Category Archives: Fragrance Reviews.

A “super-cheapo” gem that has gotten no attention.

Eau De Royal Secret Five Star Fragrance EDT Spray Women 3.4 oz

I saw this one on sale a while back at a very low price, hesitated, and someone else bought it, but a few weeks ago I had another opportunity and took it.  Before making the purchase, I did some research, but the reviews were not promising, for example (from Amazon):

This does NOT have the Royal Secret fragrance that my mother has used for many years. She still has a small quantity left in another bottle – the fragrance doesn’t begin to compare and it’s a different color. Where oh where is the wonderful Royal Secret??

However, for the most part the comparison seemed to be with the original Royal Secret (by Germaine Monteil), which is a real “old school” oriental (I have some of that one in EdC formulation and I don’t “need” more, especially at current prices).  Also, the fact that it is made by Five Star Fragrance was a concern, not that they are a terrible company but that IMO it’s “hit or miss.”  These are the fragrances that are marketed under their name (apparently they were bought out by Perfumania):

https://perfumaniaholdings.com/fragrance-brands/parlux-five-star-fragrance

What I really wanted a scent that was consistent with the note pyramid for EdRS, which is:

Pink pepper, Italian bergamot, Mandarin, Blackcurrant, Night-blooming jasmine, Orange blossom, Lily-of-the-valley, Vanilla absolute, Indonesian patchouli, Tonka bean absolute, Frankincense, Golden amber, Tobacco, Cocoa, Musk.

Of course, it was possible that some notes (that I’m not a fan of) would be too strong, but I thought it was a chance worth taking at a very low price.  Fortunately, the scent is excellent, sort of a “feminine” TF Tobacco Vanille!  Instead of the fruit and spice of TV, EdRS has a clear jasmine to go along with the tobacco, amber, etc.  The cocoa note is present, though overall this does not have the edible sweetness one might associate with outright gourmand fragrances.  Moreover, for men who don’t mind a bit of jasmine, this is worthy of consideration if you like TV type fragrances.  Indeed, EdRS is less “in your face” than TV, and so one doesn’t need to really be in the mood for a tobacco or gourmand-ish scent, as I find to be the case with TV.

Another idea is to layer this scent with one that is complimentary, such as the Ungaro Oud fragrance, which is devoid of florals and tobacco.  Once you start to really understand these concoctions, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to make them work for your particular preferences.  The only “downside” is that you may sacrifice a day if your layering combination is mediocre or weird, but not especially pleasant,, as does occur from time to time.  However, when I find that the first scent just petered out and not much remains other than a generic or common base, that’s the time to try another fragrance that may complement it, in my experience.  In any case, EdRS could have been marketed by a niche company – I think the formula should have been tweaked a bit, though.  The jasmine could have been weakened and the tobacco and cocoa could have been strengthened, and then it would be a unisex niche scent!  Yet once you already own a scent like that, I find I’d rather have something a little different, and that’s where EdRS comes into play!

By contrast, what does niche have to offer?  Coincidentally, while writing this I took a break and noticed a Clive Christian scent, L for Men, for $100 (50 ml, nearly full), so I looked up the reviews.  One of those at Fragrantica is:

I… own and wear mostly CC fragrances. L is masculine and has a distinctive rich smell. CC fragrances are made with the finest ingredients so you only need 1 or 2 sprays. The notes on the dry down is green and woodsy. L is for the mature and confident individual.

First, a “distinctive rich smell” is culture-bound.  The “party boys” will likely say you smell like an “old man” if you wear a scent like L, I’d guess.  This is obvious, but what about “finest ingredients?”  How would we know?  The company would need to be totally transparent to know this for sure, including allowing anyone who wishes to visit their facilities without notice.  Even worse, expensive ingredients (I won’t say “finest” because that notion requires definition) aren’t necessarily especially strong!  It depends, and can vary significantly, especially for some ingredients (presumably natural?)_that are used for top notes.  Also, what does “green and woody” mean?  I see that quite often, but it doesn’t really help me – if you don’t know what galbanum is, for example, how can I take you seriously when you say “green?”  What about ivy or violet leaf?  In some cases a few people seem to think that cypress is green.  So, it’s one thing to get a green impression, but it’s another thing to be unable to detect major notes yet to say that a scent possesses the finest ingredients know to humankind!  Fortunately, there are better ones (for my purposes), such as:

…Opens with undeniable petitgrain and a musty body odor lemon vetiver combo which to a large degree, I found it to be alluring. Thanks to a volley of firs, the composition “greens up” a bit as a Irish Spring Soap Bar gone niche. Now I’m getting to the part of the fragrance that’s more comfortable and not as green. In the base, the prominent note is arguably the musk. At this moment, gone are the body odor vibe, but this rides into the sunset as a woody, soapy, green frag with sweet musky nuances.

