Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ottoman leather

Cuir Ottoman by Parfums d'Empire

Unavoidably, leather is the most dandy material of perfume realm. I love every kind of it; rough or soft, luxurious or rebel, weird or standard, creamy or powdery, etc. Cuir Ottoman beside some other more famous creations than this one, is in sort of those lovely powdery ones I have never find the opportunity to comfortably pick one cause simply this powdery leathers are not common and are not easy to blind buy, but they are flabbergasting.
Leather; just repeating the term in my mind in every language I know; thinking about what an interesting material. Comes from skin, turns to perfume and sits on skin again. Maybe that's the key of versatility. And Marc Antoine Corticchiato decorates his leather creation with a historical concept referring to Ottomans and Turkish leather which as indicated in the website was the most popular back in days till 19th century (although there are strong historical evidences approving that the center of leather in entire Middle East and eastern Byzantine empire was the city of Mecca which was the major producer of leather armor for Roman army but this is not necessarily in contrary to what the house cites; just an extra information!).

The first inhale of Cuir Ottoman is on soft floral leathery opulence. For the title I expected brutality and delicacy together but it takes on the second one only. Few minutes later, the entire composition turns into dry sturdy powdery notes with leather and tolu balsamic accord in the foot. The upcoming level is creamy and powdery with lazy aura based on shimmering light of something sweet and fruity like submerged smoke of hookah on fabric. This sumptuous minimal performance reminds me a bit of softer version of Christian Dior Cuir Cannage.

The actual core of the fragrance is on leather again, peppery, dark, smoldering slightly and powdered by iris. The iris accord is that overpowering that I can easily call Cuir Ottoman an iris oriented fragrance wit leather, musky notes, and balsamic notes.
Instead of the title and what I expected, Cuir Ottoman is a comfortable fragrance with creamy plasticy opening and powdery balmy leather heart fit to cold weather. Not so formal, not so official, but it goes pretty good with formal suits in special occasions. It lasts about hours and the projection is moderate as must be for leather creations.
I have a sample from three years ago when the changes had not been implemented in formulation and bottle design (the bottle in my illustration is the new variation). Apparently in some details these two samples are different. The prior version had creamy and a bit brutal bitter side for which it was notorious for old leather sofa smell and it really was like. This theme in the actual version is replaced with a bit sweet vibe that decreases brutality. Yet Cuir Ottoman is one of the finest softcore versatile leathers out in markets.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

69 rue des Archive

Archives 69 by État Libre d'Orange

Archive 69 is that surprising that I preferred to share my first and all the time emotions on its exciting opening before I go on with introduction. This perfume unexpectedly opens so bright and vibrant with sort of detergenty smell of rare inexpensive handmade soap which reminds apartment unit of an obsessive cleanse-sick nurse in that the smell of mixture of several washing powders and liquids; to result assured desired clean until death of the last microorganism; are intimated deeply with old gloomy grape green tiles of bathroom and titanium white chalk plaster or her sitting room.
Half coincidentally half purposefully the emblematic number of sexual position 69, conceptualize two perfumes from two different houses: Histoires de Parfums 1969 which refers to to sexual revolutions of the year, and État Libre d'Orange Archives 69 which borrows the name from the address of the house's flag office in 69 rue des Archives, Paris.
État Libre d'Orange renowned as the pop artist of modern perfumery. Also famous to be the most engaged with sexuality as the focal point to conceptualize their perfumes and this is usually exposed as blatantly as the act itself in the public. Tom of Finland, Sécrétions MagnifiqueJe Suis un Homme and on and on. Archives 69 is not an exception in this case. Their fragrances; as long as I tested; tend to represent a sort of semi synthetic vibe of hidden nasty feel which pretend to be clear and bright.

Kamasutra graphic art by Malika Favre

I see many reviewers indicate that this is or is not related to sexuality. Some even say it does not smell like sex. Well I don't know how exactly sex smells. Should a perfume smell like semen or lubricant or anything related to intercourse to be sexy or is imitating a sexy vision with warm notes enough to be? This theoretical concept is still under arguments and disagreements but on one glimpse a sexy perfume is what emerges warm feelings and excitement. This is not an introduction to cite contrary to those found Archives 69 a non-sexy perfume nor a solidarity to the other party. For me Archives 69 has actual track of sex and deviance and pervert cause what I illustrate when the perfume settles is smell of cheap yummy lipstick of a prostitute in her punky pink bag left on skin-smelly blanket of her room in a brothel! Yet with such direct imagination I don't link it exactly to sexuality. I like to admire Christine Nagel for making artistic wearability and versatility out of a condemn poverty. This concept has earlier been planned for nauseating Sécrétions Magnifique which in my opinion was a raw and too much reality in abstract realm of smell but Archives 69 is in fact much better.

