The opening is very sweet! And cough-syrupy! But not entirely unpromising... "Maybe it's a Mackie-type Oriental? A *little* dimestore, but sexy?"
Then...PHEW! It dries down to incense and only incense. Do you know that incense called Black Opium, favored for Rasta shops? That's the one.
My mother gave this to me and it really started me on my love affair with scents and mood.
My, but this is an intensely, almost tooth-achingly sweet fragrance. Nothing in the notes really indicates that it should be sweet to such a degree; it's mostly florals here, including freesia (okay, granted, that can get pretty sweet in a white floral kind of way), Bulgarian rose, tuberose, carnation and chrysthanthemum (is that very sweet? Beats me!) So that leaves the fruit notes of mandarin and osmanthus, both of which must be cranked up to the Nth power here; you can smell the rounded, ripe, slightly raisiny (that's from the osmanthus) scents they throw from a mile away. And there's a big dollop of sweet and powdery amber in the drydown, along with oakmoss. Because of the oakmoss, this is considered a fruity chypre, but so is Patou Cocktail and Cassini is basically like a honking quart of cherry heering (a ridiculously sweet liqueur with overtones of cough syrup) compared to Cocktail's crisp shot of palate-cleansing apertif. I love Oleg Cassini himself - charming man with the kind of globetrotting, fantastical life that people just don't live anymore - but this fragrance is not for me. I am giving it a neutral mainly out of respect to Mr. - or, more accurately, Count - Cassini. One last note: this fragrance has some definite similarities to the signature Anna Sui fragrance, the one in the purple and black bottle. If you like the Anna Sui, investigate the Oleg Cassini, which is a touch more formal and sophisticated but very much in the same vein.