MRothMRoth's Perfume Reviews

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MRoth 9 years ago 6
7
Scent
7.5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Podzol
Al Shams opens with the pungent sourness of cat urine. To sugar coat these first few minutes would be a disservice. Not house-cat urine though - it's far too dusky, almost boozy. While I haven't had the, er, "pleasure" of smelling the urine of a tiger or other wild cat, I assume that would be appropriate. There's also a murky sweetness that fills the mouth and can set one to gagging if over applied. It reminds me of a diabetic man badly in need of insulin; musky, sugary sweat on the edge of decay.

Fortunately for those of delicate sensibilities, these confrontational top notes settle down much faster than in other ouds I have sampled, moving on to the heart in less than half an hour. Here Al Shams is a herbaceous tonic poured over freshly sawn timber, a mixture of pine and sandalwood. I find it strongly antiseptic, a concentrate of all the unsettling scents of a hospital: sickness, sweat, ammonia, disinfectants and idoform floor wash. The pine note grows stronger, combining with the hospital smells to resemble pine tar, an dark, sticky substance once employed as a wood sealant, now used primarily as a skin treatment or in fisherman's soap.

After another hour or so the pine gives way to decomposing woodchips and mulch. The antiseptic note is still strong. Under this astringency is a scent that reminds me of Australian bushfires, or rather the rain-wet ashen remnants of them.

Drydown is mostly herbal. Though it is rounded by a cardamom sweetness, Al Shams is still more masculine than I would normally wear, and that's coming from someone who often wears and appreciates male fragrances. Sillage is large, even once the juice has faded to its base notes.
MRoth 9 years ago 4 3
8.5
Scent
6
Longevity
7
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Edible Mr Sheen
The first spray of Shalimar is true to notes, tangy lemon smoothed into a powdery gourmand by way of vanilla and jasmine. Orange is here but it's riding along in the back seat, kindly adding just a touch of tart sweetness.
I've spent hours memorising the zingy top notes, waiting for the mellow, muted heart and then reapplying. The overall effect is joyous and eminently edible, a real mood-lifter.
After many enjoyable spritzes, I have finally put my finger on what it reminds me of:
In Australia we have an aerosol spray furniture polish called Mr Sheen, complete with iconic jingle. It's been around since the 50's and any house that has well kept antique wooden furniture tends to have an underlying waft of it... while potent, it's a pleasant, comforting smell.
3 Replies
MRoth 9 years ago 4 1
9
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
5
Bottle
Mellifluous
Raghba by Lataffa is 24 Gold's mellow little brother. Normally I find comparison reviews unhelpful, but if you are interested in this perfume and do not already know of the secret wonder which is 24 Gold, I highly recommend it and suggest you read that review for context.

Raghba is a slightly smoky vanilla and smooth, sweet bakhoor woods; a honey-golden sunset glowing through stained glass windows. The balmy day to Gold's dusky evening, Raghba is autumn in a bottle. Perfectly unisex and ageless, I would recommend this scent to almost anyone. It radiates well but without the dense cloud of 24 Gold, making it much more viable for enclosed spaces or audiences who may find Gold too alien for their Western smell library. Longevity is also shorter but it moves almost immediately into heart notes. A 100ml bottle in a delightfully gilded package is available for an astoundingly low price.
A safe blind buy for any appreciator of gourmand woods.
1 Reply
MRoth 9 years ago 9 1
10
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7
Sillage
5
Bottle
The Golden Rule
Take an old rotting wooden log. Set it to dry near a fireplace. Hollow it out, fill with dry dirt, whole vanilla beans, cinnamon bark and warm spices. Hide the log in the throne room of a sultan, let years of frankincense and sweet myrrh suffuse the wood. Heat the log over a fire and spoon some whipped cream on top.
Now step back and smell it as a complete scent: this is 24 Gold.

It wasn't love at first sniff, however. At first I worried that I'd received a dud batch or perhaps the oud note was not nearly what I expected. But I gave it time, first resigned to a bad blind buy, then cautiously optimistic, then enraptured! Gold is a good name for it, fitting in both hue and value; 24 Gold is one of few fragrances I have considered stocking up on just in case they decide to discontinue it, gold ingots stashed away from prying eyes.

It's not as much of a sillage monster on me as some others have described, I would actually prefer it to be stronger. It fares better sprayed on clothing but I enjoy it more when activated by body heat, so there's a trade-off. I do wish the bottle was a little transparent as due to the weight of it and the opaque metallic coating it is difficult to judge the level of perfume inside.

On a more personal note, I enjoy washing my hair with my coconut and Marrakesh oil conditioner and then liberally applying 24 Gold. Generally I avoid mixing perfumed products but they mesh together well. It encourages confidence and sensuality... I feel warm and mysterious, a desert priestess making libation.
1 Reply
MRoth 9 years ago 5
7
Scent
7.5
Longevity
10
Sillage
5
Bottle
First Kiss of Summer
Berlin is a potent brew. I use a very small spritz and give it at least a half hour to settle.
It's as if I'm sitting in a small garden of well-tended flowers, paring succulent fruits gathered upon my lap. The garden is warm and sunny to the point where you can smell the stone pathway, bees amble from bloom to bloom. This would all be too sweet if not for the anchor of amber and sandalwood, but rather than grounding the perfume completely they cooperate with the sweetness. It all hovers a few feet off the ground, lifting me up.

It's a springtime perfume, a happy perfume, a scent for first dates laughing and sashaying through the park. I wouldn't wear this on a day I was feeling less than optimistic, however; some perfumes can lift my mood when I'm down, but Berlin would be the friend that simply could not let me be sad to the point of becoming obtrusive.
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