Neil Morris discount… & more!

Neil Morris would like to offer a special 15% off discount on their fragrances for Posse readers. Just use the code POSSE from now to August 15 on any full bottle purchases for your 15% off. Thanks, Neil and David!

So what to review today? The summer slump over fragrance continues. Not a lot of new releases, and I comb through my drawers to see what I want to talk about until White Patchouli and Love in Black and the two new Serges come bounding through my door.

*drumming fingers on tabletop while looking through samples*

Comme des Garcons Zagorsk – one of my favorite incenses, period, and particularly great in the summer. Notes are white incense, pimento berries, pine, cedar, violet, iris, hinoki wood, birch wood. There is a piney woodiness to this incense that takes it out of the “really churchy” into the outdoorsy reverent. The floral notes and pimento berries give it a softness and a spicy quality that enriches it. It’s not a warm incense, but I don’t find it as cold as Bois d’Encens from Armani. It’s a dispassionate incense that is comforting in the way your best friend is. For me, it’s really perfect in the summertime, cooling and refreshing. Right up there with L’Artisan’s Passage d’Enfer and Bois d’Encens, both of which are summertime staples.

Aroma M’s Geisha Blanche now comes in an edp and has notes of lychee, jasmine, hyacinth, ylang ylang. Okay, I’m kinda digging this even though those notes aren’t usually my thing. It does have that “fresh” thing going for it, is that the lychee? It’s not overly sweet or overly floral, and the fresh isn’t as “Tampaxy” as a lot of these are, it’s just kind of brisk, slightly sweet and refreshing. If you don’t like fresh things, this likely won’t change your mind, but you’ll probably hate it less than other fresh-smelling perfumes that have come down the block. I think the hyacinth lends it a less sweet and more interesting feel than other fragrances in this genre.

Of the two? I’m going with Zagorsk, but I’d spritz the Geisha Blanche on some days, and I think a young woman would find it really lovely to wear and enjoy it a lot.

Is it fall yet? I’ve got more construction projects going on at my house than you can shake a stick at, and it feels like everything is either torn up or breaking, with no end in sight, all delays, and I just want to leave the country again until it’s over. What is making me happy this summer is my new wine habit. Um…. should someone with a perfume addiction take on a wine addiction? My budget is saying no… my nose, which totally gets how much wine and perfume lovers have in common, says hells yes! Though I read in a wine magazine how one person stopped wearing perfume after they started into their wine education. Um…. why? The mind boggles at why that would happen. Anyone have a guess? I’m clueless.

  • Melissa says:

    Wore Zagorsk this morning and liked it but didn’t love it. Much prefer Josef Statkus, but this goes in the category of decants stolen by increasingly sophisticated teenage son. On the topic of NM fragrances, I noticed Francesca’s post above and I was wearing Parfum d’Odette at Sniffa. It is lovely indeed, as is Spectral Violet. I also like Midnight Tryst, a spicy animalic concoction, and Le Parfum C’est Ma Vie.

    • Francesca says:

      yes, thank you Melissa, that was you. Couldn’t keep names straight of all I met that day but was very grateful for your introduction to several of the NM vault scents. Cheers!@};-

  • Vasily says:

    I’m wearing Tauer Incense Extreme on this hot summer day based on MattS’s recommendation, and it really works in the hot weather. Incense Extreme in fact reminds me of Zagorsk more than it reminds me of the other CdeG incense line, but I think the longevity is much better than the CdeG incenses. I have a decant of Tauer Incense Rose coming in, and hope to try that in the hot weather, too (my approach to perfume buying is: Sample->Decant->Bottle so I’m at the decant stage for both of these Tauer frags, and would at this point consider them Bottleworthy).

    P.S.: I love, and wish I had a Gay Bar for my lunchbox tomorrow!!

  • BBJ says:

    It’s all about that taste/smell connection–and I cannot imagine giving up one for the other either! But I’m pretty new to perfume as an obsession. (Cheese and wine, on the other hand, are old hat.)

    I keep thinking I like incense, but so far I’m not actually, well, LIKING incense. I tried Passage d’Enfer, and it smells just like church, which is nice, but doesn’t actually do anything on my skin. I like Zagorsk, but I keep thinking I would like to be in a room that smelled like that, rather than wanting to personally smell like that. I am making no sense, am I? Anyway, been meaning to experiment with the NM fragrances.

  • Disteza says:

    On the Zagorsk: I loved it, but like all the CdGs it vanished within the hour. I was able to find a decent facsimile in Olivier Durbano’s Black Tourmaline, which lasts MUCH longer, and is a little more butch what with the extra tar.

