Reviews En Bref: Jeroboam Insulo, Origino, Miksado, Oriento & Hauto

What fresh hell is this?!” That question repeatedly crossed my mind as I smelt the new Jeroboam fragrances, and it wasn’t solely because some of them were indeed “fresh” (and excessively clean). The question really arose because I physically recoiled from the very first sniff of the sample wand for fragrance after fragrance, one after another, like a falling domino. When a scent wafts a brash, often brutish amount of chemicals merely from the wand and far before the liquid has even developed on my skin, then I know I’m in trouble.

Jeroboam and its logo. Source: Fragrantica

Jeroboam and its logo. Source: Fragrantica

There wasn’t even the promise or potential of something different and interesting in the synthetic cocktail to make the effort of wearing the fragrance seem worthwhile. For some of the Jeroboam fragrances, the molecules wafting from the wand and, later, on my skin were the most generic of bouquets whose quality and distinctiveness veered between being worse than a Montale, on par with a Montale, or like something you’d find in an Arab bazaar. For others in the line, the scent was all too familiar, evoking a richer or stronger aroma of things like Terre d’Hermes or one of the thousands of creme brulée caramelized vanillas on the market. At least two of the fragrances could be summed up flatly as “Bro Juice” on chemical steroids, with the added benefit or catnip of “Beast Mode” projection. If you like that genre of perfumery, great, all the more power to you, but it’s not my thing.

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Stephane Humbert Lucas Harrods

Harrods Exclusive. Photo: Roberto Greco.

Harrods Exclusive. Photo: Roberto Greco.

Sometimes, things don’t work no matter how much you try. That was the case for me with the fragrance that Stephane Humbert Lucas as a Harrods’ exclusive. It is simply called “Harrods,” and it was the second release last year in his new Snake Collection.

This review will be slightly different from my usual ones because I fear I have to start with more explanations than concrete, official details about the scent. One reason is because the background to the fragrance is a bit confusing in the context of names. Another is because there isn’t much information about the scent out there. And, lastly, there is the issue of friendship. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first a brief explanation is needed about how the Harrods exclusive fits into the wider context of Monsieur Lucas’ brand.

SHL Harrods. Photo: my own.

SHL Harrods. Photo: my own.

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Review en Bref: Frapin The Orchid Man

The Orchid Man, the latest fragrance from the French luxury cognac house of Frapin has little to do with orchids or florals. And, for me, contrary to its inspiration, it doesn’t evoke fighters in the boxing ring, either. Instead, it conjures up Creed‘s Aventus. To be precise, a heavily peppered, less fruity cousin to Aventus in overtly synthetic form. I’d shrug, but the fragrance leaves me too bored to do even that.

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Reviews En Bref: Dasein Autumn & Winter

With the end of autumn and the advent of winter in the Western hemisphere, it seemed like a fitting time to cover seasonal fragrances from the American niche brand, Dasein. It is an artisanal perfume house founded by Samantha (or “Sam”) Rader in Los Angeles in 2014. According to her biography, she is “a self-taught mixed-media perfumer,” and all her fragrances are unisex, vegan eau de parfums that she hand-blends in small batches. There are four releases thus far, each named after a different season of the year. Today, I’ll take a brief look at Autumn and Winter.

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