(EDIT): It's interesting what time will do with some fragrances. In actuality, the change is in me...or in my perception rather than in Cape Heartache. At any rate, I have been revisiting Cape Heartache over the last few days, and appreciating it very much.
I'm learning some things as I spend more time with fragrances. One of the things I'm learning as I become more a student of fragrance is that it's important to let your nose tell you about the fragrance, not your head. In my initial assessment of Cape Heartache, I believe reading the notes gave my mind some pre-conceived notions about what I was smelling. I am getting no strawberry in my recent wearings. What I am getting is the somewhat sweet, jammy quality that fir and pine resins and balsam naturally contain. This truly is a beautiful fragrance for lovers of conifer scents like myself. It is sweeter than Norne, but no less enjoyable to me as I've spent more time with it and allowed my nose to decide and not let my head implant notes based on pre-conceived mental images. I'm learning to adore it Cape Heartache and give it two thumbs up.
I'll have to go with a neutral rating for this fragrance. It starts out so beautifully. The coniferous/pine scent in the opening notes is just wonderful, but then, very quickly it turns sickly sweet into a synthetic strawberry jam smell that made me sick and in time gave me a headache. The pine opening was so nice initially, but I'll have to go with a neutral rating I guess, as the opening might be beautiful, but the sweet/synthetic strawberry smell ended up being the main ride through the day, and as I mentioned, it made me sick over time.
24th February, 2016 (last edited: 04th February, 2017)
On me, Cape Heartache is a complicated evergreen forest smell, earthy and woody with the smell of bark and dirt, but very sweet. Actually, someone had to point out the strawberry note to me, though it was obvious once I knew it was there. On my skin, it's more like a fruity sweetness than the star of the show.
All in all, I like this perfume - I'm a sucker for forest scents and Cape Heartache is a fun take on the genre. It's a definite thumbs-up, though I must admit that I find it interesting as a study or a diversion, but not deeply compelling. When I want a compelling mix of pine and fruit, I personally think Lutens' Fille En Aiguilles is a step up from this, though I still think Cape Heartache is definitely worth a sniff.
I will usually try to find and read a note pyramid before sampling a fragrance for the first time, and after reading the composition for Cape Heartache I had expectations that I would like it. I have also often found that what may appear nice or appealing may in fact be awkward or dreadful in reality. While not dreadful, Cape Heartache does come across very awkward.
The opening combination of strawberry, vanilla with a coniferous powdery wood is one of the most unusual, if not disagreeable accords I've come across.. The opening is all strawberry jelly donuts, while the wood is barely detectable. The accord then heads in the right direction with the strawberry fading and the wood and vanilla taking over, but it's still a smothering mess for most of the first two hours. Finally it settles into a sugar and pine note that just never felt very natural to me.
I respect those that appreciate the avant garde nature of Cape Heartache, but it strays off course into A*men flanker territory for me, and I just can't get comfortable with it. Thumbs down.
12th September, 2015 (last edited: 12th February, 2016)
I like this, it is a wonderfully woody scent. Unlike others, I don't really get the strawberry note. Or the vanilla, for that matter.
Here's what I do get.
A very good opening, with lovely resinous and coniferous notes. Dry, woody, calming and energizing at the same time. The scent is in the Slumberhouse style but a bit more accessible. Beautiful, simple, focused. The scent develops a bit of sweetness but not problematic in my opinion. Much of the sweetness comes from a balsamic note -- to be expected in a woody scent.
If you like woody scents, then you need to give this a try.
As a fragrance psycho, I expect perfumes to display a certain level of complexity or even intrigue, and typically, the specimens that fail to engage me intellectually are often viewed as inferior. On the other hand, the freaks are not always the easiest to wear—for example, I admire Womanity but, would rather wear Premier Figuier when I’m craving fig. Cape Heartache is definitely not one of the intelligent oddities. In fact, the fragrance is so simple and densely packed, that it never unfurls—I just can’t get in there and explore the 4D architecture because there isn’t one. But, here is the kicker: it smells really good. This is because Josh Meyer tapped into something that I (and other reviewers) attribute to childhood nostalgia. As a child I played in the pine forest, nibbling wild strawberries as I rolled around in the dirt and moss. So, of course, CH just makes me smile.
I have a shampoo that smells quite a bit like CH.