Your new SO is an extremely serious PETA member. Not just anti-meat and fur, but also no leather. Period. Your leather coats, bags, belts, shoes...all solemnly have been turned over to Goodwill for the sake of love. But your leather fragrances??? Stash them in the back of the closet. Love can be fleeting. However, in the meantime Gomma should be an acceptable subsitute. It's not a bad fragrance, but it certainly wouldn't make anyone suspect you've got a leather coat on. It's definitely got a leather vibe, but there is a slightly fake sense to it and the jasmine also adds an unusual note to it. Your SO won't be able to complain.
Fragrances -Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Eau de Biarritz
Maller 9/25/2005 7:56:00 PM
If I had to choose a gift for a teenage boy, I'd go for Eau de Biarritz. There are lots of styles of ocean fragrances to match all the different moods of the ocean and types of beaches. This is actually not Biarritz to my mind. More like Cancun on spring break. It's a sunny mid-day scent, perfect for bright, primary colors (probably stripes) and playing with a frisbee on the beach. It's salt air, ylang ylang and very sweet sandalwood. Not particularly original. Actually, not at all. However, not offensive if applied in moderation.
Fragrances -Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Vetyver Haiti
Maller 9/25/2005 7:53:00 PM
Serious vetiver fans need not bother. And serious CSP fans needn't worry - they've not deviated from their devotion to sweet and/or vanilla scents here. This is a very soft, powdery woodsy vetiver, vanilla and musk scent. There are citrus notes in the opening, but they recede quite quickly. The ylang ylang is quite clear as it dries down. I can't shake the feel of this being a woodsy powdered sugar.
Fragrances -Parfums De Nicolai - Nicolai Pour Homme
Maller 9/25/2005 7:48:00 PM
Many of my favorite fragrances are marketed as men's scents. However, there are a fair number of perfumers who appear to believe that men have unfortunately low olfactory sensitivity IQs. The men's fragrances they create tend to be too bold, too bracing and can be downright nightmarish when overapplied, which they often are...I have visions of a Godzilla like men's cologne being stomping ruthlessly through an innocent city, asphyxiating everyone in its path. These scents are utterly lacking in subtlety and finesse and are only for the seriously scent challenged. Patricia de Nicolai obviously does not have this sort of condescending attitude towards men at all. The scents in her men's line are in general superbly crafted and happily complex. Pour Homme is no exception. It is a gorgeous, subtle, soft, resinous, woodsy scent. It opens with minty green notes and a bit of lavender. These quickly are tempered and overtaken by the appearance of the resins, soft woods, moss and a very faint hint of tobacco. It's a scent which could never be garrishly overpowering, but is always incredibly intriguing. The sort of scent you definitely want to get closer to in order to appreciate its complexity. The notes are given as galbanum, orange, China mint, lavender, geranium, jasmine, moss, amber, spruce, cedar, tobacco, benzoin and labdanum. Frankly, I refuse to see it as anything other than unisex since it is so beautifully quiet and sophisticated. Irresistible.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Pecksniffs Classic Chypre
Maller 9/25/2005 7:46:00 PM
Classic Chypre. I'd make a slight adjustment to the name. Would change the "sh" pronunciation in "chypre" to "ch" as it "Charles" and knock off the second syllable, add one little four letter word and end up with my name of choice, Classic Chyp Soap. OK....might as well go ahead and just change it to "cheap" soap. It hardly smells at all like a chypre to me. I get pure floral notes (flat ones at that) and a touch of green from the galbanum and basil. The clove, vanilla, moss and patchouli listed in the notes evade me altogether. This scent makes me nervously sit up straighter, cross my legs in a more ladylike fashion and feel vaguely guilty for sins I'm not quite sure I've even had the pleasure of committing. This is all due to the fact that I went to a Catholic school for quite a few years where they used a soap that smelled *exactly* like this in the bathrooms. I'm fairly certain it was the nuns attempt to punish us for our various errant ways. Aspiring nuns may find this attractive. I'd be mystified if anyone else did. OK...I'm backing down as I always do when I'm excessively harsh. This has to do w/ my memories, my skin chemistry. If you're deeply devoted to soapy fragrances, this may work....maybe. There...one less hostile review on my conscience now.
