Ineke Sweet William

I was wowed into trying Sweet William from seeing its packaging. There are two things I can’t resist (okay, there’s actually¬† a lot of things I can resist, but these are the two I can think of right now) 1) perfume, 2) books. You slap those two things together and you might as well just take my money right now.

Sweet William

Sweet William

In Bottle: Sweet William opens with a sweet and spicy peach with a smooth application of clove.

Applied: The fragrance goes on so light and sweet and pretty that I feel like putting on a flowery dress and frolicking in some random fields. The peach is so uncandy-like (thank goodness!) that it almost verges on a spicy orange opening. Sweet William is girly with a dose of spice to make sure it’s not all silliness and has a little bit of sophistication as well. The mid-stage is a sweet carnation with a soft beautifully done sandalwood and vanilla waft. Its dry down marks no sharp notes, no stray and misused cedar or patchouli at all. It’s a lovely, soft, warm spicy woods. Just lovely!

Extra: Sweet William by Ineke is a part of a limited edition collection of scents called Floral Curiosities. The packaging is adorable, and I was delighted to find that the sampler collection comes in what appears to be a book.

Design: The bottle itself is fairly similar to other Ineke 75mls, packaged in a lovely box and looking very nice. I have to shamefully admit that I would rather get the travel spray just because it’s packaged in another adorable book box. I’m a little obsessed with this packaging, you see.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spicy Floral

Notes: Peach, cinnamon, clove, carnation, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, vanilla.

At the time of this writing, I haven’t yet tried the other fragrances that come with the sampler (I highly recommend giving this a try, especially if you’re looking for something outside of the standard department store fare for someone extra special), but I’m already delighted enough with Sweet William that I wonder what the others will be like. If nothing else, the beautifully done Sweet William has my vote.

Reviewed in This Post: Sweet William, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


Tom Ford Tobacco Oud

When Tom Ford dropped a tobacco oud fragrance, I dug it, having decided that I had enough of my clean, light fragrances and was going to go for something dark.

Tobacco Oud

Tobacco Oud

In Bottle: Resinous and spice with a woody opening with a heady alcohol waft that opens rather powerfully.

Applied: Like I said above, the initial application is very strong and heady. It smells of sweet resins, woods and spice. It makes me think of whiskey and while I’d like to get the tobacco oud, the strength of the other notes in the opening doesn’t quite allow for that. And as it turns out, tobacco oud is somewhat lacking in oud. It actually smells quite smooth, like a very good resin but is it a good oud? I can’t, personally, detect any of that. I get more spicy ambers than anything else and upon dry down I get the sandalwood and a very nice smokiness but still not all that much oud unless the amber I keep smelling is supposed to be a stand in for that. Tobacco Oud is actually not bad–actually, bad is probably not one of the words I’d use for this. I quite like it. I like the amber, I like the smoky incense, I even like the big, powerful opening. It’s got a nice, strong initial presence a good middle ground personality and a pretty delightful dry down with the smoky sandalwood with that touch of amber. But it wasn’t the dark, powerful scent that I was expecting and hoping for.

Extra: Tobacco Oud was released in 2013. Interestingly enough and maybe I was a little swayed by the notes list was that it lists whiskey as one of the ingredients. Fascinating addition, though I never cared much for whiskey myself. I’m more a rum kind of gal.

Design: Fairly similar design to many other Tom Ford fragrances out there. Nice shape, very classic. Easy to own and display if you’re into that kind of thing. Not too special or flashy or different from other Tom Fords. Good and reliable are probably two words I’d use for this design.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spice

Notes: Oud, tobacco, sandalwood, patchouli, spices, whiskey.

So now I know that Tobacco Oud is probably not the kick I wanted out of a fragrance. Any recommendations for some really dark and smoky ouds? I have a hankering for one.

Reviewed in This Post: Tobacco Oud, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


M. Micallef Aoud

M. Micallef’s Aoud is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and I got a hold of a little deluxe sample courtesy of Jeffrey Dame from Hypoluxe.

Aoud

Aoud

In Bottle: Fresh, woodsy with a little bit of sweetness. Masculine, but not so overtop masculine that a woman wouldn’t enjoy wearing this.

Applied: The aoud lends a very nice, mellow and well-rounded golden type of scent to the fragrance and it’s the aoud that really carries the rest of the scent. Layered beneath the aoud is a fabulous spicy incense that drifts around the heart notes in delicate little veils of lightness. At the bottom is a soft patchouli and a sweet coat of honey. I think what really ultimately what makes Micallef’s Aoud so awesome, it’s the fact that it’s a masculine scent but it doesn’t throw it in your face. It’s slow, complex and subtle but extremely effective and completely wearable.

