As I sample my way through the Illuminum Vaporizer Perfume collection, I am struck more and more with the idea that this house follows in the footsteps of Jo Malone. Their approach feels similar and some of their fragrances sold at "indulgent eau de parfum strength" are little more than Eau De Colognes. Admittedly, whoever writes the copy on their webpage is very good … but completely full of 'it'.
Upon sampling Wild Tobacco, I am reminded of a number of other fragrances … Cartier's Declaration springs to mind as well as one or two by Diptyque, another Jo Malone-esque undertaking. Illuminum's website reports that " creatively combined into four fragrance families – Floral, Citrus, Musk and Oud – each scent shines a spotlight on eight star ingredients using a supporting caste (sic) of molecules and aldehydes to help them sparkle."
In Wild Tobacco the "eight star ingredients" are listed as:
Top: Clary Sage, Clove Buds
Middle: Virginian Cedar wood, Tobacco Leaves
Base: Castoreum, Tonka Bean, Labdanum
OK then … let's make that seven (one must've gone missing) with the copy about the fragrance using words like "fanfare of herbs and spices" and 'sostenato (sic - as far as I know, 'sostenuto' means 'sustained') chord of sensuousness and depth".
Utter 'balderdash' imho … Wild Tobacco is a straight up, Clove laden, vague Tobacco scent with poor to average sillage and abysmal longevity. It also has the misfortune of containing Clary Sage, providing it with a good dose of 'unwashed armpit'. If this is what a 'distinguished gentleman's club' smells like there must've been an un-showered hooker in last night for 'entertainment' purposes. Now, I don't have a problem with a fragrance being just average or even 'cheap'. What I do take issue with is bottling bilge and then selling it at £100 a bottle, in the guise of "perfumery's future". Such behavior within the hallowed halls of niche perfumery is relatively commonplace (just look at Tom Ford) but nonetheless completely reprehensible!
I have tried a few other samples from this collection that are nice (reviews will follow), but I cannot call Wild Tobacco anything but a ripoff. Avoid!!