An early blind purchase in my fragrance journey, the opening depending on conditions could feel very papery-screechy like a yellow angry cat shrieking and scratching in my face - loud and almost in a vulgar, sweaty-sour way, the 'papyrus' and bergamot with the patchouli apparently playing a wild mix to my unaccustomed nose.
While wondering why I had bought it, it would morph into a slightly floral, vanilla-flavoured amber patchouli with a vintage feeling, like eating a vanilla-flavoured dessert between dusted clothes and wilted books with a recently dried flower bouquet hanging above. The sweetness level of Fancy Nights measured by the original Fancy (not tried) might not be even worth mentioning for the die-hard gourmand fans; however, I find the vanilla still very distinct and often layer it to tone down the sweetness.
The keyword "goth/gothic" was mentioned 18 times by real reviewers on another review site, "hippie" 5 times, while two of the less real reviewers imagined "Halloween" might sound as good. I can't comment on the "hippies" but wonder if they smelt like an oriental perfume. As for the "goth" association, unless it is meant as in "gothic novels" suggested by the ad with Simpson set up as the typical heroine, I can't imagine a Gothic cathedral nor any Gothic architecture smelling like this. Considering the music of that period, the association feels even more unconvincing.
Someone as young as Piguet or Tabu once said, after smelling FN on me, that it smelt "outdated". While it certainly doesn't smell like the Middle Ages, it indeed feels so dustily old that it might shock the clean, soapy, safe and sensual-musk fraction. Personally, the bottle colour and oriental design with its Art Deco fonts do evoke a dark forest and midnight walks on crashing leaves and twigs, some magical elixir sold in the Old Curiosity Shop or placed on the lounge bar shelf of the Roaring Twenties - I would especially love the last image more than that of a "goth"!
Reformulated or not, FN's rep still holds true about its strength both in projection and longevity that requires a very light application.
Note: Jeanne Arthes Sumatra Patchouli smells like a sweetness-deducted dry down of FN, also affordable albeit with apparently dwindling availability.