Royal Scottish Lavender opens with a clean, sweet, slightly earthy lavender and citrus notes. These are rapidly softened by the appearance of a rich vanilla. RSL is a very appealing lavender if you are a lavender person - not at all too sharp or astringent. Not being much of a lavender fan myself, I have my own personal reasons for liking this fragrance - I can apply it, congratulate myself for bravely expanding my fragrance horizons and appreciating this scent, yet quietly know from the start that I'm not going to have to nobly endure this lavender experience for too long since it will have vanished completely within about fifteen minutes. Perfect.
Creed does citrus exceptionally well. No doubt about it. However, there's a place for everything. Creed's use of citrus in Himalaya reminds me of one of those food festivals where chefs who create brilliant garlic dishes then enthusiastically try to present desserts based on garlic as well. No. Just doesn't work for me. Himalaya had the potential to be a brilliant woodsy, peppery scent with a warm, rich amber and tonka bean base. However, the top notes of grapefruit and mandarin just never go away. They fade somewhat, but they obstinately remain through the dry down. I understand that this is a personal prejudice of mine, but I love some of their other citrus scents and simply didn't need another. I think the blend of woods, pepper and amber in Himalaya is exceptionally well done....the citrus seems superfluous to my nose (and tastes). I also think the citrus takes this from being a potentially unisex scent into being an extremely testosterone dependent one. I always try to co-opt scents into the unisex zone, but this one is unquestionably masculine.
If there is a fragrance source Pledge uses for it's lemon oil, I suspect that IPdF is using the same source for its lemon based fragrances - only IPdF is diluting the oils more than Pledge is. Cedro is watery, slightly musty, sharp...yes, that does indeed translate as "unpleasant."
Fragrances -Comme des Garcons - Sweet Series- Sticky Cake
Maller 9/25/2005 6:29:00 PM
I tried Sticky Cake when it first came out and dismissed it as being *too* sweet, too artificial. However, I kept on hearing the comparisons to Malle's L'Eau d'Hiver and decided to retry Sticky Cake. They do share the metallic iris note, some honey, musk and a powdery feel, but the main difference is in the names. L'Eau d'Hiver means "winter water" and is far more transparent a scent, much lighter in feel, more sophisticated without doubt. Sticky Cake is dense and rich. It has a doughy feel to it. Transparent it is not. I'm having a lot of trouble explaining this to myself, but I find myself oddly drawn to it now. I think I'll blame it on the ambrette seed, which is a note I'm discovering I really like in fragrances recently. Ambrette seed is on the musky side and gives a buttery, nutty feel to scents. I also like iris in almost any form and pistachio and dates are not such common notes and ones I enjoy in scents . Justifying purchasing something w/ such hideous frou-frou packaging requires this sort of jumping through hoops.
Fragrances -Comme des Garcons - Red Series- Harissa
Maller 9/25/2005 6:28:00 PM
Of the Red Series, Harissa strikes me immediately as being the most vibrant red. A brilliant red orange. It's so clearly associated with that color that I'm relatively convinced a lurking fashion police person would slap me w/ a demerit if I wore it w/ a clashing color like a dull mauve. I adore Harissa. This is a scent that is all about blazing sunshine, blue skies and relaxing in the shade. If you like L'Artisan's Piment Brulant (the Red Philtre of the Spice Trio), you should give this a try (and they layer gorgeously...like the perfect lunch for a hot summer day). They share the bright, fruity bell pepper and tomato feel. Maybe it's just lucky skin chemistry, but on me Harissa definitely succeeds in being a very warm, spicy scent with excellent lasting power.
