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Here's a traditional man's scent: a spicy, slightly floral fougere, with some wood already evident in the opening. Santos meets Azzaro, with a little bit of Trumper's Marlborough. It has the usual anise, but it's well-buried among the other bracing aromatic herbs. Possibly a little violet as well. It hints at heavy floral darkness, as seen in Van Cleef and Arpels, but never fully heads in that direction. What's strange to me about this scent is that I recognize so many parts of it, but I'm not quite sure where to file it away mentally: with the green scents, the barbershop spice, the masculine florals, or even the sweet orientals because a bit of vanilla pokes its head out during the base notes. Breathing warm air over my test spot brings out an amazing orange-blossomy vanilla, which if it were stronger would be as interesting as Endymion, or as Caron PUH's vanilla, minus the powder. The final base notes are mostly just expensive soap, but very convincing and not feminine at all, like a hint of Richard James. Even though I don't like the middle phase so much, I'll give it a thumbs-up for its boggling, chameleon complexity, and for hiding feminine notes so harmoniously in certain places in the base. Intriguing.
15 December, 2011