Posts Tagged ‘Chanel’

A Scent by Issey Miyake Review

September 20, 2009

A Scent by Issey Miyake is the latest feminine launch from Issey Miyake, whose last main successful fragrance launched 17 years ago. Over on the ‘A Scent’ website, you can watch a video interview with Daphné Bugey, who mentions that she chose to use a ‘forgotten’ ingredient, that has been extracted with a new modern technique.

a scentA Scent opens with a light citrus note, possibly from the listed Verbena, and a whole lot of green. Green has been a theme of this years feminine launches, with Cristalle Eau Verte and Versace Versense, as well as Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau, and Bvlgari Green Jade all spearheading the trend throughout the year.
Galbanum quickly takes the lead and heads centre stage. This Galbanum is dry, soft, slightly moss like and grassy. The inclusion of Galbanum in a fragrance is very interesting as it seemed to have fallen out of favour with the perfume buying public, and although mentioned in many notes pyramids recently it hasn’t really been as potent as here. Good examples of Galbanum in fragrance are Chanel’s No19, Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit and Estée Lauder’s Private Collection.
Although not particularly harsh, it is softened by light floral accents, with super clean Jasmine beside the Galbanum. There isn’t much of a drydown to speak of, but the fragrance is transparent throughout and not as thick as many green scents have been. A Scent is very different to what the perfume market is used to (fruity-floral) and has been very polarising with customers. Maybe Issey Miyake will be at the front of the new trend in fragrance, as he was with L’Eau D’Issey.

Top: Verbena, Fresh Notes
Middle: Galbanum, Hyacinth
Base: Jasmine, Woods

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Hermes Eau D’Orange Verte Review

June 7, 2009

Over at Basenotes, it was a Citrus themed Sniff n Speak Saturday. I took the opportunity to wear and review Hermes classic Eau de Cologne, created in 1979.

Eau D'Orange VerteAt first it smells like peeling an Orange, for a couple of seconds, and then there is another shortlived Orange juice note. Citronella features prominently in the topnotes, with what smells like Lemon, and a little bit of Lime as well.
Some kind of Mango sorbet comes centre stage for the heart of the fragrance, still with hints of the citrus, and the Oakmoss from the base showing through.
The drydown is soft, smoky, green Oakmoss – and not much else. The greatest thing about EdOV is that it is so bright and cheerful. The unfortunate thing is that it’s over so quickly, but that is the nature of an EdC, and nothing should stop you reapplying it.

Top: Orange, Mandarin, Lemon, Orange Blossom
Middle: Mint, Papaya, Mango
Base: Patchouli, Oakmoss

Diesel Only The Brave Review

May 25, 2009

Only The Brave is Diesel’s newest offering, and is their second main Masculine release. The fragrance was developed by 3 perfumers at IFF – Aliénor Massenet, Pierre Wargnye, and Olivier Polge. Polge is adept at making scents that smell better on skin than they do on card – Only The Brave needs to be tested on the skin.

onlythebraveThe opening is fresh: Lemon, sea breeze and Calone. Lasts for roughly 20 seconds and instantly forgettable. Which is good, because it isn’t remotely related to the rest of the fragrance. On a card, the top note remains for an age – and smells like any generic aquatic. On skin, it comes to life.
The heart is the most impressive part of the fragrance. The “freshness” recedes into a sweet and powdery Chocolate and Praline, with hints of Ambrette. It reminds me of Dior Homme Intense, from the Chocolate, and Paco Rabanne Ultrared, with it’s Icing Sugar and Orange notes, all underneath a light ozone-like note. Almost like a combination of Allure Homme Sport and Ultrared. A slightly smoky note hangs around, at the ‘edges’ of the fragrance, and eventually decides that it won’t come onto the stage, so that the momentary hairspray Violet note from Kenzo Power can appear.
The ‘drydown’, if you can call it that, is the combination of sweetness, Vanilla, Icing Sugar coated Amber notes with a hint of Patchouli, and feels somewhat similar to Guerlain’s L’Instant pour Homme.
Even though it’s a case of “smelled it all before”, it’s still quite a novel combination and is easily wearable for summer.

