Posts Tagged ‘Comme des Garcons’

Paul Smith Man Review

September 17, 2009

Paul Smith Man, not to be confused with Paul Smith Men (which was the first fragrance released), is the latest release from Paul Smith. The London based designer is famous for his stripy motif. The advertising was shot by Sir Smith himself, and the bottle is a basic black bottle reminiscent of Jil Sander and Comme des Garcons Luxe Patchouli.

paulsmithmanMan opens with a tiny hint of Bergamot-citrus, but is mostly dominated by Anise & Iris – the Iris is carroty, rooty and dry, and persists throughout the life of the fragrance. It feels that it is very ‘Paul Smith’ in style, and reminds me of Men and London.
Behind the Iris is a sweet and light Patchouli note, as well as a warm-dry, resinous-smokeless Incense and Violet (which is the whole plant – leaf and flower, rather than just ‘part’ of it), all appear and do not overpower. The “Spicy Accord” mentioned reminds me of Kenzo Power, with Cardamom and other notes giving a slightly sweet edge to the Violet.
The drydown is Tonka heavy, and the Iris remains present to the bitter end.
Paul Smith Man, although not wildly original (fans of Fahrenheit would probably like this), is still a departure from most mainstream releases and very pleasing, with good longevity and moderate sillage.

Top: Yuzu, Bergamot, Anise
Middle: Incense, Patchouli, Spicy Accord
Base: Orris, Violet, Tonka Bean


L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Review

March 23, 2009

L’Instant launched in 2004, a year after the feminine. It has been better received than Guerlain’s newest men’s offering, Homme. Directed by Sylvaine Delacourte – Guerlain’s Artistic Director, who claims to draw inspiration from her travels, such as her Mojito in Cuba for Homme, L’Instant was inspired by a Moroccan Pastilla. If it tastes as good as L’Instant smells, I’m off to Morocco.

linstantOpens with a sweet, sweaty, Cumin-like note with Patchouli in the background. It’s green for a few moments, until citrus appears, Lemon and Bergamot with a sprinkling of Guerlain’s famous Vanilla dust – demonstrated best in Habit Rouge and Shalimar. The citrus note is shortlived, and the Patchouli re-emerges with the sweet dust coating the leaves.
As it unfolds, it feels remarkably similar to Dior’s Midnight Poison Elixir, with it’s “foody” associations, and Prada Amber (the feminine) with it’s warm Ambery Patchouli. A smoky note hangs around for most of the heart.
A boozy feeling note appears as it heads toward the drydown, with the intoxicating Patchouli still ever-potent. It dries to a warm, musky and dirty Jasmine with Ambrette, which is sweet and animal smelling – and almost brings sweaty armpits to mind. It’s even related to Comme des Garcons 8 88 in the drydown.
L’Instant won me over from a sample, and I quickly bought a bottle.

Top: Lemon, Bergamot, Badian Crystal, Pepper, Elemi
Middle: Jasmine Petals, Mysore Sandalwood, Lapsang Tea, Bitter Cocoa Bean
Base: Hibiscus Seeds, Patchouli

Ted Baker M Review

March 15, 2009

Ted Baker is a British design house that is based on quality, attention to detail and a sense of humour. The first fragrance, Skinwear, was launched in 1998, and was followed with a string of scents. The last being a limited edition named “Skinwear 10”, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Skinwear. The next launches are M and W summer limited editions, which were available in mini form last year. M (alongside W) launched in 2002.

m1M has a citrus opening, which smells like lemon, but it’s not. It’s Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit used during bathing, and is usually cut in hot springs to scent the water. There is also a sweet Tea and Pepper note, which feels similar to Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir. There is an Ozonic, breezy feel throughout the topnotes.
The heart bears a warm, light green leafy note, over a scent like Hay, with a light fizzy Incense accord. Slightly smoky, but it’s really been given a light touch and seems as though it’s being smelled through a veil of steam. There are similarities to Odeur 71, with it’s abstract incense note, and L’eau d’Issey. The Coriander is also present, with a quiet Rose note similar to dunhill London’s.
The drydown is a powdery, soft, rooty Vetiver, with Chocolate. Which smells a lot better than it sounds. It’s surprisingly sensual and just smells great.

Top: Yuzu, Roseberry, Black Pepper
Middle: Coriander, Elemi, Gaiacwood
Base: Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Musk

YSL Elle and Elle Intense Reviews

February 1, 2009

Yves Saint Laurent is a house that offers many fantastic, interesting scents. When I first started selling perfume, I picked up the bottle of Nu and didn’t know what to make of it, but I liked something about it. Paris, the Rose-bouquet, is one of my favourite florals, Baby Doll, with it’s shot of Grenadine (which is wonderful with soda water, by the way) I think is the perfect sweet scent for young girls. And Cinéma should live on as a masterpiece. So, in anticipation of the upcoming male release ‘L’homme de la Nuit’, I take a look at the most recent feminines from the house.

