I had the delightful opportunity to smell the Xerjoff samples that are currently circulating. I feel so grateful to have gotten a chance to get to know these cost-prohibitive scents personally and privately. Thank you, cello! After me, it will go to Un profumo affetuoso.
I have chosen to post my impressions of the line here on the men's forum thread, since I enjoyed the 'masculine' offerings quite a bit more than the 'feminine' ones.
I should mention, I found that many of the Xerjoff fragrances smelled almost exactly like other scents I knew, which are very good scents, yet not very popular... in almost every instance. I wonderif there isn't a method of safe derivation in place, by which they can ensure scent-success and not being discovered both. Odd. I'll mention all of the 'inspiration' scents I recognised while smelling the line, for the sake of money-saving alternatives for any Xerjoff fans.
I shall start with the Casamorati 1888 line, since I feel these represent the best Xerjoff has to offer.
Casamorati 1888 Mephisto - Categorically my favorite Xerjoff. Reminiscent of Amouages Ciel Man, a complex, light and soapy floral for men. I even like the drydown, which is a solid, soft santal and vanilla. Very, very good, but is it as good as Ciel Man, which costs less? Not quite. Ciel Man is considerably smoother, more 'unmistakable', has WAY more sillage, and lasts quite a while longer. 8.5 out of 10.
Casamorati 1888 - Fiero - If I were caused to buy one scent from this line, or rather offered-for-free one scent from Xeroff, it might be this one. A strikingly-sophisticated barbershop fougere, based on lavender, with a warm and lasting, civety base. This one smells to me like a perfected, or made-with-finer-ingredients version of YSL Pour Homme. I mentioned I'd choose it, as I'd like to smell it on my boyfriend.
Casamorati 1888 - Fiore d'Ulivo - This starts off very intense, and not entirely pleasant, but many of these scents require a wait, I have discovered. I am reminded of the tonic-fruity opening of PdN's Fig Tea. Which I like well enough. As it develops, it becomes a sort-of peachy osmanthus-floral, with no other obvious notes, much like Fig Tea in fact, but not quite as subtle. It's lovely enough, and I'd likely wear it if I had it, on my osmanthus-vibe days... but I much much prefer TDC's Osmanthus, which I feel is the paragon of this genre. 8 out of 10.
Casamorati 1888 - Bouquet Ideale - Here I am in the territory of disgust. This is a joss-stick scent, which emulates the very powdery, floral, saccharin variety of incense -- those which I associate with lesser, discount incense brands, and typically feel ill around. I am a lover of good incense scents, though, but those that are spicy and elegant. This is not one. Vulgar and CLOYING. 2 out of 10.
X 1771 XXY - This is my favorite of the X 1771 line, a rather generic, but well-done powdery men's scent, in the vein of Amouage's Gold Man. It's drydown is a little too simple, I feel, and after about twenty minutes it seems to have lost its mojo. Nonetheless, it's a good use of powder, and I appreciate it. But Gold Man 'has it all over' this: more charisma AND greater sillage and longevity, for FAR less money. 8 out of 10.
X 1771 Iriss - This is a quite impressive, salty iris scent, which immediately struck my fancy. I found it incredibly similar to Delrae's Mythique, and again not quite as nice. But more importantly, not nearly as lasting. This scent literally disappeared in five minutes. 6 out of 10, 2 points subtracted due to dismal longevity.
X 1771 Elle - A very syrupy, sticky fruit scent with no discernible character or direction. The drydown was wet diapers, and frankly unpleasant. 4.5 out of 10.
X 1771 Homme - GROSS! This blunt 'leather' shoots for the tanning solution rather than the leather itself. And its both caustic, and revolting. Gentlemen, buy any other leather. It occurs to me it's a more-obnoxious, angrier 'version' of Domenico Caraceni 1881. 2 out of 10
Shooting Stars - Kobe - A manly, sort-of classical sharp-citrus, very reminiscent of Accqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta. Derivative. Banal. 6.5 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Uden - A very beautiful, camphorous-yet-sweet fougere. How I love a fougere that can be worn easily by women. This one is almost divine, and dries down sexy-spicy, almost Oriental. The problem is it smells dangerously close to Paco Rabanne's magnificent Tenere. Which can be found for some 25USD on ebay. 8.5 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Dhofar - An excellent, animalic citrus, with a nice, soapy, herbal aspect, and an daring overload of cumin. Oh, dear! This is quite simply Eau d'Hermes. 8 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Nio - Annick Goutal does cardamon. A very bright, heady, quirky, tart, citric cypress-chypre, with a strong cardamon note on top. However the cardamon fades almost instantly and all that's left is Eau d'Hadrien. 8 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Lua - A thick pineapple-and-chocolate fruity-Oriental. Almost exactly like Balenciaga's discontinued beauty Talisman. But Talisman is smoother, and less canned-pineapple-smelling. And even though it's pricey nowadays, it's a fraction of the cost of Nio.
8.25 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Oroville Tobacco - This one is oh so good. And I cannot think of a thing like it. A floor-polish wood scent with a natural, raw tobacco note. I am thinking of the yummy floor wax the British National Trust uses, which contains beeswax and orange oil. Medicinal in a very evocative way. Wearable? I really don't know. 8.25 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Dhajala - Angel. Nothing more, nothing less. 5 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Ibitra - Another glorious beauty... at first. A metallic, sumptuous Amouage Gold Woman smell-alike. But rockier, with discernible notes competing for attention. And ultimately drying down to nothing but vanilla and powder. All the magic was gone in a mere hour. Young perfumery student attempts to forge Amouage Gold Woman, and fails. 7 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Shingl - Well, I had shingles. Twice. And I never want to relive that nightmare, but I smelled it anyway. Oh GOD!! It's truly a an olfactory ode to the agony of shingles! It's utterly intolerable! A horrifyingly-medicinal cherry liqueur scent, like the more vile cough syrups I have had. Oh wait! Does this actually CURE shingles? Then it's worth the money! 1 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Modoc - A retro-vibe India-inspired santal scent, of nice quality. If I wanted a santal fragrance and this cost under 80USD, I'd choose it. 7 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Esquel - Have you ever smelled vintage Bal a Versailles? Xerjoff hopes you haven't. Well, it's good anyway... just like it used tobe. A very studious replica. 8 out of 10.
Shooting Stars Oesel - A really good masculine here. A galbanum-rich, soapy chypre, very much like Creed's Erolfa. But this time, the Xerjoff is the smoother, the more wearable and the more artful. I am inclined to compare it to Eau Illuminee from Delrae, which is another improved Erolfa. They are quite competitive, the Xerjoff winning by a hair, due to ingredient quality. But the Delrae is much cheaper. 8 out of 10.
My impressions of the house as a whole:
Ingredient Quality - A
Scent Quality - A-/B+
Originality - D
Design - C
Price Justification - F-
Promise - C