Sorting through the vintage greats.

I’ve been more interested in variety lately, and what that means is I wear vintage less often. Moreover, because of the sharp rise in price for many vintage scents, it’s not a bad idea to sell some now, which would relieve feelings of becoming a hoarder as well as bringing in some cash! I have plenty of “backup bottles” of a bunch of vintage scents, but I’ve also been thinking that I should sell off some that I never seem to be interested in wearing as of late. How do I decide which ones should go?

Quorum is an interesting case. I like all the notes, but I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed wearing it, perhaps due to a lavender note that is just too strong. However, I have enjoyed Henry Cotton’s in Green, which also features a strong lavender note. The difference is that the rest of the composition of in Green seems to “cut” the lavender whereas in Quorum it seems to enhance its irritating qualities. Because vintage Quorum does not seem to have “hit the big times,” in terms of prices, though, I’ll likely hold onto it for a while.

Carven Homme is another that I don’t seem to be enjoying enough lately. Instead, I would wear vintage Heritage EdT. Not long ago, CH was selling quite well, but then a whole lot of “new old stock” seems to have been discovered and 50 ml bottles were selling for around $20 new. This is a case where it would seem to wait until prices rise again. Micallef #31 is another of this type, though it’s simpler and tends to be less cloying than CH can sometimes be to me. I recently acquired a bottle of Le Male Terrible, and this may be one to keep, because it’s not too close to vintage Heritage EdT, though it’s one I would swap if someone made me a great offer.

Vintage Red for Men is so complex that I can’t imagine not wanting it in my rotation. Every time I’ve worn it I’ve gotten at least slightly different impressions. And while I’ve enjoyed it a bit more or less, I’ve never experienced a “bad wearing” with it. The “patchouli monsters,” by contrast, have bothered me over the last few years. These include Givenchy Gentleman, Giorgio for Men, and Moods Uomo. On the other hand, while I enjoy the Boss Cologne/Tenere type scents, I’m not sure if I need more than a bottle of one of those. Success by MCM was released around the same time with a similar note list, so I never thought it worthwhile to obtain a bottle, though I sometimes look to see if someone listed it at a good price on ebay.

By contrast, the “castoreum monsters” are more appealing to me, though for a while I was very sensitive to that note. These include Salvador Dali Pour Homm, Vermeil, Davidoff, and One Man Show, though there are some that aren’t quite as monstrous in this context, including Leonard Pour Homme, Jil Sander Pure Man, and Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme. The most well-known, older aromatic fougeres have not interested me in quite a while (Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Azzaro Pour Homme, etc.), but I think I’d like to keep Montana’s Parfum d’Homme because it is more complex, which allows for different impressions (with the fougere accord sometimes not seeming to be too strong).

Kouros is an interesting one in this context. I’ve got Balenciaga Pour Homme, Joint Pour Homme, and Kouros Fraicheur, as well as vintage Kouros. Lately I’ve prefered BPH due to the nice sandalwood note, and less astringent qualities, but these are the kinds of scents that really seem to go from one end of the enjoyment/irritation spectrum to the other, depenging upon overall sensitivity or sensitivity to certain notes, accords, or aroma chemicals. Then there is One Man Show and Krizia Uomo. I think I might prefer the vintage aftershave formulation of OMS above others I’ve tried, but I think I’ll keep my vintage EdT as well, along with a bottle of KU, beause again these seem to vary considerably in terms of my enjoyment of them.

Havana and Montana Parfum d’Homme (“red box”) have some strong similarities. The Montana may be the most complex scent I’d call a fougere, whereas lavender does not play any major role in Havana, which features a tobacco note absent in the Montana. They both start out rather loud, but in the case of Havana, it’s too loud, though I can just use my technique for getting to the drydown more quickly, so that’s not really an issue. And while I have too many fougeres, I don’t think I should move out my Montana bottle because the complexity it possesses means that I may be able to wear it when no other fougere will be tolerable. Then there is Havana Reserva, which is a simpler but more tobacco-oriented version of Havana, which means I usually wear it rather than Havana. Because of this, I would part with my Havana bottle, though right now prices are low so it makes sense to wait. The Montana is also not expensive, so there’s not much of a decision to make. If someone wanted to offer me “big money” for a Havana Reserva bottle, I’d be tempted, but otherwise there’s no real decision here.

