Lacoste Eau de Sport by Lacoste

Basil, Bergamot, Coriander, Lavender, Petitgrain, Rosemary, Lemon.

Fern, Geranium, Heliotrope, Clary Sage, Carnation, Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Cinnamon.

Ambergris, Moss, Musk, Tonka Bean, Vanilla.

This 1968 release of Lacoste by Patou shows the lighter side of Jean Kerleo. This is in line with the overall image it tries to project. Golf, fairways and a sporty-casual aura depicts Lacoste rather well.

I've had this on again for about 30 minutes. I'm rather impressed with the totality of it. There are many listed notes , but repeated sniffing assures me this was made in a different era. It has a certain gravitas, even though it's a "sport" fragrance. The citrus, spice, herbal and earthy qualities are all present and accounted for. It smells completely appropriate to wear in the spring-summer months regardless of being nvolved in an activity.

The carnation adds that classic masculine touch and seems to come to the fore a bit more as the wearing ensues. Is it dated? Perhaps a bit, but with a casual scent, that's not a drawback in my book. I put Lacoste into the same category as Lanvin L'Homme Sport for structure and overall performance/effect. Lacoste is HTF whereas the Lanvin ( and scents like it ) are cheap and readily available.

The dry down of Lacoste is nice and predictable considering the ingredients. A mild mossy-musk rears its head after an hour or so, with hardly a nod from Oriental notes.

Is Lacoste worth tracking down and paying the going rate? I suppose that depends if you're driven to "collect" as opposed to building a wardrobe with worthy representatives of genres you want so you have the bases covered. As for me, I like Lacoste, but I can live with a counterpart. I no longer collect HTF fragrances, so take that for what it's worth. Sillage is actually good with surprising longevity for a "Sport" fragrance. I can smell this 6 hours later with a few light sprays.

Voyageur by Jean Patou

Ahhhhh........okay......let me find the words that are fair here. First,a shout out of thanks to epapsiou for sending me this and a few other gems. Your generosity is appreciated bro.

Voyageur could be a Kerleo/Calvin Klein collaboration. I don't mean that in a derogatory manner. After all, daring to try new directions isn't a crime and Voyageur isn't a bad fragrance by any means. The mere mention of Kerleo's name and greatness is expected.

Voyageur does not deliver greatness. It doesn't deliver anything exceptional, but it does afford a contemporary and comfortable wear that is most assuredly innocuous. A full wearing suggests a citrus-tinged aquatic that meanders into a mild mannered woody-moss.

Again, it's no crime to release something ordinary that functions as it should and makes no waves. ( No pun intended ). As a musician and songwriter, not all compositions have that "special something" that draws attention or praise. Voyageur, to me, is an acceptable song that you forget 10 minutes after hearing it, but did no disservice to you while hearing it.

Neutral rating for this mid-nineties Kerleo creation. Sillage is average with longevity being somewhere around 4 hours on my skin before becoming imperceptible.

Jubilation XXV Man by Amouage

Review for the Magnetic Cap Version.

Labdanum Ciste, Coriander, Orange, Davana, Frankincense, Blackberry, Honey, Bay, Cinnamon, Orchid, Rose, Clove, Celery Seeds, Gaiac Wood, Patchouli, Opoponax, Myrrh, Atlas Cedarwood, Musk, Moss, Ambergris, Oud Wood, Immortelle.

Since I no longer have any previous-formula Jubilation XXV to do a side-by-side, it makes this review easier. I liked it 6 years ago and I still like; enough so that I purchased a bottle with the magnetic cap. There are some differences, but no deterrents and the current is certainly not inferior.

What I do notice about the current Jubilation is that it's a more linear wear. The volume was never boisterous to begin with and it remains as such. The Frankincense is the theme on my skin with assists from an array of notes that are fairly seamless. There's intermittent whiffs of clove, woods, earth and herbs and they accent instead of bloom.

Others may experience something different than I, but at least during my wearings, the Incense sits smack in the middle while helped along passively by the rest of the composition. Jubilation XXV has a rather staid totality, but it's completely appropriate.

Formal demeanor or not, this is a nice scent and worthy additional to a persons wardrobe. You simply need to like the Incense note and you'll be G2G. If you're not sure, but your curiosity is piqued, grab a sample and try it. The current price point is far better than it used to be. Sillage is average with longevity approximately 6 hours plus more as a skin scent. Thumbs up for Amouage's current rendition of Jubilation XXV.

Maze by Al Haramain

Geranium, Orange, Rose, Lemon, Davana, Bergamot, Artemesia, Cedar, Rose, Orchid, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Saffron, Cloves, Orange Tree Blossom, Patchouli, Cedar, Praline, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Fruit Notes, Cashmere Wood, Amber, Floral Notes, Musk.

For a fragrance with enough listed notes to enable an entire neighborhood to become aromatic, Maze by Al Haramain is a straight up Woody. To be truthful, I'm pleasantly surprised by how linear it is and how good it smells. I happen to really enjoy Woodies, so if they aren't your cup of tea, please avoid this one. I purchased this blind and didn't know what to expect due to the amount of listed notes. Cedar and Sandalwood are front and center on my skin from start to finish.
Between the two woods, Cedar is the more predominant. Naturally, you may experience something a bit different, but what evolves during my wearings is Cedar, complimented with Sandalwood and given a subtle assist from citrus, Saffron, Clove and Musk. When I say subtle, I mean subtle.

