Sample of the Day - October 2021

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Abaton - Fior di Chinotto

Bright and sparkling citrus top notes of Chinotto fruit capture the invigorating passion of the Ligurian Riviera, as a velvet bouquet of orange flower, damask rose, jasmine and tuberose evolves to an emotional heart of liquid amber, and a perfect tapestry of honey, moss and precious woods create a sensual base for this exquisitely feminine essence.

Parfum Fior di Chinotto evokes a refined sensuality in perpetual renewal, reflects a joyful, fragrant renaissance—your new day. The opening is bright and sparkling, with the freshness of waves that break on the cliff. A velvet bouquet of orange flowers, damask rose, jasmine, tuberose and juicy mandarin are like a silken promise on the skin, melting into an emotional heart of liquid amber. The base notes are warm and enveloping, a perfect tapestry of honey, moss and precious woods to provide a beautiful finish.


Top: bitter orange, damask rose, fruity notes, orange flowers
Heart: cedar, chinotto flowers, patchouly
Base: amber, cedar, white musks

With each sample I try, it becomes increasingly evident that the creators went into perfumery after their hopes for literary careers were dashed.

In this case, it was fortuitous, as Fior di Chinotto is a delightful citrus/floral fragrance. The "fruity notes" in the opening were a tad off-putting, but they dissipate quickly, leaving a fresh orange scent that is neither too sweet nor too simplistic, and also not so exclusively feminine as the PR blurb suggests. A sunny Saturday in a bottle—makes me thirsty for an aranciata.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Nishane - Karagoz

"Karagoz is a tribute to playful treats of life, wittiness, straightforwardness and sincerity. Enjoy being noticed just as the famous shadow puppetry character ‘Karagöz.’ The cheerful opening with the pineapple and the herbs is followed by the strong personality coming from the rich heart made of neroli, jasmine and patchouli. Vetiver, agarwood and amber were meant to be the final strokes of the brush to depict this playful character."

Top: pineapple, black grape, bouquet garni (mixed herbs)
Heart: neroli, jasmine, patchouli
Base: vetiver, agarwood, amber

I confess that, until now, I was unfamiliar with Karagöz and Hacivat as anything other than names of Nishane fragrances. Having now read up a bit on these traditional Turkish puppetry characters—the naïve, folksy Karagöz and the urbane, sophisticated Hacivat—I remain at a loss as to how this fragrance captures the spirit of the former. It's not a bad scent, mind you; perhaps a tad rubbery in the way of modernist synth ouds, but good of its ilk. The pineapple and grape don't come off nearly as sweet as they sound unless you're right on top of them, thanks to the herbs, patchouli, and the base. That base is likewise more agarwood and vetiver than amber, which suits me fine. So, a nice twist on the whole woody-amber thing. Strong personality, I'll give it, but playful? That, I don't get.

My wife finds it too macho/modern for her tastes, and I don't find it so compelling that I'd need to sneak a bottle into the house. But, on the whole, it earns a thumbs up.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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DS & Durga - Coriander

Comes on super spicy, then quickly transitions to—a chypre? I don’t know how DS&D pulled this off, but nicely done.

Also, the “liner notes” are too long to quote here, but they’re leaps and bounds better than what I’ve been quoting from other perfumeries: more literate and literary, wittier, and more usefully descriptive. That may not be a good reason to buy a fragrance, but after Boadicea’s padded pablum, I almost want to order from DS&D out of gratitude.
 
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Starblind

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 2, 2013
Tried the vintage version of Caron's Narcisse Noir for the very first time today, expecting to fall hard. No such luck. There's something "yeasty" in the basenotes that puts me off. Not quite the glamourpuss that I expected.
 

Cook.bot

Common Lackey
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
Tried the vintage version of Caron's Narcisse Noir for the very first time today, expecting to fall hard. No such luck. There's something "yeasty" in the basenotes that puts me off. Not quite the glamourpuss that I expected.

Same here. I expected it to be the cat's pajamas, but it turned out to be the dog's breakfast.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Jacques Fath - Les Frivolités

Nominally one of Fath’s Essentials, there’s nothing remotely essential about this one. Sweet in the manner of decay, it might be good for this Friday’s “Graveyard” sync, but I can’t imagine any other use for it.
 
