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  1. #1

    Default Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    there's a sort of thread on the general board about the house but i'm putting this here to focus on 'Awake' and it leaning slightly to the masculine side. so anyway, long diatribe aside i've tried various gourmand type scents and specifically perfumes with a coffee note (as I love the smell of coffee) in an effort to find something that really the spot. those efforts were all in vain, until now. the prerequisite for a coffee scent was simple, it needed to genuinely smell of coffee, that rich roasted coffee bean aroma and not be excessively sweet or bitter. the coffee had to be front and centre with minimal distractions that only added and not took away from the overall tastyness of the coffee. sounds easy but everything i had sampled either lacked depth (eg legendary barista, pure coffee) was too weird/dirty smelling (eg kerosene follow, though this had the most convincing coffee bean note) had a nauseating synthetic sweetness or in 90% of instances just didn't deliver enough coffee.

    enter Akro's 'Awake', a scent that was a nightmare to sample but worth the effort for how definitive it addresses the coffee scent and whole gourmand genre. i know a few on the board have tried it and hopefully a few more in coming days and can chime in but to my nose it is a masterpiece. yes it's a straightforward concept - a coffee dominant scent with few bells & whistles but here it is executed to perfection by Olivier Cresp. the note breakdown includes a couple of curveballs like lemon & vetiver but not to fear these are barely noticable as it is primarily a rich, dark coffee smell with just the right amount of sweetness.

    my previous summary was 'perfectly balanced between the earthy, grounded elements and sweeter aspects of a cup of coffee. gorgeous drydown that retains a roasted nutty aroma with subtle spices and a hint of cocoa - delicious.' the way the roasted coffee smell is there all the way through the drydown is really remarkable and it projects enough that you are continuously getting wafts through the entire wearing, zero nose fatigue. there's a nutty/creamy element to the smell that is so mouth watering and the slight chocolateyness only acts to heighten this. but where the real genius comes through, which is in the note pyramid, is the use of a cardamom note. on top of everything described there's a spiceyness that simultaneously pulls away and expands on the scents primary gourmand appeal.

    we've seen other scents that combine cardamom & coffee and to great effect (zegna's madras cardamom maybe the best example) but the difference here is that coffee is front and centre with the cardamom snuck in as a side player to give it an extra edge. imagine a dark, buttery coffee with a pinch of cardamon and someone is dunking in a chocolate biscuit. that pretty much sums up the experience you get with 'Awake' and it's surely one i'll be wearing in the cooler seasons for years to come.

    akro_b2.jpg

  2. #2

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I don't want to discourage folks from trying it, but I found this one more "interesting" than "good."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I'm sorry that I never really liked coffee (or cocoa) in noticeable amounts in fragrance. To me, it should be unrecognizable as in Oud Luwak, or else it's too much.
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    I'm sorry that I never really liked coffee (or cocoa) in noticeable amounts in fragrance. To me, it should be unrecognizable as in Oud Luwak, or else it's too much.
    I really like both! But while I've found many great cacao fragrances, I'm still looking for a really great, direct coffee note. The closest one I've found is O Boticário Coffee Man, which didn't sweeten things up too much so the earthiness of the note remained in place. But coffee there is more of a supporting note than the star.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    I really like both! But while I've found many great cacao fragrances, I'm still looking for a really great, direct coffee note. The closest one I've found is O Boticário Coffee Man, which didn't sweeten things up too much so the earthiness of the note remained in place. But coffee there is more of a supporting note than the star.
    Kerosene's Follow? that's a pretty damn authentic coffee bean note, damp earthyness and all. a bit too much for me as I prefer my coffee tipping to the gourmand side, but impressive nontheless.

    care to mention some of those cacao fragrances you've found worthwhile? tried a few but unlike here didn't find anything that captured me so far.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Love this one also as I do all the others from the house.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I love the scent of coffee in general but don’t wish to smell like a cuppa. But thanks for this. Will sample along with ‘Dark’ if given the chance.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    For coffee I'd go to A*men + some flankers, Black Soul Imperial or GeoBlack Man

  9. #9

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Thanks Wilfred, I’d like to try this one now. I’ve been reading up on it after seeing this thread and it sounds at the least, interesting, and possibly pretty great.

