Posts Tagged ‘Kenzo’

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 Dear John Review

July 17, 2009

Dear John is the first BNTBTBB fragrance I smelled. A friend of mine worked for Lush, and was wearing it on Christmas Eve last year at a get together. I thought it smelled good at the time, and it piqued my interest in the line, but it took me forever to order the sampler set. The problem with ordering that sample set is that I now really love some of their scents.

Dear JohnDear John opens on Cloves with Limes. And is nothing else at first- then some Coriander appears, and it creates some much needed warmth. Some Coffee comes along, with a hint of Pine. It is green and friendly. Cool to smell, but inviting.
An almost hazelnutty Vetiver note, as well as something I read as Lavender are present for the heart, alongside a potent Anisic note. The Anise is dense and camphoraceous, and nothing like the transparent Anise from Kenzoair. The Lime is incredibly persistent, which is strange because I always expect citrus notes to evaporate rapidly, especially natural versions of them.
Dries to a powdery, but vegetal Cedar, which smells very good. There aren’t many words to describe the Cedar, in fact the only one I can think of is quality.

Notes: Coffee, Lime, Pine, Cedarwood, Coriander, Vetiver, Clove Leaf

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

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

3 Recent Feminines – Mini Reviews

January 22, 2009

Last week saw the first new releases of the year in my store. I wasn’t particularly drawn to any of the new feminines. None-the-less, I felt the need to sniff them!

brithfBritney Spears Hidden Fantasy: The flanker resembles the original in this case. It’s essentially Fantasy with the rough cotton candy note removed. A relatively polite fruity-floral of no discernable interest, aside from the fruits are more tropical smelling than sugary. Drydown is creamy and woodsy, with a fruit cocktail dessert – straight from the tin.
Top: Grapefruit Tree Blossom, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Verbena
Middle: Sambac Jasmine, Star Gazer Lillies, Clove
Base: Vanilla Bean, Amber, Jacaranda Wood, Fluid Sandalwood Accord

kyliecKylie Minogue Couture: Kylie’s releases have mostly sugary sweet messes – Showtime was a strawberry jam oddball and the less said about Sweet Darling the better. This is probably her most grown-up release so far, that said, why is someone who isn’t really a fashion designer using Couture for a name? For a brief moment in the top-notes, it smells like a slightly sweet Flower by Kenzo. Then a strange citrus note takes us into distinct “Kylie territory” – sugary floral. However this is much lighter than the other fragrances bearing her name – think icing sugar not cane sugar. Reminds me of a sweet I ate as a child, but can’t really remember what it was or when. Into the heart it feels like Insolence would smell if it had taken sleeping pills, a quiet (but louder than the rest of the fragrance) Violet-Berry-Vanilla-Musk accord. Dries into a Vanilla-Musk-Woody scent.
Top: Amarena Cherry, Lemon Flower, Violet
Middle: Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Passionflower
Base: Musk, Vanilla Sorbet, White Cedarwood

lopLacoste Love of Pink: Last years Touch of Pink flanker (Dream) smelled of cherry drop sweets. This years limited edition flanker has a very short-lived fruity topnote, which turns into a cheap-smelling sugary Musk really quickly and stays there. Wish it smelled as good as the ad looks, rather than frosted and fuzzy like the bottle.
Top: Blood Orange, Passion fruit, Citron
Middle: Pink Magnolia, Quince Blossom, Stephanotis
Base: White cedar, Musk, Vanilla

“Best of ’08” Kenzo Power Review

January 5, 2009

From 2008, my favourites are Kenzo Power and Prada’s Infusion d’Homme. Kenzo Power, launched in August 2008, is the most interesting launch of last year. Designed to be Kenzo’s Flower for men, the similarity in names is an obvious marketing ploy. It was created by the ‘nose’ behind Dior Homme, Olivier Polge – I think there is a similar accord in both Homme and Power, which I will explain later.  Also, the fact that a Floral fragrance has been designed for men is interesting as well – I enjoy floral scents, but many men don’t wan’t to smell different, and usually I sell ‘what is most popular’ more than I sell something ‘different’.
I took a lot of deliberation over whether to buy a bottle, but when I spotted a good deal on a coffret I had to snap it up. I feel that it is similar to Guerlain’s Cologne du 68 – yet Cologne du 68 is similar to many things.

kenzopowerPower opens with a delightful heady Citrus and Aromatic blast. On me it is more Citrus, on a card, more Aromatic and spicy. But there is also some hairspray weirdness on my skin for the first few seconds.
As soon as the Citrus note evaporates, it smells as though I’ve just been covered in lots of Talcum Powder for a few minutes. In the background to the talc is the ‘abstract’ floral we’ve been told is here. Slightly Rose-y and very pretty, for lack of a better word. All this time, there is a sweetness to the fragrance as well.

The heart of the fragrance continues the powdered, floral theme, but it’s sweeter than you’d expect from the notes. I definately smell Iris, the dry, powdery, slightly floral root of the Iris flower. And I feel as though I can detect Heliotrope, which also gives a powdery quality to the fragrance – try Ghost Sweetheart (on a card) to see what I mean. The sweet note is either Ambrette or Tolu, which is slightly vanillic. Also, there is something of Orange here, which could be coming from the Freesia, the slightly orange and jasmine scented flower. It smells more of Orange on the card than on me, though. And I must mention the sugar-coated Violet note that also seems to appear here. It’s like the Violet sweets but with a lot more sugar on, a quieter version of the pronounced Violet note in Guerlain’s Insolence. All the while, Power manages to radiate and cheer me up. It’s quite a happy fragrance.

As we reach the basenotes, the ambery, almost incense-like Labdanum appears, bringing incredible warmth to the fragrance. In this classic, dry Cedar wood base is where I believe Polge has hidden his Dior Homme accord, a light Leather, Iris and Cocoa trail seems to live here in the basenotes. I hope to find this in more of his fragrances, as it’s very appealing to me.

Top: Bergamot, Coriander, Cardamom
Middle: Jasmine, Freesia, Rose
Base: Tolu Balsam, Cedar, Labdanum