What did you try today? (2022)

ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
I have a mini LV survey coming up. I’ll be curious to see how our opinions compare. The only one I’ve tried so far is Les Sables Roses, which I found pleasant but unremarkable for its category and price point.
Similar! Seemed to basically be a nice rose/oud, but same old same old as far as 'generic' rose/oud fragrances go. Pleasant but unremarkable, especially for the price.
 

ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier - Vocalise

Starts off... with nostalgia.. smells like my Mother's purse or something from the mid/early 90's.

Wow, what a unique smell in the opening.

Ylang-ylang is a big player, but the alongside a berry smell, and something like a sweet lotion as well.

Interesting so far. Not my thing, but, neat.

Edit: Later on it smells like a... sweet wine? Like a candied wine. lol

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Mar 30, 2021
Clandestine Laboratories - Enigma

My last CL sample for now, and once again I’m starting from nothing, so I can’t say what Mark Sage was going for. Quite possibly a commercial breakthrough, as this one says “contemporary” to my nose more clearly and self-consciously than any of the others. Which is to say, more synthetic and “blue,” though not unpleasantly so.

It’s steely stuff with a few hints of mildly sweet and camphoraceous green that create an illusion of something akin to metallic aloe vera or freeze-dried blue sage growing through cracks in the tarmac near a gas station. It’s probably not as odd as I’m making it sound, though. Even as I’m enjoying it, I can’t shake the sense that Enigma would make a fine, highly elevated shower gel.

I’m thinking a bottle of Enigma is not for me, but I can readily see someone else springing for it. It might not be my style, but the execution is on the money.
So interesting--I actually just tried this as well, as part of a full sample set I ordered (stumbled across the thread on lesser-known brands, heard about Silver and was captivated by the few reviews it has here, as well as it containing what the rest of the world means by "amber").

I had a very strong reaction to Enigma, but so different from what you describe; my nose isn't that sophisticated and I really struggled to pick out notes, but it definitely brought up a strong photorealistic scent memory--which I *very* rarely get--in this case, of newborn babies! I have several much younger siblings and had almost forgotten about the experience; I've certainly never encountered it in a perfume before. I actually wrote to Mark to find out more and given that it's coming out soon I hope it's ok to repeat what he said, that it's in part "lime, ylang ylang, suede leather, sandalwood and white musks."

In any case, I know this isn't necessarily on topic for the thread and have been lurking without posting on BaseNotes for a while now, but it was such a striking experience I had to chime in. Maybe I will participate more traditionally moving forward, if I can ever write something up quickly enough to post on the day I wear it!
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
I had a very strong reaction to Enigma, but so different from what you describe; my nose isn't that sophisticated and I really struggled to pick out notes, but it definitely brought up a strong photorealistic scent memory--which I *very* rarely get--in this case, of newborn babies!

I’m glad you chimed in! There’s no such thing as a “wrong” reaction to a fragrance—something that, as it happens, I’ve recently discussed with Mark. Picking out notes is a much smaller part of perfume reviewing than subjective impressions. And smell is the sense most closely connected to memory, so everyone’s associations to fragrances, in whole or in part, will likely be significantly different. So, newborn babies: why not? (Enigmatic ones, I imagine.)
 

teardrop

Basenotes Institution
Sep 1, 2010
Louis Vuitton - Cosmic Cloud

Edit: Ha, I've figured it out! It smells like a lit candle or a just extinguished candle! No joke. That sweet but plastick-y smell.... candle. Not a scented candle unlit type of smell, but a LIT hot/warm candle - you get the sweetness and the wax smell. You heard it here first, folks! lol

lt sounds like you're smelling a type of aldehyde here. Some aldehydes are often described as smelling like a "snuffed candle". :)
 

ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier - Fraîcheur Muskissime

Mmm, nice opening! Fruity citrus, but toned down and more realistic. With a soft musk, kinda laundry/white musk?