Top: Lemon, Mandarin
Middle: Cedar, Coriander, Violet
Base: Amber, Styrax, Labdanum

Cristalle Eau Verte Review

May 13, 2009

Cristalle Eau Verte is Chanel’s latest offering, and is a modernized update of the 1974 classic created by Henri Robert. It is designed as a luminously fresh fragrance, and is meant to evoke “the exhilaration of refreshing summer rain at the close of a gorgeous sunny day”. I’m not sure that it smells particularly of rain or summery. Many other reviews have cited that it doesn’t seem at all related to the original fragrance – and I can only agree. The EdT is very mossy. The EdP is thick and heady. Eau Verte is light and breezy.

cristallThe opening is a bright, bitter and sweet Lime, much like Guerlain Homme, with a shot of Anise, which is present for mere seconds and creates a more bitter tone for the duration. Up top is also a high dose of Citronella, which adds to the freshness. It feels incredibly green, and the Lime plays on this.
In my opinion, it is somewhat similar to Chance Eau Fraiche, and is also similar in style to the recent J’Adore L’eau, with it’s combination of creamy Magnolia and citrus notes, and Versace’s Versense, which feels green and has a potent Citronella note too.
The heart hides a light white-floral mixture of Jasmine, which has a little bit of skank, and is hard to smell behind the verdant greenery. There is also some kind of effect that reminds me of the darkness in Gucci by Gucci.
The drydown is a skin-soft, very light and creamy Jasmine, lacking any punch or much of a trail, but it’s very pleasant and it seems like Chanel are onto a winner. The scent is completely genderless, and unless you are put off by floral notes it is completely wearable by a guy.

Top: Lemon, Bergamot
Middle: Magnolia, Neroli
Base: Jasmine, Musky-Iris Accord

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

Guerlain Vetiver Review

March 9, 2009

Guerlain’s Vetiver was originally created in 1959, and was relaunched in 2000. This review is of the relaunched (and apparently reformulated) version. There is a great deal of fuss created over the ‘vintage’ scent, but as I’ve never smelled it and love the current version, I don’t think I’m missing out. Vetiver is a staple to many men’s wardrobe, and is used by many women too.

vetiverVetiver is tough, bitter, astringent and woodsy through a floral and citrus opening. Clean and green, with a slightly soapy feeling, but at the same time earthy and dirty.
The soap feeling is gentlemanly, and not girly, as in it’s not related to an aldehydic scented soap like No 5, I think it’s the combination of Neroli and Vetiver that create this image of ‘man soap’ – the same effect is present in Zara’s much less complex Vetiver.
The heart has a spicy edge which is similar to Yatagan, but this is softened by the green feeling which is maintained throughout the life of the fragrance. The Cedar and Sandalwood create warm and comforting feeling.
It dries down to an earthy, dirty, Hay-like Tobacco and Vetiver base, which is slightly honeyed but not at all sweet, and the Pepper note creates a spiciness. The Nutmeg is present, but only just, the grassy Vetiver note is what is meant to shine throughout the fragrance and Jean-Paul Guerlain did a fantastic job keeping the focus on it.

Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Coriander
Middle: Vetiver, Cedar, Clary Sage, Carnation, Sandalwood
Base: Tobacco, Nutmeg, Pepper, Tonka Bean, Capsicum

Kenzo Tokyo Review

March 6, 2009

Kenzo’s masculines are always intriguing and at least , but they’ve never fared particularly well on the shelves in store. Pour Homme, L’eau Par, Air, all gone not long after appearing on shelf. Tokyo never even made it to my store, but lucky for me it was around in the local department stores. Tokyo was surprisingly inspired by the Japanese capital and it’s neon brightness.

tokyoTokyo opens with a citrus note that lasts for a fleeting moment, grapefruit with orange. As soon as that disappears, a sharp Licorice accord, which brings to mind Yohji Homme and Egoiste, is the main player. It is warmed by a small dose of Ginger. I find the spice notes very prominent.
The heart smells incredibly thick and dark, like a shadow of a huge tree hangs over it. At the same time, there is a light and bright feeling maintained throughout. This juxtaposition holds my interest every time. There is a pink pepper note, which I love in YSL’s Elle, and there is a Mint and an Anisic note – this could be ‘Shiso’, a Japanese plant that is a member of the mint family and apparently reminiscent of Fennel, which itself smells like Aniseed.
The drydown is creamy and woody, soft but thick, due to Gaiac, and still shadowy, with a Chocolate and crystallized Ginger accord hidden in the shadows.

