Coffee: 8 posts

Ralph Lauren Polo Double Black : Perfume Review

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Ralphlaurendouble_black

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The exclusive Guerlain fragrance Nuit d’Amour turned out to be a fairly predictable floral oriental, but nothing could have prepared me for the new Ralph Lauren masculine, a sensual and unconventional offering. In part, this is due to the fact that I began my exploration of the Ralph Lauren line only recently, discovering the legendary Polo and Lauren as well as the gardenia petal softness of Ralph Lauren Blue. The masculine fragrances from the line have always struck me as quintessentially American, portraying the clean shaven and casually clad ideal frequently appearing in Lauren’s menswear ads. Polo Double Black likewise maintains the same laidback aura, yet its seductive oriental twist lends the fragrance a certain unexpected allure.

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Bond No 9 New Haarlem : Fragrance Review

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I am a tea drinker, preferring to save coffee for mornings when the extra jolt of energy is absolutely essential, yet I cannot resist the dark aroma of roasted beans. It is the childhood memory of my father having what he called “a soldier’s breakfast”–coffee accompanied by a cigarette. Of crowded bars in Venice where the coffee aromas would marry the scent of white bread used for tramezzini, delicious triangular sandwiches. Of Istanbul coffee stalls where the curvy copper pots were slowly brought to boil in the hot sand. Of the rich cloud surrounding Starbucks I would pass downtown Chicago on my way to the office.

As much as I love the fragrance of coffee, in perfume I prefer to avoid the overly photorealistic vision of a steaming cup. Bond No 9 New Haarlem created by the perfumer Maurice Roucel offers one of my favorite takes on the coffee notes, a composition of alluring darkness concealing a fresh herbal twist.

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Givenchy Very Irresistible for Men : Fragrance Review

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Liv_tyler

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

While Givenchy Very Irrésistible for women turned into something quite sharp on my skin, the masculine version held an altogether different experience. Created by Pierre Wargnye, the fragrance has recently been released, featuring a beautiful bottle that fades from black to emerald green. Notes: grapefruit, star anise, mint; mocha, sesame seed; Virginia cedarwood, hazelnut wood.

The first impression is of grapefruit and mint leaves dusted with a bit of confectioner’s sugar, a cool mélange sweetened just enough to take away the astringent edge. A combination of mocha and sesame seeds results in a chocolate accord that resurfaces slowly underneath mint leaves and citrus peel shavings and creating a subtle gourmand sensation. It is gentle and teasing, a facet that I found very appealing. However, the chocolate stage is still veiled by a tart green note that remains present until the drydown. The translucent quality of this green ornamentation reminds me of a lime slice covered thin crisp layer of molten sugar, tart, spicy and pleasantly bittersweet.

The end result is underscored by cedar and a sharp green note, which is extemely pronounced on my skin. Its loudness upsets the balance of the composition, especially the seductive chocolaty accord. Nevertheless, it is still interesting, which is not something I can say about the majority of masculine fragrances.

Photo: Liv Tyler, the face of Givenchy Very Irrésistible campaign.

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