Well, LIDGE arrived today...
...The bottle is awesome, although the cap is kind of lame. I expected as much though having experience with the women's L'Instant.
The scent is very interesting. I love the opening. Wish the lemon and elemi persisted longer - wouldn't mind a hint of incense that carried into the heart, but the way it transitions into that subtle neroli and the way the neroli combines with the chocolate to form an accord that smells much like those chocolate sticks filled with the orange jelly - very nice. I get some smoky vetiver, a good dose of patchouli, and a cedar accord that reminds me a bit of Rochas Lui and in some distant ways, Amouage Tribute and Pure Distance M. Not that it smells much like them, but they share a similar cedar/vetiver vibe.
The anise combines with the cocoa and it almost ends up smelling like chocolate syrup - like I squirted hershey's syrup all over my chest. This phase teeters on being too sweet (and I'd have to say that this scent is sweeter but also more mature than Play Intense, so kudos to those who said as much), but I don't think it crosses the line. Further testing required.
I really do love the thickness, the richness, and the darkness of the scent though. Most of my favorites are dark scents that have anise present in some way (Memoir Man and its absinthe/anise accord, Washington Square and the hints of anise from the tarragon, etc), and this feels like it could be my signature dark gourmand.
While there is a lot of subtle development as the hours tick by (on about hour 4 now), I can understand people like Bigsly saying there isn't much dynamism in the scent. I don't think I'd say there's not much dynamism, but that it's a different sort. There are no major shifts in heaviness, texture, color, etc. Instead LIDGE is like a pitch black iron cauldron filled with melted dark chocolate, and various elements - smoky vetiver and tea, jasmine petals, sandalwood, earthy patchouli - come bubbling to the top intermittently only to soon be replaced by something else. It's a very subtle dynamism, but the scent is not straight up linear (it's akin to the way Lyric Man is rose throughout, but various other notes are woven into that rose thread throughout its evolution).
Still, I would love for the citrus to linger longer. I'd love for a slightly lighter version as well - something more like Antidote in weight and feel; a medium, maybe even lightweight oriental. I am definitely going to be tracking down the EdT version of this as I think it will complement LIDGE wonderfully.
Based on this first test, I say that LIDGE is a very nice scent, and give it 4.25/5.