Maze has enough embellishment from other players to give the woods just enough oomph. This genuinely wears linear on me, so there's no point in describing non-existent accord development. The Saffron helps this along nicely, while the clove and Orange lend a suitable counterpoint.

Sillage is average with longevity approximately 4-5 hours with normal sprays before evolving into a skin scent that lasts a good while. Thumbs up from Aromi for Al Haramain's Maze. As always, a sample wear is highly recommended.

Bogart Citytower by Jacques Bogart

Bergamot, Incense, Pink Pepper.
Nutmeg, Geranium, Cardamom.
Agarwood, Labdanum, Musk, Leather.

When the need arises to revisit a fragrance and I find I like it more now than I did years ago in the review, it's only fitting ( and fair ) to change the review, in order to reflect your new found appreciation. Now, in my initial review, I gave City Tower a thumbs up. This time around, I find it more nuanced and contemporary than previously perceived.

For whatever reason, memory serves City Tower as being stronger than what I am presently wearing. I still experience the suggestion of Tonka, although it's not listed. However, 5 years ago it seemed more pronounced and I now concede that it must be the balsamic quality in the Cardamom rendition interacting with Nutmeg and Labdanum.

In the end, who cares what's giving me that impression. It happens to smell very good and side steps the generic-chemical label so common in fairly recent releases.

Upon initial application, I cannot say I get the typical Bergamot, but there is a subtle sweet in the mix I attribute to it. It's simply tuned too low to be heard over the Spicy Incense. The floral and spice interplay lend an interesting edge to an otherwise placid accord. It manages to puff it up a bit and give it some character.

On my skin at least, the spirit of City Tower lies in its heart. It's here where its strength resides and its here that its steadfast and unwavering personality greets you, not with a smile, but with a nod of acknowledgement. Yes, City Tower is linear and strong like the name suggests. Like a landmark that happens to catch your eye, it lets you know it's there. It's powerfully understated and won't get in your way. It lends enjoyment by simply being there to experience.

I don't experience transitions or shifts in the fragrance except to say that it morphs into a lower gear after 45 minutes or so. It's seamless enough to where I can never genuinely tell when it begins, but once I do take notice, I'll begin to smell that suggestion of Tonka I mentioned earlier. There's also very subtle hints of leatheriness to augment the balsamic accord that's still thriving.

Truth be told, Oud never comes to fruition on my skin when wearing City Tower. Whatever wood I perceive doesn't represent oud as I know it. It's rather indistinguishable, but completely appropriate and complimentary. The resin is also a nice accent.

Sillage is good with longevity approximately 4 hours on my skin, plus the same amount of time or longer as a skin scent. Thumbs up from SS for City Tower by Jacques Bogart. I should mention that this has weather versatility in spite of being substantial. As always, a sample wear is recommended before purchase if at all possible.

MCM 24 Evening by MCM

ergamot, Cumin, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin, Pepper, Plum.
Carnation, Cinnamon, Fir, Ginger, Heliotrope, Jasmin, Rose, Tobacco.
Amber, Cedar, Civet, Leather, Moss, Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka, Vetiver

This 1993 counterpart to Twenty Four Morning is as substantial as the accords would lead you to believe. I assure you that this particular masculine, while extremely rich and dense, is not for everyone. That goes double for the fragrant faint-of-heart. Only those who gravitate toward edgy and substantial need apply here. The triple threat of Cumin, Cinnamon and Civet is alive, well and very interactive in Twenty Four Evening.

Twenty Four Evening opens with a blast of citric spice. Bergamot, Lavender and Lemon intermingled with cumin and pepper is nothing to sneeze at. It's not so much overpowering as it is full bodied. I love the gravity and edginess of this accord. The cumin note is fascinating in this fragrance and I have yet to find one implemented in a more superior fashion. Cumin is a tough sell, yet it works wonders here. I have to reiterate that this masculine possesses all the aspects of a love-it or hate-it scent.

Once the top settles down after 5 minutes, a densely blurred floral array appears and is accented with even more spice. The volume has always been perfect on my skin and this facet is commendable for such a heady brew. No one note here takes precedence and the heart acts as a crew completing a task. As challenging as this is, I imagine this would smell extremely sensual and alluring on a very confident woman as well. It calls to mind clean but sweaty sex after a night on the town. Twenty Four Evening amps up on me from the onset of exertion and becomes slightly feral.

Once the opening and heart have combined and played their part, the base and drydown aren't far removed from what you've already experienced. It's smoother with less presence, yet still substantial enough from the carry-over of spices and heart notes. Civet stands above its peers in the base and the extended drydown affords bits of resin, leathery wood and musk.

Sillage is perfect and longevity is approximately 6 hours plus on me. Thumbs up from SS for MCM's very edgy and sexual Twenty Four Evening.

Furyo by Jacques Bogart

Bergamot, Lavender, Artemesia, Coriander, Green Notes.
Jasmine, Geranium, Cinnamon, Rose, Carnation, Thyme, Honey.
Patchouli, Amber, Vetiver, Civet, Moss, Musk, Vanilla.