Sep 18, 2021
Finally managed to get hold of a sample of Caron L'Anarchiste - wore it earlier. Very well crafted scent. It's such a shame this one is discontinued.
I might try this one just because of its name!

Today I'm trying Mirabilis by L'Artisan Parfumeur (from their collection Botanique), and it's becoming one of my favorite ones so far. Feeling like I'm visiting the Jardin des plantes, which is both a museum and a garden - this is what I wanted Whispered Myths to be.
Notes: ambrox, incense, vanilla, musc.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Jacques Fath - Rosso Epicurio

"With its distinctive plum color, Rosso Epicureo celebrates ‘la joie de vivre”. It is a way of living, a state of mind, an “Epicurean philosophy“ conveyed by this lively fragrance with a Kir Royale accord (Blackcurrant, Davana and Sichuan Pepper). Rosso Epicureo is bright, passionate and sensual. It then turns into a bouquet of white flowers dominated by carnal Tuberose."

Well, it's better than Les Frivolités—but then, it would almost have to be. The thing about a Kir Royale is, while it's not a tricky cocktail to make, it's highly dependent on the quality of the champagne. Luca Maffei appears to have made his accord with Prosecco—and not Prosecco Superiore, at that. As for the white flower bouquet, let's just say JF's and LM's notions of "carnal" (and "epicurean") are different from mine.

To be fair, Dr. T. came home and had a favorable response. Not a love, but she found it sufficiently original and pleasant. I'll pass the sample to her if she wants it.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Olympic Orchids - Cryptical Envelopment

Notes: rose, aromatic tobacco, lily, patchouli, davana, ginger, champaca, civet, dark musk, tolu balsam

This is out of sequence for my sample of the day—I'll get to Olympic Orchids down the road—but it was a fit for the Friday "Graveyard" sync, so what the hell. The name of the fragrance is taken from an early Grateful Dead song that introduced a larger suite, "That's It for the Other One." I'd have thought from the title that the lyric might be an adaptation of Poe's The Cask of Amontillado, which is why I wore it today. Instead it's a, er, cryptic number about someone who "has to die," presumably for a crime of expressed thought, though I can't find any clear statement of the song's intent, and Jerry Garcia apparently wasn't thrilled about playing it live because the lyric was too morose for the band's concert party atmosphere.

In any case, Ellen Covey/OO sums up CE as "a big happy fragrance with floral tobacco and animalic undertones." Big, I'll give it, and I'm happy wearing it, but the olfactory complexity evokes deeper and more varied emotions than that summary suggests. I'd never have been able to untangle the composition without the note list, which is arguably the point of blending in perfumery. But, I can say that it's bold even as it explores nuances of shadow and light, which bodes well for repeated wearings in different moods and circumstances. So, that's a big thumbs-up from me.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Divine - L’Homme Sage

This smells well made of good ingredients, but I just don’t get along with this much immortelle, which, under the lychee and spices, takes this into the realm of lightly sweetened pastry. I would happily eat it, but would prefer not to wear it. Still, for those who like such fragrances, I suspect this would be a big winner.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Divine - L’Homme Infini

This is much more my style than L’Homme Sage. (If only that one had featured sage rather than immortelle!) The reviews page skews between, “coriander, black pepper, and cedar has been done to death” and, “yes, but it’s done really well.” And that’s pretty much where I am, but I favor the “done really well” angle.

Not everything needs to be earthshaking, which is good because most things aren’t. The primary question here is, is it one of the better executions; and then, is it priced appropriately? Well, I can’t say I’ve tried every spicy-woody scent out there, not by a long shot. That said, this strikes me as rather better than average, but not quite as interesting as the recently sampled—and slightly costlier—DS & Durga Coriander. Which might mean the Divine is more versatile, and so an easier “dumb reach.”

I’m not in a rush to buy it, but it’s certainly a thumbs up. Within its genre, well worth trying.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Une Nuit Nomade - Sun Bleached

I was worried this was going to smell like Coppertone EdT, but no, nothing like that. It’s an easy-wearing summer scent with a little citrus, a little spice, not too much ambrette, and the most innocuous variations of white flowers, laundry musks, and a smidge of incense. It’s all nice and clean, functioning like a classic EdC without smelling like one.

