Thursday, October 30, 2008

Prada - Infusion d'Homme

As the name and packaging for Prada's new Infusion d'Homme indicates, this is less of a standalone fragrance and more a variation of last years stellar Infusion d'Iris. Therein lays its problem as well. Although Infusion d'Homme is infinitely more interesting than the lion's share of new mainstream launches, this release doesn't deliever too much originality or excitement in the light of its predecessor.

Fragrance wise the cedar wood has been significantly amped up and together with the beautiful incense and iris notes it creates a slightly smoky impression. This woody edge successfully puts the scent more in masculine territory compared to the highly unisex forerunner. With this added coarseness, the ambery smoothness of the original unfortunately gets lost though. The overall impression is somewhat more blunt and one dimensional.

The official notes are the same as for Infusion d'Iris but apparently in a different concentration: mandarin, orange, neroli, iris, galbanum, cedar, vetiver, benzoin and frankincense.

All in all Infusion d'Homme is a very good fragrance, sturdily continuing the current trend of iris in fragrances, like Dior's Homme, The Different Company's Bois d'Iris and L'Artisan Parfumeur's Dzongkha. However, personally I strongly prefer the soapy and softer touch of the first "version" in this fine series. Either way Prada continues building an impressive perfume portfolio.

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Prada Infusion d'Iris, Dior Homme, Christian Lacroix Tumulte Pour Homme
Longevity & Sillage: Decent output, above average longevity
Overall Rating: 7/1o

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rawhide! The Great Leathers Part II: Helmut Lang - Cuiron

I wanna start by saying that the Cuiron flacon together with the Kiehl's Musk one are some of the finest ones in the fragrance world according to my humble taste. These no nonsense, clean apothecary style bottles are what great elixirs should be contained in - old school greatness.

It doesn't hurt that the fragrance itself is excellent also. A contemporary but rougher take on the classic leathers. This time again with a standard orange and neroli opening, but also some sweet plum giving it an almost raisinlike dimension clearly setting it apart.
The fragrance doesn't evolve too much, it stays pretty linear and is quite heavy on the lovely hide-fumes. I don't think this is unisex in the same way as Cuir de Russie or Peau d'Espagne. Rather it conjures up images of stylized bad boy bikers like Marlon Brando in the Wild One. To conclude, this Helmut Lang clearly is a macho, hairy chested contribution to the world of leather scents. And a great one at that.
Overall Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Citrus Anatomy Part III - Hugo Boss Baldessarini Eau de Cologne

Perhaps not a citrus fragrance per se, the original Baldessarini from Hugo Boss was released in 2002. What we have here is an excellent, modern Eau de Cologne leaning towards the oriental side. Like most colognes the fleeting character unfortunately remains.

The composition is basically a mature blend of tobacco and sugared bitter orange peels. The citrus has a very pronounced bitterness that works great with the complementing subtle mint notes and prevents the sweet base from becoming too much.

very elegant and formal fragrance that you can't really go wrong with. But do try to score the concentrated version since the ordinary escapes your skin all too soon. Also check out S.T. Dupont's underated Noir for something quite similar with better longevity.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cartier - Roadster

Roadster is the first male fragrance from Cartier in almost a decade and like the earlier Santos and Pasha it takes its name from one of their prestige watch collections.

Many adjectives could be used of this new scent, but ingratiating is definitely not one of them. It is rare to sample something this austere nowadays from large, mainstream fragrance makers. Roadster is simply put a demanding fragrance.

fter a harsh beginning with strong notes of vetiver and herbs, we are treated to a consistent cedar wood so dry it's on the verge of self igniting. This paired with a burly mint note makes for a macho aura with a heavy, smoky presence.

Unfortunately it doesn't develop very much from there and instead of a modern and nice update of old 80´s classics, like the excellent Narcisso Rodriguez For Him, it comes across as a bit flat and one dimensional. Kudos to Cartier though for releasing something this far from politically correct. Maybe it will appeal to some. Also, the flacon is original and well made with nicely incorporated design references to the range of exclusive time pieces.

Year of Launch:
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Lagerfeld Man, Gucci Pour Homme
Longevity & Sillage: Good output, above average longevity
Overall Rating: 5/10

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Forgotten Gems Part III - Paloma Picasso Minotaure

Very 1990's in the overall feel, this forgotten gem along with Calvin Klein´s Eternity for Men was one of the signature scents of that decade for me. Minotaure achieved huge sales in Europe, especially considering the small Picasso brand, but is very rare to find nowadays apart from online stores.

A strong juice, heavy on vanilla, orange blossom and jasmine. Instantly recognizeable and somewhat ambigous, courtesy of the sharp florals. Smooth leathery base with a mellow sweetness that keeps delievering throughout the day. The closest scent is without a doubt Roma by Laura Biagiotti, but Minotaure is the better of the two, at least for me. Special and cool, hopefully Minotaure won't be forgotten forever.

Overall rating: 7/10

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Speed Review: Kenzo Power

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Masculine
Perfumer: Olivier Polge
Availability: In Production
Dominant notes: Bergamot, coriander, iris, cedar wood
Reminiscent of: Givenchy Insénse
Longevity & Sillage: Both slightly below average
Packaging & Design: Heavy, superb silver coated flacon in the style of japanese saké bottles, excellent finish and detailing
5 adjectives: Floral, abstract, powdery, weak, ambigous

Overall rating: 6/10

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crabtree & Evelyn - Sienna

Crabtree & Evelyns Sienna from 1990 is an aromatic and ambery melange that leaves the wearer with a perfect old school trail. It is similar to rugged classics like Calvin Klein Obsession for men and Devin from Aramis, but with a bit more polish and elegance. It sports a soapy, clean aura often found in old barbershop colognes and the pronounced cinnamon note places it firmly in autumn and winter wear territory.

Overall Sienna is a spicy, warm and comforting juice - not terribly original but with great versatility instead. Just as suitable for carefree sunday loungeing as for high level board meetings.

Year of Launch: 1990
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Calvin Klein Obsession for men, Aramis Devin, Halston Z14
Longevity & Sillage: Great output, moderate longevity
Overall Rating: 6/10