Vetiver Extraordinaire. Perfect. 10. Well, almost perfect --- it costs damn near an arm! But its worth it. With my flannel shirt buttoned up to one torso on my right arm, I'd be smelling fantastic as God's fart.
Anyways, heres the technical stuff. Its modern interpretation of the rooty vetiver-y greeness is decievingly contrasted, and augmented by the floralozones. It smells of the earth, but clean, like a moist sap from a patch of neon green moss in the early morning. I've had a lot of scents I've worn in my 4 years wearing scents, and this one, suprisingly is one of the two that hasn't really bored me (the other being Montale's Black Aoud). Perhaps it is because I have a 5ml decant that I have been using for the special occasions, for the past three years, that makes Vetiver Extraordinaire so special. Perhaps it is Malle's (if that is his name) genius that keeps me interested. Or perhaps it is the pure desire for me to build my wardrobe up that keeps me coming back to it.
Like I said, its a perfect 10; lasts about 5 hours -- enough to get through my classes, and lingers for about three more on my clothes. I get compliments almost (and I use this word very loosely) everytime (this word too) I wear this.
That being said, I have yet to buy the bottle. Its freaking $200+ dollars. I can't justify it to myself (or anyone that is not a basenotes member) spending THAT much for a bottle. Perhaps one day it will show up on the sales forum again.
To all those who didnt buy my bottle of Encre Noire when I was selling it for $50 bucks, sucks to be you because this is a real gem (literally speaking, the bottle is, in itself worth a pretty penny). The vetiver in it is dry and haylike; as if the vetiver spent the summer wilting under the sun, and then someone brought it inside and as it moistened under the winter showers, developed a damp ink note, like a package of wet newspapers. But its a good wet, don't get me wrong. This is not the shaggy dog wet - it is wet of a white t-shirt at your local sororities car wash wet. Longevity is good, with around 12 hours of lasting power.
Black Aoud on first wearing reminds me of band-aids. Medicinal, obtrusive and plain weird! However, about a year has passed since I first wore this and my, how my impressions of it has changed dramatically. It is now a seamless blend of aoud, leather and roses - a holy concoction of awesomeness. The notes are so exotic to me that no image comes into mind when I wear this, and when I see the bottle, I smell black aoud, as oppose to visually relate it to something (if this makes sense).
For some reason, I can't smell the band-aid smell now, but it remains one of my all time favorite scents, and ranks either #1 or #2 in terms of longevity and sillage. I am currently seeking a bottle, but a small 5ml decant seems to have been able to last me a good half a year. This stuff is that strong! One last note: this probably has the highest to compliments to wearings. Bravo, montale.
I've had this fragrance for about a year now, more than any other surviving bottles in my wardrobe and it has yet to cease to amaze me. Perhaps it is attention deficit disorder, or perhaps it is short-term amnesia. Or perhaps it is attention deficit disorder or.... Nevermind! This is my favorite citrus fragrance! I know this gets a bad rap by a lot of people because they think it smells like rotting oranges or insect repellent, but to me, it opens like a juicy bite into a sweet, ripe orange - hence the probable rotting orange smell (though I disagree). But this develops into a nice woody and peppery drydown. Yes, it is a bit synthetic, but it is marvelous. If I have self esteem issues, I would wear this not only because it brightens up my day, but because it garners compliments like no other (although that may be in part due to the fact I wear this more than any other fragrance). Longevity is okay, with approximately 7 hours.
17th March, 2009 (last edited: 29th October, 2009)
AFTER sampling about seven or eight different musck based scents, I can say that I'm not a big fan of musk based scents [with the exception of Helmut Lang EDC (which, in itself is not completely musk based, but has a good dollop of musk)]. That being said, I was completely shocked to see how fantastic a musk fragrance can be. At first wearing, it smelled like any other musc, the smell of sweat. Then after the second wearing, I realized Kiehl's Musk is quite withheld and refined, not as crotch-shocking as Kouros (i cringe thinking about it), or as sweet as Musc Ravageur (which i do NOT like). It is dirty, raunchy musk with the classiness and refinement of distinguishable floral notes: like a kiss on the neck, as opposed to a hickie down under. Longevity is a good 7-8 hours, which is also a plus, but not so sure about sillage, as I am not ready to wear this baby outside just yet.
I have the concentree version and there is something dark, brooding and sweet about this fragrance. Like the picture of the joker where his eyes glance upwards with his face looking down. You know that devilish, "I am going to start a fire somewhere for no apparent reason" look. This probably has something to do with the rose and rosewood, which paints a dark berry-esque portrait in my mind, like a blackberry or a blueberry. On second hand, it smells like a ancient Brazilian rosewood guitar (which I heard is impossible to find now a days because it is endangered or something). Rambling and incoherent thoughts aside, this scent is great. It opens with forementioned darkness, but develops into a wonderful woody oriental with a rich, citrusy and sweet sandalwood base. It is powerful in sillage and longevity, like a 2 by 4 hurled by a tornado that smashes through a concrete wall, except that 2 by 4 is freaking 80 feet long! (it lasts about 12 hours). This stuff is marvelous.
Sweet, vanilla, TENNIS BALLS IMO. Thumbs down, utter failure. Perhaps moss just doesn't work on my skin.