The opening of Idole is pleasant, compelling and intriguing, showing a rich, thick, humid herbal-spicy blend with patchouli, dense and "dark" flowers (carnation, rose), a lot – I mean it: a lot - of spices (caraway, red pepper, saffron) and a sort of subtle "candied" and resinous fruity feel à la Arabie by Lutens, all supported by a woody-mossy base comprising sandalwood perhaps, and a peculiar contrasting balsamic-menthol note juxtaposed to an invigorating and rich boozy note. All wrapped up in a golden, warm, spicy-resinous amber aura. In short, a warm, brownish spicy-woody bomb with boozy, earthy, balsamic nuances. Quite dynamic and peculiar indeed, a lot of contrasts going on, but all works perfectly and smoothly. The woody accord emerges better after a while, shortly becoming the "center" of the fragrance together with spices and booze, and it is indeed a good and - again - peculiar smell: it's a really dark, exotic, spicy, mysterious, aromatic woody accord, at the same time soft, mellow, slightly salty, with a subtle yet intoxicating resemblance to the smell of warm, slightly sweaty human skin, completed by a thin and austere layer of dark leather. It reminds me of a scent I sadly can't remember, but I am sure "out there" there is at least another scent much similar to this one (I admit that as-is, this information is purely useless). Overall I personally find Idole fascinating and well made... for a while, until its bold (and linear, and hell persistent) spicy-woody notes starts to become a bit boring. Worthy a try for sure, though.
What a genius we have in Olivia Giacobetti! She has already confirmed herself the queen of light and air in fragrances like En Passant, Hiris, and Philosykos, but with Idole she surprises me by setting off into the unfamiliar realm of darkness. As far as I’m concerned, her first campaign is entirely successful, too!
The opening strikes the nose with aged rum, citrus rind, and “black cumin,” which I believe is actually nigella seed. For those who fear cumin as a “stinky” note, be assured that nigella smells nothing like cumin. It is a sharp, dry, and peppery scent with discreet floral overtones. Pungent aromatic notes and an unusually tart amber soon follow, accompanied by a semi-sweet exotic note that just might be the listed doum palm. A pleasantly bitter saffron note prevents the blend from becoming overly sweet. What’s conspicuously lacking in this scent is any strong floral note. In this respect Idole resembles that other luminous, sensuous masterpiece, Musc Ravageur, though the two actually smell nothing alike.
As Idole develops it becomes conspicuously smoky, and then reveals a somewhat fruity leather note. The drydown is spicy, amber tinted leather and woods, and it persists for hours on the skin. Idole exhibits strong projection and leaves a generous but never stifling trail of sillage. The extended and complex development makes Idole something of a genre bender. At times it behaves like a spicy oriental. At others it becomes more of a smoky leather or a deep woody scent. In all phases it is unique, though also challenging. Not everyone will find this scent easy to wear, or even attractive.
Idole is not only a novel and complex scent: it’s also an exercise in paradoxes. It manages to be at once dark and luminous, like a single ember in a blackened room. Despite its depth it’s not at all ponderous either. Instead, wearing Idole is like wearing a black gauze veil. I get a sense of happy anticipation when I put it on.
Not my style but a good fragrance.
Boozy opening, somewhat sweet and spicy. Well-made, but rather sweet. Good wood and a hint of leather. Rich and dense. Masculine in style but could be attractive for a woman. The dry-down is classy, high quality, with leather and creamy sandalwood. The sweetness abates somewhat, though the scent remains rich.
Boozy, kinda peaty
If a book may be judged by its cover, Idole de Lubin would have been an exotic powerhouse worthy of worship. Instead I find it to be mostly a rather soft-spoken blend of booze-soaked woods, sun-baked peats and a salty hint of leather. An evocative scent, no doubt. One describing a gathering of tribesmen smoking pipes and airing out their wet leather sandals by the fire? Or of a fraternity beach party, with spilled booze, smoked weed and slippery thongs? While the bottle cap seems convinced of which version to sell me, the actual scent dithers.
Escape to Zanzibar
First of all, respect for the bottle, love the Massai ebony style mask and shaped/surfaced bottle, just stunning presentation.
Idole opens with a rum, berry and dry spice accord. It's heady but with a transparent quality that reminds me of Duchafour's treatment of Jubiliation XXV. There is a resinous note that I read as opoponax, that lends the body a creamy warmth along with the saffron. The composition perfectly captures the east African island imagery. I see this as no way dark, but representing the sunset/dusk time, just when people are lighting bonfires on the beach. I also detect some smokey campfire notes during the heart of the fragrance which help with the imagery (perhaps the ebony note as listed). The sweetness of the sugarcane is also most apparent during the heart, as opoponax dries off. I experience a little very soft and balmy leather during the drydown.
Settles to a skin scent on me after around 4 hours and longevity can still sniff on arm after 8 hours - but it's no powerhouse for sure.
What a trip though, a beautiful fragrant experience and very evocative with lots of imagery of exotic locals, in this Olivia Giacobetti has fulfilled the brief with flair. I really like this one and am proud to add it to my collection. Great stuff.
Pros: Evocative of the exotic
A creative strong statement
A boozy rum and spice opening is given a twist with a strong saffron note. The drydown has a green raisinous sweetness developing into a wood note that is amplified by a nice amber scent. It is an elegant composition that is well blended, but never develops its full potential on my skin. Decent projection and over four hour of longevity, I find the EdP much more satisfying in my case. Nice, outside the square.