Sybaris by Puig is another that is in this range, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for it, so again, it pays to wait and see if prices rise for that one. The drydown on these is not that far from that of vintage Bijan for Men or Patou Pour Homme, actually, and in the case of those, BfM can be found in vintage formulation at low prices on ebay if one has patience whereas PPH seems to always sell for hundreds of dollars per 90 ml EdT. In any case, I think the above has supplied some ideas about my thought process in this context. One thing I don’t want to do is waste too much time on a hobby, but to me this is also a kind of journey of discovery. I don’t know what the limits of my olfactory interests are, and there are no scientific studies that might help clarify things (that is, a study of perhaps thousands of people over the course of a decade or more who have done what I’ve been doing since 2008). And so, I can’t help but to spend some time each day thinking about how everything “fits together.”

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How to make your own niche scent, cheaply !


You’ve probably read some threads on sites like Basenotes.net or Fragrantica.com which feature someone asking what inexpensive scent smells like a really expensive one. Aside from ones that seem to be an “homage,” to put it nicely (such as Lomani’s AB Spirit Silver and Aventus), there is also the possibility of layering scents to create a similar effect. It all depends upon what you are seeking, and unfortunately I don’t think many people really know! For example, some seem to want a top notes experience that lasts up to perhaps half an hour, and then the base could be quite generic and they wouldn’t even realize it. In other cases the person is seeking a specific kind of “vibe,” that term indicating that it’s a vague perception for them.

It is the latter kind of quest I’ll be addressing here, because I’m not that interested in top notes and don’t think I can do justice to that experience for “top notes people.” I’ll address two examples of possible attempts to replicate a “vibe” that expensive scents generate, one being Memoir Man by Amouage and the other being Black Afgano. I have sampled MM, and it struck me as being similar to Burberry’s Brit for Men, but it’s not quite the same, note-wise. So, for those who want an absinthe type note, which Brit doesn’t possess, I would try layering it with one of the Lolita Lempicka “masculine” scents or Smalto (1998). The “trick” seems to be to use the right amount of the two (or more scents) you are layering, and the best way to do that might be to decant them into dab vials and apply tiny dabs until you get the right “vibe.” Where you dab also matters – what I’ve found is that you want to dab the stronger scent below the weaker, if you do this to your chest and abdominal areas.

In the case of Black Afgano, I’ve only read reviews, but perceptions seem to be rather diverse with this one. If you’ve already got some Kouros, you can dilute that (if it’s vintage) and decant it, then I’d try decanting some Axis Oud as well. You can then use tiny dabs until you get the effect you are seeking. Now there may be a note in BA that doesn’t exist in any of the scents you already possess and can layer, but again, this is about a “vibe,” which means the loss of a note is not crucial. Of course this idea is much less useful to someone who owns very few scents, and in those cases I recommend buying some samples of what you think might interest you, to get a sense of the variety that exists (especially if you are “newbie”).

If nothing else, layering is an interesting experience. What I like to do once in a while, in this context, is to start the day with one scent and than apply another if I am getting bored and I think the other scent will enhance the first. Today, there are so many niche scents released each year and so much hype that unless you are wealthy this “hobby” might cause problems, perhaps even resulting in a divorce! I’ve certainly known of divorces that seemed to be about less than someone spending thousands a year on fragrances, that’s for sure! All it takes is a little thinking – ask yourself why you want a scent. For example, let’s say there’s a new and expensive “oud scent” that has strong spice and incense elements. Try layering something like Witness by Bogart or Jacomo de Jacomo with Jovan’s Intense Oud. If you want the oud quality to be mild, dab it below where you applied Witness. This isn’t that complicated! And you get to use what you already have while saving hundreds of dollars on just one bottle.

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Axis Oud, not Axis Caviar Oudh-Wood, or is it ?


