Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Cadavre Exquis by Bruno Fazzolari

Total Reviews: 3
Cadavre Exquis (2016) is a joint venture between indie artisinal perfumers Bruno Fazzolari and Antonio Gardoni. The former is known for his styles totally irreverent of time or trend, while the latter is known for some rather quirky hallmark accords, so the product of collaboration is almost guaranteed to be a wild ride. Well, I'm here to report that this indeed is - or should I say was - a wild ride, since it is a strictly-experimental limited release that is long since sold out. Much like folks who lucked out on early Bortnikoff or Areej le Dore releases before the doors were blown off (and supply vacuumed up) by the small clutch of fans that have come to obsessively hover over every release announcement, early adopters of the Fazzolari brand who were treated to this little weirdo of a frag probably enjoy this on it's sheer uniqueness and exclusivity alone, aware that they're likely the only ones who ever will. It's the ultimate hipster taste maker braggadocio to say one of your signatures is a single-batch one-off handmade fragrance collaboration from two perfumers made "before they were cool", but I'm not prone to such thinking (for better or worse), so I can't say this is some amazing unsung treasure even if I agree it is indeed interesting. Both perfumers would create far more-redeeming works than Cadavre Exquis, but the collaboration here both looks and smells of mad scientists run amok in the pefume lab, which I feel was the intent. I also think the kind of obtuse-for-the-sake-of-it taste one needs to have in order to enjoy this scent commands some level of respect.

The name of this scent literally translates into "Equisite Corpse" from old French, so the stuff is meant to smell like death (of sorts), and although I can confirm this doesn't really come close to the smell of corporeal decay (long story), it does smell like a bowl of rotting fruit intertwined with some stale coffee poured into a trash can and leather notes. Put another way, if you mixed the drier gourmand aspects of Thierry Mugler A*Men (1996) with some of the mascerated fruit over leather from Maxim's Pour Homme (1987), added a whole bunch more animalic stink from castoreum and civet, but softened the dry down with vanilla, cocoa, and anise, you'd about sum up Cadavre Exquis. Yeah, read that back to yourself a few times if need be, it's a doozy. Orange peel and camphor opens this up, with a bit of dark chocolate and a dry unidentifiable woody note. The heart of Cadavre Exquis brings in the styrax of benzoin with some star anise and birch tar smoke. It's rather hairy even before the base of castoreum, civet, and that leather note appears, with the aforementioned vanilla patting you on the back saying "there there" for making it through. Final moments on skin remind me of an animalic flanker in the A*Men line, but the ride to the bottom isn't worth it to experience that result in my opinion. Wear time is appreciable but sillage is tight as per the norm with an EdP. I don't know where or when you'd really find a context to wear this, so I won't bother mentioning suggested usage. If I smelled this on somebody outside, I might wonder if they had just spilled old coffee on themselves while taking out the trash, but upon finding this out to be a perfume, would have amazing respect for the gall it would take to sport this in public.

Chances are if you are an owner of this and enjoy it, my words will fall on deaf ears, and they likely should because situations like this usually mean you didn't find the perfume, but the perfume found you instead. For everyone else curious but without any to sniff, my words as guidance are probably in vain since the stuff has long since passed into obscurity due to such a limited run being released, unless it is re-released and you have found my review for reference before purchasing the stuff from a new batch (assuming it is even made the same way if reproduced). In any case, Cadavre Exquis is an astonishingly confident "avant-garde" experiment into the world of perfume, and is truly (painfully) as niche of a perfume as the term "niche perfume" gets these days. I applaud the sense of adventure here, and I don't absolutely hate this stuff, but I'd never seek it out even if given the chance. If you're able to find out how Cadavre Exquis smells on your own terms, I suggest giving it a sniff just for kicks, but be in for a shock since this one has no pretense about smelling good in the traditional perfumery sense. If you're looking for a challenging scent, this has you written all over it, and is the only "rotted fruit gourmand oriental" I'll likely ever have the pleasure of smelling, so I don't regret trying it. Solid neutral for being a blast to sample, but recommended only to the morbidly curious, Cadavre Exquis is or was the perfect scent for people who have run all out of care to give about what others think about them.
15th April, 2019 (last edited: 16th April, 2019)
The Resurrection of Lazarus by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1896
Cadavre exquis – André breton,Valentine Gross, Tristan Tzara, Greta Knutson – 1933
22nd November, 2017 (last edited: 23rd November, 2017)
Cadavre Exquis is artsy perfume, unique and unexpected, strong and pungent. It smells like a mix of candy and woods, with an antiseptic or disinfectant smell at the top that fades over time, mostly leaving a base of sweet woods. I could get used to it, and I would be impressed by someone else wearing it.

Update: Wearing this again, finishing the sample, the opening crosses the line from challenging to cloying for me, but I still find it interesting.
07th July, 2016 (last edited: 06th September, 2016)
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