Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

Total Reviews: 53
I very much like this, the initial smoky November bonfire impression, drying down more sweetly to whisky and leathery vanilla. long lasting and inexplicably sexy. Love it. not perhaps for work but on moisturised skill the longevity is a blast.
24th August, 2017
Initially I wasn't taken with Patchouli 24 or any of Le Labo's fragrances for that matter. They all had a similar fatty waxy texture to them that I wasn't sure about at first. Turin loved this one, so I kept trying it out. I had samples of the Oud and Vetiver, but I kept coming back to the Patchouli. Like some of my other favorites, it slowly grew on me. Now it's one of my favorites. The vanilla, patchouli, and cinnamon are so well blended. There is also a band aid quality that might drive people away. Some red wines (Pinot Noirs and some Rhone-based wines) have small amounts of Brettanomyces (which I love) and that band aid/barn smell reminds me of that.

I don't get all the roasted meat that folks mention above, but the aldehydes coupled with the vanilla drydown make this slightly gourmand-like for me. I'm still trying to find the right place and situation for this scent.

24th May, 2017
Recently repurchased this and was initially somewhat disappointed. The ferocious birch tar and smoky opening is no longer as overwhelming as it once was when I initially smelled it, and only finally grew to love after some initial apprehension. But on the other hand, the vanilla in the drydown is not as pronounced either, resulting in a smoother, perhaps more versatile fragrance than it used to be. Overall, despite these perceived differences, Patchouli 24 remains a great fragrance, and well worth pursuing for those who like smoky fragrances, as it's still one of the best.
17th February, 2017
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It’s true that Patchouli 24 smells like smoking tar pits and the aftermath of a chemical fire in a tire factory, but that doesn’t fully explain why it’s sexy.

I remember the first time I wore this. I had been swimming in a city pool with my husband and young son, and my skin still smelled of chlorine when I sprayed it on. Somehow, the combination of pool chemicals with the burned, smoky “electrical fire” facet of Patchouli 24 and the thin, poisonously sweet slick of vanillin pooled at the base of the scent made me smell like a total badass, like Lisbeth from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, chasing a bad guy down on her motorcycle. Even though I was wearing jeans at the time, one spritz and I felt like I was dressed in a black rubber cat suit and heavy black eye liner.

Patchouli 24 makes me feel like I always thought Piquet’s Bandit would make me feel but didn’t – powerful, but also female. There is a salty-sweet “glazed ham” quality to the smoke note here that just sends me over the top. The dreaded fir balsam (or could it be vetiver?) sweat note makes an unwelcome appearance in the far drydown, but idly enough it’s not the deal breaker it is to me in other scents such as Baccarat Rouge 545 or Encens Flamboyant. The only reason I don’t wear it more often than I do is because every time I am in the car with my family, my husband stops the car to check for an electrical shortage or fire of some sort.
08th December, 2016
A homage to the smoke-filled origins of perfume, Patchouli 24 is truly fine. Well it is, if like me you appreciate the following things and are not averse to wearing their odour – first, great billowing clouds of woodsmoke and heated tar, then the antiseptic smell of hospital corridors, maple-cured bacon, lapsang souchong, peaty whisky, auld leather, split birch bark. Patchouli 24 achieves a union of these strong personalities without sinking under their weight; it won’t march over you in jackboots.
Underneath this wood and smoke fest is a dry and somewhat loamy patchouli (which seems to only inhabit the heart phase), half hidden, just the way I like it, and some equally dried out and sugar-free vanilla. This is everything I expected Menardo’s Black to be but wasn’t: impressively textured and full of character (‘sexy grease monkey’ comes to mind) rather than the somewhat dull mumble of Black.
With the vanilla a bit more to the fore in the deep drydown, Patchouli 24’s final hours are as a tarry amber.

17th June, 2016
Why is my mouth watering?

I am transported to a barbecue pit, where the scent of too green to be burned birch wood did, however, serve the purpose of smoking the pork tenderloin, which had first been submitted to a mouth-watering marinade. As such this is more gourmand than leather to my nose.

I love the scent of birch tar, going back to such masterpieces as Molyneux's Le Numero Cinq (1925) and both Coty's A Suma and Lelong's Sirocco (both 1934). Here the scent is masterfully placed center stage - smoky, but not harsh at all to my nose - supported by patchouli and vanilla.

I am impressed by the creation, though I don't consider it wearable as a body fragrance, as it would need more blending of other ingredients to make that so for me (as in the vintage classics mentioned above).

