DrseidDrseid's Perfume Reviews

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Jasmin de Cherifa opens with an extremely brief splash of near-transparent thin, airy rose before moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the thin rose quickly moves well into the background as light and airy sanitized jasmine takes over as sole star with little else presenting. During the late dry-down, the jasmine remains, sans rose and its more airy facet, now a skin scent through the finish. Projection starts average, but quickly turns minimal, with longevity below average at 6-7 hours on skin.

There really isn't much to say about Jasmin de Cherifa. The composition is a pleasant jasmine soliflore that only shows the non-indolic facet of the jasmine. Instead of its indolic side, the wearer gets an airy and light but rather sedate presentation of the white floral with a more "feminine" feel to it. I usually don't like to use words like "masculine" and "feminine" in perfume reviews, but in this particular case, the way the perfumer chose to present this specific light and sanitized profile of the usually more lush and indolic white floral really does strike me this way (though I still feel anyone can wear it). The only other note of any consequence (and it barely is noticeable) is a very subtle transparent rose that lends the slightest of support to the starring jasmine. The bottom line is the $210 per 30ml bottle Jasmin de Cherifa is a high quality, but all too linear and simplistic presentation of one of my favorite notes, earning a "good" to "very good" 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5 rating and a hesitant recommendation to jasmine lovers. It should be noted that while price did not factor into my review rating as always, if price is considered, the $7 per ml cost is hard to swallow when so many less expensive superior jasmine perfumes are available.

Indian Wood opens with sugary sweet coconut milk infused sandalwood before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the hyper-sweet coconut milk remains in full force with the sandalwood taking a supporting role, turning creamy while spiked with vague warm spice as moss-derived heavy powder joins the coconut milk as co-star. During the late dry-down the powder vacates leaving remnants of the spiced sandalwood, now offloading about half of its sweetness to pair with newly unveiled relatively transparent vetiver from the base through the finish. Projection is average, with longevity below average at 5-6 hours on skin.

This is extremely bad smelling stuff, at least from the perspective of this sweetness and powder-averse writer. The coconut milk used here presents itself as sugary sweet cotton candied suntan lotion, and the likely fake ("faux" if you prefer) sweet, creamy sandalwood only emphasizes the sweetness of it further. Add in extremely powdery make-up like tree moss eschewing all of its green facets entirely, and you have concocted just about a "worst case" scenario. I suppose those whose preferences are the polar opposite to mine may enjoy Indian Wood, but for me this stuff is unwearable and horrific smelling until the banal and forgettable late dry-down only slightly tempers the continuous nasal assault. The bottom line is the "very poor" to "poor" 1.5 to 2 stars out of 5 rated $125 per 50ml bottle Indian Wood may appeal to niche sugary sweet powder freaks (some have *got* to be out there), but the majority of perfume enthusiasts will want to steer well-clear of this repellent cotton candied makeup-like monstrosity.

Turquoise goes on with a combination of transparent and sharp alcohol, with hints of cut green grass and indolic jasmine before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the indolic jasmine remains and takes the fore, joined by significant dry beeswax and a vague, dulled rotting slightly sweet fruit accord. During the late dry-down, the beeswax vacates as the jasmine and rotting fruit both soften, with a barely detectable dull rose joining in support through the finish. Projection is minimal, with longevity average at about 8 hours on skin.

What can I say about this mini-stinker? The composition comes off as relatively unpolished and while far from hideous smelling, certainly unpleasant and generally off-putting. The primary players are the indolic jasmine and the dulled slightly rotting fruit accord. Jasmine is one of my favorite notes, and when skillfully implemented there are few ingredients that can bring as much life to a composition. Unfortunately for Turquoise, the heavy-handed use of the stuff coupled with the unpleasant dulled rotting fruit accord is an abysmal combination that made this writer want to scrub the stench off as quickly as possible (and if not for needing to write this review, would have). I would like to say that the late dry-down where the jasmine softens considerably salvages the composition, but alas, while better in relative terms it quite frankly just doesn't smell good either. The bottom line is the apparently discontinued Turquoise finds new ways to turn one of my favorite notes into insect repellent, earning a "poor" 2 stars out of 5 and an avoid recommendation to all.