Archives 69 opens interestingly with punchy hint of peppered powdery mechanical prune. This deliberate and perceptive composition of aromatic warm and fresh makeup artistic aura wholly delivers the idea and concept in the very opening. A free and multidimensional perfume with semi aquatic fruity pepper-hearted attitude.
The core of the fragrance is more on milky path where musk appears sooner than expected plus camphor seducing and soft incense. This is the platform on which the fragrance resembles the smell of sex-related things and lipstick. Patchouli gives it rancid creamy side and the fragrance matures and ages down aftermath.
I have Archive 69 for decent three hours of perfectly clear and readable performance on my skin, however, I have to second those colleagues who indicate to its poor projection. Seem to fit the concept it is a perfume you have to flirt people you like to smell your perfume!
Personally I'm not a fan of this type of scent anymore but I enjoy them as much as smelling this one others. Type of love of hate fragrance in middling way which can easily be a signature scent.

Carpe Odor!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Victorian heritage

Diaghilev by Roja Dove

This recent days I found opportunity to get samples of Roja Dove's fragrances thanks to Jovoy boutique in Paris. I knew Roja Dove with his collaboration with Puredistance for 2010 fragrance Puredistance M which in its range is a considerable success point with so much argue about, however, having tried his own perfumes and specially Diaghilev, I have to confess if Diaghilev is perfume what he designed for Puredistance is just a luxury clothed waste!
I'm so lucky to have not tested this first class a couple of years ago when I was badly haunted by classics and vintage moods. I don't say I'm not anymore but two years ago if I had been offered to try I definitely would buy it no matter what the price is.
Diaghilev is eponymous fragrance devoted to Sergei Diaghilev; the founder of Ballet Russe company in Paris. The perfume is renown to be a commemorative representation of Mitsouko by Guerlain as Roja Dove is notorious for is.
The rise of the fragrance is highly citric, vintage citric as offered in Bogue Profumo's latest release O\E though it is not that vibrant in citrus and the citrus accords are introduction for upcoming cumin. Soon after the fragrance settles in immensely creamy and fat animality with leather and civet intimated with balmy and floral notes. The fragrance now reaches the uttermost level of vintage lovers' appreciation. However, this last longing core is not what Diaghilev is about. The real heart of the fragrance comes within about 3 hours since application when it gradually loses its citric, half of leather and half of floral and half of creaminess and settles in warm and literally fluffy woody mossy base. It's like a professional Victorian furniture carpentry in August. This oakmoss vetiver animalic basement is marvelous.

Diaghilev is olfactory identity of Henri Toulouse Lautrec's loose arts. By far an opulent perfume, strong persona and savage chypré. That's why I don't suggest the term "delicate" at all.
The longevity factor and sillage are not matter of concern at all. It sits on skin for above 12 hours and leaves strong trail of aroma behind to about 3 feet.

Carpe Odor!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Aesthetic genocide

Red +MA by Blood Concept

Several years ago, a rumbustious architecture student who used to go with everything specially arts who I was, had weekly sessions with friends to talk about cinema. One week I planned a question about anti-art and gave an introduction on what was Dadaism and anti-art movements which none has approached the final aim because of one unavoidably true fact: human is crazy for art not contrary. Today, actually last year when I sampled Red +Ma for the first, I see how deliberately they reached my point: anti-art or anti-perfume. This moment I'm writing this review I'm happy that I'm not breaking anyone's heart since I do believe that no one would choose Red +MA for signature scent and if you say someone placed an order of it twice I would probably think it's a tasteless retarded April fool.
The day the people of Blood Concept presented Red +Ma in 2012 it was not a big shock cause they had done it one year ago with crowd-intriguing concept or evolution of mankind and formation of blood groups. But is Red +Ma too much in the concept? I mean it's quite normal these days to see such so-called modern humanism conceptualized perfumes as Blood Concept line missing human's originality referring to body as Orto Parisi partially joins the club. If it's perfume I could release a perfume with concept of "we forget where we all belong to" and name it La Mémoire de la Basse-cour; use nasty materials to fabricate dung and hay and flowers, present it in Exsence and find distributors! These are exactly the emperor's mew clothes.

Red +MA is Antonie Lie's work, the same persona responsible for most of État Libre d'Orange and Nu_Be creations and some landmarks as Versace Crystal Noir, Puredistance Black and Comme des Garçons Wonderwood. He's also one of the pioneer faces in new synthetic revolution of perfumery. Seems he finalized his incomplete task on outlandish Sécretions Magnifique with this newer version. The same idea, the same disgusting anti perfume. Perhaps the idea did not fit the physical reality, perhaps the idea is much bigger than to fit in today's limited knowledge of chemistry. Maybe Lie had something different in mind that for poverty of mediums he could not again finalize it. But one thing is planned on the table apparently: it's not a good smell nor mediocre, it is literally bad smell and no matter how the concept is great cause I can't transport it with myself. Smell is representative agent of the abstraction.
There was a debate on sense of smell. One side a chemistry PhD holder whose efforts on aromatics are praised locally and not beyond, a couple of years ago in Starbaucks about the intense smell of coffee, the other side is me, deeply passionate to extract any possible info out of him! He implied that if we had not been or taught that what is dirty or what is beauty we could not differentiate what smell is bad and what is good. A flower could be bad while feces is good or maybe we would categorize them in better way! He gave example of musky notes which are bad cause they smell nasty like urine but they are sexy cause they formula suggests so. So this means if I; by the time I was born; have been left in a jungle like Tarzan growing with gorillas then I would probably not able to ugh to feces cause I would not know if it's a bad thing or good thing. Hmmm... sounds interesting and partially rational but what about Red +MA? Let's say I'm biased by the pre-info I acquired from reviews and news, but those I offered to test without giving any info even the title did the same react I have; repulsing and disgusting. Therefore, his idea about pre-knowledge and smells is partially unapproved.