Others say that it becomes a rose/oud “masculine,” while others say vetiver is strong, and I certainly don’t need more fragrances of that type, so I wouldn’t blind buy it, due to the price and my preferences.  But I think the key point here is that just like anything else, at least for me, “quality ingredients” can get boring if the composition is not compelling.  Otherwise, people can (and some do) just buy essential oils, which can be very inexpensive.  Then they dilute to safe/preferable levels, possibly adding two or three together.  This is why a scent like EdRS is so appealing to me – it’s a unique, enjoyable composition that does shout “chemical nightmare” and cost very little.  I’ve also probably got enough (100 ml) to last me the rest of my life!

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Is the “niche sampler” back?

Heat Wild Orchid Beyonce for women

No, the picture is not of a niche bottle but of a “celebuscent,” but I’ll get back to it below.  To begin this post, I want to mention that I don’t read reviews at Basenotes.net nearly as much as I used to, usually because there are more at Fragrantica.com and I find those to be more “down to earth.”  Also, I can usually tell what kind of hobbyist/aficionado the person is, whereas the Basenotes crowd tends to be more difficult to decipher.  For example, one reviewer there writes long and thoughtful reviews, yet his preferences are very different than mine, and he seems to be much more tolerant of certain aroma chemicals than I am.  So, it’s easy to be misled by such reviews, whereas the “dis ding stinks” type of review is easier to dismiss or understand (such as if the scent is animalic).

What I’ve noticed on the few occasions in recent months that I clicked on the Reviews tab at Basenotes is that so many are of obscure niche fragrances.  In the “old days” of a decade or so ago, they were often reviewing the same fragrances, and there weren’t too many that were discussed all that much.  One was L’Air du Desert Marocain, of course, but nowadays not only have never heard of the fragrance, but I also have never heard of the company!  It’s very easy not to be interested in a fragrance that is very expensive when there are so many others that fit the same bill, so to speak.  Of course, I’ve sampled a whole lot of fragrances in the last ten years (I got serious in late 2007, which I started reading Basenotes and fragrance blogs), but back then there weren’t that many that seemed special and it was a lot easier to obtain samples, often for free or in a swap (and shipping costs were lower back then too – the USPS 2 pounds for $2.90 deal was great!).

I find myself thinking, “nah, I already have something that sounds close enough,” or “that’s probably a chemical mess,” or “that sounds like a ham-fisted attempt to reinvent the vintage wheel,” on the rare occasion that I read about one of the new, expensive niche fragrances that I am not likely to own (another factor being how swapping has dried up in recent years).  So, I have largely confined myself to buying lots at very good prices or taking advantage of an occasional deal from the major online discounters.  One example of the latter is Beyonce’s Heat Wild Orchid, which I actually sampled at a Walmart and though was okay, but hardly worth pursuing.  The notes for this 2010 release (from Fragrantica) are:

…opens with a fruity trio of pomegranate, coconut water and boysenberry. A bold floral bouquet of butterfly orchid, blooming magnolia and honeysuckle is the heart. Blonde woods, skin musk and amber contribute to the overall impression of a sensual perfume.

When I saw a super deal on a 100 ml bottle, I was hesitant, but figured I could give it as a gift if I didn’t think it was worth keeping.  It doesn’t smell much like the notes to me, which in this case was a great surprise!  The first time I sprayed it on, at Walmart, it had an almost chocolate/vanilla quality, but then the next time I recognized quite a bit of tonka, and not much in the way of florals.  Over time, a smoky type quality emerged, which usually irritates me, but here it was mild enough, and works great, providing me something that usually doesn’t work in much more expensive scents.  There’s also a hint of an almost minty quality that keeps things interesting.  I mention this because it seems like the “fragrance community” is going in two entirely different different directions, and it reminds me of how more than a few people I know will only do food shopping at the “better” stores or what we used to call “health food stores” 25-30 years ago (an example is Whole Foods Market).  They spend a whole lot more on food than I do (I get most of my food from Walmart and local dollar stores).

