Posts Tagged ‘Dior’

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

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

BNTBTBB Dirty Review

July 24, 2009

Dirty is apparently inspired by the phenomenon of an “Italian shower”, otherwise known as using deodorant instead washing. It explains why the fragrance smells so clean. The picture is actually of the matching body spray, but I thought it was too entertaining not to use.

DirtyA highly mentholated Mint and Lemon are the top notes. Surprisingly minty-fresh, it’s the Spearmint smell of Wrigley’s chewing gum, except toned down a lot. Also present is the same Oakmoss dustiness as Eau Sauvage.
It warms into an aromatic, light Lavender with herbal notes and the mint still present. It’s not toothpasty, as you would expect from the top, but it’s a fantastic solid Lavender fougere without any aquatic notes. On a card, it is more anisic than it is on skin, and could fool you into thinking it was a replacement for Yohji Homme.
The soft quiet Sandalwood drydown is acres more complex than the synthetics you normally smell in mainstream designer fragrances. It reminds me of warm bark. The problem I have with Dirty is that it doesn’t smell unclean or dirty. I want my fragrances dirty, not the man!

Notes: Spearmint, Tarragon, Sandalwood, Lavender, Neroli, Thyme, Oakmoss

Dior Dune pour Homme Review

July 6, 2009

Saturday was the Green Sniff n Speak day over at Basenotes. I took the opportunity to revisit one of my favourite summer scents, Dior’s fantastic Dune pour Homme, first launched in 1997.

Dune pour HommeDune opens on sharp Bergamot, and wet green leaves. It’s like leaves that still have raindrops on them. The sharpness is left behind quickly, and it becomes smooth.
There is a distinct Fig note in the heart, creamy and milky (like when you cut a leaf open and the milky looking liquid comes out) and rich, as well as perfectly ripe – just taken off the tree. The Fig is surrounded by an aquatic, watery feeling note – the effect Hedione helps creates in fragrances.
The verdant “green-ness” is maintained throughout the fragrance, is somewhat tart and reminds me of Rhubarb leaves.
The aquatic note recedes for the drydown and Dune is left as a soft, fuzzy and comfy Cedarwood and Tonka combination, which although not innovative, is very pleasant and enjoyable

Top: Fig Leaves, Basil Leaves, Blackcurrant Leaves, Mandarin
Middle: Hedione, Rose, Moss, Sage
Base: Fig Tree, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

Guerlain Cologne du 68 Review

June 20, 2009

Cologne du 68 was launched in 2006, it takes it’s name from 68 Champs-Elysées, Guerlain’s Paris address. Taking inspiration from the address, perfumer Sophia Labbé decided to base it around 68 different notes. It could be a confused mess, but thankfully it is a masterful composition that suggests hints of several Guerlain creations. It became widely available last year at Guerlain counters.

Cologne du 6868 opens with a lush citrus mixture, Tangerine and Clementine are the standouts, with Lemon. It is powdery, mossy, reminiscent of Praline, and simultaneously warm and cold. 68 is inviting and intoxicating, and makes you want to keep sniffing to see where it goes – which is every which way. Most important to note about 68 is that it is powdery. If you are not a fan of powder, it is probably not for you.
Sweet and (shock) powdery Heliotrope, Violet, Berries and Iris (a cold Iris, like Dior Homme) remind of L’Heure Bleue, as well as the more recent My Insolence and the hints of spice create a sweetness that is familiar to me from Kenzo Power. The Vanilla that Guerlain became famous for is present for most of the duration of the fragrance. Sometimes, there is a green, watery vegetable like note, which reminds me of cutting peppers/Capsicum. On other occasions, there is a prominent Tonka with Violet, Iris and a truffle or mushroom note, surrounded by lightly Anisic Almond Blossom, as well as Neroli.
Cologne du 68 doesn’t settle anywhere too long, except it’s Praline centric drydown, which is supported by the light resins. Yet it remains lightly powdery at all times.
It’s ideal as a summer cologne if you are looking for something with more depth than a traditional Eau de Cologne, like the classic 4711.

Notes (taken from the bottle): Bergamot, Green Tangerine, Lemon, Clementine, Cedrat, Orange, Blood Orange, Lime, Grapefruit Leaf, Basil, Fennel, Star Anise, Lavender, Bay Laurel, Cypress, Elemi, Thyme, Myrtle, Bigarade Petitgrain, Tangerine Petitgrain, Lemon Tree Petitgrain, Pear, Violet Leaf, Ivy Leaf, Gentian, Sap, Blackcurrant, Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Hazelnut Leaf, Cyclamen, Cardamom, Coriander, Black Pepper, Pink Peppercorn, Nutmeg, Ginger, Frangipani, Magnolia Flower, Orange Blossom, Peony, Rose, Carnation, Ylang-Ylang, Lychee, Fig, Blackberry, Immortelle, Mastic, Opoponax, Amber, Benzoin, Vanilla, Cistus Labdanum, Heliotrope, Iris, Tonka, Sage, Musk, Patchouli, Agarwood, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Vegetal musk, Praline, Myrrh, Lichen

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

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