The hype (it’s on the BN directory page) promises the “explosiveness” of biting into an orange in the heat of Muscat, but this is barely a cap gun. And that’s OK, really, since beating the heat doesn’t call for TNT. The thing is, last night I wore vintage Mouchoir de Monsieur, and almost anything would pale by comparison, even before being bleached by the sun.

It gets a thumbs up because it’s unremittingly pleasant. I wouldn’t buy it for myself, but I’m not giving the sample away, either.



A brief follow up to say that Dr. T. quite liked it, and it held up very well in the drydown. Might be a sleeper.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Une Nuit Nomade - Murmure des Dieux

“‘Murmure des Dieux’ pays homage to Bali’s iconic flower, the frangipani flower. Both a symbol of the god Shiva and a way to channel prayers, its vivid colors decorate most temples.

“An olfactory phrase like a mantra on the skin, its delicate accord intertwines the slightly almond sweetness of the frangipani flower, the unctuousness of vanilla and the reassuring roundness of musks.

“‘Murmure des Dieux’ is an exotic, singular and extremely spiritual perfume.”

Top: bergamot, ylang-ylang
Heart: hedione, frangipani absolute, elemi
Base: benzoin tears, ciste labdanum, vanilla, amber, musks

Interestingly, the BN directory has a different (and more ”colorful”) blurb, asserting that MdD is “carnal” rather than “spiritual”; and different notes, including rice, star anise, and incense.

I’m not finding Murmure des Dieux particularly spiritual or carnal—would that it were either. As for the notes, it’s mostly about the frangipani, though I did pick up the bergamot in the opening, and the vanilla/amber base is just starting to emerge.

It’s tropical, and it’s pretty, but it seems less “Bali” than “Hilton Bali Resort.” While I’m no expert on frangipani fragrances, I’m pretty sure there are more exciting ones than this.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Une Nuit Nomade - Fleur des Fleurs

Bali, island of flowers. The Ylang-Ylang is so highly prized for its complex fragrance and incomparable benefits for the mind and body that it means "Flower of Flowers" in the Malay language. Jasmine is the queen of the night, patiently waiting for sunset so she can release her powerful, warm perfume into the air. ‘Fleur des Fleurs’ is an ode to the Ylang-Ylang and Jasmine, an intense accord that unfolds in a powdered and subtly wooden elegance.

Top: bergamot, saffron, grapefruit
Heart: jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose, wisteria
Base: benzoin tears, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, oud wood

Maybe it's just me, but I could scarcely drum up enough interest in this to sniff at it. The citrus top was perfunctory and the saffron imperceptible, while anything in the base beyond vanilla/amber (Oud? Really?) seemed more a suggestion than a presence. The jasmine, tuberose, and wisteria provide more of a white floral atmosphere than distinct notes. So, an ylang-ylang solifloire, which wouldn't be my thing anyway, but certainly not in this ho-hum presentation.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
EC261C4D-D30C-4E88-8058-14546A082A1E.jpeg Une Nuit Nomade - Bohemian Soul

In 1966 the documentary ‘Endless Summer’ was released, chronicling two American surfers’ quest to push time zones further away so the summer never ends.

Free spirits from the ‘Gypset’ trend are pursuing this dream and Montauk became their preferred destination, an isolated place from the world where untouched nature and eco luxury connect.

‘Bohemian Soul’ reflects this journey with elegance and modernity: an immediate freshness, like a gentle wind rising up over the ocean, giving way to iris and guaiac wood before the flourish of sandal and delicacy of musk entwine.


Top: artemisia absinthium, olibanum
Heart: guaiac wood, iris, myrrh
Base: musk, sandalwood

Une Nuit Nomade has thus far produced three series of fragrances, each representing “une nuit” somewhere in the world. Sun Bleached, which I rather liked, is from their Oman set, while the relatively disappointing Murmure des Dieux and Fleur des Fleurs are from the Bali set. As I’ve never been to Oman or Bali, I can’t speak to their authenticity, though I can say I didn’t feel transported.

The third set is Une Nuit à Montauk, and here at last I have a frame of reference. Growing up a privileged New Yorker, I spent the summers of my youth in Amagansett, an arty adjunct to the swanky Hamptons and a stone’s throw from Montauk. I also saw “Endless Summer” when it came out, though I wasn’t old enough to glean anything philosophical from its wistful worship of surf and sun.

