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Very helpful Review
Oud & rose, encore une fois
Some of the names that Aaron Terence Hughes gives to his fragrances are not exactly subtle: Dirty Slut, Boss Bitch, Boss Bastard, etc. If you take a look at him on his YouTube channel, his rather tattooed figure, his slight hubris, you don't think at the very first moment of the traditional elegance of the great French, but also of the Italian and English perfume houses. But as the saying goes: don't judge a book by its cover.
To me personally, he seems honest and authentic, sometimes funny, without being too wanted. At the end of the day, of course, it's not so much the perfumer that matters, but the fragrance itself. And of course the new names in the industry bring new spirit, new methods, new momentum to the business. So you can find the good man any way you want. Also his marketing and his pricing. What counts is what's in the bottle.
Onyx it is. The first thing that comes to mind is the black jewel. So something special, dark. This dark association is certainly conscious and it is well chosen because the scent has a floral-woody heaviness. But its base is a very familiar one, which is ultimately just another variation of the well-known ingredients of rose, oud and spice. A combination that has proven to be extremely effective in recent years in making roses - and with them their sweet florality - wearable across the gender spectrum, so to speak.
Thus Onyx evokes associations with many a familiar scent. In the top note it reminded me of MFK's Oud Silk Mood - but most of the time Onyx evokes another scent - Tom Ford's Noir de Noir. As I already mentioned in my commentary on Montale's Sensual Instinct, as beautiful as I find Noir de Noir, it's a touch too feminine for me.
Onyx is more unisex in that respect. He doesn't have that powdery-sweet heaviness. It is a clear trace more animalistic - due to its musk portion which cannot be concealed. It is also a bit woody, which also counteracts a primarily feminine scent impression. Otherwise, the quoted DNA of the Tom Ford fragrance is unmistakable around the rose, the distinct patchouli, the vanilla and the oud. But this does not speak against onyx, on the contrary, onyx is really beautiful. Sensual, dark. But warm. Flowery. Woody.
Aaron Terence Hughes describes his fragrance as "perfect date or sex fragrance" and praises it for lasting 12 hours in a massive projection. Well, there we have the hubris again, but also the aforementioned honesty: in fact, Onyx takes on the powerful sillage and durability of the quoted Noir de Noir as well. And like Noir de Noir, Onyx is of course first and foremost an ideal fragrance for the evening (and for whatever else it may bring), thanks to its deep, sensual, warming presence.
Conclusion: If you like Oud-Rose combinations and are not yet over the top, this is the right place for you. Maybe even as right as hardly ever before. And if you like Noir de Noir, you should definitely give Onyx a chance. Especially for men, it is certainly a very successful unisex scent, as the woody and floral parts are very pleasantly balanced. Even though I am a fan of Tom Ford, who doesn't have much to gain by marketing an Aaron Terence Hughes in a niche market, he has succeeded in creating a really beautiful, incredibly sensual, powerful and expressive fragrance with Onyx, although it is not necessarily the most innovative.