I'm going to compare this to A*Men, Borneo 1834, Amour de Cacao, and Prada's first ("women's"). Excess is more "fleshed out" than Borneo. It's more of a fragrance, whereas Borneo is more of a smell. It's better balanced that Prada (I'm mentioning Prada because of the vanilla and patchouli, though it doesn't have a strong chocolate note, if any), which has very strong patchouli. It's not as sweet as A*Men, nor does it have the irritating tar note. It is more dynamic and challenging than Amour de Cacao, which is the most sedate of this bunch. In short, Excess is right in the "sweet spot," being just challenging enough while still being balanced, natural, and dynamic. And it's technically sound (sillage and longevity are at least very good). So, if you know what you are looking for (and I certainly hope that I do at this point, especially when it comes to gourmands), perhaps this mini review will provide you with a general idea about which one of these might be best suited to your tastes.
06th September, 2009 (last edited: 11th September, 2009)
Yes, this frag pitches its tent in the same camp as Mugler's Angel. If you take a look around, you'll also spot Nirmala and Bond's Nuit de Noho pounding down their stakes.
Although at first sniff I thought these four near equals, in head-to-head competition, Excess offers the least quality and appeal. It was more difficult choosing who came next, Angel or Nirmala. However, the frag that made me a happy camper (due to its delicious pineapple top note) was the wallet-emptying Nuit de Noho. In this case, the price tags did reflect the proportions of desirability.
Initially, it smells overpoweringly of musk (but most musk smells overpowering to me). Once settled on the skin, the pepper and rum are quite obvious, and at this point, it does seem more masculine. As is dries down, sweet chocolate/vanilla can be smelled under the musk - an unpleasantly jarring combination. I do not smell jasmine at all. It becomes almost pleasant after an hour or so as the sweetness remains faintly and the sandlewood starts to emerge from under the musk.
Hmmm. Chocolate, patchouli, and vanilla--and jasmine, so it should be a bit different from all the Angels. But it still just strikes me as such a typical gourmand, and it's good for what it is, but it is just so predictable. The jasmine is buried in the stronger foody notes, and the spice and rum makes it seem quite masculine. Now, if I imagine smelling it on my date's neck at the movies--hey, that's a bit better. But only a bit. The patchouli is overwhelming, and over rich with vanilla.