O'Driù is one of those noses which is quite challenging to write about – more than to actually simply wear and enjoy. I mean that his scents are great, they smell perfect, with a bright and creative composition and a great "wearability". Still when it comes to write about them and describe them, I always have a bit of that "writer's block". Mostly because he is so talented in taking a load of notes and combining them in a truly alchemic way, meaning that the final result is not a "harmony" or a "coexistence" of accords and materials each with its own identity, but rather something new, and I mean entirely new, a new-born from the annihilation of the creative process. So there's a lot of notes there, but you have to work, be patient, try, wait before eventually be able to unfold Pregoni's super tightly-wrapped scents. Otherwise it may smell just like a sci-fi potion that just fell down on Earth from nowhere. The trick is not to be fooled by the opening, which is almost always identical, the trademark O'Driù balsamic/cloves medicinal accord, here added with a strong and pungent initial "urine" note, which will soon vanish, leaving the stage for a balsamic-herbal structure on a soft, sweet base (but as in other O'Driù scents, somehow opalescent, naughty and sticky, almost luscious). A lot of spices, mostly nutmeg and cloves. Ambiguous and cozy, discomforting but pleasant, industrial and organic, playful and tricky, a perfect and balanced blend of a lot of contrasting, even opposite nuances and feelings. The structure is basically a totally contemporary, post-modern, somehow "childish" (in a totally good way) chypre, where everything is there, but still... it isn't, or it is disguised. There's a balsamic breeze on an aromatic, sweet base, and many notes, from a musky/animalic one, to a floral accord, to – of course – a lot of spices which create that medicinal feel I referred to. Yet it's not only this. Or perhaps it is not this at all. The closest term I can think of is "chypre" precisely because of its musky/floral/balsamic/powdery structure, but this is criminally reducing. It's like wandering in a garden near an abandoned factory and stumbling upon a load of "stuff" – from the past, from the present and from the future. The drydown is super pleasant, at first it's more on the animalic/leather side, then it slowly ends in an endless ambery/musky/woody cashmeran-like accord. And overall, even just talking about the scent itself and "how it smells", it smells terribly good and versatile. We need more perfumers like O'Driù!
17th May, 2014 (last edited: 18th May, 2014)
Definitely one of the best from the brand.
As other guys mentioned, it's a very complex scent that takes a little more time to find and separate all the notes by your nose.
This fragrance opens up with the signature of many fragrances form this house. it's a little different but anyway it's so unique and daring and even without knowing the name and the brand, you can recognize that this is one of master Angelo Orazio Pregoni's creations.
The opening is a dark and bitter green herbal scent with some spices and woods and a little bit of sweetness in the background.
It's something familiar, but the sweetness is the thing that make this fragrance a little different from other fragrances of this brand.
While most of them are just pure darkness and the evil spirit in the bottle, this one is a little smoother and easier to love!
As time goes by the scent gets sweeter and now coffee and rose joining the party.
The coffee note give the scent a bitter and almost gourmand feeling (because of the sweetness)
The rose note is really pleasant and it doesn't smell cheap, stinky and terrible like "Montale Black Aoud" for example!
It's dark and evil, yet sweet, yummy and sexy.
In the base I can smell an earthy scent with some exotic herbs and spices in the background plus that sweet and sensual rose.
Projection is very good and longevity i around 7-8 hours on my skin.
Filthy! It smells absolutely urinous upfront, but it's tempered (just slightly) by what appears to by thyme and other spices. The harshness settles down fast, but this is still highly animalic stuff—castoreum mainly but with peppery florals that reads to me more as carnation than the listed geranium and jasmine. The rose is there, and is kept tastefully low in the mix, and there's a slight bitter facet, but that helps to merge everything into a balanced whole.
