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The Black Tower

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A sepulchral, desolate scent. Long-dead soldiers, oath-bound; the perfume of their armor, the chill wind that surges through their tower, white bone and blackened steel: white sandalwood, ambergris, wet ozone, galbanum and leather with ebony, teak, burnt grasses, English ivy and a hint of red wine.

Leather, and wood, and an occasional hint of moss? A hint of something dusty (but not much), and yes a touch of ivy.

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Frimp from the lovely Labbies with recent impapalooza order:

 

IN IMP: Winey winey wine wine wine combined with darkness.

 

Dabbed VERY tentatively on wrists ... because while I adore red wine to drink, it has been one of my "bad notes" in the past ...

 

WET: Storm clouds made of red wine, and old leather.

 

Maybe not my best smell.

 

DRYDOWN: On me, these notes combine to make me smell like the back of an old NYC taxicab late at night, after its carried all sorts of interesting folks at different levels of inebriation and smoke-filled backrooms. I smell like lusty old men. It might make for a good short story, poem or painting, but not a great scent for me.

 

Overall: 1.5

 

Off to the swappy imp pile with you, Black Tower.

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Imp: I - I don't understand. This is sweet and smoky and delicious. Burnt grasses, definitely, and I assume the sweetness must be the red wine (I so hope it doesn't go vile on me!); and there's the damp ozone, yes. I - don't experience this as desolate? Deserted, yes, but having done its work, and not lonely in its silence and its solitude.

 

Wet: Is - is the wine being held in check? The burnt grass seems to be bringing out its tannins, not its sweetness. Woods and ash and echoes.

 

Dry: A bonfire of many woods that has scorched the grass and burnt itself down to the earth; ashes blowing in the wind. Just a tiny bit of red wine, sticky and sweet and spilled across the stones, and the tang of metal in the breeze. This is amazing and I love it.

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I've had this on and off my order for over a year. I finally got some in a swap.

 

Very under-whelming. In the bottle it smells light, a bit flat. It's a slightly lemony smell, maybe a little grass, but like a single-note really of something very plain and unforthcoming. It's the same wet, the same dry.

 

Quite disappointing.

 

I wonder whether a fresh imp would smell the same but I suspect it would. I think there's probably some subtlety to this which is beyond me because I love huge big over-the-top oils. Don't let my review put you off if your nose is more discerning and you like the notes :blush:

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I was expecting Black Tower to be too masculine for me but it's surprisingly soft.

It's quite the morpher and very complex. At different times during the dry-down wine, leather, ozone, ambergris, and sandlewood took center stage.

In the end, it settled down into a beautiful, quiet scent of all the notes. I can see a desolate tower near the edge of the sea while sniffing this.

A cerebral scent that I can see wearing on my more introspective days. Exquisite. :wub3:

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In the imp, I get mostly wine and what smells like the lab's pomegranate note. On me, wine, less fruity than in the imp. Perhaps a smidge of incense and a bit of chill stone here and there. It's incredibly faint though, despite applying more. It fades really quickly on me as well.

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First Sniff: Blackberry and incense.

 

Initial Wet Application: A pleasant leather note mixed well with some light, smoky incense. There’s also that faint berry hanging around in the background.

 

Dry Down (first 15 minutes): As this begins the dry down, I’m getting ozone with a pleasant, light flower in it. It brings to mind standing in a breeze overlooking the sea on a high cliff in springtime. As this completes the dry down phase, the white sandalwood works well with that lovely berry scent. But something darker, the teak perhaps, peaks out of this later and makes this a lonely scent.

 

My Reaction: While I had hoped for some wet stone walls facing a cliff, this was enjoyable. Not something I’ll likely reach for often, but it is interesting and I liked the blackberry-esque note.

 

Rating: 2.5

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Imp of unknown age, purchased off a lovely forumite. Very winey wet, along with something dark and crumbly that I thought at first was vetiver. LOVE. As it dries down it becomes surprisingly smooth. That would be the sandalwood, I'm guessing -- it's a hard note for me to pick out but it's usually involved when I find myself thinking "what IS that? I love it!" There's a hint of well-worn leather and incense as well. I adore this and I would love to smell it on a dude-type person as well!

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I don't think I've tested any imp so much as I've tested Black Tower, because I so desperately want to love it. The description and most of the notes are right up my alley -- sandalwood, ozone, leather, ivy. In the imp it's straight-up ivy with a nice damp ozoney edge, but as soon as it hits my skin, all I get is sweet, slightly smoky wine.

