What did you try today? (2022)

drseid

Sound Scents
Basenotes Plus
Jun 1, 2003
Rostracto by Rogue -- On paper the rose comes off more light and airy, taking the fore with the charred woods in the background. I loved the result, but thought the mixture a bit on the stereotypical "feminine" side of the spectrum.

On skin the mixture presents quite differently with the smoky/charred woods taking center stage and the rose more as co-star or even support. This presentation takes a more unisex to even stereotypical "masculine" balance. I am not sure which of the two presentations I prefer, but what I do know is that Manuel Cross has another stellar release on his hands.
 
Apr 8, 2021
Rostracto by Rogue -- On paper the rose comes off more light and airy, taking the fore with the charred woods in the background. I loved the result, but thought the mixture a bit on the stereotypical "feminine" side of the spectrum.

On skin the mixture presents quite differently with the smoky/charred woods taking center stage and the rose more as co-star or even support. This presentation takes a more unisex to even stereotypical "masculine" balance. I am not sure which of the two presentations I prefer, but what I do know is that Manuel Cross has another stellar release on his hands.
I'm very curious to try this! Rose is very hit or miss for me, but I'm a big fan of Rogue.
 
Apr 8, 2021
Pichola - Neela Vermeire Creations. I'm a fan of this brand, but not a white floral fan. At first I thought this was swoon-inducingly beautiful. Green, slightly humid but not aquatic, distinct tuberose but with a whole host of other flowers and things going on... but the drydown, while still very nice, felt a bit less interesting and a touch generic. Perhaps white floral is just not my genre.
Savitri - Prissana. I liked it. I did smell some vague similarity to Chypre-Siam after the top notes had disappeared, but Savitri felt a bit more aromatic, smokier, less floral, less green. Perhaps more masculine-leaning, too. It's nice, but I'll stick to Chypre-Siam which is one of my top favourite perfumes ever.
Opium (2009) eau de toilette, sprayed generously at the dept. store, where it was hidden on the lowest shelf with some other classics. Well... it's actually not that bad. If I'd never smelled vintage I'd think this was quite good. Easy to wear, not too heavy. I'm notoriously bad at describing notes but I still recognise "Opium" in it and I find this more interesting than 99% of the designer offerings. I think if this was released today by a niche house as a "unisex amber", it would be well reviewed.
Having said that, I don't need it because I do have vintage and there's no contest.
 

JBHoren

I *am* smiling
Basenotes Plus
Apr 25, 2007
Akro Awake EDP

Boy, if ever a name was spot-on, it's this one. It's clearly a first-thing-in-the-morning fragrance... before your first "cuppa" (although after is OK, too). The opening is like the initial sip of that too-small cafe cup of espresso... rich, bitter, and with that crisp lemon Europeans are so fond of; intense, but short-lived and tempered by the soft, spicy-sweetness of cardamom. Wow! Then it takes foot-off-gas and seems to disappear, only to return with more coffee... still rich, but now mellow. And the coffee aroma endures! along with the vetiver, which slowly begins to appear... not in conflict with it, but gently jostling... like getting comfortable on a bus or airplane, when there's someone sitting next to you.

Awake is not a complex fragrance; but for me, that's desirable in a morning scenario. Minimal sillage, which is how I like it; 5-6 hour longevity, which allows for reapplying or moving to a different fragrance, without having to shower or scrub.

Hat-tip to TheAntagonist, for making my purchase of this 30ml split possible.
 
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PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Czech & Speake - Oxford & Cambridge

A traditional lavender fragrance, inspired by the English countryside and evoking memories of great sporting tradition. A fresh and invigorating scent, perfect for everyday use. The fragrance opens with a clean, fresh, youthful appeal of English and French lavender, topped with herbaceous peppermint, rosemary and bergamot, gradually giving way to a subtle base of warm oakmoss.

I don’t understand: who doesn’t like this? I mean, obviously, five reviewers on BN, but still. This is like the Tom Holland of lavenders. It’s a lavender retriever puppy. Its the best dryer sheet ever. It’s made of likability, and without all that vanilla syrup that drowns the celebrated lavender in Caron Pour un Homme.

