ItchynoseItchynose's Perfume Reviews

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There are no sharp edges by the old watering hole, only the gentle touch of a million fingers pouring as many drinks, sliding beveled glasses down the bar, helping tired bodies rest against the smooth lacquered wood with slow gestures repeated over the decades. In this dark, musty environment every piece of furniture has soaked the scent of countless whiskeys and now greets customers like a familiar hug after a long day of work.

Tonight though the speakeasy seems unusually loud, with more than the customary mumbled conversations and clinking tumblers. There are fresh new faces in a corner, an unexpected group of young visitors seeking refuge from the cold and rain outside. No-one at the bar pays much atention to their cheering and laughing but soon the room is filled with something that cuts through the old single malt: there is warm vanilla cake, candied fruit and spicy cinnamon, a powerful aroma that brings memories of family celebrations at home, wherever that may be.

As the party songs get going some customers finish their drinks off, grab their coats and head back to their loved ones early for once. Others try their best to ignore the happy mood and sweet scent in the air, and remain focused on the swirling bourbons under their noses; probably nowhere else to go or no better place to be on a cold lonely night.

1 Awards
"Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime,
His sister had another one she paid it for the lime."

– Harry Nilsson

I've always dreamt of faraway tropical islands, blue skies and cristalline turquoise waters under a Caribbean sun. I can almost picture a tanned version of myself rocking a shark tooth necklace and white linen shirt walking down a sandy beach without a care in the world. Since I live in a cold and rainy place you could call it a bad case of grass always being greener on the other side, wherever that side may be.

And what has this to do with Creed's Virgin Island Water? Well, there is little original I can add about the fragrance itself that hasn't been said by now. Boozy white rum, sweet sugar cane, fresh Antillean limes and fleshy coconut pulp will conjure up mojitos to some and suntan lotion to others, depending on where your personal preferences stand. To me, it's the scent of carefree holiday joy.

One day I may get off the couch and board a plane to warmer climates, until then I can only spray some Virgin Island Water and dream on.

"Put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning..."

1 Awards

Pulp - Byredo

Pulp is a journey that starts at the final destination –the proverbial six feet under– with the last stages of decay and decomposition not happening underground but on our skin and under our nose. Straight out of the sprayer the figs, apples and berries are already way past their prime and beginning to soak in their own morbid, pungent syrupy juice. The challenging opening seems to veer quickly from somewhat pleasant fermenting booze to rancid fridge tray.

Then, just like footage running backwards all the fruits and flowers quickly come back to life. Caught in this reverse chronology blackcurrant leaves turn green, soft and fresh, figs sparkle with morning dew and the skin on the red apples shines again under the sun. The first stages of the dry down arrive like spring after a long winter and finally deliver on the promise of a sweet and juicy scent.

For me the end result was well worth the ride on this strange backwards journey.

3 Awards
It was the early 90's during a school trip to some small village in the middle of nowhere that I got to taste wine for the first time. It was meant to be a fun day of learning for us city kids getting in touch with the rural world but it was hot and dusty and we were all more excited by the prospect of prolonged close contact with the classmates of the opposite sex than by honey, cheese or wine making.

In any case we were grateful for the cool atmosphere in the wine cellars and were happy to leave the thyme and olive trees behind in exchange for the mysteriously fruity smell that emanated from deep down the caves and catacombs storing the goods. Eventually we got to have a little taste of the inebriating red juice –it was a different time–, and in the cover of darkness, amongst excited giggles, there was some hand holding and even kissing, a first too for some on that trip.

I smelled Sweet Tobacco Spirits many years later and the memories of that distant school trip came rushing back: powdery honey, musty air in a dark cellar, old wooden casks drenched in booze and syrupy wine on some dusty red lips.

3 Awards
Smelling Oud Save The King feels like slowly sinking into the cushion of a big, comfy sofa, the prominent suede and oud notes just so smooth and velvety, perfectly supported by sweet orris and creamy sandalwood. Sadly the top notes are nowhere to be found, and without that bergamot the blend becomes a tad cloying and overwhelming after a while. Throughout its lifespan it remains a slightly warm, elegant fragrance but also a bit linear or lacking an exciting edge to it.

