This is my first experience with Al Rehab oils, and potent doesn't even begin to describe the concentration and sillage of this thing - it's kind of punishing. I literally opened the bottle, touched my finger to the rollerball, and the whole house smelled of Balkis. I thought some Black Phoenix and Tom Ford scents were strong, but this? Yikes!
I do like the scent, though. I used to wear Todd Oldham in the 90s, and Balkis smells EXACTLY how I remember that one - a combination of cedar-y pencil smell, benzoin, spices, a yellow floral something like ylang, and some seriously sweet lactonic peach, and maybe pineapple. It's more of a dried fruit or stewed fruit than fresh.
My favorite phase of Balkis is the far drydown, where the spices come more to the fore, and the fruit and flowers have receded some. At this point it's more headshop incense-like, and less like an 80s/90s power floral or floriental. Actually, if I didn't have my experience with the more obscure Told Oldham scent, my closest reference for the first few hours of Balkis would be Amarige. It's not that the notes are the same, but there's a particular way the big fruit and big floral and big spice combine that's really similar in style.
It's all kind of shocking to me - the enormous sillage, and how a scent I'd smell on someone else and would think was department store, if not niche, can cost less than $5 for (what to me is) a lifetime's supply. I'm now really curious to try a few of the others from Al Rehab!