Actually, after some thought, I'm going to post short "initial impressions" of each scent before giving it a full wearing, and then later follow up with a full review. It'll be interesting to me, and hopefully to others, to see the differences in the two. It might also help someone who is initially underwhelmed in a scent see that with more extended wearings and a closer analysis, there is a lot to like. Or, maybe not. Only time will tell, I suppose.
Well, here are my initial impressions of those I've done a wrist test of:
Kobe: <sniffing from vial> I've smelled this before. Where? <wracking brain> Ah yes, this smells just like MPG's Pour Le Jeune Homme. Now, I'm not that familiar with PlJH as I've only given it maybe 2 full wearings a year or so ago, but that was the clearest link in my brain. So, I put some on, alongside PlJH. Kobe smelled more natural, deeper, rounder, smoother. No spicy counterpoint equivalent of the rosemary in the MPG.
So we've got a very rich and full petitgrain, neroli, and soft woods/spice blend. I detected no oud, but instead something like guaicwood and some incense alongside sandalwood and a deep and rich but quiet patchouli note that was blended well enough not to smell much like patchouli at all. Very interesting and very good, although a bit more contrast to the richness, and something to add a bit of dryness, may make it more interesting. Still though, very very good. Many people think that Pour Le Jeune Homme smells very natural - one of the most natural - and I agree that it does. Well, Kobe smells more natural.
IRISSs: Well, this is all about initial impressions. My first impression? Silly name. Ridiculous, really. Couple that with the spelling errors, odd language, and bad grammar in the sample vial sleeve (sadly, this is true amongst pretty much all of the line..I think I'll comment on that below w/ my initial impressions of the packaging) and my expectations were rather low. Thankfully upon opening and sniffing the vial my expectations were restored. What did I smell? Iris. Lots of iris. A very natural, rich, multifaceted iris.
On skin, IRISSs opens with one of the clearest and richest iris notes I've ever smelled. If there isn't real iris butter in here (which there is claimed to be) then the perfumer is a damn genius. I'm quite sure there is the real iris butter they mention, as every fake iris accord I've smelled has always been much more "2D" where this was very "3D" - you could swim - drown, perhaps! - in the white velvet waves of this stuff. Carrot peaks out a while later and keeps this interesting. Sadly though, I lose the carrot and the iris, which should be getting more diffuse and expansive (natural iris absolutes/butters have a shimmering transparency to them, and create an aura that is very hard to 'localize' where the scent is coming from. I guess I can best explain it like this: imagine a dandelion w/ a parachute head, y'know, when it is covered in the 'floaty seeds'... fake iris tends to create a smell that is close and clustered, just like the seeds on the parachute head of a dandelion, while real iris.. well, blow on that dandelion and watch the seeds scatter into the air. Same seeds, but they are diffuse, surrounding you. Everywhere. That's the difference). The iris note here stayed unnaturally strong and was quite localized, and I guess this is a natural side effect of trying to boost the strength of (and reduce the cost of using) natural iris butter. Sadly, at this point I felt the iris was not that far removed from Prada's Infusion d'Iris, and like zztop I didn't get many of the other notes to any real degree. An iris soliflore that uses some very good ingredients, with a composition that I feel lets it down. It's too simple, and felt a bit soulless.
Despite all the negativity above I do think it's a very good iris soliflore, if that's specifically what you are looking for. The first 30-60 minutes are true heaven and the rest, well, the rest is.. nice.
I'm hoping this one behaves differently on a full wearing.
Mefisto - From the vial I get the SMW associations mentioned above, but smell a bit of Himalaya I think, too. Smells good, if common.
Oesel - <opens vial, sniffs> Mmm. Damn this is good. Wait, I know this.. I... own this? Fleur du Male. Yup, unquestionably, this smells VERY much like FdM from the vial. Skin test forthcoming. I'm really looking forward to this if it's a more natural Fleur du Male, hopefully with a more distinguished and interesting drydown. Kind of disappointed though that this is yet another scent that smells quite a bit like an already exsiting scent. I'm starting to wonder if Xerjoff's plan was simply to create higher quality and more expensive versions of scents that already exist...
Dhajala Oooh, this is good. A hint of galbanum and then lots of patchouli and incense. I'm picking up a chocolatey accord here. A rich and deep one, not sweet or immature. Smells like a mix of the (far underrated) Queen Latifah for women along with Eau de Patchouli (also way underrated!) by Reminiscence. Seems wearable by a man. Can't wait to test this one more fully.
Esquell My favorite of the women's line from just sniffing the vials/card tests. This smells ultra-feminine, a mix of a beautiful iris and rose over a powdery but not overly sweet, very full base of mostly opoponax. Early thoughts are that this is a more modern, lighter, more chic version of MPG Or Des Indes.
Lua Card test left little impression, although this is likely because I had very little time to sniff. A seemingly high quality fruity floral. Seems like it could be very good for what it is.
XXY The opening here is a mix of earthy but mostly a very high pitched sweet. Reminds me of the excessive sweetness in both By Kilian Straight to Heaven and By Killian Cruel Intentions, especially the juxtaposition of sweet and heavy in the latter. I can't tolerate that kind of sweet and so this is going to be a hard one for me to wear. The sweet notes smell rather sharp - piercing even - and wholly synthetic. The rest seemed to be an unenthused amber over a blah patchouli base. Was this done by Sidonie Lanceusser? I'd almost be willing to bet it was done by her - it has the same trademark qualities of her above mentioned scents for By Kilian. If you like those you might like this. For those who've tested XXY, what did you think of it, and what did you think of the above By Kilian's? Did you notice any similarity in the sweetness?