It's excellent—frighteningly good and totally daring, but still highly wearable for those who enjoy an animalic challenge (think Leather Oud). Its florals really shine in the mid-late stages, but they never work their way to the top of the mix, instead functioning as backup support for the showpiece notes. Absolutely intriguing from start to finish, and entirely worthy of exploration for the filth-mongers among you.
Another O'Driu-style harsh-herbal opening, but soon settling into top notes of citrus and jasmine, with a nice rose underlying them. Spicy delicious sweetness with a touch of vanilla and absinthe blends very well together, and in the base tobacco, a creamy sandalwood and coffee deepen into a richer texture. Extraordinary well blended with smooth transitions, but with a sense of a little bit of dullness on my skin. Decent silage and protection, but less than other O'Drius, but the brilliant longevity of nearly ten hours is one of the best amongst the scents from this amazing house.
Lalfeogrigio is a majestic new generation chypre/fougere centered over a sort of creamy/vanillic sandalwood embellished by woodsy resins, by a complex chord of bitter coffee/anisic recipe (angelica-laurel-absynthe) and tonka/tabacco , all over a boise' musky and woodsy cushion. I catch by soon in the air spicy (kurkuma, saffron) orange, aromatic herbs, creamy vetiver/sandalwood, aromatic light bitterness and a sophisticated floral whiff. The creamy sandalwood is perfectly amalgamated with the anisic/tobacco/coffee dark sweet- bitter agreement in order to produce a smooth creamy(sweet)/bitter mahogany smell that sets its roots over a woody/aromatic base of vetiver, musk and angelica. All is surrounded by aromatic spices and soft floral whiffs (rose-geranium and jasmine). The spicy airy/prickly effect from the saffron-cumin- kurkuma-(may be) pepper produces its widespread penetrating effect throughout . Along the hours the amalgam starts softening and becoming more linear and creamy/floral/orangy with a woody aftertaste. By O'Driu' another wonderfully appointed natural concoction with a multifaceted (spicy/woodsy/floral/aromatic) soul.
After being so thoroughly impressed with its sister scent, Lalfeorosa, it did not take a great amount of effort to motivate me to try Lalfeogrigio...
Lalfeogrigio opens with what now appears to be the O'driu house style of featuring a bracing blast of herbs and spices. I am getting a lot of oregano, dill weed, saffron and maybe even a smidgen of cumin (but I am sure I am missing a whole bunch of others in there too). These spices mix with the same heavenly subdued rose undertone that impressed me so much when I smelled Lalfeorosa. The heart notes hold onto the herbal mixture with the rose now very much in the background, then adding a large dose of hot chile pepper into the mix, slightly tempered by tonka bean that only sweetens the scent a tad. At this point I would say that Lalfeorosa and Lalfeogrigio are very similar, the differences between them quite subtle. Then shortly afterwards, the rose subsides in Lalfeogrigio and inserted in its place a mugwort (wormwood) note emerges. Wormwood is consistently a note that I have great problems with, but not here. I don't know how Mr. Pregoni did it, but in Lalfeogrigio it just meshes in with the other herbs effortlessly, like the wearer should just expect it to be there and not call undue attention to itself. The base features a sublime mixture of real semi-sweet sandalwood, meshing with the remnants of the spice and a very subtle coffee note that I detected in another of his other brilliant creations. Musk is in the base as well, but it is so well-balanced it does not come off as dirty or off-putting in the least. Projection and longevity are about average.
I could go on and on about the things I like about Lalfeogrigio, but in truth I would almost be copying my prior review of Lalfeorosa so I will spare readers the repetition. If I had to choose a favorite of the two masterworks, it would be Lalfeorosa, primarily due to the rose playing a bit more of an overall role in the scent's development that appeals to my personal reference for that note, but it is almost a toss-up. Both scents are easy recommendations to try if you have the ability to do so. In the case of Lalfeogrigio specifically, I give it a very strong 4.5/5 rating. A winning concoction, for sure.
05th May, 2012 (last edited: 05th June, 2012)