Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Grand Cuir was another inclusion in the March 2014, Olfactif package. Its copy tells me to expect a leather, smooth and unique. Dove right in.

Grand Cuir

Grand Cuir

In Bottle: Fresh, smooth and animalic upon first sniff. Heavy like a classic fragrance but lacking that “aged” feel you’d get from a vintage.

Applied:¬† I get an initial burst of freshness upon initial application. Woodsy and leathery with a lick of herbal. Grand Cuir is a chameleon, it changes before I can put a finger on what I expect it’s trying to smell like. There’s a note of stickiness to it as well, like an animal creeping around in the woods. I think that ultimately is how I’d describe this, something primal creeping around in some glorious woods. There’s a note of a flower bed, a hint of clean, and a dusting of leather. Grand Cuir fades down to a clean, light scent at the end. Complex with a good bit of throw and longevity, Grand Cuir is interesting at the very least. Not my kind of thing, but it’s something to consider if you want a smooth leather.

Extra: Grand Cuir was a more recent launch in 2013 and designed by Hugh Spencer. There’s also a rather interesting interview with Jeffry Dame about Parfums Retro you should check out.

Design: Very simple bottle, somewhat retro in design as well so I’d have to say they hit the visuals right on the mark. Good and clean, nothing garish. Well done bottle and design overall.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Leather

Notes: Labdanum, birch tar, clary sage, orange flower, lavender, carnation, rose, violet, geranium, cinnamon, tarragon, pine, moss, sandalwood, rosewood, patchouli, musk.

No vanilla in this, but I don’t think it really needs it. At least, I got no vanilla. I was perfectly happy with the cute soda-like opening and the mellow, relaxing florals in the middle. The woods note in this is fantastic too. You can get your hands on Parfums Retro’s Grand Cuir from Olfactif.

Reviewed in This Post: Grand Cuir, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Hemlock

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Hemlock doesn’t smell how I’d assume Hemlock would smell like. But then, I didn’t expect this stuff to be green either. The real novelty here as most BPALs tend to be any color but green. Hemlock

In Bottle: Green¬† and a bit bitter with a slight woodsy undernote and a citrus note up front. I’d dare to call this refreshing.

Applied: Yep, citrus with a light green scent a bit of sharpness to make this fresh and a bit dewy.There’s something quite aromatic about this too, mint and a little bit of peppermint and some green leaves picked fresh off a tree thrown in. The woodsiness in Hemlock is ever present making the scent smell a little bit like pine-scented air freshener. But it’s a good thing, believe it or not.

Extra: Hemlock is a plant type. One of hemlock’s most famous historical deeds was poisoning Socrates.

Design: Bottled in the same amber glass bottle with the plastic twist cap as other general catalog scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. You’ll notice Hemlock’s label is a tad different in design. This design is employed for BPAL’s Rappaccini’s Garden fragrances of which Hemlock is a part.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy

Notes: Lemon, mint, peppermint, pine.

Just as a note that I am guessing at those notes up there. Now while I can’t really see myself wearing this as a fragrance, I do love it as a home scent. It’s got a classy air freshener smell to it, with my nose and I like those digs.

Reviewed in This Post: Hemlock, 2010, 5ml Bottle.


Hugo Boss Hugo

Hugo is your run of the mill fresh aquatic that doesn’t bring much to the table and doesn’t leave with much either. The tide of aquatics has petered out in the latest years as the incoming flood of fruity florals starts dominating the scenes. Some of these are works of olfactory art in their own respect while others are forgettable. And some even regrettable. Unfortunately for Hugo, it was one of the less notable aquatics of its time. Hugo

In Bottle: Green and blue aquatic. Fresh, sharp, and a little bit spicy. The herbal notes up front are paired with pine and citrus.

Applied: The green flare, just a touch sweet before it settles into its spicy woodsiness where the pine is predominant on me. I smell kind of like one of those pine-shaped air fresheners you use for your car. Not unpleasant, I just have a strange association with anything pine scented. Well, perhaps not strange, just persistent. The scent stays with pine as it introduces a few spicy herbal notes into the mix. Hugo takes a turn for the interesting near the complete dry down stage as it leaves its fresh pine-scented herb garden and veers toward a darker, murkier, funnier funky note that’s reminiscent of the blast of aquatics upon application. It’s fleeting though, a one or two second moment that could just be me. Hugo dries down to a benign woodsy, spicy, fresh accord that doesn’t make any presumptions and doesn’t even want to think about standing out.

Extra: Hugo Boss fragrances have largely been a miss for me. The only one I can say I actually like is Deep Red. Even then, I don’t particularly like it that much. I can say nice things about it though. But this fragrance, it’s the generic men’s scent with the all too familiar aquatic citrus opening, the woodsy spicy middle, and the miasma of leftover freshness at the base.

Design: I could give or take with this design. It’s clean and simple and functional. Holding it is easy. Spraying it is easy. Kind of looks like a water bottle which is a bit cheesy but overall, not bad.

Fragrance Family: Fresh Woodsy

Notes: Grapefruit, green apple, pine needles, thyme, spearmint, basil, cedar, rum, jasmine, sage, geranium, clove, lavender, cedarwood, moss, fir balsam, sandalwood, vetiver, suede.

Yeah, I definitely cannot get past the predominant evergreen scent in this. Too much pine, maybe, or maybe I’m just not the kind of person who likes that in a scent.

Reviewed in This Post: Hugo, 2000, Eau de Toilette.