Olfactory delicacy at its best. If Essential is an uncompromisingly sharp concept of Neoclassicism ( to me more properly masculine, Victorian and harder to wear), Absolute is a more smooth ( really so delicious to become edible) and almost balmy idea of traditional and discreet elegance. It is as well sophisticated as Essential but far more cloudy, ethereal, feminine and approachable (I would say more "modern") in its finally orangy-rosey decadent wake. The juice is languid and nostalgic, decidedly romantic and dreamy. Somnolent left back summers in Provence and Van Gogh's sunny pictures come to mind. The softness is faster to come out (in comparison with Essential) and is finally silky in its mild ambery soft basic "cushion". The quality of the implemented ingredients is the finest, the whiffs are extremely natural while the daily widespread vulgarity is so distant to become a far nightmare in the memory. The Absolute's woman is in white lace dress and is trimmed with extreme simplicity and rosey "unsophisticated" (fresh, clean, linear, unpainted) elegance, she is bashful and demure but well knows how to be noticed and admired. The juice is a masterly work of balance and subtleness, extremely natural and comforting also for the more exigent olfactory perceptions, far thousands years by the chemical gassy contemporary mass marketed horrors. The first blast is all mandarin-orange blossoms and dusty-aqueous tea (a touch of vetiver yet?) with a subdued bergamot (far less stout than in Essential under my humble nose). That's a starring theme for a while and the orangy feel is prominent till the end and fades a bit when a sort of balmy-dreamy rose starts understating the citrusy sour pungency. In this final stage a musky-ambery rosey cloud takes the scene in its wonderful decadent creamy subtlety, up holding a subtle orangy undertone till the end of the journey. The citrusy-woodsy-rosey heaven waves in the air for more than five hours till when starts to be demure and extremely close to the skin until its final last sigh. Really a wonderful and authentic Royal juice.
04th May, 2012 (last edited: 21st March, 2015)
No suprise Eau De Cologne! Citruses and orange blossom on top joined by a spicy, sort of chai tea-like note adding an aromatic aspect. It gets kinda clean-warm during the woody/musky drydown. Surely unoriginal and uninspired but well executed. Nice.
As usual with this kind of fragrances, moderate lasting power and weak projection.
Askett are based in Market Risborough (UK) if I remember correctly. A long way from Paris, but this is a truly great citrus -- the notes are brilliantly blended throughout. What lifts this apart from others in the same genre is the gorgeous orange blossom note that permeates the whole. The descent into wood isn't as pronounced as in other hesperides as the orange blossom tinged with rose valiantly holds on with the help of some musks. I don't detect any amber at all. Great sillage and longevity on me. Worth hunting down, that's for sure.
The classic cologne genre is a difficult one to excel in - the swelled numbers of also-rans are a clear indication of that. Although Absolute is unlikely to be added to my gold standard list (top of which are the Acquas of di Parma and Genova), it would be unfair of me to criticise something that is balanced, affable, and eminently wearable.
The early notes are probably the least enjoyable phase for me, as the presence of mandarin in almost any accord is likely to sour my experience. That said, its influence is minimal, brief, and does not derail a decent citrus opening. Subsequent phases are nuanced, on occasions lightly herbal, and underscored by a pleasing blossom sweetness. Concluding with an ambient wood and musk base, the subtle shifts of emphasis to this point are satisfying if not compelling.
Absolute is a largely inexpressive fragrance, but as a modern interpretation of a classic template it undoubtedly succeeds.
Definitely orange rather than lemon is in view here. The cold tea note pops and is a nice element. The herbs are merely hinted, not stated. Sometimes the spices are there, sometimes not. I am a bit disappointed in the floral heart. Orange blossom should be a gorgeous cloud (don't find that here). On some wearings, I get a faint rose; other times I simply cannot find it. So the floral note is somewhat generic in my opinion -- pleasant but not remarkable. The drydown is soft, gentle and comforting.
This and its companion (Essential) are good scents. There is nothing problematic in them, other than a slight metallic note at times in each, which lurks as a very minor echo in the background. They are not sweet or heavy, so they are something a man could wear. The elements are pleasant and I don't find any loud or tiresome synthetic notes. I can wear each with appreciation. Longevity is short, but that is to be expected with citrus-centered scents. My slight reservation -- and this is an issue of my personal taste -- is that these scents don't offer anything particularly distinctive. They are nice and enjoyable, and I assume that is the goal. I urge people to sample them. They are subtle and low-key and worth trying.