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Way Off Scenter

Fragrance Review: Arquiste Aleksandr

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Genre: Leather

Unlike some previous reviewers, I do not find this to be a quiet scent. Aleksandr’s huge violet top note is overwhelmingly potent – strong enough to stir memories of pre-reformulation Fahrenheit. The violets-that-ate-Tokyo are soon joined by a pungent, chilly balsam fir note and a smoky, birch tar-laden leather accord. The tripartite structure unfurls in linear fashion over the course of three or four hours, landing eventually upon a rugged woody-balsamic leather drydown.

Violet and leather has been done before – most effectively in Heeley’s marvelous Cuir Pleine Fleur. In that case, the structure is filled out with vetiver, rather than balsam fir, though to similarly cool, crisp effect. Aleksandr is a more angular, hard-edged fragrance than Cuir Pleine Fleur, with a more brusquely elemental profile. I enjoy the Heeley for its suavity, the Arquiste for its directness, but ultimately prefer Cuir Pleine Fleur, whose oddly savory vetiver, violet, and leather accord feels both more novel and more sophisticated. That said, I think Aleksandr is the best-executed of the Arquiste scents that I have sampled, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys violets or smoky leather.

For more reviews of Aleksandr, see the entry in the Basenotes Directory.

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Updated 10th July 2014 at 05:14 PM by Way Off Scenter




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