Fragrance Reviews

Torre Berkana Fragrance Review


* Sweet grass, clay, and soap for a sweet dense scent.

* The sweetness slowly fades away as a sharp wood comes into focus.

* It’s quite dry, with a hint of resin and a supple leather.

* At this point, the scent comes in waves- being alternately present or hidden.

* The base is like a forest woods and dry grass with a slight hint of musk.

When I travel to Europe, I try to find perfume lines that aren’t in the US.  I was at Different Light in Berlin where I found the Torre line.  I enjoyed several scents, but it was the odd sweetness of Berkana that moved me.  The perfume surprised me.  Cedar and vetiver are two notes that my skin hates.  My skin basically turns those two notes into rancid monstrosities.  For some reason, the base of vetiver and cedar smells really good on me.  It just goes to show me that on my fragrance journey, I need to keep trying stuff even if I think I won’t like it.. because I will never know until I try.

Other opinions:
Extrait (In Italian)

Torre Berkana is available from Neos 1911, First in Fragrance, and Tuscan Made.

Disclaimer: No disclaimer needed, I purchased a bottle.

Fragrance Reviews

Blackbird Zola Jesus Taiga Fragrance Review



* Smoke bomb – dry smoke, with a bit of spice.

* The smoke dissipates a little bit but stays present throughout the fragrance development.

* Spices and resins come into focus.  Pepper and frankincense are the strongest, but there are several others present.

* Supporting all this is a sweet sandalwood covered in dry grass.

* It continues to soften to a subtly sweet base with hints of rum, incense, and resins.

Summary: Perfume lovers bemoan the way that mainstream fragrances are created for a high impact sales blitz.  It’s all about aggressively-friendly topnotes that lure you in.  You buy it and then are disappointed when it wears away after 45 minutes.  Zola Jesus Taiga is the exact opposite; it starts with an aggressive, almost angry, unpleasant top note.  It’s one of those times where you have to stick around to enjoy the journey and see where it takes you. From an intellectual perspective, the name perfectly describes the scent – Zola (harsh realism), Jesus (religious and spiritual rituals – like burning incense), and Taiga (cold tundra forests).  This isn’t an easy to wear fragrance but it is worth the experience.

Other opinions:

Blackbird Zola Jesus Taiga is available from Blackbird Website.

Disclaimer: Sample provided by Blackbird. Image courtesy of Blackbird website.

Fragrance Reviews Uncategorized

Blackbird Broken Glass Fragrance Review


* A sharp, metallic violet pierces through the opening.

* It is brisk and will take you by surprise.

* The violet mellows down into a brew of muddled, rubbery flowers – rose, iris, and violet in the background with angelica on the top.

* All of the flowers seem to implode into one other and a woody note comes to the forefront.

* There is a hint of spice in the warm base with some resins sweetening the wood.

Summary:  I am back from a long break of reviewing perfume. and Broken Glass is one that reinspired me.  I wore Triton a few times and noticed it was a complete 180 from the bongwater scent that didn’t work on me.  Triton was crisp, atmospheric, and pleasantly astringent – which honestly doesn’t make sense when you read it, but in texture and experience that is the perfect description.  Broken Glass is creative and interesting without being a scene stealer.  It doesn’t demand attention by screaming but lures you in with interesting changes over its development.  Longevity is excellent – well over 12 hours, but it is not overwhelming.  It feels like a second skin, present in your space but not burdening you with a heavy film.

Other opinions:

Best Smelling Perfumes

Blackbird Broken Glass is available from Blackbird Website.

Disclaimer: Sample provided by Blackbird. Image courtesy of Blackbird website.

Fragrance Reviews Mainstream Monday

A*Men Ultra Zest Fragrance Review (MAINSTREAM MONDAY)


* The zest is what you get on top with a bold burst of juicy citrus – orange and tangerine.

* It starts off like a sports fragrance on steroids.

* After about ten minutes, the juice is literally cooled off by ginger and mint, as if you are chewing some kind of all natural gum.

* Then it turns left and goes into the standard Amen.  Patchouli, coffee, cinnamon, and chocolate.

* The base is just as strong as you would imagine and tenacious just like all of the other A*Men flankers.

Summary:  In any special interest or hobby, there quickly develops an inherent snobbery which criticizes the mainstream and popular.  As we all develop eccentric tastes, it is important to realize that just because something is popular doesn’t mean it is necessarily bad.  A*Men is a a classic perfume that has stood the test of time.  Every flanker (or remix) adds a new top note and then it resolves to what is known, expected and loved.  If you love A*men and want a fresh remix for 2015, give Ultra Zest a shot.  Do not expect a light summer fragrance – this is the same brilliantly heavy and tenacious A*men, butwith a brief intro of juicy citrus.

Other opinions:
Candy Perfume Boy
Mimi Frou Frou
Man Loves Cologne

A*Men Ultra Zest is available from Macy’s and Nordstrom.

Disclaimer: Sample provided by Nordstrom. Image courtesy of Nordstrom website.