My initial review was comparing the vintage formula to the later release of this 1988 strangely compelling scent from Jacques Bogart. The two things I will reiterate from the 2011 post is that the vintage really does possess better overall character and that Furyo is a forerunner to Arabian Nights from the same house. Let's just say it smells like the blueprint for it and leave it at that.

I suppose one of the things I like about Furyo is that it genuinely was not trying to smell like anything else or even attempting to improve on an already existing idea. Fragrances in the 70's and 80's were much like music was in the 60's and 70's. Variety was encouraged and financially backed, so taking chances was way more common than what I see today. This attitude produced some real iconic creations. Naturally, there's going to be failures as well in an atmosphere of experimentation, but just look back at the results in scent and music to see if it was justified.

Furyo is a masculine aroma. It's dark and wears on the heavy side because it possesses substance. There's an air of mystery about what you're smelling and the accents from honey and civet augment Furyo with a sensuality that isn't in your face, but obvious to those who get close. It makes for an interesting choice to wear during the colder months and I wouldn't hesitate to reach for Furyo for a night of fun, romance or both.

Furyo has some sparkle in its opening. Once that subsides, there's not much development or actual need for any. Within minutes, it basically unfolds and matures before your eyes and remains as such for the length of the ride. Furyo is a dense and concerted effort from many. Woods, Animalics, Floral and Earth converge for 5 plus hours before finally relinquishing its grip to a subtle interpretation of moss and vanilla. Thumbs up from SS for Vintage Furyo by Jacques Bogart. As always, a sample wear is highly recommended.

Ungaro pour L'Homme II by Ungaro

A 1992 Ambery Oriental that is literally the cat's ass. The use of civet in this particular masculine is about as artistically sexy as you will find anywhere in the designer realm.

The 2nd release of the infamous Ungaro triumvirate, Ungaro II is in stark contrast to Ungaro L'Homme released the year before. Even the colors used for both are completely appropriate.

The opening of Ungaro II is a citric blast with spice. Basil and coriander are integrated with bergamot and constitute an excellent accord. The top of the fragrance is memorable and distinct.

The civet only takes moments to assimilate into the progression. It's very sensual and so well implemented that I cannot help using it as a measuring stick when smelling other creations using the note. The neroli is also very well played and adds a hint of bitter and bite to a borderline sweet texture.

Carnation starts flexing its muscles after 5 minutes or so and begins to ruffle some feathers in an otherwise very smooth accord. The tuning of the floral heart is very commendable and from behind the carnation can be smelled hints of jasmin and pepper. The others add an anonymous "fullness" and they do it well.

In an hour or so, the drydown is realized. I find that Ungaro II has good longevity in its first two accords and enjoy the fact that what I smell the first few minutes lasts a great while on my skin. Once it subsides, a woody amber appears. The civet is still alive and kicking and invites a bit of leather to the party as well.

The extended drydown softens with the addition of vanilla and tonka. This scent is deceiving in the sense that it lasts longer than you think it does. Whether this is attributable to olfactory fatigue or simply morphing into a "close" fragrance after its first hour is an unknown quantity. It really doesn't matter either.

Good is good......and Ungaro II fits that bill perfectly. Big thumbs up from SS for the civet-fest from Ungaro.

1861 Renaissance / 1861 by Xerjoff

The Xerjoff boutique has the listed notes as : Tangerine, Bergamot, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Mint, Amber, Patchouli and Cedar.

Quality? Yes, in spades and each note can be clearly identified in remarkable fashion. I enjoy citric openings as much as the next person, but this is tantamount to the nuance differences in regular cable and B-ray high definition.

The citrus in the top accord lasts an extraordinary length of time compared to most. It smells extravagant even for a citric opening, but this scent never gets stuffy. After some time has lapsed, a soft and unassuming menthol slides in. Like numerous other enthusiasts, I can have a difficult time with mint depending upon the implementation. This rendition is extremely deft and ( on me ), it's literally hiding behind the oncoming Lily of the Valley. I should note that I get the LOTV first, with the mint right on its coattails. The result is an extremely good accord with longevity.

Slowly, the wearings revealed soft, dusty rose, subtle hints of patchouli and woody amber. The mint is still there, even in the drydown phase, set on perfect volume like the rest of the cast. Quality to me is the totality of a composition. I have no idea what each house uses in terms of ingredient expense and I personally could care less. It either smells like a quality creation or it does not. Totality is the result of thought, effort and tinkering. Quality doesn't seem likely to be rushed........and Xerjoff 1861 smells like someone took their sweet time in finally signing off on it.

Suffice it to say that this fragrance is Italian in feel like it's supposed to be and an excellent wear. If I had 3 thumbs, they'd pointing upward.

Musk Eau de Toilette by Alyssa Ashley

Citrus, Jasmine, Musk, Rose, Carnation, Coumarin, Amber, Vanilla, Orris Root.

I suppose the first things I noticed after applying Musk Extreme was that it immediately performed like a conventional Eau de Toilette and it possessed a slight hairspray accord. Does that mean it was an instantaneous deal breaker? No, it wasn't off putting because the hairspray aura wasn't sharp like some can be, yet is it evident.

