Fragrance Reviews

Yosh Sombre Negra Fragrance Review

* Translated from Spanish, it means Black Shadow.  The spelling is one letter off from Sombra Negra, who are vigilante death squads who fight criminals and gangs.

* Shadow is definitely an accurate term as the fragrance from top to base is clouded by smoke.  The initial top note is almost overwhelmingly smoky.  The smoke slightly recedes to a very dry patchouli.

* The title is also slang for “cast your shadow,” or a call to someone to climb on top (with sexual overtones).

* The smoke clears a little bit more and some more spice comes out with clove and pepper tempered by a small taste of the sweetness of iris and orange.

* While the top notes are strong and project, once they recede the scent wears much closer to the skin.

* The base notes of cumin and pepper last a really long time and are quite warming, though the smoke persists.  It’s kind of like of when you leave a smoky night club and your clothes still smell of it, but in this instance it’s a light, faint smoke that is a pleasant memory.

Summary:   Sombre Negra can easily be a signature fragrance for someone who likes things dark and have a unique take on life.  Whereas most fragrances start with pepper, this one ends with these notes.   Once the top notes recede, the fragrance is quite warm and comforting; almost like a protective shadow.

Yosh Sombre Negra is available at Luckyscent and Barneys New York.

Fragrance Reviews

Miller Harris L’Air De Rien Fragrance Review

* L’Air De Rien was created for French actress/singer/artist Jane Birkin initially, then released as a mainline fragrance.  Jane was also the inspiration for the Birkin bag, a leather weekend bag by Hermes that is coveted by many but unattainable due to its high price.

* Although designed for a women, this is definitely not a typical fragrance.  The top notes are dominated by a very animalic musk.

* Be sure to carefully skin test this fragrance extensively before purchasing.  During my testing, the initial few minutes were sometimes almost fecal in intensity, with a strong civet influence.

* In the middle development, there is an interplay of an orange-y neroli and a dirty oak moss.  It’s as if the animal bite has become grounded and earthy.

* Translated to English, its name literally means “looks like nothing,” but the idiomatic meaning is much closer to being unaware of the importance of something major.

* The base notes are nicely vanilla with a dry amber.  They are quite pleasant, and a complete 360 turnaround from the top notes.

Summary:  If you want a fragrance that will take you on a journey over the course of a few hours, L’Air de Rien is one that fits the bill.  From beginning to end, you seemingly go from animal to earth to heaven.   The projection isn’t strong, so it is more of a personal journey.  This is definitely a scent that needs to be skin tested, though, because it completely different on skin than it is on card – and smells differently on different people.

Miller Harris L’Air De Rien is available at LuckyScent and Min New York.

Fragrance Reviews

Bond I Love NY For All Fragrance Review

* Bond No 9 fragrances are inspired by streets or areas of New York.  The I Love NY series is meant to symbolize the spirit of all of New York.

* I Love NY For All is the scent of the perfect cup of coffee with notes of coffee, dry cocoa, hazelnut, chestnut, and vanilla.

* The scent is sweet, but not overly sweet.

* This is a linear fragrance, what you get on first whiff is there for the full ride.

* Although coffee is an energizing beverage, after the initial jolt, I find the scent to be comforting and very warm – if not relaxing.

* This would be a great daytime office scent as it lasts through the work day without projecting too much.  After work, it would be a great base for another fragrance to be layered on top.

Summary:  I normally ignore gender in fragrance because it’s simply for marketing.  With that said, I Love New York For All can be worn by anyone.  Imagine the fragrance equivalent of your favorite pair of jeans: you can put them on anytime because they are comfortable, fit perfectly, and go with everything.

Bond I Love New York For All is available at Nordstrom,  Saks 5th Avenue, independent boutiques and from Bond No 9 boutiques.


Fragrance Reviews

Nasomatto Black Afgano Fragrance Review

Nasomatto Black Afgano Fragrance Review

* Black Afgano was inspired by the smell of cheeba, or high class weed.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t actually smell like weed – the important word is inspired.

* The immediate top notes are vetiver, smoke, patchouli, and tar- with a touch of menthol.  It goes on feeling dirty but in a sexy way.

* The juice itself is black and just looks dark and evil when compared to most fragrances which are lighter in color.

*  After a few minutes, the fragrance sweetens up with a dense resinous feel of cloves, cinnamon, and tar- combined with an incense that might be used to cover up the smell of smoking weed.

*  Oftentimes patchouli is associated with a dirty hippie smell.  The patchouli in the base is more of what a motorcyclist or a leatherman would wear, mixed with amber and dirty vanilla.

*  Black Afgano is sold as a highly concentrated extrait.  If you apply lightly with one spray, it is a skin scent with mild silage – anything more and you will be broadcasting.  If you’ve got the confidence to pull it off, Black Afgano is definitely a statement maker.

*  The longevity is epic – you will most likely smell Black Afgano after you shower the next day.

Summary:  Black Afgano is the closest that I’ve come to a holy grail fragrance as it is dark, evil, and resinous with enough sweetness to contrast.  It’s definitely a fragrance that everyone should experience firsthand, but it isn’t right for everyone. As much as I love this fragrance, my only complaint is that the cap is not that functional – it’s hard to put on and take off.  That said, Black Afgano is the first fragrance that I have ever used a full bottle of.

Nasomatto fragrances are available from Barneys New York, Luckyscent and independent boutiques.  Note that Black Afgano is made in limited batches each year and is often sold and hard to find.