Fiore d'Ulivo A very nice, slightly soapy mix of flowers over a vaguely lemony laundry detergent musk. That sounds bad and like I dislike it, but it's not and I don't. I think it's very good. Initial impression leads me to believe it's very similar to Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Cologne Acqua Universalis although this smells softer, rounder, slightly less synthetic and slightly more feminine, although a guy could comfortably pull it off, in my opinion. Without prompting, my g/f noted how this smelled quite like Acqua Universalis, as well.
My initial impressions of the Xerjoff packaging
and now, my initial impressions of the packaging. Cairomerta did a wonderful job of packing them, wrapping them in a nice colored tissue paper, with all of the samples neatly tucked into each other and rubber banded together. Very nice!
However, the actual packaging itself is a bit hit and miss, and unfortunately it's mostly a miss. I'm not trying to be overly nit-picky but at this price point there is simply no excuse to have anything but the best packaging. Besides, the errors and inconsistencies present here really detract from the polished and ultra-luxe image that Xerjoff is going for. So, hopefully this won't be seen as unnecessary negative feedback but instead constructive criticism. First, I really like the outer packaging for the shooting stars collection. It is large and sports a unique color scheme - the color scheme of the website. A maroon and gold that look absolutely excellent paired together. On the outside is a small sticker in the upper left that indicates which shooting star sample is inside (a bit tacky. While it doesn't really bother me, I could imagine that to some customers it may appear that Xerjoff is to cheap to come up with unique packaging, or at least similar packaging but with unique printing, for each of the scents in the collection. Amouage and others have unique packaging for each sample, and at this price point I think many will feel the sticker solution is a bit amateur.) Inside the shooting stars sample sleeves is a list of each scent and the allergen ingredients listed below. It looks good and professional.
The primary problem with the shooting stars packaging is that it makes the XJ - the Xerjoff premiere line! - packaging look basic and amateurish. I'm willing to bet if you simply had a shooting stars sample sleeve and an XJ sleeve on a table and asked people to pick the packaging that represented the higher end of the two lines, that almost everybody would choose the shooting stars sleeve. The XJ sleeves are shorter, only about half as tall, and are a very simple design of a white background, a gold square in the center that is flanked on either side by a minimalist two tone silhouette of their quartz bottles. Well, an impression of the bottles, that is, that looks very plain and sort of 'basic photoshop' to me.
Inside the sleeves are descriptions of the scent in multiple languages. A very nice touch, except that nearly every single English description (and according to Twolf.. or was it Quarry? at least one russian description) is littered with spelling errors, poorly worded sentences, and grammatical errors. Again, it doesn't really bother me.. but I would imagine many might feel embarrassed to have spent $2000 or more on a scent that comes with such ridiculous errors in the ad copy. It just doesn't look or sound professional, and doesn't do anything to dispel the idea from those who are new to the line that Xerjoff may be nothing more than overpriced, mediocre perfume.
A couple examples:
From IRISSs: "Expancive[sic] and demanding perfume to be worn with confidence by whom is refined and distinguished in life."
From Homme: "The fragrance belongs to the woody family and has a strong leather note which emphasis[sic] its noble and elegant character."
From XXY: "Refined and well orchestrated rare materials with sophisticated distilling technique creates XXY, perfume with notes which evolves[sic] nicely for the female a[sic] male characters. Sophisticated strength from the black pepper, patchuli[sic] and bergamot to the exquisite softness of the jasmine and the heart ylang ylang from the Comore Island."
Lastly, the Casamorati line has nice packaging. Both Mefisto and Fiore d'Ulivo have descriptions within the sleeve on top of a colored background, while inexplicably the inside of both Fiero and Bouquet Ideale are completely blank and white. Odd. If they were all just blank and white it would look kind of plain, but I think the inconsistency here is actually more unsettling.
Some samples in the shooting stars line came in long slender sample vials, while others came in short stout ones with a pronounced lip. All of the shooting stars samples had stickers to indicate what juice was inside - a plain gold sticker w/ maroon print. Points for sticking to the Xerjoff color scheme, but again, stickers are a bit amateur for a line at this price point. The inconsistency in the vial shape is again a bit unsettling.
I am sure it seems like I am finding many faults here, perhaps frivolously so, but I am trying to speak not only for myself but for all potential customers (and a line at this price is going to draw a certain type of discriminating customer) - these packaging errors make the line look amateur. It makes me question: How am I to believe that Xerjoff put forth immense effort to ensure that every detail of every perfume was perfect, immaculate, and warranting such a high price when their packaging is so littered with amateur mistakes?
I hope Xerjoff can get these issues cleared up (in all languages) so that their perfumes can be taken seriously by all. They seem to be very high quality (if not entirely original) compositions, and deserve better packaging than they currently have, IMO.
Did anyone else feel this way about the packaging?
I was notified that the inconsistencies in the Casamorati packaging is because two of the scents are so new that the packaging for them is essentially just a quick mock-up provided to get the samples out. So, I have to retract that criticism. Also, I was told the differences in sample vials is something that is already remedied, and was simply a result of Cairo picking some of the old and new at random when sending them out, but that they will be consistent in the future. Another problem resolved! Yay :D.
Again, my other criticisms are not an attempt at an attack so much as pointing out potential improvements. I really look forward to testing the rest of these. Every single scent so far (well, I can't speak about modoc!) has started off smelling quite natural - it is obvious they do use more naturals, citruses and such, at least, and I look forward to see if the bases can match the often wonderful openings! :)
I am almost done testing all of my samples. I gave some a full wear and others a dab to the wrist. Modoc and Oesel are the only two I do not care for.
