Two components are dominant on my skin: a dark, harsh and earthy Vetiver root, and a deep, rich, dark Rose Otto. Darkness concentrated. Geranium provides for glimpses of light, akin to sun rays breaking through the small windows in an old Gothic church. Impressions of incense and of a medicinal licorice are added in the drydown, and the base develops sandal wood that has a waxy undertone. Darkness, Victorian, Edwardian formal assertiveness in a bottle. At times with edges, harshness, and composed of excellent raw material.
Porformance is excellent, with great projection, strong sillage and about nine hours of longevity on my skin. A classic dark woody/floral creation. 4/5
A dark, humid, camphoraceous masculine chypre centered on rose, sandalwood, bergamot, with earthy-mossy notes and an overall kind of dusty-musky breeze. Dense and slightly animalic at first, shady and strong, not far from classic stuff ŕ la Cabochard, just less complex, more woody and masculine, and without leather, but that is the mood – a nostalgic, a bit "heavy" and to be honest, boring after a while, austere and elegant fragrance, quite in a decadent meaning. The drydown features mostly a sort of dark-soapy note with nuances of wet dead roses. Not bad, not stunning, frankly a bit plain and monotone (above all because of a general humid "heaviness), but if you like the – few – notes, then it may work for you.
Pluran mentions No. 88 in his review of Montale's Black Aoud, and the comparison is quite apt. Both are rich, dark, woody rose scents of tremendous intesity. I agree with pluran's assertion that No. 88 is the more complex and rounded of the two. It's more polished than Black Aoud, but that extra polish makes it less arresting than the Montale scent. Both are outstanding masculine rose-based fragrances, but I prefer the blunt savagery of Black Aoud to the sophisticated romance of No. 88. Personal preferences aside, No. 88 is a great scent, and a "must-try" for anybody who assumes that roses are not meant for men.
The first few minutes were just as I had expected: a lightly soapy rose, a hint of geranium. Understated and somewhat Edwardian in style. Picture a dandy in a Homburg, a sharp 3-piece suit and a cravat walking down Bond Street on a cool, crisp morning. But as the rose fades away, what gets left behind paints a completely different scene. The dandy has ducked into an alley and found himself at a little Indian spice stall. I'm talking about dirty-earthy-musky vetiver roots and faintly spiced sandalwood. If you enjoy such masculine basenotes, this could well be your holy grail. Alas, I don't.
I could imagine a vampire wearing this when trying to seduce a woman...not a twilight vampire either but the gothic yet mysterious vampire that can lure you in. This is very gothic smelling it smells like dusky roses on a misty night. Roses on men is not something I would normally put together however this works very well if you are not afraid to flaunt it. It holds a air of mystery about it, masculine yet feminine at the same time. I could think that this would have been big on the new romantic scene in the 80's.