Wow. I just spent a week in NYC. Went to the JAR alcove at Bergdorff Goodman not once, not twice, but three times! The first I sampled Shadow and vintage Golconda. Both lovely (the vintage with a large dose of carnation absolute). But I was drawn to Shadow. My wife had "Bolt of Lightning" and Diamond Water. Both were stunning, but "Bolt" was unreal.
I returned the next day to try them both on personally. I spent the day with these beauties, and the night as well. "Bolt" was amazing. Unbelievable. But there was just something about Shadow. I had to have it. My third, and final trip to BG was to purchase Shadow.
Apparently, Shadow was discontinued for a few years because a specific ingredient could not be sourced. Instead of altering the composition, and perhaps losing some of its integrity, production was stopped altogether. Lucky for me Shadow has been reborn! And even better, true to its original form.
Now, the perfume. Clearly this is well made with high quality ingredients. There is no formal note pyramid. The wonderful sales associates are not allowed to disclose notes or ingredients. It starts off spicey, with clove, cinnamon and carnation. There is moss. There is some vetiver. The drydown is beautiful natural sandalwood. Projection is mild/moderate. Longevity is good, the soft sandalwood and vetiver lasts a while.
There is nothing like it. It smells as if it was made many years ago, I think largely due to the natural oils and absolutes that obviously compose Shadow. Awesome stuff!
There is a ton of real sandalwood here. The good stuff! Initially I thought Shadow meant something dark. I now favor Shadow meaning more that it is always with you. Never loud or overwhelming. Just an ever present sandalwood shadow.
I definitely get the pickle spices impression, but I think lizzie_j is imagining the vinegar. A pleasant, balanced concoction of clove leaf, carnation, Australian sandalwood, and a touch of amber, dill, and perhaps bay leaf. Not sure why they want so much money for it though.
I tried not to over-saturate with blogpinions before we ventured to the JAR boutique, but it's hard not to take note of the myriad dismissals of Shadow: that it smells like relish, marinated tomatoes, hamburgers, pickles, etc. Well, it does not. Or, perhaps I should say, if your relish really smells like this then where can I get some?
Just to be fair, I actually sniffed a jar of relish. Its development is linear with top notes of vinegar and dill followed by fructose, clove, and citric acid in the drydown. It was actually less exciting than I expected.
Then from jar to JAR.
First, let me say I have not given a lot of thought to the texture of a scent before. Many designer fragrances (I realize now) come out of the bottle extremely hissy and coarse. They are the olfactory equivalent of an old fashioned TV picture barely watchable through bad reception. I buy a lot of niche fragrance, and their textures tend toward the finer end of the spectrum. But this thing. Ach mein gott. It is stitched together so finely that it may as well have been wept from those angels on the head of a pin. It is well beyond my noob nose to account for how this texture is so beautiful--as if the fragrance "pixels" disappeared and I was seeing for real for the first time--but wow, there it is. A whole new level.
Now the notes. I understand where the pickle comes from, but that is such a lazy way to describe what's really going on. There is a beautiful juxtaposition between vetiver and (what to my nose smells like) mustard seed. It is a sweet-savory tug-of-war against a backdrop of clove, a wood that I cannot identify, and an indolic whore of a carnation. It is fairly linear. It does not have amazing longetivity. But what these players act out on the stage of my arm is so refined, so perfectly crafted, and so stunningly unlike anything else I have smelled that I hardly know how to put it into words.
I also sniffed a jar of mostarda, which is my personal favorite condiment. And I would say the mostarda is a little closer than the relish. But it plays out the same way: sniffing the condiment only reinforces that, not only is the JAR not from the fridge; I'm not even sure it's of this world.
This is some badass juice.
Advertisement — Reviews continue below