I’ve been tardy with smelling new, and not so new ‘fumes, having stuck to the tried and tested path of the smells I love.
However, I’ve recently got hold of a batch of samples. Here’s my quick take on them all.
DSH Dirty Rose – I like birch tarry scents, which isn’t quite the same as leathery, though they often are comfortable companions. But, like March, I find rose tricky. This is rose and leather, straight up, braided together as odd bedfellows. The result is more leather than rose, but the rose is a screechy background element – like trying to listen to a favourite tune with odd interference.
Mona di Orio Jabu: a very pretty and bright orange opening. Midway through, this veers towards Carnation, one of her first three perfumes. I think it’s down to the fleshy tones of good quality ylang ylang. But it has little of the smutty smoulder of Carnation, which makes it a less appealing iteration for me.
Aesop Marrakech and Mystra – I’ve been dying to try these for some time. They get positive reviews from Turin in the Guide, and their rarity is an added draw. I’m a sucker for that. Mystra is murky green spice with dirt and death sprinkled on top. In a good way. I think. It has none of the clammy crypt of Messy Minute. Marrakech is cardamom. Then a little more, before broadening its remit to an oriental bouquet garni. It’s the more wearable of the two, but possibly the less interesting. Neither of these two are immediate ‘fall-in-love’ types, but they might well be growers. Though perhaps they don’t have enough tenacity for that…
l’Eau Serge Lutens – the brightness of a nuclear explosion powered by white musks and indeterminate florals (magnolia?). Do you remember being told it was dangerous to stare at the sun, and immediately finding the first opportunity to test that out? This is that experience. Everything else is made a shadow of something by its intensity. My nostrils are seared. Anti-perfume, my arse.
Francis Kurdjian assortment – I don’t like orange blossom and therefore this range really tested my limits – all the facets from squeaky to soapy to screamy to pretty to purty to yawn. Cologne pour le soir was nice, but not a patch on Bois d’Armenie thank you very much.
Dior Ambre Nuit – oh my word. I love Cologne Blanche (and still need a bottle), Bois d’Argent (still a long term favourite with its dusky quiet combo of myrrh and honey and iris and incense) and Eau Noire (though the decant I have is enough for all time, and btw this is a much much better display of Kurdjian’s skill than his eponymous range). This is a fantastic addition to that rather obscure, beautiful trio. Turin said something about floor polish and biscuits – in a complementary way. I’m not sure what he yattering about – it’s that big ole brain of his getting in the way maybe. But I really like it too. In a comment on March’s Wednesday post, I said this: ‘I´m a little smitten with the new(ish) men´s Dior, Ambre Nuit, which is faux fruity to start with, generic mensy in parts and with a Nazgul drydown sans tobacco. I think you´d hate it, but I thought I would too.’ It isn’t really fruity, having more of the plum-in-the mouth roundness of a full-bodied, but quietly spoken perfume of the highest order. It does have a men’s woody-synthetic aspect, but for some reason this made me love it more. As if it’s saying to the whole gang Look at what I can do with your common or garden aromachems, and weep in envy, baby, weep. The rose is quiet and loveable (yes, I’m contradicting myself) and there’s a big shift from the first 30 minutes (by far the best part of the scent) to the drydown (which is very Ambre Narguile to my nose, plus and minus several elements, but you get my drift). I love it. And it’s rare I find something new to love.
What have you tested recently? Love? Like? Meh? Loathe?