I love this...it's so odd.
The other reviewers' mention of bruised fruit is apt, and taken to an extreme. Moldy plums, ripened to the point of fermentation. It's quite a novel topnote.
The heart teeters on the edge of too sweet, but the backdrop of resins and animal notes keep it wearable.
Nagel has a portfolio of beloved, yet hard-to-find or discontinued scents. Archives 69 brings to mind Theorema, maybe Ambre Soie, some creaminess of Lalique White, but mostly Mauboussin's namesake scent, and Histoire d'Eau. Some might catch some striking similarities with Chanel's Egoiste. The dry, pink pepper-cedar accord, the fruit, the transparency. This one is more daring than the others, keeping the ELDO mentality, which is a good thing.
17th June, 2015 (last edited: 18th June, 2015)
Finally another full expression of Nagel's signature rotten citrus. That extremely sweet, sticky, overripe, sickly, almost fermented fume, curiously reminiscent of the olive oil used to cure vegetables. Almost disgusting at first, but intriguing, it makes you go back again and again until you can't help buy buy the perfume.
In the sadly defunct Theorema, a rotten orange gave depth to an oriental gourmand. Here, a rotten mandarin injects interest in a fruity floral modern clean chypre. Without the rotten citrus, it would be a well crafted but uninspired piece. With it, it's a fun ride.
It feels like the intelligent sister of Nagel's nearly contemporaneous Armani Si', a potently sweet, annoying clean fruity-woody floral, which lacks Archives's lusciousness and fun.
Deep love for this experimental weird ELDO's concoction. Be patient for the carnal final warmth, the run is long but you won't be disappointed. Key Archives 69's notes: huge-huge pink pepper, tangerine, earth (camphor-patchouli-oakmoss), powdery orchid, frankincense. Around this central licentious accord swirl all the further elements in order to disclose an extremely satisfactory performance with a typical (classically barber-shop-eau de cologne-like) initial ELDO's basic "trademark" re-interpreted in to a modern provocative (either in olfactory hallmarks and marketing messages) inebriating vaguely leathery-camphoraceous-post-industrial experiment. The spicy resinous (almost pharmaceutical-like) fruity-floral main accord produces by soon a sort of weird almost sticky-syrupy steady undertone enriched by a bunch of nuances (vegetal, earthy, acrid, woody, laundry, candied) enhancing the A69's disorienting complexity. Frankly I detect a sort of resinous final woodiness along the dry down while the prune/tangerine/orchid peppery accord is responsible about a sort of deeply fruity, vaguely gassy, berrish and resinous final "chewing gum-candy-like" chypre olfactory basement. The patchouli is sheer under my nose and perfectly combined with the camphoraceous mossy (slightly bitter) earthyness in order to create a more assertive, botanical and austere (wonderfully earthy-rooty-camphoraceous) background to counteract the candied fruity floral spicy dominant intensity. I detect a spicy/resinous heady accord vaguely conjuring me some Paolo Terenzi's (Tiziana Terenzi) olfactory performance (Lillipur-Maremma). A soothing final vanilla amalgamates the opposite earthy/camphoraceous and "candied/resinous" patterns in order to disclose a final more linear, "pacified" and silky (yes almost gourmand) uniformity. Over a couple of hours the sweetness recedes, the resinous vibe holds partially off its effect and a worthful warm-organic-drier-somewhat shadowy (camphor/earth/moss/dry spices) mild sensuality jumps on the stage of your skin. As well as usual for Eldo this fragrance plays the game of contrasts in the body of a complex and well structured olfactory articulation. An interesting fragrance for us and another sexy beast for all the kinky pullulating all around.
Finally after some "disappointments" from this brand, I've found the first really good scent among ELd'O line. The opening is already intriguing and captivating: a vanilla/fruity accord with a dense floral heart and a bitter aftertaste, really peculiar, almost like olives, a kind of metallic sour subtle feel which fits just perfectly balancing the "gourmand" lively side. Totally bright, creative and smart, the overall feel is a silky, luscious vibe which effortlessly blends with a camphor-archaic feel, an "ironic" counterpoint play which I find really witty and interesting. And also, above all, totally pleasant to wear. That sort of metallic obscure aftertaste is what intrigues me the most, I can not really "get" it, it smells almost like an elusive dadaist bug which just "floats" below, still perfectly fitting and hiding in the blend. Overall this smells basically like a classic floral/fruity scent, say, a Guerlain, just "detourné" like a situationnist comic strip and decontextualised in this sort of contemporary, industrial-medicinal way. The evolution is equally interesting and quite unpredictable, as it progressively smells more ambery-resinous, still with a bold camphor-medicinal smell and a stronger cumin note. Slight rubbery feel. I miss a bit the incense note but I feel it's there. After a couple hours it becomes sweeter and more delicate, almost a gourmand, still with that genius camphor-cumin counterpart. I must say I really enjoyed wearing this – it's fun, it's bright, it's interesting to follow, and it smells terribly good. The final drydown is really good as well; silky, aromatic, aerial, and quite long-lasting. Perhaps a bit too sweet here and there, but overall, a really good scent, almost great, surely worth a try. Finally an avant-garde work (or at least I consider it that way) which manages to "say" something new still remaning a wearable and enjoyable scent.
Boring spicy fruity from Eldo
Etat libre d'Orange seems to be very uneven house. This one s below average attempt. More feminine than unisex. Smells a bit old.