I remember the first moment I sampled YSL’s Elle, before it’s release, at a training course. The colour of the bottle was the first thing to draw me in. The fuschia skyscraper hypnotized me. I sprayed it and was surprised, I wasn’t expecting it at all. What I was expecting was another sugary sweet floral. What I found instead was a bright burst of sweet Berries and fruits, with a masculine edge – Patchouli is evident right from the opening, as in Midnight Poison and Prada Amber.
ellePatchouli and Pink Pepper are prevalent in the heart. This is softened by a loud floral note, which smells similar to Stella in Two Peony. I feel that big Peony note in these two fragrances feels incredibly masculine, and as such this scent must be worn with great confidence. YSL himself was famous for putting women in a tuxedo, and I think that this is the scent equivalent. If you are looking for a peony that is girly, go for Yardley’s Peony, which is peony with musk.
The Vetiver and Patchouli drydown isn’t a million miles away from Stella, with the same odd combination of saltiness and Amber.

Top: Citron, Peony, Lychee
Middle: Pink Pepper, Rose, Freesia
Base: Patchouli, Vetiver, Ambrette

elleintenseElle Intense is recognizably related to the original, with the Berries and Patchouli hanging around. However, it’s significantly darker and dirtier. It’s great when flankers feel related to the original release, unlike Miss Dior and Miss Dior Cherie, which are polar opposites, and Euphoria Man against Euphoria Man Intense, which smell like completely different scents.
What makes Elle Intense different is a glorious smoky Incense and Ink note, that reminds me of Comme des Garcons 2. The Ink/cense note is all over the fragrance after the Raspberry note in the head evaporates.
The drydown is salty, rooty Vetiver with Ink, and an almost Banana-y note.

Top: Raspberry, Lychee
Middle: Pink Pepper, Iris, Jasmine
Base: Benzoin, Patchouli, Amber

Comme Des Garcons 2MAN Review

January 20, 2009

2Man is the most beautiful fragrance that I own. It doesn’t get me many compliments, but I wear it for it’s beauty. It’s likely that this is my Holy Grail, but I still want to keep searching and exploring. The tagline is “A worker, a man who loves his work”, I honestly can’t figure out what sort of worker this would suit. But I suppose that’s for me to ponder.

cdg2mThe opening is complex and interesting – warm and sweet, lightly spiced, earthy and woodsy with smoke. There’s a lot going on in the first few minutes, and it gives the impression of fragrant woods being burned in a fireplace.
The heart notes create a distinct image in my mind of a big aged wooden chest, that you open and get a strong ‘whiff’ from the wood. Inside the chest is where the owner keeps their Incense. This to me is the similarity that is often noted between Gucci pour Homme and CdG 2Man – except the wooden box in 2Man is made of Mahogany, rather than Cedar.
This is when the Incense is removed from the chest and is started burning. The earthy Vetiver note is still present, along with the sweet smoke. Eventually, the Vetiver disappears and the Incense extinguishes, leaving a lingering trail of the sweet incense already in the air, without the smoke now. This is the stage that I enjoy most. I’ve read many complaints about the longevity of the fragrance, but find that simply applying an extra spray to the same position increases it dramatically and I can usually still smell it at least 9 hours after applying.

Top: Cumin, Nutmeg, Kumquat, Fresh Crinkly Mint
Middle: Saffron Flowers, Vetiver Roots, Iris
Base: Mahogany, White Smoke, Incense, Leather

Comme Des Garcons 3 Review

January 19, 2009

Comme des Garcons 3 is, according to it’s advertising “an imaginary flower: the flower you want it to be, the flower in your dreams. A new rose, incandescent, electric, opalescent.” Sounds great right? I thought so too. It just surprises me that it’s not a normal floral bouquet fragrance, ala Paris.

cdg3What I smell on the opening is a strange, sweet sweaty note. The note I usually associate with sweat is Cumin, which isn’t present here according to the notes I’ve seen. It’s quite strange, but I’m pleased it doesn’t last too long. 3 smells as though it has been built on top of the spicy ‘CdG Parfum’, but with a loud enough sweet citric note that it almost blocks it out and makes it quite different.
The heart note is Cardamom with Pepper on top of a bright fuzzy Cedar and slightly balmy note. This is where the odd flower is living. It smells of flowers, but not of a particular flower. I’d like to see this imaginary flower, it seems psychedelic to me. Before it reaches the drydown, a distinctly ‘perfumey’ smell appears for a short while. It returns to the sweet flower smell, before turning into dried petals, with sweet rubber, on top of the Cedar and Gaiac.