Still, Oud Save The King could be an apt scent for those who want to get started with agarwood fragrances that aren't dark or demanding, but it may not provide the "authentic oud" fix to more experienced noses.

2 Awards
24 Bond Street is a fresh green scent –an aromatic combo of juniper and tea– with a classy, mature, boozy-floral personality: behind the green shoots hides a subtle whiskey and rose heart made in fragrance heaven. As the scent dries down all these notes smoothly blend together and evolve into a familiar, slightly powdery, vintage men's cologne territory.

Like many creations by Atkinsons this is an elegant scent that exudes sophistication and requires a suave, confident wearer. A grown up, old-school-yet-modern perfume to be enjoyed by discerning masculine noses.

1 Awards
The Moroccan citron in Cédrat Enivrant comes across as a very realistic citrus note, maybe due to Atelier Cologne's preference for using natural ingredients in their products. It's not an artificially sharp or screeching lemon like in a cleaning product nor sweet and cloying like candy drops or lemon drizzle cake: this is a fresh, slightly green and very zesty citron smell that starts and remains extremely fizzy, reminiscent of a high quality lemon scented bar of soap that has been scrubbed into a million little bubbles. Expensive fabric softener also comes to mind at some points.

Performance is discreet –it's a skin scent all the way– and this is one of those fragrances that some could criticize as linear but it's also one that is true to its label: Cédrat Enivrant, intoxicating citron, is a blast of soft, smooth lemony goodness for lovers of high quality yet simple citrus scents.

1 Awards
From the first spray of Pacific Lime a cloud of sweet and fresh tropical goodness takes over. It's a fruity smell that immediately evokes a few different images: a colorful Caribbean street market brimming with pineapples and bananas; the juicy, syrupy smell of mango pulp dripping down the arms and elbows; the coconut-lime sweetness of a boozy cocktail on the beach.

If what we ask from an evocative summer scent is to transport us to a dreamy faraway place that probably only exists in our imagination then Pacific Lime can only get the highest score from me; this is a wonderfully fresh and fruity fragrance that smells just like paradise. My favorite scent from Atelier Cologne.

Picture a wooden porch swing by a Louisiana bayou. It's the height of the summer season and the hot air is filled with the buzz of midges and grasshoppers. The only way to keep cool is by sipping the refreshing and intoxicating cold green juice of a mint julep. Here is where the similarities between the spirit and the fragrance begin. In both tumbler and flacon the green herb is fresh, sweet and covered in crushed ice, drenched in inebriating bourbon whiskey and sprinkled with sugar: an absolute feast for the nose and taste. There is a hint of tangerine zest and the subtle aroma of local southern magnolia too.

In our mental picture the sun quickly sets in the horizon and just as quickly this Saint Julep turns into a skin scent, slightly weak and short lived but retaining its voodoo magic when smelled up close. One may feel compelled to respray every few hours to allow this beautiful experience to continue as if mind-controlled by naughty playful fairies.

A fantastic little potion full of green, sweet, fresh and boozy Mississippi magic.

1 Awards
I find Black Afgano a bit too dark and heavy for me to wear comfortably and too sweet at times to remind me of any hash I smoked back in the day but there is still something special about it. It's mysterious and alluring in a rebellious, individualistic, uninviting and troubled kind of way, the kind of fragrance you would have expected a James Dean or Christopher Lee to wear.

The scent is strong, heavy –big cannabis, oud and resin notes–, long lasting and not to everyone's taste but it is ideally suited to a particular sombre mood: ominous, pitch black cold winter nights straight out of a horror movie when the fragrance can come to life like Dr. Frankenstein's monster.

One could say it's not as masculine as Nasomatto's Duro, not as wearable as Baraonda and not as pleasant as Pardon... but Black Afgano is the kind of scent that doesn't really care.

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