Grapefruit, lemon, bergamot
Lavender, Rose, iris
cedar-sandalwood, musk, amber
Typical traditional style cologne. Nothing new offered here as far as formula. Who's this cologne created for? Mefisto is for guys like my son who enjoy wearing scent but don't really want to call attention to themselves. Mefisto would work well on a night at the philharmonic when you don't want to knock down the guests sitting next to you. Some references have been made to similarities to SMW by Creed, and I agree. The big plus is Mefisto doesn't have the ambergris Creed overload which annoys me. Another big plus in my book is Mefisto's superior lasting power along with the most pleasant grapefruit note that stays around a long time. Traditional Italian Cologne done with quality ingredients and a touch more TLC. If you enjoy your present cologne but are tired of it walking around with tiny atomizer in your pocket all summer, you may want to upgrade to Mefisto for its superior lasting power.
I wanted to say I really appreciate everyone's gracious appreciation of the Xerjoff line as well as the honest criticisms. I appreciate the fact that I am friends with many people reviewing the line here and that they are not taking that as a need or a sense that they have to review everything 100% favorably but that they are letting the perfumes speak for themselves. It is obvious that not everyone can dissect a perfume and really understand it the way basenoters do so it is great to read all these reviews.
Just a quick thank you!
Please read this Quick Note:
Since I am a longtime basenoter as well as the exclusive arm of Xerjoff in the USA, I feel its my duty to make the Xerjoff experience with everyone here as personalized as possible. I owe a lot to this forum over the years in regards to learning about perfumes and exploring so many lines that I would never have found without the help of this forum and so many people on this forum.
Because of that, in 2 weeks (Moday May 10th) , I will be giving away 2 bottles of Xerjoff compliments of Xerjoff USA and Xerjoff Italy. One women's bottle (Fiore D'Ulivo and One mens Mefisto) This is a thank you for everyone's time and efforts to review the scents and share their honest opinions and feelings in regards to the line. I will use a random # generator and the number who's post (one in the mens forum and one in the women's) matches the number generated will win.
I intend to make Xerjoff's service and personal experience in the USA and to you all different than any other line in the USA because I am a member of this forum first before anything else.
Excellent idea . . . .
What!!!!!!! I am excited.....I love Mefisto!!!!!!! If it was Uden or Dhofar ...I will just start posting happy faces every other post... :)
Cairo, you bought into the company?!! I thought you were just offering your assistance in setting up US Distribution? If so, that's a momentous opportunity, and something many of us could only dream of. I still haven't tried any Xerjoff, I suppose I'll just wait until either The Perfumed Court or Luckyscent get them in, but I'd just like to offer a hearty congratulations to you, and wish you the best of luck.
Hi Mtg. No I didnt buy the company. I have partnered with Xerjoff in Italy to distribute the line in the USA. I essentially setup Xerjoff USA and am an arm of Xerjoff Italy but based in the USA. I have full authority and rights to distribute, promote and market the brand here in the USA. Thank you very much though for the kind words!!!
They will be available at Parfums Raffy and Luckyscent in the next few weeks. Once available I will make sure to announce it for everyone.
crossposting to the men's:
XJ Casamorati Fiero
Soapy, sweet herbaceous, somewhat aquatic top, spicy softly oily floral, bergamot/lavender, a slight sweet lily of the valley note over a soft leathery, slight sweet/musty… "traditional masculine just-showered-shaved-and applied a nice cologne" clean overall impression. There may not be a "bay rum like" note to this but there is that "sense"… perhaps a little clove note along with the herbaceous notes.
Heart is leathery, still soapy… still slight sweet soft floral… a little more of the "bay rum clove" impression, the "bay" is more like sage to me with a tinge of bitterness to counteract the sweetness of the receding topnotes… with some woodiness coming up. Somewhat like AdP Blu Mediterraneo Mirto di Panarea at this stage, an airy but warm, sweet/bitter floral spicy woodiness. The initial clean/soapy note seems to be drying down to that myrtle/spice/wood/leather/clove. In a way, the heart has more of a citrus feel, bergamot in particular, than the top.
The basenotes are coming up leather and "smoothing out" of the soap… to a clean, airy, slightly woody and soft scent.
As stated above, "traditionally masculine"… but I would love to wear it myself and feel it would be striking on a woman. It simply smells clean, warm, airy, (and somewhat warmly aquatic) and darned good.
And I'm sure I'll chime in again about the later stages of the base! (indeed, here I am.) This morning, it was still lingering, a slight leather/wood... nothing "stale". I love when a scent reminds you sweetly first thing in the morning that it was there the night before...
crossposted to the women's Xerjoff thread:
XJ Casamorati Bouquet Ideale
This scent reminds me of elements from both J. Peterman's E.M. Ca' d'Oro and Rajasthan, which are both quite good warm night scents but not with as much "oomph" as this on my skin. This is a Masked Ball in Venice, crowded and warm, with swarthy men carrying censers of Myrrh moving through the crowds. This is the balcony, where the warm spicy incense wafts out from the party, and you take a break to catch a scent of flowered, fruity air.
Warm spicy sweet heady floral - (the artwork suggests that should be rose? if so, it is dark spicy soft-scented rose), with cooler fragrant purple grape, warm sweet hay and warm woody notes very prominent in the top. …amberic/balsamic… drying down to the heart which brings up what I'm smelling as purple grape, which cools a little, like a breeze on a very warm night… then heats back up with a sweet amberic muskiness.
