Aldehydes and leather with incense is how it starts. Big and bold, the leather is a little animalic, at the edge of being offensive. Developing into the heart, something sweet emerges, I suppose it's the styrax. Further, the fragrance becomes a creamy leather accompanied by the flowers and goes like this for a very long time.
It is not for everyone, that's for sure, but I like it. Not usually a fan of animalic perfumes, and this one kind of walks that line; but it is more than that, the carnal leather mixed with the flowers are addictive, making you lust for it. It might seem daring and repulsive, but you can't take your mind out of it. If you don't like it at first, give it a chance, it might surprise you.
Phenomenal sillsge and projection. I get animalic, incense, patchouli and oakmoss and it stays on your skin forever. Well I could still sense the smell after a shower. It the kind of scent 2 sprays would go all day long and many compliments. Quality, powerful stuff.
The listed notes tell me that I should adore Rien, but the sparks never really fly. Rien starts out with a burst of aldehydes and dry powder, soon followed by a gentle incense note and a very light rose. Because it's utterly devoid of sweetness, the rose/incense accord feels weightless and ethereal, even when leather and oakmoss rise up beneath it. The moss and leather are seasoned with black peppercorn in a medicinal combination that brings to mind a very soft oudh.
Rien persists in this vein for quite some time, becoming drier and more woody with age. Though none is listed, I smell something suggestive of cedar in the base, and that note brings the drydown surprisingly close to the late stages of Diptyque's cedar-lined Tam Dao (!?). On the whole, I'd describe Rien as a very dry, gray "scratchy" fragrance, and believe that earlier reviewers have been spot on calling it stony or mineralic. In the end I think it's interesting, but not necessarily compelling.
Outstanding. I am surprised how much I like this - crave it even. It is a complex smell. The first blast is chewy, reminding me of biting into something inedible, but I can't pinpoint what. It is slightly musty, like fruit about to turn, maybe the bloom on a mulberry, although I stress that the smell itself is not fruity at all. It quickly blooms into an almost blowsy, embarrassing urinal cake accord, which oddly enough is quite attractive (yes, I realize that this is weird, but truly, this part is not repulsive). I suppose this would be the civet? The opening feels like it is classically-made, belonging to the eighties, maybe.
Then, I get rubber, heat, leather, engine oil. But a well-oiled flow of it, not a jagged sequence of events. It dries down to a comfortable leather accord, more rounded and fuller than Cabochard, but vaguely reminiscent of it. It is not as butch as the description would lead you to believe. It is very sexy in a "I don't care what you think of me, bitch" way. Oh, and it is not as strong on me as on other reviewers - on me, it softens to a skin scent, and melds with my own chemistry/body odors.
You're alone in the desert, wearing an expensive leather jacket and burning incense in a campfire. At times, from a long-forgotten oil well somewhere in the middle of the desert, you get a slight fascinating whiff of crude petroleum.
This is Rien. An absolute masterpiece of modern perfumery, cleverly blended and always surprising everytime you wear it.
OUTSTANDING LONGEVITY (once I sprayed my wrist and after over 24 hours I could still smell it) and incredible sillage: the only "problem" with Rien is that everyone won't be able to help smelling you.