With rare exceptions (most recently, the Arquiste collection), I’m almost always underwhelmed when a company releases a barrage of perfumes all at once (Keiko Mecheri, Robert Piguet, By Kilian, M Micallef — I’m looking at you…though you are far from being the only culprits). I think: Was the perfumer overwhelmed by too many simultaneous projects? Were the perfumes made to fill banal “slots”: citrus cologne slot, oud perfume slot, fruity-floral slot, oriental amber slot, white floral slot. Were the resulting fragrances “old” ideas that were just hanging around waiting for a bottle to fill, a desperate buyer to placate? I’ve been burned so many times after going to great trouble and expense getting samples, I’ve started ignoring these “group shows” of fragrances. I don’t have the time, or energy, to find and try so many perfumes all at once from a single house. I think we’d all prefer the release of one interesting, well-thought-out perfume to a cartload of forgettable offerings arriving in one ‘lump’.
Limon de Cordoza (bitter orange, mandarin zest, mint, neroli, freesia, patchouli, vetiver, gaiac wood)
Limon de Cordoza has an orange-mint opening followed by the swift arrival of neroli. Is that a molecule or two of vetiver I detect? There’s some warm/sweet generic wood in the base. Limon de Cordoza has a sports fragrance character (without the ozone or excessive “menthol”). This is a (too) simple, formulaic, “why-was-this-ever-made?” cologne. At this price, you could do so much better; head to the Guerlain Les Eaux collection!1
Sienne d’Orange (orange, green cardamom, carrot, iris, “white” leather, musk, apricot wood)
Sienne d’Orange is a warm orange fragrance with some interesting gourmand facets: green cardamom, apricot jam, and a carrot note (more “cooked” than “crunchy” carrot). The perfume wears down to a very light fruity leather and balmy, summer musk scent. This is the best fragrance of the bunch; I really enjoyed wearing it.
After Midnight (bergamot, angelica, neroli, iris, lentisc, white jasmine, labdanum, benzoin, amber wood)
As I spritzed on After Midnight, I thought: “This is diluted Poison!” (they even share a color: purple). As After Midnight’s opening notes develop, I smell an aroma that reminds me of artificially flavored concord grape lollipops dipped in candied angelica. During mid-development, if you put your nose to skin, you’ll get hints of jasmine, labdanum, benzoin, maybe even iris, but they are all faint. The people at The Different Company apparently think “after midnight” means dessert time (the perfume’s ‘sweets’ become powdery during the dry-down with a heavy dose of what smells like my bête-noir — white musk). Unfortunately, all this excessive sweetness and fruit candy gives After Midnight an “inexpensive” vibe.
Tokyo Bloom (galbanum, basil, dandelion, black currant, jasmine, cyclamen, gaiac wood, musk, amber)
Tokyo Bloom starts with sheer, peppery greens, especially galbanum. Next up are softer floral notes: sweet jasmine and watery cyclamen. Tokyo Bloom’s base is not an “anchor” but another floating element: superlight, well-blended woods with a hint of musk. Too bad Tokyo Bloom does not provide the promised gaiac wood aroma, so distinctive and beautiful. Tokyo Bloom is a “nice” mainstream/department store-type fragrance; it’s designed to be streamlined and inoffensive to all (it’s CLEAN). Like After Midnight, Tokyo Bloom smells feminine to me. For a fragrance on the light side, Tokyo Bloom has very good diffusion. Overall, Tokyo Bloom is a sheer, polite floral (in the Eaux de Cartier mode)
L’Esprit Cologne collection has lasting power in the 3-4 hour range; the fragrances are $120 for 90 ml (in refillable bottles). For buying information, see The Different Company under Perfume Houses.