    Nice write up.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I went back and dug up my actual comments on this one, which was part of a conversation:

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowtone View Post
    Awake: The opening had me stand to attention: perhaps a coffee fragrance is a good idea! It's a powdery, dark, bittersweet coffee scent that, after a strong opening, quickly fades into something too pale and muted to work for me as a coffee scent; a bit like coffee served in a frosted glass, it just isn't right.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    Awake, the coffee one, does open well, but I agree with you it shifts into something less pleasant; there's a bit of "mocha" feeling there, too. I'd be interested in a warmer, softer, more comforting take on the coffee scent than what Akro tries here.
    Yellowtone's "frosted glass" comment gets at exactly what I found frustrating about this scent. It's so close to being right, but it shifts into something kinda aloof and gray. In short, it's a bit weird.

    I say this not to discourage folks from trying it, but just so you all understand it's no conventional crowd-pleaser. Akro is a very "conceptual" kind of niche house.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I always like reading about coffee frags. Thanks, Wilfred and everybody else.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    smells delicious all the way through for me. the drydown is certainly the best part as i get that yummy roasted coffee with a pinch of spice for hours. no other coffee scent has been able to deliver that level of coffee so far beyond the opening.

    some video content, carlos & steven rank it as one of the top few coffee scents



    lady gives impressions of the entire house, finds 'Awake' to be a grail coffee scent



    chap compares a few coffee scents (including the new Montale), 'Awake' is far out in front



    French guy (need to translate captions) gives a top 10 coffee list, 'Awake' is #1 and touches him at a 'soul level'


  13. #13

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by wilfred View Post
    care to mention some of those cacao fragrances you've found worthwhile? tried a few but unlike here didn't find anything that captured me so far.
    We're already talking about Akro, so we have to mention Akro Dark, a severe take on a "chocolate" scent that is rich and fruity and just the right balance of bitter and sweet. (Bath & Body Works Chai Anise, which is hard to find now, is a lot like it in structure, but is warmer and cozier).

    My favorite will always be Guerlain LIDG EDT, which manages the stunning feat of suspending its cacao note in mid-air in the midst of its delicate composition, which borders on gourmand but never quite crosses over into food-y territory. (This is an effect that the less nuanced, thicker, candy-ish LIDGE EDP does not replicate.)

    Another I very much enjoy is West Third Brand Tobacco 1812, which uses a very earthy and noticeable cacao as support for a mint-honey-tobacco accord. The more my bottle has gotten some air, the earthier and greener it gets.
    Last edited by Brooks Otterlake; 8th November 2019 at 09:53 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by wilfred View Post
    care to mention some of those cacao fragrances you've found worthwhile? tried a few but unlike here didn't find anything that captured me so far.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by wilfred View Post
    care to mention some of those cacao fragrances you've found worthwhile? tried a few but unlike here didn't find anything that captured me so far.
    My favorites: Bornéo 1834 by Serge Lutens and Bond-T by Sammarco

  16. #16

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I've got a sample of this recently and I'm not really a coffee scent fan but this a very good and strong coffee scent: Cuir Cafe Happyland
    Currently wearing: Hawas for Men by Rasasi

