Kretek is a powerful clove/tobacco. However, it is "soft." Some might find it medicinal, especially at first. After wearing it a while, you get used to it though, and it's almost like being in a smoke shop. Longevity and sillage are excellent (I only used one spray and people around me were telling me how strong it was). It doesn't have much else going on, so I can see how some would say that it's not a "perfume," really. Nothing animalic, floral, citrus, etc., so if you are looking for balance and dynamism, you may want to look elsewhere. I'll give it a positive rating due to it's longevity/sillage and because if this is what you seek, you will be satisfied. I will likely use it for layering mostly.
The blast of the top notes in this fragrance is incredible - a rich and spicy hit of cinnamon, incense, tobacco, and most of all, CLOVE.
There is also a faint touch of something tart and fruity in the top notes, though this fragrance really isn't a gourmand aside from the spices.
After the first hour or so the spices fade and a rich tobacco fragrance takes hold, the incense and tobacco maintaining a duet through the drydown.
The base is ambery and faintly musky.
While this is a charming fragrance, it's somewhat "top-heavy" and the base bears little resemblance to revelatory top notes. After the first two hours I already found myself missing the cloves.
Intense clove fragrances are rare, but pleasant ambers are all too common. After five or six hours all of the uniqueness of Kretek is gone, though what remains is nice enough.
Kretek has moderate sillage, and like all the Ava Luxe's I've tried, good longevity.
Notes are clove bud, cinnamon, cardamom, tobacco leaf, amber, sandalwood and incense.
There is something besides clove in here? It could have fooled me. From this and from several other fragrances with cloves (many of those ďbay rumĒ fragrances), if there is a good dose of cloves in the fragrance, thatís all Iím going to smell. This clove fragrance lasts for hours and hours and I honestly canít smell anything else Ö well, maybe some cinnamon Ö maybe. For me it would be cheaper and more expedient to raid my spice cabinet and rub myself down with ground cloves than to use this fragrance. But Iím sure most others will be able to smell a full palette of notes in Kretek: I just don't get anything but cloves.
18th March, 2008 (last edited: 01st March, 2011)
Nat Sherman "Touch Of Cloves" cigarettes. We used to smoke them in the seventies when we were young and hip and slumming it in Boston.
Kretek is "Touch Of Cloves" in a bottle. The memories it conjures bring tears to these older eyes.
Find it, buy it and wear it out clubbing. I guarantee you that no one else in the house will smell like you or as good as you for that matter.
Give this one a chance before you reject it as being all clove with a touch of tobacco -- it's not. The drydown takes a while, though. Expect dry but warm wood in the drydown, as well as hints of tobacco peeking out at the oddest times.
The clove notes will bowl you over at first, though, so be prepared to smell like clove oil for the first ten minutes or so.
I've found Kretek SUPERB for layering, btw, esp. with warm, musky frags.
Let me start by saying I cannot stand cigarette smoke. Yet, somehow I am attracted to spicy tobacco-based scents! I love this clove-based scent. It wears decently on me (several hours), too, which is another plus. Even in the summer heat, this scent radiates pleasant spicy and sultry charms. It reminds me of nights spent sitting outside the coffee shop, watching the other kids smoke clove cigarettes (at a fair distance). My friends were wearing Calvin Klein's Obsession at the time. The mix of the oriental sweet and the clove smoke made for fragrant nights!