Speaking of which, when I was last in a dollar store, I bought an EAD fragrance called Divulge, which is “inspired by” CK’s Reveal for Him.  I had opportunities to acquire Reveal at a reasonable price, but I found at least a few CK scents to be too “chemical” for my tastes and decided against.  Dollar store versions, though, tend go go lighter on some aroma chemicals, and indeed that was the case here.  I really enjoyed Divulge and certainly would have paid a bit more for the 75 ml bottle.  What I smell seems consistent with the reviews I’ve read of Reveal, and it’s certainly unique in terms of my experience.  However, an effect it had on me was to plant the notion in my mind, “you just can’t spend much money on these concoctions any more – it’s just ridiculous!  The dollar store companies are too good.”  Of course, I already have plenty to keep me occupied the rest of my life, but that was the case years ago too, when I still found myself tempted to blind buy something that turned out to be a bad decision, but curiosity got the best of me.

Those days seem to be gone for me.  Sure, if the deal is ridiculously good I’ll throw a few dollars at a bottle, but overall I think of myself as going in the opposite direction of the “niche samplers.”  What are they seeking?  Yes, unique compositions will continue to be released, but then the question becomes, “are you ever going to enjoy what you have or are you going to continue to chase after pots of gold at the ends of rainbows?”  I can imagine some people buying a huge amount of samples and hardly ever buying a bottle – they are likely those who claim to be seeking “art” in fragrances, but of course this is a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction.  One issue seems to be a lack of patience, meaning that when one of these people hears about a “special” new release, there is a desire to try it within a month or less.  But what I find myself a lot more interested in lately is wearing fragrances that I have neglected for a while, to see what my perceptions of it are like after such a hiatus.  Often, it seems like a very different fragrance!  This supplies me with the novelty factor that I’d guess is a driving force for the niche samplers, and it allowed me to appreciate “super cheapos” like Heat Wild Orchid.

 

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Is there an Error to Eros?

Eros Versace for men

I recently acquired an official spray sample of of this 2012 scent.  I wore it twice, the first being just a half spray to the lower leg.  I used my hand to waft it up to my nose, and thought it smelled quite good, though not especially complex or special.  Then I wore it again with two sprays to the chest, but this was not a pleasant experience at all.  I then wrote up my Fragrantica.com review, which is:

I can understand the appeal, but for me, this is a “poster child” fragrance for that “sticky/synthetic” quality I do not find pleasant. Perhaps more naturals would have made it work for me. As it is, I would rather wear some Jacques Bogart scents that are also on the synthetic side of things. The Parfumo site has this note “pyramid:”

Mint leaf, Italian lemon, Green apple.
Venezuelan tonka bean, Ambroxan, Geranium.
Madagascan vanilla, Atlas cedar, Virginia cedar, Vetiver, Oakmoss.

It’s an interesting question why some aroma chemicals seem easier to “hide” in a composition and in the case of scents like Eros, is the idea not to try and mask those molecules, especially ambroxan, but to go ahead and do product testing to see if the target demographic is actually attracted to the “chemical overload.  I’d guess that was the case for Cool Water for Men, with its hefty dose of dihydromyrcenol, and I certainly would admit that in some cases I can enjoy compositions where it’s easy to detect an aroma chemical that doesn’t smell “natural.”  Of course, doing so can create “abstract” compositions, which at the very least avoids the possibility of someone saying that you just smell like a dollar store bottle of imitation vanilla.

The target demographic for Eros seems to be the young, “party” crowd, which one Fragrantica reviewer points out:

Sweet club banger, like a fougere Joop, if I wore this in the late 90s when I started clubbing it would have had the same effect.
Ladies like sweet, bold stuff like this, it’s the male equivalent of what they would wear.
I’m too old for this shit.

However, one thing I noticed while sitting in a store near the exit for more than a few minutes, with dozens of people walking by, and that is the impression such scents can make on those nearby.  Often, we hear the phrase, “cologne guy,” and a few of them walked by, yet it wasn’t only the fragrance that made an olfactory impression, though of course it’s possible that I have a more “sensitive” nose than most people due to how much study I’ve devoted to these concoctions since late 2007.  In any case, these guys smelled like ambroxan and a pork and garlic dish – it was rather nauseating.  Now it may be that most Americans don’t smell that unappealing quality (since they eat typical American diets whereas I’m a vegetarian), and it’s also possible that these guys didn’t care about how they smelled going to a utilitarian store, but I do wonder whether they smell that same way when they go to night clubs and parties.

