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Machu Picchu

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Sweet tropical fruits burst through deep, wet rainforest boughs, enormous steamy blossoms, over thin mountaintop breezes, mingled with the soft, rich golden scent of Peruvian amber.

 

Well, first thing on application was the tropical fruits – I smelled like The Cat's mango & coconut shampoo! Which was entertaining, but nothing like my memories of the Inca Trail or Machu Picchu, and not really my thing.

Five minutes later I got nothing but soap – probably tropical-floral soap, but still not really my thing. By half an hour in there was practically nothing to smell on my wrist (I couldn't smell anything, but then I was in a fragrant environment), and that remained so throughout the next couple of hours, after which I got a warm amber note emerging that's stuck around for the next 3 hours.

I tried it again six weeks later, and the same thing – shampoo, then soap, then almost nothing (faint soapy amber), then amber.

Nothing offensive, but nothing really notable for me either. So not really a keeper for me, alas.

To the swap pile it went... well, for a long while it was the swap pile...

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So this is my second round of Black Phoenix samples. I was a bit underwhelmed by the first six I tried, but armed with my experience I felt I could make more intelligent choices about scents I might enjoy.

 

MACHU PICCHU. . .

 

I selected this one because of the amber. The stand-out scent from the last batch I ordered was Brisingamen, and apparently amber, a note with which I had been unfamiliar, gave it its character. I loved Brisngamen except that I found myself distracted by its resemblance to Youth Dew. I figured that amber blended with a completely different set of notes would result in olfactory magic.

 

I instantly loved Machu Picchu. It goes on wet and fruity, even lemony, then emits a burst of green, and right now it just smells like Shower to Shower body powder. Don’t get me wrong, I always loved the smell of Shower to Shower. Machu Picchu does not last very long-- its entire evolution took place over about twenty minutes-- but I like it a lot. I’d like it more if it held together a bit longer.

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In the IMP it's very sweet alcohol infused fruits. On me it's very medicated at first then it's more honey and warmth with hints of amber.

On dry down it's more like a bar of floral fruit soap. Clean, fruity and pretty.

 

Later .. yeah turns to powder on me. Pretty powder.

Edited by Lilly

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In the Imp (ITI): Rich and ripe tropical fruit followed by heady florals and something that's just a little soapy and odd.

 

Wet: It smells a little like rubberized tar for just a couple seconds, but then I get tropical fruit and an aquatic tone to the mountain breeze.

 

Dry: It's not very long lasting. I tested four scents about 5 hours ago and this one I can't pick up at all. Retested freshly dried, the fruits and florals have overcome all the astringency and chemically qualities of the other note, leaving a soft powderiness I can attribute to the amber.

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First Sniff: Fresh green and wet rainforest plants and banana candy!

 

Initial Wet Application: Banana Runts candy, yummy! There’s another note underneath, it comes across as ‘golden’, so I’m guessing that’s the amber.

 

Dry Down (first 15 minutes): As it began to dry down, I’m getting lemon now as the dominant note. This is already getting faint though.

 

My Reaction: I had hoped that the initial, sweet banana scent was going to stick around. But once it dried completed, this was too light and more lemon than anything else. I think I can detect a faint whiff of some tropical flower, maybe with an underlying banana scent, but its faint and the lemon is more in charge than anything else.

 

Rating: 2

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blossoms & wetness. I prefer the foodie stuff. pretty, but not for me.

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first sniff from imp: lemony flowers! like a bright spring fairy.

 

wet: lemon, light florals, and a hint of the amber. also moments of soap.

 

dry: more of the amber and florals, though it fades very quickly so i barely get much of it dry before it disappears.

 

overall: pleasant and light, really nice on a hot day. just wish it stuck around!

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Wet; Something fruity and almost effervescent. Like rocket candies somehow. Followed by something very green.

 

 

Dry: Nothing really, it's pretty much gone. It did smell nicely of citrus and greenery for a little bit.

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I thought I would like this because I adore Pele, another tropical flower blend, but this just doesn't do it for me. I think I need other notes (like the ginger in Pele) in tropical florals to grab my attention.

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Bottle: Up close, I get a steamy, fruity gush. Some of it smells like mango and melons. It's too nice to be a tropical fruit chewing gum, but the thought is there. Actually, it almost smells like when shampoo or gum is labeled "tropical banana" or something, but smells nothing like real banana or plantain. If I hold it further away I get a rich, deep golden amber. It's a lovely amber.

Wet: Mostly that mango-melon-fruit wave with some amber. The richness of this amber works with the fruit, but it still seems a strange combo at first. There's also an undertone of woodiness and florals. Balsam of Peru? Not that I've smelled that...

Dry: The amber is coming out more. This is still quite fruity.

I like this, but I'm not sure it will become a go-to. I have a thing for rainforests, but this doesn't feel as green and wild as I want. I'm curious how it would age but fear what that would do to its volatile fruits.