    I picked up my perfume habit long after my gourmand affliction–it all started with tea! I got ridiculously involved with tea at quite a young age: I was spending my rent money on prize-winning oolongs in college. Then I fell into honey. After that it was chocolate. Followed by cheese, wine, incenses, and finally, perfume. I haven’t let any of them go either! I admit that there is a proliferation of heavenly smells throughout my entire house, and I want to keep it that way. How bland would life be to wake up to stupid Lipton’s tea and clover honey and boring perfume just so to afford more wine? Giving any one of them up would lessen the others.

    It strikes me that appreciating all sorts of smells/tastes is like cross-training for your nose and palate. It makes sense to have more and varied exposure, not less.

  • JenniferR says:

    Interesting range of comments on the perfume-and-wine thing. Seems to me that it’s one thing to avoid fragrance while tasting wine (really concentrating on the wine itself), and quite another to give it up altogether. Kinda like giving up fragrance so you can eat? I met a guy once who was just getting into tasting and thinking about wine, and he made a point of sniffing his friends’ ‘fumes, ‘cuz he said it helped educate his palate to learn more about different ranges of smells.
    Me, I play at associating perfumes and wines sometimes. Mentally, not actually, although I suppose in the end it would depend on whether I was putting together a meal for the wine and felt that the fragrance would add to the experience. So far, my favorite such association, hands down, is Fleur de Narcisse and Sancerre. Coupled with fantasies about life in a chateau in the Loire Valley. And (when the weather is just a bit cooler) filets of sole in a beurre blanc sauce. Or maybe scallop ceviche. And a bit of chevre, and raspberries …
    Let’s see, is my not-so-inner sensualist showing yet? :d

  • alba says:

    Passage d’Enfer in summer? Not for me. I love to wear it on cold winter mornings when I can feel the incense coming up to my nose, really cool. I don’t even remember that I have it now.
    As someone who enjoys drinking good wine (but as a real Mediterranean, only with my meals)I must admit it’s hard to appreciate all the nuances and aromas you may find in your glass if you’re surrounded by a cloud of, let’s say, Angel (this one’s pretty obvious, but many others would do). So I suppose there should be a way of one passion (or whatever it is)not interfering with the other.

  • chris says:

    Hi Patty– I’ll hang on to summer till the cows come home, but I feel that urge for incense, too. “Zargosk” sounds perfect. Meanwhile, I have a comment about “Fleur de Carotte” because I just got a sample from Perfumed Court. I think it’s not about real carrots– it’s about wild carrot, the weed, or Queen Anne’s lace, I’m almost positive. (I’m new at the perfume game.) Snap the stem, crush the leaves and take a sniff. Am I right? Or close? Whatever it is, it’s interesting, and very summer-y. I love this perfume site, and you, Patty, are a winning combination of wisdom and daffiness.

  • Kelley says:

    Warning (about the Neil Morris fragrances)! I spent a fortune on samples and didn’t like A SINGLE ONE! Believe me, I am not that picky so this was very strange. They all seemed to be like listening to a radio that wasn’t quite tuned into a station clearly. It was like hearing a buzzing noise and not a clear tune. They were muddy compositions that had no progression… top, middle and base notes. The ones that included patchouli smelled like the cheap type of patchouli oil you encounter in lesbian bars (I like lesbian bars just not cheap patchouli).

    I recommend sampling if you are set on buying something but I can’t recommend a particular fragrance. I will give NM one thing, the samples were huge!

    Patty, good luck with the construction! I feel for you….

    • Francesca says:

      I didn’t like (didn’t hate, either) any of the Signatures, which was embarrassing, as NM (who seems to be an absolutely lovely man) was handing me the strips to smell himself. However, one of my fellow Sniffa attendees had some of his Parfum d’Odette on her arm and I almost fainted from the gorgeousness. A beautiful, feminine aldehydic. I’m going to order a sample to see how it works on me, and if it’s good, I’m getting some of it.

      Do you know Jonathan Richman’s song “I was dancing at the lesbian bar”? Very cute.

      • Kelley says:

        I have not smelled that one either. I am always willing to give second and third chances especially because Neil is TOTALLY HOT! Unfortunately, the fragrances I sampled weren’t. I will check out the song and have you seen the video for the song “Gay Bar”? It is very funny. Let me see if I can find a link.

        • Francesca says:

          That was pretty funny, especially the winged puppy. I found a link to Jonathan singing that song.OK, it’s late, is anyone still looking?

  • Dusan says:

    Patty, please tell me that Buddy’s feeling better, and give him a behind-the-ear scratch & a paw-pat from me!
    I might be the only one here who hasn’t smelled any of the CdG Incense series; I do adore Passage d’Enfer, though. And you know what else I adore? Andy’s newest Vetiver – it’s byooodiful! 🙂
    P.S. Good luck with the house renovation!

