Way Off Scenter
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Sashka Black is a hulking, beetle browed fougère built on the same massive scale as Lauder for Men, Jules, and Havana. As the name implies, it’s dark, but it’s also scrupulously clean in a decidedly old-fashioned – maybe even stodgy – manner. If ever there were a fragrance for which the descriptor “barbershop” was apt, this is it.
Sashka Black opens on a very clear, sweet bergamot that’s soon complimented by the classical fougère components of lavender and tonka (coumarin). The artemisia (wormwood) listed in the pyramid is detectable, but not dominant, nor even conspicuous as it is in some other fougères. The central aromatic accord rests on a foundation of clean musk, moss, and sweet amber.
While Sashka Black is weighty, it is not a complicated scent. Whatever its actual content, the composition reads as if it were built of a mere half-a-dozen ingredients. It is a simple, monolithic structure that’s entirely devoid of ornament. All fine and dandy, but in its simplicity Sashka Black misses any of the idiosyncrasies that make other big-boned fougères interesting. It has none of the animalic undertones that make Jules and Lauder for Men so seductive, nor any of the lush tobacco, leather or floral notes that make Havana and Or Black so profoundly nuanced. In the company of these other giants, Sashka Black seems incomplete. Where scents like Or Black or Lauder for Men perform on the skin, Sashka Black just falls out of the bottle and lies there.
I have no idea whether it’s still in production (M. Micallef is capricious about maintaining its catalog), but it is without doubt costly an hard to find. I’m not convinced it’s worth the expense or the effort.
02nd July, 2014