Admirable scent, nonetheless!

31st January, 2016
I agree with Houdini's statement on patchouli never being a favorite note but frequently being indispensable as a note, usually a base note, in many favorite fragrances. While I found the dirtiness of Le Labo's Oud 27 to be overwhelming, the dirtiness of Patchouli 24 is instead right about what works for me. The patchouli is present from the start, with a woody resinous character that lasts throughout the fragrance. The vanilla comes in later, and is slight. Usually this imbalance in favor of the earthy/spicy would problematic for me, but even the relative weakness of the vanilla in the dry down isn't prohibitive. The composition is, on the whole, elegant, and this might actually be another bottle that I consider buying from Le Labo, if it continues to work well after a few tries. Also, it's potent, as was Oud 27, strong on projection and longevity.

7 out of 10
03rd December, 2015
This is a unique take for a patchouli fragrance, as the patchouli really doesn’t seem to surface until later in the wearing. This is smokey and birch tarry at the beginning, but within an hour settles into a very pleasing woody, patchouli and vanilla skin scent. Very nice! Thumbs up!
25th November, 2015
I’m reviewing two scents tonight at the same time. If you are reading the other review, you know the other scent is about as opposite as I could find from this (It’s Falling into the Sea by Imaginary Authors). This scent, however, is on my right hand and by golly this is SEXY. If my husband doesn’t like it on me, I’m buying it for him to wear so I can like it on HIM!

The initial application was a blast of Incense, and I was thinking I may have caught some cinnamon, but not in the brisk “let me garnish that rice pudding” but in the “DAMNIT I just spilled a tablespoon of cinnamon in my oatmeal and now my mouth hurts” sorta way…nobody? Just me? Ok…

I’m briefly reminded of one of my favorite compositions, Blackbird, by HOM. The smell of a campfire is somewhere in here…with some s’mores roasting because there is a hint of chocolate.

I almost catch a whiff of labdanum. Something resinous. It’s good…really good. Not overly sweet, not cloying. Dry and waiting for you to want more.

I don’t smell patchouli in either the headshop nor the essential oil purchased from Eden Botanicals. I don’t know if I’ve missed it, or if I’m not a well-enough trained nose, but no matter, this is going in the FBW category!
23rd August, 2015
There’s a glimpse of patchouli at the point of application, but it’s buried within a smoky slathering of tar. Within about 15 minutes or so, the tar takes the wheel and you’re pretty much at its mercy for the rest of the ride. In typical Le Labo fashion, the name is a curveball: Patchouli 24 actually smells somewhere between road construction, an old leather jacket, and barbecue sauce. It’s an oppressive, chemical explosion that’s as intoxicating as it is toxic. The upshot, though, is that it has limited versatility.

Despite this, it’s still one of the best scents in the line. Think deep, smoldering, slightly rubbery goop and you’ll get the picture. Harsh at first, but with a soft vanilla undertone that cushions much of the brutality. It’s in the same general area as Tribute, Jeke, Bois d’Ascese etc. but with a more synthetic embrace. Good stuff, albeit spendy for what it is, and not for the faint of heart.
13th January, 2015
The opening of Patchouli 24 is rough, dry, dark, tar and smoky, an ultra-dry and sour birch woody accord, quite synthetic in a way (a good way: synthetically "post-industrial"), but at the same time rich, thick and realistic, with a nice and almost ghastly nuance of "smoked meat", like alfarom noted below. I also detect the patchouli note but it's quite understated and restrained, hiding behind this exhaust campfire of black woods, yet creating a nice and elegant contrast between its velvety, dusty, slightly cocoa-earthy feel (the patchouli, I mean) and the woody-ashy overall mood. On the very base, just a thin "rounding" layer of vanilla. Much refined and utterly pleasant with its austere and sophisticated look, just a tad artificial, but nice, a contemporary vision of "black" like Bois d'ascèse or CdG Black. After a while it starts to "warm" and open up, becoming softer and gentler, with a smooth and soft yet dark leather note arising - and at this point, while the similarity with the abovementioned scents becomes weaker, the closeness to La troisième heure by Cartier becomes quite evident. It's exactly the same structure: smoky, mellow, dark leather blended with dusty vanilla. Perhaps there's no leather and it's the birch wood, still that's the smell. Pure class and pleasure for sure, although nothing new. Plus, the patchouli (which was barely detectable at the opening) is completely vanished at this point, so bear this in mind in case you came here mostly for patchouli. Nonetheless, the scent is much good even if the main character is missing: it's pleasant, sophisticated, a bit overpriced and not that unique (the Cartier is not the only "reference", basically any other contemporary leather-vanilla scent would work), but "it works" quite well. I enjoyed wearing it and – for what it's worth – I'd wear it happily if I had a bottle. I wouldn't pay for this, but I'll do my best to have someone buy this for me (lucky me, Christmas is not that far).