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I did not get much fruit from this. I mostly smell dark humid foliage and tropical flowers, with just a touch of light fruit. When fully dry, I get rich warm amber mingling with it all. A soft, breezy tropical scent. Clean but not in a laundry or aquatic way.

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This frimp I recently got sounded pretty darn good. I haven't tried anything that's all that fruit heavy or tropical, so I was very curious from the start.

 

In Bottle: I smell something like mango or guava, maybe some coconut and banana as well. I also get florals and some greenery.

 

Wet on Skin: There's sort of a citrusy edge there now. The whole thing smells tropical, mostly like in the bottle.

 

While someone else said it smells soapy (and I think I understand the vibe they're getting it from), but I don't really think it smells soapy personally.

 

Approx. 1 Hour Later: Faint amber and that's about it. I think my skin eats this particular scent. There's basically nothing left on me.

 

------

 

While it wasn't terrible by any stretch, the time it lasts on me is not anywhere near economical enough for me to consider it even if I loved it. While it is that time of the month, I doubt that would make such a dramatic change in duration all on its own.

 

This one's just not for me, but I would recommend trying out an imp if you like tropical smells (and to test if the duration is any better on your skin).

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Wet this is borderline men's cologne, but luckily it veers right back out of that and goes to a fruity-green mixture. There must be some guava or something because it's sweet but also watery--it conjures up an image of a river winding through a lush forest. Over time more of the florals come in, although they're surprisingly subtle. I'm guessing plumeria and tiare. There's definitely some banana and coconut in here; it's creamy without actually going gourmand. There's a solid green base to ground everything, and for once the amber is quiet and not killing it for me.

 

Honestly, my nose gets a bit confused with this, as tends to happen with any scents with "too many" notes. (Of course "too many" varies by the day, scent, angle of the sun...) I don't think I would wear it much, but as usual I have to appreciate the thought that went into this scent. It delivers exactly what it promises.

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First impression: Holy mother of rainforest. This is...sharp, and bordering on unpleasant.

 

Wet: Bright and fresh, but with some heavy floral. The amber smells dark and a little sharp. It's a lot to take in, but if I slow down I can smell a lot going on in it.

 

Dry: First 10 minutes: almost immediately warms and sweetens. Floral is almost cloying and the amber is spicy. There's a thin top note, hard to pick out - the "mountain air"? 1 hour in: this has morphed into something fascinating. Sweet, but more the sweetness of amber than flowers. There's more fruit, but it's something like...warm mango? Still hitting some fresh notes, like a little bit of salt. I'm so interested in this. Not much throw, though, and seems to be fading quickly, though hard for me to tell.

 

This was a surprise delight, and I'll definitely be reaching for it more often. I would like a full bottle at some point. I love the substance of the combined resin and fruit. This is complicated and unique. Downside: only seems to last about six hours on me before it fades to a very close-to-the-skin resin. Still, though. A+.

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In the imp it's absolutely loooovely, strong florals and fruits, lush woods and something cold in there. Unfortunately all that greatness fades away nearly instantly on my skin. ...I did just put it on my skin right there right...?? Woe is me. What wasted potential! If it didn't do as it does I would've definately needed a bottle.

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Machu Picchu is interesting. Some tropical florals, some amber, some undergrowth, some fruitiness, an aquatic undertone - like being in the tropical bird house at the zoo (since I've never been in a real rainforest). There's a lot going on here, and I appreciate the artistry, but tropical blooms and aquatics are just not categories I wear.

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In the imp: I get the tropical fruits, steamy blossoms, and the breeze note with some amber in the background.

 

Wet: The tropical fruits leap out at me first, but then there’s a blast of greenery, so it’s the rainforest boughs accompanied by a bit of sweetness from the fruit. Then, I get the steamy blossoms and the clean breeze note.

 

Dry: The steamy blossoms end up stealing the show, but I still get some of the sweet, tropical fruit, greenery, and now, there’s some amber in the background. After a while, the breeze note ends up being the most prominent note on me, followed by the steamy blossoms. The amber continues to reside in the background.

 

Verdict: Aww, I was hoping for more amber! I am glad I got to try it, but I do not think it’s one that I would wear (although it would make a nice room scent).

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In the imp: The phrase "steamy blossoms" is very apt, as there's sweet floral -- with an undercurrent of wood -- that does smell hot and humid. 

 

On my skin:

 

Wet, I actually get a shot of a mango-like scent. As it immediately starts to dry, the humid woods and florals also come back in. Given a bit of time to warm and develop on my skin, the fruit becomes the most prominent note with woods and humidity as a base and florals gracing the top of the scent. Over time, the fruit gains additional power in the scent, though the woods and florals remain readily detectable. 

 

The result is tropical and fruity and flowery and forested -- and just a little heady. I don't get amber as a distinct note, but it may well be what's helping give the fruit its significant throw on me. Given the amount of throw I do get, I'm worried Machu Picchu might be too intense a perfume for me to wear regularly. It might be an "outdoor only" kind of scent on me. 

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