ItchynoseItchynose's Perfume Reviews

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In the hedonistic downward spiral that is the Nasomatto collection –the tempting chocolate of Pardon, the intoxicating hashish of Black Afgano– Baraonda seems to be the chapter dedicated to the old inebriating tipple.

Here is a very boozy fragrance that immediately conjures up dark rose petals drenched in liquor resting at the bottom of a whiskey tumbler. There is aromatic ambrette to help numb the senses and some wood to give the scent a masculine touch but all these elements are swimming in the realistic, prominent and long lasting whiskey note. This is an unapologetic tribute to an elegant drink and an incredibly beautiful fragrance. I raise my glass to it.

2 Awards
I picture pineapple rings grilling on a smoky barbecue. Very nice.

Wearing Aventus reminds me of that story about John Lennon being asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world. "He wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles" Lennon replied. Aventus, anointed by many as the ruling monarch of men's scents is undoubtedly a great fragrance –versatile, masculine, modern– but to me it's not even Creed's best.

They say there's no accounting for taste and both fans (I confess I am one) and non-fans of Aventus should be thankful for that: delicious as they are who wants to live in a world where every man smells of smoky pineapple rings?

1 Awards
Silver Mountain Water is the smell of a Spring morning spent hiking in the outdoors, lungs bursting with a mixture of clean, cold air and the pungent freshness of the surrounding greenery.

In this mental picture Creed paints there are yellow daffodils and buttercups growing by the footpaths and they will release their sticky resins, pollen and dew on anyone attempting to cut them from their stem; it seems to me it's that lingering aromatic scent on your hands and fingers what Silver Mountain Water is trying to replicate here: cold mountain and green nature in fresh fragrance form. An accomplished creation.

1 Awards
It's fresh, fruity, sweet, clean and possibly Montblanc's biggest hit since the advent of the fountain pen.

Individuel's raspberry and clean laundry combo has become such a popular scent in recent years that it almost feels wrong to jump on an already crowded bandwagon but it is hard to find anything to dislike about this fragrance. This is a modern smelling juice with enough personality to stand out from the many sweet-but-manly scents in the market these days. Versatility is another factor explaining Individuel's success: it's practically an office safe cologne in small doses and a sweet party beast when sprayed without a care.

All in all Individuel smells great, performs well and it's likely to remain a permanent presence in many men's fragrance rotations.

1 Awards
Who doesn't love the smell of fresh green peppers in the morning? A lot of people apparently.

If one manages to forget about the prominent vegetable for a moment the "gun metal" from the description comes to life: it's the metallic green pepper again combining with the cold freshness of a subtle rose. Slowly other floral notes creep in –jasmine, hyacinth– adding a sweetness that feels at odds with the pepper's bitterness, ultimately bringing this crazy short ride to a disappointingly premature end.

There is a lot wrong about this weird and weak green fragrance, and that's why I kind of love it. A wicked love if you will.

1 Awards
The first few seconds of Soul Of The Forest paint a vivid picture of water soaked woods after heavy rain. There is dew on the grass, earthy damp soil and wet green leaves keeping this timber themed scent friendly, soft and watery. There is even a sweetness in the air from maple sap dripping onto moist patchouli.

Sadly this beautiful image is fleeting. As if the forest floor was hit by sun rays that managed to find their way through the vegetation, the scent quickly evaporates before our eyes bringing the pleasant experience to an early end. One of the most evocative creations from Margiela, but also one of the most short lived.

3 Awards
One of the best 4711's to come out in recent years, light and soft like baby cologne. This remix edition replaces the few rough and slightly outdated edges from the original blend with a well-balanced mix of citrus (lemon, orange, bergamot) and aromatic notes (lavender, rosemary, petitgrain).

A gentle, fresh, very easy to wear fragrance for the warmer months.

2 Awards
Picture in your mind a recording studio in the '70s. There is a lounge where musicians can take a break from the rehearsal sessions and rest on comfy couches and sofas. This is furniture that over the years has been used by Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Eagles or Led Zeppelin, from the prog-rock to disco artists and everything in between.

The wallpaper in that lounge, the carpet, couches and cushions all smell of vanilla and patchouli with a weird psychedelic touch of orris. It's a sweet and dated, potent but pleasant smell: the bizarre and accomplished scent of 14Hour Dream.

1 Awards
Somewhere in between Maison Martin Margiela's Music Festival (not as sweet) and Nasomatto's Black Afgano (not as dark), with a slightly harsh or bitter opening due to the wormwood. The syrupy sweetness next to the cannabis in the initial stage comes from a combo of honey and amber but it serves the same edulcorating purpose as the patchouli and red apple in MMM's scent. The dry down of Green Bubble is woodier and more resinous and the lack of patchouli allows a clearer cannabis note through, bringing it closer to Nasomatto's creation during this last phase. Performance wise both Music Festival and Black Afgano seem to have the upper hand over Jusbox's scent.

Is it worth buying? Well, someone looking for a sweet cannabis scent will prefer Music Festival. Someone looking for a darker, resinous cannabis scent should go for Black Afgano. Sadly Green Bubble sits somewhere in the middle and does not perform better than neither of those two.

1 Awards
Considering the main notes in Pirates' Grand Reserve, rum and chocolate, happen to be two of my favorites this fragrance was always going to be a pretty safe bet for me. And indeed I happen to love it; it's sweet, boozy, gourmandy and grown up, a permanent presence in my winter rotation.

That's not to say the fragrance is without its problems: it would have been nice for the rum note to last longer than 15 minutes, both longevity and projection could be better and the price... well, unless you end up loving the juice madly it's going to feel overpriced since there are similar fragrances in the market available for less money. Still, whenever I spray some Grand Reserve it brings a smile to my face and makes me feel for a moment like an intrepid Caribbean pirate. Hard not to love that.

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