I’ve got a lot of good things to say about this scent (Oud), but I do want to point out that this company has decided to use very confusing names! First of all, the company is Sense of Space, which doesn’t sound too promising in an olfactory context. Secondly, according to Fragrantica.com there are 37 releases by SOS, with 34 of these beginning with the word Axis. Five of these are Caviar scents. Axis Oud and Axis Caviar Oudh-Wood have yet to be listed at Fragrantica (I’ve given up trying to get them to list scents that clearly should be, such as Stardust for Men from 2001). It may be that “Caviar” scents simply have tiny colored balls inside the liquid, done entirely for visual effect, but I can’t speak to that, though I’ll include a picture of ACO-W so you can see this design feature:

The listed notes for Oud are:

“Top notes of tangerine, black pepper and saffron. Heart notes of rosemary, orange blossom and patchouli. Base notes of oud, incense, amber and leather.”

For Ouh-Wood, I’ve just seen “woody and smoky” notes mentioned. I’ve only seen Oud listed for sale on a UK site, but it was at about 10 pounds, so it’s unclear who the target market was. ACO-W seems to sell for around $25 or a bit more on ebay these days. Oud smells a bit like vintage M7 at first, but quickly goes in a different direction. The oud note is obvious, as is a cherry/medicinal quality one finds in M7, and it’s nicely balanced. Unlike M7 there is nothing even slightly ambery about this one, and instead of smoothing out, it becomes more intense, at least for my sensibilities. After no more than several minutes there is a really interesting charred or burnt wood type of effect, and then after that an aroma chemical (s) I’ve encountered before becomes obvious, though not outrageously strong.

Unfortunately, this chemical seems to really irritate me even in small amounts. I think Club Men by Azzaro contains it in even larger amounts. It is very tenacious and overwhelms other notes, even more so than the aroma chemical (s) in Potion Royal Black that seems to bother me to a lesser degree. It’s hard for me to know what to say about this phenomenon, because if you have the same reaction to it that I do, you probably won’t wear it, but if it doesn’t bother you and you can get 100 ml of Axis Oud for $20 or so, you’ll likely be very pleased (assuming you enjoy “oud scents”). In some ways this aroma chemical seems to be appropriate for the composition, and images of burnt debris at an old factory may come to mind.

By contrast, Jovan’s Intense Oud, while certainly not smelling entirely “natural” to me, doesn’t bother me, and in fact I seem to find it more natural-smelling as it develops. I wore Intense Oud just before writing this, and my former impression was reaffirmed – it’s not as interesting as Axis Oud but for the time being it’s more wearable. I don’t dislike M7, but I don’t find it to be that interesting, whereas Axis Oud is one of the most interesting “oud scents” I’ve come across and liked (compositionally), though wearing it for more than a short period of time has been a challenge so far. I was thinking of spraying it once on my back to see if that would help lessen the strength of the offending aroma chemical.

Despite the notes, it’s not that similar to vintage M7. There is a clear cherry/medicinal quality, but that’s the major similarity, along with a bit of what passes for oud at this price level (it’s not as syrupy and it’s drier too). It’s not that similar to Jovan’s Oud Intense, either, so if you are a fan of “super cheapo” ouds, this is not redundant. Instead, this one goes in more of an incense direction, though with clear aroma chemicals (however, I definitely wouldn’t call it a “chemical mess”) and a smoky wood element. The sweetness is minimal as well, and some sort of musk molecule is present, though not of a “laundry” variety. I’d cal it a good “starter oud scent,” and it has a niche-like quality. This is no run of the mill designer scent that has an oud note listed, that’s for sure. As I’ve said before, with scents like this on the market, selling for much less than department store scents that list an oud note, I have almost no interest in sampling new designer offerings.

This is my Fragrantica review, which I had to place on a different Axis scent’s page, because as is so often the case this site does not have a listing for it:

Axis Oud isn’t listed so I’ll put my review here. Note that there’s also an Axis Oudh-Wood but I haven’t tried that one (it may be the same for all I know). Oud is somewhat similar to vintage M7 up top, with the cherry and medicinal qualities, along with that sharp oud-type thing going on. However, there is a kind of charred or burning wood element that M7 doesn’t have, though it’s at the cost of smelling a bit “chemical,” at least to me. It’s nicely blended and never gets too sweet or generic, so unless you dislike this particular aroma chemical, I’d call this an incredible bargain (for you cheapo/oud fans), though I think I personally prefer Oud Intense by Jovan among this group. I’ve only seen it at a UK online store for about 10 pounds, and I don’t see any listed on ebay, though there are some of the Oudh-Wood bottles listed.