A warm amber vanilla with a spicy dry myrrh at the base... and warm woody notes anchoring that even deeper.
A scent for the night, would make cooler evenings seem warm. Sensual and deep with occasional "cooler breezes" from the very softly ripe purple grape.
I can see this being a unisex scent.
Edit: As the drydown goes even further, the vanilla/amber/myrrh seems to me to have softened, and almost a soft, dark, cocoa side is coming through. Perhaps that's just how my nose perceives it in comparison/conjunction with the Fiero, which is on my other hand (and reviewed below.)
Xposted to Xerjoff women's thread:
Now on to XJ 17/17 HOMME...
On first sniff… leather to the fore, with clove, and a soapy accord…maybe the lavender note, but it is far beneath the leather/clove. Saddles, baseball gloves, oiled. Pipe tobacco comes to mind but is not topmost in the notes… the soapy, freshly-oiled leather is quite strong. Very masculine, if the ylang ylang is present it's the rubber notes of that flower, not the white flower petal. The leather/tobacco notes are coming up stronger now, the soapiness subsiding...just minutes after applying this. Lisylang's watery floral might be present, but it smells like wet leather in this scent, which is a good thing indeed. Powerful…and herbaceous all at the same time as the scent reaches its heart. Indeed, there is a ylang ylang presence behind the very potent leather, and it keeps the clove from becoming too strong… sweetens (but not in a sweet CANDY sense, more a smooth leathery spicy sense) the mix.
There is a woodiness below all the other notes that is intriguing and brings to mind a memory, though I can not say exactly what that memory is… the leather is so aromatic, with that spicy floral undertone… that it is distracting me! Cigar box wood? Cedar? Not quite either.
I have got to say that this may be the ultimate realistic (in terms of evocatively realistic) leather perfume!
It has a little of the feel of Bvlgari Black's new rubber, leather and tea (but more leather than new tire rubber)... a little of the feel of Chergui's leather and tea (but less tobacco and more rubber)...
I will be interested in seeing how this develops overnight!
(And on the other hand, the XXY is still present, still elegant, and still slightly-woody-spicy floral with a hint of fruit. Lovely in its own right, and a perfect feminine counterpoint to the masculinity of the X Homme.)
(Edit: This morning, the leather scent was still there on the back of my hand, soft and as real as though I had just removed a glove.)
Xerjoff XJ 17/17 XXY.
This one has an elegant start, spicy and white flowery (without a hint of the "skank" but...) enough creamy, buttery jasminey/ylang ylangy black peppery/bergamot oomph to get your attention... and the heart I swear at a certain point smells JUST LIKE Mitsuoko on my skin... I'm kind of waiting for the drydown now and am hoping the base comes up a little more, as after its Mitsuoko-esque stage it went a little underground. It's still there, and is a scent I would definitely wear ... to a formal occasion or to work ... I'm wondering if my allergy-ridden nose is a little anosmic today. I am getting no patchouli, but there are hints that a patchouli note might be coming up a little, but not the earthy hippie patchouli...a woodier patchouli.
Overall so far, this is a very smooth, feminine, velvety but not powdery, slightly fruity, spicy and floral scent... I am thinking that the woody nature is a little "hidden" under the rest and will emerge once the bases "arrive"... that said, I am getting a spicy wood sillage from this at the moment that is quite lovely.
(edit) But no, the base is somewhat thin and fading on me... still a little floral/lightly fruity and slightly woody, though, and I'm not getting amber at all. If the base were as nice as the top and heart, this would be fabulous. If it re-emerges in a couple hours I will edit again.)
(2nd edit) The XXY is subtly present on my left hand, doing a kind of sensuous pas-de-deux with the X Homme on my right. For a subtle, refined, feminine scent that is more for the wearer's enjoyment than for that of another (unless an intimate other), I am thinking XXY is quite nice! A very pleasing skin scent in the 4-hr. drydown stage.
With the (sinus issues) disclaimer, I must say that XXY is a lovely, elegant perfume, at least for the top and heart... would be great for a somewhat brief (2 hours-ish) social engagement requiring some restraint in scent...) and I do keep smelling my hand, even after the drydown has "settled."
Just updating, I just saw them up for sale at Parfums Raffy! This is all happening very quick, kudos to you Cairo.
(xposted on women's Xerjoff thread)
Whoahoo! IRISss on my skin…
Starts with a powerful, forward spicy powdery floral with a little bite, on the top. (I'm not a fan of strong florals, this one has the potential for making me a little sneezy.) The initial (one second out of the sample tube) Bergamot was immediately overpowered by the definite burst of FLORAL… Iris, spicy carrot seed, and a little more Iris. Earthy undertones and a little nice aromatic cedar (as in pencil shavings) note there… (disentangled the florals maybe… jasmine and ylang ylang just singing at the top… The rose is "there" but only just, behind the other notes.) As the top dries down, the scent becomes spicier and just a little bit sweeter, with further hints of earthiness.
The only other Iris scent I have in my wardrobe is Prada Infusion d'Iris… which is like a concentrated scent of Iris flower to my nose, sweeter and less complex than IRISss.
I'm beginning to get a sense that there is a Xerjoff base "juice" as I test more of these scents… there is a common underlying accord in these that I have yet to suss out. For the Luxe women's parfums, it is reminds me a lot of Guerlinade. And yes, the heart of IRISss is somewhat reminiscent of that. (and I did get another "wow this smells just like Mitsuoko" moment from this one.)
In the base, the woodier incense notes seem to be coming on. There's still the Iris root and flower are still there… the ylang ylang lending a jasminey note… still with the "bite" of the initial impression of the topnotes. Less powdery and perhaps that is the rose, still there.