Am I saying that I like it? I can't say that I do, but I don't hate it. I have a few fragrances by Alyssa Ashley that I wear, but this particular one leans far too feminine for me and it's also one I cannot generate any love for. It goes on oily as well, so expect some topical residue for awhile. This may well be one that interacts better with some sort of base, but I have neither the time or inclination to experiment.

When I wear "musk", I guess I expect a sensuality to be present or at least some type of animalic aspect augmenting the surrounding notes. Unfortunately, I don't realize that with Musk Extreme. There's a warm, herbaceous and spicy quality present, along with some sharper, floral elements that create the hairspray comparison. I cannot help but mentally correlate the aroma to "drugstore".

Normally, I enjoy breaking a scent down to explain what notes are doing what for me as I wear it. I won't do that here since the above is basically what I experience through the life of the scent, with the exception of a mild vanilla peeking through in the base and beyond. Sillage is average with longevity approximately 4 hours on my skin with heavy sprays. It does last longer as a skin scent. Neutral rating from SS for Alyssa Ashley's Musk Extreme and as always, a sample wear is highly recommended.

Oud pour Lui by Alyssa Ashley

Lemon, Geranium, Saffron.
Jasmine, Olibanum, Cumin.
Vetiver, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Amber, Oud.

My first wearing of Alyssa Ashley's Oud Pour Lui was not what I expected. Subsequent wearings produced the same result, however I'm more conducive to it after numerous applications. This isn't because there's anything off putting about the fragrance, nor is it because I find it inferior. It's due to the implementation of Incense and the tuning thereof. Oud Pour Lui is all about smoke and the resurgence of my Altar Boy memories at our local Catholic Church.

I was expecting an Oud dominant scent and instead of Agarwood, Incense took the lead and never looked back. On my skin, I experience full-on Incense with the expected smokiness and woody undercurrent. Oud Pour Lui is also linear and only the lowering of volume and presence during the base and drydown does it reveal other facets.

This isn't to say that Alyssa's interpretation is unsatisfactory. It's simply not what I had in mind when I pulled the trigger on a bottle. On the flip side however, if one likes Incense, Pour Lui isn't gender specific by any means. This is for anyone to wear and it has me curious to the feminine version and if it's similar. All the other players here bow in worship to the smoke, but it is a very wearable rendition. Sillage is good with longevity approximately 5 hours on my skin. A few hours into the wearings, the Incense chills enough to permit subtle amber, resins and cedar to strut their stuff. Thumbs up anyway from SS for Oud Pour Lui with the WARNING that Oud is simply a passive embellishment here.

Essence de Patchouli by Alyssa Ashley

Geranium, Rose, Orris Root, Patchouli, Gaiac Wood, Cedar, Coumarin, Labdanum, Vanilla, Musk.

There's a slightly different twist on Alyssa Ashley's rendition of Patchouli than others of this genre I have smelled. The ratio of Orris, Coumarin and Geranium give it that something "extra and different" to set it apart. It's just enough to distance itself from the rest of the pack.

The initial application makes you realize that this is Patch, but rendered sideways. Mrs. Aromi, in her infinite fragrance wisdom, declared it to smell like.......(with furrowed brows) "In your face.......powerful.......STUFF"...........As usual, my better half dislikes it immensely...........and that means I'll probably either like it or love it. In this case however, I lean toward non-chalant "like" with "love" far away over the horizon.

Essence de Patchouli is patch accented with balsamic, floral and woody tones that coexist with its inherent earthiness. This is neither feminine or masculine and rides the rail of "shared" rather effortlessly. I detect a spicy, latex quality within the top and heart accords that's a bit quirky, but certainly not off putting. It's actually what gives Essence some of its personality.

The Vanilla and Musk, listed in the base, incrementally gain momentum as the wearing ensues. On my skin, they never overtake the composition and it's this that disallows Essence from leaning too far feminine. The balance of notes is well done, as is the overall performance. I'll never love this particular rendition of patchouli, but I do like it and recognize a good release.

Sillage is semi strong, but reigns itself in within 10 minutes. Longevity is approximately 5 hours on me. Thumbs up from Aromi for Alyssa Ashley's Essence de Patchouli and a strong recommendation to sample before purchase.

Kalemat by Arabian Oud

Blueberry, Anise.
Rosemary, Cashmere Wood.
Musk, Amber, Sweet Leaf, Vanilla.

Kalemat by Arabian Oud has been a fairly recent addition to my wardrobe and rotation for work. Now, I know it smells good or else why on earth would I wear it? I also have confirmation due to co-workers not only commenting on how damn good I smell, but inquiring what it is, where they can get it.........and do I have any I can spare until they buy a bottle. Suffice it to say I have already given away 10ml. atomizers of Kalemat to a few, happy peers.

By now, we all are aware that Arabian spray perfumes have not been as well done as their CPO's, nor on par with western spray perfumes. I see some changes in this lately; mainly in the ones I have been sampling and/or purchasing.