NOTE:  If I didn’t have so many fragrances already, I might buy a “clone” of Eros, such as Dionysus by Dorall Collection because I’ve found, at least with this company’s scents, the compositions tend to be a bit simpler, but also sometimes don’t use as much of the “offending” aroma chemical, so in this case I’d guess that Dionysus contains less ambroxan than Eros.  However, even if that’s the case here, I doubt that would mean it was $10 or so well spent, because the other notes are not ones that do much for me, unlike say CK’s Shock for Him, which contains a tobacco note.

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Why is it so difficult to get information about some releases these days?

Essence de Bois Precieux Cigar for men

It’s 2019, not 1999, so it’s strange to see a line of fragrances that doesn’t appear to be supported by the corporate web site.  I am referring to what appears to be the Remy Latour “niche” line.  The fragrances are in long, thin cylinder bottles made from brushed metal.  As you might expect, they tend to fall over easily, but otherwise the presentation is considerably better than you would expect from today’s Remy Latour releases.  Here is their web page for “masculines:”

https://www.shop-parour.com/fr/28-homme

Note that the “parent company” is Parour, which also markets Lomani, Giorgio Valenti, and other “cheapos.”  The bottles are 75 ml sprays, and there is a plastic wrap around the cylindrical container that houses it (there’s a brochure in there too).  I saw some very good prices on a couple of these and purchased two, Essence de Bois Pecieux and Essence de Cachemire.  The former’s notes are listed as (from Fragrantica.com):

…saffron, oregano, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and incense; middle notes are papyrus and cashmere wood; base notes are sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, bourbon vanilla, ambergris and musk.

and for the latter:

…bergamot, rhubarb, watermelon and lotus; middle notes are sage, white rose, cashmere wood, sea water and iris; base notes are oakmoss, ambergris, tonka bean and musk.

EdBP reminds me of mostly of Perry Ellis Oud: Black Vanilla Absolute and Rich, Warm, Addictive by Zara, perhaps a touch more of the former.  It’s not super strong (though it’s certainly sweet) and it doesn’t have much in the way of note clarity, depth, or complexity, despite the long list of “dark” notes.  It’s pleasant and at least nearly unisex, but if you’ve already got something along these lines, I would not advise spending a King’s ransom on it.  Some might find it cloying as well.  And because it does have a touch of a tobacco-like quality, some might reference Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille when discussing it, but that’s the problem, that is, I have only seen one bottle for sale in the USA, and I now own it!  I’m guessing these were meant for another market, but who knows?  It’s a bit frustrating – what reason could there be for this in the “internet age?”

EdC is a Fahrenheit type of fragrance, but without the heavy gasoline/petrol, though with an aquatic note added.  It’s fairly strong and lasts well, so again, at a low price I could see those who enjoy Fahrenheit (or thinking they would if it could be “modernized”) wanting to own a bottle of this one.  I would consider wearing it in warm weather, but sitting in one place as it continually wafts up directly into one’s nose may not be a great idea – it has a bit of a note clash to me.  There seem to be at least seven other releases of this type under the Remy Latour name, five of which marketed to women.  Fragrantica has them listed as 2014 releases, so one has to wonder why there is so little information about them by now.  At one time, when I didn’t see any for sale, I thought they might be testing the market or had planned to release them but some problem delayed or prevented it.  However, it is clear that they are real, and one has to question what Parour was doing – why not create a short Youtube video about the line, for example?  If anyone knows more about this line, please comment and let us know!

 

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McGregor Cologne by Faberge – why do some fragrances “fly under the radar?”

McGregor Brut Parfums Prestige for men

If you have not noticed, the prices on some vintage and discontinued fragrances have risen to dizzying heights on ebay.  And I know it’s not nonsense because I have made a few of those sales in the last couple of months!  I was curious and figured, why not try and see what happens?  How much are Candies for Men, Phoenix by Keith Urban, Kirra by Pacsun, Blue Sugar, or V Pour Homme by Valentino, as examples, “really” worth?  Then there are ones such as Catalyst for Men, which had been selling for next to nothing for a long time – why did the prices suddenly rise?  It could be something like Youtube hype, but whatever the case may be, at least a lot of these sales are real because I listed a bunch of these types of fragrances for sale, starting at “high” prices, and made more than a few sales so far.  I also get offers; in one case the person wanted to pay around $25, and I tried to explain to him/her that I was holding out for more because from what had recently sold, I should be able to get closer to $100, which I did less than a week later!