As with the other Xerjoffs, I'm sure I'll be back to further describe the base.
This would be my favorite Xerjoff of the luxe women's line so far… XXY was "okay" but not a stunner, maybe a little weak in the heart for my tastes. IRISss is not my preferred parfum type, but it has very lovely moments and is indeed powerful and still refined and complex.
Edit: Yes... the base is very subtle now 5-1/2 hours later, a soft slightly woody musk. I never got a hint of frankincense from this as on the descriptive sample card... As with the XXY the later stages of both the Xerjoff Luxe women's parfums I've tested seem more like special occasion scents, not meant to last forever, but with a beautiful start and hints that it was there, later. (again, tomorrow morning I will see if the base lingers.)
I'm sorry I am getting back so late about these. To be honest, I was kinda overwhelmed by all the samples, and didn't know where to begin. So far, I only have done a full day's wearing for XXY. A friend who is very negative about fragrance in general out of the blue complimented me when I wore it. I don't think it fits me, actually, but I would like to give it a few more tries. Forgive me for being so slow! Also, others are describing them so well.
Having purchased this along with a few others last week, I wanted to write something about it.
I decided to buy the 50ml boxed silk bag version. This also comes as 100ml silk bag and also 50ml/100ml in the presentation box, so 4 options and prices to pick from. I purchased direct from Xerjoff and the perfumes arrived beautifully presented. The packaging was excellent and delivery was the quickest I have ever come across. From leaving Italy to reaching me in the UK about 18 hours, so a huge thumbs up to Sergio and the Xerjoff team for first class customer support :)
Nio has become one of my al time favourite fragrances. It starts off with a wonderful blast of citrus, which is very uplifting. I can smell the neroli and jasmine and my nose detects something that reminds me of a fresh grapefruit, even though it doesn't have grapefruit listed in it. An aromatic/spicy note is also present after a whlie, which is due to the cardamom, nutmeg and rose pepper. It's not an over the top spicy note, but it sits very well in the mix and adds a warmth to the fragrance. The citrus notes stay right until the very end rather than fade like the majority of citrus fragrances tend to do and although Jasmine is listed in the notes, it is certainly not floral or feminine. Most sites list this as a mans fragrance, but it is definitely unisex.
The dry down and base notes are fantastic. Dry woods with a hint of vetiver and patchouly.
I've had many compliments already whilst wearing this, which can only be a sign of an excellent fragrance. As you've probably guessed by now, I love it. I'll add my little reviews of the other fragrances I've purchased and also of the samples I've tried over the next few days. My mother is over the moon with Fior d'Ulivo, so I've asked her to write a little review and I'll post it on here when she gives it to me.
Keep up the good work Xerjoff and thanks once again to Sergio and his dedicated team. Customer service, answering e-mails, first class all the way :)
Fascinating thread and thank you everyone for sharing impressions and thoughts. Look forward to eventually trying a few from this line - Uden and Dhofar spring to mind but will continue to drop in for the reviews as the sheer volume of stuff is overwhelming.
Kobe - My initial impressions were right. This opens with a rich and very natural neroli note flanked by some sweeter citrus (orange, mandarin, perhaps). The sweeter elements are juicy while the neroli and petitgrain are a bit sharp and have that greenness to them that natural neroli and petitgrain, especially, have.
The transition into the base is slow and seamless, the orange gently fading while some spice notes, incense (more incense stick than fresh/crisp frankincense) and a very very light oud note become present. There is a slightly dusty aspect to the spices. Orange peels drying in a spice market with a temple down the road. A bit of sweetness sneaks in during the later drydown, and this adds an element to the base that, combined with the soft woody notes and lingering orange essence, reminds me slightly of Fleur du Male, but woodier.
Similar to MPG's Pour Le Jeune homme but that is ultimately drier (thanks to the rosemary, cardamom and vetiver) and thinner/brighter, while this is more full bodied.
While I've found a couple of the Xerjoffs to be (imo) blatant copies of existing scents, I don't find that to be the case here.
The only drawback with Kobe, and this isn't necessarily a drawback, is that the progression is just so smooth and seamless that it could get boring with frequent wearing. Of course, on those days when you just want to smell good and don't have the time or inclination to analyze your scent or appreciate subtle nuances in its development these 'linear but not linear' fragrances are just what is needed. I won't deduct anything from my rating for this potential drawback.
I give it a 9/10
Well today it's Mefisto day. The box this comes in is fantastic and so is the design of the bottle. The reviews above of this are accurate, it opens with a lovely fresh citrus blast with grapefruit, lemon and bergamot. The notes also list lavendar and Florentine Iris but it certainly isn't a floral fragrance and again it is definitely unsiex, in fact I'm having to hide my bottle so my partner doesn't get her hands on it too often. There is a resemblence to Creed's Silver Mountain Water, mainly that I can also smell something like blackcurrant as someone else has mentioned, but Mefisto is in no way a clone of SMW. Mefisto certainly has it's own character and is to me far more classier than SMW, it's a top quality Italian cologne in EDP strength, so it certainly has staying power and the citrus notes are present even in the dry down.
If you are wanting a lovely fresh Italian citrus fragrance that lasts, then look no further than this, or also give Nio a try (or Fiero if you love spice mixed with your citrus). Another thumbs up from me to Xerjoff for another quality fragrance :thumbsup: If this was on X Factor it would get 3 Yes's :cool:
I’m still working my way through my samples so here are some thoughts on a few more of them. There have been really great reviews so far, and I am much less experienced in putting my thoughts on fragrance into words, so I hope they're not too mundane:
XJ 17/17 Irisss: A very nice and kind of straightforward iris. It has a bit of a woody character I think. Not sweet at all and a touch carroty and rooty. It’s very nice as an iris soliflore, but I doubt that it would move me enough to purchase a full bottle. I would love to try Ibitira, their other iris-dominated fragrance, to see what else they can do with iris and how it compares.
