Tag Archives: niche

by Kilian Bamboo Harmony

22 May

Bamboo Harmony starts off with promising hints of citrus and sweet floral notes, but rapidly becomes an unexceptional (dusty) powdery floral tea-centered fragrance. I much prefer Water Calligraphy to this, though with Water Calligraphy, the emphasis is on sparkling sunny florals instead of tea, bergamot, and green grassy notes.

After the delightful opening, Bamboo Harmony quickly morphs into a powdery floral, and then the tea really comes out full force, but still cloaked in this powdery floral veil with a hint of ambiguous spice.

The white tea has a somewhat nose-tingling bitter element as if it has been a little over-steeped, and then cooled/muted to make iced tea, so that the notes go a little flat on my skin.

In the dry down, there is a powdery musk and the tea continues to permeate with its subtle yet persistent bite. The dry down is actually quite pleasant and ends as green as they come, but I would not choose this before any other more vibrant and simultaneously gentle (harmonious?) tea fragrances.

This reminds me of the perfume which “hangs” around a strange rich lady who is placidly looking at the same painting as you at a museum. You can tell that she is not friendly and she doesn’t notice you at all, even though you are no more than inches away. She is in her own calm, insulated and isolated world.

Like warm ice.

 

M. Micallef Royal Vintage

13 May

When testing fragrances with my boyfriend I often refer to them as things that help me contextualize them for both of us, and when I tested M. Micallef’s Royal Vintage, I kept referring to it as, that Aventus one. They are definitely not the same scent, but similar enough that my familiarity with Aventus makes me automatically associate the two fragrances.

For those who are not familiar with either, they are both warm, spicy, woody fragrances rounded out by some acidic fruits with a kind of smoky pineapple quality. However, They are not so similar that one can replace the other, and I feel that each is deserving of individual consideration, even if they are close cousins. To make a designer/female analogy, if that would be helpful to anyone, they are about as similar as Kenzo Amour and Dior Hypnotic Poison are to one another.

If ever leather could be refreshing, this fragrance is a perfect example. Bergamot peel, spicy woodsy notes and smoky sweet fruitiness all revolve around a clean light leather.

This would be a great summer evening vacation scent. It is soothing and romantic, with a very casual facet.

This fragrance is incredibly well rounded and balanced. It smells tropical, masculine, and expensive. Projection and longevity are excellent so apply carefully. It actually has the lasting power of indelible ink, on me it stayed THROUGH a shower, so make sure you’re definitely in the mood to wear it! If you enjoy spicy, warm, complex masculine citrus frags and aren’t adverse to a nicely blended leather, give this one a shot.

If I woke up next to a man who smelled from Royal Vintage, I would be like, “AAAAAA!! WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY BOYFRIEND!?”
But then I would take a deep breath of his Aventus, er, I mean Royal Vintage, sigh, and think to myself,

“Mhm. Everything’s gonna be alright.”

the fur coat

Profumum Roma Arso

1 May

Arso is a dry pine that is encrusted with sticky, highly flammable sap. It starts out Christmas tree, and ends up blackened fire pit.

 

On the exhale, I get the faintest trace of something that has burned, like the smoldering remains of a campsite cookout.

The almost undetectable leather and incense provide a faint saltiness, which enhances the dimension of the burned smell as Arso dries down, but it never plainly spells LEATHER, or INCENSE. It’s projection and longevity are both very good.

The slightly charred pine is the feature here from start to finish. It is 100 percent unisex, (how could smelling like a tree be masculine or feminine?) and it can be worn whenever you wish to smell like you’ve been camping.

I could see this being really confusing to people in an office environment:
“You look like you’re working, but you smell like you’re about to roast marshmallows!… Either my co-worker is wearing Arso, or I’m having a hallucination.”

Or something.

 

All the pics From the Old Computer 2622

Comme des Garcons Green

1 May

The opening of Green smells more like a mojito than any fragrance I have ever sampled. Why? Probably because it isn’t trying to. Take THAT, Demeter!!


