I'm not an Agonist's preconceptual detractor but this fragrance is not a stuff I'm comfortable to deal with by any way, at least since I tend to look for perfumes and not for moisturizing lotions or vanillic bath foams. Pleasant for sure (kind of soapy/cottony and with a secret translucent/iridescent radiancy) but zero structure and a general balmy collapse under my unsanctified (but usually more than tolerant) southern nose. First of all, I really don't get any arctic "nuance" in this vanillic/resinous/fruity basically sultry-exotic accord, apart an initial almost anisic/bitter/herbal/mentholated spark conjuring me far more an apothecary curative mixture than properly an aromatic northern atmosphere of the boreal Svalbard Islands. The Agonist Arctic Jade's first blast is indeed a bewildering cacophonous experience risking to kick you far away in the middle of an oceanic depression, a sort of soapy-resinous-spicy/vanillic (vaguely herbal/minty) geyser waving from Guerlain Shalimar or Habit Rouge Edp "first Edition" (the one with red leather wrapped bottle) to a bitter-fruity cough syrup. I get an "hopefully but invain guerlainesque" accord of hesperides, spices, earthy elements (patchouli for sure), resins (I get hints of olibanum) and balsams but overall the combination is turned out kind of massively by this overcharged presence of red fruits and sultry resins (synthetic ambrette seeds, Iso E Super woods and galaxolide). The general amalgam is linear, soapy, indeterminate, unsophisticated. Another juice jumping vaguely on mind could be Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre, a superior rosey-resinous combination of elements far more structured, multifaceted, subtle and velvety on my skin. Finally I get this flat juicy/soapy/powdery vanilla-opoponax accord basically fruity (red fruits/exotic fruits) and monothematic. May be hints of creamy tobacco are there while I don't get leather for sure in the general mess. It seems to get the aroma of a Badedas milky exotic bath foam (with vanilla, exotic fruits, ylang-ylang and something kind of coconutty in the mix). There is anyway a sort of secret chyprey talky/earthy/musky background partially redeeming the whole olfactory fatigue. Out of me discerning specific floral patterns (geranium, jasmine?? Boh). Sorry but this scent does not reach the honorable full mediocrity imo.
P.S: Honestly I Have to partially retract my straight forward initial "unsatisfactory impressions". I've indeed finally tested this scent on skin in two different occasions and I've surely appreciated the fruity amber's effect on my skin and the soft berrish vanilla, finally I get more markedly the floral presence, the first heady soapiness tends to retrocede in favour of a more ambery-resinous main vibe (with its fruity/exotic/spicy patchouli), a pleasant resinous vibe which is darkly fruity, ylang/ylang-veined and stimulating. This scent is surely not groundbreaking but I notice to moderately enjoy its synthetic (kind of dirty-fruity) vibe on my skin, anyway I'm not comfortable with a fully positive evaluation so medium is my conclusive rating.
PS 2: The more I try on skin this scent the more I like it. This fragrance heralds the northern light at the beginning of the arctic day. Fantastic wearing it early when is barely started a cold icy northern day. This soapy-floral-vanillic juice is finally iridescent, cottony, icy and glistering as a beam of light's refraction on the Saint Petersburg's icy-white mantle. A pretty enigmatic fragrance.
01st December, 2015 (last edited: 21st November, 2016)
I love this fragrance. Leather, tobacco, and a whole burst of owning the whole damn kingdom, mixed tenderly with berries, vanilla, and love. I think giggles of baby are in the notes somewhere too. This cowboy rides My Little Pony.
And rides it well. There's some sorcery at work here: it smells cold out of the bottle. You can actually feel the temperature in the room drop when you sniff the bottle. And then you put it on. Angels sing, the sun peeks out from behind the cloud, wolves frolic in the meadow like puppies, and you think "one day this will all be mine ... heck, why not today!"
I'd give it a million stars but its longevity is only so-so so my ultimate rating is a million minus one. Phenomenal. Let's ride.
Possibly the nicest Agonist I’ve ever tested so far, a line which always left me completely indifferent. The blend here has a really classic French vibe, but with a sharp contemporary look. More specifically, as the name goes, the modernity here lies in a palpable and quite distinctive “icy” grey feel, I think due to aldehydes and something reminding my of olibanum and synthetic incense, together wrapping a warm floral-resinous vanillic blend like in a frosted cube. Floral and ambery-vanillic in a really classic meaning, as I said: think of a brighter and lighter “guerlinade”, with also a hint of camphorous-animalic notes. The fruity notes are treated in a rather “mature” way, so don’t expect any juvenile gourmand stuff: they provide instead a subtle, crisp and realistic sweet-green feel without overloading the composition with “boosted” synthetic sweetness. Sandalwood’s there too, and smells quite good in my opinion: juicy, realistically woody, contributing to build that classic feel (Santal Noble and vintage Egoiste come to mind, Santal Noble especially). All gently leading to a great silky amber-sandalwood floral drydown. The only thing I personally dislike is a slight yet annoyingly perceivable and cheap soapy-metallic feel which I don’t know how to identify, but kind of ruins a bit the mellow, fascinating complexity of Arctic Jade. Apart from this and a rather unsatisfactory persistence though, I find this scent compelling and charming, easy to wear yet really interesting in my opinion. An aloof yet sophisticated take on classic themes.
Orange, Freesia, Red Bilberry, Jasmine, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Raspberry, Sandalwood, Ambrette, Vanilla, Patchouli.
I suppose I knew, from the initial moments of application, that I would be underwhelmed by this fragrance. After multiple wearings, that hasn't changed and it's a shame since I held out high hopes for this one and others in the line I haven't gotten to yet. I did like Black Amber, so maybe this one simply doesn't work for me.
As you would expect, the opening is a fruity floral. It feels constrained rather than expansive and is reminiscent of less expensive endeavors I've inadvertently smelled in my travels. Not to sound harsh, but it's only taken each wearing 5 minutes or so for me to conclude that Arctic Jade leans generic and is severely overpriced. Pleasant simply isn't going to cut it at these price points.
The other stage of development sees Arctic Jade evolving into a floriental. I admit to liking this segment better than the top and heart. Still, other fragrances much less dear than this have a superior base and drydown while showcasing the same finish.
The intro of Arctic Jade is a Citrus-Freesia heavily accented by Raspberry. There are contributions from other floral notes, but they seem to stay in the shadows on me. Never does Arctic Jade become "substantial" and flex its muscles.
The Vanilla and a soft Patchouli become apparent at the onset of the base accord. There's also an undercurrent of wood and it's a subtle implementation. The entire personality of this scent is low key and what the name of this fragrance has to do with anything has me scratching my head.
Sillage is modest to average with longevity being approximately 3 hours on me before morphing into a close scent. A neutral rating from SS with a strong recommendation to sample before purchase.