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Most reviewers are interested in communicating how this fragrance makes them feel rather than what it smells like. As such, several of its notes are not mentioned at all.
What it smells like: the fragrance could fall into an "aquatic leather" category if such existed. I think they have done something akin to Angel: married notes that are not usually seen as having something in common. I smell a lot of a certain variety of leather (help with this, please?), which brings to mind that I've also seen no one mention this fragrance's initials (S.M.) in the context of the use of leather in the practice of S/M. I also detect something like a sweet but hissy, piercing cherry, possibly the smell of leather conditioner (another S/M reference, since you have to care for these expensive items). There is also cheap incense here, a possible source of the revulsion expressed here. I think much of that response is due to mixing florals, leather, and aquatic notes. Finally, all the drama vanishes about 2 hours in, and you get the smell of lipstick/facepowder/inside of elegant lady's purse. This accord is really pleasant and fashion-forward, and reminds me of other Etat Libre d'Orange fragrances (Incense and Bubblegum, Jasmine and Cigarette).
I may have an advantage here, since I sampled all the EldOs when they came out, and have lived with a full bottle of Secretions for about 2 years, wearing frequently. I like it, and others tell me they like it on me.
18th September, 2012