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I do like Awake and think that it has a great coffee note, but to me, the whole composition smells more like a breakfast cafe in general rather than just the coffee. Maybe a pancake house in the early morning. This was my favorite when I sampled the whole line. I haven't found it FBW for me, but it did make me smile. (I also liked Smoke, but thought it smelled like an empty pack of cigarettes rather than actual smoke.)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I've been wanting to explore this house ever since I saw a few YT videos on it. Thanks for the write up, it probably moves it up a few more notches in my to-try list. My current favorite coffee-dominant fragrance is Kilian's Intoxicated. To me that one is perfectly balanced, along with the spices. It almost fits your description of Awake to a tee.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyprince View Post
    I do like Awake and think that it has a great coffee note, but to me, the whole composition smells more like a breakfast cafe in general rather than just the coffee. Maybe a pancake house in the early morning. This was my favorite when I sampled the whole line. I haven't found it FBW for me, but it did make me smile. (I also liked Smoke, but thought it smelled like an empty pack of cigarettes rather than actual smoke.)
    interesting because that's often a description that gets used for New Harleem, which barely smells of coffee but more of a pancake/syrupy tonka thing. Awake is much more of a pure coffee scent that anything i've smelled that's also wearable. there's certainly a sweet gourmand touch, a slight chocolate & spicey vibe but these work in perfect unison with the coffee, to my nose.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by deltasun View Post
    I've been wanting to explore this house ever since I saw a few YT videos on it. Thanks for the write up, it probably moves it up a few more notches in my to-try list. My current favorite coffee-dominant fragrance is Kilian's Intoxicated. To me that one is perfectly balanced, along with the spices. It almost fits your description of Awake to a tee.
    be interested to hear your comparison if and when you sample this. for people in the US luckyscent have samples of the entire line which is a cheaper way of trying them vs the discovery kit unless you were interested in every scent.

    as far as the Kilian goes, unsurprisingly I tried this along the way. there's been a couple of comments that Awake is a bit 'weird' but for me the Kilian was very strange indeed! much more about spice, it's even a bit green and i barely got any coffee, it's certainly not coffee dominant in the way Awake is. I actually had a couple of people recommend the Kilian but it was another case of 'where's the coffee?' upon sampling. i guess the type of coffee i wanted was a heavy roasted coffee bean aroma that is there through to the base. as far as spice dominant coffee goes Madras Cardamom from Zegna is a good option and tangentially related to Awake. it's still too spicey but there's a nicely done coffee note in there, though more like Indian food than a drink or dessert.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    agreed!


  22. #22

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I really enjoy Dark, so I should definitely try this. Sounds like it would suit my taste well.


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  23. #23

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    ...forgot Rochas Man (1999)

  24. #24

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I like these semi gourmand scents:

    Bulgari Man Black Orient
    Bortnikoff Lucky Oud
    Perris Monte Carlo Cacao Azteque
    SHELTER @ HOME WARDROBE • vilhelm morning chess • mr burberry indigo • epice marine • 19-69 l'air barbes • kosmala tonic blanc no. 1 • parfum prissana tiwa • phi- rose de kandahar • boszporusz • black citrus • amulet • de nut intense man • cdg calamus • dior homme edt (2020) • m/mink • eccentric 05 cashmeran • mazzolari patchoul • eleventh hour

  25. #25

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Thank you for the recommendation-have so far liked most gourmand scents with a coffee note.

    From the very inexpensive but still decent to good quality ones like the Cafe Cafe range/house, to the mid range priced ones like AMen Pure Coffee and certain aspects of the Rochas Man and the Armani Attitude series, to pricier choices like the (admittedly more latte/milkshake/frappe that coffee) hints of Endymion by Penhaligon's.

    Therefore, the personal reasons to try this fragrance are (again personally speaking) more than there, at least based on the thread starting pots.
    Currently wearing: Marbert Homme by Marbert

  26. #26

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I purchased Awake yesterday! Call it a Father’s Day gift for myself lol.


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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    It’s good but I prefer Bond No 9 New Haarlem

  28. #28

    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    I'm glad you found your holy grail. To be honest, whilst literal / photorealistic scents do represent a level of artistic/technical mastery that I have a lot of respect for, they've never really appealed to me as personal fragrance. Why would I want to smell exactly like a cup of coffee all day?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by Trauerkraut View Post
    ...forgot Rochas Man (1999)
    I was wondering how long it would take before this one was mentioned. I have never got any coffee from Rochas Man, at all. I get overly sweet candyfloss more than anything else. I grind coffee every morning and drink espressos sans sugar so that is what I think about when I think about or expect coffee, that is definitely a world away from Rochas Man.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Akro's 'Awake' is the best gourmand & coffee scent on the market

    Quote Originally Posted by Juxtapozbliss View Post
    I purchased Awake yesterday! Call it a Father’s Day gift for myself lol.


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