Red +MA opens with extremely repulsive pattern of sweet metallic creamy thing. It's like someone badly ugly who tries to expose gorgeously with too much make up so the result is horrible. The first layer is on metallic accords, milky, aldehyde and probably something floral mossy. Ugh, I seriously cannot go through it, the maximum durability of my nose beside my poor wrist is only one second. It apparently gives me feel of puke.
This vibe settles down within a quarter of hour and turns into less vibrant but honestly it's not wearable for the first hour of performance. You can spray it on a shirt one hour before you go out!
The shimmering hope I had about Sécretions Magnifique to be a bit wearable is totally demolished in Red +MA. It is a perfume for not wearing, a bottle containing hazardous aroma with about three hours longevity on skin (I don't know how long on textile I don't want such disregards for my nice shirts!) and one first hour bombastic sillage and then close to skin.
My final word is: Red +MA is aesthetic genocide. Don't feel fool if you don't understand this perfume. Understanding beauty and smell is irrelevant to education or social class. But only one occasion can help you to wear this perfume freely: Halloween.

Ps: I found necessary my prior points of view on this perfume. Red +Ma is a perfume I respect a lot, I respect to Mr. Lie as well. This can be a intellectual scent of tomorrow, an against the stream swimmer who is condemn by random taste of the era who try to defeat it to the way they want. Me with my new review included and this can be a fan's reply against my point. Red +Ma, in overall, is a very special perfume for very special people not one who pretends special.

Carpe Odor!

Monday, May 25, 2015

A curious case

A curious case

For years in perfume journey O'Driù fragrances were what I used to believe I will not find opportunity to try one, a feeling as strong as impossible meeting with Pablo Picasso face to face. Among many faces in perfume industry including those with fancy artistic mimics, those taking with weird unwearable perfumery ideas thinking pushing finger on right point of perfume history, those new comer but delivering ground breaking ideas and accomplishments, those with modest and unattractive appearance sending the message in every single unfiltered un-maquillaged portrait photo "actions speak louder than words", Angelo Orazio Pregoni was and still is the man I believe to be as artistic as to deserve be entitled Francisco Goya of perfume world that one could not find him in any event or meeting unless behind responsibility of his own heart works. I even used to be afraid to get involved with his dark and gothic world while I was dying by desire of discovery just as I still do with The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab... however, once did contact him and he kindly gave me a nice opportunity to try a lot of them. Now It's two weeks I'm randomly and repeatedly trying them and have nothing to say but feeling weak to confront, sit on chair and stare at floor just like a broken aristocrat that still mopes how all this just happened to lose all the money all in a sudden. Worry to where to start? Which should I pick to go through? Peety maybe a nice to begin.


Peety is a radical surprise. It upsprings with a whale of rose and kind of strange citric paste mingled with upcoming moss. It's not citric as in citrus aromatic fragrances or any other form. It is literally a citrus add to the peculiar mossy green delicious opening, just as the smoky vibe that appears a bit later and it is not from incense or something. It's like the perfume is cured in a smoke cabin. The upper layer presents chiaroscuro-lighted sort of notes with ritual feel of dark monasteries but this religious building is recently use only for the filthiest sins! Why Peety evokes such feels is for the concept of it woven tightly within the context of smell physically. Peety is a 50ml bottle fragrance 49ml of which is full with perfume liquid and 1ml empty left for purchaser to add her/his pee in to make it entirely personal (who's gonna wear your pee as some friend do with your perfumes without permission!) and artistic. The title hints it out. This of course as expected, brought many complains about the health care and blah blah but I love the concept in fact so as the scent. What? People wear $5 perfumes without concerning about what crappy chemicals can be used in then pee is unhealthy!?

Now get back to the topic, I like to add my friend's commentary about Peety: it makes me horny! It indeed does the same to me! Kind of diabolic sense of rough intimation as he, my friend, continues: it is like anal sex! Ok It think that's clear now! But the fact is although some believe perfumes are not about sex, Peety is about sex and it does it the best just because of urine sense of smell it already has. I can't add any droplets of pee to my sample and I don't think Angelo has done it to me before he prepare samples! But the concoction prettily presents it not in skank and irritating but in sort of mossy semi classic animalic aromatic way just like some noble classics of few past decades used to do. The fragrance is now kind of leather rose, musky and ambry vibe and this amber includes high dose of coumarin and cinnamon to conclude in deep aromatic platform and make rose skank as urine which is quite fascinating at the result.