So, I’ll be looking for anything here that recalls the towns and beaches of the eastern tip of Long Island, though I’ll be perfectly satisfied if it simply smells good.

*

OK, it does smell good. Interpreting it as a Montauk scent requires that I bring out my impressionable side: reading a certain coolness as a breeze off the ocean, parsing the woodiness as driftwood or docks. That's more work than I want or need to do, as I'm enjoying it quite enough without being taken back to wherever and whenever. Is there a bottle in my future? I'm not yet sure I'm that inspired. But I'm sure I own things that smell worse.

UNN has a style of organizing and presenting releases, but there's no house style for its actual fragrances. I'm responding positively to the work Annick Ménardo does for the house; so far, I'm less sanguine about the others.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Profumum Roma - Victrix

Everywhere around me
The history of Rome
and its scent seems familiar
like a recovered domus.


Notes: coriander, laurel, oak wood, pink pepper

This got seven positive reviews and one positive-leaning neutral in the directory, and I can see why. Dry, woody, and spicy-herbal, this smells fresh but not "freshie" and cologne-ish without citrus. I'm sure it has its fair share of aromachems—it's a bit like Terre d'Hermès without the grapefruit and orange, though that's an oversimplification. Then again, so is Profumum's note list. Big points, though, for the minimalist poetry in place of breathless (and endless) hyperbole.

In any case, my response was immediately positive, and Dr. T. shouted after me down the stairs, "What do you smell like? I love that!" So, you know I'm going to get more eventually.

The reviews cite oakmoss as a note, but it's not listed on the Profumum website, which indicates that it was reformulated to meet EU regulations. So, yet another fragrance I'll be seeking out in vintage.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Maison Laugier - Le Temps de l’Élégance

Like a treasure, she serves the precious sesame she inherited. Against her heart, she holds the keeper of her memories, the secret box of her ancestors. Soft and weathered leather hugs her body, caressing and protecting.

The purse once weighed on her grandmother’s shoulder, forever padlocking happy femininity, the rare elegance. Honey, almond and sweet plum spring up, betraying the desire which had been kept secret by its opaque accomplice. Like a spiritual halo, cinnamon arises, embalming the air with a warm presence.

She searches, feels, draws. Among the scribbled pieces of paper, a wooden pencil diffuses a charismatic cedar which evokes the natural elegance of her mother. The enveloping notes of tobacco which never left her, sublimate the warm smells of wax and leather. A powder compact that slams lets escape a powerful and airy patchouli. The sky, like the odors, knows how to eternize the absent.

Suddenly, a spray of vetiver underlines her singularity, her newfound zest for life. It is the witness of her first loves. With it and thanks to them, more than ever she feels like a woman.


Notes: ginger, osmanthus, patchouli

The scent-magic poetry of a grandmother's purse deserves better than this bruise-purple prose, but, with effort, one can winnow out honey, almond, plum, cinnamon, cedar, tobacco, wax, leather, and vetiver in addition to the official note list. I'm getting at least some of them, which makes me wonder why there isn't a pyramid that accommodates them.

Does it evoke my grandmother's purse? No, that would take a roll of Regal Crown Sour Cherry candies, a pack of Parliament cigarettes, and the click of the metal clasp. This is more like an old-world, fruit-filled almond and cinnamon bun delivered in a wooden box. Eventually, it dries down into a leathery patchouli and cedar combo that suggests a mild agar wood more as if by accident than design.

If that's your thing, this may be done well enough to suit you. As for me, I'm not partial to gourmands or reminiscing about someone else's grandmother (at least, not when I never met either the someone else or their grandmother), so I'll pass.
 
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grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
With each sample I try, it becomes increasingly evident that the creators went into perfumery after their hopes for literary careers were dashed.

:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Tried the vintage version of Caron's Narcisse Noir for the very first time today, expecting to fall hard. No such luck. There's something "yeasty" in the basenotes that puts me off. Not quite the glamourpuss that I expected.
Same here. I expected it to be the cat's pajamas, but it turned out to be the dog's breakfast.

So sorry to hear this! Vintage Narcisse Noir is a heartbreaker to be sure. I finally managed to get a bottle of the extrait that matched what I long imagined it to be, but there were disappointments along the way. I think Caron reformulated Narcisse Noir very badly, several times over.