 

The notes I like do come out a little later (especially the ozone and sandalwood), and they're certainly evocative, but the wine never fades quite enough. Every once in a while I get a whiff of what I want Black Tower to be, which is why I keep coming back to it and hoping. But sadly, the smoky sweetness is too loud and too cloying on me.

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In the imp: Something sharp and medicinal.

 

Wet on my skin: This is very sharp and medicinal, and it reminds me a little of...something. Something with menthol or camphor in it. Tiger Balm, maybe?

 

Dry: This is a very, very unusual scent. On my skin, it doesn't want to show me any wood or burnt grass. No, this is ozone, freezing metal, freezing rain on damp stone, and something sweet-salty that I'm pretty sure is the ambergris turning this into a cold, aquatic scent. This isn't so much the Black Tower as it is the freezing, briny sea crashing onto the cliffs below the tower. As it wears, the red wine note I know from Lilith appears, giving this a deep and tangy alcoholic quality. If I sniff deeply, I can find the burnt grass and wood, but the surface of this remains that strange, bone-chilling ocean and cold stone with wine spilled into it. Definitely a scent to set a mood, likely in my roleplaying adventures.

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This smells dry, slightly woodsy, and smoky. Not for me, the desciption is apt though! Not what I really consider a perfume scent, more of an atmosphere scent.

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In the imp: Ambergris, wine, ozone, leather, and woods.

 

Wet: Wine and ambergris are the first notes to jump out to my nose, and then I start getting some of the leather, ozone, and sandalwood. Then, the wood notes make an appearance, making the scent more masculine than before.

 

Dry: The leather is more prominent now, and the combination of the leather and wine remind me of Perversion, only Perversion is sweeter (thanks to the tonka), and this one is accompanied by a strong ambergris note. The ozone is still present, but it isn't making the scent soapy, and I'm thinking I'm getting what may be the dry grasses now.

 

Verdict: This is a lot more pleasant than I thought it would be! I really like it, but I don't think a bottle will be necessary, because this is similar to Perversion, and I plan on getting a bottle of that one instead. But I will either keep my imp and pair it with Mikado Saloon hair gloss (those scents would make an excellent combination!) or give it to my brother, who would probably love this scent.

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Not something that had stood out to me originally, but I was frimped it by the lab so I gave it a go!

 

In the imp: Primarily red wine and sandalwood. Nice.

 

On wet: the leather blooms, it's sharp and intense. Red wine and sandalwood are still quite prominent.

 

Dry: The leather softens and forms a base with the resins and wood. Very smooth, and smokey-sweet. I get a touch of wine over the top of it all.

 

Overall: I surprisingly adore this. It's dark and vampy. I could see myself wearing this on cold, bleak winter days. Don't know if it's quite 'me' enough for a bottle though.

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Sexy, smoky, dark. The wine sweetens it up. Fairly unisex. While I do love dark sexy scents, this one is just not me. I am not a fan of the way wine smells on my skin - always smells a bit artificial to me. The leather in this also amps up, and while I like it, again, just not quite me. I think I will pass this on to someone who might love it better.

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Dark and dull, with that sweet wine, sandalwood and burnt grasses. I wish it was amping more on me as it lays kinda flat and I'm just not getting out of it what others seem to be getting, but it's definately atmospheric. Would be lovely to have on as inspiration with a fitting illustration project.

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The ivy really comes out on drydown. Super ozone-y. The wine adds just a touch of sweetness. There was a stage in the middle with a lot of leather that was very nice. The overall effect is like a slightly bitter, green cologne. Will hang onto this imp!

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So technically this is my second test of this one, but the first time all I really remember thinking/writing about it was "interesting," "dark," and "probably not a full bottle for me."

 

Wet this is very fruity, almost more plums/prunes(?) than wine, but I guess I'll buy that it's a really dark, old red. It's also medicinal, with some kind of sharp herb that I can't place. It's similar to menthol in feeling but not as minty. As it mellows it's more like a cool spiced wine, which is actually very interesting. Instead of traditional mulling spices it smells like someone tried out some green stuff. I honestly have no idea what ambergris or galbanum smell like on their own, but I assume they're contributing to the deep green/brown spiciness going on here.