I can't say the core of the fragrance which is solid and firm is as interesting as the opening. Of course volatile molecules are fancier in smell, nevertheless, the core is an art article in olfactory. It's not irrational that Peety, back in 2013, was in top list of every professional perfume blogger. This is magic bottled in liquid form.
The more it settles the bolder indolic-urinal features become true yet strangely this fragrance exposes charming and attractive side just as strong as its skank air. It's like we're animals who lost our opposite-sex attraction smell and Peety donates that lost part of our wilderness back.
Peety opens a new and unrepeatable vista in perfumery (of course urine concept is not joking as long as health and skincare critics are there to alert you about your skin like it's judgement day happening by aliens much sooner than what mentioned in bible and other books). It is artistic, I admit it as an artist and architect but about the others meanwhile (ironically in my environment is full of a bunch of vise-versa feedback-givers when they thumb up it means the fragrance is crap and when they ugh means it's masterpiece!) they just repulsed a bit which gives me heartbeat  enough to not give the point to the concept of the perfume and break my nose and I lose my talents! Weird but wearable; and I assure you it's one of the most wearable creations of Mr. Pregoni. Kindly he and his team gave me the chance to have the discontinued past works samples which are way considerably unwearable for high percent of artists even!
Peety has almost more than 10 hours lasting powers and vast projection with about 6 feet radius. Peety is a special perfume not even for special people, it needs artistic melancholy and irresponsibility to what we call social order. It's a skin mate perfume not for cloths so let it grow supernaturally wet on your skin and see...

Carpe Odor!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

On the peak of amber

Ambre Loup by Rania J.

This review in my kiss on Rania Jouaneh's hand.
I love the title; Amber Wolf! I do love rebel and animalic amber fragrances. For the variety of amber accords there are too many amber-focal fragrances, among which one may successfully climb the summits of this category and Ambre Loup is a cynosure which has already set the flag. An infamous treasure usually found in high end markets as Jovoy Paris. Ambre Loup just like the rest of Rania Jouaneh's creations is based on natural oils and high level materials. This masterpiece is much than words and reviewer should strain to match words to sensationAmbre Loup is a fragrance that left me speechless every time I tried even after one year which I expected my nose became more expert and reject many fragrances browsing for more and more professional creations. But this fragrance is still on top of my amber classifications.
Ambre Loup manifests the fascinating and seducing attributions of nature. The notes participating in Ambre Loup are guaiac wood, cedar wood, labdanum absolute, agarwood, peru balsam, vanilla absolute, cloves, cacao, and spices.

I normally avoid direct indication of evocative picture to illustrate a perfume but I use it to indicate that although most of feedback I acquired on Ambre Loup marked it is very mesmerizing but not sexy, I feel it to be one of the fetishist perfumes I've ever known. Yes sexy and seductive. Though I join the others that Ambre Loup is introvert when it is named sexy.

In the first whiff of Ambre Loup when it blooms with type of quaint gourmand smoldering floral woodsy accord it signifies to how unique fragrance we are confronting. The honey colored fragrance opens with deliberate quasi-dark animalic nuances allied with balsamic fresh bonfire type of smell full of oxymora between sweet woody hot air and fresh spicy balsamic basement. This paradoxes are what make masterpieces and what make it versatile toward seasonal wear. For its peculiar and highly intriguing clove and probably cumin presenting in the very opening I see bold character familiarity to some of Serge Lutens' artworks; not in smell but in character of scent. Also it is for its spicy incense-like manner that the fragrance has the same state of familiarity to Andy Tauer's rightfully famous No02 l'Air du Désert Marocain.
After about half an hour when the gourmand side of guaiac and the bombastic opening settles and the fragrance calms the spine shivering smoldering fever, its woodsy air plus skank quasi animalic nuances smoothed by cacao absolute which delivers sexy and mouthwatering dimension, intensify. Labdanum evolves towards petroleum mood with amber plus medicinal duet of oud and balsamic notes form the core of the fragrance. In this level the fragrance becomes shallow yet more complex to decode. Cedar keeps the smoldering side up and honey-sweet vanilla plus mastercrafted animalic vibe, oh it has my all interest.

On my skin, Ambre Loup is an ancient formula maintained till today and presented by a passionate and loyal nose. It connects strong link between ancient world and modern life, nevertheless, it has not any possible relation to urban and social fragrances one wears to go to work. Ambre Loup is highly artistic creation which has my most admiration and it definitely sets place in my top ten amber fragrances. It performs mind-blowingly on me: vibrant, virile, and odd as I do love; With about 6 hours longevity and enormous sillage.
One hint I have to emphasize is no matter how fond of amber you are, Ambre Loup is a fragrance not to blind buy and you better test a sample before purchase cause it's not a type of random fragrance an amber fan wears easily. Too much artwork in a bottle! Yet, it's a mandatory for any who loves amber.

Carpe Odor!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hats off!

Carnal Flower by Frédéric Malle

Hats off to Frédéric Malle creations which are olfactory equivalence of Michae Jackson's music in Bang & Olufsen headphones; for both of which I fall on my knee. The glorious Editions de Parfums masterpieces are benchmarks in their classes: simple luxury resulted by experience, loyalty to premium quality, and endeavors of bunch of legendary maestro perfumers whom Malle gathered to assemble a team like Brazil in FIFA 1994! This house is one of those I always look with eye of respect and awe. And so Carnal Flower! Well, what to say that is not said before! This perfume is emblem of niche perfumery; a seamless descriptive perfume that itself tells everything out.
This contradictory juxtaposition of high class warm sensual florals and fresh milky resort background which is resulted by 18 months of effort symbolizes the celebration of the 5th year of Editions de Parfums.
It is mentioned in several sources that Frédéric Malle's aunt; Candice Bergen; who acted in the movie Carnal Knowledge with Jack Nicholson in 1971, is the inspiring muse behind the creation of Carnal Flower.
Carnal Flower is known as the milestone of the polarizing flower on perfume world: tuberose; pearly, enticing, aphrodisiac and velvety opulence with freshness and milkiness together. Of course as long as three other flag holders; Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge LutensFracas by Robert Piguet, and Tubéreuse by Caron; do not participate the challenge.