Extra: Aoud was originally released in 2003 and is described as a masculine oriental woodsy fragrance.

Design: Aoud’s bottling harkens to a bit more familiar territory with me as its style is what I saw first years ago from Micallef and it’s what I identify their packaging with the post. It’s a lovely circle bottle with a touch of modern and plenty of style.

Fragrance Family: Oriental Woodsy

Notes: Rose, aoud, sandalwood, cinnamon, saffron, clove, patchouli.

I really quite like Aoud, and I’ve had a few that were quite strong and quite classical and Micallef’s Aoud hits that sweet spot with me where I can enjoy a strong note, but would really like it toned down sometimes.

Reviewed in This Post: Aoud, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin

Getting stuffed up and being unable to smell any fragrances due to allergies is no fun. And during that time, I kept trying to get fleeting sniffs of La Fille de Berlin in the hopes that my sense of smell had come back. Finally, I can say today that I can–indeed–smell with no allergy yuckiness getting in the way.

La Fille de Berlin

La Fille de Berlin

In Bottle: Peppery, dusty rose with a hint of dirt, like someone dropped a bouquet of very aromatic roses in a mud puddle.

Applied: I know the above description doesn’t make it sound too great, but it’s actually a rather fascinating experience. I get a lot of pepper from this and rose tends to amplify in my nose anyway. So La Fille de Berlin feels like two strong notes or rose and pepper battling it out with each other and I have to say, I think the rose is winning. The scent changes very little from my first impression of it, to the midstage where as I wait a while and start to pay attention to it, the musk or as I like to call it, “that muddy smell” comes up a bit more. La Fille de Berlin is certainly an interesting trip, I was delighted when my sense of smell started to clear past the rose and I could get a bit of something else, but I wouldn’t say this fragrance appealed to me.

Extra: La Fille de Berlin was released in 2013, and translated into English means, “The Girl from Berlin”.

Design: Designed similarly to most other Serge Lutens bottles, the packaging is beautiful, simple and elegant. I have always been a fan of the Serge Lutens’ packaging looks.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Rose, violet, pepper, musk.

The rose and peppery kick aren’t really what I’m after so I feel fairly neutral to this in that I don’t love it or dislike it. I had been intrigued by mostly the name without having read about any of its notes.

Reviewed in This Post: La Fille de Berlin, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


Floris Santal

Santal, like with most men’s fragrance samplers, fell into my lap through some exchanges or trades. Its little glass vial sat pretty much untouched since I received it due to its unspectacular name. But like books, you really shouldn’t judge a fragrance by its cover–sometimes.

Santal

Santal

In Bottle: Soft gentle spice with a sandalwood heart.

Applied: Bergamot with a lemony friend in the opening. The spices roll in quickly, but very elegantly. It’s a gentle spice, like a nice little dusting of cardamom and nutmeg and clove on top of your cup of tea or coffee. It smells light, doesn’t come on too strong and imparts this sense of confidence without being loud and obnoxious about it. This smells like a refined gentleman with a nice sandalwood upon entering the latter midstage. The dry down is marked with a warm, light spice and heavier dose of woods. Santal is not young smelling. It’s not the aqua deluge of modern mens fragrance. It smells more classical and has a nice, subdued sophistication to it.

Extra: Santal was released in 2002 and is still available today in an EDT concentration, bar of soap, aftershave, shower gel, or shaving balm.

Design: Looks nice enough. The Floris label is really the focal point of this design with a nice classical air about it. The bottle itself is unassuming with an easy to hold design and subdued but mildly flashy gold detailing.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spicy

Notes: Bergamot, pepper, cardamom, grass, lemon, nutmeg, clove, lavender, amber, cedar, sandalwood, olibanum, vetiver, vanilla, musk.

Some scents never cease to surprise me. I ended up liking Santal quite a bit.

Reviewed in This Post: Santal, 2011, Eau de Toilette.


Roger & Gallet Oeillet Bleu

Much thanks to Deb at LuvParfum for a sample of Roger & Gallet’s Oeillet Bleu. My obsession with vintage fragrances hits a peak every time I visit her website. I really don’t know what’s stopping me from buying everything in sight.

