Advertised as a “dark rich sap.” Slumberhouse says of Vikt: “Dark balsamic woods slowly oozing sweet metallic oils – motions of soft smokey black agar woods through syrupy bronze resins. Incredibly deep & well rounded fragrance with a mellow darkness at its heart.”
The reason I quote the product description of Vikt is that, for probably the first time in my reviewing of 2000+ fragrances, the fragrance company, Slumberhouse, delivers, in spades, exactly what they say they are delivering. The fragrance is dark, balsamically smoky, oudy, and resinous. It is well rounded, metallic and boasts a certain mellow darkness –I don’t need to review it, you can trust Slumberhouse’s blurb.
Actually Vikt is too syrupy-dark (I could take either one but not both) for me, so I would have personally been voting a neutral, but the fact that the company has delivered precisely what they said they would and it is an unquestionably dramatic and creative fragrance… Well, Slumberhouse has me uber impressed. This fragrance is anything but a compromise with the bean counters and/or the marketing departments. This is love-it and/or hate-it creativity. Vikt is what I wish more “niche” purveyors would be about.
Interesting. Yes, Vikt has licorice, but there's just as much fennel (the natural-smelling green kind with a distinct onion undertone). There's also a complex boozy sweet syrupy red berry smell. It starts off fairly distinct - the individual notes are fairly separated - but with time the edges wear off and it forms a cohesive whole. I like this stage better (the onion-ness of the fennel with the strong sharpness of the licorice isn't particularly pleasant) because it smells weird, but much more well thought out. At that point, it pretty much just wears on, eventually fading far enough to reveal a galbanum-smelling base. I can't imagine wearing this as a signature scent, and I have other go-to's that I enjoy more when I want something clever and different, so I'm not really loving Vikt, but its creativity is worth at least a neutral rating.
I am not sure why, but I am very drawn to Vikt. Technically, I know I shouldn't be, because the opening notes are of a harsh and pungent black licorice, the likes of which I wouldn't normally put anywhere near my tongue let alone my nose. In fact, the licorice here reminds me of that salty kind that Scandinavians love, which my Danish stepmother gave me once and I promptly spat out, causing hours' worth of huffy sulking, tears and apologies. Piling worse on bad, there is distinct smell of something animalic, and not the cozy castoreum and civet type of animalics I usually love, but rather the folded-away-wet smell of a kitchen jiffy cloth that hasn't been rinsed out since its last go around the kitchen table. It smells moldy and more than a little objectionable.
But then, the truly horrific opening notes dissipate (and much more quickly than in other Slumberhouse scents) and it dries down to a heart that is green-resinous with bay leaf and slightly soapy / animalic in the vein of none other than Chanel's Cuir de Russie and the more recent Maai by Bogue Profumo. There is a hum of something dark and woody at the base, but the scent is mostly this resinous, soapy leather accord that I find deeply attractive and pleasurable to wear. There is something creamy or balsamic about the woods, soap, and leather here too, which contrasts nicely with the sharper herbal bay leaf. I am not sure when I last smelled something as horrific at the start dry down to something as sublime, and in such a short amount of time too. The only thing I've found about this is that it is not as dense or as long-lasting as the other Slumberhouse scents, which I put down to the lack of the black, sticky tar and oil notes Josh seems to use with more free abandon elsewhere. Vikt strikes me as being a very spare composition, but powerful and complex nonetheless. It just doesn't last as long as the others, is all.
Overall, this and Sova are the two standouts from Slumberhouse for me, with Norne following only a short distance behind. Like I said at the beginning, Vikt surprised me because it went from a scrubber (on me) to absolutely divine in the space of about an hour. Two thumbs up!
Ah, here's a challenging scent -- attractive, but over-the-top. Black licorice is one of my favorite flavors. I can eat a whole bag of it, which grosses out many people whom I know. The scent of this fragrance is big, sweet, round, pungent, and in-your-face. It says, "Licorice? Red or black?... Oh, you like red? Then BWA-HA-HA! Run for your life!" This is like dying of asphyxiation while smiling, with a plastic bag of black licorice clamped over one's head. It's like overdose-huffing on Kukaburra twists, licorice babies, licorice wheels, Haribo ribbons, and those Finnish squares that look like roof shingles. The whole black and syrupy concoction is dropped onto a slightly creamy base, which makes it opaque. I've enjoyed this one. Would I wear it? Probably not, but I appreciate it as an experience, so I give it a neutral.
This is what old Italian men wear to pay their respects at the funeral home! Creates exactly that unpleasant sense memory. Very dated sweet and moldy herbaceous quality. Fennel and musty dankness waft in a cloud of sweetness around the wearer. One must consider a pair of too short seersucker pants and a porkpie hat to complete their image when wearing VIKT by Slumberhouse...