This one did a huge flip-flop on my skin and headed a direction I couldn't believe it was going, but there was no denying after two wearings. I may try it again and see if I have the same reaction, but so far...
It started out with a mélange of notes that didn't seem to reflect the pyramid - very little incense, some leaf, non-spicy spice (more a character of presence than spice), a bit of fresh orange, perhaps the dryness of iris. As the opening ripened into the heart note, it began picking up a sweeter, richer, incensier fragrance, leaving behind the natural air.
After an hour it became a very different fragrance from the first. It had a familiarity that kept nagging at me, and since the dry down was very long and strong, I had a long time to finally place it. I couldn't believe the memory association was Passion by Elizabeth Taylor. An incensy Passion to be sure, but the association was vivid in my nose. I notice they both share common base notes.
I liked Passion when it first came out, the first fragrance I owned with a purple bottle, which was downright ugly in my opinion. But it was hugely popular, I smelled it everywhere, and it was guilty of a great deal of fragrance inappropriateness (Costco, snow machining, junior high classes). And finally, I grew tired of the fragrance itself, becoming a little blatant.
So I'm having a real hard time getting past that association with AdeV. After two wearings I'm unable. The opening on AdeV is completely different and this fragrance has more inbuilt complexity so I'll probably try it again in the future and see if anything has changed.
Genre: Woody Oriental
The voice of diss(c)ent: Bertrand Duchaufour’s recent scent for Aedes de Venustas smells to me a lot like his earlier Jubilation XXV for Amouage – but with about half of the ingredients removed. With incense becoming ever more popular as a fragrance theme, Aedes de Venustas faces lots of market competition – much of the best of it from Duchaufour himself. For me the question is whether this scent adds anything to the burgeoning incense repertoire.
As I’ve already intimated, this is more a case of subtraction. Absent are the amber, fruit, and floral accords of Jubilation XXV, the piercingly smoky cypriol overdose of Timbuktu, the dark rose of Paestum Rose, and the brilliantly exotic lychee/iris/peony accord of Dzongkha. What remains is a spare, straightforward frankincense over a transparent woody base. This structure is unfortunately so lean it might as well have been eviscerated. With much that had distinguished Duchaufour’s earlier incense fragrances taken away, Aedes des Venustas feels hollow. It’s also a very quiet scent that wears close to the skin – so much so that I might be the only one to notice that I'm wearing it!
I perceived the near-baroque structure of Jubilation XXV as an expansion of Duchaufour’s range into richer and more layered compositions. Aedes de Venustas marks a turn in the opposite direction, and aligns more closely with the minimalist works of Mark Buxton and Jean-Claude Ellena. In this sense it marks a retreat into more familiar territory for Duchaufour.
I can understand how Aedes de Venustas might appeal to someone for whom Duchaufour’s other incense compositions are just “too much,” or for whom his Avignon, which shares this scent’s austerity, is just too potent. But then I ask myself “Do we really need another minimalist woody incense fragrance, and a comparatively weak one to boot?” My answer, I’m afraid, is “No.” So while it’s pleasant and well put together, I did not give this scent a “neutral” rating because I find it such a disappointment coming from so talented a nose as Bertrand Duchaufour.
I won't even bother discussing the individual notes of AdV. I'll just say that the overall impression is akin to the cacophony of food and spice aromas that envelope and permeate the hair, skin, and clothes of someone who has been indoors cooking all day. This is not a wearable "perfume," and I am baffled that it has admirers.
This must be the most peppery fragrance I have ever smelled! Like most creations of L'artisan parfumeur, Aedes de Venustas is a quality fragrance with a very slow dry-down and an impressive longevity. I cannot say that this is the ideal fragrance for me though. Unfortunately, there is a "camphor-like" note that bothers me. One of my friends wears Aedes de Venustas wonderfully and this odd note vanishes almost instantly on him. Then, the cedar not takes over. The rich base (especially the powdery vanilla/opopanax combination) mellows the harder wood/pepper heart. All in all, a great fragrance... on him! I wish ADV smelled that good on me but... I still give this original and daring fragrance a well-deserved thumbs up rating.
Wonderful. A spicy-oriental incense fragrance with the sugary and tasty notes of the milky coffee, a sheer smoky temperament, a slightly boozy trait and a plain peppery vibe. Frankly i don't catch specifically the rose (or the iris) but more generally some indefinite, almost vague floral patterns and a clear orangy vibe colouring the dust. I catch vague reminiscences of the Coze 02 Parfumerie Generale's peppery-boozy-milky vibe even if Aedes de Venustas is spicy-incensey (rather than basically woody-oriental) and may be less resinous than the other one. The more the development procedes, the more the patchouli and the floral patterns come out with autority and the orangy vibe becomes compelling (i would talk about a starring orange), turning out the aroma more smooth and mellow-tasty. The fragrance is unique, balanced, slightly peppery even in the base (peppery throughout) and tenacious. I detect a stressed temperament in this fragrance cause is finally pungent in its creamy fruitiness, darkened by the patchouli and by the note of coffee and enveloping in a sort of cozy and mysterious aura. A great one.