I’ve noticed that people asking me about selling to them or swapping with them on Basenotes and Fragrantica often talk in terms of their “collections” these days, rather than something they are going to wear on a regular basis – that’s a huge difference than ten years ago, when I can’t remember one person talking about “collecting” fragrance bottles (other than a few who talked about antique ones that were empty).  And once a collectibles market gets established, it can be “off to the races” with prices.  I find it odd that some of those who really appreciate these olfactory concoctions would think that some collectibles markets are acceptable but one for fragrances is not.  As things stand, if you really want Patou Pour Homme, Egoiste Cologne Concentree, or even Kirra, you have to buy them and nothing else.  Yes, you might be able to get something close, but as I’ve found with many “super cheapo” recommendations I’ve made over the years, most people either don’t believe it or, for whatever reason, must have the “real thing.”  And then there are the speculators…

But then we come upon the example of McGregor Cologne, which I remember seeing years ago selling for around $12 or so, for 50 ml or more.  The notes for this early 1980s release are:

Top notes are lime and sage; middle notes are incense, anise and coconut milk; base notes are patchouli and vetiver.

Because I thought it was likely “drug store dreck,” I didn’t give it a second thought.  Nobody talked about it and it was by the company that released Brut (at that time I thought of Brut as a great example of the “low end,” though now I have some vintage Brut 33 can wear it occasionally – an interesting, natural-smelling, floral fougere).  Moreover, the note list suggested a possible irritating clash, in terms of my preferences (and I generally find a strong lime note to dominate compositions).  When I changed my mind and decided to purchase a spray bottle, not long ago, there were still hardly any reviews of it, and those left quite a bit to be desired, in terms of what I look for in a review.  The “best” contained this statement about what the scent is actually like (from Fragrantica):

…there really is a subtlety to this scent for which the knowledge that you’re smelling an early 80s release by Faberge in no way prepares you: the lime and sage notes dominate, but in harmony with a restrained patchouli darting in and out over top of a steady bass line of vetiver. Elsewhere, I’ve seen McGregor referred to as “harsh” but that’s the name and the company getting in the way of the scent: this isn’t Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting sequel (Begbie about to head butt), it’s the James Bond of Sean Connery in grey flannel, eyebrow cocked.

I did not get much patchouli nor anise, and while there was something sweetening it up a bit, it didn’t register as coconut milk to me (and I used to drink that once in a while).  The lime was obvious, though, and lasted a long time, sort of tied to the dry herbal element of sage.  Playing off that duo was the incense and vetiver, creating a slightly textured quality that’s very nice and lasts a long time.  It’s smooth yet distinct.  Projection was moderate after the first hour or two, but the overall strength is great for a cologne.  While wearing it I was thinking that this could pass for a 1980s Creed, such as Bois du Portugal, which is also simple revolving around lavender and amber.  I certainly think I’ll wear McGregor more than BdP, because the composition is rather unique.  And it’s fun to think, “this is niche-like, though better than today’s niche, and cost about how much a couple people would spend on a frugal meal at McDonald’s!”  If you are a “blind buyer,” there’s little reason not to try this one, so long as you don’t hate lime or actually are seeking a fragrance with powerful synthetics (such as the proverbial “party scent”).

 

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Projection, “sillage,” longevity, and an explanation for why reviews for certain fragrances might vary considerably.

Derby Club House Ascot Armaf for men

The example I’ll use is pictured above (by Armaf), which has listed notes (according to Fragrantica.com) of:

Top notes are green notes, lemon and bergamot; middle notes are sage, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon; base notes are cedar, oakmoss, tobacco, amber, labdanum and musk.

This sounds like an “old school”/”powerhouse” fragrance, and it might be (I’ll get to that in a moment).  The first couple of times I wore it, my perceptions varied, which is not uncommon.  Sometimes it takes three or four wearings to really understand what seems to be occurring, but with this scent things were more difficult than usual, and it took me a while to figure out why.

The vast majority of reviews at Fragrantica are positive, with one person saying he feels like he threw his money out the window.  Why?  I’d guess he didn’t think it was strong enough, because the notes are certainly there and it’s not some sort of “chemical nightmare.”  The ratings of potency show that a small number of people think it’s weak, and with one spray on my first wearing I was thinking the same thing.  At first, there was a kind of competition between the fruit and “green notes” (I’m guessing galbanum) on the one hand, and a leathery woods/incense (I never got obvious tobacco and the spices seem rather mild), but eventually it settles mostly on the latter.