I don't understand why this is so lowly rated, lol. But the extravagante version has a MUCH higher rating.

This to me is kinda like a cousin to Eau de Guerlain, but you took away the basil/mint, add a little berries, and replaced EdG's sweetness with a sweet musk?

Solid stuff so far.

Edit: aw, it loses the citrus aspect a lot and becomes a berry/musk thing. That opening was so promising!
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nosey74

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 30, 2014
First impressions of the last few gifted samples from a fellow basenoter - thanks!

NAMESTYLENOTES
Divine L'Homme de CoeurDabberNot bad. I get a fresh, peppery, woody type fragrance with subtle hints of iris here and there.
Fragrance Du Bois Cannabis IntenseDabberIt's nice but not $349 a bottle nice. I don't smell any cannabis or at least the stuff I knew back in college almost 30 years ago. Must be the "pure trat oud oil" that's giving me this light camphorous smell in the background.
Rogue IshtarDabberThere's too much going on smell-wise - my nose is being overloaded with olibanum and myrrh. I'm getting a deep, spicy, smokey, and resinous amber. Just like the 1987 Hoffman Beatty movie this isn't for me.
Rogue Jasmin AntiqueDabberThis fragrance reminds me of the night blooming jasmine I'd smell during my evening strolls down various ancient Middle Eastern street corridors. A beautifully deep and stunningly intoxicating photo realistic jasmine in 3D.
 

JakeStiebs

Smell Good, Feel Good
Basenotes Plus
Dec 26, 2010
Lucky Number 6 Lucky Brand
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A blind buy that was ~$9 USD. An easy and versatile grab for wearing around the house, working in the yard, or a quick errand, or even to work. Pleasant.

I bought my wife the feminine version, looking forward to seeing what that's all about.
 
Jul 1, 2015
Interesting! I had only tried one spray on wrist before so I went back to try a heavier wearing after seeing your comment. I definitely see what you are saying, there is an almost nauseating element to it but to me it reads more chemical like varnish. But I can see how it might read as sweetness in the way that some chemicals have like an almost sickening sweet aspect to them. Definitely a less pleasant wear with heavier application and by the time I woke up still smelling it this morning I wanted it off me.
The funny thing, I used to love it. Was my fav Lutens. But I have not touched it for a couple of years and ended up partying with it
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Louis Vuitton - Nouveau Monde

The astonishing and unexpected encounter of oud and cocoa.

Discovering new cultures can forever alter the course of one’s existence. In evoking the memory of the legendary explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, one of Louis Vuitton’s first clients, who traveled throughout Africa with his custom-made Brazza trunk-bed, perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud created a completely unexpected accord: the meeting of a raw cocoa bean with an extremely rare oud assam. Then, in a last surprise reconciliation of shadow and light, saffron plays a spicy harmony on the skin. A whirlwind of essences to which one surrenders gladly.


If this is the new world, I’ll take the old one.

Let’s be clear: nothing in that description is in, or even on the same planet as, this fragrance. At most, Noveau Monde’s vague sweetness might suggest cocoa to someone who’d heard of it but never actually tried some. Oud Assam? Saffron? Who are they kidding/conning?

This is the same old strident aromachemical glop in every other modern designer afterthought of a fragrance, an emperor who desperately needs to don some clothes—but not without bathing thoroughly first.

Speaking of which, I’m off to scrub.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Louis Vuitton - Météore

The sizzle of spicy mandarin awakens boundless energy.

A magnetic name that evokes power and light. A fragrance that arouses fascination in its wake, like the dazzlingly flamboyant clouds that so captivate humankind. To capture such exhilarating energy, Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud chose the Sicilian mandarin. An ingredient of such exceptional quality, it infuses the perfume’s heart with ethereal freshness, resonating as it comes into contact with a trio of peppers. As a signature, Java vetiver reveals its noblest facets—at once fresh, earthy and ambery—making the enchantment complete. In fusing elements of sky and Earth, Météore reveals a contemporary elegance that knows no limit.


