A fragrance experience with exciting development, really moving emotional impulses, interesting brain-kicks and a simply sensational ginger-violet: 1826 - Eugénie de Montijo.
But why this name was chosen stays unclear to me: Maria Eugenia Ignacia was born in 1826 as a Spanish noblewoman. In 1853, she (now named Eugénie de Montijo) became the wife of Napoleon III and so the last French empress. In her husband´s representation she took a hand in French politics and was very conservative and clerical: True neo-absolutism. She was not very popular ("the Spaniard"), but was seen as a beautiful, elegant woman, who promoted the young fashion guild (she was the first prominent client of „Worth“). Later, when France had finally checked off the empire, the ex-empress lived in British exile.
Why this name? Because the fragrance notes are conservative? Because they are elegant and fashionable, despite old-noble origin? Because this fragrance is an anachronistic relic? Because there is something origanlly Spanish in it? Because it´s christian or imperial? Perhaps because it is contemporarily fashionable and the same time somehow old-fashioned.
Whatever: It's great!
The start is quite mandarin-like, only moderately fresh, not lemony, not clean and very soon dealt with, because the middle note starts. I smell a clear anise-note from the very beginning, until the beautiful ginger-violet is in full bloom and then blending with it.
Perhaps here is this modern/old-fashioned-analogy: The often harmless and frumpy violet, gets a tremendous temperament-kick by the ginger-note. It´s classical and the same time modern.
A melodious floweriness accompanies the ginger-violet in the beautiful middle note, without accentuating a distinct single flower. First, the cinnamon is very subtle in the background (but clearly recognizable, if you know it's there). It becomes prominent, when the warm, skin-tight and ambery base note unfolds. I smell patchouli, but luckily just a little whiff of it. The incense is courtly restrained, too. Amber and vanilla take the leading parts in a harmonic and soft drydown.
1826-EdM has no sex appeal worthy of mention. Nevertheless, it is attractive, without an explicit erotic nature, yet playful, yet charming, yet alluring.
Truely unisex, this fragrance is not, I think. Feminine with a certain little amount of unisex-potential for the right male user, I would say.
1826-EdM has my very, very big recommendation for testing!