1 Awards
Oeilleres opens with a camphoraceous eucalyptus underpinned by aromatic lavender before moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the eucalyptus remains, now joined by significant natural smelling cumin spice and a strong, almost mossy olive-oil accord supported by slightly herbaceous chamomile. During the late dry-down, the olive oil accord recedes then disappears, as does the cumin spice, unveiling a woody, leathery styrax base note, with hints of supporting soft musk through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at around 11-12 hours on skin.

Oeilleres is a tough composition to describe. There are a lot of floral components, but the composition does not smell floral at all. In truth the primary standouts begin with cumin spice that thankfully does not present itself like body odor as in many other compositions, instead coming off quite natural smelling, like one might expect to find in a spice cabinet. Another is what can best be described as an "olive oil" accord, quite similar to the one frequently found in most of the early O'driu releases by Angelo Orazio Pregoni. There is a moss-like characteristic that melds with the olive oil accord, but this is not oakmoss instead presenting closer to the smell of tree moss or maybe a synthetic version of it. Finally, the styrax (benzoin) does not present itself as balsamic and floral as it frequently does, but rather as almost a cedar wood and leather hybrid undertone that works quite well during the late dry-down. While describing Oeilleres is difficult, deciding whether the end result works is much easier, and the answer is definitely "yes." I doubt this is a composition one would reach for often, but outside of the extremely limited edition (and availability) O'driu releases you would be hard-pressed to find anything on the market similar. The bottom line is that while the $215 per 50ml bottle Oeilleres is a bit of an oddball offering that will not garner mainstream attention, the "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 rated release will surely appeal to and is recommended to perfume enthusiasts who dig Odriu's early offerings and/or find their tastes bent to the more inventive side of the spectrum.

Cosmos Flower goes on with a slightly sharp, brief splash of mandarin coupled with a sugary sweet warm baked apple accord before moving to its heart. As the composition enters it early heart the benzoin derived sweetness remains, as a starring banana-laced jasmine-like ylang-ylang floral is unveiled, supported by soft cocoa and sweet caramel rising from the base. During the late dry-down the ylang-ylang vacates, leaving remnants of the cocoa and caramel to now support prominent, almost vanilla-like amber that takes center stage through the finish. Projection is below average and longevity average at 8-9 hours on skin.

With its relatively high sweetness quotient, coupled with gourmand facets like cocoa and caramel, a betting person would wisely believe that someone (like this writer) who is averse to sweet compositions would dislike Cosmos Flower, but surprisingly in this case they would be wrong. There is no denying that the sweetness is problematic and crosses the "danger zone" threshold. That said, the floral banana-like ylang-ylang really does meld well with the semi-gourmand facets, tempering the sweetness just enough to allow the (in this case sweet-averse) wearer to enjoy the experience. I doubt this writer will be running to purchase a bottle of the relatively sweet Cosmos Flower, but I can certainly appreciate the end result, and what many who *do* enjoy compositions on the sweet side of the spectrum will find quite appealing. The bottom line is the $550 per 50ml bottle Cosmos Flower will potentially be problematic to the sweet-averse, but is skillfully if not a tad simplistically composed, earning it a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rating, and a recommendation to those with a fragrance sweet tooth.

Baikal Gris opens with a lush coniferous green woody fir coupling with just a hint of salty ambergris before moving to its heart. As the composition reaches its early heart, the early coniferous fir gives way to pine-like coniferous cypress rising from the base that takes the fore underpinned by natural smelling, slightly sharp cedar wood and relatively dry and smooth real sandalwood. As the progression continues through the heart phase, the coniferous cypress gradually recedes, as the sandalwood and cedar woody tandem add a soft leathery facet with just a tinge of slightly powdery green oakmoss joining moderately sweet, powdery vanilla in support. During the late dry-down, the moderately powdery vanilla takes command, with remnants of the powdery oakmoss and sandalwood smoothing things out through the finish. Projection is slightly below average and longevity average at 8-9 hours on skin.

