Very firmly in the 'old-fashioned' camp,
Plenty of retro oakmoss means this has a bit of a Jazz or Z14 vibe about it - but with the addition of a fair amount of lavender, which adds a certain coldness to the scent and dates it somewhat. However (despite not having it mentioned in the pyramid) it still has a great sort of cypress note so I can't help but like it. Longevity is 3-4 hours on my skin with medium projection. I wouldn't go particularly out of my way to get hold of a (now discontinued) bottle
17th April, 2014 (last edited: 28th October, 2014)
The verbena opening with clove and neroli is great - original based upon few notes that are combined in a masterly fashion. A classic lavender of benchmark quality adds to the impression of tradition with a twist. A beautiful start, which later develops a bayrhum-boozy quality that fits in very well. Whilst this scent turns softer in the drydown thanks to a floral turn, mainly geranium, and adds labdanum components, in the base this declares itself as a fougère: patchouli and moss notes - the latter less strong on my skin, with a touch of musk. The clove plays a leading rôle throughout all stages on me. This is beautifully balanced, well-rounded, crisp but not very bright and never harsh; this is no Gucci Nobile. At the same time it is more elegant than many other fougéres and a very complex composition - more complex than Z-14, and it is extremely well blended without losing its multifaceted structure. The quality of the ingredients is excellent, they have a traditional core with an unusual and exciting twist. On my skin it has very good silage and projection, with a superb longevity of nine hours. A top-class fougère with stamina, great in spring.
Vendetta pour Homme opens with a slightly sparkling aldehyde-laced bergamot and basil citric/herbal tandem before quickly transitioning to its heart phase. In the early heart the bergamot and bail remain but are now joined by a supporting oakmoss note rising from the base along with cinnamon and clove spice that come off as an almost refined gingery vibe. As the heart phase progresses, the clove increases in intensity and becomes the focal point of the scent as it is now joined by an emerging cedar note that plays the part of co-star. During the late dry-down the fragrance turns just slightly leathery as the clove recedes to a degree (but never completely dissipates). Projection is average and longevity very good at about 10 hours on skin.
Vendetta pour Homme has been compared by some to vintage Halston Z-14, and I can definitely see the comparison early-on. Vendetta pour Homme is more refined and formal while changing gears completely once you get to the mid-heart, but certainly the two have many similarities and that is a good thing in my book. The cedar note that emerges in the mid-heart is a perfect companion to the starring clove and the two just plain work. I should also remark on the underlying oakmoss backbone that never calls attention to itself, but plays a critical role in holding everything together. It is this kind of composition that reminds me all too well of what many modern day fragrances are lacking by IFRA restrictions on the ingredient. I encourage anyone who enjoys fragrances like Halston Z-14 to seek out this 4 to 4.5 star out of 5 "excellent" rated discontinued gem tout suite!
10th April, 2013 (last edited: 20th November, 2013)
Vendetta was a stiff elegant masculine fougere that did't manage to become a real classic. Nowadays this fragrance is pratically impossibile to be found on the shelves and anyway it should be may be too stuck, moody and breathless like a corpse. The combination of lavender, citrus, greens aromatic and geranium is bashful, sinister and particularly conservative (and un-approachable I would say) but actually the cloves-neroli-bay rum accord gives the real characteristics to the final smell. The latter becomes more and more austere and stiff with a sort of aura of mystery and gloominess exuded around. As well as Foetidus asserted, the lavender is still notable (as well as the bergamot, the patchouli and the aromatic herbs) and therefore the aroma is a bit too cologny, angular, rooty and vintage (unlike what happens with its more rounded and urban two cousins Moschino Pour Homme and Bugatti Pour Homme Classic 92). The orangy-spicy bay rum becomes anyway the dominant chord till the final mossy and slightly incensey dry down that smells boozy, stuffy and barely leathery. A good and solid fragrance just a bit too gloomy and viney to become fully appealing and winning.
01st May, 2012 (last edited: 27th June, 2015)
Check out the reviews by Foetidus and Milamber if you want to know what Vendetta PH is structurally all about; those guys can really break a fragrance apart. My nose is nowhere near that refined, so I have to rely on drawing relations to other fragrances, triangulating in on what a fragrance smells like vis-a-vis other frags. Sometimes I pick up a note here or there, if I'm lucky.
Anyway, Vendetta PH, to me, smells wonderful. I'm always a little surprised by at least some reviews for almost any fragrance, and this is no exception. Too sharp? Too sweet? Too spicy? I don't find it to be any of these. I mean, it's sharp, it's sweet, and it's spicy...but I don't think any one of those qualities is wildly out of balance, except maybe when measured against the focus-group formulated neutral and neutered fragrances of today. That is not a valid or historically useful measuring stick, in my opinion. To me, Vendetta PH is a sweet and spicy combo laid on top of a woody-ambery base. That said, it's not clovey to the extreme like Secret Melange or Trumper's Milk of Flowers. It's not sweet like almost any "masculine" fragrance you can pull off the shelf at Sephora or off the counter at Macy's here in 2011, where "masculine" has come to mean "orange push-up pop." It's more ambery than woody, but the amber is round and smooth and not the least bit thin or metallic like, say, Pal Zileri's Cashmere E Ambra.
Unlike Foetidus, I don't get too much leather, maybe just a touch. A difference that is due to skin chemistry, I imagine. Somewhat differing from Milamber, I find this to be closer to Arabie than to Ambre Sultan. I think there's something about the sweet, spicy nature of Arabie that seems similar to the same combo in Vendetta PH, though Vendetta PH is not as over-the-top as Arabie. Still, it's pretty amazing that this designer fragrance reminds us both of a niche fragrance from a very respected house. You won't find many like this, especially amongst new releases. The closest I can think of to this overall smell is Jean Pascal PH, but Vendetta PH is more concentrated, deeper smelling, plumper, and sweeter. One more thing: if you are going to test this - and you should - please let it dry down before drawing any conclusions!