An odd little number: to my nose, it's mouldy peaches spritzed with Chanel pour Monsieur sitting on Annick Goutal's base mix. Meandering, sprawling, moody, unfinished - but not that bad, all things considered.
uintessentially English everyman fragrance. Introduced in 1979 but is built from the heritage of Florisí long history and you can tell. Both Dandy and rakish, this could be gentlemanís club after the pipe smokers have left having taken a brandy for the road, or lounge bar down the local. Being chauffeured in the Bentley or tinkering under the hood of the MG. Business suit, tweed or T-shirt and jeans.
Itís slightly understated but never fades away. Although green woody itís never damp, with wood notes at all levels acting as trunk that allows the floral, and fruitier notes to entwine around.
However anchoring it all is a subtle combination of patchouli and musk with, as the Floris site informs, a hint of leather.
I find it perfectly suitable for the office or out at night. Sillage is quite moderate but longevity is good for me. Applied early in the morning, it never overpowers early on but is still detectable in the late afternoon. I find most Floris fragrances appealing but this is my chosen everyday.
I've actually quite enjoyed Elite.
It's essentially a classic masculine woody chypre, but with the typical citrus on top largely obscured by bright green aromatic herbs. When the citrus does come in, it's supposed to be grapefruit, but it smells to me more like a mix of generic citruses, but made musty and stuffy. There's bay and clove in here, so it also kind of smells like bay rum encased in an 80's chypre with that musty old citrus on top.
With time, it gets to the delicious and expected chypre drydown, including an almost leathery dark patchouli and sandalwood mix that just gets deeper and darker as the vetiver and moss make their way in.
I know the fusty quality is why so many people hate Elite, but it's what makes it stand out to me. You know those British costume dramas? They'll inevitably have a scene where the aristocratic men are hanging out in some sort of a club on old chairs wearing tight ill-fitting suits and smoking cigars while they talk politics. This is the smell of that - almost laughably pompous and dated, but still a source of pride and a part of history and kind of beautiful.
In the top note I get orange, dark lemon and bergamot; it is fresh but not brightly citrussy. Soft patchouli comes in, a wood note and some tuberose are added, giving it depth and substance. After an hour or so, deep and rich oakmoss develops with a hint of vetiver providing a green tinge to the total picture. For the last hour a gentle pleasant soapiness is added. This is a rich, beautiful and wood-herbal-citrus-note scent. Good sillage and projection, and excellent longevity on me of over seven hours. A Floris that I find convincing.
An over-rich concoction that struggles in vain to come across as 'green' and 'cool' but whose true character is of an aromatic herbal with a woody-leather base. There is a hard-boiled sweet note (the 'amber'? or a leather-patchouli-bay reaction?) that lingers at the opening which fortunately resolves an hour or so in. Over its progression the mosses come increasingly to the fore, drying things out, fortifying the resins and relaxing the composition's oh-so-square jaw a little.
This is not the dischordant blunder some have made it out to be, but it does bring to mind an unfortunate archetype when I think about who would wear this. Someone in a double-breasted blazer with brass buttons, a black patent leather briefcase carrier, and in all likelihood a furtive PowerPoint obsessive. Not me in this life.
Revisited: This one kept drawing me back to re-test and I have, several times. With familiarity, the bumpy opening becomes quite easy to live with, and its power and longevity come to be treasured. Now its slick city gent associations are all that's holding me back from caving in and getting a bottle.