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Should you try to save money with “clones,” such as Dark Flower ?


“Designer imposter” scents go back a long time (from what I remember, to at least the 1980s), but these days there seem to be a flood on the market. Now if all of you lived near a store that sold just about every one them, and had testers available, I wouldn’t have written up this post. With the internet, we can not only learn about the availability of these, but in some cases read reviews at sites like Fragrantica.com, which for some reason thinks that some companies are legitimate enough to list in their database while others are ignored. Or perhaps they just list whatever they come across, though I’d suggested listing such scents as Stardust for Men (2001) but it is yet to be listed, months later !

Dollar store scents can be a great buy, but in most cases the more discerning person isn’t going to wear these, if he or she even bothers to try any. On the other hand are rather expensive scents that are supposed to be “as good” as really expensive ones. Using Fragrantica’s “This perfume reminds me of” feature, we can see that Cedrat Boise by Mancera, for example, is thought to be most similar to Aventus by Creed (53 votes). The “problem” is that it seems to be selling for more than $120 for 120 ml bottles these days, which is not a “cheapo” situation. In fact, if I enjoyed Aventus but couldn’t afford it, I doubt I could afford Cedrat Boise, and I’d also be incredibly disappointed if it did not smell close enough to Aventus. It certainly doesn’t seem like one could call this a “safe blind buy,” that’s for sure! On the other hand, spending $20-25 (or less) on Lomani’s AB Spirit Silver seems as safe as one an get, so long as you don’t believe it will smell exactly like Aventus.

Another company which seems to be doing this sort of thing, and which I just learned about, is Armaf. There doesn’t seem to be much of a secret about what their scents are meant to be in many if not most cases (if you do some research on Fragrantica, ebay, amazon, etc.). In fact, one ebay seller is opening claiming that Armaf’s Derby Club House Blanche is a “Creed silver mountain water copy.” The price is $30, at least if you live in the USA, and for me that’s till too high to label it a “safe blind buy,” but I can see how some might find that price (for 100 ml) and the reviews to be too tempting to pass up, especially considering how some of these “copy cats” seem to become unavailable at any price, though of course one might get lucky on ebay, or the company might decide to create a new batch (though you wouldn’t know if it smelled the same as the older batches until you obtained a bottle).

For me, the “sweet spot” is the Dorall Collection. I came upon one of their bottles at a yard sale back around 2009, purchasing what seemed to be a Polo “copy” (it’s called Mustang and is in a similar type bottle that is green). It’s a competent, wearable scent, and different enough from my vintage Polo to be worth owning for a couple of dollars. So, when I noticed a scent produced by Dorall Collection and called Dark Flower selling for about $10 for 100 ml, I did some research. Parfumo.net seems to have most of the Dorall Collection listed, usually with notes as well. In this case it seems clear that this is supposed to smell at least a bit like Black Orchid. Parfumo provides these notes for it:

Bergamot, Citric notes, Mandarin, Black gardenia, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Lotus wood, Orchid, Spicy notes, Floral accord, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Vanilla.

I haven’t tried Black Orchid in years but it does seem to bear some resemblance to what I can recall (in the drydown). DF has obvious an obvious but not very strong sandalwood note, along with florals that aren’t too “feminine” to me and gourmand elements. The balance is nice and I’d rather wear this than more than a few recent designer releases, that’s for sure. It’s a bit dry, isn’t too sweet or syrupy, and doesn’t have animalic quality (I’d say this is unisex, for those used to niche). And this brings me to a point that seems to be crucial, which is that some people seem to be seeking the strong niche scent experience whereas others, such as myself, are seeking a pleasant, dynamic, balanced, and smooth drydown. This is why I thought it would be worthwhile spending the money on DF, though another factor was the retail price of Black Orchid. If BO sold for a lot less, I’d just try have patience and get a good deal on ebay or in a swap.

