CrypticCryptic's Perfume Reviews

1 - 5 of 24
Cryptic 8 years ago 8
6
Scent
7.5
Longevity
5
Sillage

Oud Incognito
I was really looking forward to this particular offering out of the entire Loant collection. The German reviews likened Lotree to a foundry in the middle of a dense forest and mentioned "singing woods." Could it be something along the lines of OJ Woman or Chene, maybe? I was so hopeful. And while some of the Loant scents are the sort of harrowing colors I associate with sports energy drinks, Lotree is a soothing, mysterious green, with listed notes of moss, cedar and sandalwood. Mentally, I was already sitting on a bed of moss under a canopy of trees, watching dragonflies flit by. But then I tested it.

While Lotree is by no means a bad perfume, it is a far cry from what I was anticipating. Rather than a melange of woods and moss, I got one goliath of an aromachemical. Polysantol? Don't think so. Cashmeran? Nah. Iso E Super? Might be some in there, but mostly I thought I was smelling PSOUD (pseudo oud). Initially I questioned my nose/judgement, because although the listed notes include the catch-all term, "woods," perfumers are in the habit of announcing the presence of oud in a fragrance with great fanfare, possibly to justify a hefty pricetag. Why wouldn't Santi Burgas list oud as note? I had to be mistaken. Then dear Mr. Cryptic, patient veteran of many perfume testing sprees, weighed in. "Aww...honey, not that sh*t again," he said, and I knew it had to be oud: The only note he cannot stand.

Many perfume fans would find Lotree appealing, especially when layered with Lorose, and my rating reflects that, as opposed to my personal prejudice against oud. Lotree is remarkably tenacious, and probably would have earned a 100% longevity rating if I had fully tested it. However, as I scrubbed it off after about an hour I gave it 75% for lingering on the towel, on my hair and in my nasal passages.
3 Replies

Cryptic 8 years ago 14
5
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage

Ant Music
Are you in the mood for a kooky perfume experience? If so, the Loant Collection might be just the thing to rattle your sabre. This new line consists of seven scents, each of which is meant to represent a different segment of an ant's body: Top notes for the head, heart notes for the thorax and base notes for the abdomen. Each bottle is helpfully labelled with three circles stacked vertically, with the relevant segment darkened. The entire collection is intended to be layered and mixed, even though we are assured that each component is a stand-alone fragrance in its own right.

Lojazz is one of several perfumes in the line that represent the crowned head (see the logo) of the perfume insect. The listed notes include jasmine sambac, magnolia, orange blossom and violet. Why no hesperides? Don't ask me. In any event, I approached this perfume with a certain degree of caution after reading Silverfire's rather frightening review. Just to be on the safe side, I sprayed my knee as opposed to any of the usual spots. I was immediately smacked in the face by a box of mothballs. The opening of Lojazz features indoles abounding; however, they dropped off considerably after the first ten minutes and the more pleasant white floral characteristics emerged. What remained was somewhat reminiscent of Serge Luten's A la Nuit, minus the clove. This is a rather feral jasmine and orange blossom perfume that would kick some serious ass in a catfight. It has very good sillage and longevity, which could be a bummer if you happen to be indole-averse like Silverfire.

Lojazz would probably benefit greatly by being layered with Lomusk or one of the other base notes components of the line. It has an unfinished quality about it that's like someone trailing off in the middle of a interesting sentence. While I would have been happy to layer the bejesus out of these fumes, the nature of a sample pass limits the amount of juice that any one participant can use. Therefore, I may have to invest in a discovery set at some point in order to give this line its proper consideration. My verdict on Lojazz was "not bad," and possibly much better if layered with other components of the line. Mucho thanks to Fran for putting this sample pass together. :)
6 Replies

Cryptic 8 years ago 17
8
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage

Warning: Patchouli
Not being familiar with Rossy de Palma, the woman who inspired this fragrance, I went Googling to ascertain the nature of her celebrity. It turns out that she is a Spanish actress known for her work in the films of Pedro Almodóvar and (please forgive me, Gentle Reader) not exactly an oil painting. My ignorant opinion of Rossy de Palma aside, ELDO gets a lot of credit in my book for selecting an atypical muse as inspiration material rather than the usual teen idol or Hollywood starlet. For a company that sometimes gets a bad rap for using shock tactics as a marketing tool, Eau de Protection strikes me as a thoughtful, intelligent launch.

