A sparkling and somewhat "Disney" Christmas cider out of the bottle that mellows into a spicy, quasi-aquatic patchouli and jasmine accord. This smells for a while like a nice potpourri one might encounter in mom's guest bathroom. After a while the pinks of the patchouli begin to recede, but never completely vanish, and we have a linear sweet-aquatic jasmine middle, somewhat reminiscent of Cool Water. This begins to sour ever so slightly on my wrist somewhere as the middle fades. I don't get any of the tobacco. Ho hum.
Rather weak juice, as TropiRock complains. My wrist required quite a generous splash to appreciably bring out the dimensions of the scent. Immediate notes are astringent and grassy with flickerings of apple spirits far off, this then swiftly and dramatically changes to a bright and sugary blue-green accord of jasmine and cinnamoned vanilla; this latter note comes to dominate the middle of the fragrance as the jasmine cools. For the half-hour to 45 minutes that the vanilla ran the show this fragrance was much too buttery-cinnabun rich and linear for my taste, but as the vanilla wanes the mellowed jasmine is uncovered once again and the result, for a very short while, is a delicately sweet, much softer, and lightly floral recapitulation of the initial jasmine-vanilla confection. In a word, this final stage of the fragrance smells like one might imagine Santa Claus would smell, albeit, Santa imagined not as a cartoonish caricature but as a magical, ageless fellow. All this isn't to say that this scent is clearly appropriate for any age. I'd say that young men should only wear it if they feel comfortable in one of dad's old hand-me-down Stafford sweaters, sipping scotch or eggnog at a family gathering, perhaps with a very chaste date. This stays very close to the skin. In sum, it certainly won't raise the ladies' body temperatures, but it might add something to the pleasantness of an evening near the fire with friends and family---only, however, if applied a good hour in advance of one's plans, as that middle vanilla salvo is indeed a caricature.
The opening is a tasteful and minimalist but rather demure interlacing of very subtle, powdery rose and coriander, with a delicate woodiness in the background. This is in fact the fragrance itself in a nutshell. I do get the tangerine at the opening, but it is nestled far in the recesses and disappears with the onset of the fragrance's middle trajectory. The sandalwood comes in rather early and sits like a scented oriental fan atop the vanilla linen lining the table on which the composition stands, rather like a crystalline vase holding a single rose, a rose whose stem is immersed in a very pale ruby-colored water that flickers with light as one moves about it. Is this fragrance sexy? Not nearly as sexy as say, Caron's Third Man, to which it seems to me like a spectral cousin. The fragrances have a faint structural similarity. The delicate, isolated rose which makes the centerpiece of Egoiste can be detected amid the shadowy pool of purples, deep blues and scarlet florals that makes up the heart of Third Man; and the sandalwood and vanilla base of Egoiste finds a seductive and complex counterpart in the musk, cedarwood, patchouli and vanilla depths of Third Man. This comparison might seem a bit of a stretch to some familiar with both fragrances, but I can't help but mark the recollection of Third Man each time I rub a bit of Egoiste into the back of my hand; rather, Egoiste seems to me like a pale memory of the passion of Third Man. A rogue lover in mourning, almost. I prefer to take on the vital spirit of the rogue himself.
Artisan is to my nose intensely floral throughout its duration, especially at its big opening, so much so as to veer right up to, and perhaps over, the tipping point into girlishness. It is touted as a wildly citric fragrance, though the sweetness it radiates reminds me less of a freshly broken orange rind than that of a basket of warm summer flowers, perhaps with a cut orange at the center. If this says anything, it immediately reminded me strongly of Clinique Happy and Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers; fragrances the girls in my family wore religiously several years ago, when they were still in middle school, and which I suppose for that reason I'll never be able to forget. Could a confident man pull this off in the proper circumstances? Sure. But a confident man could pull off almost any fragrance. As to those circumstances? I imagine a romantic summer dinner for two, in a restaurant on the beach.