Better than Nouveau Monde, because it would almost have to be. Still a generic "blue" thing with some decent citrus on top. I'd rather wear Bleu de Chanel.

Aspiring perfumers, please note the dazzlingly flamboyant clouds of hyperbole in the description. Under no circumstances should you attempt to emulate them, unless your goal is to capture an exhilarating ridicule that knows no limit.
 
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JakeStiebs

Smell Good, Feel Good
Basenotes Plus
Dec 26, 2010
Lucky You Lucky Brand
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A blind buy that was ~$15 USD. Another easy and versatile grab from Lucky Brand. This one is fresh, clean, green, and sharp-cotton flower, light musk, and woods, lots of woods. A white t-shirt kind of fragrance.

I bought my wife the feminine version, looking forward to seeing what that's all about.
 

james1051

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 23, 2013
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I tried Sadanne today. According to my BN Wardrobe, its my first wearing of this one since Nov 14, 2014! LOL
Wondered if it had changed any.

I recall it as a soapy strawberry with a bitter note. Odd and unpleasant. Thats the scent memory.

Today I experience Sadanne as a strawberry and suede combo. I'm getting some of the boozy suede I sometimes get with orris--Sibet and Uncle Serge's Iris Silver Mist being two examples. Layered over that is strawberry sno-cone syrup. Who thinks of this? Fun to try, I have to say.

I like Sadanne better today than I did in 2014, maybe the fragrance evolved, maybe my sniffer did. Its still an oddball, worthy of the Slumberhouse moniker, but ultimately Sadanne is still too sweet for me.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Louis Vuitton - Imagination

The unprecedented attraction of amber and tea for imagination to take flight.

Imagination. The key to the audacity, success and drive of the creatives who make the wildest dreams a reality. An immaterial energy that is nurtured by travel and experiences that forge a new state of mind. A creative impulse that has always guided Jacques Cavallier Belletrud.

With an over-generous dose of Ambrox—perfumery’s white gold—the Master Perfumer reinvents the ambery accord to express a sensual and contemporary masculine elegance. Its contrasts appear upon contact with noble citrus and black tea from China extracted with CO2, a magical ingredient that carries within it the soul of travel. With Imagination, the spirit rises, escapes and conquers new paths of freedom.


Not as bad as I expected from “an over-generous dose of Ambrox”; indeed, considerably easier on my nose than Météore or Nouveau Monde. That said, relying on the “white gold” (or fool’s gold) of ambroxan for a fragrance heralding imagination is, to put it nicely, counterintuitive. Plus citrus, spice, and tea: wow, who’d a thunk?

Putting aside the various expectations fostered by the ludicrous promotional prose, Imagination is nice enough stuff. The soapy/powdery opening leads to a sunny, comfortably unisex daytime scent that could transition to evening in a pinch. I could see its congenial versatility serving someone with a more modernist, minimalist, and utilitarian bent than I when it comes to fragrances. It’s nothing I need in my wardrobe, though, especially not at $280.
 
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ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
L'Artisan Parfumeur - Haute Voltige

Whoa! That opening is intense. Like a blast of animalic or something akin to it, sweetness, pseudo powder, floral, and something fruity. Nice, I actually quite liked it. It was like a weird fruity Gold Man for a second, lol.

It smells synthetic and fuzzy... but in a good way? Like candy. It's a mix of a fun candied fuzzy perfume, like smelling crushed up SweeTarts or something, mixed with a more mature sophisticated perfume.

It's recognizable, but also a bit odd.
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Louis Vuitton - California Dream

Mandarin as passionate as a sunset.
It’s the lengthening of a perfect day. Watching night fall. Drinking in colours. Standing before the horizon. In this iridescent fragrance, the Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud holds onto the moment, captures the resonance of a sunset. The ardent mandarin is consumed by joyfulness, tempered by the diaphanous ambrette and its subtle warmth. And the evening gets underway as graceful, vanilla-tinged benzoin envelops the skin in an affectionate balm, as light as a summer night.