On my skin, Carnal Flower opens with heady and verdant cast of bergamot and melon identified and flowerized by fresh metallic cutesy orange blossoms and jasmine. This literally is an introduction to invite the indolic killer queen in. Tuberose appears gradually and sneakingly till it settles as the boss of the party. With half milky half fresh animalic green floral, it shines like a supernova. I have tried many feminine perfumes with tuberose at focal point yet non of them has represented this dangerous pleasure this way natural. Carnal Flower is a type of fragrance one has to struggle to match words to sensation. Very hard one to talk about but apparently very fluent and readable that makes it high class.
There is nothing to say about the perennial linear play of the fragrance. Carnal Flower has one of the strongest linear performances. However, the main theme appears about an hour from application when fresh mood of orange blossom and jasmine settles in warmer milky accords of tuberose which is fortified by coconut and musk to conclude in even more lasciviousness. This desire to sexuality and faunic eroticism is controlled down by camphorated eucalyptus that keeps the scaffolding in smoldering fresh fever. The result of such clash is a high-decibel soprano presentation of tuberose tamed by fresh melon and camphorous notes.
To me, unlike its insisting title, Carnal Flower is not a perfume which recalls sexy or narcotic feels and I actually love it the way it is. I would probably not like it if it would have exceeded forward in sexiness cause the level of flowery and freshness accords are in the utmost balance to emerge the purest class ever made.

Christian Dior Spring/Summer collection 2010
Upon the feedback I've received every time I wore seems that it is an outdoorsy fragrance, highly attractive, highly respected and safe although the performance is enormous and stagnantCarnal Flower is a gigantic and sublime floral perfume on realistic and sumptuous tuberose, a translucent modern sentimental versatile pure class with potent longevity and extreme sillage which I call corridor perfume cause such fragrances leave a long trail of smell behind and I only love it to be with masterly crafted perfumes. It exactly cocoons around you with about two or three sprays.

Carpe Odor!

From Paris to hot sun of Arabia

Shams by Memo

Clara and John Molloy, the founders of the Parisian luxurious fragrance houses of Memo, has released their first oud based perfume in 2011: Shams or Shams Oud.
Oud, the emblematic note of sun and warmth and indispensable part of new-chypré motifs of perfumery, is one of the most discusses materials with least age in this industrial art. Perhaps the most renown first westernized non-Arabian houses who engaged within oud industry was Yves Saint Laurent with M7 in 2002.
The house's testimony upon their release is:
Shams means “sun” in Arabic. Legend has it that the Persian god Mithra climbed into his gold-covered chariot at dawn and whipped his horses forward to pull the sun across the sky until dusk. But at nightfall, on the verge of disappearing from the horizon, the sun was swallowed by a man, only to return to life at dawn…
The sun makes our hearts swell in a hand-to-hand combat of pepper, ginger and saffron. It dazzles with a thousand desires and gives us power over the days and hours. Everyone gets lost in its scintillating, unreal brightness. Intoxicated with warmth, it accelerates our stride and consumes us in its passion. The only guide in the house of the sun is the haunting music of Oud, its main chords of Tonka bean, its dreams of wood and its promises of glorious love.
First to say, shams is an Arabic term totally irrelevant to Mithraism. It has lingual roots in Mesopotamian god of sun: Shamash; and it is quite rational that shams is deformation of shamash through historical ages.
Anyway, the scent itself is important. Shams has my compliments to the house of Memo whom I'm not a fan of at all. This fragrance is a modern and softened original Arab oud perfume themes. Instead of formulating a western oud composition the nose has reillustrated an oud bases perfume borrowing it from harsh and deep medicinal Arab ones (a large variety of such compositions exists in every Arabian brand). Yet Shams is not an oud dominated perfume and it is spicy.
The rise of the fragrance is plastic semi-soapy deep peppery ginger. The pepper is not a standard pepper, it's stony and bulky. The green devastating feel of cypriol is necessary for pepper to not make a clown of upcoming oud and keep the composition prestigious and classy. The beginning is much vibrant than the calm warm dusty core which is a syzygy of oud, labdanum and pepper highly fogged by high dose of coumarin notes.
Although the oud implemented in Shams is not real oud and it shouts it out from the beginning, yet the composition on this accord is very pleasing and alluring. Shams is a soft yet challenging type of fragrance and surprisingly it is as wearable for women as for men. Long lasting with strong projection, bright presentation and fancy bottle.

