I don't really smell it. This is like niche version of Bvlgari Aqva pour Homme, and is so good I ended up selling Bvlgari Aqva. It has good projection for around 4-5 hours, and good longevity after that (it's quite strong for an aquatic). It is really photorealistic as far as ocean scents go, and really smells like how I'm describing it - of a cold, rainy, windswept beach.

5/5


Bayolea by Penhaligon's

An awesome offering from Penhaligon's, this is a photorealistic lemongrass scent. It smells of lemongrass with pepper (combining to smell sort of like lemon-pepper seasoning), with a lot of mossy green notes in the drydown. In fact the lemongrass is so realistic that some people say this reminds them of Thai food (which often uses lemongrass in its recipes). It smells similar to Lalique White, but lasts far longer than that, having strong projection for over 4 hours. Very gentlemanly, green, and old-fashioned (in a good way). Love this stuff.

5/5


Castile by Penhaligon's

A wonderful barbershop neroli scent, this actually smells like Castile soap from Spain. It is a simple combination of orange blossom, petitgrain, musk, and rose, and reminds me a lot of both Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza and Acqua di Parma Colonia. Longevity is also fantastic, with good projection for over 4 hours. I've smelled most of the Penhaligon's line, and this one was my favourite by far. There isn't really much more to say about it other than that this is one of the best masculine neroli scents out there.

5/5


Guerlain Homme Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

Review is for Guerlain Homme Eau de Parfum (in the tall bottle):

This starts off with a strong white rum note blended with peppermint and lime, to smell exactly like a mojito. The rum is the strongest however, while the lime and peppermint are in the background. When spraying this on my skin it actually gives me a slight cooling sensation due to the mint. The rum is of the white variety and not bay rum. But together they smell quite pleasant nonetheless. The fragrance overall leans very masculine and is a sort of "night out" type of scent. On drydown it gives me nice wafts towards my nose of a very intoxicating (pun intended) mojito which smells better in the air emanating from my skin than if I sniff my skin itself. On the drydown, the rum note gets louder. In the late drydown it changes entirely to a vetiver scent (not unlike Guerlain Vetiver, but tempered with white rum). Sillage is moderate while longevity is quite fantastic at over 10 hours on my skin for me. Overall this is the best true "mojito" fragrance in my opinion, and a real masterpiece of perfumery.

5/5


Every Storm a Serenade by Imaginary Authors

Imaginary Authors is a very interesting niche fragrance house where each fragrance comes in a box shaped like a book and is based on a short story. Every Storm a Serenade is about a short story relating to a fisherman, and set in the desolate west coast of Denmark. As for the scent, it's basically a far weaker version of Encre Noire by Lalique to my nose. For me it's dominated by the note of vetiver; I can't really smell anything else, and am kind of disappointed as I expected a stronger eucalyptus and fir/spruce note. There is nothing aquatic about it either. Penhaligon's Blasted Heath and Tom Ford's Oud Minerale are far better options for realistic marine scents (or even Bvlgari's Aqva pour Homme). Disappointment.

3.5/5


24 Elixir Neroli by ScentStory FZE

This may sound strange but this is less about neroli and more about a very green and plant-like banana note. Dominant notes to my nose are of spearmint leaves, white tea, and bergamot. Although it doesn't even include a banana note in it, the combination of notes just listed to my nose are very evocative of the scent of the green shell of an unripe banana. It smells like you're walking in a banana grove after it had just rained. The only fragrances this is comparable to are Dyptique's Philosykos and Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot, to my nose - it literally smells like both combined into one scent. As it dries down it becomes a bit more sweet while still retaining the green banana scent. I feel like this should have been called '24 Elixir Green Banana'. Projection is moderate but on the strong side, while longevity is fairly good with 4 hours of solid projection. Overall, this isn't really a neroli fragrance but it's a pretty amazing smelling green citrus fragrance nonetheless and incredibly unique.

4.5/5


Aoud Ever by Montale

This is a really interesting citrus-oud offering by Montale that has a very beautiful sweet lime note with oud and sandalwood in the background. This is one of the only Montales where citrus is the dominant player. The oud here smells similar to the oud in Mancera Aoud Vanille, so it's sweet and also reminds me a lot of the smell of pistachio kulfi (the popular Pakistani/Indian ice cream dessert). If you can imagine it, imagine the lime note in Mancera Lemon Line combined with the oud note in Mancera Aoud Vanille, and you have this. It also gives me similar vibes to Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud (but doesn't smell like it at all, really). On the drydown, the oud becomes more woody and leathery while the citrus notes remain in the background. Projection is moderate (lesser than other Montales but still adequate), while longevity is also moderate at about 3 hours of good projection. Still, this is a really unique take on citrus and I like it.

4/5

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