Anyone who’s ever had fine French cuisine is likely familiar with the amuse-bouche, often presented in the form of a single bite-sized morsel adorned with a tiny dollop of delicately flavored foam. California Dream is a dollop of orange-flavored foam minus the morsel.

Light as a summer night, I will give it, and such olfactory effervescence has its time and place. But at the price of an entrée, we are not amusé.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
A handful of fragrances by Vilhelm Pefumerie today at Neiman Marcus: Morning Chess, Dear Polly, Mango Skin, and Basilico & Fellini. All were delightful, and I even sprung for a small bottle of Morning Chess. It was my first exposure to this great new brand.
 
Mar 30, 2021
@PStoller and @teardrop, thank you for the warm welcome! I always enjoy reading others' experiences so much, and am trying to do more work on writing up my own. (And @ILikePeeps, the entire set of L'Artisan Emotions d'Explosions, but *especially* Haute Voltige, really most reminded me of fruit-scented vinyl dolls; it's definitely a weird one).

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Yesterday my mother gave me one of her vintage bottles of Yves Saint Laurent - Rive Gauche, and I can't quite decide what to make of it. I like green florals (which I know this doesn't fit neatly into), though there's a point at which they can tip into being slightly nauseating; this isn't over that edge, but it's definitely toeing the line. I know there's rose and oakmoss and other strong ingredients in here (I believe the bottle is early 90s so before the 2003 reformulation); what I'm experiencing is something like floral talcum powder dumped onto a metal tray and then scrubbed around a bit. (That impression may be enhanced by the bottle too, of course.) I look forward to trying this again in the future and seeing if/how my perception of it changes!
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Louis Vuitton - Sur la Route

A dash of cédrat evokes brand new adventures.

A metaphor for each individual’s personal path: the journey is as important as the destination. One projects onto it dreams for the future; the past flashes before one’s eyes; energy is drawn from it with which to accomplish the wildest of dreams. Inspired by the wind rushing against the skin at full speed, Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud composed a fragrance as fresh as a splash of water on the cheeks. Here, he blends Calabrian citrus, starting with cédrat and bergamot, to which he added a grassy green accent and the enveloping scents of Peruvian balsam. A fragrance that resonates like the most vivid heartbeat.


Finally, one I like. Sur la Route matches the description of citrus with a green accent and balsam to create a pleasant, fresh, modern scent, a contemporary take on the eau de cologne with—as have most such things—greater longevity than the originals. I'm still unlikely to buy a bottle, given my deep collection of vintage EdCs and mid-20th-century versions of what we have here (on which Sur la Route does not improve). But perhaps a younger shopper looking for a citrus fragrance with legs might go for it.
 
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PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Today I tried a handful of scents from Serge Lutens. Tarab, which is a decent little rose oud; Des Clous Pour Une Pelure, which smells purely of bubblegum to me (literally nothing but bubblegum); La Myrrhe, a very so-so spicy amber scent; and Dent de Lait, which is just a weird milky, industrial metal, grassy soap concoction that only serves to leave me confused, wondering, what is the point? My favorite of this bunch is Tarab, which is a bit of a surprise as rose ouds are not my favorite genre.

To be completely honest, I'm not impressed with any of these. I've tried many Serge Lutens now, over the course of a couple years, and I can safely conclude that this house is simply not for me. Despite all the good things that I've read, nothing really moves me when I finally smell it.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Tried a bunch more scents today; here are my impressions:

Guerlain Santal Royal - Pretty offensive and actually shocked me when I first sprayed it on. I wasn't sure what to expect with this, but it's a definite pass for me. It's an oppressive rose oud, one of the hardest genres for me to get on board with.