So, while I have limited experience with “copy cat” scents, I certainly would mention Dorall Collection ones to those seeking a very inexpensive alternative to very expensive scents – assuming you don’t mind going to ebay once in a while to see what’s available, as well as doing some research on parfumo.net. There are also a couple of sites which may tell you exactly what the scent in question is supposed to smell like:

http://www.arioninc.net/#!catalogs/c5s0
http://shop.designerfragrancesinc.com/main.sc

Note that there are others, such as the Diamond Collection. If you search ebay’s fragrances for Diamond Collection you’ll see even more audacious bottle designs and names (IMO), and I wonder about the legality of those, but my main interest is in how these smell, of course. I’m not really “in the market” for a reasonably good smell-alike of anything now, so I don’t intend to pursue this much further, other than to grab one at a really low price if I happen to see it (probably on ebay) and think I might like it. Of course, if you are familiar with vintage scents, you’ll know about at least a few that seem to have been “inspired” by others, usually best sellers, such as Chanel No. 5. The difference today is that it seems like there are “copy cats” at prices points that range from about $10 per bottle (leaving aside the dollar store offerings) up to more than $100, and I doubt there are any local stores which sell more than a small fraction of what one can buy online, unlike by the late 80s, where a trip to a medium-size mall might allow you to do a whole lot of sampling, relative to what was being produced.

NOTE: I have no affiliations with any fragrance company and don’t have a strong opinion about only wearing the “original” or trying to save as much money as possible. I find it at least somewhat entertaining and don’t mind wearing a “copy cat,” but because I don’t feel compelled to buy any new scents (already possessing more than I could use in a few lifetimes) I’m mostly swapping or looking for “too good to pass up” deals.

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How many more of these incidents will occur ?


I thought about writing such a post before, but kept saying to myself that there are plenty of other outlets for opinions on this subject to be discussed. With this latest incident in South Carolina, I decided that I should go ahead and speak my mind here. And it actually does have a connection to fragrance appreciation, because with some medical issues that I had to deal with lately, I found, once again, that stress really distracts from that ability. Moreover, my sensitivity is raised significantly, so that I can wear just about any scent, though certain notes or aroma chemicals still “spike out” to me. That all pales in comparison to the grief this man’s family is experiencing now, of course, and what the officer subjected his family and friends to is also difficult to comprehend.

And I’ll preface this by pointing out that I have relatives who were police officers, and when I was young there were plenty of them around the house at times, often telling their colorful and sometimes frightening stories. There was a bit of an “us versus them” attitude, to be sure, but it was also impersonal, and there wasn’t any hint that particular kinds of people were being targeted, or as they say these days, “profiled.” Could that be what has changed over the last twenty years or so? I know some people, who, up to the release of this recent video of the death of Walter Scott, defended the police in every incident, including the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. Do they realize how difficult a “bad cop” makes life for those who don’t do such things, I’ve wondered?

Another point I make to such people is that an officer is not supposed to be arresting officer, DA, judge, jury, and executioner, and all within the space of perhaps a couple minutes (if not less). One thing I find quite interesting is that the defenders of what one might call “police disorder” have tried to deflect criticism by saying things like, “it’s not a black versus white thing” (I’m “white,” for full disclosure). If that’s not the case, then why isn’t an outlet such as FoxNews telling us about all the incidents where the situation is reversed? Since there are a lot more “white” people than “black” (“African-Americans”) in the USA, shouldn’t there be at least as many incidents with “white” guys being shot by police in similar situations (and that’s allowing for the officer to be of any “race!”)?

Some comments I’ve read online also seem to be attempts at deflection, such as “well, here in ___________town where I live, the cops do that to everyone.” My first response would be, then document them and create a blog where you can get this information out to everyone. Otherwise, you are just making a claim that is nearly impossible to verify. For those who don’t know, there is no national database for such incidents! Moreover, whether there is a “racial” component or not, there is something that is occurring in the minds of too many officers these days (obviously not a majority), and there is no government agency that is attempting to determine what this is. Even if there were, that agency would have to be given the power to change things significantly!