The first time I wore Baikal Gris the ambergris spiked coniferous open didn't agree with me at all. In fact, it bothered me enough that I pretty much stopped paying attention to things right there. I was fully prepared to slam the composition in this review based on the initial informal wearing, but an extremely rare thing happened this occurrence... I have done a complete 180 degree change in my opinion. Maybe it took me some time to adjust, or maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for the composition last wearing, but today I am enjoying everything about it. Ironically the weakest aspect to me is the salty real ambergris that gets top billing due to its scarcity. In truth, the real allure is just about everything else, with the cypress, cedar and sandalwood notes the most prominent. Also prominent and unexpected was a gorgeous deep, soft leather accord not unlike the stuff found in vintage Bel Ami that reveals itself midway through the heart. Apart from the relatively benign ambergris, the composition is only slightly marred by its powdery mundane vanilla driven late dry-down. While that is kind of a "dime a dozen" finish, it is relatively short, and the rest of the journey is every-changing and highly enjoyable getting to it. The bottom line is the $195 per 30ml bottle Baikal Gris took some adjusting to, but turned out to be fabulous, earning and "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation to all.

Derviche opens with just a hint of nose tingling orange bergamot, combining with much more substantial relatively sweet starring amber-like labdanum rising from the base with a supporting cherry pipe tobacco accord underpinning it before gradually moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the amber-like relatively sweet labdanum and now deepening pipe tobacco accord remain now as co-stars, as the the labdanum adds a leather-like facet to the mix along with supporting gentle warm saffron spice and subtle hints of floral jasmine. During the late dry-down, the composition remains linear as it eschews some of its early sweetness and the jasmine floral, as a mildly sweet vanilla and soft woody sandalwood tandem in the base gradually emerges and takes the fore, coupling with remnants of the labdanum and pipe tobacco remaining from the heart now in a supporting role through the finish. Projection is very good and longevity excellent at over 12 hours on skin.

It took me a bit of time to completely come around to Derviche. The early amber-like sweetness comes off a tad synthetic smelling and a touch too sweet for this writer's aversion to sweet compositions. That said, the ambery labdanum calms down as time passes as the pleasant smelling pipe-like tobacco accord takes hold. While the composition is pretty linear so changes happen very gradually, the subtle emergence of the less sweet vanilla and sandalwood from the base sneaks up on the wearer as a nice surprise that almost goes unnoticed and ultimately clinches the deal. While I doubt Derviche will go down as perfumer Cross' best work, when viewed as a relatively straightforward ambery sweet pipe tobacco and vanilla composition, it is a successful one that is hard to dislike and much easier to fall in love with, as I did. The bottom line is the $150 per 100ml bottle Derviche may not show off Mr. Cross' immense talent like the much more complex Chypre-Siam does, but for what it is, the composition is an addictive and successful relatively sweet pipe tobacco focused "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rated perfume that is recommended in particular to lovers of compositions like Tobacco Vanille, but want a bit more complexity.

There is an apparent laundry list of impressive ingredients to Vetiver Nocturne Autumn '19, but honestly most of the notes are either too well-blended to standout, or used in such small amounts as to be near-undetectable to this writer. As such, I will skip the usual more objective note and development section of the review and instead just get to what *is* smelled and my opinion of it. Projection is average, as is longevity at 8-10 hours on skin.

