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And how opinions differ...
This magnificent perfume could be re-titled, "Fantasia on a Theme by Jean-François Latty", the (obscure) nose who created YSL's (original) late-80s gorgeous 'masculine', "Jazz".
Indeed, I remember the impressive impact of first smelling this in Roja Dove’s glittery Harrods’ emporium a few years ago and thinking that if you strip away the complexity of the opening of "Jazz" and go straight for the heart of the matter, then "Katana" presents as a big, bold, warm, almost-creamy, animalic-leather, fougere. However, “Katana” is difficult to classify as it also shifts towards ‘woody, floral, musk’ territory and, add a twist of silver frankincense, would not be out of place if released by the House of Amouage - and I do not say this lightly.
"Katana" reminds me slightly of Amouage's, "Epic, Man", though less ebullient and without the oud and incense, together with aspects of Azzaro's wonderful, underrated, "Acteur" - another late-80s treasure.
"Katana" has formidable projection; tremendous silage and verges towards something 'green' though never quite gets there, instead scattering scintillating metallic notes like yuletide tinsel around the tree: a characteristic that defined another seminal YSL masterpiece, the original (women's) "Rive Gauche".
"Katana" is stunning, and despite my references, it is somehow original - perhaps even a sort-of post-post-modern masterpiece - and I would place "Katana" in a 5-star box of its own if using the Luca Turin-Tania Sanchez classification system.
For the record: my vintage is in a black-painted bottle and I remain indebted to my friend “T” for introducing me to this gem back in Roja’s fascinating, top-floor, mirrored, ‘black room’, as my collection would possess a significant lacuna in the absence of “Katana”.
14th January, 2013