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This is a very interesting and pleasant fragrance, certainly unconventional but still a lot less challenging than some of the later releases from this house (like Tea, the Guerillas, the Synthetic Series or even the 2011 Eau de Parfum). The opening is quite fresh and features a very enjoyable vegetal-green peppery note that strikes me vaguely as anise, fennel, licorice, or something like that (I can't say exactly what it is...) and which remains the main theme beneath all the airy framework throughout its later stages. There is nothing jarring or difficult about Odeur 53 and it is really quite softspoken and entirely unisex.
In many ways it reminds me of some of Jean-Claude Ellena's more recent experiments with fresh citrus-free colognes at Hermès (Eau de Gentiane Blanche, Brin de Réglisse) although Odeur 53 has a much more industrial/mechanical feel and relies far less on identifiable "classical" ingredients. It is more conceptually abstract and much less an attempt to reinterpret classical genres. The way I see it, its unconventionality lies primarily in its brilliant use of the ozonic notes so extremely prevalent in late 1990s fragrances to achieve a peculiar and very unique "electrical freshness." Odeur 53 has an abstract, almost reposeful, quality to it that still feels entirely modern, urban, and new. And it is a rare successful example of how a fragrance can be very different and undeniably modern without being either loud or simply disagreeable to most people.
Odeur 53 is very well conceived and executed, extremely versatile and very easy to wear - not to mention excellent value for money in that huge 200ml bottle.
27 November, 2012