The perfume itself was an instant love for me because it has so much in common with my beloved Epic Woman and can be had for less than half the price. Eau de Protection opens in fresh fashion much as a natural rose would with some sparkling bergamot, but rapidly transcends the true flower by incorporating a number of darker notes. Before you know it, the rose is quite poisonous, but all the more alluring for being so. Eau de Protection uses a similar strong peppery note to the one I find so appealing in Epic, but replaces the caraway with ginger, rendering Eau de Protection less pickle-like and a bit more wearable. While Eau de Protection showcases a fairly nice Bulgarian rose, Epic revolves around the headier Damascus variety. Both contain incense and patchouli; the Amouage favoring a gorgeous silver frankincense and the ELDO being heavy on the patchouli, and therein lies the rub with this perfume.

Patchouli is a polarizing note, perhaps because some associate the smell with the '60s counterculture and the tumultuous events that surrounded it. My first wearing of Eau de Protection was at an outdoor event of a fairly conservative nature. In my defense, I wasn't familiar with the note pyramid and stupidly figured that Rose Frag = innocuous. Not! An offended woman who happened to be seated nearby sniffed ostentatiously while glaring at me as if I were The Whore of Babylon. In a nutshell, Eau de Protection has great, big sillage and is not the ticket for fragrance-phobic environments. Longevity is excellent. Many thanks to the rock star from South Africa who turned me on to this beauty, which is absolutely bottle-worthy.
4 Replies

Cryptic 9 years ago 15
3
Scent
10
Sillage

Unfortunate
Call me morbidly curious. When a close friend with an adventurous and tolerant nose tested Oud Ispahan and found it repellent, I had to see what the stink was all about. To cut straight to the chase, look no further than the oud, or pseudo oud (psoud?), since we all know by now that what passes for oud these days is just another aromachemical.

The specific "oud" found in OI smells to me like the same one that Montale has been using for years. If you find scents like Black Oud appealing, you will probably enjoy OI. In fact, I would rate OI higher than Black Oud because underneath the massive, hulking agarwood is the ghost of a beautiful perfume. The tiny waft of it that manages to escape being smothered is reminiscent of Dior's gorgeous Dolce Vita sans the big peach note. I can just barely detect the same harmonious combination of rose, sandalwood and cardomom that I adore in DV.

I can only surmise that the reason oud is present here in such a high concentration is to justify the large price tag. Apparently, someone at Dior figured that more "oud" would equal more dollars. I will say that OI is good value for money in the sense that the sillage is positively intergalactic. I put some on this evening and a short time later my husband inquired from the foot of the stairs, "Dear God, what did you spill up there?" Unfortunately, I can't comment on the longevity because I was forced to scrub, but not before the fragrance had fully developed. It is fairly linear in any event. To compare the experience to something relatable, it was like being in a surgical suite that had been scrubbed with an industrial cleaner, and then being swabbed with that orangey-brown antibacterial solution -- I think it's called Betadine. The anesthesiologist had just eaten a delicious dinner of Moroccan food and I could still smell it on her breath. She was also wearing a dab of very nice perfume. It probably goes without saying that this is not a good candidate for a blind buy. Big thanks to Dig for an interesting fragrant experiment.
9 Replies

Cryptic 9 years ago 16
8
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage

It's All About the Cumin
Whether you will enjoy or dislike El Attarine will depend on how you feel about a certain sweaty spice finding its way into your perfume. I don't happen to find the cumin overpowering in this context, but there is no denying its presence. While some find even the suggestion of perspiration repulsive, I associate healthy sweat with some wonderful things. Moreover, it makes a nice change from all the "clean" scents that are popular right now but just make me want to scream at the top of my lungs and drench myself in skank to avoid being assimilated into the laundry musk borg.

As with most Serge Lutens creations, El Attarine is not a perfume that remains politely in the background. Rather, it demands not so much to be noticed as to be contemplated. Unlike so many fragrances that prompt me to think about the notes, to the extent that they lead me to consider anything at all, El Attarine fires my imagination like an adult fairy tale. I envison Saluki dogs and strange hairless cats. Heat rising in waves and sandstorms. Nights wild with stars, sleeping on a rooftop. Men with piercing dark eyes rimmed in kohl. Mint tea and peacock thrones. Most of all, I feel the warmth of radiant sunshine -- something that made El Attarine seem like a precious, golden gem during this past dreary winter. Looking at my nearly empty jar is a little depressing. Unlike in the olden days I now can order a replacement from Barney's NYC, but there was something perversely thrilling about using a certain parfumista's not so well-kept secret friend to "mule" it back from Paris. It was like buying olfactory opium and part of the overall mystique.

To return to the practical, El Attarine is a combination of spice, dried fruit, honey and immortelle. It is more restrained than other similar compositions such as Arabie and Aziyade, but nevertheless would be a poor choice for a blind buy. The majority of people will find El Attarine either over-the-top and borderline unwearable or larger-than-life in a wonderful, remarkable way. Sillage and longevity are both very good on my skin.
8 Replies

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