  • Debbie says:

    Warning: /Rant On/ Serious wine drinkers give up perfume addictions because the one addiction replaces the other. As it does so, they become alcoholics, and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome sets in. They lose more and more of their brain cells, soon only capable of enjoying the alcohol and nothing else. Sorry. Ten percent of drinkers become alcoholics, and my sister has just become a homeless one. I am upset to death about it. At this point, I. Hate. Alcohol. /Rant Off/

    Okay… :”> ….. to rejoin civil conversation. You know I am a HUGE Neil Morris fan. I ordered Izmir. As far as my experience goes, this is unique. It is a breath of fresh sea air, with geraniums hanging in baskets and some espresso being brought to your table. I am impressed yet again. There are about several others I’d like to get also, so if anyone wants to do a split, here they are: Parfum d’Ida, Cafe, Trance, Hippie, Summer of Love.

    I need to try Zagorsk. I love that Messe de Minuit, though. It is so superlative on me, do I really need another incense? Silly question, though, isn’t it? As someone who loves fragrances, I need to try them all. Or as many as possible. :d My sample collection grows ever larger……

    Speaking of incense, anyone here try NM’s Cathedral? The MUA people who have tried it really seem to love it.

    • Musette says:

      Debbie –

      I’m so sorry to hear about your sister! My good friend’s brother is tilting towards homelessness – again – he’s got a serious chemical imbalance and won’t take his meds, which is sad and very heartbreaking for his family. He’s in that shadow-state where he’s still capable of making what the state considers ‘rational’ decisions but those decisions are devastating for those who love him.

      Addiction in any form is a scary thing. I do hope your sister will be able to accept help. My heart goes out to you, her and your family!@};-

      A quick NM question: does he do a leather?

      • Debbie says:

        Thanks, Musette. It is appalling how far the State will let people go before they intervene.

        NM does not have a leather! We should email him and ask why not. Hmmm….could he do a leather bespoke for you? Wouldn’t that be fantastic?!

      • kathleen says:

        Musette, Take a look at Gotham, Cathedral & Parfum D’Ida, all include a leather note. Maybe not as “leathery” as you are used to, but very beautiful and worth sniffing.

      • Vida says:

        NM’s Parfum d’Ida has leather, doesn’t it?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Debbie, I keep asking myself the same thing (“do I really need ANOTHER incense?!”) especially with all of the other types of scents out there. Then I try a floral, say “meh,” and go back to my incense. It’s probably a phase, but I hope not, since I have invested a lot in them the last few months!

      • Debbie says:

        I did try LV’s Incensi and bought a partial bottle of that. There are many times where florals just don’t work for me either. What are you favorite incense fragrances, in addition to the Zagorsk?

        I wasn’t too sure about LV’s Incensi until I sat down in a hot car. It opened up, and it was stunning. Keeping incense fragrances to the cooler months is a mistake, to my nose.

        • Elizabeth says:

          Tauer IR and IE, Passage d’Enfer, Anarchy (Chaos dupe), Profumum Olibanum, …to start! I have several (including CdEs) waiting for me to try them. Need to get some LV Incensi, Shaal Nur and Messe de Minuit, too methinks. But I guess I should wait until I can get through the ones I have!!

  • Elle says:

    I *live* for Zagorsk – summer, winter, whenever. I need to retry the Geisha scents.
    My father and best friend were both hard core oenophiles. My father also adored perfumes and is responsible for getting me addicted to them. However, if anyone wore even a *bit* of perfume to a wine tasting party…let’s just say they never got invited back. It (according to them and to most oenophiles I know) interferes w/ the ability to appreciate or get a clear sense of the subtler aspects of the wine. But I know my father at least never had a problem w/ perfume at any other time. I came very close to joining my father and best friend in their wine obsession, but decided at the end of the day it was just too damn expensive a hobby to have along w/ perfume.

  • MattS says:

    I just choked at “Tampaxy” and water came out of my nose. That’s an adjective I’m gonna be using in the future. Consider your word stolen.=))

    You just reminded me to order Zagorsk. I spent the other day playing in all the other Incense Series and it’s the only one I don’t have.

    A 15% discount for Neil Morris!! Damn, ya’ll know I love a bargain and an impulse buy. I’ve never smelled any of his stuff–quick somebody recommend me something.

    When I start getting into the wine and the perfume, I usually end up drinking and spritzing too much of both. Then usually on the ‘puter ordering more.

