Some more random samples... Still got a few piles to go!
(Are you guys getting tired/annoyed with these reviews? I don't really bother writing reviews on BN or other sites, just collect some thoughts and post 'em here though)
Heeley - Menthe Fraiche - Well the good news, at least for me is it isn't what I was expecting. It's not a strong mentholated cooling toothpaste sort of mint, nor is it overly spearmint. It's a bit like Guerlain Aqua Allegoria's Herba Fresca, sort of a slighty sweet (simple syrup), prickly herbal mint, so more like the actual leaves of the plant. Very low projection, even off the scent stick. Now i'm getting this hint of a sort of BO accord, not strong. Reminds me a bit of the mint+tea combo side of Carthusia's Medetteraneo (without the citrus side). There's a bit of wet dirt here, which is the BO note I mentioned earlier. Surprisingly, nobody else on BN mentioned it and for me it's very loud and clear. Lastly there's some dry peppery woods, cedar. In short, it's very pleasant, refreshing, and I give it a lot of credit for doing mint very very well. And it's niche and the packaging IMO is beautiful. Downside? Well it's very short lived, I smelled almost the top to bottom just in one 2-3 minute sitting of blowing on the plastic stick. Minimal longevity and projection, more like an EdC, and there are similar, though not quite as good offerings out there already. Plus it's not cheap ($150-175 for 100ml)... and lastly it's good, but too simple. An excellent example of a single accord, with one strong note and a few supporting characters, but there's no story here, no adventure, not twists and turns. It's a short story with a great opening that goes nowhere in particular. Encore!?! It's a very well done scent, but only half complete. I'm left with a decision for a recommendation, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with a PASS. Instead try Bvlgari Au The Vert, Malle Geranium PM, Guerlain AA Herba Fresca, and Carthusia's Meditteraneo.
Geo F Trumper - Astor - from a 10ml decant someone put in the last swap box. I think I'm basically smelling a Bay Rum of sorts her. Spices, grassy, woody, all very mellow, slightly dry and dusty. Reminds me of Royall Musk for example. Nutmeg, cedar and sandlewood, maybe a hint of dry tobacco. This is 80's old school, and I mean 1880's. Very dated IMO so unless you're really into these sort of bay rum / Florida water type dealeos, it's a blech to me. PASS with strong prejudice.
Guerlain - Habit Rouge Légère - I think this is a sample actually from two sample swap boxes ago. Oh wow, bright fresh sweet leather citrus. This has Guerlain written all over it... It's so refreshing to smell such good juice after so many duds. Hints of powder and skant. Musty lemon, leather. Civet. Powder and vanilla. There's a really big strong bright opening here with that lemon+wood+spice+powder/leather. There's nods at Chypre as well as Oriental facets. This is wonderful juice, maybe even (dare I say it?!) better than the original. If you like Guerlain, and if you like HR, this is a must TRY, or at the very least if you've never tried HR, try that and start there. If I had to choose between the original or this, that's actually a tough call. I'm a purist so I'd probably go EdP original (though I own the EdT of HR and regret not going for the EdP) but this is excellent juice. And don't let the 'light' name fool you. The juice is potent. It's just a brighter version of the original. I almost feel like this could be one of my signature scents, and yet, at 28 years of age, I feel it's going to take me a few more before I'm really comfortable in a Guerlain. Last comment, I'm still just thinking about how well built this thing is. It's just so rare to find well blended full bodied scents like this these days.
Ralph Lauren - Safari for Men (vintage?) - Got this sample from a fellow enthusiast who started off as a customer at the store. Oh wow, this reminds me of my father in the 90's, wearing his 80's powerhouses. Hmmm, leathery honey, oakmoss and a touch of stank. My first thought is Boss No.1 and maybe a bit of Antaues. This is fougere I think. It's the beezwax! that's what I'm smelling. It's got herbs, it's got wood, and that honeyed goodness. I used to hate this sort of scent becuase there was a large cloud of it around my dad every time he and my mother went out to a movie or for dinner with another couple. Now, it's nostalgic. Not something I'd wear personally, or at least for another 10 years, lest I smell like I raided my father's bathroom, but well worth a sniff if you're into these sort of scents. It may be hard to find though. And seeing what you guys generally post, I'm actually going to say it's worth a TRY if you see if at a random hole in the wall store. Maybe even worth buying a sample, again if you want to know what the 80's era smelled like. Not sure how much bottles on eBay are going for these days, hopefully this is an oldie but cheapie type.
La Prairie - Life Threads: Silver - In all fairness, my sample either evaporated or I wore it years ago and forgot about it. So I'm sniffing the empty container. It's basically a slightly fruity powdery vanilla tuberose. Smells like a woman in a business suit who bought the perfume at the same place she got her facecream becuase it was expensive, so it had to be good right? Nice hint of orange blossom and strong bit of jasmine to round it out. It's ok, very presentable but nothing interesting. It says 'I put on perfume out of habit but have no personal taste except spending a lot of money to make sure I get something that's sure to be acceptable'. Basic, well built, but boring. PASS
Jack Black - Signature Blue Mark - OK, a nice fresh citrus floral aquatic type thing. Better than most of these I've smelled, though pretty generic. I get neroli, lemon, lavender and something herbal like thyme or rosemary. Reminds me a bit of Cool Water. Bit of fresh mint here. Some prickly woody juniper. Eh, it's pleasant but generic. Smells like a guy who got it as a present and wears it to the gym. PASS