This begins as an acrid, green, patchouli blast with a turpentine chaser.
Turin detects Immortelle in its heart, but this is not mentioned in the minimal note tree on this page, nor does its unmistakable fenugreek sweetness come to my nose. Neither for that matter does the anise mentioned above. Perhaps the formula has been altered.
The dry down to the mix of white cedar and the weakening patchouli is pleasant, but rather unremarkable. It's rather weak on my skin and to my nose, not something associated with patchouli.
I'd advise sticking to patchouli oil, a much less expensive and more concentratedly valid alternative to this fragrance.
Very crisp citrus top notes introduce an appealingly simple patchouli accord of unusual brightness and clarity. The light touch and refinement in execution set this patchouli accord apart from most others I know. If you find amber and patchouli scents like Mazzolari Patchouli or Montale’s Patchouli Leaves too dense and sweet, you’re likely to appreciate Patchouli Patch. Also noteworthy is the manner in which patchouli, normally tenacious and treated as a base note, here serves as a top note. Patchouli Patch’s title note bows out almost completely after less than an hour’s wear.
What remains in its wake is a crisp, spicy woody oriental composition of the sort at which Bertrand Duchaufour excels, but this time rendered very pale and quiet. Too quiet, I think, for its own good. The later stages of Patchouli Patch are so shy they feel apologetic, as if the patchouli were a breach of etiquette, and the remainder a penitential gesture. I appreciate the novelty of a luminous, clean, and polite approach to patchouli, but Patchouli Patch goes too far for my taste. When I’m in the mood for an urbane, civilized patchouli fragrance, I turn to Nicolai’s Patchouli Homme (Patchouli Intense) which is no less refined, but much more penetrating and complex than Patchouli Patch.
Honest, linear, mild and discreet patchouli, with a substantial earthy-dusty sweet side (cocoa beans like), a mellow sandalwood base and a subtle but refreshing herbal/floral breeze, really pleasant and unique. A month came to my mind: September. It has that same quiet, smoky and malinconic suspended understatement that characterises that month - summer is over, autumn is not there yet, we kind of wait for something to happen, days shorten, the weather is warm and pale... oh, well. It eventually evolves moving on a more balsamic/herbaceous territory, always quite soft, round, restrained and docile – L'Artisan signature lightness, in short. It is undoubtably well composed, as you feel all the notes clearly and they smell great: it is a light and lively patchouli with a peculiar base carefreeness and brightness which make it stand apart. Carefree but also evocative and meditative. Despite I personally prefer other patchouli scents which amplify and shape better its raw earthiness – notably, for example, Patchouli Nobile by Nobile 1942 – I must admit this take by L'Artisan is really pleasant, a bit shy and delicate but elegant, balanced, smart and worth a try (even a blind buy in case of bargains!). Quite close to skin but also quite persistent.
The patchouli is gorgeous, typical, smooth but with a touch of rich earthiness. A star anise remains respectfully in the background on my skin, and that is about all. High-quality and convincing in it's focused approach, making up for its lack of variability and development. Adequate silage and projection with three hours of longevity. Nice on cooler spring days.
Patchouli Patch opens marvellously, with a ripe, mellow and smiling Osmanthus note that sublimes the natural fruity, boozy shades of patchouli.
Then, the flowery- fruity opening deepens with leathery, almost metallic and spicy facets -the official list says star anise, Luca Turin says fenugreek... to my nose it's a kind of Indian spice mix, none particularly detectable- among which an earthy, dry but not too camphoraceus, alas!, patchouli sits royally. The fragrance feels airy and luminous, with a kind of Early Autumn vibe.
Everything would be perfect if, at this stage, a huge, "furry" musk didn't emerge and slowly overwhelm every other note. It must be my hyper sensitivity- and poor endurance- with most musks, but the rather long drydown isn't welcome to my nostrils, though it never reaches the offensive level.
It's a pity, as the top and mid notes are truly beautiful and skilfully balanced.