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When I first smelled a sample of this, it was like nothing I had sniffed before. It didn't even smell like a fragrance to me - I got this overpowering licorice-y fenugreek blast. At the time it seemed like something I should sniff to broaden my palate, but I didn't think of it as wearable at all. Now I love it. When I bought a bottle, it was my biggest purchase to date.
Helichrysum (that fenugreek-ey note) dominates the composition throughout its development. I find it like sweetened licorice or anise, maybe. I can see the curry analogy at times, but that's not the first impression I get. At first, it comes on very strong. It's unapologetically in-your-face, with the helichrysum brightened and amplified by something else - the lavender, maybe? I'm not sure, as I've never smelled helichrysum on its own, but it's sharper and projects more at the start than it does at dry-down.
As it dries, starting after about 1-2 hours, it softens and sweetens. I think this is the effect of the vanilla, but not sure. I'm not great at picking out notes, and I think the composition in general focuses so much on the helichrysum that it's hard to pick anything else out. It lays much closer to the skin after a few hours.
It's a fairly linear composition that develops as variations on the main note, modified by the other components. It starts bright bold and loud, and ends sweet and soft, but still with a sharp edge.
On me, it lasts about 5-6 hours. It's too much a one-note composition to be a masterpiece, but it's beautifully crafted throughout.
I strongly advise against buying blind, though. It's strange enough I can easily see how many could hate this.
23rd October, 2011