Carpe Odor!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Oud and Oud

Oud Cashmere Mood and Oud Velvet Mood
by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

In extension to his Oud release in 2012, MFK has announced a new line of oud including three (one more joined recently) Laotian agarwood oriented fragrances in 2013: Oud Silk Mood, Oud Velvet Mood, and Oud Cashmere Mood.
My sample of Oud Silk Mood has been smashed and I'm so lazy to order a sample again! This post is only on two other members of Mood series released in 2013: Cashmere Mood and Velvet Mood and my illustration is just representative of a MFK bottle.

Oud Cashmere Mood

I'm entirely captured by the bold opening of Cashmere Mood every time I try. I'm a fan of this kind of oud and the opening is undeniably marvelous. Notorious medicinal feel plus kind of repulsing metallic accord that I love. A bit after this bombastic opening droops down into putrid saline sweaty type of oud which is tolerable only from a considerable distance. All its sculptural splendor becomes suddenly a hollow papier-mâché. Balmy camphorated notes plus vanilla that tries to keep the sweet part up are imposing the oud base. Furthermore, I'm not sure if it's an illusion made upon Kurkdjian's name or it is real, I'm getting the same vibe of L'Malle's chemical side but it's so pale. Integral layer of the core of the fragrance is a sugarless crystalized burnt amber-like resinous vibe that holds the limp aged oud uplifted.
To be honest, Oud Cashmere Mood is not a type of perfume nor type of oud one fall in love for. In spite of its high price and fancy bottle design and "oh my god" artistic concept it has nothing to add to oud world nor to charm a perfume lover; I'm not sure about luxury addicts. So, for the sake of oud, what in this fragrance is suppose to take compliments?!
The basic layer of Cashmere Mood meets softly woody fluffy dose of Iso E Super... anyway, the oud is now terribly aged. The perfume which has constructed upon concept of "enveloping cashmere material over you" is now like a coarse bedwetting blanket unwashed and dried in sun. Cashmere Mood is suspended step of the stork in between natural realistic and bravely presentation of oud oil in one side and twisting presentation of extraordinary and unique oud vibe never experienced before in the other side.
Cashmere Mood has strong longevity but the fragrance shifts immediately after about 15 minutes. As strong as power, projection is so convincing. Not the best oud in the markets for sure, nor even in my top ten oud.

Oud Velvet Mood

Velvet Mood is less or more the same to Cashmere Mood, of course not for the opening. Velvet Mood opens a bit harsher than Cashmere Mood with sparkling metallic creamy spicy theme. It's type of strange dark resinous medicinal aura. Not a spoiled organic pattern presenter as Cashmere Mood is but still has a type of unpleasant air that weaves a carpet for upcoming oud. Oud but firmly kept strong with spice fronted coordination.
In fact in spite of the opening, the core of Velvet Mood is soothing and much fancier than that of Cashmere Mood and it owes its charm to resinous notes that amplify the aged oud and keep it alive. It's way fresh and smoky with uncertain gourmand dusty atmosphere constructed upon cinnamon and saffron which supply dryness and zest to uncommon drift woodish oud. However, it's not a type of wood to convey you out to another world. I'm not a fond of oud wood normally but if I get involved I love it nasty and pornographically intrusive as it is in reality with sour animalic base which is unwearable solely but magnificent in combining with some other elements.
Velvet Mood has strong longevity and good sillage. Almost 5 hours on my wrist with engineerly measured projection: about arm length diameter.

After much more considerable Oud released in 2012, the heirs of 2013 collection seem not to be so convincing. All of them are high priced (275 €) widely distributed in high end markets around the world. It's a big price for such extravagant things but they're neither big perfumes nor big ouds (both of them, at least Oud itself is much better) to even pay for, cause one thing that none of them has is character!

Carpe Odor!

Elaborate olfactory

New York Sandalwood by Bond No 9

I have never been fond of Bond No 9 perfumes but their tootty fruity bottles, yet, having a long portfolio and using almost every material in the world me and Bond No 9 eventually meet on a common point! New York Sandalwood is one of those common points. Sandalwood is an interesting type of material. It looks like everything but wood. Milky warm damp and skin-mate smell that is somehow comfortable yet maddening, attractive but if a skin rejects it it's terribly annoying. This material, solidly is not so welcomed and versatile, however it perfectly plays versatile when constructs the foot bone of perfumes. New York Sandalwood is actually irrelevant to New York's dynamism and active pattern. Beside I ❤ New York for All which is a gourmand masterpiece, NY Sandalwood is the second highly capable for Christmas shopping and new year I know from the brand. Warm, damp, kind and sort of mouthwateringly gourmand.