One question that keeps emerging in my mind is, why can’t a journalist find some footage of police training videos that address these kinds of situations? In this latest incident, I found myself saying, “is this officer simply too lazy to chase down this fifty year old man, who didn’t look like he could outrun his own mother?” Or even worse, “did he think that he didn’t get enough target practice in recent days, and so thought the man running away from him represented an excellent opportunity to get some?” And keep in mind that I’m assuming that Scott may have said something nasty and perhaps even kept trying to get away from the officer after being tased.

Of all the “cop stories” I remember hearing when I was young (mostly in the 70s), there weren’t any that involved something that even remotely suggested “profiling” (and they were proud to have never shot at anyone!). And the stories could be quite explicit, one involving a woman’s head that was discovered on a roadside. When the officer asked the Sargent what to do, the Sargent asked about the specific location, and then replied, “that’s right next to the border with the ____ precinct, so just kick it over on to their side and let them deal with it.” That’s the kind of disturbing police humor I was exposed to, but what we are seeing now is quite different, and certainly appears to have a strong “racial” component (though I wouldn’t be surprised if in some areas many officers were abusive “across the board,” especially towards the poor).

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the video is how nonchalant the officer seemed to be about resorting to deadly violence and then putting forth an explanation that clearly did not justify the use of deadly force. I would not be surprised if he had rehearsed just such a scenario, and perhaps an older officer had instructed him on “how to do it right.” There’s no doubt he knew about the Ferguson incident, and probably some if not all of the other recent, similar ones. And he also knew that many people are essentially carrying video cameras on them at all times. There must have been a sense in his mind that he was invulnerable and could get away with such actions without having to worry about anything more than perhaps a suspension for a few days, or some “desk duty.” How many others are there like him? That is undeniably a key question, and what’s incredibly frightening is that nobody seems to have any idea what the answer is (other than those with clear conflicts of interest) !

NOTE: After writing the above, while watching a news TV station, I heard the claim that the police reports for this incident were quite atypical, and one obvious question here is (assuming other officers went along with an attempted cover up), how do we classify such officers? If most officers would participate in such a cover up, can we continue to say that most are “good cops?” Perhaps this is the crux of the problem! And it seems to be a variation on Edmund Burke’s notion: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” though one has to question at what point such people could continue to be called “good!” What can be done about this phenomenon? Up to this point, our society’s “institutions” have failed, and it may be that the mandated use of “body cameras” by police is the best short-term response, as mundane that might sound considering the unnecessary loss of lives.

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Trying to figure out what aroma chemicals smell like: Potion Royal Black.

If you don’t want to spend money buying aroma chemicals just to get a sense of what these smell like, your other option is to find a scent that apparently is loaded with a specific one. This is easy to do with dihydromrycenol, which has been used in large amounts in many “masculines,” Wings for Men by GBH being one example. Cool Water for Men is another, though with that one you might get distracted by other notes. A less common one is cashmeran or cashmere wood. One reviewer has claimed that Potion Royal Black is loaded with it, and I was able to obtain a bottle in a swap. The notes listed for it are:

Top notes are bergamot, pimento and incense; middle notes are rose, leather and tobacco; base notes are cashmere wood, musk and guaiac wood.

Correlating what I smell in PRB with other scents that have been said to contain large mounts, I have a strong sense that the reviewer is correct here. A striking aspect to PRB is how “perfumey” it is, which for me means, among other things, that it has a tenacious quality that never seems to let up, change over time, or allow other notes to break away from it, even for a moment. It’s there for hours and keeps coming at you, so to speak. It doesn’t smell “bad” to me but it doesn’t really smell “natural” to me either, other than if compared to natural gas. It dominates the other notes that are supposed to be present, which may be another reason why it feels “perfumey” to me. It’s almost like the other notes are swimming in a vat of this aroma chemical.

