Nine Flags: Sweden - Clear Spruce is like a Swedish cousin of Pino Silvestre or Puig's Agua Brava. More subtle than its Italian and Spanish relatives, it has a similar opening of citrus and lavender with verbena and herbs that quickly blooms into a woody and coniferous heart with some spicy touches --- mint, carnation, ylang-ylang, cloves and juniper --- before fading into the base. The formulation is light --- on my skin it lasts quite well, but at a subdued level. The drydown has a substantial bit of oakmoss, cedar, pine and vetiver that add a rich and earthy quality. One of my favorites of the original Nine Flags.
20th February, 2012 (last edited: 03rd June, 2016)
More reminiscence than review:
I would love to smell this old favorite again, though I'm not sure a department store frag of the 60s could hold up for over 40 years. In high school, this frag (among others in the series) was magical. It was strong, biting, deeply wooded--and I lived next door to an enormous boreal forest in northern Minnesota, much like that of Sweden. I recall how careful I was about using it because it bore not a little resemblance to gin. I would reserve it for days when I felt angry about school and didn't care if someone thought I'd been drinking.
Nostalgia is terribly forgiving. Had I a fresh bottle of this frag today, I might find it unwearable. But I don't have a fresh bottle and that's not a bad thing. It lets me savor a strong olfactory memory that incorporates both a smell and a spirit of the time.