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This is not a "newbie" fragrance. It took me quite a while to appreciate the dark depth this possesses. I don't get much of the cardamom, perhaps because it is blended with the bergamot. In any case, I think this causes it to have a "bright" quality that plays off the dark base. There is also a dry herbal quality, though I don't get any strong woody notes. The patchouli is very interesting to me here, probably because I haven't come across this kind of combination. Oscar Pour Lui also has a deep, dark base, but it's more floral, and it doesn't have the bright accord that this one does. I'm not sure I really enjoy this fragrance all that much, though I do appreciate it as a composition. Only time will tell if my tastes change and I begin to enjoy wearing this one. If you want something similar but even stronger and more "niche"-like, then Encre Noire may be for you.
23 August, 2009