There’s an aldehyde that bears the unsexy name of 2-methyl undecanal, or C12 MNA. It’s a powerful, chilly "pine" scent that screams “bathroom cleaner” when dosed too high and it's a big player in incense fragrances like Avignon but it needs a delicate touch for it to work. Craft uses way too high a dose of C12 and it leaves a bitter metallic aftertaste in its wake. This is basically Avignon in a funhouse mirror: distorted, unbalanced, and rendered somewhat ugly. It relies on the same meditative balsamic elemi as Avignon, but the C12 is so strong that it ruins any chance at contemplation. It would be the equivalent of dragging a trash can into a temple and then hammering away until someone calls the cops. For me, this is a headache in a bottle and an example of how not to work with aldehydes.
To my nose, very similar to Heeley Cardinal or Odin NY 07. The aldehydes make this fizzier than those others, and for a while it also is spicier and woodier. The dry-down is identical as far as I can see -- a woody, warm incense scent.
Such a nice surprise.
Craft is often compared to Heeley's Cardinal and I've to say that, for the most part, I agree that they share more than one similarity. With that said, Craft's aldehydes blast is really pushed to the maximum to enhance the waxy element of this incredibly delightful incense. As a matter of fact, if I were to draw a parallel with another fragrance, I would still drop Cardinal's name but I would probably go with the candle version over the body fragrance. The result is an extremely sparkling and clean dry fragrance with a remarkable metallic aspect that provides an overall aloof vibe. Very nordic and hyper-minimalistic waxy incense at its best.
Fans of the coldest CDGs, take note.
Craft is a well made minimalist (synthetically creative) aldehydes/dry woods/frankincense connection with its initial (almost icy, projecting, transparent and "molecular") aldehydic vibe, a central incensey liturgical soul, a resinous core of the forest (pine resins and needles) and a sort of almost lacteous (finally soapy/resinous) undertone coming up from the elemi resins. Abstract. There is a remote smoky undertone probably elicited by seasoned dry woods. The evolution is short and not-complex while the aroma is absolutely heavenly, introspective and silent. While at the beginning the olfactory cloud is almost dusty, damp and gasseous, the final consistency is somewhat resinous, darker and warmer. The cedary incensey linearity is finally (in the deep dry down) enriched by a dry patchouli touch (woody and earthy, slightly conjuring up a sort of Etro Patchouly enveloped in a sombre mystic intense incensey cape). Meditative and almost esoteric experiment. I admit the lack of class (which is may be not necessary with this genre of perfumes) and complexity (probably in line with the typical minimalist Andrea Maack's olfactory approach) but I use to deeply enjoy on myself sometimes such types of aromas (in the course of intimate and solitary moments).
27th February, 2014 (last edited: 07th September, 2015)
Craft is a warm woody incense and that's about all I can say about the fragrance. I really like this genre and Craft is as good as any, but it doesn't stand out in any way. Well, except perhaps by not actually being an incense fragrance according to the notes - I guess that's just an illusion created by the combination of metallic notes and cedarwood.