Perfume Review: Michael Storer Monk, Il Giardino and Jjin
Review by Tom
Gaia over at The Non-Blonde reviewed the womens scents of this new niche perfumer; I thought I would review the mens. Happily, he included samps of the womens as well in my order of the mens, so I will review those as well next time.
Il Giardino opens with soapy greens adding in pleasant lemon/ neroliness that reminds me a bit of an amped-up Dior Eau Sauvage. Black currant and grapefruit are listed as well, but I don't discern them, they just add in to the general pleasantness of the scent. Normally that would be damning with faint praise, but I have to write that when I wore this I would get little whiffs of it and found myself drawn to it: it dries down pleasant as well, still green, but with a pleasantly light woody musk. I surprised myself by really liking this: it's such a happy little scent, managing the feat of being both refreshing and soothing at the same time. At only $38 for 100ml, I could happily keep this around for those days when I have a meeting or something where I don't want to smell challenging or quirky or fly my olfactory freak-flag. It smells nice, without overtly smelling like five other things.
Jjin starts off with mint and a zing of booziness. They list cardamom but I also smell cilantro as well as the mint, the listed black pepper and woods. Also listed is "steamy animalic castoreum, musk and the sexual pheremone Aldron". Can't speak for the pheremone, but either my deskankotron skin got in there and did some serious neutering or the drydown is just a nice, clean skin musk with a lovely light spiciness to it and the barest hint of creamy sandalwood. I'm hoping the latter. $43 for 100ml.
Monk. "Oh, yes! Oh Baby!" I accidentally dumped about half the sample vial if this on my wrist, which elicited the quoted response. Quoted notes of frankincense, tabac, linden, vanilla, and smoke were evident immediately, also with just a touch of listed cocoa and unlisted leather. The cocoa is interesting barely discernible up close, notable but hard to place further off. It's a special-effect of cocoa; it's one of those effects that Lutens pulls off so well, and finding it in a scent that retails for$45 for 100ml makes me smile. Ambergris, civet and musk come in at the drydown as it loses some of the vanilla sweetness and becomes more austere. Of the three, this is the one that I'd like to buy the most, but really at this price point, I could get all three and not feel the slightest twinge. And I just might do so.
Available at MichaelStorer.com