XJ Shooting Stars Uden: Spicy, woody, and masculine. The spicy citrus opening is great. It’s not a fresh, tart citrus at all but feels very deep and is well blended with the woody/vanilla/coffee notes. I detect more of the vanilla, and amber as things progress. It’s definitely one of my favorites out of all the Xerjoffs that I’ve tried so far.
XJ Shooting Stars Kobe: The citrus in this smells much more “fresh” to me than in Uden. In addition to the beautiful citrus on top, I'm smelling some neroli and petitgrain. There's also a touch of something sweet which might just be vanilla or tonka. Coumarin is listed as an ingredient. I think I also detect a little bit of cinnamon or clove. The drydown retains some of the neroli/pettigrain notes, but moves more into the vanilla/tonka area. It wouldn’t really call it sweet, but it verges upon it. I don’t really smell any oud, but I’m not an oud expert and I have limited experience with it.
XJ Shooting Stars Nio: Very tart and green citrus top notes that smell close to grapefruit to me. I also get the floral notes at the very beginning that go along with the citrus. It’s kind of an abstract floral. After a few minutes it becomes a bit more herbal/grassy/woody although the citrus is still persisting. Overall, I think it’s a very sunny and happy fragrance that smells a bit soapy and grassy to me.
XJ Shooting Stars Modoc: This one is a fairly earthy vetiver with some dry spicy and woody top notes. There’s also a hint of powder from the iris. It is definitely a deep earthy/rooty vetiver with no hint of citrus or sweetness to lighten things. This one was pretty challenging for me, but this type of vetiver fragrance always is for me. On the second day that I wore it, the fragrance bloomed a bit more and I smelled more of the woodiness and spiciness and I started to enjoy it more then.
XJ Shooting Stars Oesel: I agree with SculptureOfSoul. This starts off smelling almost exactly like JPG Fleur du Male. It was a little bit shocking to me how similar they were and for a moment I thought perhaps there was some kind of mix-up with the vial. It has the very obvious orange blossom note plus some of the spice from FdM. I decided to do side-by-side comparisons of the two. They do diverge a bit after a few minutes, and Oesel becomes somewhat smoother and woodier than FdM. It is quite nice! Whereas FdM stays more in the clean soapy screechy territory, Oesel adds that beautiful ambery woody note that gives it more depth. Smelling them together, I think it fixes problems with FdM that I didn't know existed until I tried them side-by-side. Oesel is smoother and, although they are both fairly equally intense smells, the FdM feels rougher on my nose than Oesel. Over time the fragrance continues to settle and become even more woody and ambery while FdM stays high-pitched and rough in comparison. I like FdM, but I think Oesel is a much more pleasant experience.
I got into my sample pack last night, and the first one I tried was:
This one was the one I always wanted to try from Xerjoff, before the recent explosion of their scents on the boards. The image I had in my head for what this was supposed to be was WAY WAY off, but I'll chock that up to poor research on my part. Really, I thought this was gonna be all about iris, and it's not. First thing of note, as others have said (this shouldn't come as a surprise) they are of truly great quality, it's really something special. Now, on to the scent... I haven't read all of the reviews in the thread thoroughly so I apologize if this has been brought up, but I find it incredibly hard to believe that their isn't oud listed as a note in this fragrance. Speaking of notes, it's darn hard to find complete lists of notes on Xerjoff fragrances, they always seem too brief, oh well. Initial application brings out a woody vetiver, along with some seriously musky spices, on my skin reminiscent of the cumin in Rose 31, but sharper. The next note that emerges, and truly overwhelms (chock this up to skin chemistry, because it happens with all scents that feature this note), is the oud. It's a big, honking oud note, that just smothers everything else in there. I find the scent reminiscent of M7, more musk, more aromatic, but that damn oud, whenever it shows up it's mostly all I smell.
Head: Lemon, Orange, Tarragon
Heart: Iris, Orange Blossom
Base: Vetiver, Vanilla, Musk
Here is Dimitris Review on his blog also for reference:
^ There HAS to be oud in there! My nose can't be THAT broken.... Perhaps, what I'm smelling is some high quality amber that I'm not used to? Either way on with the samples!
I don't really have much to say on this one. It's one of the most beautiful and natural neroli notes I've ever smelled. It's really that good. The only other neroli note that I've found to smell as good is the one in MFK APOM PH, which smells a TON like Kobe, really the similarities are striking. My nose isn't nearly good enough to discern which is better quality between two high quality nerolis such as APOM and Kobe, I just know it's good. I get some juiciness too, perhaps from the petitgrain, but really not much else. Another favorite neroli of mine, Armani Prive Orangher Alhambra, employs some herbs and wood to flank a comparetively lower quality orange blossom note, but Kobe just lets the main player shine. It's truly beautiful, but I'm not sure I'm willing to spend the cash on APOM 2/5 the price of Kobe, because I find a neroli-centric fragrance to satisfy a very distinct niche in my wardrobe, that spending that much would be pointless. The same rule would apply to Kobe, it's beautiful, but I question its functionality.
