Another fairly-priced mainstream fragrance I’ve ignored for years until reading some positive reviews by a few contributors I trust. And again, they were right: Potion is a true little gem, quite unrelated to the averagely mediocre quality of other Dsquared scents, not to mention their hideous fashion side. First of all, many mention Gucci pour Homme from 2003 as a reference for this, and if you want my opinion, they are quite similar indeed. And in some way, even if there is some substantial differences notes-wise, Potion may work as a good replacement if you miss Gucci. The two fragrances may not be identical, but the quality is definitely (and surprisingly) on the same level – which is a quite top-notch level. And they definitely share a really similar vibe in my opinion. Potion has the same smooth, sheer and sophisticated woody-amber-incense structure of Gucci, adding to that a consistent dose of crisp, minty and delightfully pungent aromatic herbs, a fantastic musk note (“fantastic” because it’s musk, but a quality one - way different from the usual, sticky, everlasting musky base you get in many cheap mainstreams) and some spices, mostly a peppery cinnamon note.
So it’s basically a sort of spicier, sweeter and muskier version of Gucci pour Homme (with a far echo of another giant of designer perfumery – the herbs-amber accord of YSL M7); less “mature” than Gucci, but quite close to it nonetheless. More “tasty” and aromatic, slightly sweeter (I guess thanks to the subtle floral notes), less austere and less smoky than Gucci, overall more easy-going, but totally refined as well, showing Annick Menardo’s talent with spices and sheer, subtly elegant harmonies. I think I also get something reminding me of Body Kouros, but I don’t know what precisely. Anyway as I (and many others) said, Gucci pour Homme is the more evident close sibling to Potion. And the key similarity for me is their level of quality, which makes stand both quite above the rest of the “woody-amber” class of masculine designers. The quality of Potion is truly elevate on every level – materials and composition. A bit close to skin (maybe too much, at least for the EDT), but it works. A true must for the price.