    • March says:

      Hahaha — another DWB (drunk while buying) — some of my more random eBay purchases have come after a couple too many glasses of vino…

      You laugh about the tampax-y thing, dude, but after umpteen years of being told we need Summer’s Eve in Berry Fresh, or Tampax in Spring Fever, or Lightdays Pads for *every day* wear in, I don’t know, Strawberry Margarita, because our hooties in their natural state smell so VILE, it starts to work a nerve. [-( 😉 I think the American Marketing Machine only tries to convince all men that their armpits smell, and stops above the waist…

      Signed, I’m Not Buying It

      • MattS says:

        The marketing for said products honestly kills me and I’m must confess, I’m no stranger to that world. My roommate in college was an absent-minded, scatterbrained pothead female and I used to receive many a frantic phone call on my way home from work, begging me to stop and buy the Tampax multipack ‘cuz someone had forgotten to stock up. Above and beyond the call of duty for a roommate, but I always managed to save the day. She was also a little bit messy, big surprise, so it was always kinda funny to see the trail from the front door of keys and books and backpacks slung to and fro and for some reason, tampons always managed to be strewn all the way to her bedroom along with rolling papers and lighters. So, oddly enough, as soon as I saw “tampaxy,” I knew exactly what Summer Bouquet Powder Floral Fresh Extravaganza Patty was talking about.

        • Debbie says:

          *Husbands* even balk at tampax duty. You were such a good, devoted roommate!

          As for NM fragrances, give him a call. He usually nails at least one or two the person will adore. He’s very friendly and fun to talk with. My FB’s so far as Dark Season and Midnight Tryst, soon to be joined by Izmir. 🙂 Can’t wait!

          • MattS says:

            How do you feel about Gotham? It seems to be catching my eye. Plus it’s a little more affordable and I just splurged a little bit last night. Jules and Mouchoir de Monsieur, but they were 20% off. If I don’t start saving money, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to make it to Chicago in September. Impulse buying will be my damnation.

          • Debbie says:

            Alot of people love that one, but I haven’t tried it. It has rose, and I’m not a big fan of that. The sample isn’t very expensive, if you wanted to give it a try.

          • Disteza says:

            Gotham was kinda eh for me; it broke down pretty quickly and smelled sweetish and inoffensive for the 2 hours I could smell it. I did REALLY fall for the Burnt Amber (Black Pepper, Plum Blossom, Oak, Labdanum, Smoke Accord, Oud, Castoreum, Amber). If you like amber, this is smoky goodness. I also really went for Dark Earth and Dark Season; they stood up pretty well to my odor-eating skin and had some character.

          • MattS says:

            Hmmm…Burnt Amber was on my short list also…

  • This excellent review makes me want to revisit Zagorsk, which I didn’t fall in love with the first time around.

    As to why a wine student would stop wearing perfume:

    1. She swished an entire mouthful of Andy Tauer’s Lonestar Dreams around her mouth and spat it out, realized she’d just desecrated $140 worth of kreosote, and gave up perfumes because wine is cheaper.

    2. She described Yatagan as “an aromatic soaked in wormwood” and no one wold sell her perfume anymore.

    3. In the dark she made a decant of bordeaux, sprtized it all over her ermine coat and decided that one of these habits had to go.

    • Francesca says:

      That was so creative, QuinnCreative! Thanks for the I-should-be-getting-ready-for-work-but-I-gotta-check-the-Posse-first big laugh!

      Patty’s post really makes me want to give Zagorsk another shot. I love Avignon and Hinoki (haven’t tried the other one, whose name escapes me) and it sounded like Zagorsk should be right up my alley, but it just seemed too masculine for me. It did seem very cold, somehow, so I can see how it would be good for summer. But my initial reaction was, “Wow, this smells like something Rasputin would wear.”

      I can see how too *much* perfume might interfere with trying to savor and learn about the wine one is drinking. I once went to a wine and cheese class and tasting and a woman drenched in some loud heavy floral sat down next to me. Most inappropriate when people are trying to compare subtle aromas in wine and cheese. I moved to the other side of the room.

      And this discussion of summer incenses just solved my what-to-wear problem today. L’air du desert Marocain, here I come.

      • March says:

        Ack — the work on the house!! I’m happy for you but living in the middle of it bites. They always rip out your kitchen and then their aunt gets sick and they need to go to St. Louis for two weeks and etc. We had guys underfoot for a year after we moved in. But glad you’re getting stuff done, and hope Buddy’s feeling better!

    • MattS says:


      What, with “tampaxy” and your comment, QC, my day is off to an awesome start, full of laughs!!

    • Dusan says:

      You rock my world, woman! 🙂

    • Debbie says:

      =)) =d>


  • Elizabeth says:

    You made a great choice with Zagorsk – I am just beginning my love affair with it. Today’s heat made Passage d’Enfer a perfect choice, as you said. That’s great news about the NM discount, too. Very generous!

    As for the person who stopped wearing perfume when s/he began studying wines, I would guess that the reason is that the appreciation of wine involves the sense of smell as well as taste, and perfume would get in the way. That’s one reason I will never be able to pursue oinology (is that even a word?)!