Kalemat by Arabian is a terrific bang-for-your-buck Woody Oriental on my skin. It's linear, pleasant, full bodied and possesses very nice sillage and superior longevity. If I like the totality of a particular scent, I could care less if it has 3 recognizable transitions or just one. It's all about whether you enjoy what is drifting off your skin.

From start to finish, Kalemat is a dense array of Woods, subtle resins, the suggestion of sweet and a shadowy tobacco note. The accord is of one mind and blurred, but in spite of that, it's a successful endeavor and a worthy addition for my cold weather rotation. Sillage is above average, with longevity approximately 6 hours plus and more as a skin scent. Thumbs up from SS for Arabain Oud's Kalemat. As always, a sample wear is recommended.

Versace pour Homme Oud Noir by Versace

Bitter Orange, Neroli, Pepper.
Cardamom, Saffron, Olibanum.
Patchouli, Leather, Woods.

Versace's Oud Noir for Men is perhaps one of the more wearable interpretations out there; especially if the note gives you problems. Personally, I don't even consider this an Oud fragrance. Why, you ask? Because it's not an oud scent in any respect. Whatever is actually being passed off as oud performs softly, as does the entire scent from start to early finish.

Oud Noir begins with a subtle, citrus and mild camphor. It's pleasant, innocuous and versatile. I can also say it's uninspired and I wouldn't be inaccurate. After 5 minutes or so, there's some spice. the suggestion of fruit and perhaps balsam. I don't experience genuine clarity in the accords and as Oud Noir is tuned at a low volume, this is simply a spray-n-go type fragrance.

It may appear I'm bashing on Oud Noir a bit, but that's not my intention. There's a definitive place for scents such as this. Oud Noir may be low key, but it's full enough to be considered as a choice for warmer temps when you want some substance instead of reaching for your arsenal of aquatics.

I suppose that when I bought this, I was expecting something much different than what it is. On the flip side, I have enough heavy choices with or without Oud for cold weather and Oud Noir actually is very versatile.

Not long ago, this fragrance was selling at auction for around $100 US and wasn't widely available. That made it desirable. Now, it's selling for quite a bit less and is more plentiful. I do recommend Oud Noir if it can be had for around $60 US for the 100ml. bottle. Sillage is moderate at best, with longevity approximately 4 hours on my skin before reapplication. A postive-neutral rating from SS for Versace's Oud Noir and highly recommend sampling before pulling the trigger.

Santalum by Profumum

I love Sandalwood done right. Basenotes will attest to the fact that there are numerous sandal dominant scents that achieve cult status in some fashion. Some will swear by Egoiste, some by Villoresi, others claim Maitre Parfumeur has the best. I guess it simply boils down to what our own noses interpret.

Profumum has never achieved stardom in this debate among basenoters like lesser fragrances have simply because it isn't sampled as widely as other houses. True, there are those who are aware of Santalum and recognize it's a terrific scent, but the majority think only of others when trying to choose the best sandalwood fragrance. I believe price and bottle size has something to do with this.

I'm fortunate in that I got to try this some years ago while it was still the dark, oily rendition. Make no mistake about the new, light colored version though. It has grown on me and actually has better projection than its older sibling. I wore both again last night and this morning I can still detect them clearly. The dark rendition has a woodier tone from the onset. It's more baritone than the lighter version and the sandalwood implemented is different than the new release. The sandalwood note smells slightly superior in the dark one and is more prominent throughout the wearing. The cinnamon and myrrh are present, but only as stagehands to the star. The entire life of the scent goes on exactly as it started. Sandalwood front and center with an assist from incense and cinnamon.

The new, light colored version has a different feel to it, but is terrific nonetheless. The sandalwood used in this rendition is very good, but not as deep or up front as the dark one. It's a brighter, more uplifting interpretation. Whereas the dark may be meditative, this one has a more casual aura about it. It's also more balanced with the cinnamon and myrrh. The sandalwood can definitely be smelled, but it's enveloped inside the spicy incense and seems to be blended more meticulously than the dark.

At first, I was indignant that Profumum had changed the formula. This was, after all, my favorite from a house I have a proclivity for. I had plans on saving for a bottle of the original a few years back and then right before I was ready to purchase, they unceremoniously slipped the new rendition in there. I then tried the new release and while recognizing it was very good, my obsession for "original" and also dark colored fragrances tainted my perception a bit. I seem to have a bad habit of equating "dark" for "Substantial and good". Sometimes that theory holds water........and sometimes it leaks......

Suffice it to say that the Santalum that currently is available is the light colored rendition. The more I wear it, the better I like it for it's projection, brightness and longevity. It also helps that it smells great. I have been on the fence for a few years now about purchasing this. It is expensive and the bottle is big enough to last years. I think I may have to pull the trigger soon on this before they change it yet again. I know my vintage Santal Noble will be disappointed if I purchased it. It would then be relegated to second best.

Gold Rose Oudh by Tiziana Terenzi

Bergamot, Fir, Ember, Sand Accord.
Rose, Patchouli, Black Pepper.
Oudh, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, Honey.

After reading numerous reviews, with almost all extolling Gold Rose Oudh to be a top tier player in its genre, I pulled the trigger blind, once again because........well, what else could I do? Should I have used common sense and obtained a sample first like I always recommend to others? In my case, the answer is yes........but probably not for the reasons you think.