For the purposes of research, what era/formulation did you try? Could you post a photo or description of the bottles?
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Maison Laugier - Tueuse de Fleurs (Killer of Flowers)

Already regarded as a legend, this bad girl is endowed with an electric charm and dazzles by her beauty. Yet bitter clary sage and hurtful galbanum cautions us as to an underlying threat. Her skin, spotted with Ceylon cinnamon, is irresistibly spicy and golden. She assumes her immoral notes and around her, she does evil.

As she inspires passions, the Turkish Rose, a psychedelic splendor, is an accomplice to her intentions. Provocative and burning, she is even sometimes mean. Her glowing and saffron mane intoxicates spirits and she knows it. Other flowers fade through jealousy when she walks past.

Capable of the worst, she never hesitates to give a fatal blow of oud. She enjoys lacerating hearts with her styrax claws. But the evil seductress is well aware that a second amber-scented chance will be offered to her.


Notes: Ceylan [sic] cinnamon, rose, leather

If you managed to wade through that blurb, additional notes: clary sage, galbanum, saffron, oud, styrax, and amber.

Smelling notes to follow.

*

Man, don't you hate it when you're so busy actually living your life that you forget to constantly sniff yourself all day?

Anyway, this flower-killing "bad girl" is hardly all the wild, terrible things her parents say about her. All that stuff about "bitter, evil, immoral" notes is just a misguided attempt to spice up something that's spicy enough without the, um, "help." Rather, this is a fine modern (but not too modern) twist on the rose-and-leather oriental. The light touch with the galbanum is far from hurtful, the rose is classically lovely rather psychedelic, the styrax—well, certainly not "lacerating." The amber is, thank goodness, not a dollop of vanilla-butterscotch goo, but rather lends body to the saffron note so it mates better to the soft leather. As for the "fatal blow of oud," that must be a psychedelic hallucination from a blow to the author's head: no one so much as whispered the word "oud" while concocting this recipe. (LATE EDIT: By nightfall, perhaps a smidgen of oud had crept its way into the amber, but that may have been power of suggestion, and certainly not deadly.)

Aside from its sins against good writing and good taste, the biggest problem with the hype is that it pitches this fragrance to people who'd hate it while frightening off those who'd love it. If you fancy yourself as Beatrix Lestrange, or even somewhere between Harley Quinn and Cruella de Vil, this would likely be on the tame side for you. But any normal grown-ass woman (or man, as this is decidedly unisex) might appreciate the confident boardroom-to-bedroom beauty of this scent. Leave the bouquet-assassination to the nut-jobs.

In the end, I was reluctant to scrub this for my evening return to vintage. Nice work, Laugier.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Electimuss - Celestial

Celestial is an oriental woody floral with a heart of frankincense and exotic roses.

Complex, light and very wearable. The spices and frankincense lend a light oriental tone to the aromatic woody base and the triumvirate of roses featuring Bulgarian rose, Indian rose absolut and Turkish rose.

The olibanum at the heart of this scent is a light, lemony incense with a conifer undertone.

It settles into a light warm woody base with colour and complexity. Luminous, like the heavenly bodies that inspired it.

INSPIRATION: The Romans were keen astronomers naming the planets after gods, and such was their belief in the power and influence of the skies over their destiny that they were also keen devotees of astrology. Inspired by the glittering night skies, this fragrance heavenly, divine and fit for the gods.


I’ll be wearing Electimuss samples all this week. How nice to have a sensible description from the house. Whether, per its inspiration, Celestial is “fit for the gods” is another matter. I’ll weigh in on that after I’ve had adequate seat time.

*

About an hour in, I'm rather enjoying this, even if it's not my style per se. I'm not overly fond of raspberry notes, but accompanied by spices as a lead-in to the "triumvirate of roses," it works way better than when Tom Ford employs it. (TF's "leathers" smell to me like someone spilled raspberry sorbet on a leatherette car seat.) As for "light, lemony incense," you have to place that in context, and the context here is a very dark rose and wood mix. So, it's not light overall by any means (though it does get somewhat lighter over time rather than sinking into a heavy base); instead, the olibanum is more like the light of stars in the night sky, fitting for the inspiration.