In Bottle: Unmistakably vintage with a spicy floral opening. I get carnation in a big way, in the sort of way you don’t get these days because big carnation like this could scare off those faint of heart.

Applied: Spicy carnation. Lots of floral and plenty of clove to leaven it. This is green but makes me think of oranges and reds instead. I guess I needed a color that embodied the heat and passion that I get when I smell this.¬†Oeillet Bleu is vibrant even after all these years and has a beautiful leathery vanilla base that complements it painfully well. I wasn’t sure if I would continue to like the leather in this, but it proved me wrong. Oeillet Bleu is something of a soliflore. I don’t get much else outside of carnation and the buttery base, but it’s one of the best carnations I’ve ever experienced. It’s also one of the most convincing and long lasting.

Extra: Released in the late 1930s, Oeillet Bleu or Blue Carnation was a major hit for Roger & Gallet. I’m not sure when they decided to take it off the markets, but it was truly a sad day and I haven’t smelled a carnation quite as pure as this yet.

Design: Oeillet Bleu came in a few forms, the one I kept seeing was a somewhat unassuming ribbed glass flacon with a blue cap and matching blue label with the house name and fragrance name on it. Its designs are all perfectly beautiful in the classic way. It definitely reminds me of an era long gone.

Fragrance Family: Soliflore

Notes: Carnation, clove, vanilla, leather.

It needs to be said that things are truly unfair when some of the finest smelling fragrances are discontinued. Ah well, happy Valentine’s Day!

Reviewed in This Post: Oeillet Bleu, ~1950, Eau de Toilette.


Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Up until about a year ago, and thanks to a friend with an Etsy shop, I wouldn’t have known what a black tourmaline was. Olivier Durbano apparently has a gemstone inspired line of fragrances of which Black Tourmaline is a member of.

Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline

In Bottle: Dark, smoky with a lather of leather and woods. Very dry and reminiscent of fallen autumn leaves and incense.

Applied: A bit of spice that darkens the instant the leather and oud rolls in. There’s a heady incense note that takes over after the initial spray and makes me think of leaves and autumn with its spicy, smoky woodsiness. The leather is well-behaved, it adds a bit of complexity to the fragrance without distracting from the rest of it. I get mostly incense with a bit of spice and plenty of woods. Very lovely, very complex and things get better as the scent continues to dry down as it takes on a warm mossy bit that adds to its spice and incense.

Extra: Tourmaline is this beautiful semi-precious stone that comes in a wide variety of colors. There’s some spiritual and healing properties that some people affix to it, but I prefer to look at it in a strictly scientific sense. Black Tourmaline, the fragrance was released in 2007 and is still available today on Luckyscent.

Design: A tall, square bottle. Not the easiest to hold or use, but not the worst, by far. Its simple design wins some major points from me as does the beautiful (and appropriate) color of the juice. Nice overall presentation.

Fragrance Family: Spicy Woodsy

Notes: Cardamom, coriander, cumin, frankincense, pepper, oud, leather, woods, musk, amber, moss, patchouli.

Strangely enough, I had been harboring some hidden love of rocks and gemstones that Black Tourmaline has resparked. As if the gardening I had taken up in my off hours wasn’t distracting enough.

Reviewed in This Post: Black Tourmaline, 2008, Eau de Parfum.


Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb

Considering the complete lack of flowers in Viktor & Rolf’s very popular, Flowerbomb, I had to try out Spicebomb to see if it lived up to its name.

Spicebomb

Spicebomb

In Bottle: In short, no, this isn’t a spice bomb. It’s rather pleasant though, sweet and warm with a hint of spiciness.

Applied: Initial spray of bergamot that settles into a sweet cinnamon candy scent that makes me think Spicebomb is taking the same “bomb” approach as Flowerbomb. Which also leads me to think Viktor & Rolf’s idea of a bang is something sugary. The fragrance ages into a more mature spice as I keep wearing it, but it never shakes the sweetness that it gathers in the top notes. The scent takes on a stronger cinnamon and peppery scent as it flows into its end stage with a wilting smoky tobacco scent and a bit of synthetic-smelling leather. Over all, I’m not all that impressed, but the longevity was fairly good, giving me a decent ten hours of wear.

Extra: If you were wondering what the elemi note listed below is, it is a resin from a tree. I didn’t get much resin from this.

Design: The shape is somewhat reminiscent of Flowerbomb, given more angles and straight edges to appeal to a more masculine audience, I guess. I don’t really like it and think this particular depiction is a bit lame. Sorry, Viktor & Rolf.