Top: Mandarin, Magnolia Leaf, Basil, Gingko Leaf, Blackcurrant Leaf, Red Peppercorn
Middle: Angelica Root, Cardamom, Mace, Rose Oxide, Black Rose Leaf, Freesia Leaves, Jasmine Sambac, Immortelle, Grains of Paradise
Base: Cedar, Sandalwood, Gaiac, Vetiver, Patchouli, Birch Essence, Olibanum, Amber

cdghmAnother Comme des Garcons fragrance is evidently inspired by 3. The limited edition H&M which was released along with a clothing range. When first sprayed, H&M smells like “deep heat”, the stuff that you put on sports injuries, and is more tart and acidic citrus than 3, with a different rubber and gin note. The drydown is grey feeling Cedar with a tangy lemon citrus – it also brings to mind rubbery petals with pine wood. H&M is fun and if you can get a steal on it, go for it.

Top: Bergamot, Mandarin, Szwechan Pepper
Middle: Coriander, Frankincense, Juniper
Base: Cedar, Patchouli, Pine Essence, Labdanum

Comme Des Garcons 2 Review

January 17, 2009

Comme des Garcons 2 was the first fragrance I smelled that I thought was just a bit, well, odd. I bought it on the spot because I longed to understand it. As soon as I got home, and found Ink in the notes, the whole thing made sense.

cdg22 opens with a blast of nose tingling Aldehydes, not at all like the fatty aldehydes used in No5 or White Linen, with bright fruity notes. A slight sugar note lingers for a few seconds, then the smell is of a fruit cocktail – but not overly sweet like many fruity florals are. The Magnolia note is very prominent to me, too, and it smells almost feminine for a while.
The heart and base notes are basically Ink. 2 is meant to smell of ‘Sumi Ink’. If Sumi Ink smells like this, I’d like to be painted with it. But it’s definitely Inky. If you don’t think Ink has a smell, draw a big ball with a biro on some paper and sniff it. If you imagine that and add an almost Banana-y smell, you’ll have a good idea of the heart of 2.
It dries into a warm Amber, with a soft powdery quality, which is hidden behind the ink note.
Ink is probably the defining character of the fragrance. It’s all over it, as though a picture has been drawn or painted and then a bottle of ink has spilled all over the picture, wiped away, and left it’s hue all over the original picture.

Top: New Aldehydes, Mandarin, Angelica Root
Middle:  Cade, Maté Absolute, Cumin, Magnolia, Folia Absolute, Floral Notes
Base: Patchouli, Labdanum, Incense, Ink, Amber, Cedarwood, Vetiver

Comme Des Garcons Eau de Parfum Review

January 17, 2009
Eau de Parfum was the original Comme des Garcons fragrance, launched in 1994. The ad-line was “A perfume that works like a medicine and behaves like a drug.” I agree with the behaving like a drug part, I can’t stop sniffing the stuff whenever I wear it. What I love about the CdG fragrances is that they really create imagery when you smell them – many designer scents don’t, simply achieving ‘nice smells’.

cdgparfum1Eau de Parfum opens with a strong blast of sweet spices, it’s almost dry. There is also a note that smells “sticky” to me behind the spicy opening – lots of Nutmeg with Geranium, with the other spices as a background. What first struck me about the fragrance was the distinct feeling of calm it creates. It relaxes me. The image it evokes is an old Herbalist’s store, the medicines all smelling beautiful and a warm glow from the gas lamps. Imagine the smell of all the spicy things from a store like ‘Lush’, and I think you’d get an idea.
The heart of the fragrance is where the pronounced Pepper note appears – the Pepper performs for about 20 minutes, and then the scent subsides into a sweet spicy floral, reminding me of Opium (the feminine) and Obsession (the masculine). A powdery dry note is also around here.
The drydown maintains the image of spicy flowers, but here is where the Cinnamon note makes it’s presence known. It gets stronger the longer it remains on the skin. Behind the Cinnamon is honey, almost syrupy. The image that comes to mind is of an apple pie, but without the apples!
I think that there is something special about this fragrance. It really is out of the ordinary.

Top: Nutmeg, Clove, Cardamom, Cut Hay
Middle: Geranium, Cedar, Coriander, Rose, Black Pepper
Base: Labdanum, Amber, Honey, Styrax, Cinnamon Bark Oil, Sandalwood