15th October, 2014
I got a sample of this frag to try based on some interesting reviews I found here.

I put a small amount on my arm and within seconds thought I had made a HUGE mistake. The chemical/brush fire scent was overwhelming. I scrubbed it off my arm and put it aside.

Several days later I tried it again. This was different.

It is a perfume that doesn't start smelling like it will smell even 20 minutes later. The birch tar really gives it a smokey smell, with a hint of patchouli over the top. It has limited silliage (which for me is great as I work in an office and like to wear scent every day), and incredible staying power. After 20 minutes or so it settles into a smokey vanilla scent that is very reminiscent of exotic incense. Incredible, but takes patience.

I am glad I gave it another chance. I have problems with most perfumes (specifically those containing artificial musks) so I gave it a few days just to make sure I would be able to cope with it. A week later I bought a bottle.

This is a great fall/winter scent. I am not sure how it would work out in the summer (maybe in the evening?)
12th October, 2014
This is a great exercise in how to make a very good warm and dry-smoky scent that manages to stay away from the frankincense church-category. A very dry, warm and multi-facet smoke-scent with a strange barbecue roasted chicken-note, the tarry chimney of a fireplace, that dry spicy-inky of fresh morningpaper, the hot, dry steamy-smokiness of a sauna-scent together with a nice round and smoky patchouli that reminds of a cigarette in a ashtray made of marble, all there...and the dusty, musty smell of old books. Bold and at the same time subtle. The oilyness and warmth in this scent somehow seems to mimic the human skin itself and thats the greatest thing about it. Its smells in a animalic way but doesnt really show does notes. The warmth that this scent radiates till deep in its dry-out is extraordinary, it really seems to heat itself up...
I cannot really call this a perfume and wouldnt wear this myself but its very original stuff- i think this will go down in history as a classic (scent). Annick Menardo truly is the most original and gifted perfumer of our time.
23rd April, 2014 (last edited: 04th May, 2014)
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First time when I sniffed this, the smell was very familiar to my nose!
Then I take a look at the perfumer and I saw Annick Menardo! he has done a really great job with a fragrance with the same DNA before and yes, that's Bvlgari Black!
It doesn't smell exactly like that but very close and with the same DNA.
The opening is dark and almost smoky leather scent with some sweetness in the background and also some patchouli but I would say this is not a patchouli based fragrance!
The patchouli is there but sweetened with vanilla and very strong dose of leather that give the scent a very dark aura!
In the mid the leather and vanilla become stronger.
The leather note has a very smoky and dark aroma. maybe like Bvlgari Black almost rubbery but better than that.
The vanilla in this fragrance smell much better and more natural than Bvlgari Black.
The vanilla was synthetic in Bvlgari Black but here is much more sensual and quality.
Still you can smell patchouli but it's in the background.
The scent didn't change that much in the base.
The leather note settled down and vanilla is very strong and sweet and patchouli is still in the background.
While they name it Patchouli 24, I must say that the patchouli is more like a supporting note instead of the main note!
Projection is really good and strong and longevity is excellent.
A very good fragrance. I like it.
16th February, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The first minutes I get a dark and harsh patchouli, but soon it is as if a cloud of black smoke has descended. It is a harsh, open-fire smoked-ham-with-Oolong note, with transient whiffs of asphalt, and without any Knize-Ten-style petrol on my skin. The beginning has a few touches that indeed remind me if Bvlgari Black's opening. There is clearly a lot of deliciously rough birchwood involved, developing into a rich, intense and edgy leather scent. After about three hours it mellows and is closer to my skin, with a mild vanilla that is never really very sweet on me - the beast is tamed. And a hair-on-the-chest tough beast it is: This is not wearing a tender silk gown like Chanel's Cuir du Russie, and it lacks the fresh elegance of Creed's CdR masterpiece. Le Labo's Patchouli 24 is a brilliant and gutsy exercise in birchwood and leather, with patchouli more an afterthought after the initial blast. Le Labo' names can be a bit like Oxford's Bachelor of Civil Law, which is really not a Bachelor's degree at all. The scent, however, is splendid, with good silage and projection in the first phases and a total longevity of nearly seven hours. Great stuff!
05th February, 2014 (last edited: 04th February, 2014)
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Patchouli 24 opens with a very earthy, near camphorous patchouli before quickly transitioning to its birch driven heart. During the early heart the earthy patchouli moves to a barely detectable supporting role as a very smoky rugged birch wood driven leather accord quickly emerges and dominates the composition through its entire middle section with hints of the birch's woody nature peeping through at times. During the late dry-down the patchouli completely disappears with the smoky leather softening, as dry slightly powdery vanilla from the base first acts as underlying support before growing into the late focus as the development comes to a close. Projection is excellent and longevity outstanding at well over 15 hours on skin.

