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The first aspect of Yatagan that is very noticeable is lavender. Soft, mild slightly green lavender floats and charms all through this fairy tale dark woodland scent. The lavender opening permeates the entire fragrance and is the saving grace of Yatagan for otherwise it is all a pitch darkness of woody conflict of deep forest smokey balsam and woods with bitter green tannins, dried leaves. The lavender keeps all these smokey, dark greens and leathery resinous bits at arms length from each other like a referee in a back woods brawl between animals of the night. The mix manages to stay just on the sane side of wearableness. I like Yatagan, it is one of my favorites dark woods fragrances. I think it is a steal for the price it can be had for nowadays online, and it is the equal or superior of many other wooded fragrances that sell for 3 - 6 times the price.
Yatagan has had several bottle label changes and the formula has been adjusted and is tamer than the earlier formula which focused on the bitter artemsia vs. tart juniper and my "new" three year old bottle is very balanced, more civilized than the earlier versions, which I could not wear due to their sharpness. That earlier bottle which I got ten years ago was given away to a Basenotes swapping friend - TVLampboy - who found a home for it in a give away contest years earlier in the bnotes forum. Folks were just looking for reasons to get rid of those old mankiller bottles of Yatagan, but I have come back to the Yatagan beast only to find that I thoroughly enjoy wearing it now . It is tamer and very wearable. Its dryness gives it usability through the summer and the bold characters makes it even more excellent during the biting cold weather. In fact the weather changes the perception of the fragrance where in bitter cold I notice the bitter green of the juniper and artemsia while in warm weather the smoke of the styrax is more to fore. The only remotely similar fragrance to Yatagan is the thoroughly modern Kinski by Goeza Schoen which followed the Yatagan formula closely, but without the lavender as a buffer. Yatagan has easily earned the designation of "classic" !
13th April, 2013