DrseidDrseid's Perfume Reviews

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Drseid 3 months ago 1
5.5
Scent
5
Longevity
4
Sillage
8
Bottle
An Exotic Name, But An All Too Familiar Smell...
Blue Lotus opens with a dash of moderately sweet, fruity amyris and a touch of smooth vanilla before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart an initially smooth before turning moderately powdery yellow floral ylang-ylang emerges as the star with remnants of the fruity amyris and vanilla now in support, with hints of underlying creamy sandalwood rising from the base. During the late dry-down the perfume turns relatively dry and mildly powdery as the vanilla remains, now as the focal note through the finish eschewing its sweetness, with the sandalwood turning relatively stark as it joins as co-star. Projection is below average and longevity average at around 7 hours on skin.

I had heard so many good things about Blue Lotus going into this review that I strongly considered blind buying a hard to find bottle when it finally showed as again available... I am now glad I resisted the temptation as Blue Lotus really isn't anywhere near as impressive as its reputation, at least not to the nose of this writer. Oh it smells pleasant enough, and I confess I have no idea as to what a Blue Lotus flower should smell like, but if this is a good representation, it smells like ylang-ylang with a bit of sandalwood and vanilla mixed in for good measure. There really isn't anything wrong with that per se, but with an exotic flower name like Blue Lotus, one can't help but feel a bit let-down from the anti-climatic mundane development encountered on skin while wearing the stuff. The powder is also a bit problematic to someone like me who is powder averse. It never crosses the line of tolerance, but comes darn near-close. The bottom line is the $165 per 30ml EdP bottle Blue Lotus smells pretty good but unimpressive coming from such a talented perfumer with its exotic name, earning it an "above average" to "good" 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5 rating and a neutral recommendation to most except powdery vanilla and ylang-ylang lovers.
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Drseid 5 months ago 1
7
Scent
6
Longevity
7
Sillage
8
Bottle
Far From Boundless, But Actually Good...
Boundless opens with sweet benzoin laced subtle dulled orange and peppery cardamom spice with underlying pipe-like tobacco rising from the base before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the tobacco remains and takes the fore, now shedding most of its sweetness and turning more dry as it is infused with a co-starring moderately synthetic smelling dry woody guaiac accord and relatively dry, smooth vanilla. During the late dry-down the tobacco vacates, as does the vast majority of the synthetic dry woods, leaving remnants of the dry vanilla as the sole focus through the finish. Projection is very good early but a skin scent for most of the perfume's slightly above average longevity of 8-9 hours on skin.

Amouage is a house that has majorly disappointed in the past decade, with the disappointments more frequent the past handful of years. As such, it was with great trepidation that I applied Boundless on skin, fully expecting another dud. Luckily for the first time in a while, Boundless impressed. In truth, there really is nothing new here, as spiced dry woody tobacco and vanilla concoctions have been done to death. That said, the perfume is skillfully composed on the whole, save the distinct evidence of a "vague synthetic woody accord" frequently found in a lot of similar perfumes, albeit much better tamed here. It just is nice to see Amouage getting past its always impressive looking bottles to actually contain some perfume I enjoy wearing, derivative or not. The bottom line is the $360 per 100ml Boundless actually is quite bounded to a perfume genre tackled all too many times, but the "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rated perfume separates itself from the pack with superior execution, earning a solid recommendation to fans of the spiced woody tobacco genre in particular.
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Drseid 5 months ago 1
6.5
Scent
8
Longevity
4
Sillage
8
Bottle
Distinctive But Personal White Florals...
White Lotus opens with a nose tingling slightly sweet floral honeysuckle and white lotus tandem at the fore supported by jasmine-like white tea before gradually transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the white floral tandem from the open remains though smooths out as the white tea gradually cedes its supporting role to just a hint of gauze-like real Oud and slightly sweet nutmeg enhanced sandalwood rising from the base. During the late dry-down the white florals gradually recede though never completely vacate, as the slightly sweet sandalwood takes the fore through the lengthy close to the finish. Projection is average for the first couple hours, then minimal for the rest of the perfume's over 12 hour duration.

White Lotus is a bit of an enigma... The perfume comes right out of the starting gate hitting the wearer with the white florals, though the subdued honeysuckle and white lotus have an almost ylang-ylang-like smell, actually presenting more like a yellow floral accord despite not being one. Real Oud is used extremely sparingly in the heart, with just enough of the real stuff to give a well-executed counterbalance to the florals, with the sandalwood adding needed smoothness to the mix. Probably the best part of the development is the late dry-down when the florals recede and the Oud vacates, leaving the sandalwood as the primary player through the deceptively lengthy finish. In fact the longevity metric is a tough one to judge, as after a couple hours you have to really put your nose close to the application point to smell the perfume anymore, but it is still there in strength and lasts for quite some time, just as a more personal perfume for most of its duration. As to the overall fragrance profile, while obviously this perfume can be worn by anyone, it leans stereotypically feminine. The bottom line is the $170 per 30ml White Lotus successfully provides an alternate take on the crowded white floral focused perfume genre, though keeps most of its secrets known only to the wearer, earning a "good" to "very good" 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5 rating and a recommendation to those looking for a distinctive but more self-centered white floral journey.
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Drseid 5 months ago 1
6
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
8
Bottle
Do We Really Need Another Spiced Woody-Amber?...
*Note: This is a review of the 2012 version of Embers.

