Pretty good. Perhaps a bit rich and sweet which kept me from pulling the trigger, hint of vanilla/balsam also contributed to my hesitation. However, it does deliver a very good green-absinthe note (wormwood, licorice, fennel) with a woody dry-down.
Absinth opens with a nice harmony of woods and green-coniferous notes with nuances of aniseed, licorice, sandalwood, vetiver, a subtle but warm note of amber, and "something" fairly new to my nose, synthetic but fascinating, a sort of velvety, half anise half white musks note, aromatic and woody but with some floral silkiness all over. The blend is overall pleasantly peculiar, woody but sweet, peppery but almost gourmand, at the same time mellow, transparent, narcotic, with a bold dry resins feel (I thought for a while of those stands selling candies and licorices at street open-air markets). Then it gradually develops a camphoraceous note close to a typical chypre's benzoin note, always with a bold licorice-conifer aftertaste, and the pine note gets a more prominent role. Also the base becomes "greener", in a quite pungent and austere way. The drydown shows finally another twist, becoming a woody-tobacco warm accord with a silky, refined synthetic amber note. In my opinion, one of the nicest Nasomatto around - well, more precisely, basically the only one together with China White.
In all honesty, this is a good fragrance, but only for one reason: it demonstrates what can be done with one of the most flexible notes in perfumery - VETIVER. Yes, it can be smoky, mixed with citrus, used as a base and so on, but in my opinion this note is key in Absinth. The fragrance overall is meant to capture the naughty nature, or rather the forbidden aspect of a strong alcoholic drink. It does it beautifully by using vetiver as the dominant note.
Is this a fragrance though worth splashing out on? Well, yes if that's your cup of tea, but by no means is this an essential purchase for any serious fragrance enthusiast. There are plenty of vetivers out there that can do better. This stuff is strong. A 30 ml bottle will last, so don't be put off by cost and size, but do sample this one extensively first.
Light take on absinthe
I was expecting a little more depth and darkness, but to my nose this was a lighter, refreshing, and just slightly sweet take on its theme. The herbal edge only suggests mischief - no hysteria or madness here. Very pleasant, but surprisingly fleeting for a pricey EdP. Good for a wet fall, but would need a heavier base and a touch of darkness for winter. Also, this is easily unisex.
This fragrance is such an interesting gem. Vegetal, mossy and evocative of layers of greenery and earth, while at the same time suggesting sweet apple and beet. A candied-shell quality ends up encapsulating all of the above in a very pleasant package. Is it bright and dark at the same time? I certainly smell no absinthe, but perhaps it's the spell of the green fairy that brought me to this sweet green earthy place!