Yep, the first whiffs of NY Sandalwood is highly infused by carrots. I don't dare to say any carrot is in the composition since it smells like kind of materialistic and mechanical carrot which is not a carrot but it greatly imitates the image of carrot. It delivers kind of acrid suspended sweetness to the milky creamy woody theme. I'm not saying that carrot stays only for the opening, no it goes till the end, but soon after the fragrance settles a sudden shift to cardamom; which is keyword in this fragrance; makes the composition much wonderful. It is now woodsy with gourmand spicy background. There will be no more serious shifts in NY Sandalwood and it follows the path linearly. Just some notes become bolder; a touch of powdery iris (which I don't find that bold to be rates more than musky notes) a bit fig which is pretty enough to charge the sandalwood enormously sexy and bit of slightly mossy savory notes in the very basement. Notes in NY Sandalwood  are allied in well made coherence to emerge notable integrity.
It is a very adorable, very bulky and bold fragrance, highly skin-mate like all sandalwood composition that merge into body chemistry, super sexy and enchanting, hot and damp and luxurious of course!
I would never suggest to wear this in hot weather specially dry hot cause experimentally even softest sandalwood fragrances gives feeling of suffocation in dry how weather. In rainy days, cloudy days and most preferred, in snowy days this babe can make your day and bring compliments like you win in Las Vegas!
No kidding, the longevity is enormous on my skin. I sprayed last night three hours before I go to bed. Morning I was enjoying its dry down while usually my skin evaporates perfumes when I'm sleeping. But the sillage could be more intense. It's not bad, it envelops a circle with about 5 feet radius which is enough for such golden smell.

Carpe Odor!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Make perfume not hate

PHI Une Rose de Kandahar by Tauer

It was about a month to 2014 new year celebrations that Fragrantica exploded like dynamite by an event post for sample draw of Andy Tauer's new rose, named after its boldest note; Afghan rose. More than 1800 members submitted for 100 samples including me (back in days a middle class perfume lover and reviewer in the middle of way who had discovered high-end and niche world recently and was so eager to try everything); joined the draw immediately even before I read the article! Although I didn't win a sample I received a 2ml from a fragrantican friend few weeks agoI've lost the draw but I learnt something valuable after reading the review and the story behind this phosphorus yellowish perfume.
Une Rose de Kandahar, a perfume which, then, has been published in limited quantity for small amount of its rose source, is now one of the most renown Tauer fragrances. It is for its scarce amount of high quality Afghan rose cropped from Nangarhar province of Afghanistan that the perfume is identified under Collectibles series of Tauer perfumes with no guarantee to be continued or produced in the same quality with the same ingredients as in the beginning.
Afghanistan is one of those countries that these recent decades became a playground for easter-western overpowers violence show off. For such condition no doubt that some affairs grow strange. Well, this region was and is famous for its drug based vegetation on top of which opium is. In spite of government's endeavors and forces against opium trade still this is ongoing here and there since the money it brings is much higher than any other cultivation. But by the collaboration of a German development and aid organization (Welthungerhilfe) with volunteer farmers the famous Afghan rose agriculture has restarted and expanded through eastern regions of its homeland and PHI is the fruit of such collaboration donated to perfume world.

"I am convinced that the world has not seen enough roses, yet."
PHI is a complex fragrance with interestingly crowded note pyramid for a contemporary fragrance.
With poignant tarty apricot and cinnamon it opens. The opening is so strong and ongoing but not punchy into your nasal cause a hint of almond softened by citrus keep it balanced. The beginning of the fragrance; which is the identity of whole performance through rose-cored and faunic luxurious base; makes me double minded and somehow uncertain about its olfactory family. Well I'm capturing gourmand fruity notes, chypré woodsy air and modern floral as much as I get slight hints of oriental. That makes PHI a multifaceted fragrance for me.
The core is gentle and spicy with super hints of pepper imparted tobacco and creamy/coumarin gourmand fruity rose. The rose is not dark and dry as Taif nor fragile and watery as Bulgarian. It is powdery, modest and soft, yet, it is folded and darkened by tobacco and pepper and later, precise dose of ambergris and geranium with probably Iso E Super keep the joy and happiness alive throughout the entire performance.

The fragrance settles in core after releasing its intense gourmand mask and putting powdery creamy ambergris aura on with literally linear and constant play during considerably long time.
There are quite interesting approaches for this perfume. Rose fans usually rate it down cause it's actually a perfume you hardly say it's rosy if you have not been told for the title or ingredients. Some people say it's tobacco some say it's apricot and almond oriented. On the other hand, people who normally don't go with roses or hate roses, in an average, rate it up cause it has a soft and playable versatile powdery rose which is softened by aromatic chypré attributions. More than to be a perfume for rose lovers, PHI is usually not a perfume for rose addicts but a perfume for rosephobics and people in the middle.
Bad or good upon people's commentaries, PHI is by far a distinct type of rose fragrance which has not been experienced before. The beauty it exposes comes from its classic/modern features which left me suspended to pick one.
PHI has considerably strong longevity as expected from the combination of such quality ingredients; about 7 hours on my wrist. Also perfect amplified sillage through linear play. As long as roses give me headache, this may not be a perfume I break piggy  for but I never put down my upheld thumb for it. I really do trust Tauer's talents in perfumery.

An Afghan refugee girl stands with others in an alley of a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

Carpe Odor!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Incense: new definitive smell of urbanism

03. Apr. 1968 by Rundhoz

The matter is how to look at short yet thorough portfolio of Rundholz; not perfume, fashion. I used to concern about vogue much before I get involved with perfumes and one of those ground breaking brands who seldom appeared but did it perfectly is always Rundholz. They are considered as post-industrial deconstruction fashion pioneers as Nico Uytterhaegen and Comme des Graçons with bright and optimistic point of view. In 2012 in extension to their style they announced their first perfume; a 50ml oriental floral.
03.Apr.1968 is delivered by Arturetto Landithe: the very shadowy portrait responsible for several creations for Diesel and Biehl Parfumkunstwerke who came to the more visible state with his new arrival artistic line; Art Landi Profumi. Just like its creator the perfume is a hidden and an undiscovered treasure.

