Archive for April, 2009

Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir Review

April 14, 2009

Eau Sauvage Fraicheur Cuir is a 2007 limited edition version of the perennial best seller Eau Sauvage, formerly reviewed here. As the name suggests, it’s highlight is a ‘fresh’ Leather note. Francois Demachy, LVMH’s in-house perfumer, created the updated version of the classic, and did a fantastic job. I am not normally a fan of Leather scents, but ESFC is light enough that I think it would work for anyone.

esfcA sweet sherbet Lemon note is present in the opening, alongside the Aramis-like leather note. I say ‘Aramis-like’. It smells similar, but it’s nowhere near as heady or overpowering as Aramis can be. Another point is that Fraicheur Cuir is not as dusty in the opening as the original Eau Sauvage. It is also similar to Chanel’s Pour Monsieur, with a sweet-citrus-chypre feeling.
The Eau Sauvage-y opening fades away and creates a green Leather chypre. It’s not at all heavy or thick, rather light and bright with a softness that is hard to find the right words for. It’s warm, and certainly feels like Chanel No 19, but without the potent Iris note and the vegetal thickness.
The drydown is slightly ‘wet’ feeling, with the warm leather note being supported by a moss-y note. I think the Chypre illusion created here by synthetic molecules (read: not Oakmoss, even though it smells oakmoss-y) is very convincing and should be taken as proof that losing Oakmoss itself as an ingredient doesn’t mean the end of the Chypre family, as long as the classics are treated with care.

Top: Sicilian Lemon
Middle: Hedione, Aromatic Herbs, Cedar
Base: Chypre Accord, Ambery Leather


Paco Rabanne Ultrared and Usher UR Review

April 11, 2009

Ultrared is the summer flanker to Ultraviolet from 2008, that has been relaunched for 2009. In my opinion, Puig should launch it as a permanent addition to the line, because they’ve nailed the crowd pleasing sugar-sweet masculine fragrances with Black XS, 1 Million and now Ultrared.

ultraredThe opening is juicy. Oranges with some berry-like tanginess, which has been dusted with icing sugar in some odd-desert confection.
The fruity note moves into a light Chocolate Praline accord, which is still coated with the icing sugar, with a quiet Antaeus-esque Leather in the background, and stays that way for the rest of the day. For a summer fragrance, it has fantastic longevity.
From my description, you’d probably imagine it to be a winter fragrance, but by some marvel it’s wearable in the heat and doesn’t become overbearing or cloying.

Top: Blood Orange
Middle: Praline, Tonka Bean
Base: Vanilla, Patchouli

Usher’s second fragrance, UR, is described as fresh and aromatic. UR is very much in the style of soapy clean scents, such as Prada Amber, Infusion d’Homme et al. One thing I’ve certainly noticed about many Celebuscents is the long notes list from which nothing can actually be distinguished.

urUR opens on shower-fresh Lemon scented soap, and for the most part, stays there. This is the kind of fragrance that is meant to be used after a shower to confirm how very scrubbed clean you are. And in a clever and unexpected twist, it even smells of steam for a while.
The ‘sortof’ drydown is the Lemon-soap accord, with some Violet Leaf and a fuzzy Woody note, which could be any of the listed ‘woods’. It’s really quite a well-done fragrance and is a massive improvement on his first scent (which smelled of the Banana milkshake in Marc Jacobs Daisy but slightly woodier) even if it reminds me of the Shower scene in American Psycho.

Top: Melon, Granny Smith Apple, Sea Breeze Accord, Bergamot
Middle: Artemisia, Bay Oil, Thai Basil, Nutmeg, Violet Leaf
Base: Guaiac Wood, Cashmere Wood, Sandalwood

Men’s Summer Flankers Mini Reviews Part 1

April 10, 2009

This is the first batch of mini reviews for this years summer flankers. More to come!

vigssGivenchy Very Irresistible Summer Sorbet; Citrus, Patchouli, and Chocolate with a light Mint – like in the original Men’s fragrance. Also an odd blueberry note. And the “dirty feet” Vanilla from Gaultier2.

isseysIssey Miyake L’Eau d’Ete; Menthol with a very quiet, short lived Chocolatey note. Then to the sharp, fresh aromatic and light wood notes from L’Eau d’Issey. Worth wearing if you like the original but find it too much for summer.

cksummerCk Summer; This years stronger citrus version is Tangerine with sharp Grapefruit and a ton of Melon, then Vanilla with a citrus soapy Musk. Very bright. Very loud. Pleasant enough.

ckheatCk In2U Heat; Plastic Amber with Satsumas, to something that gives the sensation of smelling but actually doesn’t really smell at all. Bewildering. Then a light lemony accord lasts for a while before vanishing.