I have other lavenders I love. I probably don’t need this. I will most likely buy it anyway. Sue me.
 
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SmellSharpe

Super Member
Dec 29, 2021
1 Million Elixir.

Got a sample of this yesterday and gave it a couple of wrist sprays. It is sweet but I like it much more than the other 1 Million offerings. Doubt I would buy a full bottle but it is a nice fragrance. It is a bit feminine as well. Strong as hell.
 
Mar 30, 2021
Margot Elena Library of Flowers - Willow & Water Perfume Crema

There was a period of time when I was flying every month, and thus ended up trying most of the Margot Elena Lollia and Library of Flowers offerings available at the airport. This was one of the only ones I kept coming back to--a soft, watery green scent with an underlying almost coconutty creaminess. The creme base has a nice texture to it and plenty of fragrance, though the longevity is not great. Still, it's one I never have to pause when I consider wearing it, which works for me.
 

teardrop

Basenotes Institution
Sep 1, 2010
Solar Blossom by Mizensir (a free sample l was sent with an order from Les Senteurs last year, which l've been saving for warmer weather):

A fresh, sweet & pretty orange blossom fragrance, this opens with a burst of neroli which settles down in the first fifteen minutes. lt then becomes a soft & creamy skin scent underpinned with vanilla, & doesn't really develop from there, but it's still going after eight hours. A definite "like" for me if not a love, it reminds me a lot of Mademoiselle Piguet, a similarly uncomplicated & JFP (Just F***ing Pretty) orange blossom that l can't see anyone being offended by. Sometimes that's all you need.
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Junkie
May 29, 2021
Declaration d'un Soir. Loved it. The spices felt very mild compared to Declaration EDT and Declaration Essence, which I also love for different reasons, though I can smell some familial resemblance (only the faintest hit of cumin). Really, it's just a stunningly well done designer rose scent. Perfectly unisex, extremely wearable. Feels pretty sheer and ethereal on my skin, though longevity is great. Definitely full bottle worthy.
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Junkie
May 29, 2021
Later on I tried a sample of Chanel Allure Homme Sport. In my quest to find a good dumb reach summer scent, I had high hopes and yet... this seems like the epitome of a generic designer freshie, not particularly distinctive, but entirely inoffensive and better blended than most. I really can't fault it, but I think I need more character these days. Neutral.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Amouage Bahjah Attar - Really nice dense lime and mossy scent. Sits close to the skin, but is rich with impressive depth. First Amouage attar I have tried, and I quite like it.
 

H_West

Basenotes Dependent
Oct 14, 2015
Later on I tried a sample of Chanel Allure Homme Sport. In my quest to find a good dumb reach summer scent, I had high hopes and yet... this seems like the epitome of a generic designer freshie, not particularly distinctive, but entirely inoffensive and better blended than most. I really can't fault it, but I think I need more character these days. Neutral.
Maybe Chanel - Allure Homme Edition Blanche? :)
 

teardrop

Basenotes Institution
Sep 1, 2010
Received a few samples of vintage fragrances from a generous BN buddy, so l'm starting in on these today with the discontinued En Avril Un Soir by Yves Rocher:

This opens with a big burst of aldehydes & soapy white florals, with a greenish bite. As it settles, there's bergamot, woods & a faint patchouli along with the florals, & l swear there's an earthy musk here although it's not listed. The listed florals include orange blossom, rose, jasmine & freesia, but none of these stand out to me. What l do detect smells much closer to the green floral notes of hyacinth or narcissus. Six hours in it's still going fairly strong.

l agree with my buddy that this is a "lively" spring floral, which chimes with its name, although l think it's more suited to perking one up in the mornings than for wearing in the evening. lt reminds me of something from my distant past as well: a reviewer elsewhere mentioned Avon's Moonwind which l had as a child, so it could be that.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
Sauvage Elixir. Impressed by the opening, less so by the drydown, where the similarities to Drakkar Noir become apparent.

