Fragrance Reviews

Chantecaille Kalimantan Fragrance Review

* The fragrance kicks off with a dry blend of incense and patchouli.

* Kalimantan is the Indonesian name for the island of Borneo which is the third largest island in the world.  The island had the oldest rain forests in the world which have been deforested at a rapid rate.

* Out of nowhere, the scent goes massively and aggressively skank with a strong mix of cedar, cumin and oud.

* When I say massively and aggressively, I mean the volume gets turned up and it projects wildly.   Its the first fragrance I’ve tested that gets louder the longer you wear it (heart notes are stronger than the top notes.)

* After about an hour, the skank starts to tone down and it gets a little sweeter.

* The base notes are a nice vanilla and sandalwood blend which lasts for 8 hours on my skin.

Summary:  Chantecaille is a luxury skincare / cosmetic line for women.  The fragrance bottle is quite pretty with etched/raised glass and a mirrorball like lid.  While this might fit the other fragrances in their collection (Frangipane, Tiare, Petales), it doesn’t make any sense for the beast known as Kalimantan.  I say this with love because I bought a full bottle of this monster just because it is so animalic, aggressive, and almost comically over the top.  This scent would fit better in the line of Serge Lutens or even Etats Libre D’orange line.  I am just imagining a rich lady sitting at the Chantecaille counter in a Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom getting her make up done.  She reaches over and absent mindedly sprays some Kalimantan on her skin.  The first whiff is pleasant but then a few minutes lady, the skunk hits and she starts screaming.  I would love to be there to see this.  Kalimantan is clearly not office friendly and I strongly recommend skin testing it.  Even if you don’t plan to ever buy a bottle, get a sample and experiment with it.  I am not comparing this to the shock value of say Secretions Magnifique, but the skank definitely comes out of nowhere and lets itself be known.

Chantecaille Kalimantan is available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Barneys New York.


Fragrance Reviews

Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque Fragrance Review

* Cuir Mauresque kicks off with a big punch of rubber and leather mixed with sweet resins.  No, it really does smell good.

* Serge Lutens is a french fragrance line known for their strong and powerful oriental fragrances.   Although the bottles are identical, each one is wildly different.

* The top notes take the back seat as amber, cinnamon, and incense sweeten things up.

* When I first got into fragrance,  Fille en Aguilles was brand new and my first exposure.  I sniffed it in a store and thought- pine needles, big deal.  About a year later, I stopped and sampled just about every scent in the line and starting kicking myself at how much I loved so many of their scents.

* Musk and sweet leather are the main parts of the base, though there is a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in there as well.  The base lasts a long time, even through a shower.

Summary:  Cuir Mauresque is the equivalent to a WTF track.  When I hear a track and say to myself, WTF was that — this was the reaction I had to the first sniff Cuir Mauresque.  It’s strong, dark, and evil in a sexy way- so it’s easy to see why I’ve gone through almost a full bottle of it already.  Not office friendly, though if you put it on the evening – when you wake up in the morning the sweet leather base notes will still be there (and make you very nice to snuggle up to).

Serge Lutens  Cuir Mauresque is available from Luckyscent, Aedes,  and Barneys New York.

Fragrance Reviews

By Kilian Rose Oud Fragrance Review

* Rose Oud starts with a powerful punch of oud and rose mixed together.  It is strong and projects loudly.

* Oud is a resin from southeast Asian evergreen trees that have been infected by a mold.  It is rare, expensive, and highly prized in Indian and Arabic cultures.

* After wearing it a few times, I’ve noticed that top sometimes gets a little soapy on me as well, while most of the time it is Rose and Oud.

* As the scent calms down into the heart notes – the rose and oud stay present, joined by honey and cinnamon.  Oud acts as the base, with the sweeter notes making a nice contrast.

* The base notes mirror the heart with the addition of a bit more sweetness, with either butterscotch or vanilla coming in to play.  This is by no means an edible gourmand, but a quite pleasant sweetness combining with a more subtle rose and oud.

Summary:  Combining a classical female note, rose, with a classically male note, oud, is quite brilliant and the contrast makes this quite a unique and sophisticated scent.  Rose Oud is one of four oud scents from By Killian along with Pure Oud, Incense Oud, and the recently released Amber Oud.  A limited edition Extreme Oud is apparently only available in the middle east. This is a great nighttime fragrance as its way too much for the office.  It’s extremely sexy in a seductive, not sleazy, kind of way.  As the scent is quite expensive, you will definitely want to skin test it a few times before going for a full bottle.

By Kilian Rose Oud is available from Luckyscent, Aedes and Saks Fifth Avenue.


Fragrance Reviews

Bond No 9 New York Oud Fragrance Review

* New York Oud kicks off with a quite loud blast of oud and sweet plum.

* It is strong, quite strong, and lasts a long time.

* The sweet plum recedes and saffron comes into the forefront with the oud for a little while.   Then on me, I suddenly get Ivory Soap (on top of the oud).   I am not sure exactly of the notes – kind of sweet, but in an inedible kind of way.

* Projection on this is massive and it stays strong for several hours

* In the base, there is still the oud and saffron in the forefront.  On different wearings, I’ve also smelled patchouli and a light musk – but it’s still all about the oud and saffron.

Summary:  Bond No 9 is what I call, lovingly, a battery acid fragrance.  Once it goes on, it cuts through everything and takes control.  I wouldn’t say it’s linear (meaning the same from top to base) but it’s linear-ish, as if the main oud and saffron stay in the game with different players joining for a bried inning/appearance.  This is definitely not an office fragrance – save it for the nighttime.  If you find New York Oud too strong and want to stay in the Bond No 9 line, try their Signature Oud in the gold bottle.

Bond No 9 Royal Oud is available from Saks Fifth Avenue and Bond No 9 New York Boutiques.