Fragrance Family: Spicy Leather

Notes: Bergamot, grapefruit, pink pepper, elemi, saffron, cinnamon, pepper, paprika, vetiver, tobacco, leather.

Spicebomb failed to impress me in numerous ways. The fact that it started out sweet and reminded me of a more gourmand Flowerbomb didn’t really help matters either.

Reviewed in This Post: Spicebomb, 2012, Eau de Toilette.


Cartier Declaration for Men

Happy New Year! I am back with a Cartier. I was thinking of doing a more unique fragrance as the first for 2013, but after humming and hawing over what that fragrance may be, I decided a Jean-Claude Ellena designed Cartier would have to do. That Smell will be back to normal next week.

Declaration for Men

Declaration for Men

In Bottle: Citrus, sharp orange, no sweetness–but very bitter with an earthy quality and a spicy kick.

Applied: Bitter orange with a blend of birch in the background. I get some spices upfront too and an almost animalic quality that I’m assuming is coming from an ambery leather combination. There’s definitely something that smells a bit “off” about this, but it’s “off” on purpose, like Declaration is trying to tell me to like it or leave it. Anyway, as the scent ages, it gains more woodsiness, takes on a floral bouquet with warm leather and that constant off smell in the background as the spices roll in. It took a long time for Declaration to get anywhere, it has fantastic longevity and projection so if you want something that will stick around all day and don’t mind occasionally getting a whiff of faint uncleanliness then this might be up your alley. As the scent dries down, I get more spices, more vetiver and a smooth leather that rounds things out very nicely.

Extra: Declaration has quite the lengthy list of notes and the complexity it boasts is no surprise for how much stuff is jammed into it. It smells of sophistication and good taste, but at the same time, it warns the fainthearted off with what people call the “sweaty armpit” undercurrent that runs through this scent. Whatever it is, those who brave it might come to love it.

Design: Declaration has a nice enough look. Simple in general with a bit more attention paid to its cap. It’s easy to hold, pleasing to look at with no garish bone on its body.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spicy

Notes: Artemisia, caraway, coriander, birch, mandarin orange, bergamot, neroli, bitter orange, iris, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, juniper, orris root, jasmine, cardamom, leather, amber, tea, vetiver, oakmoss, cedar.

I don’t relish much on the off smell in this. If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll note that I tend massively toward the clean so Declaration was a bit of a surprise for me. I appreciate it on the complexity level, but I think I’ll pass.

Reviewed in This Post: Declaration for Men, 2012, Eau de Toilette.


Illuminum Wild Tobacco

I was in the mood for something a little heavier today and picked Wild Tobacco out of the samplers of Illuminum. So far the line has offered bright, clean fragrances and I was hoping Wild Tobacco would shift things in a different direction.

Wild Tobacco

Wild Tobacco

In Bottle: Smoky dense, tobacco with a touch of warm clove.

Applied: Looking at the notes, I had expected something sweeter. What Wild Tobacco is is a strong tobacco and clove scent that rises out of the initial application with a big shout to declare that it’s here. I get strong, almost single-minded smokiness from the tobacco with a bit of spicy tempering from the clove. The strength is admirable but the complexity is leaving me somewhat wanting. As the scent ages, the tobacco settles down a bit and I get more clove out of the scent followed by a mild, sweet tonka and a very light cedar note. The scent dries down a sweetened clove and mild tobacco.

Extra: Wild Tobacco was released in 2011, and was meant to evoke the scent of a gentleman’s club. Having never been to a gentleman’s club, I’ll just let it speak for itself. It’s strong and dry, very heavy on the clove and tobacco. Wild Tobacco can be had from LuckyScent or Illuminum’s website.

Design: Still not much of a fan of the packaging or branding. But I still think it would nice if you had more than two of these and displayed them all in a row.

Fragrance Family: Spicy Woodsy

Notes: Clove, clary sage, cedar, tobacco, castor, tonka, labdanum.

I’m not entirely sure about this one. It goes on with a strong tobacco presence but over time, it actually turns into a primarily clove scent. I almost felt like I had put on a tobacco scent and left with a Christmas time clove. If you’re drawn to smoky clove, then you might want to give this one a try.

Reviewed in This Post: Wild Tobacco, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance reviewed in this post was provided to me for free for the purposes of review. In no other way am I receiving pay or compensation for this review. This review was written based upon my personal experiences and opinions of the product.