Whether mythological deities would have regarded this stuff as worthy is beyond reasonable speculation. You, however, very well might, especially if you're keener on raspberry than I am.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Electimuss - Fortuna

“Fortune favours the bold”

This dynamic perfume is bold and contradictory with spices and citrus, balanced with florals at the heart, with an animal earthy base. A seductive fruity floral, introduced by a spicy citrus, moves swiftly into a clean floral heart of rose and lily of the valley, before grounding into a dark and bold woody musky base. It is both intriguing and provocative dark floriental is a classic niche fragrance.

INSPIRATION: The Goddess of fortune, prosperity and divine blessings. Representing fate, a sometimes fickle friend, Fortuna was both revered for the abundance and success she promised to divine, and feared for the ill-fate she could deliver. Her influence weaves its way through history, literature, poetry, art, opera and astrology.

A dynamic perfume as mercurial as Fortuna herself.


This isn’t in the directory yet. I’m not sure the directory is missing much. The opening promised—I don’t know, something. It’s “developed” into a vague synthetic accord that, while not unpleasant, is hardly compelling. I’d have been thrilled to get the notes in Electimuss’ pyramid (save the LotV), but apart from fleeting impressions, it was not to be.

FYI, Celestial ended similarly, thought it took much longer to get to that point, and the journey had more to recommend it even if the destination didn’t. I have a few more to try, but it’s starting to look like Electimuss has a not terribly distinctive aromachem “house base.” I don’t mind that it’s modern; I mind that it’s reductive.
 
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Brooks Otterlake

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 12, 2019
Dior Homme Parfum (2018 batch)

The ongoing devotion to the Dior Homme line is a head-scratcher to me. Dior Homme and its major flankers always struck me as "fine" - a designer-y iris supported by structural tropes that became 2000s-era cliches through industry overuse - and Parfum might be the best of them, but it's still a "just okay" thing in my book.

This is regarded as some powerhouse-performing leather and honestly it's really still a sweet, citric floral once it opens. I found the Demachy-retooled original Dior Homme to feel fairly generic in the opening stages and this feels the same way to start.

Some character creeps in as the leather note emerges and starts to reveal some interesting nuance alongside the powdery iris, but I still think there's too thin, vague sweetness suffocating it (seemingly coming from an underwhelming and thin vanilla).

That people are paying $400 or so to snap up "original" bottles of this is honestly baffling to me!
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Electimuss - Jupiter

This spicy oud has an intense and slightly earthy woody heart, it is illuminated with incense and amber and the cistus, vanilla tonka and grey amber give it a warm, resinous and balsamic base.

Like the King of Gods, this scent is an unapologetic statement demanding attention.

INSPIRATION

Jupiter, the King of the Gods was revered and feared in equal measures. Highly temperamental, he ruled the heavens armed with the mighty thunderbolt, said to be the most powerful weapon among the gods. He rescued his siblings from death, led the victorious battle of Titans and overthrew his father for the throne.

Like Jupiter, well known for amorous pursuits, this scent is powerful, vigorous and seductive.


Let’s find out if “unapologetic” is a good thing or a bad thing.

*

This opens bold, bright, and masculine in a neo-powerhouse way. In a word, Jovian. The real test will be where it’s at in an hour or three.

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It turned out that unapologetic was a fine thing. A good modern take on old-school, powerhouse-era machismo, with the accent on the convincing woody heart notes rather than the base—no vanilla/tonka bomb, this, nor massive ambrette, and the "grey amber" didn't emerge as unrelenting ambroxan. I haven't decided on a bottle yet, but for sure I'll be coming back to this sample.
 
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Nov 8, 2019
Wearing my sample of Di Ser - Shiragoromo.

Shiragoromo opens with a fresh, light yuzu, a balance of both tart and sweet. There's a clean, pure (what's the opposite of indolic?) jasmine and a very fresh, almost delicate rose. This has the same vibrant fresh-floral feeling as my favorite from the house, Kurokami, but in Shiragoromo I get the jasmine more than the rose. The oud is soft, woody, and slightly green and earthy, with none of the barnyard funk.

As much as I love my indolic florals and fecal ouds, this is breathtakingly gorgeous. I think this perfectly conveys Di Ser's whole aesthetic of beauty in the simplistic yet refined expression of natural ingredients. If I were to assign a single adjective to Shiragoromo it would be serene.
 