03.Apr.1968 is a perfume named after birthday of the innovative German fashion designer; Lenka Rundholz03.Apr.1968  is an unique type of incense floral fragrance and I like to connect it to a thicker incense masterpiece: Norma Kamali Incense (sadly discontinued); in some bold aspects, however it's more wearable and versatile version of Kamali Incense.
03.Apr.1968 initiates with eastern sacramental rite vibe, that vibrant that I would suggest Comme des Garçons to take this perfume under their Series 3 line and named it after Lhasa, TibetThe raw and tainted saline resinous incense upon which 03.Apr.1968 starts out has bold gourmand floral facet signified by heliotrope. I'm not sure what is the incense and not sure if it's frankincense as some reviewers mentioned. It's kind of vinegar/terpenic incense akin to amber and tolu together. A fruity statement makes the very opening much confusing and paradoxical: one side is incense with yellowish Dadaism Art character impregnated by heliotrope, and the other side is bold litchi.

I'm not sure if I'm the only one this around who captures wine and amber pale hints in the dry down of this linear incense propaganda. This basic chore; whether it exists or not; brings type of soft spirit to the gourmand oriental incense that is now aged like cured meat and its warm manner now became fresher with dapper signs of Iso E Super in the horizon; in the most masterly dosage.
03.Apr.1968 is an assertive and expressive fragrance, very outgoing and extrovert, artistic and identical, very posh and fashionable for extraordinary styles. Seriously you make a clown of yourself if you wear it with shorts and polo shirts and Nike shoes! It's an uncommon fragrance devoted to upper class of fashion world that personifies the design manifesto of Rundholz.
On my skin it stay for considerable hours with two first hours of punchy perfect projection.

Carpe Odor!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cuir or Leather?

Cuir Velours by Naomi Goodsir

The first time I tried Cuir Velours upon a big sample a dear friend gifted I had an academical session with my thesis adviser upon a chapter of my final thesis. Believe me I didn't remember what he said about how to organize the chapter after I left there! I applied about five minutes before I walk in the professor's office and when I just dropped in I realized how bulky the fragrance is projecting so it prettily disturb my concentration and occupied me entirely. Instead of things on architecture I was automatically and unconsciously counting the possibilities and dosage of notes listed, and of course upon its familiar olfactory resemblance I was just surfing my memoir to emerge the nearest releases to Cuir Velours. The leathery side grabbed me badly. Aftermath when I checked the info and details about and found that it's constructed by Julien Rasquinet (which was even much familiar than the scent itself and I knew him from his marvelous Russian Tea for Masque Milano) I realized this perfume's scaffolding is on the same; or at least so near; leathery accord employed in Russian Tea, however it's not gonna be the same to Russian Tea since the opening is just an inviting introduction to a luxury leather fetish show.
The nicest thing with leather is its populated variety. There are many leathery accords in this science and the matter is to pick the rightest one to finalize a masterpiece and Cuir Velours is an abridge masterpiece. It's a nice and wise assortment of delicious notes with aesthetically marvelous soft leather to not amplify but refine a disturbed voice into theatrical chord.

Rum, suede, immortelle, tobacco, incense, labdanum
OK, Cuir Velours initiates with delightful luscious/acrid suede and rum that slightly smell like apricot and plum for that I find this perfume akin to Tom Ford Atelier d'Orient Plum Japonais and Serge Lutens Daim Blond. The rum side of the fragrance prefers to hide behind curtain and give suede a character than to be solidly exhibiting on the scene. Rum and base incense are enveloped with moist fresh unflavored tobacco which enwraps the total formation even suede. Tobacco deliberately accentuates the leathery play of the fragrance. Personally, I insist to call it a suede-infused tobacco fragrance than a leather categorized one. The first hour of performance passes by uncommon incense rum cured aromatic warmth then it transforms into mere tobacco and suede, although hints of sugary rum is trackable even in the basic level when the suede intimates with immortelle. I would like to add I feel amber in the foot level but it is not listed nor mentioned.

Cuir Velours for me is a dapper sartorialist British fragrance made by artistic fashion-mate French barrette accent! This gives me kind of baffling sense which amuses me in fact but makes me suspended about the perfume. Which side I have to take, artistic exaggerated behavior or gentle highly steamed polite English manner? Cuir Velours touches your heart by its frank and straight non-phenolic leather play if you're a fan of both leather and luxury. It has the same manner Puredistance M presents and I strongly believe whoever loves M would love Cuir Velours too.
Cuir Velours is a modern/vintage perfume with the least possible use of noble notes to create a minimal composition reminiscent of an hard to identify retro air.
Sad that I have to indicate such great masterpiece lacks an important factor: power. The fragrance stays for about 5 hours on my skin, 2 hours of which is good but the rest is only close to skin. Also the projection could be higher than moderate to hit the ranks in leather group.

Carpe Odor!