Gold Rose Oudh is a quality Spicy Rose creation, so that's a good thing. On the flip side, Gold Rose Oudh is the same pattern I've smelled time and time again, well made or not. The listed notes are here that I wanted, but the tuning is for a song that simply wouldn't make it to my playlist anymore, well played or not.

I suppose that, in a nutshell, my wearings of Gold Rose Oudh have afforded me the experience of Peppery Rose and Oud. In a genre that has kind of run its course for me, I held out hope that the Amber and Honey would be up front, pronounced and steer this into sweet and slightly feral territory. It was not to be however and as well done as this uncomplicated fragrance is, it's simply another expensive rehash for me.

I get Rose. I get Pepper......and I also get oud. This just so happens to be the variety that morphs into a mild B.O. quality on my skin. It is mild and it takes 30 minutes or longer to come to fruition, but it's there nonetheless. I'm persuaded that others have not had this experience or else they would have said so.

So, I'm bucking the trend here and stating Gold Rose Oudh is a nicely done run-of-the-mill Spicy Rose with woods. Sillage is moderate at best with longevity approximately 4 hours before becoming a close scent. Neutral rating from SS with a strong recommendation to try before you buy.

Mystra by Aesop

Frankincense, Labdanum and Mastic.

Aesop's Mystra is ( to me at least ) a strange, but likable rendition of ambery incense. It emits a medicinal earthiness that possesses a mentholated slant to it. Well, on my skin, the opening accord contains that aspect and within 5 minutes it begins to dissipate.

What I notice most about Mystra is that the Incense implementation isn't very similar to what I have been sampling from other releases. For example, the manner in which Amouage uses the note can be identified in other fragrances utilizing frankincense. In Mystra, the incense seems to be of a different sort.

The overall feel I get from wearing Mystra is detached with a sense of coolness. I expected the opposite considering how I like Labdanum and Incense, but for a good portion of the transitions, this aloof quality takes precedence in my mind. Normally, amber-incense evokes warmth and perhaps resiny smoke when I wear that combination. I don't experience that sampling Mystra.

This is incense from the earth. It conjures resin, natures smoke and the dew of the cool ground. The slightly medicinal and sticky nature of Mystra never really exits, nor does it exhibit any sense of sweetness. It's austere on my skin, but I mean that in the best possible light. There's no frills and the 3 listed notes have surprised me by eliminating what I thought would be a predictable evolution.

Mystra stops short of possessing a bitter element. I think this aspect derives from the dryness of the amber and how that interacts with the other notes. This isn't meditative or really thought provoking, but it does project a focused intent on smelling serious.

Sillage is average and longevity is about 5 hours on me. I find Mystra interesting in a sparse fashion, yet I don't find anything to love. It doesn't go for the heartstrings, nor does it push you away.

Neutral rating from SS for Aesop's Mystra. A sample wear is definitely recommended.

Liquid Crystal by Agonist

Bergamot, Absinth, Clove, Orange, Lavender, Incense, Patchouli, Vetiver, Amber, Tonka Bean, Labdanum, Cedarwood.

Liquid Crystal's opening is an interesting blend of Citrus, Clove and what I can only describe as leather and herbs. I've encountered this accord more than once, however clove wasn't in the mix and the herbal-leather quality could previously be attributable to a manifold floral array.

On my skin, the clove comes to the fore. It's actually one of the better renditions of the note you may find. There seems to be a nice balance between it and the rendition of Orange. What I truly found interesting was that the intro of Liquid Crystal reflects the first part of the accord, but once that transitions, it's akin to a different implementation of notes than what is listed. I wonder if there are two distinct releases of Liquid Crystal or perhaps a clerical error?

Perhaps the mistake is mine? It's been quite awhile since two-thirds of what I smelled hasn't jived with the fragrance description. In the grand scheme of things, it's a small matter. The important thing is if the totality is, at least acceptable or better yet, terrific.

Once Liquid Crystal settles and shifts to the heart accord, what I experience is clove accented by a subtle citrus and the onset of a latex aroma. What I previously perceived as leather has now evolved into the latex note. It's not as annoying or disappointing as some I've tried, but it's there nonetheless. I also have no clue what the name Liquid Crystal has to do with what I'm smelling. Alas, this is nothing new either, but it makes me wish the PR departments would put forth just a bit more effort when it comes to these things. There has been no segment of this fragrance experience that has inspired, uplifted or even depressed me. I suppose ambivalence is something I had not counted on.

I guess it's safe to say that, after sampling more than a few from the house of Agonist, I am left wanting ( for the most part ). Neutral ratings or the "meh" factor certainly isn't going to cut it at these prices. In their defense, they have all had substance, but being full bodied is a given for this level of niche and it's going to take more than that to appease my jaded self.

I wanted to love these because there seemed to be "something" about the aesthetics and descriptions arousing curiosity in me. I was instead confronted with a take it or leave decision and for all but one, I will walk away. Sillage is average or a little better with longevity approximately 5 hours on my skin. Yet another neutral rating for the house of Agonist and their version of Liquid Crystal. A sample wear is highly recommended.

