The samples arrived! Okay, first impressions:Vintage Rose
Very beautiful, natural rose top note. Not as extroverted as Velvet Rose; more subtle ( admittedly, Velvet Rose is about as loud a rose as you'll find ). Slightly apple-tinted, greenish rose note, like Sa Majeste La Rose. Quite soon develops a cedary-peppery Feminite du Bois accord I've smelled in her Wood Violet, yet with the rose note, I'm simultaneously reminded of Paestum Rose. Honestly, I can see this being a huge hit with the men on Basenotes, as it's rose without a hint of powder and quite a subdued sweetness.
Surprisingly, as I often smell wine in rose and oud fragrances, I don't smell it at all here, despite many reviews describing it thus.Sienna Musk
Like Musc Ravaguer? Hate the fact that it makes you feel like someone should cover you in chocolate sauce and stick a fork into you? Run out and get this! It's that exact musk note without any of the gourmand sweetness. Instead, it has a curiously dry "dustiness" I'm at a loss to accurately describe. I'm reminded of warm terracotta ( not the Guerlain, I mean terracotta as in terracotta pots
I'm a little baffled at those who find this harsh. Strong, certainly, but in all honesty I don't even find tobacco to be the dominant accord The tobacco note weaves in and out of my impressions, together with another appearance of that peppery-cedary accord, and perhaps most surprisingly, a distinct and uplifting floral side. It's not like any other tabacco fragrance I've smelled, but is somewhat akin to various Lutens' of the Bois series.Ambre Noir
Labdanum fans, this one is for you. It's almost a labdanum soliflore ( a misuse of the term, I'm sure, but if iris can be a soliflore, then why not rock rose? ) I smell tobacco here too, but this one is quite a bit different from Tabac Aurea, bigger, moodier, edgier. The only two fragrances I can draw parallels to it are Neil Morris Gotham
( though it's less sweet and less wild ), and MGM Success
( for the tobacco meets labdanum ). I promise you when you think "amber", you're not imagining this, and oh yes, and this one is very, very animalic.
All four fragrances are big fragrances with strong personalities. I think I like Vintage Rose
best so far, but I'm a sucker for interesting florals. Tabac Aurea
is great but too cedary-peppery. Sienna Musc
I'll need to give a few wearings, and so far seems the least complex but the most wearable. Ambre Noir
has serious attitude, but is a little too... "too" for me. Undoubtedly one to recommend on the powerhouse group.
It's fragrances like these that pull me out of vintage nostalgia and make me realize what an interesting time it is to be alive and experiencing fragrances now. I'm looking forward to experiencing the rest of this line!