Puzzling Name, Great Result...
Oil Fiction opens with a refined, slightly soapy smooth floral tuberose and iris tandem with a jasmine and banana-like Ylang-ylang undertone. As the composition moves to its early heart the tuberose remains in full-force with the jasmine and banana-like Ylang-ylang yellow florals growing in strength to reach co-star status with gentle saffron spice providing support. As the composition continues through its heart a subtle papyrus-derived woody undertone appears relatively briefly before disappearing about thirty minutes later. During the late dry-down, the composition turns slightly woody, powdery and amber-like, as vanilla joins ambroxan from the base with the remnants of the tuberose hanging around through the finish. Projection is average and longevity outstanding at over 20 hours on skin.
Oil Fiction took a bit of time to warm to due to expectations its name conjures that the resulting composition doesn't deliver. In truth, I have no idea what Juliette Has a Gun was thinking in naming it such; because I get no associations with oil whatsoever. After one gets past the puzzling name choice, evaluating the composition on its fragrance profile alone, it is easy to quickly identify Oil Fiction's charms. Speaking of those charms, the composition does an outstanding job of utilizing tuberose in a highly refined, slightly subdued way while deftly coupling it with Ylang-ylang to the point that even someone who is not particularly a tuberose fan can still enjoy it. The end result conjures up the spirit of Dia Man from Amouage, Arsene Lupin (Dandy) from Guerlain, and most closely the hybrid of the two, Savile Row by Richard James. It was indeed Savile Row that immediately came to mind after the top notes quickly burned off, but while Oil Fiction is similar in style and shares a lot of Savile Row's amazing refinement, it is less woody and less bright than Savile Row while adding in a slight detergent-like soapy aspect. One final aspect worth mentioning is Oil Fiction does a bit of a disappearing act during the late dry-down about 8 or 9 hours in. At this point the composition turns slightly powdery, appearing like it is beginning to fade, but several hours later the tuberose makes a reappearance, still hanging around well after the wearer may believe it gone. All-in-all Oil Fiction proves an extremely well-made composition that quickly won this writer over. Its name may have nothing to do with its fragrance profile, but as a huge fan of Dia Man, Arsene Lupin and Savile Row, Oil fiction is another stellar option in the general space those greats occupy. The bottom line is the name of the $285 per 75ml Oil Fiction may puzzle many, but the composition itself shines brightly, earning it an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 and a solid recommendation. While my love for the composition and its beautiful bottle is resolute, at Oil Fiction's relatively high price point Savile Row proves a much higher value proposition with its slightly superior smelling composition and significantly lower price per ml. As such, it would be wise to give both a sniff before proceeding with a purchase.