Reading the list of notes, you might think you are getting a niche scent for a great price, but it seems the idea here was to showcase cashmeran. What is the point of doing such a thing? My guess is that this was meant to create a sense of “masculine elegance,” as some have phrased it. What that means to me is that it’s more for other people rather than the wearer. It might smell great if someone walked by me wearing it, but it doesn’t seem to provide the kind of olfactory experience I find most enjoyable.

On the other hand, there is certainly something to be said for unique compositions. I’ve found that sometimes I need to wear a scent like this a few times before the dominant aroma chemical (s) seems to recede into the background and then some of the other notes can be enjoyed. I think that at this point, dihydromyrcenol and hedione don’t bother me much even if they are used in relatively large amounts. However, the key seems to be that perception that these are “background” elements. And that may be the biggest problem with such aroma chemicals, that is, I can never know when this will happen and when it won’t. If my overall sensitivity is low, then I’m usually willing to give such a scent a chance, whereas when it is high I’ve found it’s best to avoid these. My “last ditch effort” with such scents is to decant them into a dab vial and use them for layering purposes, though of course swapping or selling is a possibility.

UPDATE: I wore it a second time and then wrote up this review on Fragrantica.com:

First time I wore it there was a strong “chemical” quality, though not a “chemical soup.” Instead, it smelled like some natural-smelling notes were swimming in a sea of aroma chemicals. The second wearing was better, as I was able to tone down that chemical quality, probably just “olfactory familiarity,” as one person called this apparent phenomenon. In any case, PRB smells more “expensive”/niche-like that I thought it would, but you have to like the floral note here, which I do. Now I can’t say this is going to displace some of the rose-oriented vintage scents in my rotation, but at least this is one I won’t dismiss. It’s worth wearing at least a couple more times, to see how much I enjoy it, but I can see how some would say that the vintage rose/masculines have nothing to fear from something like PRB. On the other hand it has more “transparency” than the vintage greats of this type, so that may be a strong argument in its favor, depending upon what you’re seeking.

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Okay, the references to the FromPyrgos blog are a thing of the past.


I began this blog with the notion that I should share my thoughts, insights, opinions, etc. with those interested, and perhaps I would learn a thing or two from readers as well. I am now dealing with some health issues, along with a relative who has a major health issue, and I’m not sure how frequently I’ll be writing up new posts (though I hope to do at least one per month). The “intellectual jousting” (if that’s the best name for it) that has gone one between the two blogs has run its course, at least in my mind. I don’t want to be the proverbial broken record, and my conclusion is that is how most readers perceive the situation. Moreover, I got involved in this hobby because others were closed off to me, and I wanted something new, interesting, and enjoyable to spend some of my time on. And while I enjoy the debate quality to many of my recent posts, I think I’ve made my positions clear and that it wouldn’t make sense for me to reiterate those positions with slight variations.

I hope the FromPyrgos blog continues, whether or not the author wants to discuss the same issues or not. I think this informal debate situation has revealed quite a bit of information, at least to me, and I wouldn’t mind continuing with it, but with health issues and a sense that readers might not be too pleased, I’ll focus on subjects that are new or where there is something new to say. I also might do some “short” reviews, such as that I write on Fragrantica, because I have a feeling that is of more interest to most readers, though I’ll continue to try and include things that go beyond a “simple” review. If you have any requests as to things you’d like to read about, go ahead and leave a comment – that might provide me with some new ideas as well. One idea, for example, is to talk about how to lower the risks associated with swaps, such as to ask the person to take a picture of the bottle you will be getting before you give that person your address. This is something that seems to come up when people tell me their disappointing swap stories.

And whether he is “HankHarvey” now on Basenotes.net or not is something I will leave to others, if they wish to speculate. I’ve pointed out what I think is strong evidence for this, but since I don’t want to see him banned from the site again, there’s no reason to pursue this notion further. Finally, for those who are asking, why now? I think the “internet controversy” about what color the dress is led me to question the value of spending whatever time I have left on this planet on restating an argument. The fact that so many people didn’t ask about the lighting conditions under which the dress was photographed goes to show that even obvious and basic questions are often not asked, leading to some sort of supposed controversy. That said, I’ll be thinking about some “fresh” ideas for my next blog post, “controversial” or not, which I intend to publish before the end of March.

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