Ambre Noir is getting closer. I put the frankincense and myrrh back in, removed one cedary component, enhanced the sandalwood, and added a touch of castoreum. It’s dark and rich but has the touch of incense back. I need to live with it for a bit and make sure I’m happy with it, but I like this best so far (version 10A for anyone with samples).
I love the gourmand heart of Reves and am just experimenting with the assessory notes. Yesterday I tried beefing up the orris, both the floral iris notes and the woodsy orris notes. Also tried a smidge of fennel. I need to wear these versions more too.
Gardenia Musk is getting good feedback as is and I’m just trying a few more things to see if I’m missing any other options. It helps to work on two or three scents at once like this on alternate days to keep my nose fresh to them (Ambre, Reves, and Gardenia), but it also means it takes longer to give each one “skin time” to make final decisions.
I realized my comment last time on civette might be misconstrued; I hate making dilutions of the stuff because it smells so foul by itself (even the synthetic), but I do know that very tiny amounts can benefit blends. It’s funny how you can keep something just below the level of detection and still have it improve the blend. Castoreum is easier for me to work with, but civette can have positive effects too.
Tried a bit of Divine’s L’Ame Soeur over the weekend to remind myself what it’s like; it’s a beautiful aldehydic floral in the style of Chanel 22. I think I prefer Chanel 22, but I’d have to do a side-by-side to determine why. The Divine line seems very consistent in being high quality (their two men’s scents are very nice too).