Kurai

Kurai

Perfume Reviews
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Kurai 4 days ago 3
8
Bottle
7
Sillage
8
Longevity
8.5
Scent
Narcissusist
Every other perfumer complains about how the disclosure of fragrance notes forms a limitation to their framing of the perfume experience. They would very much prefer to ditch the semi-mandatory note pyramid and replace it with an artsy storyline. Yet, most of those mini stories are so abstract and hollow that they completely miss the mark. Then there is Masque Milano. They manage to realize a context of quality, where each of their perfumes is an episode in a broader work of art. Their inspiration, notes of choice and the intended effect all come together in a readable backstory that actually makes sense. Go check it out on their website. Watch and learn, creative directors of the fragrance world.

Since it is impossible to introduce this perfume better than Masque does, I will get to the point and stick to describing my personal impressions. Romanza appears to me as a fairly mellow narcissus. Mellow in the sense that its development is kind of subtle and low-paced. This is not so much the typical fresh character that announces the early spring, though. There is a certain bite to it, a darker bittersweet side, as notes of angelica, violet and hyacinth stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the narcissus. This magnificent floral accord forms the long long bridge between the green-herbaceous opening and the ambery end phase.

Its animalic facet is mentioned a lot, but it is used in a classical supportive way, not harsh at all. In fact the whole composition feels classical, but not oldish or retro. I would wear this in any casual setting, without being bound to any season in particular.
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Kurai 8 days ago 3
6
Sillage
6
Longevity
7
Scent
Pomelosmanthus
Straight to the point: Osmanthus, and that is that. The opening is a bit citrusy. That must be the pomelo listed. From up close eenie meenie tiny bits of spice can be detected as well. Other than that, this is osmanthus from head to toe. Its fruity side is most present here as well as that typical crystalline brightness. From time to time its buttery and even leathery facets come through. Nice overall, easy to wear and office-friendly, but does not bring anything new to the table. I already have The Different Company's "Osmanthus | The Different Company" so I will not be needing this.
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Kurai 11 days ago 3
8
Sillage
7
Longevity
7.5
Scent
12 on the Beaufort scale
Pity the fool who tries this one expecting a delicate white floral bouquet. There may be a pretty white lily to be found, but it is placed right in between a strongly contrasting top and bottom.

Fathom V opens with what is best described as a hurricane. Greens, soil, hairspray and florals blown at you with overwhelming force, as cold and uninviting as a winter storm. The white lily stands fierce. Its pollen-rich aspect is boosted by cumin and other dark spices.

But after the storm comes a calm. Eventually things unfold into a comfortable mossy scent with hints of woods and spice. It is still chilly cold and green here, but that frostbite edge of the opening is gone. The lily has died quietly, but the spices survived.

Quite a challenging scent, really, due to its overwhelming opening. Both the photorealistic lily and the use of cumin came as a nice bonus. If you are in for a wild ride into the deep dark greens, give this a try. Do not come here for the white florals.
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Kurai 14 days ago 2
6
Sillage
7
Longevity
7
Scent
The art of subtlety
Those in favor of the loud and obnoxious, you can skip this one. This is not your thing. This is for the ones who know how to get what they want with a single glance and a whisper rather than by crying out loud and demanding attention.

Violet forms a cold, transparent setting in which the iris' sparkles seem brighter than ever. Within this crystalline frame, there is a soft puffiness coming from the floral petals and some gray dust - clary sage - for texture. All stay on the soft and delicate side. Not necessarily “quiet”, just tactful hints that leave a little room for imagination.

In short, a green-floral iris with a mesmerizing, attractive subtle touch. Best worn on sunny days.
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Kurai 17 days ago 3
8
Sillage
8
Longevity
8
Scent
Revival
Maai gives off a serious retro vibe with its floral-mossy backbone, puffy aldehydes and that heavy civet kick. But retro isn't per definition great. What makes this perfume compelling is how it progresses through a number of phases, changing color (yellow-green-white-brown) as well as temperature (cool-cold-warm) along the way. This type of dynamics is what makes a great chypre for me, rather than the ingredients listed.

Shortly after Maai's release, Liz Moores did a similar trick with "Salome | Papillon Artisan Perfumes". Although Salome is night and Maai is day, they both succeeded in reviving a genre that was supposedly dead. Not by recreating an exact scent profile, but by rendering its wonderful progression in color and temperature.

One thing to keep in mind before your first try: That opening shot of civet may turn you into a cross-eyed foulmouthed son of a bête for a moment. Just sit through it. After the piss comes the bliss.

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