Love it! Bought it retail! Started out only liking it, though. But I couldn't get it off of my mind. A lot of my fave frags start out this way (Homage, Lyric, Gold, Black Tourmaline, Black Aoud). I love rose+ incense+ patch frags. There are a lot of them out there which is why this may not be considered groundbreaking. Indeed it isn't. But, this frag is a welcome addition to my wardrobe. I noticed that a 1ml sample isnt the best way to introduce oneself to this frag. You need to spray a liberal dose to really appreciate it and on fabric, the bouquet lasts forever in all its richness. It is androgynous in a way that blends masc and fem elements, as opposed to the type of androgyny that is characterized by the void of either. I have tried most of Malle's perfumes and found them to be "soulless" as one basenoter mentioned (with the exception of Portrait and Carnal Flower). By soulless I mean clinical. POAL and Carnal Flower, on the other hand have soul, but very different souls. In POAL, the incense, the raspberry jam, the rose, and the patchouli combine and stay pretty linear all through the drydown which is something that usually bores me. Not so with POAL. The rose is not overbearing, either. It peeks through the incesnse and patch. The patchouli molecule used lacks the mushroomy, mildewy, too-much-wet-earth smell that makes patch sometimes overbearing. This patch molecule has been likened to Chanel's Coromandel and it is true. Although, dont get me wrong, sometimes I am in the mood for that overturned wormy earth smell. However, in Poal you don't get that. The patch is elegant and it does't make me uptight at the office. This is a good office frag and maybe that is one reason I like it so much. Some of my other rose + incense/patch/oud scents get me in trouble at work (as in getting a talking to because someone complained). Not so with this one. So, while others consider this frag redundant, unoriginal, and derivative, POAL to me is perfect. Holy grails are interesting that way.
25 January, 2011