212iceCarolina Herrera 212 on Ice; Abrasive citrus and Citronella, the essential oil that is used as mosquito repellant. More lemon-y than the feminine on top of a thick Cedar note.

La Nuit De L’Homme and Elle Shocking Reviews

April 6, 2009

La Nuit De L’Homme is Yves Saint Laurent’s newest masculine, a permanent flanker to L’Homme. It is supposed to be a more seductive version of the original, and was created by the same perfumers. I must applaud YSL for naming Coumarin as one of the notes, at least the fragrance companies are getting braver by naming aromachemicals – Coumarin is the molecule that ‘smells’ from Tonka, and is usually synthesised in a lab.

lanuit1At first spray, you can tell it’s still related to L’Homme, with its light Orange note. It’s much more powdery, sweet and warm from the off.
The heart is soft Chocolate with a lightly spiced Cardamom, with a Lavender note somewhere in the mix, and a mishmash of floral notes – nothing leaps out, but they are present, as is a Cedar note.
The drydown is a cold metallic Iris-like dryness, with the strong powdery hay-like Tonka note and a Violet leaf smell which seems to be in everything lately.
It’s good altogether, but I won’t be investing in a bottle simply because I already have Dior Homme for the same purpose as La Nuit, and although La Nuit is louder and attention grabbing, Dior Homme is subtle and more refined.

Top: Cardamom, Bergamot, Floral Notes
Middle: Cedar, Lavender, Aromatic Notes
Base: Vetiver, Coumarin

Elle shocking is the third flanker for Elle. The previous were Elle Intense and Elle Eau Fraiche, last years summer edition. It is an Eau de Toilette concentration and is lighter than the original Eau de Parfum.

ellesThe opening is a light Citrus (must be the Mandarin) and potent berries smell (must be the Raspberry), quite sweet in comparison to the original.
The heart note of Peony is still present, giving it a semi-masculine quality, but it’s much less intense, as you’d expect.
The drydown of inky and slightly sour Vetiver note and Patchouli has been toned down. I can’t help but be reminded of Stella McCartney’s Stella and In Two fragrances when I smell Elle. “shocking” is not remotely shocking, instead a better behaved version of the original fragrance. They are certainly rushing out flankers to Elle, and the fragrance will be entirely exhausted of any possible flankers soon.

Top: Mandarin, Ginger, Peony
Middle: Freesia, Jasmine, Raspberry
Base: Musks, Patchouli, Cedar

L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Eau Extreme Review

April 1, 2009

L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Eau Extreme is the Eau de Parfum concentration of L’Instant Pour Homme, a review of which can be found here.

linstantexExtreme opens with a bright, loud boozy Anise and Chocolate accord – it could well be a chocolote liquer. The opening is quite brash and unashamed, hangs about for a while, and is very similar in style to Dior Homme Intense.
The dusty note from L’Instant and the classic Guerlain fragrances is abundant in the heart, as is a dirty Jasmine flower with Chocolate smeared on the petals.
Like L’Instant, it reminds me of Midnight Poison Elixir, but without the burned smoky caramel but instead a Chocolate fountain, into which the other ingredients have been dipped. There is an animalic note from the sweaty Patchouli and Ambrette combination, making it much darker than L’Instant. Perhaps A*Men would smell like Extreme if it didn’t have as much Tar and Coffee. Extreme is a much more delicious take on L’Instant.

Top: Citrus Crystals, Star Anise, Elemi
Middle: Neroli, Patchouli Flowers, Jasmine
Base: Cedar, Sandalwood, Lapsang Tea, Bitter Cocoa, Patchouli, Hibiscus Seeds