Frederic Malle Monsieur - Nice citrus woodsy scent. Very masculine, but easy to wear. Better options out there in this vein. I like the incense and patchouli.

Le Labo Baie 19 - Easygoing airy scent. Fresh, watery, but boring. Maybe the least interest Le Labo I have tried. Not a bad scent though.

John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider - Had higher hopes for it... Not challenging at all. Smells a bit like Bvlgari Black. It's dark, sure, but only in the sense that any other "date night mall scent" is. Not what I picture a Harley rider smelling like. Has a designery DNA which is a bit of a turn off for me.

MFK Aqua Universalis - Very soft florals, like laundry detergent. Completely overpriced for what it is. Easy pass.

Profumum Olibanum - Now this one is actually a really good myrrhe fragrance! Burning woods and spices, definitely churchy. One of the best incense frags I've tried. Probably the only one today that I could say I truly enjoy. Has a rough and tough feel with natural-smelling elements. Linear, but well executed.

Ensar Oud No. 1 - Glorious oud, but I just can't do the rose thing. It ruins so many scents for me, unfortunately. Insane power.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Lorenzo Villoresi Sandalo - Good dry, dusty woods, but lavendar and rose ruin it for me.

Phaedon Tabac Rouge - Smells a lot like Tobacco Vanille, but I prefer the Tom Ford.

Vilhelm Opus Kore - Really nice lush fruity notes which sways feminine to me. It has a light, airy quality, which I'm starting to think is signature to the brand (but it's not completely without weight).

Vilhelm Poets of Berlin - Wow. Blueberry and sandalwood? Super unique and a delight to wear. Another favorite from Vilhelm.
 

cheapimitation

Basenotes Dependent
May 15, 2015
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Louis Vuitton - Sur la Route

A dash of cédrat evokes brand new adventures.

A metaphor for each individual’s personal path: the journey is as important as the destination. One projects onto it dreams for the future; the past flashes before one’s eyes; energy is drawn from it with which to accomplish the wildest of dreams. Inspired by the wind rushing against the skin at full speed, Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud composed a fragrance as fresh as a splash of water on the cheeks. Here, he blends Calabrian citrus, starting with cédrat and bergamot, to which he added a grassy green accent and the enveloping scents of Peruvian balsam. A fragrance that resonates like the most vivid heartbeat.


Finally, one I like. Sur la Route matches the description of citrus with a green accent and balsam to create a pleasant, fresh, modern scent, a contemporary take on the eau de cologne with—as have most such things—greater longevity than the originals. I'm still unlikely to buy a bottle, given my deep collection of vintage EdCs and mid-20th-century versions of what we have here (on which Sur la Route does not improve). But perhaps a younger shopper looking for a citrus fragrance with legs might go for it.
Yea I thought this is one of the better ones in the regular line, an EDC profile with a big ISO E base and a hint of leather. I still found it a bit thin and lacking that extra something to keep my interest so not gonna buy it, but definitely a pleasant wear.
 
Oct 22, 2021
More J.F. Schwarzlose:
1A-33: Heavy white flower punch. It's really not something I'd wear, but I can see it working well on others.
Treffpunkt 8 Uhr: Fruity sweet mango mixing with a base of vetiver. It hits a nice balance point between the fruity and green. I probably wouldn't wear it more than once a year though.
Zeitgeitst: Sweet slightly floral and fruity with a woody base. The sweetness persists throughout, but it's rather fleeting. Seems very average to me.
Altruist: Sweet lemon mixed with some floral notes and a light base of wood. If it was less sweet, I would likely buy a bottle.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Maison Francis Kurkdjian - L’Homme à la Rose

Francis Kurkdjian reinterprets the rose with masculine overtones to bring you l’Homme À la rose eau de parfum for men. Immediately, intensely fresh green notes of grapefruit fuse with the essence of Damascena rose from Bulgaria. This natural and vital force then gives way to rosy and woody heart notes which are gradually reinforced with amber woody facets leaving a sensual trail. With this fresh and light l’Homme À la rose eau de parfum, Francis Kurkdjian brings today’s man the power behind to wear a rose.

