OK - I wore this all day today (M Generation, that is). Very interesting. First of all, it's very non-mainstream. Surprisingly so, even. The fragrances this reminds me of (not sayin' it's as good - just that it's reminding me of them) would be Santos de Cartier, Marc Jacobs Bang, and Carolina Herrera CH Men. Lighter than Santos, less peppery than Bang, and less fruity than CH Men. Maybe a bit like the new Gentleman flanker of D&G the one For Men. In some ways it reminds me of those modern weak orientals, only spicier. That list of notes up above? (Woody notes enriched with spices / bergamot / Ceylon ginger / nutmeg / pink bay leaf / Szechuan pepper / iris / incense / cinnamon / Egyptian jasmine / labdanum / Moroccan cedar / Guaiac wood / sandalwood). All present and reporting for duty. There is a LOT of spice and incense going on for the life of this thing. There's a fruity note that runs through the whole thing, and combined with the wood and the incense, it comes off a wee bit like Jubilation XXV (I say that while kneeling toward JXXV and begging forgiveness). However, there is a healthy tobacco-like accord in the first half of the heart, and that comes across a lot like Carolina Herrera CH Men - which I was going to buy, but which I probably won't now, because this is very much like it, only spicier and more balanced and reserved on the fruity note.
I want to be careful comparing this to Amouage, because it's not, BUT I think it is worth sniffing by people who like the drier and/or more complex incense frags such as those. You would not be disappointed by a standard aquatic. Longevity is good because of the significant base - I got 8-12 hours out of it, depending on whether you count the skin scent at the end. It's not very transparent - the closest that it ever comes is in the opening, though it's more transparent than a lot of incense scents. I would say that the finish is better than those for both Santos and Kouros, where things get a bit rough-woody in the drydown. Not this frag - it holds together well, and maintains something like the middle of Santos (i.e., a bit less grand than the opening) for the duration. I, personally, wish it were a little less dry toward the end. It starts off very nicely, with an appropriately EDP-ish feel - just a bit moist and spicy in a complex way, like L'Instant PH EDP (though NO gourmand and no cacao). The slightly fruity tobacco thing was really working for me. My wife complimented me on it when I rolled down the truck window to talk to her. So sillage was decent and not overpowering with 5 small sprays, 4 under clothing.
Oh, yeah - I forgot to mention the second half of the heart. Lots of smoky and candle-waxy notes - like shades of Le Troisieme Homme or Derby, or maybe CdG 2MAN on a diet. That was enjoyable, too. So it's fairly dynamic as well.
It's an interesting fragrance. Glad I bought it. Versatile, maybe more so than Santos - kinda more like Bang in terms of being a regular work or play fragrance. I would feel comfortable wearing this any time.
Not sure I would blind-buy this fragrance. I took a bit of a chance, and got semi-lucky, since it turns out that I was fully in the market for a very similar fragrance. I'm also a bottle guy, and I simply had to own one. But to be honest, it just didn't blow me away, fragrance-wise. I'm kind of hard to blow away at this point, but it wasn't like 2MAN, that really blew me out of the water. It's solid and good, but it just wasn't the greatest thing ever. So I recommend either sniffing, or looking closely at several reviews and making sure that it's pushing enough of your love buttons. Still, the prices out there are damn good if you even just like this juice.
The bottle closes by rotating the small triangular top piece 120 degrees, so it doesn't depress. Rather ingenious.
I'll post some pictures of the actual bottles soon. They're slightly bigger than hand-sized, so the ad copy does make them look bigger, but they're just as cool as they look in the pics. From the side, they actually have a wind-swept sail vibe - the bottle looks quite good in profile as well.