When first applied on skin, the vetiver immediately comes to the fore with a sharp, piercing concrete-like green/woody quality that is super-hardcore and will scare away all but the most ardent vetiver lovers (as this writer confesses to without shame). What comes next was wholly unexpected (as I sampled the composition blind without looking at the note pyramid and never sampled the original release), as some real Oud, perhaps Thailand based, emerges in support of the hardcore vetiver. The combination is something one doesn't smell often, or in my case, ever. It quite frankly doesn't work, at least not here. The Oud used does not come off as barnyard, but has an off-putting animalic element that just doesn't quite meld properly with the piercingly sharp vetiver. At this point the composition would have been viewed as a failure, but luckily the late dry-down partially salvages the overall result. This is accomplished as the Oud vacates, leaving the sharp vetiver to now pair with softening dry real sandalwood through the finish, proving a far superior combination that is rather pleasant smelling. The bottom line is the $330 per 50ml Vetiver Nocturne Autumn '19 gets points for innovation, quality ingredients and daring, but just doesn't smell particularly good earning it an "average" 2.5 stars out of 5 rating and an avoid recommendation to all but those who *really* want to smell an odd Oud and vetiver pairing for themselves.

1 Awards
Gold opens with a brief splash of bergamot combining with gentle black pepper and dulled mandarin orange before transitioning to its heart. As the composition moves to its early heart, fine floral jasmine and slightly sweet benzoin join a significant thickening, smooth, suede-like leathery castoreum and labdanum tandem with hints of the earlier dulled mandarin orange now remaining in support. During the late dry-down, woody vetiver enters the mix, with the composition also adding slightly powdery vanilla to remnants of the suede-like castoreum and mildly sweet benzoin through the finish. Projection is average, but longevity is outstanding at over 20 hours on skin.

Gold is a composition created by a perfumer I have had gobs of problems with in the past to put it mildly. It goes without saying that when I heard Antoine Lie was behind the composition that I was highly confident I would dislike it, even scared to *try* it... I am still somewhat in shock as I write this, but can safely say that Gold is the best thing I have sniffed from Lie, and certainly different from his usual style. In truth, while the perfume may be a tad polarizing, the superb mix of the floral jasmine with the suede-like accord paired with the woody vetiver and slightly sweet elements all play perfectly against one another and the result impresses more and more over time. After multiple wearings I now can say I love the perfume and have bought a bottle. The bottom line is the $190 per 17.5ml bottle Gold is quite a positive surprise from perfumer Antoine Lie, earning an "Excellent" to "Outstanding" 4 to 4.5 stars rating out of 5 and a strong recommendation (even to people like me who usually don't care for Mr. Lie's past work).

2 Awards
Chypre-Siam goes on skin with a mandarin orange, lemon-lime hybrid smelling kaffir lime accord, with early hints of floral jasmine rising from the perfume's heart. As the composition moves to its early heart, the lush white floral jasmine becomes the focal point, with slightly powdery co-staring yellow floral ylang-ylang and significant mossy green oakmoss rising from the base, bolstered by the subtle underlying support of multiple culinary herbs. During the late dry-down the florals gradually recede, leaving the oakmoss to pair with moderately powdery benzoin and slightly sweet sandalwood, with the composition turning leathery late, derived from a touch of (possibly real) civet joining in through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at 12-15 hours on skin.

Wow... Chypre-Siam is a stunner. It is so classically structured with pre-IFRA restriction nonsense ingredient types and amounts that this vintage perfume lover would swear it came out of the early 1900's if I didn't know better. The juice is a gorgeous mossy-green, foretelling the tremendous jasmine and oakmoss driven chypre concoction that has perfect balance from top-to-bottom. Perfumer Cross has many different successful compositions in his repertoire, but Chypre-Siam is the one he probably should be most proud of. I suppose if ignoring the IFRA, one could yield a convincing chypre, but getting the complete balance down is far from easy and I am sure Chypre-Siam was a labor of love that could have taken years to perfect. As a grateful wearer, this writer can only thank Mr. Cross for using his obvious talent to keep the true classic chypre alive and well. The bottom line is the $150 per 100ml bottle Chypre-Siam is a completely successful resurrection of the classic chypre, while still adding new wrinkles to the mix, earning a "near-masterpiece" 4.5 out of 5 star rating, and a super-strong recommendation in particular to lovers of classically structured perfumes who lament genre destroying IFRA restrictions.

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