The first perfume I remember is Jacomo Eau Cendrée. My uncle used to wear it and I just could not believe how different the bottle looked. I have recently managed to relive its mossy beauty.
The first bottle I bought for my self when I was about 16 was Benetton Colors Uomo. In its original form it was presented in a black opaque bottle and it smelled nothing like the newer blue version. It was a heavy, spicy oriental, quite unfit for a teenager.
The bottle that got me hooked on the internet fragrant community was Donna Karan for Men. It was my initiation to leather and when it got discontinued I tried to find it online and my search led to Basenotes. The rest is history and a lot of plastic money spent.
My first niche buy was Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Route du Vetiver and to this day it is the closest I will ever get to my Holly Grail. It is also the perfume that taught me the hard way the meaning of the term “reformulation” .
Since then I have emptied several bottles and accumulated even more. My favourite notes are
Vetiver: Route du Vetiver is obviously the king of the crop for me but I have discovered and loved its many facets on the way
Iris: it has the ability to simulate a wide range of temperatures from ice cold to warm and this fascinates me.
Leather: more of an illusion than a note actually
Immortelle: a quintessentially Mediterranean note, hard to tame but warm
Earth: the smell of damp earth, rain, mildew
Green: anything green, fresh, bitter, herbal
Serge Lutens: what can I say? I just “get” them. Most of them I love. They all tell tales and I am eager to listen.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier: the stylised elegance, the old world vibe, the right pitch for my nose. Easy to wear but not simple
Parfums Divine: an underrated house that has a line-up of hits at down-to-earth prices
Parfum d’Empire: probably the most impressive collection of perfumes under one roof
Kerosene: they say that those who cannot do teach and those who cannot teach review. John Arthur proved that where there is talent a reviewer can also do very well.
Ormonde Jayne: the definition of style and class. It takes a lot of guts to wear these with jeans but it is doable.
Parfums Heeley: there is something in the combination of British genes and French culture that creates magic
Montale Parfums: the controversial house. Call it Montale or whatever you want, if you can keep up with the multitude of releases and Pantone-like investigation of oud and other notes, you will find amazing gems in their line-up.
Jil Sander: all of the earlier releases that have sadly been discontinued
Lalique: classic compositions with an interesting twist
My treasure chest, things I wouldn’t want to be without:
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Route du Vetiver
Serge Lutens Sarrasins
Montale Black Aoud
Jils Sander Man (original release)
Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Iris Bleu Gris
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir
Serge Lutens Serge Noire
Serge Lutens Daim Blond
Donna Karan (Fuel) for Men
Lalique Encre Noire
Divine L’Homme de Coeur
Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale
Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman
Serge Lutens Musc Koublai Khan
Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental
Annick Goutal Sables
Helley Cuir Pleine Fleurs
Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman
Ormonde Jayne Tolu
Ormonde Jayne Ta’if
Jo Loves Pomelo
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Fleur d’Iris
Agent Provocateur L’Agent
Pascal Morabito Or Black
Divine L‘Être Aimé Homme
and the list goes on…
This is my collection (some of my bottles are not listed yet)
For some information on how I write my reviews and what note reporting is to me please read this disclaimer.