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The crux of the hype
I think hype is a curse and a blessing in equal measure for any brand, whether it's perfume, clothing, or even in the music industry.
On the one hand, hype represents a kind of sales guarantee, but on the other hand, it can also have a lot of negative effects if expectations are "not met". In the case of Areej le Doré and the perfumer behind the brand "Russian Adam" I find "The crux with the hype" particularly interesting - but must also admit that it even annoys me a little in part, how it is dealt with.
First of all, I would like to emphasize that in the case of ALD, I definitely think that the hype around their fragrances is not generated by the brand itself, but by US - the consumers. The first creations of Russian Adam were extremely limited - sometimes only 200 bottles - but the reason for this was not the deliberate creation of a certain exclusivity to increase demand, but the limited means of a (then) small "one-man-show". How could the good Adam also suspect that his creations once belong to the most sought-after that the niche world has ever seen.
The case of "MANLY".
"Manly" is the latest creation from the house of ALD. As actually before each new release ALD publishes in advance Sufficient info about the fragrances themselves, the idea behind it, the raw materials used and the associated prices. Even a Q&A is offered.
"MANLY" was created in collaboration with Adam's younger brother. Or was it half-brother? Never mind.
It was communicated quite clearly up front "The formula belongs to my brother Aton, I merely refined it and replaced some ingredients with higher quality variants." Here it MUST already be clear. IT WILL NOT BE A TYPICAL AREEJ LE DORE FRAGRANCE.
The second point: the price. The 30ml was declared here with 220$, which is about 180€. Of course, this is a lot of money but compared to the previous creations, this is still comparatively "cheap". Adam also emphasized that this fragrance is also limited due to the natural, limited ingredients but the batch is big enough so that "everyone" gets their bottle.
Now first to the fragrance itself.
"MANLY" starts for me at first slightly alcoholic. In combination with the oak moss and the earthy patchouli arises for me the impression of an old, stored in oak barrels, peaty whiskey. The top note doesn't last too long. Five, maybe ten minutes. The elaborate, hand-extracted saffron oil is also already noticeable. In my opinion, the Hindi oud also comes into play quite early. This wonderfully smoky, leathery interplay even gives me slight "oud-zhen" vibes in places at first.
In the heart opens an oriental spice drawer. The cinnamon has here quite clearly the nose in front! It may seem a bit spicy at first, but it softens up quite a bit over time, and the tonka bean does its part. Normally, I'm not a big fan of tonka as it often just comes across as overly sweet. In this case though, it does a great job of rounding out the tart notes in this creation a bit. Now the tobacco comes into play as well. On the whole, you can say that the scent comes across smoky, leathery from start to finish. Sometimes more, sometimes less. The tobacco is dry for me. More reminiscent of cigar tobacco than moist pipe tobacco. An open shirted, cigar smoking Tony Montana in his overly decadent leather chair. If you don't have a smell in your nose now, I don't know. :-)
I like the base extremely well. The vanilla and the sandalwood go an extremely harmonious combination with oud and leather. Here no note drowns out the other. Everything is very balanced and neither too sweet nor too tart. I must confess that I personally wouldn't have needed the cashmeran. On the other hand, I don't find it as disturbing as some others. Perhaps it is also a kind of "autosuggestive" problem to think that this synthetic fragrance in the midst of so many natural ingredients just "MUST" disturb?!
Longevity and sillage are just absolutely brutal on my skin. Even after 12 hours and two showers, the scent is still noticeable. No, I do not exaggerate here. More than 2-3 sprays are definitely not necessary here. I would even say - Not appropriate. :-D I think that many destroy themselves the fragrance experience in the case also by partly habitual "Overspraying".
My conclusion after 2 days with "MANLY":
I personally find the fragrance really good. Is he a typical ALD fragrance? No! But that was never the speech. I have so far really only positive feedback received and my girlfriend loves him on me.
On some forums, people were "shocked" that this release didn't sell out in minutes like some others and are rating it based on that without having smelled it. "Well that can't be anything if there are so many fakes." "Still not sold out?" "Good thing I didn't order one." The fragrance was pretty much "ripped" in parts. If in the future we judge fragrances only on the basis of their exclusivity and place our expectations, generated by a hype that WE ourselves have created, above any objectivity, perfumers will have quite a hard time still inspiring us in the future. Finding the fine line between uniformity and "too far away" from the own brand character with every new release is certainly not an easy task and from my point of view it was solved well here, especially considering the price. I am satisfied with my purchase and recommend everyone to convince themselves and not to put too much value on opinions of others. Not even on mine!