This is definitely one of those unexpected gems that pop up from time along the lines of 24 Gold and Bentley Intense (not that it smells anything like them). Phoenix made me wince a little bit the first time I smelled it. It opens with something that smells kind of like paint thinner. At first I thought maybe my bottle was off, but it's not, it's just a quirky little accord in the opening that you get used to pretty quickly and come to actually enjoy over time. Beneath this turpentine note is blackberry, dark and fruity, with plenty of heft and substance. That's how Phoenix begins for the first half hour or so wherein the turpentine transitions into a boozy cognac, and dark chocolate and suede begin to emerge in the base. What's nice about Phoenix is that it's very well-balanced. The chocolate, while noticeable and an important component of the scent, never becomes too prominent. The same goes for the booze and the leather. As far as the suede is concerned, it's of the clean, smooth variety and adds a bit of a rugged, masculine edge to the fragrance. Phoenix is dark, but never dirty. Sweet with its berries and chocolate, but never gourmand. It's smells like a proper fragrance--not something you'd eat or drink, and not a novelty perfume meant to replicate a leather jacket or piece of furniture. This should wear well for anybody in any age range and seems fairly versatile as far as occasions are concerned. It's comfortable and relaxed, but also well polished, and seems appropriate for an evening out. Performance is very good, with solid projection and longevity around 8 hours plus. Unfortunately this is discontinued, though it's still widely available online and usually for a reasonable price. Thumbs up.
Very unique opening. Not quite sure what the note is, almost veggie like? Settles later into the boozy/leather sweetness. Great drydown. Performance is good w/longevity for me but above average projection.
Think of a smoother version of Bogart Pour Homme, but with blackberry and chocolate replacing the lily and rose, and you'll have a rough idea about what this smells like. At first, though, it isn't smooth, with some sort of odd varnish-like element, but that doesn't last long. Overall, this is a great scent for a low price (assuming the prices haven't risen by the time you read this). There is a light leathery quality in the drydown, and the blackberry lasts a long time. I don't get a clear cognac note so perhaps it lasts a very short period of time. It's not powdery, syrupy, nor too sweet, but the tonka is obvious, in case you are not a fan of that note.
Incredibly unique. Almost medicinal in a way-dare I say it has a certain combination of notes that "reminds" me of oud (of the band aid variety) ever so very slightly through the leather!! It definitely gives the vibe of being much more expensive than if is. Wonderful!
The circumstantial evidence against Urban's Phoenix did not look good. The package and presentation, a mock Southwest theme and squat bottle, was disturbingly close to his brother-in-country Tim McGraw's Southern Blend which begins decently enough but soon falls apart. The economy pricing and downmarket availability portended a cheap and gimcrack and mercenary product. And, in the macro view, how many celebrity-flogged contraptions are released each year that are even passably wearable? Surprise, then, that the jury has acquitted Phoenix of the charge of pandering. This is actually not bad.
Who knows what Keith Urban actually had to do with this fragrance but assuming he was involved it seems he told the mixologists to "do me a Burberry London." If you liked the latter or Remy LaTour's Cigar, you may get some pleasure from Phoenix. It shares a mildly sweet leathery texture with those older offerings and adds the chocolate note which is popping up more frequently than Michael Caine in British crime flicks. It also has good longevity without devolving into another lackluster amber, so common on the masculine side of the perfume counter these days. If you aren't a chocolate fan, though, it may be a bit too much.
19th September, 2011 (last edited: 11th August, 2012)