Those that mention the similarity with Silver Mountain Water, are spot on. As I was dabbing the sample on, the fumes coming off my skin were almost identical to SMW, I got the distinct tea and black currant notes that I get from SMW, perhaps just slightly smoother/not as sharp. Upon bringing my nose to my wrist, I was pleasantly surprised that up close it smells almost nothing like Silver Mountain Water, but oddly enough smells a little like Millesime Imperial, which I'm guessing is a combination of the bergamot and iris. Again, this is going to sound like a broken record, but this is really high quality stuff. I've always been confident in saying Creed is high quality juice, and it still is, but this stuff just blows away Silver Mountain Water in the natural department.
While there may be oud in Modoc, I think it's the vetiver (they're using a drier vetiver), a sandalwood synthetic (the same used in Tam Dao, this I am almost sure of) and the iris which smooths and rounds them out to smell a lot like an oud note. Perhaps the ambergris utilized is contributing too, as I see ambergris is another common note shared between Modoc and Tam Dao.
After getting over a horrible bout of chemical sensitivity I can now wear and enjoy Modoc so I'll be re-evaluating it soonish, along with all of the Xerjoffs. :D
Since I purchased this for my mother (you have to treat them now and then) I've asked her to do a write up of what she thought, so here goes.
Having received a sample quite a few months ago, I instantly fell in love with this fragrance and it is now my all time favourite scent.
Everytime I spay this, it instantly takes me back to my holiday's in Lake Garda and Limone, Italy. Walking through the lovely gardens and smelling the olive blooms and lemon trees, I can shut my eyes and this instantly transports me back there. This is an excellent fresh perfume, I suppose it could be unisex but Craig is not getting his hands on this one. The fresh citrus and olive bloom notes mix together with the floral notes, which mention lotus flower, jasmine and magnolia and then amber and musk add a nice warmth to the dry down. This lasts a very long time on me and although Craig purchased this for me which came as a nice surprise, with me being retired I wouldn't normally dream of spending this amount of money on any perfume. In this case however, this is the first perfume that I can honestly say I would treat myself to when I run out of this bottle. It is simply that good and worth every penny in my opinion, I love it. Thank you Xerjoff for such a wonderful perfume :)
Here's my initial impression of Mefisto... this is absolutely gorgeous. I don't find it very similar to Silver Mountain Water - this I find has a plumper, bright opening and the Bergamot and Lavender is incredible. I just put this on as my SOTD and I've been sitting here doing nothing but enjoying it for 10 minutes. Add this to the must-try/buy list of Xerjoff.I've only swiped Homme so far, but I can say that it's one of the most incredible leather scents I've ever encountered. It sits nicely in between Knize Ten and Indult Reve en Cuir. Incredibly natural, gorgeously aromatic, and definitely top notch quality. Those looking for a leather holy grail must give it a try.
Modoc answer is here...
There is no Oud in Modoc at all. In addition, it is not just the list of notes that will give the idea of what is in the scent. What makes one fragrance different from the others is the type, quality and distillation techniques. So, the simple list of ingredients will not explain everything about the fragrance, In MODOC the vetyver is fractionate distilled, so is less dry and earthy and more transparent and than is mixed with real butter of Orris (iris) which gives the "dry paper feel" in Modoc. ( So Iris does not smooth other components but the other way around... It pushes the dryness up.) Also there is absinthium on the head notes which also is giving character to the first impact of Modoc.
Some perfume houses imitate OUD with some synthetic or palissander wood to make a OUD LIKE version to make it more acceptable to the western taste. There is not that effect here. On top Xerjoff stressed that they DO NOT EVER use synthetic sandalwood.
Thats the official answer :)
Hmm, ok, I will accept there is no oud in Modoc. But is there amber? If it's amber or something similar, than perhaps I'm smelling a very resinous amber note.
I don't see the using synthetic sandalwood as a bad thing, though. True mysore does not project much and would need to take up a disproportionate amount of a formula to project or last at all when sitting alongside the stronger synthetic notes, hence I would think that most modern natural/synth blends would need to bolster any real sandalwood with some synthetics to give it some more oomph.
At any rate, I just want to clarify that my surmising that there was synthetic sandalwood in there wasn't a slam on the scent. There are obviously a lot of synthetics as well as naturals in these scents, and there's nothing wrong with that at all.
Continuing with :
Neroli from Italy, Bergamot, Orange, rosewood, petitgrain, oud.
Claiming to contain an extraordinary neroli distillation, Kobe manages to back up that claim. It opens with an excellent neroli bigarade note, one of the very few that can challenge the startlingly clear and natural neroli bigarade note of Creeds Citrus Bigarade. The neroli is surrounded by juice oranges to make it plump and plush, and the citrus combo is then ushered into a woody phase dominated by lots of petitgrain and aromatic rosewood. The citrus woods backend extends the longevity beyond 4 hours. If I concentrate hard I can smell a tinny animalic woods note...I can't tell if its oud or oud as a I know it. Overall Kobe is made with great materials, is very easy to enjoy and bath in, and the most likely out of the line to make me swipe my credit card with a bottle in hand.
Today I'm sampling ELLE...
I liked this before I put it on my skin, right upon opening the vial. It has a lovely strength and smoothness to it that I find very attractive. Color-wise, this would be a clear, sunny gold. Weather... a bright breezy spring day (not unlike today).
The floral citrus start is quite lovely and ... how can I say this? Sophisticated... ageless. I'm reacting more emotionally to this scent than to other Xerjoffs I've tested so far. This scent makes me smile. And it is to my mind quite feminine. (I believe men who like a lighter, slightly sweeter floral scent might also find this wearable.)
