Part 2 of my digest of mini-reviews from Twitter, spanning October to December 2014
Hommage À L'Homme Voyageur from Lalique (2014)*
The violet leaf of the original leads to a safe woody-amber base, by way of green melons. Uninspiring.
Junky from Jardins D'Écrivains (2014)*
Soapy green opening, followed by grass and a spotless iris. Far too conformist for something inspired by Burroughs.
Orlando from Jardins D'Écrivains (2013)*
What a disappointment. Starts off gorgeous: a dusty rose, pulsating with verve and passion. Heady. Evocative. Then it all goes wrong. A huge indole note takes over - oversized mothballs - and wrecks everything. Couldn't scrub it off fast enough.
Benjoin 19 from Le Labo (Frank Voelkl; 2013)**
Shalimar-inspired amber with a sweet pepper top. Like many modern scents in this genre, dosed with too much Ambroxan.
Oud from John Varvatos (Rodrigo Flores-Roux; 2014)*
Quiet, chaste version of Flores-Roux's own Sahara Noir. Pepper, woods, patchouli and lots of frankincense. Understated.
Candy Florale from Prada (Daniela Andrier; 2014)*
As tricksy as the original - tones down the sugar and renders it fresher and more translucent with green florals. Cute.
A*Men Pure Wood from Thierry Mugler (2014)*
More accessible, weaker version of Amouage Interlude Man - woods on fire, surrounded by thick, grey smoke.
Bleu De Chanel edp from Chanel (Jacques Polge; 2014)*
Like the edt, sadly. Synthetic citruses over mind-numbingly 'fresh' woods. I have no idea why people are buying it.
Black Opium from Yves Saint Laurent (Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamagne, Olivier Cresp & Honorine Blanc; 2014)*
Nasty black coffee over thin patchouli and unconvincing vanilla. A sorry mess. Saint Laurent is turning in his grave.
Spicebomb Eau Fraiche from Viktor & Rolf (2014)*
Exactly what is claims to be - a more lightweight, air-filled rendition of V&R's woody, peppery hit.
Bonbon from Viktor & Rolf (Serge Majoullier & Cecile Matton; 2014)*
Much maligned Prada Candy clone. Yes, its caramel is thick, sticky & overpowering, but I thought that was the point.
Mandarino Di Amalfi from Tom Ford (Calice Becker; 2014)*
Drool-inducing sweet citruses at the start. Then somewhat more synthetically 'fresh woody', but easy to like.
Costa Azzurra from Tom Ford (2014)*
As an attempt to make a somewhat more hard-hitting 'fresh marine' scent, CA is not devoid of interest. But the combo of lavender with abrasive woods comes across as harsh rather than harmonious. The whole is wearisomely pushy and assertive.
Velvet Orchid from Tom Ford (Yann Vasnier, Calice Becker, Shyamala Maisondieu & Antoine Maisondieu; 2014)*
The sheer white florals from Black Orchid, made more gourmand with honey, rum and hazelnut notes. A touch bloodless.
Eau De Patou from Jean Patou (Thomas Fontaine; 2013)*
Modern revival of 1976's bitter, soapy citrus-chypre. Convincingly retro. Pleasing, but not heart-stopping.
* sample provided by brand
** sample obtained by the author