A dark smoky-spicy rose
This one was a big surprise. I was really nervous, so to speak, after ordering this one - blind, as always. I pretty much buy blind always since I don't (or rather didn't-it's a lot easier now) have access to sample any of these perfumes (and I hate going to malls). I always go by some basic guidelines. Most important is usually the notes/accords. Besides that I look for the house & the perfumer(s) behind the creation, year of creation/release, and of course user reviews (on the popular perfume forums). I follow a handful of key reviewers, simply due to the fact that lot of our tastes match and what we find appealing, how each perfume reacts on us seems quite similar. And it has never failed me, except on a couple of rare occasions. But when it came to this perfume, most of my key reviewers hadn't reviewed it. (I found a few other great reviews though and they were spot on). But anyway, I was unsure. And there were quite varying opinions among all the other users (as is the case always). I was picking up another dSquared2 scent (Potion) the same day when I saw a tester bottle of this at a good price. So, I had to get it. (you know how that is)
I could pick up the rose and the incense even before I pulled the bottle out of the pack. This thing explodes in your face as soon as you hit the trigger. It is thick, dark, syrupy and intense. It's heavily spicy and resinous. After about 15 mins or so it tones down a bit to reveal it's structure. A hint of citrus at the top, almost slightly bitter-ish - probably due to the pimento. I get quite a few spicy nuances - nutmeg, hints of cinnamon and a boat-load of pepper. The heart notes reveal themselves pretty much at the beginning itself. A thick, not too sweet, syrupy rose and divine frankincense. Smelling very heady and smoky. Blending really well with all the spices and a brilliantly realistic dry, non-sweet, tobacco accord. This is definitely the best stage of this fragrance. And it lasts a really long time. There's a decent, but very generic, oud-leather accord here too quite reminiscent of Montale's Aoud Leather and Dueto's Golden Boy. The drydown, which arrives some 8-10 hours later, is slightly musky with hints of powdery rose and a dusty-woody accord. This stage too lasts a long time. Another 6-8 hours easily.
Projection, sillage and longevity are on the higher side. Really solid. Go easy on the trigger. It easily lasts 24 hours on my skin and for many days on my clothes. Overall this is really well made. If not for the generic oud-leather accord and seemingly simple drydown this would have been great. Not groundbreaking but definitely good to wear (only in cold weather). Try it if you are looking for a dark smoky-spicy rose scent.