Green has a hint of saltiness which makes it almost wander into margarita territory, but ultimately it registers as a light, true mojito scent. Projection and longevity are low, but perhaps on someone else they would be better.

The drydown is sweet mint, accompanied by a light, earthy mineral vetiver. It reminds me of the soil clinging to the roots of the mint plant right after you pull it from the ground.

The final notes smell synthetic sweet and abstract green.

I would much rather drink a mojito, but at least Green smells good, and the mint is not obscured. Light, casual, summery mint.

 

All the pics From the Old Computer 2634

A Perfect Vanilla? Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille (Revisited): An Updated Review

29 Mar

I have come around to this fragrance. After sniffing my way through quite a few vanillas, including niche, designer, and drugstore (as well as a bunch of organic vanilla essential oils),

I have come back around to this one.

Here’s why: Un Bois vanilla is layered and complex, the vanilla is  unquestionably the focus, and yet it has the most beautiful, natural,  cool translucency and airiness that I have ever experienced in a vanilla. It isn’t weak, it is just so artfully constructed that it never evolves into all of the things which are so easy to dislike (or like?) about a vanilla.

BV is very well blended but has great note separation, and is paired with such high quality, complimentary notes of beeswax and various woods, it really is quite memorable, and is not a projection monster (thank God) but instead settles into a beautiful very natural woody sweetness that stays with me quite a while.

Un Bois Vanilla is much more complimentary to one’s own skin than those vanillas which are opaque, excessively rich, and viscous-smelling.

Also, it doesn’t break down into a musk, which is frequently an easy cop-out for  fragrances that otherwise have merit until their unfortunate final stage of development. So far this is my favorite vanilla on the market, and if I had the money I would definitely own a FB, despite the fact that I am not usually attracted to gourmands.

After revisiting Un Bois Vanille, I tracked down a more technical and beautifully written review on Fragrantica by commenter jtd (author of ScentHurdle.com), which reinforces my new found observations. Here are his conclusions about Un Bois Vanille. I could not have said it better, so I am including his review in its entirety. Enjoy!

“Vanilla is a key component to both the contemporary dessert/gourmand and the classic amber oriental. Vanilla is almost inescapable in perfumery, but it’s usually found in the familiar company of labdanum, balsams, resins, spices or ethylmaltol in the above genres. It takes effort to dissociate it from the foody, cuddly feel. Despite its brief plastic/cotton-candy camouflage topnote (wonderful!), un Bois Vanille does just this. After the foody misdirection, BV avoids the expected. The tease of edibility shows itself as a licorice note, not cotton candy. The licorice also keeps BV from going the amber/oriental route since the genre is almost by definition warm, round, thick. Licorice here comes off as anise-like not candy-like. It’s cool and focused and it brings out vanilla’s sharp, bitter side, making it more potent than plush.After the expansive opening the heartnotes are fairly quiet, with a dry, airy feel that I would think to associate with frankincense, not vanilla. By drydown BV is dusty but still taut, reinforcing the point that vanilla can be strong and direct without being lush. BV stays cool as it winds down and resists becoming a skin-scent, further bucking a vanilla stereotype.BV solves a problem for me. One of very few in perfume fan-dom, I don’t like Caron’s Pour un Homme. The lavender/vanilla combo has no synergy and reminds me of the feel of a stuffy head. In BV, the cool side of the licorice fuses with the vanilla in a way that I imagine Pour un Homme’s minty lavender and vanilla combo works for the rest of the world.”

*  *  *

Un Bois Vanille also solves a problem for me. I have been on a search for a wearable, vanilla-dominant fragrance, and it wasn’t until I became better acquainted with the spectrum of vanilla offerings out there (I realized there is much work to be done still) and came back around to this one, that I was finally able to see it for everything it contained, (or didn’t contain) in order to make it so welcoming and unique.

At last, I can finally rest with this one for a while before moving forward in the never ending quest for a transcendent, exceptionally well constructed vanilla fragrance. Much thanks to jtd, Fragrantica, and of course, to Serge Lutens.

Here is my original review of Un Bois Vanille, if you want to see an example of how much perception can change as our experiences continue to inform us.

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