Essenze - Javanese Patchouli (2012)

Essenze - Javanese Patchouli by Ermenegildo Zegna
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Essenze - Javanese Patchouli is a popular perfume by Ermenegildo Zegna for men and was released in 2012. The scent is woody-spicy. It is being marketed by Estēe Lauder Companies.

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Fragrance Notes

Italian bergamot, Java patchouli, Pink pepper, Tonka bean, Cedarwood



8.3 (116 Ratings)


7.8 (98 Ratings)


7.2 (101 Ratings)


8.3 (99 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 10.01.2020.
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Greatly helpful Review    48
No return for Mr Knöselmann
"What about you? Are you all right?"

The seller's voice was filled with the kind of sympathy businessmen feel when they see a collapse - or worse! - in her posh boutique of all places. In fact, Donato Ducatelli remembered with shudders an experience from his time as head of the Munich branch of Giorgio Beinabi. An obese opera diva had collapsed in front of a stand with silk underwear and was still different on the spot. The Technical Relief Agency had to move in and remove the door in order to transport it away. The incident had been talk of the town for weeks and food for the gossipostills.

Today's customer was certainly anything but prominent. Within seconds, Ducatelli's connoisseur's eye had recognized this from the simple habitus. Besides, he kept asking, "How much is it?" So please - who cares about that? Nevertheless: Should this one suddenly nip off, it wouldn't be good...

Indeed, Hubert Knöselmann had felt uncomfortable from the beginning. If his wife had not insisted that he finally needed a decent suit as the new head of the accounting department at the Offenbein & Partner medical supply store, he would not have set foot in a Zegna studio
While he had listened and nodded well to lectures on fabrics and cuts, his discomfort was constantly swollen. The aforementioned suit alone had required the release of all financial reserves. Only it hadn't stayed that way. But there was no turning back, because the salesman had assured him with pity that such a suit without the right accompanying equipment would not work at all. Nod.

In the face of fate, Knöselmann had from then on precisely calculated the financing with practiced professionalism. The unavoidable changes to the good part would be paid for by increasing the mortgage on the small terraced house. The shoes and the black leather belt were covered by a loan of the Opel Astra. Not even - it was about a tie - the prospect of vacation at the campsite Struvenhütten instead of in a guesthouse on Föhr had upset him.

However, the fact that the cash register for the always unmentioned reserve tie had automatically added an amount that promised noodles with ketchup for the Knöselmann family until September 2019 - that had pulled the floor away from under his feet and he had sunk into an armchair
"Hello! Are you all right?" Ducatelli asked again. Without further hesitation, he grabbed a cube-shaped bottle from a shelf and sprayed it into a small glass until about a finger's width of a light amber-coloured liquid was in it.

"Here, drink - this will help!"

"Brrrrr... Is that a bittersweet?"

"Not quite. This is Javanese Patchouli. A perfume, but in the first half hour Magenbitter or better Magentropfen very similar. We're going to use this curatively."

Knöselmann returned nothing more and sat there with closed eyes. At least he breathed deeply and evenly again.

"By the way, we forgot the right fragrance for your outfit. Take this one! The intensive bitter stomach phase soon passes - as I said - only fragments of it remain. Afterwards you will have to deal with a practically pure Patchouli fragrance. Bergamot delivers supporting acid in front, but no profile of its own. Powerfully earthy-sour, yet completely ungruftig, 'Javanese Patchouli' guides you dignified through a long day. At times, a touch of malty-thick, vanilla-caramel sweetness gently floats around the fragrance. Chocolate accents, out of the patchouli, round off. It's like a well-fitting suit, as you know by now. He doesn't need no tricks."

"How much is it?"

"220 Euro."

Ducatelli parried Knöselmann's suffocated whimpering with a quick: "I'll just give it to you!"
31 Replies
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689 Reviews
Perfect Patchouli...
Javanese Patchouli opens with a dash of fine lemony bergamot citrus, with hints of the earthy patchouli sneaking up from the heart. As the composition enters its early heart the earthy woody patchouli takes over the starring role with the natural smelling lemony bergamot remaining as underlying support, coupling with a fine soft pink pepper to add perceived dirtiness to the mix and subtle tonka bean derived sweetness. As the composition makes its way through the heart the bergamot and pink pepper gradually recede, transitioning to cedarwood rising from the base to join the slightly sweetened focal patchouli. During the late dry-down the natural cedarwood takes over as star with the patchouli still detectable, now in support through the finish. Projection is average to above average, and longevity excellent at around 12 hours on skin.

During my recent vacation to Las Vegas, I excitedly went from store to store sampling as many compositions of potential interest I could find, new and old alike. As I made my way through the tens and tens of retailers seeking out winners I was beginning to despair that not many compositions impressed save ones I already owned. Towards the end of the day after many disappointments I entered the Zegna store at Crystals exhausted with very low expectations after my negative experience with Zegna's regular line in the past. It turns out I am very glad I did, as I had a chance to sniff the entire Essenze private line and what a revelation it was.

As this is a review of Javanese Patchouli, I will cut to the chase and say that while the line positively surprised on the whole, Javanese Patchouli was the definitive standout. When I initially sniffed the cap for an early read I detected initial traces of greatness, but once sprayed on skin after allowing the composition to develop it became clear it is something special. The amazing perfumer, Frank Voelkl (responsible for my favorite Le Labo compositions Ylang 49 and Iris 39 among others) has put together what amounts to a near-perfect concoction. His minimalist use of natural smelling lemon-like bergamot running through the patchouli to smooth out its earthy qualities is simplistic genius. The pink pepper took me a little while to warm to, but the way it folds into the lemon-spiked patchouli and woods has won me over in the end. Finally, it should be mentioned that the cedarwood driven base while simplistic is quite believable and sublime. All-in-all this composition is masterpiece reference caliber work that has captivated someone who tends to like patchouli as a supporting note and not as the star. The bottom line is the $195 per 125ml bottle Javanese Patchouli is reference caliber work from the extremely talented Frank Voelkl that should be on anyone's sniffing list whether they like patchouli focused compositions or not, earning a "masterpiece" rating of 5 stars out of 5 and a very strong recommendation to all. Oh yes, of course I bought a bottle.


Xanthon 14 months ago
This scent is subtle but with clear character. He does not shout, he knows his game, he has nothing to prove. Good longevity.+1

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