Djedi is a major discovery, like an archeological dig unearthing a Pharoah's tomb. I can see why bottles of this are selling for $500 and $1,000 on Ebay. There is nothing else like it.
I'm not going to tell you that it is beautiful. It is arresting. It is stunning. It is majestic. But it is not pretty. If you find "challenging" fragrances unpleasant, don't go near this one with a ten-foot pole. If you yearn for a true fragrance experience, you will be amply rewarded. Djedi leaves all the the others behind in the dust as far as the Goth factor goes.
In comparison, Voleur de Rose seems natural, like garden soil and dead-headed roses. Messe de Minuit seems familiar, like a poor, old church. Vol de Nuit seems dry and austere but pretty. L'Heure Bleu is a bit melancholy like a lonely old schoolteacher. And Mitsouko is downright tasty, all things being relative.
So, what does Djedi smell like? Why is it so compelling and sought-after? I must return to my archeological dig metaphor.
Phase One: The top note smells like dirt. It is probably vetiver and/or orris root, but it is very earthy, like shovelfulls of dense clay, full of minerals. One can imagine the door to the Pharoah's tomb opening and being surrounded by air that is thousands of years old, so--extremely--dry, not one hint of sweetness or life, only stillhess, silence, and an oppressive feeling.
Phase Two: Now comes my favorite part. It is brief, so look for it quickly. Oakmoss, some spices, a few faint florals and--powder. There it is! The Guerlain signature scent. Yes, this is a perfume--proud, dignified, and astounding. Ancient, dry, austere, and forbidding, Djedi is still meant to be worn.
Phase Three: Then it lapses into its final, lengthy phase, as captivating as the first two but long-lasting. A growing mustiness overtakes all other notes. It is heavy, sad, and decidedly animalic. It is bitter, strangely herbal, old leathery, and full of civit at it very strongest. I know people who discern civit best in the opening notes of a fragrance, not as it has been listed as a base note. I can understand why. Although civit is persistent (we all have our cat stories to prove it) it can quickly be blended into heavy florals and spices. In Djedi, there is no such coverup occurring. At this point, it smells like a big, old, haunted house, an underground tomb, some dark, dank place of great tragedy.
How do they make this perfume? Incredible.
Dammit, I wish Guerlain would reissue this one. **wishes upon a star**
Is it 'real' civit do you think?
POL gals are talking about Djedi, too. Of course, not with anywhere near the descriptive vocab of our hued bird!
Purplebird, you are a dangerous woman.
I think this is the most enchanting review of Djedi I have ever read. Not even Roja Dove could improve this.
And you are the cause of a terrible dilemma: I remember the scent of the last drops of my Djedi sample and now I am here with an unopened bottle.
Staring at it and too afraid to open it. Afraid that the memory is better than the extrait I hold now.
I think I will print your words and maybe I will feel brave enough to finally open the bottle.
Will it be heaven or hell?
The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp
My goodness, Purplebird, that was extraordinary! What an awesome adventure. Loved receiving the postcard back here at home.
I would never believed how a perfume can transport you to the level of an experience before I tried Opone, but I now know it can happen.
You've added another travel destination to my list. But it is shockingly expensive for a sample.
Last edited by flathorn; 1st April 2007 at 05:02 PM.
Here's another scent to add to my list of "must smell".
Djedi was reissued in 1996. My thanks go to Twolf for getting ahold of a bottle then, and giving me the last, precious drops of it.
Here's my offer: I would like to pass it around.
You people, PM me your addresses, I will make a list. Then I will put the vial in the mail to the first person. Use a small dab or two, cross your name off, and send it on.
Really, this is too fabulous to miss. And Riannon, you can smell it before you open the bottle. At the going price, it is almost an investment.
Really? **fans self** That is just so amazingly generous of you. PMing you now!
Oh my gosh Purplebird. You are truly generous!!!!
Also, we should all write a review after sniffing this one. I must power up my nose, dig up my thesaurus and post a review worthy of this fragrance.
Sorry to disappoint you all, guys, but I have never had a bottle. This same little sample as received from one wonderful Basenoter is ALL we are all swooning over. I tried it, I passed it to someone else, because everybody should have a first hand (nose) experience of what it is, just for reference purposes and to know what the fragrances should be like.
Last edited by Twolf; 2nd April 2007 at 01:30 AM.
I have smelled it before, I have a bottle. I could not live with myself trying your sample just to assure myself I made a right decision.
Others have never smelled it. Let them be the ones to grasp this opportunity.
Maybe there will come a day when I will overcome my fears. And yet, maybe the dream will be too precious for me too disturb.
When I ever open the bottle, I will go back to this thread. Remembering the ones who longed to dream as well.
Update: I have sent you a long, long mail with the complete explanation.
Last edited by Riannon; 2nd April 2007 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Updating
The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp
(This community ROCKS!)
I simply cannot own this sample. It has wings; it wants to travel.
This is far too important of a perfume to keep to myself.
"...Nor does anyone after lighting a lamp put it under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house."
Purplebird, heartfelt thanks - reviews like that bring out the lemming in all us.
A question - is this one better to try in the evening, rather than morning? A rainy day as opposed to a sunny one? It seems both an evening and a cool day scent. I do want to maximize the experience.