Onyx Pearl by Agonist

Oriental Flowers, Arabian Oud, Leather, Heliotrope, Indian Amber, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, White Musk.

The first thing I noticed upon applying Onyx Pearl is the Rouge quality I experience. I'm reminded ( somewhat ) of Pascal Morabito's Avec Amour ( Passion Mediterranee). That was a release I didn't care for initially, but was one that eventually grew on me.

Arabian Oud you say? Well, I for one don't experience oud in any fashion, but others may fare better. What transpires on my skin is a leathery wood with accents of spice and balsam. The red aspect is rather nice and leans more masculine than you might expect. The floral components are muddled on my skin, but they are successful in adding volume to a full and straightforward accord.

The leather implemented here is of the supple variety. Its texture is creamy, but I know that isn't normally associated with leather. I suppose it exemplifies suede more than conventional leather and it's also accented nicely by a continual and sensual earthiness.

There's not much in the way of transitions on me other than the natural lowering of intensity accomplished by time itself. That, however, doesn't negate the positive attributes of Onyx Pearl. The totality of this scent is a full bodied affair consisting of hazy florals, leathery wood and earth tones shrouded in a reddish mist.

Do I love Onyx Pearl? No, I do not, but I like and respect it. This is for occasions when one desires to have their scent noticed. I find nothing inconspicuous or wispy about it. Sillage is good and longevity is 6 hours plus on my skin. Once again, price point is a deciding factor with this house, so a sample wear is highly recommended. A neutral rating from SS for Onyx Pearl by Agonist.

Vanilla Marble by Agonist

Vanilla, Almond, Tiare, Orchid, Fig, Amber, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Benzoin.

If you happen to like your vanilla accented heavily with almond, then this one is for you. Vanilla Marble opens with a sweet and heavy vanilla and almond duo. The almond used here also has accents of coconut, further perpetuating the sweet quality that is inherent in this fragrance.

Vanilla Marble is more or less a linear scent and with dominant notes of Vanilla and Almond, that's no surprise. They permeate every aspect of the wearings, but I will say that the overall aroma gives the impression of a well made creation. That's the upside. The drawback is that Vanilla Marble really doesn't set itself apart from others I've sampled featuring similar notes. Once again, it boils down to price point and an individual's willingness to dig deep for a niche acquisition.

After numerous wearings, I admit to experiencing the Vanilla and Almond, but not much else. I was hoping for a resinous amber to kick in and a nice rendition of Sandalwood as well, but it wasn't to be. I'm not claiming they aren't in the mix, but their tuning is way too low for me to appreciate.

Also missing in action are the other listed notes, so more than likely, my wearings produced fatigue from the dominance of Vanilla and Almond. The fragrance is full and rich however, so lovers of these 2 notes should have no problem enjoying this.

Sillage is good and longevity is 6 hours ( give or take ) on my skin. I cannot muster more than a neutral rating for this scent because of what it doesn't do and the price. Perhaps others will experience more versatility than I, but since numerous attempts produced only Vanilla and Almond for me, a sample wear is highly recommended.

The Infidels by Agonist

Pepper, Lemon, Clove, Elemi.
May Rose, Turkish Rose, Iris, Magnolia, Ylang-Ylang, Myrrh, Opoponax.
Patchouli, Amber, Labdanum, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Vanilla.

Super niche can be an enjoyable discovery or nothing more than a pain in the ass. The Infidels by Agonist seems to embody both characteristics for me. I'm inclined to believe ( after sampling their recent releases ) that this particular house is geared for those who give no regard whatsoever to cost.

There's no crime in that and most of us only wish we had that problem. However, people who research fragrances, by perusing sites like this, do have some semblance of financial protocol. Being careful and prudent with your money is also not a crime, so sampling and researching before pulling the trigger seems the most sensible approach.

I've read numerous opinions on The Infidels after I had a few sample wearings under my belt. I am not enamored like quite a few others, but do concede that The Infidels possesses a supple tenaciousness in its presence and longevity. The drawback for me, aside from price point, is the linearity from initial application to drydown.

What I may be chastised for the most, in this review, is the fact that I liken The Infidels to Balenciaga pour Femme. I challenge those who own vintage Balenciaga pour Homme to do a side by side and tell me that The Infidels doesn't wear like a softer, feminine version. It took me a few wearings ( and scrinching my eyebrows alot ) for me to realize that The Infidels is a doppleganger of a different gender.

This is dense and tenacious, sans the macho quality inherent in Balenciaga. It opens out of the bottle already transitioned and this is yet another trait in common. What transpires in the first minute is what you will experience the entire ride. Naturally, the passage of time will soften the presence, but the fullness remains for an extraordinary amount of time. Spicy Rose, Balsam, Smoke, Woods and Earth tones followed by a tranquil, oriental finish.

Price point aside, I'll give The Infidels a thumbs up because of how it wears and smells. The cost per ml. however is something entirely different. Sillage is very good with longevity hanging around until the next morning. A sample wear is highly recommended.

Arctic Jade by Agonist

Orange, Freesia, Red Bilberry, Jasmine, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Raspberry, Sandalwood, Ambrette, Vanilla, Patchouli.

