A peculiar sequence of powder, citrus, and herbs starts Eva Kant off with a candy-like quality that’s destabilized by a plasticy-herbal accord. It’s neither unpleasant nor pleasant; instead, it’s mainly confusing as the scent wants to pull you in several directions at once. Fortunately it sorts itself out fast and settles into sweetened myrrh with distant chimes of lavender, citrus, and something that smells like bay leaf. Once it hits this stage, things become subdued—both in force, but also in interest. Even though it’s a fairly spindly composition, something about it seems off-kilter as there’s a war going on between the sweetness and the notes that reference O'Driu's earlier reliance on apothecary herbs. In this respect, Eva Kant feels like a bridge between the O’Driu of the past and some of the most recent releases.
But this particular bridge is rickety. Eva Kant is a scent that doesn’t quite come together in the way that Pregoni’s past work has. Even though a clear attempt was made to align the elements, they just don’t cohere in a way that’s either daring or complimentary. On the one hand, it’s as if the scent wants to do something blindingly original but is afraid to get its feet wet; yet, on the other hand, it’s too ugly to aesthetically redeem itself in any meaningful way. For me, the combination of savory / herbal with gourmand-ish aspects was similarly botched in Piguet’s Oud as well as MiN’s Botanist, and while it’s tamer here, it’s just as displeasing. After a while, this smells like a rough draft of Armani’s nasty saccharine-bomb, Myrrh Impériale, that’s been soaking in the kitchen sink with a bunch of unwashed dishes for a few days. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever smelled from Pregoni (the guy was very prolific early on and made some real clunkers), but it’s somewhere in the bottom 30% or so. If you’re curious about this line, look back to scents like Allegradonna, JMT, and Lalfeogrigio to get a better sense of what he can do.
Perhaps a bit overlooked on account of the buzz surrounding first Peety and then Pathétique, O'driu's Eva Kant is a completely unique scent that I've taken a very strong liking to.
I get lavender, citrus, a doughy note on a soft woods held together with a cement note. Sounds weird as I've described it, but it is a beauty of an opening. In the mid phase flowers and a gentle vanilla become evident, and the play-doh note morphs into something more approximating band-aids, a la the presently unavailable Skin Graft. In fact, if I were forced to pigeon hole this one, I'd call it a skin scent, but categories are only misleading when applied to a scent as unique as this one. EK dries down as a gentle band-aid/vanilla blend, as goofy as that sounds. The drydown is delightful.
EK never screams. It barely makes moderate silage, but has excellent longevity (18hrs). At the risk of horrifying its creator, EK also is great for office wear. Two thumbs up.
19th October, 2014 (last edited: 20th October, 2014)
One of the most intriguing and stunning "new" scents I have smelled since a long time, one of those scents which literally smell like nothing else. The opening is a slap: a biting, angular, nondescript potion of flowers, musk, a load of spices, an animalic oily drop on a gorgeous dusty vanilla base, mixed with a totally unrelated, still inexplicably perfect and fit carnal and lascivious "feel" I can really not come to describe. Cloves, ginger, pungent spices, a really dense and pulsating heart of flowers – magnolia and ylang – some raw animalic notes like castoreum, aniseed, a meditative balsamic breeze with an herbal feel, caramelised benzoin and myrrh, incense. A totally peculiar blend both decadent and medicinal, archaic and futuristic, with ambery translucent notes and narcotic flowers. I kept thinking of art while wearing this, as this scent has a really oniric and "imaginative" progression which triggers images and unconscious "situations" more than words, and I recalled the work of some of my favourite artists which kind of work or worked with the same suggestions, from Jeremy Mortimer to Jenny Saville, to Schwarzkogler and other provocative Viennese "aktionists". An alchemic smell of gauzes, bandages, blood, medicines, flowers, flesh, animals, with a heavenly, but at the same time gloomy balsamic sweet breeze all around it. Really hard to catch, decompose and define, but terribly irresistible and captivating. And most of all, speaking of "perfume" itself, so good and pleasant to wear. Then, it slowly and brilliantly evolves on a rich, decadent floral accord, which in turn gets a really weird, evocative and a bit creepy, sticky and opalescent feel of water – not in a predictable "calonic" way, rather of lacustrine, stagnant water, still salty but much dense and almost oily, together with a counterpart of talcum/vanilla and spicy dusty notes, medicinal and sensual at the same time. That medicinal feel is the other "pillar" of this scent, a subtle but bold vibe which does not disappear and stays there like a psychotic nurse from some obscure Italian horror/crime movie of the Seventies. Ghosts and fantasies apart it's a terrific scent, not "challenging" to wear since it perfectly manages to be daring and new still smelling amazingly good, exuding talent and intelligence, with a beautiful evolution and a totally unique and distinctive personality. Bravissimo Angelo!
The opening is a unique, creative and mesmerising entry into the EK experience: lavender and a woodsy impression, given added freshness by an orange-grapefruit citrus background, form a delicious, smooth top note accord. Soon a gently spicy myrrh is added, accentuated by a very mild ginger. The middle notes then therm towards the floral, with a magnolia of beauty combing with ylang ylang very convincingly. At that stage I get a nut-aroma with a herbal component - this all is working together beautifully, merging without losing structure. Later in the base I get a cocoa-tonka note predominating, but whiffs of the myrrhe still come up once in a while. All this is most exquisitely blended of ingredients if the highest quality, whose natural purity and beauty is discretely dazzling. Very good silage and projection, with over twelve hours of longevity on my skin. And astounding masterpiece, and one of my personal O'Driu favourites.
Eva Kant opens with a splash of herb-laced grapefruit before quickly transitioning to an effervescent rose and geranium tandem supported by underlying dry anise and coffee with subtle hints of sharp lemon citrus and animalic castoreum peeping through. The herbal rose and geranium infused anise and coffee accord continues through the early heart, starting off strong before gradually giving way to a powdery ylang ylang, magnolia and lavender floral trio with bitter wood-like myrrh support taking over through the latter heart. During the late dry-down moderately powdery vanilla and benzoin take over as co-stars balanced by smooth sandalwood, as the diminished earlier spicy floral remnants fade. Projection is very good and longevity outstanding at well over 15 hours on skin.
The open to Eva Kant is probably the most recognizable aspect of the composition, tying it loosely to many O'driu compositions of the past and present. The culinary herbal aspects are there, as is the tremendous castoreum laden dulled rose and geranium accord that is found in some of Pregoni's best work. Where Eva Kant really goes in a different direction is when the ylang ylang and magnolia come into the picture with the dusty powdery facets of the composition really kicking in. The late dry-down in particular is quite pleasant with the powder softening, smoothed by relatively dry sandalwood in the base. The whole composition comes together rather nicely, though some may be put off if they are highly powder-averse. The bottom line is the 150 Euro per 50ml bottle Eva Kant resides around the middle of the O'driu pack. That said, "middle of the pack" from a great nose like Angelo Orazio Pregoni still means very good, with the composition earning a solid 3.5 stars out of 5.