I want to note my experience before I forget. The first thing that strike me is a familiarity. Annoying because it's hard to pin down. There is a definite similarity to Messe di Minuit but after the initial vetiver mellows, the heart is cinnamon, labdanum and myhrr. I pull out a few others that are ringing memory bells; Hermescense--Vetiver & Tonka, Bond--Chinatown (too sweet but cinammon & tonka are so familiar) and Heeley-Cardinal. The Messe di Minuit is closest but the incense is much softer in Djedi. It creeps up rather than bursts into smoke and flame. At the heart is this gentle musty cinnamon which I think might be combined with labdanum. It has an other worldly edible--almost yeasty aspect that makes me think of fresh cinnamon buns (drips partly burned in the bottom of the oven). It's not at all sugary though, dusty as though served in a farmhouse kitchen on an ancient hewn oak table with the sun shining through hand-made glass.There would have to be an iron stove with a wood fire. No wonder those buns are nearly burned!
I just want to compliment you on your excellent review.
I'm glad you enjoyed my review. Otherwise... If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Kumquat, I believe you have once again positively identified the elusive notes. Your bloodhound nose is on the right track with Messe de Minuit and cinnamon.
I smell it, too.
I have to go out and find some "mastica" powder, which is resin from a tree related to pistachios, and also musty. I will let you match up that aroma to your enormous library of mental reference files.
flathorn - As far as when to try it? I would recommend a humid night at dusk.
On further exploration in the 'olefactory' I realized the same notes are closest in Guerlain; Sous le Vent. This is a re-release limited edition avaiable only in the Paris Salon. I have a decant. Its listed notes are: lavender, taragon, basilic, citrus, carnation, oakmoss, iris, woods & patchouli. It is very much the same note at the heart of Djedi exept for the soft dusty incense. I tried layering it with a touch of CDG Kyoto nearby and it wafted pretty effectively, just not the subtlety of the original of course.
The evocative juice has arrived in Wisconsin. I anticipate focusing my full attention on it tomorrow so I can still participate in floral SnS Saturday. Just from sniffing the vial, I'm really looking forward to the experience. Thanks, Purplebird.
The Sous le Vent reissue is also available at the San Francisco Neiman Marcus Guerlain counter, or at least it was a month ago when I bought a bottle. Divine!
Now I will have to counter-sniff the two when my turn comes in the list to see if this comparison is true for me.
First off, when I sniffed the vial yesterday, imagining the wearing to come, I got a rush of minerals that made me think I had put my tongue to our basement wall of sedimentary limestone, glacier-rolled fieldstone and the leachate of a hundred years. The cool scent I'm attributing to aldehydes and vetiver came to me on the inhale and morphed into a warm wood scent just before I exhaled, when the vapors had been warmed for an instant in my nose. [Our cellar wall and some deep, dark wine aging in glass carboys.]
This morning I showered and scrubbed my arm with vigor, applied only a little moisturizer to my face, in order to be fragrance free, and waited for all household activities to subside.
"What does it smell like?" Mr. Q asked as I sat ceremonious at the table. I offered up the open ziplock bag laden with rich, Djedi basenotes. "Smells like a diaper, doesn't it?" he ventured to say.
(I didn't hurt him.)
Then, at 8:05 a.m., I put a shimmer of Djedi on my left arm, just above the wrist. And the ride began. This is a beautiful perfume. I guess there's a rose here, but it's been cross-bred with something dark--not dark as in depressing (that was my take on Caron's Or et Noir), but dark like coal. I sort of see my mother's leather purse, warmed by the sun, supple and radiating something elegant due to the presence of a perfume sample she must have gotten from the Sunday paper and tucked inside her purse. This pleasurable moment is reminiscent of Dzing! ... I run to my bottle of Dzing! Oh, my gosh, kids, other than Dzing! being much sweeter, there's a real similarity.
I'll enclose a sample of Dzing! when I send this on so the rest of you can tell me if I'm completely crackers!
Okay, I'm exactly one hour in, and I'm getting all nice and musty now.
Last edited by Quarry; 7th March 2008 at 02:44 PM.
I've mailed the Djedi and Dzing! to Dimples. (That sentence looks like one of those keyboard exercises I remember from seventh-grade typing class.)
I'm glad you liked it. I like it a lot too.
BTW, Guerlain is issuing this April 28 the once-a-year-for-one-day-only-and-Paris-exclusive release of Muguet (2007 edition of course) , if someone is in Paris by that time, be sure to get it! and to spend some 200 Euros for a small bottle.
Formula remains the same. Only the bottle/presentation is different.
Five hours in, and the mustiness is gone. I'm surprised. There's a sweet base left--woody, maybe cinnamon-like. If this is the patchouli, it's mildly tempered.
I had put a single drop of Dzing! on the other wrist for comparison. It's more potent, and clearly has what I call a sweet Magic Marker accord, but I'm still finding a bit of similarity.
Still anxiously awaiting the Djedi. It sounds like you had a lovely trip with it. Easter Monday was a postal holiday for us, so I should be receiving it early next week. Will keep you posted.
Have you sniffed this one? I'm so excited as I heard last month, that they are offering some bottles up for sale at my Guerlain boutique on that same day. I'm on their list to their event and I can hardly wait. It will cost me approximately $300CDN (approx. $250US), which is what they charge for 1oz of L'Heure Bleue parfum. Is it worth it? Should I purchase a bottle? I don't have too much time to decide as I heard if I want one, I have to snatch it up quick. Luckily the store manager and I are on really good terms and if I really want a bottle, she'll do her best to get me one, but I have to buy it on that day.
OK, I'll bite... does anyone want to share some of this. PM me.
Last edited by dimples; 14th April 2007 at 04:29 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost