Niche Fragrance Magazine

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Histoires de Parfums Irrévérent and Outrecuidant

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Irrévérent and Outrecuidant are two of three new releases by the French brand, Histoires de Parfums (the other one is Prolixe, which was unavailable when I was buying samples). I’m always interested in sampling the new releases from Histoires de Parfums, as it was one of the first niche houses I loved, but in the last few years, I just haven’t been able to keep up. Luckily, while browsing a French site, I spotted samples of the newest Histoires de Parfums fragrances and just jumped on it. And I’m glad I did, because both are pretty darned great. KEEP ON READING

Sample Impressions: L’Art de la Guerre by Jovoy Paris

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Sometimes marketing just gets in the way of a fragrance. L’Art de la Guerre by Jovoy Paris is a scent where the marketing behind the name is superfluous and unnecessary. Luckily, the fragrance doesn’t need it.

Moving right along while intentionally ignoring the name, L’Art de la Guerre is classified as an oriental fougere, and rightly so; oriental fougeres typically use sweet notes—often vanilla or amber—to both compliment and contrast the fresh masculinity of the fougere accord. To some extent, this genre is populated with a vast array of derivative and decrepit scents that combine titanic doses of lavender and vanilla with not even the slightest hint of ingenuity. It is a breath of fresh air when a fragrance comes along that doesn’t fit that very traditional mold, and perfumer Vanina Muracciole deserves artistic credit for managing to revitalize a rather stale genre. KEEP ON READING

Sample Impressions: Bond no. 9’s Sutton Place

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Recently Bond has been gaining a lot of positive press in the fragrance forums. In particular, Bleecker Street has become a bit of a hot commodity, and through Bleecker, many enthusiasts are discovering their other offerings.

Enter Sutton Place, a hypermodern Bond no.9 fragrance with a bottle that won’t give children nightmares. Admittedly, when I first saw the bottle and description of this fragrance, I knew that I had to get my hands on a sample.

Surprisingly, it turns out that the refined, masculine bottle fits the character of this fragrance. Before reading the sample, I read on the forums that it smells like Aventus (why does everything have to smell like Aventus?). As usual, this fragrance doesn’t smell like Aventus. And there is no actual similarity except for the vanillic and fruity elements. KEEP ON READING

Summers in Paris: Creed’s Original Vetiver

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Of all my summer fragrances, only one takes me straight to France. The whimsical, white columns and sculptures of Paris are only done justice by sartorial elegance with a bit of flair, which is exactly what Creed does best. Look no further than Creed’s Original Vetiver, which (contrary to popular opinion) is both heavy on the vetiver and quite original.

Based solely on the opening, Original Vetiver does smell similar to Mugler’s Cologne, a fragrance that is sometimes heralded as the “original” Original Vetiver merely because it was released a few years earlier. But while there is a similarity of style and genre, these fragrances are quite different. Original Vetiver is significantly more expensive, but is worth the premium if you like the style. Where Mugler Cologne is extremely heavy on the musks and fresh citruses/neroli, Original Vetiver has more complexity since it incorporates several textures at once. KEEP ON READING

2017 Summer Favorites

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When it comes to wearing fragrance, summer is my favorite season. Maybe it is my taste, or the fact that I live in a hot, dry climate, but when I am out in public under the blazing sun, I’d much, MUCH rather smell summer fragrances. On those days, sweet scents can smell too sticky and gross, and spicy scents can smell like cumin-tinged sweat in the heat. But those summery citruses and florals, oh my… THOSE can be beautiful. Here are some favorites that I’ve been enjoying in Summer 2017: KEEP ON READING

The Smell of Learning: Byredo Bibliothèque & Other Stories

in Lists/Thoughts by


Like most people, I love the smell of books. But my search for that book smell in perfume form has proved a problematic and often frustrating one.

Part of the challenge has been figuring out what it is that I want, exactly. Do I want to smell literally like a book? No, as it turns out, I don’t. Perfumes that smell literally like paper or ink are too on-the-nose for me. The best perfumes are those that bring you only 50% of the way, like those mood rings that require body heat for activation. A perfume that does all the heavy lifting for my imagination is no fun at all. KEEP ON READING

Sample Impressions: Floris 1962

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A sucker. Yep. That’s me. A sucker for the hype train… One way ticket on the Hype Train Express. Hype central.

When folks on a certain fragrance forum began discussing Floris 1962, praising it as the second coming of vintage greats, I had to get myself a sample. And upon obtaining one—luckily for me (and perhaps for you, dear reader)—I found that (for once) the hype was indeed justified.

Floris is a house that can be hit and miss for many people. Classic in style but true to their roots, many of their fragrances have a distinctly British and conspicuously patrician soapiness to them. Despite exploring many of their offerings for a number of months, I found only one Floris fragrance—the limited edition Victorious—that I simply had to add to my collection. Well… That number will very likely become two. KEEP ON READING

Shaving Cream in a Barbershop: MDCI’s Le Barbier de Tanger

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From the respected brand MDCI comes the magnificent Le Barbier de Tanger, a scent that promises a relaxing journey into the barbershops of Morocco. MDCI is known for artful blends done with high quality ingredients. Le Barbier de Tanger fits the bill and earns a thumbs up from this reviewer.

To even begin to describe this fragrance, I have to mention a few others: Chanel’s Platinum Egoiste, MDCI’s Invasion Barbare, Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Masculin Pluriel, Creed’s Green Irish Tweed, and Penhaligon’s Sartorial. Le Barbier de Tanger channels all of these fragrances to some extent, but only smells a bit like one of them. Perhaps the closest comparison is Chanel’s Platinum Egoiste, which has the same powdery-barbershop texture and overall vibe of this fragrance, but Le Barbier de Tanger is higher quality and more natural-smelling. KEEP ON READING

Sparkling Citrus: Dior Homme Cologne

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Nowadays, designer fragrances are a dime a dozen. If they aren’t monotone monotonous monstrosities of one form or another, they are inevitably sweet enough to cause cavities. It is a rare thing that I find to be a designer fragrance to be worthy of purchase, but when I do, I make sure to scream about it from the nearest mountaintop. So dear readers, please envision me screaming from the top of my local hill: The latest edition of Dior Homme Cologne is fantastic! And it smells niche quality, if you know what I mean. KEEP ON READING

Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Essenza: Modern Italian Elegance, Bottled

in Reviews/Thoughts by

By now it should be clear that I enjoy Acqua di Parma fragrances. The original fragrance, Colonia, is one of my favorite fragrances of all time, and I have taken the time review other fragrances ranging from the Blu Mediterraneo line to the first fragrance of the new Note di Colonia collection. Today I return to a staple, Colonia Essenza, which was created to be a modern interpretation of the original Colonia fragrance. In so doing I will make numerous references to Colonia (review here) in order to draw useful comparisons that might help with purchasing decisions. KEEP ON READING

Sample Impressions: Clive Christian’s Rock Rose

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For me, the Clive Christian brand is a mark of quality. Given my experience with Clive Christian fragrances, including and especially the regal 1872 Men, I was excited to receive a sample of the new Rock Rose scent.

The opening of Rock Rose is distinctly citric, with a bergamot that nearly comes across as astringent as lime. Combined with the other top notes of neroli and black pepper, the scent conjures images of classical British men’s colognes. But before this brings to mind typical neroli/citrus fragrances, the peppery notes intensify and blend with a powerfully herbal clary sage, which reminds me of the way the note is portrayed in 1872 Men. Rock Rose is a distinctive fragrance (the overall blend doesn’t remind me of any other fragrance on the market), and from the opening it is clear that Clive Christian spared no expense. KEEP ON READING

Sample Impressions: Acqua di Parma’s Note di Colonia I

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Acqua di Parma’s Note di Colonia line is the closest Acqua di Parma has gotten to creating a private collection. Significantly more expensive than any of the previous collections, Note di Colonia fragrances come in 150 ml bottles that retail for over 300 euro each. Unfortunately, many will find this too high a price to pay for a cologne-style fragrance, particularly from a brand like Acqua di Parma that is known for its fresh, simple, and clean fragrances.

But they’re wrong to dismiss it on price alone. Having tried two out of the three fragrances in the Note di Colonia collection, I find that they easily compete with other high end fragrances in a similar price bracket. The quality is excellent and the compositions are masterfully composed and blended. If you don’t believe me, buy samples—I’d suggest starting with Note di Colonia I. KEEP ON READING

Tea with (smelly) friends

in Thoughts by

Two weekends ago I went to London with a good friend I’ve known since I was in my 20s – that’s her in the photo with me – Sam who writes the I Scent You A Day blog. We went to hang out and drink tea with a group of perhaps twenty people, many of whom we hadn’t physically met before. What did we have in common? Perfume. How did we know these people? The internet.

Now some people get upset when I refer to them as Smelly Friends, so I may need to use some other terminology, such as Fragonerds, Perfumistas and Perfumisters, or just fragrance afficionados, but it all boils down to the same thing. We are people who love perfume. You, dear reader, may very well be one too. KEEP ON READING

John Varvatos Platinum Edition and Dark Rebel: mainstream is not a dirty word

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My bottle of John Varvatos Classic met me on a cusp. I was looking for a replacement bottle for Donna Karan Fuel for men and I realised that it had been discontinued. At the time I had no particular interest in perfume. I was happy with one bottle at a time and when I went through it I carefully looked for something new to take its place. Sometimes a second bottle sneaked into my rotation but that was as far as I got. For the first time I felt that I had to have a refill but then my luck betrayed me. Fuel was discontinued and it was then that I realised that perfumes actually fall off production at some point. Up to that point it had never occurred to me that scents don’t live forever. So I started looking for something that would remind me of it. The only thing that came near to my nose was John Varvatos Classic. When I say near, I mean in the same town, not next doors, but that was quite acceptable at the time. It was a fruity suede with an antiquated vibe, it missed on the vinyl note and overcompensated with sweetness, but still it was a remarkable scent for its time. I have been following John Varvatos releases ever since and they are more often hits than misses. KEEP ON READING

Sample Impressions: Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge

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This is a scent that may give you whiplash. Love it or hate it; you will notice it.

I first encountered Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge while in a mall. At some point while walking past the stores, I caught a whiff of an elegant and sweet fragrance. Whipping around, I quickly scanned the area to see who was wearing the lovely perfume… I looked carefully, but no one was there. As with every children’s cartoon, at that point when the myopic villain gets smashed by the anvil dropped from above, I figured that I should look up. So look up I did. Above me, emblazoned with lights, were the words: “Baccarat“. KEEP ON READING

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