This is about as woody a fragrance can perhaps get. Jovoy Private Label opens up with an intense woody vibe upon application on the skin, with just a hint of peaty booziness. This vaguely boozy nuance is very fleeting. It soon bids goodbye as a very mild woody sweetness surrounds the central woody theme. It is deep and dark, but not brooding. Patchouli is the most prominent note, apart from cedar and sandalwood which are well-blended. Leather is listed as a note, but is very much in the background; so is the vetiver. It pretty much stays the same throughout from the heart to the base; towards the very end of its lifespan on the skin it is soft, sensuous, even alluring.
Picture yourself seating in a wooden chair in an old wooden room stacked with old books on an autumnal evening. You walk up to the shelves, picking out and placing back one book after another, as time stands still. Maybe you even sip the occasional dram of bourbon.
But nothing happens. And that, to me, is the issue with this fragrance. It is missing something. Perhaps some spices, or some moss, or woods, or an adjustment in the blend. There is a spark that is needed, and is absent. I respect it for what it is, but cannot appreciate it much. I almost feel I'm wearing it for the sake of wearing it.
Projection is moderate and longevity is good. If you're a collector, or a lover of patchouli or woody fragrances, this might be interesting. Otherwise if you look elsewhere, you are not missing out on a lot.
What a deep, rich fragrance. It opens up with a bitter blast of vetiver, some patchouli and green notes. This is a nice dry patchouli that doesn’t have that “hippy” smell that is often associated with it, but rather one that adds to the dirt/earthiness of the overall scent. As another reviewer said, I get a distinct oud note that is present throughout the duration, but is tamed down significantly by a buttery sandalwood that emerges as the fragrance begins to dry down. Over time the leather and papyrus notes come out to really give the fragrance an incredible “old leather-bound book” feel that pairs wonderfully with the now smoky vetiver and sandalwood. Excellent sillage and longevity.
Finally a good – even great – Jovoy. All the scents I have tried from this house until now were just "ok", all with a "good" quality and a shy personality. This instead takes a step forward and just makes its statement - with a lot to say. The opening is unique and much interesting and captivating: fruity and sweet, but also boozy and dark, pungent, balsamic, sticky and oily like warm thick asphalt. It made me suddendly think of the cover of the album "Crazy Love" by Mj Cole, where you see this champagne bottle with thick sticky dark asphalt pouring out of it. Quite the same initial feeling here. A sort of archaic, alchemic syrup, with a black, beautiful, liquid and almost rancid note that floats in the very deep of it. Vetiver and patcholi are there, liquified and rounded, rubbery, sticky, sensual, balsamic, moreover you get them more dry and earthy. It all slowly dries down becoming more smoky and leathery with a more bold waxy/rubbery vetiver note – always much dark and morbid without being cloying, meditative, really thick and beautiful. The drydown is surprisingly more "open" and aerial, silky and dusty, with a vanillin note and the balsamic accord which gets almost mentholated and refreshing. Close to some Liquides Imaginaires at some point. Really unique, but also safe to wear. Great persistence and projection.
24th April, 2014 (last edited: 25th April, 2014)
Superb woody/leathery potion and frankly one of the most beautiful olfactory creations I had the pleasure to test in the last two years. An incredibly hypnotic and austere dark vetiver with the entry card in the clan of my favorite obscure vetivers as Sigilli Athunis, Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver, Eau d'Italie Bois d'Ombrie, Gianfranco Ferre For Man, Vintage Etro Vetiver, several O'driu' creations and few others. Private Label by Jovoy, in spite of the not listed oudh's presence (in its recipe), conjures me by soon more than vaguely several By Kilian Pure Oud's nuances due to a stout leather/woods/resins basic agreement. The beginning is surprising and opens soon by an almost boozy blast of resinous/damp woodiness (woods and papyrus) in a while encompassed by a sort of leather/boots polish velvety vibe of irresistible beauty and depth. I feel in this opening phase the aroma really close to Pure Oud, just Private Label appearing far less medicinal (equally smoky) and anyway more velvety and rounded. I'm sure several animalic patterns (castoreum or fur) enrich the almost liturgical intensity of the exhalations. There is a subtle burnt incense sort of undertone which probably is afforded by smoky labdanum in association with moss, birch tar, bucolic vetiver and dry sandalwood. I still detect (in the central stage) a marvellous boozy/incensey undertone which joins itself to the general leathery/rubbery silkiness. The consistency is surprisingly velvety and smooth despite the determinant presence of smoke, dry spices, dry incense and arid woods (which work as stout holy undertone uncompromising the general silkiness in an almost miracolous olfactory process of balances). Vetiver and patchouli play their central role in this marvellous orchestra enhancing darkness and soft earthiness which seem anyway to partake in a different olfactory parallel level (uncompromising the general olfactory fluidity). In particular the vetiver appears finally dark and rooty with serious conjurations about the wonderful Vetiver by Etro, dark and rooty but not utterly harsh or wild, anyway its "agricole" vibe is perfectly presenved by a dominant purified and polishing silkiness in an elevated sleight of hand by a refined olfactory craftsmanship (How can I say? May be something like...polished but not too much). The note of sandalwood is just a tiny step under vetiver in the hierarchical order, influencing the whole dry down with its deep woody starkness. (It conjures me more than vaguely the Etro Sandalo's rich spicy/dusty burnt woodiness and the Montale Dark Aoud's stark intensity though in a less arid and more leathery way). The final outcome is a really uncompromising woody/smoky leather with a vetiver notable label. This fragrance, with its hardly paralleling olfactory beauty, jumps in a second among my personal wish list top fives. Fantastic work by Jovoy.
P.S: the profound dry down enhances the dry sandalwood in all its woodsy magnificence and the aroma becomes deeper and even more austere as a huge millenary cavern appalling in all its musty immensity.
27th March, 2014 (last edited: 28th March, 2014)
Another stunning fragrance from the house which is bottle worthy for me.
A really modern take on vetiver with extremely masculine aroma.
I don't know why they put this in the unisex group but for me it's definitely masculine!
This fragrance opens up with bitter herbal smell of vetiver, patchouli, some spices and some leather.
The scent is green and herbal but bitter and dark at the same time. it's not sweet at all.
The vetiver and patchouli notes are not earthy at the beginning. it's just dry bitter herbal smell that you can smell with a little smoky feeling from leather.
As time goes by and in the mid, you have that smell at the opening but now the earthy nature of patchouli and vetiver shows up.
I can clearly smell patchouli and vetiver (patchouli a little more) with their earthy aroma and there is a good support of leather to make it darker and a little smoky.
While the opening was great, the mid is even better.
I can smell a very weak sweetness too but it's completely in the background.
Both projection and longevity is great.
I will buy a bottle of this without any doubt.