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It seems as if at one time on Basenotes, the male discussion board literally exploded with discussions on Domenico Caraceni. Many on Basenotes talked highly about DC, so my expectations were pretty high. I also love rose scents. Falling in love with DC seemed like a no brainer, right?
Well...it's not that simple:
- The top notes of DC open with what I can only decribe as aromatic pungency - some Basenoters have described it as boozy, and I can see why. The combination of frankincense (yes, right in the top notes - charging out of the gate) and petit grain give it a grain alcohol-ish aura. Not extremely pleasant but not off putting either. It is incredibly bright and anyone who would take a hard sniff of their skin right after applying DC will most likely recoil back in pain.
- The rose and geranium notes arrive and boy, are they DARK. I thought No. 88 was a dark rose scent, and it is. But in my opinion DC is much darker. Of course, it's a gentlemanly and conservative kind of darkness. Confectionery roses, in all of their glory. PLEASE do not take these descriptions as me saying DC and No. 88 are similar. They are not. However the geranium / rose accord when it arrives, strikes the same 'shadow', if you will. It's quite unmistakable.
- At about an hour or two on my skin, the scent really gave off a lot of sillage. Simultaneously, the scent became much more melancholic and 'sad'. The color I associate with this is dark purple. I imagine this is perhaps the saddest fragrance I've ever smelled. I remember some talk here on the board about DC and it's 'aromatherapy' aspects - so perhaps I'm not alone in this.
- I didn't get the 'new magazine smell' that some Basenoters mentioned - to me, that description sounds like glue, ink, paper, etc. I couldn't smell any of these accords in DC.
- I don't agree with some online reviews that mention a chypre-like quality in DC - to me, I smell no amber or mossy notes. Supposedly there's tobacco in the middle notes? I didn't smell any either.
- Caraceni makes suits (in Italy) and yet, I don't think DC smells like a well tailored suit at all. Perhaps the perfect scent for a funeral, or a night going out to a Goth club - but Italian tailoring? No.
- The first time I wore DC, I thought it smelled powdery. I hate powdery scents. The 2nd and 3rd time I wore it, this powdery effect was nonexistent.
Do I respect and admire this scent? Yes. The way this fragrance transitions from top, middle and base notes is quite fascinating. Many 'classic' scents achieve this well calibrated sequence of notes so the perfumer who did DC (?) knows his stuff! Plus the scent literally reeks of quality, without coming across as too high brow. Which is not as easy as it sounds.
Do I want to own it? No.
03 October, 2008