The heart is indeed an iris-leather-wood... I love that the patchouli notes in the Xerjoffs are smooth and soft and not dirty (as "dirty" patch wouldn't fit in these.) There is a smooth subtlety to the drydown that almost makes this seem "linear" but not in a nondimensional way, in the same way that, for example, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle keeps coming up with slight variations on the topnotes all the way through to the base.
I don't find anything soapy or powdery about this parfum at all... just a shimmering clear impression of a beautiful spring floral, with a softening, yet still clear very soft musk with very soft amber/faint vanilla/faint myrrh in the base.
Very pretty indeed.
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(xposted to the Xerjoff sniffaroo thread on the Female Fragrances discussion)
Green-tea like out of the vial… immediately get a lovely bergamot citrus note and a not unlike Aqua di Parma Colonia Intensa's top (but softer.) Do I smell mandarin? It's a nice fresh not too sweet opening. Since I have no reference for Lotus and Olive (other than russian olive which is very strong but NOT anything like I'm smelling here) I can only say that what I'm smelling is a little spicy and tea-like floral bouquet… with hints of damp earth (the LOVELY smell of damp earth)… which means to me the Jasmine may be emerging.
Another comparison to Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Mirto di Panarea in the heart … and I'm smelling a woody subtle possible magnolia here as well as the spicy jasmine.
Doesn't last that long for me but that's an issue I have with many scents. The drydown may be a little too "quiet" on my dryish skin as a result. And I haven't been moisturizing the day I wore this... so if I get a chance I'll try it again after unscented moisturizer's applied.
Ack I am so excited to try these out, just came up with a cold and congestion that has been lingering for the past week and hence putting the full potential of my nose to a stop.
Xposted to women's frag forum...Xerjoff Sniffaroo thread...
Another tea-like opening not unlike but not as floral as Fiore d'Ulivo…and spicy tea at that. Creamy spicy tea with a little bergamot, this is a nice Earl Grey. Bergamot coming to the fore now, and yes, maybe that is a little very lovely and nonmedicinal lavender in there. It's not screaming lavender but is blended very nicely with the bergamot… I think rose is the tea-like note too… this smells more like a fine Earl Grey tea than anything else to my nose. Just compared the heart with the top on the other hand and the lavender is there, only just apparent at the beginning, just such a nice blending with the other notes.
The heart is definitely a soft rose/iris, with the bergamot singing softly in the background…this is a softly rich floral heart with a hint of spiciness. Quite understated, elegant, quiet.
I'm going to moisturize my hands and reapply this, as it's really 'dying' now on my skin… so that I can give a better report. It still smells really nice but it's only been a half hour since I applied it, and it seems to have gone to the base notes and be fading rapidly.
After moisturizing… yes, the scent is faring better on my skin now. This is one SMOOTH operator… I'm imagining an Armani-suited individual who wears this scent …someone who wears quality but doesn't make a point of flaunting it. The slightly spicy, (and yes, ever so slightly leathery) iris and rose are singing from my skin. Very summery and light, and I imagine amazingly Italian.
I really have nothing else to compare it to, but there were moments of the rose from Montale Black Aoud (sans the oud, but with the Iris woodiness) here. It has that same lovely darkness about it… like a warm summer night.
Edit: I can say that it has analagous notes to the Fiore d'Ulivo... it's the nighttime, while Fiore d'Ulivo the daytime.
We'll see how its longevity is, but this is a lovely scent that would be a great unisex perfume.
Its interesting. I have never put lotion on before my perfume. I know that future developments from Xerjoff will be a lotion line. Currently they are developing Elle lotion which will be first marketed in Russia. Elle is the top selling women's in Russia. They drink the stuff up!
I have to use (unscented, or same-scented) lotion to get much longevity from most scents on my skin, as it is rather dry. (particularly when I garden)
That said, what a wonderful combination the Xerjoff scent over a nice moisturing lotion of the same scent would make!
(and tomorrow I get into the Shooting Stars.)
Gosh, after reading this thread I am fiending to try some of this Mefisto!
Just a quick Reminder:
Next Monday the 10th I will be giving away one bottle of Mefisto for men and Fiore D'Ulivo for women compliments of Xerjoff. the winner will be chosen by a random # generator. The winning number will correspond to the review number in each of the Woman's and Mens Xerjoff reviews thread. Anyone who received samples, get your reviews in and increase your odd to win. This is just a little thank you from to you all for you time to review.
Today it's UDEN Review
When I first sampled this I wasn't that keen. I think it was mainly because it is different from what I normally go for, but having returned to this over the last few days I definitely like it. It's classed as a marine fougere and is meant to conjure up the white limestone cliffs of the Amalfi in Southern Italy and if that region smells as good as this, then I certainly want to go there for a holiday. It's an extremely fresh uplifting scent, plenty of citrus at first and I can smell grapefruit and what appears to be lemon and/or bergamot. Rum absolute is mentioned in the heart notes and I can smell this, before the amber and vanilla and musk come through in the bass notes. Coffee is also listed as one of the notes, but it's possibly buried in the mix as I can't smell this.
This is another top quality fragrance from Xerjoff and very long lasting. It's now 4 hours since I sprayed it and I can still smell this on me. The only other marine perfume I've ever tried is i Profumi di Firenze Brezza di Mare which is a superb fragrance in its own right. There's a slight resemblance in the top notes, but the Xerjoff completely blows the Firenze out of the water (or sea) in my opinion, so a big thumbs up from me. 10/10 :thumbsup:
Thanks Craig, What an awesome UDEN review. I am in LOVE with UDEN!!!! It's a very Sexy, clean, classy, and beautiful scent.