As many others have mentioned (and quite typical of Le Labo) the Patchouli name on the bottle is far from a good indicator of what one sniffs. The *real* star of most of the development is the birch wood driven smoky leather. The birch near completely overpowers any traces of the patchouli, and by the time the composition reaches the late dry-down the patchouli appears completely gone. Apart from the addition of the late developing vanilla there really aren't many detectable notes (though the "24" in the name indicates there actually are 24 different ingredients). To me, Patchouli 24 really is a minimalist hard-core leather fragrance through-and-through, and an excellent one at that. The bottom line is the $240 per 100ml bottle Patchouli 24 has a deceptive name and most likely will disappoint those looking for a patchouli-focused composition, but hardcore leather lovers are bound to be pleased with its superior minimalist execution, earning it a "very good" to "excellent" rating of 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5.
29th December, 2013
This fragrance was easy-going on my skin, even with the birch tar and smoke. When it opened I got an impression of smoke, patchouli and cream soda or root beer. I think it was the combination of vanilla, birch and a Lapsong-type tea note, lightly sweetened. It all swam around a roughened earthy, but not really aggressive, patchouli. I should have been offended by the combination but it was kind of comforting.
In the mid note, I smelled more leather, which amped up the sensuality, and was my favorite part of the fragrance. There continued to be a sort of birchy root soda note. These notes weren't welded in place. They were the product of ingredients floating around creating associations, one of which was cream soda. But it shifted to Lapsong tea, styrax, leather, an agreeable earthy patchouli and birchy tar. The dry down had less leather and settled a little more solidly into the earthy patchouli and palely sweetened smokey birch beer note.
I thought this was a comfort fragrance - there were so many associations from my childhood in it. It has a decided birch tar, but I grew up burning birchwood in a wood stove, so this is like being home. It had a fair amount of complexity built into it, what with the way the notes shifted and formed new chords until the dry down. Kind of a neat trick really. Root beer is not my idea of a fragrance note, but I can't help but like it here, wrapped as it is in so many warm smoky, earthy notes. Nice fragrance.
11th December, 2013 (last edited: 07th February, 2014)
A review of le Labo Patchouli 24, a salute to Bvgari Black and, I suppose, a fan letter to Anick Ménardo.

If I find a genre of perfume that I like, I embrace it. I stock up. With Patchouli 24, I’ve cornered the market on the smokey-leather-tea-patchouli-resinous-vanilla genre. I already own two others in the category: Bvlgari Black and Tauer Perfumes Lonestar Memories.

When comparing apples to apples, the small differences carry great weight, and decision making is easy. I wear all three perfumes regularly and never have the least difficulty choosing which one to wear on any given day.

Lonestar, Black and Patch 24 share a number of notes and in fact could look similar on paper. But notes and verbal descriptors have little to do with the experience of wearing these perfumes. Lonestar takes a sense of intention and deliberation to wear and when the stars align wearing Lonestar pays dividends. Bvlgari Black, less rough than Lonestar and more tailored than Patchouli 24, is the star of the three. Lonestar is rugged and Patchouli 24 is dense, but both perfumes result from the blending of their notes. (There was a television ad in the late 1970s for a dog treat that coined the repulsive phrase, “crun-chewy” thereby solving, I suppose, a millenia-long dilemma in the canine world) By this logic the term for Patch 24 and Lonestar's synergy would be “am-birch-tar-y.”

