Red rather than gold take on rosewood, with berries, incense & eucalyptus. Not unlike Lauder Pleasures (also by Morillas).
As ever with Nicolaï, gorgeous drydown: textured, opulent amber; cocoon-like sandalwood. Well-judged citrus opening.
Essay on salty-ambery profile of Ambroxan, with cumin for heat, sage for bitterness and, for originality, no florals.
Ôponé from Diptyque (Olivia Giacobetti; 2015 reissue of 2001 original)*
Flight. Soaring. Height. Speed. Gentle brushes with treetops. Clear-sighted, romantic blend of incense, saffron & rose.
Aldehydes & pepper lift sweet, powdery benzoin. Intimate, fragile, yet generously proportioned. Fur coat warm.
Oud Palao from Diptyque (Fabrice Pellegrin; 2015)*
Agar-like note with dry rose & cypriol. Too similar to Dior's Oud Ispahan, but quieter, in keeping with Diptyque's aesthetic.
Black from Aramis (2015)*
I think they left the word 'Not' off the front, as this is neither dark nor worthy of the Aramis tag. Nasty leather wannabe.
Alaïa from Alaïa (Marie Salamagne; 2015)*
Sleek, skin-hugging suede, with red berries for contrast. Admirably restrained. Not unlike original Bottega Veneta. Rather overhyped.
Precious Oud from Van Cleef & Arpels (Amandine Marie; 2011)*
Chocolate, patchouli & white floral combo veers too close to Black Orchid. More like 'precious little oud'.
Oud Saphir from Atelier Cologne (2015)*
Sorry, did someone say Tuscan Leather? A clone of the Tom Ford hit, marginally sweeter and lighter. Pointless.
Botanical Essence No. 20 from Liz Earle (Domitille Bertier; 2015)*
Well-rendered rose (creamy, honeyed caress) but lacks sufficient heft to make lasting impact. Pleasant.
Iris Tubereuse from Creed (2014)*
Not sure about iris, but tuberose is loud and predictable all the way. Overpriced and unnecessary, surprise surprise.
Le 15 from The Different Company (Alexandra Monet; 2015)*
Uninspiring woody citrus with marine facet rammed in. Stays close to skin. Lacks details. Weedy, ambery drydown.
Mimosa & Cardamom from Jo Malone (Marie Salamagne; 2015)*
Certainly lots of the former (yellow, pollen-like) but the latter appears only as a contrasting coolness. Airy.
Incense & Cedrat from Jo Malone (Marie Salamagne; 2015)*
Is everyone using the opaque, rough-edged incense note from Sahara Noir? Offset with some citrus. Unremarkable.
Cœur De Noir from Beaufort (2015)***
Starts off as intriguing, herbal, metallic, inky leather - with hyacinth, cedar edges - then becomes quietly dull.
1805 from Beaufort (2015)***
Typically reactionary niche fare: crude overload of citrus, smoke &, sadly, marine notes. Interesting as expression of chaos.
East India from Beaufort (2015)***
Molasses, eucalyptus & pepper form heavy, rubbery soup that seems intent on being difficult, inaccessible & petulant.
Broken Glass from Blackbird (Aaron Way; 2015)*
Intriguing geranium with powdery/mossy base. Rough around edges, a la Gorilla Perfume. Is it fragmented or atomised?
Zola Jesus Taiga from Blackbird (Aaron Way; 2015)*
Predictable charred smoke/leather. Similar to Amouage Interlude Man, but without the distinctive chaos & volume.
Triton from Blackbird (Aaron Way; 2014)*
Wondrously bizarre opening- forbidding aldehydes; cadaverous iris/carrot; garish stewed veg. Vetivert drydown disappoints.
* sample provided by the brand
** sample obtained by the author
*** sample provided by brand and Bloom Perfumery