Embers opens with a dash of benzoin enhanced moderately sweet, smooth vanilla before gradually transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, it stays highly linear as the vanilla remains, now joined by faint dull rose and a warm spiced woody-amber accord. During the late dry-down the linearity continues, as the rose vacates, leaving the diminished though still remaining vanilla to couple with the warm spiced woody amber accord through the finish. Projection is above average and longevity average at around 8 hours on skin.

Well, I knew it had to eventually happen... Even the strongest perfumers and/or houses with enough releases have to have a couple that really don't impress, and finally I have sniffed one from TRNP. Embers (2012) is a relatively simplistic warm spiced woody amber perfume at its core. The spice is blended enough to make picking out individual notes difficult, but if the result is as mundane as found here, it really doesn't matter and I gave up trying. While Mysore sandalwood is found in the official note list (at a 7.5% concentration, no less), I'll be darned if I sniffed any. Really the vanilla and spiced woody amber accord are the stars here, and they really are pretty much all there is to it. The perfume actually *does* smell good, but spiced woody-amber perfumes are so abundant that one ponders why they should purchase yet another. The bottom line is the $220 per 30ml bottle Embers is a pleasant but unimpressive addition to the all too crowded woody-amber field, earning a "good" 3 stars out of 5 rating, but an avoid recommendation unless you are planning on layering it with a real Mysore sandalwood soliflore perfume like Mysore Santal by Ethos Grooming Essentials (which I tried doing briefly and enjoyed).
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Drseid 6 months ago 3
8
Scent
10
Longevity
8
Sillage
7
Bottle
Warm Spice and Supple Leather...
African Leather goes on with a very brief dash of bergamot citrus, with smooth cardamom and cumin warm spice as the focus with just a hint of underlying barnyard oud rising from the base detectable before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the subtle oud enhanced warm, soft cardamom spice remains in full-force with the cumin remaining early but fading and ultimately replaced as co-star, as soft aromatic woody patchouli and dulled fruit-like floral geranium meld with the cardamom creating an overall focal accord with supporting soft suede-like leather detectable after a couple hours. During the late dry-down the supple leather takes the fore, adding a slightly powdery vanilla-like facet as the warm spice and geranium finally vacate, leaving remnants of the patchouli to add support through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity outstanding at nearly 24 hours on skin.

African Leather has been on the market for over a handful of years now and I confess it wasn't on my radar when released at all. In fact I probably would have never sought it out believing it to be "just another overpriced niche leather offering" had I not gone to my local perfume shop and had them spray it on a card for me, unsolicited. What I sniffed that day on the card immediately showed there was more to the composition than leather. As a matter of fact, the thing that stood out on the card was an amazing smelling soft, aromatic woody patchouli not wholly unlike the one used in the spectacular Javanese Patchouli by Zegna. Further investigation on skin was necessary, and here we are...

On skin that fabulous smelling woody patchouli is still there, but it meshes with some pretty dense warm cardamom spice and what can best be described as almost "fruity" geranium. The geranium is very different smelling than the normal "green" presentation of the ingredient, with this stuff presenting more warm, smooth and deep to match the spice and woods perfectly. As an aside, it took a few wearings before the officially listed oud could easily be detected... Once I honed in on it (as it is really used sparsely, more as a woody binder to the patchouli and warm spice) it is indeed there and works in subtle support as intended. Those seeking an oud forward perfume should continue past African Leather, as oud is definitely not the focus and detecting it may slip past even the most sensitive of noses with only passing exposure. Speaking of slipping past the wearer with only passing exposure, at first I thought "Where's the Leather?" when wearing the perfume the first time. The soft leather really is faint at best until the wearer gets to the latter part of the heart where it becomes more detectable as support, then during the late dry-down when it is the focal note, showing why it is included in the perfume's name. I don't know if the perfume really conjures up "African Leather" in my mind, but I never was much for perfume imagery anyway - all I can say is the composition smells damn good to me! The bottom line is the $300 per 75ml bottle African Leather may puzzle many early about how what they are smelling fits in with the perfume name, but the perfumer successfully composes a warm spicy/woody concoction early before the "big leather reveal" late, earning it an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation to warm spice and supple leather lovers in particular.
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