Starts out with somewhat thin and strident green notes before the rose eventually blooms. It’s a pleasant fresh, light, sweet rose, no surprise from MFK. With tons of rose scents available, though, I’m not seeing why I’d pick this one.
 
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PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
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Maison Francis Kurkdjian - L’Homme à la Rose

Francis Kurkdjian reinterprets the rose with masculine overtones to bring you l’Homme À la rose eau de parfum for men. Immediately, intensely fresh green notes of grapefruit fuse with the essence of Damascena rose from Bulgaria. This natural and vital force then gives way to rosy and woody heart notes which are gradually reinforced with amber woody facets leaving a sensual trail. With this fresh and light l’Homme À la rose eau de parfum, Francis Kurkdjian brings today’s man the power behind to wear a rose.

Starts out with somewhat thin and strident green notes before the rose eventually blooms. It’s a pleasant fresh, light, sweet rose, no surprise from MFK. With tons of rose scents available, though, I’m not seeing why I’d pick this one.
It's one of the better rose fragrances for a guy who doesn't like rose in general. Still, not really something I'd wear either.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Dior Granville - Pleasantly surprised by this one. A lovely pine and lemon fragrance that smells clean and a little soapy, while still natural. I like the herbal and mossy vibe a lot. It's classically masculine and easy going. Very much enjoying it.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
It's one of the better rose fragrances for a guy who doesn't like rose in general. Still, not really something I'd wear either.

The thing is, I do like rose. MFK’s rose is an airy, detached thing, not grounded in anything solid—as is true of much contemporary “fresh” perfumery, if only because so many strong base options have been restricted.

For me, wearing L’Homme à la Rose is like dating a pretty young thing who has nothing interesting to say. Whereas switching to VC&A pour Homme, as I have this evening, is more akin to finding a worldly, engaging partner. It’s a rose that’s about something.

Oh, and I also enjoy Granville.
 

ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
Acqua di Parma - Colonia Club

I've probably smelled in store before, but not sure I ever put on skin intentionally prior to yesterday when my bottle arrived.

It's not bad at all; not sure I'm going to keep it though. It's sweet, but not too much. It's like a matured Le Male or some such. Still haven't quite 'figured' it out, haha

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Oct 22, 2021
second half of J.F. Schwarzlose samples:
Rausch: A nice poppy opening transitioning into something really awful. It basically smells like bad breath in the morning.
Trance: Again a nice flowery opening going into a really awful smell just like Rausch.
Leder 6: A nice smooth leather. Not as intense as S.M. Cafe. This one is more to my liking. I'm maybe gonna pick up a bottle at some point.
20 | 20: A nice mix of flowers with a sprinkle of woods. It doesn't really fit me, but I might gift a bottle to a friend.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Le Labo - Baie 19

Truth is…Baie 19 should have been called Water 19. Not that it smells like nothing (though nothing smells like it), but it has this crisp, wet, drenched effect that water gives to the earth after the rain...

And there’s a word for that, by the way: petrichor. It’s that magical feeling during heavy rain after a long dry spell, and it’s one of the most beautiful olfactive phenomena in nature.

There are many reasons for this, including the ozone in the air, the negative ions, but most importantly the release of oil secretions from certain plants, accumulated after a long dry period. This is what Baie 19 is about: the dry juniper berry, the patchouli, the green leaves...all soaked by a beautiful, luminous, magnetic rain after a long drought. And the joy that comes with it…


The juniper berries (baie) and watery patchouli, along with some ozonic aromachems, do a fair job of evoking petrichor. Alas, they also evoke drinking artificially flavored diet herbal tea out of a can. That’s not unpleasant, but it’s not an experience requiring niche money.
 
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