Originally Posted by LabelKing
I also have a somewhat obscure Japanese scent by Hiroko Koshino which I picked up at Nordstrom. It's rich incense and very heady with an element of offness to it, but still somehow sweet.
I'd also like to try Montale’s Black Aoud...
I haven't tried the Koshino, but it sounds intriguing.
Montale's Aouds are all very nice, if you like agarwood of course. In fact, I like a lot of Montale, even the regular series (Greyland and Patchouli Leaves are really standouts). All of them are quite pleasant, but with an added element of kick in there that keeps them from feeling too stodgy. Greyland, for example, has citrus elements with woods, which wouldn't be anything to write home about except they also added cumin, which makes it really warm and spicey. Pathouli leaves, likewise, has the definite patchouli kick but is blended such that it is never too earthy or dirty (otherwise pure patchouli smells too much like an old hippy to me).
I also think LK would love L'artisan Parfumeur. I find their offerings off kilter, but in a very heady and decadent sort of way while never being gimmicky.
As for Creeds that don't get much press and are very unexpected (GIT and Millesime Imperial get all the press and are very standard "classy scents), try Ambre Canelle, Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie, Baie de Genievre, and especially my personal favorite Aubepine Acacia. The latter acts like it wants to me a standard citrus/floral fare but then kicks out this weird metallic element... very unique! As well, Ambre Canelle has an almost smutty sort of sensuality in there.
The mainstream designer scents I miss the most (I still have bottles, but unfortunately they've been discontinued and are getting tougher to find) are the Helmut Lang trio of EdP, EdC, and Cuiron. They really were completely unconcerned with being popular and I really give HL credit for that. I wish Jil Sander had followed suit; the fragrances bearing her name these days are all typically boring "fresh" "sporty" garbage...
Prada, on the other hand, love them or hate them are doing a great job with fragrances. The new "Infusion d'iris" which just came out really reminds me of a lot of the classic unisex scents of the 30's. It's like a lighter, fresher Dior Homme (without the leather) or a richer, deeper Hermes Hiris.