But Black's motivation isn't blend. The notes don't sacrifice their identities to the perfume. Black thrives on difference. The constituent parts complement each other but keep their boundaries intact. Ménardo's model of abstraction, shown in both Patchouli 24 and Black, favors execution over allusion and portrayal. It doesn't create a harmony that smooths the lines between notes. The pleasure I feel wearing Black is like the reassurance of perfectly milled locks and keys. Weighted movement without friction and the satisfying click' of perfect engineering.

I group these three perfumes together not simply for the notes they contain or the leather sub-genre they create. The line that runs through them is an unexpected sweetness. Black’s sweetness is the charm that results from amber, rubber and powder. Inedible, delectable. In Lonestar’s the sharp edge of tar, blanched white florals and and uncut vanilla extract takes you 9/10 of the way to the satisfaction of sweetness and makes you complete the picture for yourself . Patchouli 24’s sweetness is the key to its affability. It triggers perceptions of lushness and the sense of having satisfied a craving, but it never once falls into gourmand territory. This sweetness is the reassurance of safety in a perfume that asks you to be comfortable in threatening territory. It lets you sit at the center of the perfume without fear of either falling into the gourmand trap or of being bitten by the big, bad, tarry wolf.

27th August, 2013 (last edited: 18th May, 2015)
Never mind my original review; after you get past the strange barbecued meat vibe in the beginning, it drys down to a wonderfully smoky smell that reminds me of cookouts in the summertime, yet with a vanilla note that reminds me this is still a perfume.
02nd November, 2012 (last edited: 29th April, 2013)
I can't believe base notes has this as a femme scent. When I went to le labo to complete my rose 31 set I was wearing my royal English leather by creed. The lovely sales associate thought I was wearing this gem which immediately prompted me to test this in the store, love at first sniff. It's smoky and leathery without the citrus that makes a leather scent smell too medicinal IMO. This is my fifth day wearing this in a row rare for a new bottle and there's nothing stopping me from a sixth..
07th September, 2012
Patchouli 24 is quite possibly one of the smokiest scents I'll ever experience in this lifetime. This scent is not entirely patchouli like the name suggests; not earthy and green like most fragrances are with this accord.

There is a striking and captivating dustiness that is all too beautiful on the skin. At times this fragrance reminds me of camp-fires, ash and incense, all the things that I find appealing. It is no wonder that I love this scent so much.

The vanilla which tends to linger softly behind the smokey patchouli and woodsy notes, is divine and rather feminine on the skin. I must say that I'm a very feminine person, and I do not agree that this is strictly for men. It is too beautiful not to be shared between genders.

There is a touch of leather in this composition which provides a sensual, animalistic quality. For that reason alone I'm tempted to wear this out on the town to see the various reactions from men. To me, Patchouli 24 is the scent of a confident and captivating seductress.

I love Rebella's (Fragrantica reviewer) description, "velvety smoke" which I find sums up this fragrance perfectly. Be forewarned that this fragrance is rather intense, being heavy in its projection and lasting on the skin. If you've ever tried Annick Goutal's Les Orientalistes range, Patchouli 24 smells very similar to Myrrhe Ardente and Encens Flamboyant.
04th April, 2012
A very powerful and smoky birch tar opening laced with a little tobacco. Some sweet patchouli emerges, but this remains smoky throughout and wears pretty linear from the get go. After many hours I can detect a little wood notes and some sweet fruit notes, but that isn’t until well into the dry down. This one projects well and lasts forever. I happen to like this one quite a bit.
08th February, 2012
This Le Labo creation rocked my world. It was the reason I became perfume obsessed. It literally opened my eyes to a new way of creating fragrances. The smoky muskiness is super sexy without being formulaic. The tea, leather, and patch combo are unlike anything else I've ever smelled. Bravo!
11th January, 2012
Everybody knows Annick Menardo is a genious and Patchouli 24 is surely among her most relevant compositions but, where many of their deliveries have striked as *yummy yummy* gourmands, P24 it's more like a gourmand that nobody would dare to eat. It opens with a breathtaking smoked ham/meat note joined by leather (birch?), dark smoky tea and a rubber vibe that definitely resembles of both Lonestar Memories and Bulgari Black...but at the n-th power. Patchouli, animalic notes and vanilla make their appearance right away bringing the composition into a more comforting territory but still nowhere close being easily approachable. Leather is prominent throughout and provides a good balance to the sweeter woody/vanilla drydown.

Overall, more than a patchouli centered composition, I get P24 as a leather/vanilla fragrance with a twist and while the similar Bulgari Black is definitely more wearable, it still strikes as a sort of edulcorated version of P24 which I see as a big step forward in the same direction. Be carefull with dosage. Super projection and tenacious lasting power.

