Dark Season is a lightly spiced spruce that quickly sinks into an ambery-oriental accord based around patchouli, labdanum, and a subtle vanilla. Spruce is tamed here, and the sharp, sinus-clearing qualities of essential oil are minimized in favor of an edgeless conifer note. The base is handled deftly, never becoming the thick, oriental swamp it could be with those notes.
Dark Season sounds ominous in name, but it's warm, inviting fragrance, welcoming you in from the winter cold rather than sending you out into it.
I'm surprised at the reviews that find this odd and conceptual. To my nose, it's one of the most approachable in the line, quite removed from olfactory oddities like Dark Earth, and a close cousin of many older mainstream masculines. If Polo could be mellowed out to a state of unrecongizability and given a bit of gourmand window-dressing, it would smell something like Dark Season.
I found the drydown of this to be quite similar to "super cheapo" Cuba Orange, though they are not identical. I like Cuba Orange better overall, though, so you can probably guess that I won't be spending money on a bottle of Dark Season. If you feel yourself becoming ill at the thought of purchasing Cuba Orange, try Rochas Lui, which still should save you more than a few dollars. I'll give this a positive rating, though, because I don't take price into account. Sillage and longevity seemed good, if not better. I'll also suggest Etro's Messe de Minuit, which is not quite as similar as the other two but also worth considering if you like these kinds of fragrances (I do).
Opens with a rich cinnamon tinged darkness of frankincense, patchouli, Fir, and Myrrh. The dark vanilla base removes some density from this dark oriental opening and there is light at the end of the tunnel. As it wears on the heavy opening dies down to reveal more green fir + myrrh for a conifer wood darkness layered over warmth of dark vanilla and labdanum base. Less amber prominent that Ambre Fetische but similar . . . and very similar to Neil Morris EARTH TONES #3 NORTH WOODS but w/o the oakmoss. A deep warm resinous wooded scent that is very masculine and is definitely a mid winter fragrance.
I wanted to try this and I was hoping for a dark forest kind of smell, not fresh like a pine airfresher but dark, wet and a bit heavy. Sadly it was none of that and I found the opening to remind me of cherry couch syrup. Maybe the sample was old or there is something wrong with me, but this didn't smell green at all. The dry down was lovely though and I think the vanilla, labdanum and myrrh are responsible for it. The drydown makes this a thumb up fragrance and not a thumbs down.
An unsual mixture of Christmas tree and root beer and patchouli.
Imagine daubing on some old Tabu with its rich root beer notes and its sexy patchouli and then festooning yourself with Christmas tree boughs and cinnamon sticks before heading out for a long walk in a Finnish forest.
Interesting and fairly well blended, but not for everyone.