Genre: Woody Oriental
Prince is the kind of serious, complex woody oriental composition that mainstream masculine perfumery has abandoned since the days of JHL, Punjab, and Maxims pour Homme. If not for independent niche perfumers like Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, who would dare compose ambitious, dramatic masculine scents like this?
Hurwitz launches Prince on an no-holds-barred accord of spices and aromatics, including plenty of clove and cinnamon, anise, lavender, and artemisia. The spices persist as a piercing, medicinal oudh note, dark rose, sandalwood, sweet resins, and opoponax well up to establish a dense, layered oriental arrangement, further augmented by tobacco and leather. As these elements coalesce Prince actually echoes the legendary and lamented Patou pour Homme (albeit distantly), both in its gravity and in its content. I believe the resemblance lies largely in the juxtaposition of cloves, rose, tobacco, leather, and balsams, though Prince substitutes oudh for the Patou’s enormous labdanum note.
Prince doesn’t sustain quite such depth or richness in its drydown, which smells like a less characterful balsamic blend than the impressive list of base notes would suggest. I smell little evidence of the castoreum, civet, ambergris, or cocoa beans.