Caswell-Massey's Aura of Patchouli is not the pure wet-earth patchouli scent you'd find at a Grateful Dead concert or other gathering of sixties aficionados, but a sophisticated blend with patchouli as the dominant note, framed with topnotes of bergamot and citrus and undertones of hay, vetiver, smoky woods, oakmoss and musk, with some hints of amber and carnation along the way.
It is VERY close to the scent of the much-beloved (and long-discontinued) Oleg Cassini for men by Jovan, and probably the best alternative currently available. It's also a close relative of Givenchy Gentleman, though it lacks some of the floral, spice and honey accords of its French cousin. This is a hippie that's grown up a bit and traded in the tie-dye for some more stylish and well-fitting garb, but still has fond and vivid memories of the high times of yore.
Patchouli on its own is a fragrance that people seem to either love or loathe, and your feeling about patchouli will likely be an indicator of how you'll react to this fragrance, as long as you don't expect it to be patchouli-and-nothing-but. If you're a fan (as I am), and can appreciate an artful blending of patchouli with some other harmonious notes, you'll probably find Caswell Massey's Aura of Patchouli delightful. If you're one of those unfortunates for whom patchouli is in the same league as old gym socks (or worse), be forewarned --- stay away!
This is an excellent old-fashioned, barbershop styled patchouli scent. It does have a biting, raw and earthy smell to it, but interestingly it is also quite clean smelling and smooth. There's not much else in this other than raw patchouli, but it does have a slight powderiness in the background that gives it the clean barbershop feel.
Slapping this on after shaving in the morning is invigorating, and I always feel clean and well groomed after putting it on. I feel confident and ready to take on all comers when I put this on at the start of the day. Though patchouli is often associated with potheads and hippies, I wear this cologne very comfortably with my navy pinstriped suits in a business setting. I hope Caswell-Massey doesn't decide to discontinue Aura of Patchouli, because I'll always want to have a bottle of this on hand. I wish they would make shaving cream, shower gel and deodorant with this scent because I'd buy all of them.
13th October, 2009 (last edited: 16th January, 2010)
I have exclusively worn this fragrance product for over 20 years. It is not only Patchouli but has some subtle undertones of woodsy cedar and smoke. Once in a while I will give it a layered effect with some Damask Rose, to create a masculine scent that evokes Roses but does not smell feminine. This Aura of Patchouli is my signature scent and people know me by it. IT IS THE BEST. but I will tell you, people usually have 2 reactions to it, they either LOVE it or HATE it. Well some people just have no smell.
It is patchouli – as straight of patchouli as I could wish – purer than I like. I prefer patchouli as a note in a well-made, more complex fragrance, but Caswell – Massey’s Aura of Patchouli contains little to ameliorate its raw patchouli potency. I find it too … too aggressive. This particular patchouli note is a little more dark and resinous than I care for. It rather scares me with its potency, darkness and dryness, which is unusual because I love dark and resinous woodnotes or vetiver notes. No feral patchouli for me, please, I like that particular note civilized. Because of its darkness, Aura of Patchouli doesn’t have an overabundance of sillage – I have known several patchouli fragrances and essential oils that could easily clear a room, not so with CMAofP. This one is wearable for a while, it is pleasant for a while, and it is very linear in a way. After a short time on my skin, it loses it resinousness, turns even sharper, and becomes quite synthetic – quite unattractive. Probably just a reaction on my skin... It has good lasting power but only as a skin scent with a bad attitude.
Linear but classic and simple. I use this one sometimes to layer with. Great price, too!