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    supermarky's avatar

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    Opoponax by Santa Maria Novella

    can't believe I am the first to review this amazing stuff

    first off, it's definitely unisex. and I was first drawn to opoponax in general cause djuna barnes wrote that james joyce preferred opoponax based perfumes, whether on nora joyce or on himself, it really doens't say, but I think she meant on him. this is not at all feminine a scent! am surprised it's not considered unisex coming from the opposite direction.

    I prefer this opoponax to other fragrances I've tried "starring" this note: eau lente and les neriades. the SMW version seems to be much purer and not at all sweet. (the sweetness of les neriades is not an appealing sweetness to me either.) it is however, quite rich, much more so than these others.

    Richness and sillage are a hallmark of SMW. When I compared Tabac Original to SMW Gold Musk it was like one of those portable hand held electronic fans vs a jet engine.

    I describe this scent as an abstract spice. No identifiable herbal/spicy note comes out, just this "noise"/ sensation of "spiciness" something like the static on a television set to where there's no signal: something set to tingle. And so I think of this for starters as making it the supreme choice to obtain the effect of scents such as lutens arabie, amber sultan without the necessity of smelling "tandoori ready". And it's amazing for layering, as are many of the SMW. Naturally, as one finds opopnax as a supporting player in many classic fragrances.

    SMW really has its own vision and its no surprise it's not a huge brand. You can google to get to an old NY times article about the house from 86 that is most fascinating. In some respects SMW is the high end fragrance cousin of a santaria shop, well, the spiritual element is not... really part of the product, aside from the fact that all of this started out as a nunnery. Anyway, a part of the company is still devoted to ancient remedies for baldness, hysteria, etc. Note to self: hysteria juice probably worth a try.

    I think of many of the scents as being a form of "drag". Some of them actually call to mind a concrete history: nostalgia "I've just been working on my bike", gold musk "I've just come from the gym shower after basketball practice".

    Anyway this is a house with a touch of madness and I luuuuuv it.

    As for this scent: a must!

    14th November, 2006

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000