I suppose I knew, from the initial moments of application, that I would be underwhelmed by this fragrance. After multiple wearings, that hasn't changed and it's a shame since I held out high hopes for this one and others in the line I haven't gotten to yet. I did like Black Amber, so maybe this one simply doesn't work for me.

As you would expect, the opening is a fruity floral. It feels constrained rather than expansive and is reminiscent of less expensive endeavors I've inadvertently smelled in my travels. Not to sound harsh, but it's only taken each wearing 5 minutes or so for me to conclude that Arctic Jade leans generic and is severely overpriced. Pleasant simply isn't going to cut it at these price points.

The other stage of development sees Arctic Jade evolving into a floriental. I admit to liking this segment better than the top and heart. Still, other fragrances much less dear than this have a superior base and drydown while showcasing the same finish.

The intro of Arctic Jade is a Citrus-Freesia heavily accented by Raspberry. There are contributions from other floral notes, but they seem to stay in the shadows on me. Never does Arctic Jade become "substantial" and flex its muscles.

The Vanilla and a soft Patchouli become apparent at the onset of the base accord. There's also an undercurrent of wood and it's a subtle implementation. The entire personality of this scent is low key and what the name of this fragrance has to do with anything has me scratching my head.

Sillage is modest to average with longevity being approximately 3 hours on me before morphing into a close scent. A neutral rating from SS with a strong recommendation to sample before purchase.

C'est Moi by Etienne Aigner

Green Notes, Peony, Wild Berries, Tuberose, Orchid, Wood Notes, Musk.

It doesn't take but about 2 minutes to notice the woodiness of this 1983 feminine from Etienne Aigner. Classified as a fresh-floral, I believe that is a misnomer. This should be a floral-woody if anything. The woods I'm experiencing are more than likely cedarwood oil. It's reminiscent of that note I relive, time and time again, in numerous classic masculines. It's extroverted and has a vitality that contemporary renditions of woods do not. I'm not saying superior, but I am saying noticeably different. Personally, I like all implementations of the note, regardless of release date. The woods in C'Est Moi are more indicative of the times......and it's good. It makes C'Est Moi lean a bit masculine if you ask me, but others may disagree. I could wear this in public and pull it off, although I'd have to be careful of how much I'd apply. This has some kick to it.

Perhaps time has aged the mini I own and has caused the floral notes to become subdued. I have no way of knowing for certain since I cannot go back in time and smell this immediately after release. Regardless, I'm persuaded to believe that even then, the woods would have become incrementally pronounced by the time the base and drydown stages arrived. In the now however, the woods are realized almost immediately.

The opening of C'Est Moi is woods augmented with what I decipher ( or should I say throw an educated guess your way....) as subdued rose, green stem, spice and either carnation or geranium. It's a dense rendition and difficult to pick out individual notes. As a whole, that is what it smells like to me. The Cedar Oil smells front and center with the floral, fruit and green notes as accentuating characters. The longer the wearings ensue, the more masculine C'Est Moi transforms on my skin. This is some butch juice for sure.

If Chuck Norris had a wife ( that he didn't kill with years of accumulated roundhouse kicks to the head), C'Est Moi may have been a good choice for her to wear. Hell, for all I know, Chuck may have taken it from her by force and wore it himself.

Sillage is good, but not room clearing. The fullness of this scent however, is something you do not want to overdo. It possesses that heavy, swirl factor that can envelope you like a blanket. Thumbs up from SS for Etienne Aigner's C'Est Moi and a strong recommendation to sample before ever purchasing this scent.

Private Number for Men by Etienne Aigner

Basil, Bergamot, Galbanum, Neroli, Lavender, Fruit Note, Carnation, Jasmine, Rose, Clary Sage, Fir, Amber, Musk, Cedar, Moss, Tonka.

Every so often, the lady luck tips her cap in my direction and this time, I walked away with a NIB 50ml Private Number for Men for the staggering sum of $.99 plus $4 shipping. Not too shabby for juice that's fetching approximately $45 per bottle.

What made this even better was that I was searching for a deal on this particular scent since Aigner is my favorite designer house......and because I had never even sampled this 1992 offering. Suffice it to say that neither the price nor the scent itself disappointed me.

Private Number is a fougere that leans fresh and has a very similar fruit note that is implemented in Aigner's Statement for Men. That note is really the only link between both, but it left an impression on me in Statement and is no surprise that it stands out to me in Private Number.

Both Private Number (1992) and Statement (1994) are aptly named. Both are fougere's that are fresh with Private Number being lower in volume and Statement more boisterous. Private Number opens with a spicy citric accord that immediately introduces green and fruit. The heart of Carnation, Sage, Fir, Jasmin and Rose take on one, blended entity and contribute a very pleasant and indistinguishable accord. The sum of its parts are actually excellent and I could care less that I don't detect a conventional transition. The volume is close and I assume that's what makes it "Private".

Once the base accord unveils itself, the volume is even lower and a mossy wood with just a dash of sweet from amber and musk evolve into a very comfortable skin scent. Private Number is nice, soft, fresh and polite. It's true it breaks no new ground.........but so what? Good is good.

Another very good Aigner addition for my wardrobe .........and a thumbs up from SS.

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