So tonight I tried Dries Van Noten by Frederic Malle. I applied one full spray to my left hand and the inside of my left elbow. I'm telling you that I almost scrubbed it off, lol. Big alcohol & citrus on the open, mainly lemon to my nose and then shortly after get some of the saffron and Jasmine popping through. I know there is Musk in there too, and the mix gave me a barnyard smell. It was here that I was so tempted to scrub it, but after 30 min or so I got more musk and jasmine and it's much more tolerable almost creamy smelling, but not great...just more tolerable.
I've been enjoying musk fragrances for a few weeks now, but this one is completely different. Not a sharp animalic musk, but softer which I'm assuming is due to the jasmine and Santal mysore popping through after about an hour. Says there's vanilla but I'm not getting much of it yet and I'm about an hour in. Okay, I walked away from the computer for about 40 minutes and I must say that I'm getting much more vanilla and the musk is still going strong, and I'm really digging it, and I find it far less if at all creamy, which I didn't really care for. The wife, well...she hates it, no surprise there. I'm curious as to how long the musk will hang around? I'll report back later in the evening or tomorrow on the longevity of the musk and the overall fragrance.
If I were to buy a bottle of this, I'd not leave the house until this fragrance hits it mid note stride. All in all I'm not sure if this is full bottle worthy...maybe a decant so that I can spend some more time with it, but I'm glad I didn't scrub it off. As far as projection, a little goes a long way, so be careful. I'll report back on longevity tomorrow, as I said earlier.
EDIT: Over a month has passed and I've completely squeezed every drop of juice from my FM sample of Dries Van Noten. I have fallen for this fragrance since my initial assessment of it. So much so, that a 100ml bottle of it arrives at my home tomorrow. What's changed, you ask? The alcohol that I detected in the open must have been a fluke that helped to taint my enjoyment of the opening, now I just get the citrus, saffron and a touch of jasmine. The initial creaminess of this juice was off putting at first, but now I quite enjoy it. I'm also getting more sandalwood in the base and throw in the hints of musk and the warm vanilla, well I love it. Changing my rating to "Thumbs Up", but I'd certainly recommend sampling this before buying.
15th April, 2016 (last edited: 10th June, 2016)
Soft-in-the-head woody that could have done with a bit of slapping into shape. The premise is of a soft, sweet, creamy wood scent – and Dries van Noten delivers on that account. But proper sandalwood was also promised and if there’s any in here it is smothered under a big dump of tonka and vanilla, and those gusts of woody musks that keep going woo-woo around this composition.
Otherwise, it is on one’s first impressions quite an appealing mix of light spicing (nutmeg mainly), a rich boozy tonka and gourmand vanilla, and woods. It has the feel of a CDG woody put through a soft-focus filter. Somehow its attempted cosiness seems more appropriate for a stuffed toy than for me.
But when it has settled into its dense sweet base where those woody musks seem to be all the action to be had, it gets intensely monotonous.
When visiting the Barney's in SF I described some of my favourite scents to a salesperson in their fragrance department and he steered me towards Frederick Malle.
This one has all the notes I love, and on first spray I loved it so much that I bought it right away. I should have waited a day because the drydown just makes me nauseous. There's something about the creamy note that just becomes so cloyingly sweet that I feel like I need to shower it off a few hours into wearing it. Such a shame, because I love how it smells after first applying, but all the sweet notes just get stronger and it loses it's complexity.
A fairly unique opening: bergamot, jasmine and a backgrounds of saffron. Soon a vanilla arises whose sweetness is present but never too overwhelming and cloying; it is balanced out by a smooth patchouli and a woodsy note. The wood grows stronger over time, but it is rather nonspecific on my skin and the whole base is a tad generic. Aromachemical wood more than natural anyway.
The base also sees a mildly camphoic note added but it never grows strong on me. The performance is good with moderate sillage, adequate projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.
Overall the first part is quite original and a nicely executed with the vanilla adding a gourmand component. The second part is more mundane and generic, but with the decent performance that all is just enough for a positive score - albeit only just. 3/5
This fragrance is rightly described as "entering a cosy room" and was inspired by the person of clothing designer Dries Van Noten - a personal friend of Frederic.
The scent itself is not challenging yet absolutely unique and very comforting. Notes of Mysore sandalwood and vanilla sprinkled with saffron and nutmeg/citrus notes to lift the fragrance. It vaguely reminds of speculoos - but rather "the process of baking speculoos", taking elements of it - than the actual smell of speculoos cookies. This makes it very sophisticated and a proper perfume - its also pretty long lasting and creates a beautiful scent bubble.
This one and Santal Blush will be my go to for the upcoming fall and winter.
Ultra- gourmand take on sandalwood- the feel is indeed that of a cup of black, strong, slightly smoky tea with some spicy speculoos at its side, as Victoria of Bois de Jasmin suggests in her review. Nutmeg, clover, cinnamon, saffron- which, I find, gives a leathery, softly metallic undertone to fragrances- compliment the caramelized, roasted nuts facets of sandalwood.
Complex and rich as it is in the opening, it becomes quickly quite flat and boring, resting on a thick base of some widely used aromachemical that smooths away all the complexities.