Nov 8, 2019
Wearing Prin - Nocturnal Poetry.

This wasn't intentional, but this is about as far from yesterday's fragrance (Di Ser - Shiragoromo) as I could get if I had tried. Whereas Shiragoromo is fresh, delicate, and completely lacking in animalic funk, Nocturnal Poetry makes up for it in spades.

The opening blast of cumin, musky hyrax, and leathery castoreum reminded me immediately of another favorite animalic-bomb of mine, Papillon Salome. But Prin apparently deemed this to be insufficiently animalic, because he also included heady jasmine and a warm, slightly pissy civet. There are also beeswax and oud, but at this point I've lost track of which animalic facets are coming from what ingredient. Nocturnal Poetry shares a similar floral heart with Salome, with the rose and champaca increasing in strength into the mid. A dark, smoky undercurrent of coffee, tobacco, and myrrh round it out.

It's hard to say which I'd prefer, but I already have a decant of Salome coming at some point, and I expect I won't have enough occasion to wear this style of fragrance where I'll need both.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Electimuss - Octavian

This bold and spicy oud rose is a powerful, rich statement scent befitting an emperor. The blend is bold, daring and refined.

Saffron, pink pepper and incense create a strong oriental tone and the smoky amber and rich velvety Bulgarian rose heart colour the powerful Iranian oud and leathery base.

INPSIRATION

Octavian, Emperor Augustus, first emperor of the Roman empire and Caesar’s chosen son and heir. He oversaw the greatest expansion of the Roman empire across the Silk Road, through east and west Europe, Iran, Persia, Egypt, and into China. His reign oversaw a time of great wealth, alliances, peace and success.

Bulgarian rose, Persian incense, Iranian oud and spices from the East combine to create the fragrance of an empire.

“I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” – Emperor Augustus


Octavian’s reign also oversaw far less laudable things, but who’s going to admit to naming a perfume after a devious, ruthless autocrat bent on world domination?

As luck would have it, this sample had almost completely evaporated, but I was able to eke out just enough for one taste. It's more or less the sum of its stated parts; a bit more, I think. So, if the description sounds good to you, the scent will likely please you as well. It's oud-forward, but while the oud note has some characteristic funkiness, it stops short of anything that would frighten the horses—or inspire them to try and mate with you. (It's Octavian, not Caligula.)
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Electimuss - Trajan

Explore the Silk Road with this fruity aromatic floriental. Inhale sweet vistas of citrus groves, traverse fields of lavender and sage, tiptoe through a cedar wood, and melt into some sugar and spice. Lemon groves and sweet geranium laced with star anise and cloves mingle with a slightly darker base of patchouli, ambergris, cedar and a soft leather.

This exquisite fragrance is olfactory sunshine, versatile, comforting, uplifting and oh so charming. Like all our fragrances it uses the finest oils and ingredients so it has fantastic projection and longevity.

INSPIRATION: TRAJAN was one of the five great emperors. A man of pioneering spirit and adventure. His rule saw the greatest expansion of the empire across the Silk Road. His reign saw cultural diversity, wealth, trade, peace and creativity flourish and Romans collected the finest perfume ingredients on their travels.

This scent celebrates the journey as an olfactory pilgrimage from the Mediterranean to the East.


I don’t know that I’d use the phrase “fruity floriental” when the fruit is all citrus and the primary flower is lavender (the geranium in the description isn’t in the pyramid), but this is a minor quibble. Indeed, for something with so much citrus cited as top notes, this opens surprisingly creamily, perhaps more citrus blossoms than fruits. We’ll see where it goes…

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Not so far along the Silk Road as "the good emperor," alas. A couple of hours in, the creaminess has subsided, revealing a bit more citrus, but never anything truly tart or distinctive. The other purported notes are similarly breezed past as mere tourist attractions (if visited at all) en route to the pleasant but pedestrian aromachem base.

Based on my samples, Electimuss is a solid step up from Boadicea the Victorious—once again, she's defeated by the Romans. Jupiter was the standout for me, with honorable mentions to Octavian and Celestial. Fortuna and Trajan, however, really didn't live up to their promises. I'd be curious to try more from the house, but I'd never blind-buy one of their bottles.
 
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