During my last wearing, I used four sprays to the chest, and I was thinking that while it’s stronger than past wearings, I still wasn’t getting much in the way of spices or tobacco.  Even the dominant notes weren’t that strong.  However, when I walked around other people, they said it was really strong, and that’s when I knew something odd was at work.  My guess is that it’s the kind of musk being used, which one can quickly become anosmic to, but others smell clearly (at least as you walk by them).  It did impart a kind of tingly quality, but not much in the way of scent (to me); however, when I used my hand to waft the scent directly into the nose, I could smell the notes much more clearly.

Is this a case of great projection but poor “sillage?”  Or vice versa?  The point, IMO, is that it seems it was formulated with weak notes that interest me (other than the leathery quality), but strong musk that doesn’t register much one way or the other, and may cause a certain amount of anosmia rather quickly.  The longevity seems really good, though, regardless of how much or what note you can detect.  Overall, this is an excellent fragrance if this is what you want, but it also may be a frustrating experience for some.  If you are used to the vintage greats, like me, you might think that it might work for layering purposes, but it’s best not to wear by itself, because you have the option of wearing a scent that allows you to smell the notes you want to smell clearly and with strength, for hours.

 

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What can oakmoss do for a fragrance? The Rochas Man example.

Rochas Man Rochas for men

Not long ago I purchased a lot/group of fragrances, and one of the bottles was Rochas Man.  The liquid was brownish, unlike the bottle I already owned (2011), which is mostly clear, with just a slight pink tint, and I had read that recent bottles have this brownish coloration, so I assumed it wasn’t of much value (considering what I already own, how rarely I wear Rochas Man, and what the current prices are for it).  But before I go further, I’ll quote the note description at Fragrantica.com:

…bergamot and gentle balsamic notes of lavender. Pure and intense jasmine pulses with the heart of perfume along with gentle grassy and fresh notes of lily-of-the-valley and the touch of sensual musk. The base is soft, creamy and warm together with vanilla, sandal, amber and the gourmand tone of coffee.

There may be a hint of something grassy but I never got lily-of-the-valley, nor much of any wood note.  Instead, it’s a lavender gourmand, quite similar to New Haarlem by Bond Number 9.  The obvious question is, “can I get something very close to NH if I buy a $20 bottle of Rochas Man?”  Of course, everyone has different thresholds for difference/similarity in these situations, but for me there was a major divergence in my two RM man bottles, which were formulated just one year apart!

The 2011 bottle (batch 1263) with the clear liquid/very slight pink tint is definitely harsher and less complex to me (and at least a bit “synthetic”).  As you might expect, they smell very similar, but the problem is that the 2011 becomes irritating after a while, whereas the scent from the 2010 bottle (batch code 0273) is enjoyable for hours!  While 2010 may be a bit more “masculine” than NH, which is fine with me, they are more or less on the same level, in terms of my ability to appreciate the scent for hours without irritation.  When I looked on the RM boxes, I noticed that “Evernia prunastri (oakmoss) is listed on the 0273 batch but not the 1263 one!  The other difference is that 79% volume is on the 0273 but 80% was on the 1263.

I’ve read that the very recent formulations of RM are a lot weaker than older ones, and I’d say the 1263 is certainly at least strong enough, but while that may satisfy most, the irritation factor is huge for me.  And in these situations, the great thing is that not only can I sell that 1263 bottle, but I would now certainly consider selling or swapping my New Haarlem bottle, which to me is a huge “bonus” to buying the lot, which I certainly didn’t buy because the RM bottle was included (I thought it was likely a newer bottle because the other bottles in it were released within the last five years).  Of course I can’t say that whatever amount of oakmoss in the 0273 bottle made the difference, but if it did, to me it’s a huge difference, and is consistent with those who lament the “death of perfumery” due to materials restrictions!

NOTE:  In 2015 someone posted this in a Basenotes.net thread:

The bottle in the plastic moulded box (brown juice – early version) smells significantly bolder, thicker, dustier and sweeter – in a good way – than the version with the pink cardboard box (pinkish juice).

Both of mine come in regular cardboard boxes (pink).  On Fragrantica, there was this claim:

 It was reformulated in 2008/2009 by J.M Duriez.

So, it may be that they went with a cheaper box but my 0273 bottle is still of the original formulation.  It certainly seems that way to me, as there is nothing “cheap” about it and the “quality” is very close to New Haarlem, IMO.  And while Legend by Michael Jordan compares favorably to my 1263 bottle, I would rank the 0273 bottle as clearly superior to Legend.

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