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Having been a fan of the original JMS for Women for many years, I decided this was worth a sampling. I just received a vintage bottle of this courtesy of eBay, an edt tester with natural spray.
Aside from some deteriorated topnotes and a huge whiff of alcohol, due to the bottle's age, this has to be one of the more exemplary men's scents I have tried. It is quite 80s, a rich floral chypre with a masculine twist. The first thing that I noticed was an overripe lemon, then Ylang-Ylang, and lots of it. Luckily, the potential black banana tendency of Y-Y is balanced out very quickly by a classic rose/jasmine heart, accented by spicy carnation. It immediately brought to mind the iconic l'Arte de Gucci, which I enjoy in the edp. This is all wrapped in an incense/resin (maybe the Benjamin I love in Caron's Pour un Femme?) and plopped atop a warm patchouli base. There is also a an animalic salty note which makes this a very sexy scent as well. The drydown is a warm, dry sandalwood. Sillage is outrageous and longevity excellent. The quality of the ingredients is superb, and many are natural, is my guess. The transition from 70s patchouli to this is not so far...
The thing I appreciate most about V.O. is the unabashed use of florals in a masculine. Although V.O. is not particularly mossy, the patchouli allows it *technically* to be classified as a Chypre...although in my mind, it is more of a masculine Floriental. Easily worn by either sex, this is a beautiful scent.
Compare to l'Arte de Gucci, by Gucci Pour un Femme by Caron, Jean Patou 1000, and Boss Spirit by Hugo Boss. Notes per FragranceX are:
".... a mixture of lemon, pepper, lavender, jasmine, rose, carnation, lily of the valley, cedar, tonka, musk, and sandal."
V.O. is discontinued but has not been counterfeited, and can easily be found on eBay and other auction sites. Given the age, though, the potential for a damaged notes must be weighed against the cost of approximately $2/ml.
08th May, 2011