Also took advantage of the original Eau Sauvage with a spray on my other hand, which is nice and pleasant as well. Smells less dated than the I remember.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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LesNez - L’Antimatière

An invisible ink that leaves a trace,
Foreseen rather than felt,
Persistent
Yet whispered,
Like a creased bed linen scent wandering along your curves…

…performs a series of understated scent tricks and olfactory maneuvers that bypass security and sneak in through the back entrance…


If it weren’t for the edge-of-halitosis salinity of the ambergris, one might not be able to pin anything about this fragrance down at all. That’s precisely what perfumer Isabelle Doyen was going for. The net result of l’Antimarière’s organic minerality is less perfume than skin enhancer, as if to make you smell more like you than you. I don’t know that I actually like it as a fragrance, but it’s still fascinating.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Matière Première - Falcon Leather

Not one of my samples, but my first wear of a blind buy.

INITIAL IDEA: “Create a leathery scent inspired by falconers’ gloves.”

MAIN INGREDIENT: A vegetal leather note, birch tar (Finland).

CREATIVE APPROACH: Exacerbate the power of the note at the start thanks to saffron. Unfold and enrich the texture of birch tar to evoke both sides of leather: highlight the smooth full-grain side with ciste labdanum (Andalusia), amplify the soft suede side with benzoin absolute (Laos).


Man, I really wanted to love this one! I was so excited to get it, going off many positive reviews from trusted noses. Alas, I have to draw the line at “like.”

In the good old days, a leather like this would’ve opened with some bergamot and concluded with oakmoss, but here it falls to the benzoin to provide both sweetness and a soft landing. The result is, we don’t get that classic leather chypre profile, and the vanillic qualities of the benzoin steer Falcon Leather to a relatively flat, near-gourmand place instead.

Dr. T. thinks it smells like a leather flanker to Obsession—not a popular reference point at chez Stoller. So, I’m glad I have my vintage Cuir de Russie and Bandit for different ways to get my birch tar fix. I’ll give Falcon Leather another shot at some point, but I have a feeling this bottle’s future will be in the BN Marketplace.
 
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hednic

Basenotes Institution
Oct 25, 2007
View attachment 221526

Matière Première - Falcon Leather

Not one of my samples, but my first wear of a blind buy.

INITIAL IDEA: “Create a leathery scent inspired by falconers’ gloves.”

MAIN INGREDIENT: A vegetal leather note, birch tar (Finland).

CREATIVE APPROACH: Exacerbate the power of the note at the start thanks to saffron. Unfold and enrich the texture of birch tar to evoke both sides of leather: highlight the smooth full-grain side with ciste labdanum (Andalusia), amplify the soft suede side with benzoin absolute (Laos).


Notes forthcoming.
Love this one from the house!
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Best Company - Best Company

So far as I can tell, Best Company only issued two fragrances: Best Company (1990, for women) and Best Company (1999, for men). The whole thing looks like an afterthought by parent company Eurocosmesi. They didn't even go so far as to add "pour Femme/Homme" or change the (really lame) logo; the boxes were pink for girls, green for boys.

What perceptible notes there are peg my sample as of the 1999 masculine, but this Best Company is still easily unisex, being by turns woody, musky, slightly floral, and a tad fruity. The blend is so smooth that digging out the pyramid notes is not only beside the point, but seemingly contrary to it. The pineapple steers this slightly sweeter than I generally like, but it's far from overbearing. Mostly, it just smells kinda good without being so compelling that I'd run out and buy a bottle. But, you know, if I already had one, I'd probably break it out on occasion. If only they'd amped up the tobacco and birch (and the unusual asarum note in the base), I might've gone hunting.
 
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PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Creed Acier Aluminum - That ambergris... wow! Really nice spicy fruity scent. It's quite strange though. Despite being interesting to smell, I'm not sure it's something I could easily wear. It almost makes me think of an old rich person's house.
 

