Not a fan of this.
Opens up with a promising lemon note and a woody background, and is quite nice in the beginning. However, from there on the citrus subsides and a sweetness, attributable perhaps to the tonka bean note, surfaces. I have trouble picking out the vetiver, but the fragrance retains a remotely earthy feel that is characteristic of so many vetivers. The overall effect is a nondescript, almost candy-sweet and vaguely woody scent without any class or character. Almost a scrubber.
If you are looking for a citrus-woody fragrance, look at Versace L'Homme. If you're looking for a vetiver, tonka bean or vetiver -tonka bean combination, look elsewhere.
Projection and longevity were nothing to write home about.
Citrus opening on a weird, unsettling, metallic/ozonic base – same note I detected in at least other 3 Monegal's. Mentholated and calone-ish balsamic accents, something shady and organic like oak moss, soft musks, some flowers. Wax-like vetiver – which I never like, and I don't get why so many contemporary vetivers do have that awful glue-like smell. I like this more when the flowers kind of "morphs" into a nice accord of sweet and talcum notes, while the vetiver note becomes more rubbery and soft. This creates a sort of weird but interesting suede-like texture which I quite enjoy. Then again, a change; this all melts and slowly becomes almost a chypre accord with a balsamic breeze – yes, kind of Mitsouko realm here, respectfully talking. While overall I don't like Monegal that much, I must admit I quite enjoy this fragrance – the notes, the materials are bit "meh...", but still it has a nice and intriguing story to tell, with quite a lot of twists and surprises.
16th April, 2014 (last edited: 17th April, 2014)
I really have no idea why I'm just not enjoying Umbra. This is the kind of scent that I usually love, and which almost always smell great on me.
It goes on with a blast of grapefruit before the bergamot/moss chypre smell comes through, supporting a leafy green smell that's as much mossy geranium as it is vetiver. The whole thing is a weird push/pull between the brightness of the citrus and the fusty mossy quality of the greens, which I think is what's turning me off. Somehow, they don't feel fully incorporated, like there's a note missing or maybe one too many ingredients. I honestly don't know, but something in there just isn't "clicking" for me, and I think it's just something personal.
I suppose it's mostly that there are so many excellent vetivers out there (Guerlain, Chanel, Givenchy, MPG, Dior, et al) that I have little patience for one that doesn't wow me.
This fragrance is the very best of what I look for in fragrance. Cool, peppery, uplifting, green, haunting as it draws you in to itself. It is a beautiful vetiver fragrance at its core, but the pepper plays such a big role that it is almost an equal partner. The green fir note is also very noticeable as it amplifies the vetiver while the moss note is like a background fog of atmosphere. I don't really smell tonka at all but I suppose it is used as a stabilizer or fixative for the other more volatile green, fir and pepper. This is a great fragrance for me and I enjoy wearing it. I highly recommend it.
A watered-down version of Vetiver Tonka, masculinised by reduced sweetness and a bit of added pepper. Very pleasant for the 3 hours it lasted.
opens with a clean vetiver. dries down to a pepper and geranium note. Very green dry-down. geranium dominates a little soap, but not enough to be obnoxious. Crisp as a fall morning. There is something sweet hiding in the background, the tonka bean. This is a close cousin fragrance to Ramon Monegal's Cuirelle
Umbra opens with a blast of fresh clean vetiver, before giving way to a peppery geranium tandem. The scent then takes a sweet turn by adding a large dose of tonka bean to the vetiver and geranium adding faint hints of oak moss and other woody aspects. The combined overall vetiver, tonka and woody accord reminds me somewhat vaguely of the sweet woody scent in Micallef's Gaiac (not that Umbra smells like it, per se). Projection and longevity are both below average.
I really enjoyed the vetiver opening to Umbra as it is quite fresh and invigorating. The geranium is also done quite well and relatively discrete, not calling too much undue attention to itself while melding with the pepper, but ever-present. The part of Umbra I have the hardest time with is the prominent use of tonka bean in the heart notes that turns the scent quite sweet. This somewhat makes the woody aspects of the scent a bit less desirable to my personal taste. Still, while I would say Umbra is not my kind of woody scent, I can still appreciate it as a good composition and give it a "good" 3 out of 5 stars.
11th July, 2012 (last edited: 14th July, 2012)
Umbra is a dry, kinda sweet-balmy, woody-mossy vetiver. A solid rosy-geranium plays a central role providing both fresh and old-school facet. Kinda soapy. To be completely honest, it actually opens with a modern accord of green fresh vetiver and pepper to then quickly evolve into a sweeter woody-mossy balsamic drydown that's definitely more old-fashioned.
Interesting if you like restrained mascluine fragrances. Turns great on a woman...
10th July, 2012 (last edited: 03rd July, 2014)