 

The wine warms over time and becomes surprisingly pleasant--I'm not a big red wine fan in real life, but I might drink it if it tasted like this! There's also some earthiness in the base. It doesn't actually smell like dirt, but I'd believe the burned grasses (sort of like smoke mixed with hay) and dark woods. This is decidedly unisex--the wine is a bit sweet and the base is a bit dark, but it could easily work on anyone; it's also seriously evocative.

 

Actually, after this second test the scent is growing on me quite a bit, and I might actually get a bottle. It's a moody, deep fragrance and I've never worn anything like it before.

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On the wand, I get salty sea air and wood, with a little greenery.

 

On my skin, my first impression is of pirates: salty sea air, wood, and red wine. I’m guessing the saltiness is from the ambergris. The wine is quickly turning to a sour, sweaty afternoon-booze-nap smell with my chemistry. Maybe this is the red wine from Bordello – it does the same thing.

 

After this dries, all the other notes get lost: Salty and sour red wine takes over, punches some of its friends in the face, throws up, and gets heaved overboard.

 

I guess this one doesn’t work on me.

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The Black Tower is unexpectedly pretty. On me it reads as much more feminine than unisex and is not terribly smoky or leathery. I'm getting a lot of ambergris and I would have guessed there were roses growing along with the ivy and grasses. Low throw and average wear length on me. I will definitely use up the imp, and I will keep it in mind for a bottle depending on how future wear goes.

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Very fresh and windy, this is an airy scent without being imperceptible or too light. It has a similar wine and leather aspect to Wanda, with a very rounded grapey wine note that's fresh and not overly sweet, and the leather is somewhat newish and reminds me of a shoe store. There's a mild powderiness from the ambergris and the rest is mostly that airy ozonic quality. There's also a hint of greenery from the ivy. I didn't get much of the burnt smell, and only a tiny bit of metal in the beginning. It's definitely one that is gender neutral. There was also something about how the wine and ivy mixed that reminded me a bit of Nosferatu's wine and herbs.

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This is sweet grape soda on me instantly. Where are all of the other notes? Hell, where is the wine? No wine has ever smelled like this, unless it came in a juice pouch and also gave you a raging headache. Actually no, I take that back, there was a restaurant in Rome I vaguely remember where the owner gave our table "sexy wine" which was sparkling and bright pink. This smells like my hungover felt the next day.

 

Probably not a scent I will return to. Ever again.

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Ok, this is my first time trying black tower. I initially wasn’t interested but then for whatever reason I decided to give it a go while buying some imps from someone some time. Upon receiving it, it was intimidatingly smoky and masculine in the imp, so into the box it went and I never gave it a second thought, until tonight when I reached in for a random imp and pulled that out. Why not? In the imp: still very nice set, kind of strong for me (i’m ALL about the flowers). But I slathered it on. Sandalwood. Very strong off the bat but diluted with something like leather. Actually kind of pleasant. Reminds me strongly of the cheapo glittery incense from gas stations that gets everywhere. After a few minutes it lightens up with what I initially thought was citrus, but must be the grasses and ivy. They’re much greener than I would have expected from the description. It’s like really nice. Contrary to the rough description I feel kind of peaceful with it on. No sign of the wine up to this point and the woods all blend together. Pretty good throw as my grandmother just commented how nice it smelled. But not overbearing in my opinion.

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Wine, a bit of leather, a hint of smoke. Initially, I got this for my husband as an imp and he loved it (and I love it on him) so he now has a bottle.

 

In my latest order, I received this as a frimp. I love it less on me...this is definitely for him. But good for me to keep and wear when he is travelling for work ;) :blush2:

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In the imp: Ozone, ambergris, and wine over an indistinct blend of grounding notes. 

 

On my skin:

 

Wet, the ozone and ambergris continue to show up first, with the wine trailing close behind. 

 

As it dries, the ambergris becomes the dominant note big-time. Like, I can maybe pick out or imagine ozone and leather along with it, but right now it is The Ambergris Show on my elbow. 

 

After another 15 minutes or so, I can start to detect the sandalwood (white bone is a good descriptor for how dry it comes across here) grounding the blend and the ozone riding as a top note. At this point, something faintly smoky -- maybe burnt grasses -- starts to emerge as well. A few minutes more, and a note I read as a warmer wood -- probably the teak? -- also starts to give this a faint spiciness. 

 

Ultimately, the flickers of other notes fade out, and this settles down to become ambergris and ozone over sandalwood on me. It's not unpleasant though it's a bit more stereotypically masculine than I prefer in my perfumes. 

 

 

 

 

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