CRogersRx

Basenotes Member
Mar 8, 2022
Got a 2ml sample of Tom Ford's Ébèné Fumé today. Lots of dark wood (sandalwood, to my nose) and pepper. Great smelling stuff, but out of my price range.
Ebene Fume by TF has become one of my absolute favorites. It sits right up there next to a couple of my other favorites: YSL 24 rue de L'Universite, Creed Royal Oud, and Chanel Sycamore. It is pricey, but (unlike Lost Cherry and Tobacco Vanille) it's worth the price.
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Junkie
May 29, 2021
More of a vicarious experience to report: my mom is visiting and always thrills at the chance to explore scents while she's in town. Lately I've been buying her fun scents for bdays, Mother's Day, etc., but she doesn't otherwise get a chance to sample very often.

Today we busted out the last of a sample of Chanel Paris-Edembourg (kindly gifted by basenoter @Ebenas earlier this year--thank you so much!). I've really enjoyed this one every time I've worn it--vibrant, rainy day juniper, cypress, and vetiver with just a bit of amber in the base, but nothing like your typical modern designer frag. Strongly considering a full bottle at some point for myself. The only complaint being how light it wears, though longevity is decent. I get ethereal wafts of juniper for most of the work day, but my scent-addict nose yearns for just a bit more presence.

Enough about me: we were going through my cabinet, talking about what she might try next, when my mom sniffed the cap of this and immediately had to try it. One spray to the wrist and her eyes lit up. She quickly gave 4 more sprays (just about finishing the sample) and it was an instant love, the way she first lit up wearing things like Philosykos or 1725 (some of her current favorites). I should have known! She loves juniper and vetiver separately, and I had forgotten this one was so on point for her. Might have to surprise her with a bottle sometime soon...
 

ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
Alrighty, I'm back with another blind/semi-blind sampling round - six of 'em at the moment!

First up....

Vetiver. A carrot-y rooty vetiver. It's not real heavy or deep, but it's a darker type of vetiver.
It seems to have something else, but I'm not sure. Like a.. inky aspect, or a soil aspect added to it. But for the most part it's kinda in the Sycomore type of camp. Not bad at all! I love vetiver.

It is... Masque Milano - Hemingway

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So far... not bad at all, it's a nice vetiver scent. But after a while of smelling many vetiver scents and EOs of it, this seems more like an EO to me. It's not as exciting anymore as I've smelled something like this, more or less. Maybe the drydown will surprise a bit?

So far it's kinda like Sycomore without the bottom end; no heft. If this brings it into a spicy/ginger-y 'fresh' type of direction, then that's interesting..
 

ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
Now for this one....

Phew boy, okay that's pungent! It's like syrupy, dried fruits, and patchouli. Christmas Spiced Patchouli Fruits. Make it some kind of snack.

And it is.. TSVGA Parfums - Pipe.

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Oooooh, it's a tobacco fragrance! lol. Okay so thinking about it.. yeah I get tobacco, but it seems immortelle heavy with spices or some such. It smells like an antique room in the corner of a shop, or an old house with collectibles. Interesting. Not really for me as it's a bit heavy handed in a way that isn't my style, but it's not bad!

Smelling it more and more it resembles more of a pipe tobacco or so that's more familiar. That initial hit of the dried sticky fruit aspect kinda catches me off guard and almost makes you want to catch your breath, lol. Interestingly it also has a Play-Doh type of smell...
 

ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
And here's another, let's see..

Oh wow, that's a nice opening! It's like.. BR540 meets rubber meets oud or like the aspect added to Layton Exclusif that differentiates it from Layton.
It smells familiar but different. I quite like it! It's 'pretty' with some 'dirty'/rubber type of smell.
It's like a mashup of familiar aspects to make something unique?

It is.. Oh. Parfums de Marly Haltane. So maybe they did use aspect(s) from Layton Exclusif/Pegasus. I didn't know this was a PdM sample, nice.

