There is a brief flash of an intensely sour lemon note, as astringent and piercing as the one in Profumum's Acqua Viva, although sadly, not as natural-smelling. Almost immediately, though, the high pitch of the lemon note is brought down a notch or two with a dark, tannic element that smells like coffee or licorice, but which is actually Earl Grey tea. Whatever it is, the effect moves the perfume that crucial distance from sour lemon juice to a comforting baked good like lemon tier cake. It is delicious.
The lemon cake smell shuffles off the stage pretty quickly, allowing the star performer, the caramel, to play its part. It is a pretty simple scent, actually - just lemon cake and caramel - but it does these two things well. The caramel is deep, unctuous, and thick. Also: intensely sweet (well, caramel is). But there is a nice toasty flavor to the caramel, and a vaguely smoked feel that stop the perfume from diving off the edge into unbearably sweet. For much of the progression of this perfume, I thought this edge was toasted coconut, or something like that creamy, stodgy coating around a Licorice Allsort (specifically the yellow flavor 'round' one). Supposedly, though, this note is waffle cone. Waffle cones are more a texture than a taste for me, but in general, I would agree that there is a pleasant toasted "baked goods" or biscuity tone to the caramel.
I like this a lot better than I thought I would, but still not enough to invest in a full bottle. I am beginning to realize that I have a tightly defined triangle of gourmand accents that I like or can tolerate (mainly saffron, some nuts, coffee, and certain lactonic notes) but Unknown Pleasures lies just outside of that tolerance line. If only the unctuousness of the caramel had been tempered for longer by that sharp lemon note at the start, or had been counterpointed in the later stages by a note not so entirely matching in sweetness (that baked goods / waffle note), perhaps by coffee or salt? Never mind, maybe it's not for me, but it's a very well done gourmand, very much on the sweet side. And I have to say that the longevity was immense, which was a bit of a surprise!
Hot lemon curd poured over vanilla ice-cream sprinkled with crushed waffle cones. A sundae to warm one's soul through coldest of seasons.
The notes listed are unmistakably present. The sweetness is well balanced by the citrus notes and the waffle cone cannot be disputed, especially after the note has been suggested.
Recommended if you wish to provoke cravings for lemony desserts in everyone you meet; or enjoy torturing yourself with an aroma clearly designed to induce salivation… an effect which lasts a few hours.
Big lemon on the opening.Also tea and baked goods. These elements create an effect almost like sitting down for cookies for breakfast; slightly indulgent, but also comforting. After about 30 minutes, the baked cookie notes start becoming more intense; gourmand all the way. At the beginning, it was almost as if this could have gone one or two ways, light and citrusy or gourmand- it moved toward gourmand on my skin. I am really liking this! Just looked at the notes- waffle cone!Yes, that works for me, memories of waffle cones at the Delaware shore! Well done.
Now, waffle cone does not SOUND like something one would want on their body, but this is quiet nice. An hour in, and this is a satisfying gourmand. Not too sweet, very wearable. Two hours in, this is an extremely nice gourmand. At times, they can be far too sweet and coying for me. Here, the vanilla, citrus and baked cookie (waffle) notes are well balanced, warm and enveloping, and not too sweet. I am shocked at how much I like this perfume. Longevity is solid and projection is good but not too strong; perfect, I believe, for this type of scent. I could see having a bottle of this for winter. Really very much worth checking out.