Tag Archives: spicy citrus fragrance

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

Jo Malone Grapefruit

27 Mar

Grapefruit is the perfect “morning” scent. It is dressed to the nines, briefcase in hand, checking the time and out the door to work. Look out, world… It’s Grapefruit!!!

Um…okay.

This is one of the most masculine-leaning grapefruits I have experienced so far. That said, it is still totally unisex to me. The dry spice and transparent earthiness make it feel like a light, refreshing face tonic.

I could see Grapefruit layering beautifully or working as a light everyday office scent (provided that you enjoy grapefruit of course). It does not project very far, so that’s also good for the office depending on where you work, and it’s longevity is great for a JM.

Grapefruit stands out to me because unlike other masculine/unisex citrus oriented scents on the market today, JM shows us a natural-smelling rendition of notes and their relationships. It’s not overly-simplistic but it also doesn’t smell abstract or synthetic.

My overall impression is  signature Jo Malone. I can immediately detect the way in which Grapefruit is a cousin to Lime Basil & Mandarin, as well as Amber & Lavender. This ability to create distinct scents while maintaining a signature feeling throughout is to me, a sign of a strong identity and consistent quality.

The person who wears this by itself is not interested in a scent that evolves and transforms dramatically over time. This is just a pretty compliment to the skin. True to life citrus, a hint of pepper and some aromatic herbs.

If you feel “out of it” this will wake you right up, and lift your spirits. Good morning! Now get out there and make us all proud.

Brooks Brothers New York Gentleman

21 Feb

Brooks Brothers was generous enough to accommodate me with a small bottle of New York Gentleman, the masculine counterpart to New York for Ladies. NYG has the peppery opening of a 40 watt light bulb (powered by true to life verbena and bergamot), which gradually dims down to a comforting green glow stick, emitting a trace of warmth from spice and vetiver. At one point, it feels like it almost wants to turn aquatic, but veers away just in time. Whew…

The citrus is front and center in this fragrance and has the same exact bone structure and fashion sense as someone you used to know but can’t quite place. It reminds me of the vetiver/rosemary dynamic in Jo Malone’s Grapefruit, and the dry down reminds me of L’Eau de L’Artisan, due to that verbena-woody moss combo, which is much cleaner in NYG, and mustier/melancholy in L’Eau de L’Artisan.

Jo Malone’s Grapefruit and L’Eau de L’Artisan both don’t sit quite right on me. The Grapefruit in JM seems at odds with the spice/rosemary and vetiver as if the grapefruit had been scribbled over with a pen that only pulls ink some of the time, and not when you want it to.
The verbena/herbs in L’Artisan remind me of visiting an empty band shell in Central Park when everything is shrouded in mist.I don’t get the uplifting feeling from it that so many seem to experience.

New York Gentleman on the other hand, is a steady, uncompromised, herbal-citrus glow. It is dry and fresh without being sharp or aftershave-like, and more masculine and complex than L’Occitane’s Verbena due to the vetiver.

It’s in the same family as JM Grapefruit and L’Eau de L’Artisan, but this uncannily familiar and understated fragrance succeeds for me where the other two failed: it sits just right. It is by no means groundbreaking, but who cares? Apply it, enjoy it, and get on with your day.

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