Originally Posted by Trebor
Okay, it’s too soon for me to go into detail about the compositions but I feel I’ve spent enough time with them to provide a summary of some sort.
First of all, these fragrances are amazingly complex and really demand your attention – more so than the releases by most niche houses I’ve encountered. Each composition requires more than a day of sampling and musing over and, even then, there are still facets yet to be discovered. Intensely engaging with the potential to induce sheer madness, I’m utterly amazed at the labyrinthine and shape-shifting demeanour of O'Driù’s offerings.
Upon initial sampling, I’ve never experienced any line of fragrances leaving me with an overwhelming insatiable desire to further explore. Angelo Orazio Pregoni isn’t only an alchemist but also a seducer of the olfactory senses, and seems to have pinpointed in the human brain exactly where to hit you with his creations. Whether or not the memories and imagery, generated by each creation, matches the perfumer’s own is immaterial as provocation itself appears to be the ultimate goal.
So, will I be buying any? If you asked me a couple of days ago, my reply would have been something along the lines of “Hell, yes! I just need to pop out and purchase a black balaclava…” However, over time, I have come to realise that most of them are, as alfarom has already pointed out, works of art. And like most works of art, we can either enjoy them for what they represent (but wouldn’t even consider owning them) or are simply unable to afford them so admire them from afar. The fragrances from this house reflect this concept perfectly, and I truly believe that what O'Driù is doing is the true future of perfumery – releasing a limited edition fragrance in small batches, possibly evading IFRA regulations, while keeping the flame of creativity alive.
So, returning to the question about acquiring any O'Driù fragrances, now that the dust has settled and that period of euphoric madness has subsided, the answer is ‘no’. Yes, I’m certainly impressed with them and am excited about any future releases but, like works of art, it’s better to experience their olfactory complexities and then walk away with only lingering recollections. Now that’s not to say they’re completely unwearable (I feel most of them are), nor vile or grotesque (far from it, albeit one in particular), but they’re not as ‘practical’ as I would have wanted them to be, for the reasons set out below:
1) Lasting power: I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t find most of them particularly long lasting – some completely disappear off my skin within 3-4 hours. Okay, so they’re natural but, given the prices, I would have preferred more tenacity. While I strongly feel that, as artistic statements, they can be priced at whatever level the perfumer desires, as a fragrance consumer, I would have appreciated more endurance (especially at the prices set). While there’s substance in the compositions themselves, the same can’t be said for most of their bases.
However, in all fairness, I feel that each collection performs differently – the Genesi Serie (Ladamo and Leva) are the most tenacious out of all the ones I’ve tried but it’s quite ironic that they’re also the cheapest releases available. Both linger on my skin for more than 12 hours with ample sillage. As for the ones with numbers after their name, they are among the worst in the longevity department. As for the rest (e.g. Vis et honor, Laurhum, etc.), their longevity wildly varies.
2) Spray attachments: These only come with bulb atomisers. Sorry, but after spending that much money on these olfactory works of art, the last thing you need is a bulb atomiser. That’s a real deal-breaker for me. Yes, I could decant the contents into a smaller atomiser but I would have preferred a choice (in the way that some of the Guerlain exclusives offer).
Anyway, enough meandering – time for some quick comments about each of the nine I’ve tried so far (consider this an attempt to break things down to manageable bites). Btw, Lalfeogrigio and Lalfeorosa have yet to sampled as I originally deemed them as too expensive, only to realise that they’re available in 100ml, as opposed to 50ml like the others:
Ladamo – I completely agree with alafrom about this being a superior version of Fareb (even though it contains no immortelle). thebeck, once you smell Ladamo, you’ll throw Fareb in the trash! I’m really tempted to purchase a bottle of this but am not sure how comfortable I’d feel about smelling like a curry house with a celery fetish…
Leva – I get the cough syrup vibe at the beginning but I don’t find it that off-putting. It starts out like an intense and high-end version of Chypre Rouge before blossoming into a darker interpretation of loukhoum (or a herbaceous loukhoum with lashings of burnt sugar). It’s really growing on me but I already own a loukhoum scent and am not confident about trading it in for this.
Laltrove 1001 – I absolutely love this dark and earthy forest green fragrance. I smell a lot of galbanum but this could simply be the wormwood and cypriol weaving their magic. Longevity is okay but difficult to detect after a couple of hours (it lasted much longer on one of the feathers that came with the sample). Unlike many of the others, it stays true to the opening, even during the drydown. It would have been full bottle-worthy if it was more tenacious. Such a pity…
Laltrove 1002 – a close relative to Londa 1006. They both start out beautifully as grassy herbaceous offerings before transforming into something very different later on. Due to the similarities with Londa 1006, I was somewhat distracted and didn’t make any mental notes about either. However, I do recall preferring Londa 1006 more.
Linfedele 1003 – I didn’t get a sample but, if anyone would like to forward me one, please PM me.
Linfedele 1004 – this was initially a personal favourite but I’ve made a sudden u-turn on it. Yes, it definitely smells sexy but it also strongly reminds me of Opus IV. As I already own this Amouage offering, owning Linfedele 1004 seems pretty redundant. It also offers the best longevity out of the six numbered creations, remaining quite close to the skin.
Londa 1005 – No, no, no! Awful! Yes, the opening is vile and it takes a very long time for the composition to redeem itself. All the while, glimmers of mint, lemongrass and lavender makes things a fraction more bearable. It’s the only one I dislike but can still recognise its later virtues. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow its evolution as much as the others. But the drydown is dank and mouldy, and probably second best in the longevity department after Linfedele 1004.
Londa 1006 – like Laltrove 1002 but I think I get a mandarin note during the drydown.
Lafro – I didn’t get a sample but, if anyone would like to forward me one, please PM me.
Vis et Honor – another personal favourite and one of the most compelling. The juxtaposition of the bitter almond, clary sage and galbanum is amazing. At first, it left me confounded but then grew to appreciate it even more. Longevity is a little better than most but still insubstantial (although I have noticed that it performs differently every time I apply it – sometimes lasting for ages and at other times not).
Laurhum – I would say it’s the most conventional and yet softest out of the line. After the impressive top notes, it’s very reminiscent of Santa Maria Novella’s Toscano but far lighter and ethereal. Both sillage and longevity are frustrating to say the least but, when you do manage to get whiffs of it, it’s rather divine. Another potential purchase that is now a no-no.
As others have mentioned, many of these remind me of Xerjoff releases where they tend to be top-heavy but with insubstantial bases. However, the main difference is that the O'Driù bases are just as fascinating to smell as the top notes, with most Xerjoff bases being both bland and synthetic.
Anyway, I need to revisit them in a couple of days but I think everyone should sample them for the experience, if nothing else. Even taking the ones I dislike into account, there are hardly any duds.
I think I’ll wear Ladamo tomorrow as my SOTD…