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It's kinda like a rehash of popular elements of their stuff or something? Like a mix of others in their range? /shrug. Not bad though. Girlfriend liked it also.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
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Ormonde Jayne - Tsarina

Tsarina captures opulence and passion. It demands fur, leather, brocade, heavy silks in sweeping dresses and fabulous jewels to go with her haughty heritage. To call it a floral or amberesque is to misunderstand its rich complexity, it is more baroque. The perfume is profound, blending leather notes, rich vanilla bean extract, amber and orris butter. This is a powerhouse perfume, ravishing and regal, distinctive and synonymous with the glamorous world of luxe.

Tsarina is good stuff: a cushiony oriental, full of round, naturalistic notes of orris and vanilla that do indeed convey a sense of sensual, luxurious comfort. I don’t hesitate to give it a thumbs up (and my beloved Dr. T. seconds it).

But there’s not enough leather in Tsarina to suggest the profound whipping her PR rep deserves across their haughty haunches for that dreadful hype. It makes me feel dirty recommending Tsarina—and not in the fun way.
 
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JBHoren

I *am* smiling
Basenotes Plus
Apr 25, 2007
Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue (from a sample)

Unwieldy sample (no sprayer), difficult and probably ineffective application. After two hours, all I'm smelling are the base notes (and, at that, I won't swear that I get all of them). Disappointing, even for only a $9.62 investment. With more than 2ml remaining in the vial, perhaps another time will yield better results. I think my new motto should be: If it doesn't shpritz, it sits.

Update: 02:00 -- I washed-out a 6ml bottle and sprayer, then decanted the remaining fragrance into it. A healthy 5-6 shpritzes on my chest and neck (yeah, I overspray), and another on the back of my left hand. So, where are the top notes? Ambre Nue was like a top-of-the-line Tesla, going from zero to heart notes in seconds. Dunno. Admittedly, I couldn't identify the marigold and orchid, and the cinnamon plumb escaped me. It's now an hour since applying, and the base notes — benzoin, labdanum, patchouli, and tonka bean — are evident; and yes, they make a warm, pleasant amber. The best deal I can find (eBay) is $50 for a 30ml bottle; not such a good deal, not with how it works (or doesn't) on my skin. End of story. YMMV

Update: 11:46 -- "In for a penny, in for a pound"... "third time's a charm" -- I decided to "put it all on red", and shpritzed the remaining ~1ml of Ambre Nue in the usual places. Still, no sense of mandarin orange or bergamot. Seems like it went straight to video... err... streaming... err... heart notes (although they all seem "muddied").

Final Words: You know what? $50 for a 30ml bottle isn't great, but at $80 for a 100ml bottle, it's certainly worth considering (and, probably, purchasing). I certainly wouldn't wear Ambre Nue as a daily scent, but in the evening? Sure. I bet a 100ml bottle would "last a lifetime".
 
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ILikePeeps

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 15, 2012
Last one for tonight...

Interesting! It's like... citrus plus tea? But then a bit of something spicy is there... cumin or similar? It's a far distant cousin of Declaration.

Not bad at all! I'd like for the citrus to stay maybe.

It is... Roja - Burlington 1819

Ah, yep, this is what I was expecting it to be from the samples I requested (I don't remember all I requested). I'm getting something like grapefruit also? Going to look at the notes. I do like this though... dammit..!!

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Emanuel76

Basenotes Dependent
Jun 16, 2018
I needed to make a present for someone (not very important to me). So, I quickly tested some perfumes from Zara.
These are the variant for women. The men's version looks the same, including the olfactory pyramids. But I don't know if they are 100% identical.

I smelled the sprayer of many perfumes, but only two caught my attention, which I tested on paper.

Zara - Rose Gourmand
Reminiscent of BDK - Tabac Rose, with the main sour-sweet accord tonned down. This accord it's a bit too sharp and too present in Tabac Rose.
Nice. It worth its 20 euros.

Zara - Majestic Opulence
It seemed like something from the Dior - Homme Intense family, which always piques my interest. But it's not.
Mildly interesting for 20-30 minutes. After that a monotonous, soft and difussive fruity-caramel-cashmeran acord take the stage.
Boring.

I ended up buying Prada - Infusion d'Iris. :rolleyes:


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