Top: Grapefruit, Lemon, Bitter Orange, Ginger
Middle: Green Tea, Shiso, Maté, Pink Pepper
Base: Cedar, Clove, Nutmeg, Gaiac Wood

Allure Homme Edition Blanche Review

February 28, 2009

Allure Homme Edition Blanche is the newest masculine offering from Chanel. The review also marks the end of the series of Chanel reviews. It’s my favourite “version” of Allure, because it reminds me of other fragrances I like.

editionblancheThe opening is a bright citrus accord – it smells quite high quality, compared to Allure Homme Sport Cologne or Givenchy Play, which have a plastic synthetic feel. Bergamot, Lemon, and Grapefruit, quite sharp and juicy. The Lemon does smell like Lemons, rather than cleaning products. Most recent fresh scents have a citrus note that continues for the duration of the fragrance, and I’m glad to say that it doesn’t last for hours in Edition Blanche.
The heart develops into a green Fig tree and leafy accord, very similar to Dune for men, but Chanel does it better. It feels really “wet”. There is also a similar feel to YSL’s L’homme with it’s softly spiced Pepper-Ginger-Cedar accord. And a slightly powdery, floral feeling note.
Dries down to a sweet Tonka and Vanilla, with a similar woody feel to the original Allure.

Top: Lemon, Bergamot
Middle: White Pepper, Pink Pepper, Ginger, Cedar
Base: Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, White Musks

Allure Homme Sport and Cologne Sport Reviews

February 27, 2009

Allure Homme Sport, released in 2004, was the first flanker to Allure Homme. Chanel must have felt the need to have a fresh aquatic like every other masculine house, I suppose they want cash too!

alllurehommesportA citric (read acidic smelling citrus) blast erupts from the bottle and smells like a mix of everything citrus scented on the planet at once. Like every single citrus oil has been used. It really feels tingly. Still, it smells better than any of the Boss fragrances to me. AHS is also metallic and musky at the beginning.
I’ll be honest and say I never wanted to put it on my skin, I’ve been put off by it on a card too many times. But when I did, I was pleasantly surprised, the softly peppered and earthy Vetiver and Neroli is quite pleasant. There is plenty of Mandarin, too.
The base is a warm Tonka contrasted by a sharp Musk. A similar musk note is used in hundreds of masculine fragrances, it smells acidic, bitter and sour, and the earthy smell from the heart makes way for the Vetiver to turn salty and give a real aquatic feel.

Top: Aldehydes, Mandarin, Orange
Middle: Neroli, Black Pepper, Cedar
Base: Vetiver, Tonka, White Musks, Amber

Allure Homme Sport Cologne Sport is a flanker to the flanker, released in 2007. I find it funny when there are flankers of flankers and fragrances become less related to the original and more directed at the lowest common denominator.

alllurehommesportcAs an Eau de Cologne, you don’t expect much strength or tenacity. A soft citrus is about it. With Cologne Sport you get buckets and buckets of sharp Lemons. Like some strange kind of lemon made of plastic, that still smells of lemon. And any lemon scented bathroom cleaner. It doesn’t go anywhere or do anything apart from lemons. Surprisingly long lasting for an EdC – if you want to smell of lemons, buy this. “Awakens and invigorates” says Chanel. “BANG and the dirt is gone!” says Barry Scott of Cillit Bang.

Top: Mandarin, Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot
Middle: Elemi, Spicy Note
Base: Cedar, White Musks