I get the feeling this should come w/ a nutrition label attached to it...extremely realistic condensed milk scent on me. Brings back very clear memories of having condensed milk on toast as a young child. Too realistic to wear alone...feel like I should be wiping sticky stuff off my hands. However, layered with coffee scents, gardenias or a couple of select sandalwoods this is actually excellent and one I like to have around.
Fragrances -Comme des Garcons - Sweet Series- Spicy Cocoa
Maller 9/25/2005 6:25:00 PM
Chocolate and citrus often are excellent companions. However, rancid chocolate and sour, sharp grapefruit and bergamot somehow lack a certain appeal. Add in a truly foul artificial plastic note and you end up w/ a Spicy Cocoa that resembles something only Rasputin could drink and survive.
The first thought that flashed through my mind with the opening of Figuier was that the lawn had just been mowed. Green grass. Tons of it. Then that fades and I'm left with a very green, crisp, woodsy, nutty, unripe fig scent with a slight bit of milkyness. It's actually quite refreshing and would be a good light scent for summer, but the lasting power is minimal.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Pascal Morabito - Or Noir
Maller 9/25/2005 6:21:00 PM
Elegant fragrances are not necessarily sexy. They can be beautiful, but may easily be aloof and cool. Not Or Noir. It manages effortlessly to be both elegant and sexy. It's a quite complex, sophisticated floral that seems most suited to jewel tones and candle light. Or Noir was the perfect name for it. Probably could also add on a little warning label: Do *not* mix with bright pastels - jarring, stomach turning results. Joan Juliet Buck could perhaps pull off wearing it w/ jeans and a loose shirt, but it requires serious "attitude" to do that successfully. I'm afraid I would require an intensive crash course in "attitude" first. The floral notes which are most evident to my nose are the jasmine, iris and ylang ylang, but they are definitely tempered by the tart, fruity notes of tangerine and black currant, the spiciness from the clove and the rich, deep oak moss and vanilla base which gives it a darker feel.
The men's scents from Amouage are actually quite good and I think I prefer them overall to the women's in this line. The notes for the Gold are essentially the same as for the women's Gold, only with the addition of patchouli and oakmoss. Somewhere in there as well, a fair amount of the perfumey quality of the women's scent got deleted. It takes a man who is comfortable w/ heavy florals to pull this one off. It's a very soft, low pitched, quite powdery rose and jasmine scent with deep woods, resins and oakmoss to ground it. The base notes appear rather quickly with this scent and are really quite attractive. I could happily wear this without seeming in the least like I had on an androgynous, unisex scent. Interestingly, I think this would be incredibly sexy on a man as well. I've got visions of Omar Sharif in Dr. Zhivago wearing this...a sort of quiet, extremely self confident, very masculine attitude to balance out the sweetness. The notes are listed on the Amouage site as rock rose, lily of the valley, silver frankincense, myrrh, orris, jasmine, ambergris, civet, cedar, sandalwood, musk, patchouli and oakmoss. Dia pour Homme is a very appealing sweet, powdery, woodsy and resinous scent which opens with clear notes of rock rose (cistus), bigarade and cardamom. These are soon tempered by the resins, an earthy iris note, powdery ylang ylang and vetiver. In the base a light leather becomes apparent, but I mostly get a soft palisander (Brazilian rosewood) note. Like Dia for women (the dry down at least), this is an extremely soft, well grounded scent which I think could be worn easily by both sexes. The notes are given as cistus, bigarade, cardamom, frankincense, labdanum, peony, ylang ylang, orris, plum blossom, vetiver, leather, patchouli, amber and palisander. Ciel for men opens with a strong men's cologne vibe of bergamot and lavender which doesn't seem particularly promising in that it's not exactly original and I don't happen to adore lavender. However, the cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg come on stage before long with some sweet peach and orange blossom notes and finally the soft, sweet base notes of frankincense, vetyver, patchouli, cedar and sandalwood ground everything beautifully and that less than inspiring opening is easily overlooked.