I must wade upstream here and say this is merely competent. It is not the sweaty cumin or the jaded leather that trouble me, it’s the flatness of the composition – Songe feels thick and sticky, like it has been spread on my skin like a perfumed depilatory wax. I prefer livelier perfumes. For all its naughty notes, it doesn’t feel carnal, just tired.
The early stages have a hefty glug of the sweets, almost as if Wasser’s hand slipped while he was pouring out the tonka or whatever it is to blame. Fortunately that recedes but one is left with a heavily spiced leather, which refuses to budge from its torpor. Even the myrrh, my personal catnip, suffers from the spicing and soaks it up. The scent of the thing is quite pleasant as it doesn’t have huge projection or intensity, but it’s so all of a piece there’s no danger of it bothering my wallet.
Wow, this one really disagrees with me. Up front and center, there's a big slug of that leathery old man smell, paired up with a huge shot of sweaty cumin. It's pure animalic body odor. Oddly, I often don't mind this combination when it's used as a counterpoint to something else (like in Le Labo's Rose 31 or Vetiver 46), but here it's so forward and unbalanced that I just don't like it very much.
Forcing myself to smell around the animalics, I get little bits of interesting nuance - peppery saffron, rubbery oud, burnt charcoal wood, iso e super smoke, some sort of herbal smell that simulates tea - but it's all so deeply buried in the unrelenting funk that it's not winning me over at all.
Songe d'un Bois d'Ete opens with a blast of saffron, soon coupling with a very strong cumin and cardamom combination that unfortunately reminds me more than a bit of the "BO" note I experienced with Declaration by Cartier. The cumin and cardamom combo remains in full force through the heart notes, combining with cedar support and just the faintest whiff of jasmine to sweeten the scent only just a hair. The cumin and cardamom finally begin to fade late into the scent's heart, revealing a fine leather note in the base that finishes off the scent, combining with traces of the remaining saffron spice, cedar and a bit of real oud. Projection is average, with below average longevity.
Songe d'un Bois d'Ete was a bit of a disappointment. The cumin and cardamom that reveal themselves after the first few seconds of development are extremely strong and overpowering. They obscure much of what the scent has to offer and are quite unpleasant smelling. When you finally get past the "BO" accord, there really is a nice dry woody leather and oud combo to be found in the dry-down. That said, it is way too little, too late, and the scent fades to nothing shortly afterwards with its relatively short longevity. At approximately $300 for 75ml of Songe d'un Bois d'Ete one should expect so much more than this... indeed one should expect so much more at a quarter of the price. I give this weak composition a below average 2 out of 5 stars.