Salubrious and toxic at the same time. Definitely not for everybody.
24th November, 2011
Nice and heavy ambery fragrance, a strange  smokey masculine oriental in the same vein of Mazzolari Lui that turns immediately out in all its smokey, leathery, animal and vanillic temperament with a sheer presence of camphor, a barely perceivable patchouli, aromatic and rubbery birch tar and styrax, a touch of medicinal and green (labdanum). The initial animal smoke is impressive and overwhelming. The medicinal whiff is a current element in the fragrances of the brand and it cooperates to exude the boisterous first complex blast that seems to express all the strength of a scent that with time fades is a sort of ancient and vintage smoky amber-patchouli a bit cozy, vanillic, incensey and rubbery. As many others underlined the patchouli is absolutely not starring and straightforward, i perceive mostly a note of camphoraceous, leathery and syrupy amber with a touch of whiskey, a woodsy-mossy (labdanum) character and a notable smokey temperament. The fragrance is dark-brown, a bit incensey, aromatic and tarry, it's not too resinous because the incensey and rubbery feel of the styrax, birch tar and may be olibanum balance the vanillic and dense woodsy-smoky elements. From the contrast between resinous and dusty elements some woods appear in order to ground texture and stableness.
13th November, 2011 (last edited: 02nd March, 2013)
Love it! Brings back memories of hospital antiseptic, but good ones.
09th July, 2011 (last edited: 22nd August, 2011)
Surreal scent! Memories of old books, wooden furniture, dusty rooms, campfire smoke, barbecue sauce and it's all in this small bottle. Magical, words fall short, a true masterpiece.
07th June, 2011
I wouldn't want to wear this every day, but it's a fascinating scent and one that I will likely revisit when the time is right - maybe in somewhat cooler weather, although the opening burning/tarry note has a certain summer feel in that it evokes machinery operating in the hot sun (like some of the older tram cars used here in Vienna - I love the city and vintage public transport, so for me that is not bad).

After the tar/patchouli I still find more smoke, but the smell gets a distinct tobacco note, I seem to perceive some sandalwood and gorgeous, gorgeous vanilla. With a few quick sprays from the test vial it seems to last for a long time.

To me the scent starts very unsweet but with the vanilla/sandalwood gets less so (i. e. a bit sweeter) over time. It was clearly noticeable even outside, so there's definitely some sillage.
23rd May, 2011
Mercurial, shimmering, Gareth Pugh-esque (ie. on the razor's edge of wearability) composition from that mistress of the weird and wonderful, Annick Menardo. Explodes off the skin with a mix of lapsang souchong tea (read: campfire), cedar, patchouli (it's there, look harder), gasoline, and a bone-dry vanilla that somehow blends perfectly with the smoky salvo. Much like Menardo's Black for Bulgari, 24 is a bipolar shape-shifter, seeming sweet and sultry one minute, coarse and carcinogenic the next. Unlike the easygoing Black, though, 24 can be fickle: The drydown occasionally calls to mind a glass of flat, watered-down root beer into which someone's extinguished a cigarette. But when it works, Patchouli 24 is nothing short of relevatory, a delicously dark confection with a rich presence and phenomenal staying power. Not for all tastes, but a masterwork regardless.
03rd May, 2011
Wielding the savage aroma of rectified birch tar, Annick Ménardo introduces a Gothic horror version of her earlier Bulgari Black, exaggerating with brilliant pungency the latter's top notes of lapsang souchong and then extending its vanilla drydown to something so distinct as to qualify as an oriental in its own right. Patchouli 24 is the brawn to complement Black's brains.

The initial ferocity of Patchouli 24 is awesome and can be compared with Gorilla Perfumes' Breath of God (the Exhale accord), or Tauer's Lonestar Memories. With these top notes you can almost hear the cracking of burning bark and spluttering of resin fires. This black, pyroligneous uproar lasts for a good few hours and then begins a gentle transition to sweetly-spiced purple fruits, during which Patchouli 24 reveals itself to be a phenolic vanilla. Although it's a concession I'm usually willing to make, I find the oriental turn problematic – not for its implementation, which is sound – but for smoothing out the raggedness up top that I so relish. In terms of intent I'd prefer a less benign resolution to Patchouli 24, but despite the volte-face it remains darkly fantastic.
02nd February, 2011