The opening of Patchouli 24 is rough, dry, dark, tar and smoky, an ultra-dry and sour birch woody accord, quite synthetic in a way (a good way: synthetically "post-industrial"), but at the same time rich, thick and realistic, with a nice and almost ghastly nuance of "smoked meat", like alfarom noted below. I also detect the patchouli note but it's quite understated and restrained, hiding behind this exhaust campfire of black woods, yet creating a nice and elegant contrast between its velvety, dusty, slightly cocoa-earthy feel (the patchouli, I mean) and the woody-ashy overall mood. On the very base, just a thin "rounding" layer of vanilla. Much refined and utterly pleasant with its austere and sophisticated look, just a tad artificial, but nice, a contemporary vision of "black" like Bois d'ascèse or CdG Black. After a while it starts to "warm" and open up, becoming softer and gentler, with a smooth and soft yet dark leather note arising - and at this point, while the similarity with the abovementioned scents becomes weaker, the closeness to La troisième heure by Cartier becomes quite evident. It's exactly the same structure: smoky, mellow, dark leather blended with dusty vanilla. Perhaps there's no leather and it's the birch wood, still that's the smell. Pure class and pleasure for sure, although nothing new. Plus, the patchouli (which was barely detectable at the opening) is completely vanished at this point, so bear this in mind in case you came here mostly for patchouli. Nonetheless, the scent is much good even if the main character is missing: it's pleasant, sophisticated, a bit overpriced and not that unique (the Cartier is not the only "reference", basically any other contemporary leather-vanilla scent would work), but "it works" quite well. I enjoyed wearing it and – for what it's worth – I'd wear it happily if I had a bottle. I wouldn't pay for this, but I'll do my best to have someone buy this for me (lucky me, Christmas is not that far).
I got a sample of this frag to try based on some interesting reviews I found here.
I put a small amount on my arm and within seconds thought I had made a HUGE mistake. The chemical/brush fire scent was overwhelming. I scrubbed it off my arm and put it aside.
Several days later I tried it again. This was different.
It is a perfume that doesn't start smelling like it will smell even 20 minutes later. The birch tar really gives it a smokey smell, with a hint of patchouli over the top. It has limited silliage (which for me is great as I work in an office and like to wear scent every day), and incredible staying power. After 20 minutes or so it settles into a smokey vanilla scent that is very reminiscent of exotic incense. Incredible, but takes patience.
I am glad I gave it another chance. I have problems with most perfumes (specifically those containing artificial musks) so I gave it a few days just to make sure I would be able to cope with it. A week later I bought a bottle.
This is a great fall/winter scent. I am not sure how it would work out in the summer (maybe in the evening?)
The big surprise about Patchouli 24 is that, contrary to normal Le Labo policy, the headline note actually appears in the composition. I’m sure somebody lost their job over this, but in the event Patchouli 24 is still not a straightforward patchouli composition in the manner of say, Etro, Mazzolari, or Montale’s Patchouli Leaves.
Instead it starts out all smoky birch tar, biker’s leather, and tobacco, somewhere along the lines of Tauer’s Lonestar Memories. Animalic labdanum and a sweet patchouli emerge in counterpoint to the campfire accord, and once they do Patchouli 24 runs a linear course for a couple of solid hours.
Unfortunately the drydown, when it arrives, lacks the dark, animalic menace that makes the scent’s heart so compelling. Once the smoke, leather, and patchouli recede, what remains is a very sweet dried fruit and wood accord apparently inspired by (that’s tactful for “lifted directly from”) Arabie, Chaos, or Feminité du Bois. A good idea, but anticlimactic in its execution.
This is a great exercise in how to make a very good warm and dry-smoky scent that manages to stay away from the frankincense church-category. A very dry, warm and multi-facet smoke-scent with a strange barbecue roasted chicken-note, the tarry chimney of a fireplace, that dry spicy-inky of fresh morningpaper, the hot, dry steamy-smokiness of a sauna-scent together with a nice round and smoky patchouli that reminds of a cigarette in a ashtray made of marble, all there...and the dusty, musty smell of old books. Bold and at the same time subtle. The oilyness and warmth in this scent somehow seems to mimic the human skin itself and thats the greatest thing about it. Its smells in a animalic way but doesnt really show does notes. The warmth that this scent radiates till deep in its dry-out is extraordinary, it really seems to heat itself up...
I cannot really call this a perfume and wouldnt wear this myself but its very original stuff- i think this will go down in history as a classic (scent). Annick Menardo truly is the most original and gifted perfumer of our time.
23rd April, 2014 (last edited: 04th May, 2014)
First time when I sniffed this, the smell was very familiar to my nose!
Then I take a look at the perfumer and I saw Annick Menardo! he has done a really great job with a fragrance with the same DNA before and yes, that's Bvlgari Black!
It doesn't smell exactly like that but very close and with the same DNA.
The opening is dark and almost smoky leather scent with some sweetness in the background and also some patchouli but I would say this is not a patchouli based fragrance!
The patchouli is there but sweetened with vanilla and very strong dose of leather that give the scent a very dark aura!
In the mid the leather and vanilla become stronger.
The leather note has a very smoky and dark aroma. maybe like Bvlgari Black almost rubbery but better than that.
The vanilla in this fragrance smell much better and more natural than Bvlgari Black.
The vanilla was synthetic in Bvlgari Black but here is much more sensual and quality.
Still you can smell patchouli but it's in the background.
The scent didn't change that much in the base.
The leather note settled down and vanilla is very strong and sweet and patchouli is still in the background.
While they name it Patchouli 24, I must say that the patchouli is more like a supporting note instead of the main note!
Projection is really good and strong and longevity is excellent.
A very good fragrance. I like it.