For me, Itasca is a perfume that captures nature and makes it exciting with further nuances. Classic, clean, masculine and yet timeless, modern and with enough edge. A fragrance that keeps the balance between fresh and dark, between aromatic-spicy and calmly transparent. Pictures of the lake and national park of the same name in Minnesota seem absolutely fitting, due to the dense forests surrounding the calm water.
The top note surprises at first with a slightly fruity mandarin, less of the pungent citrus grapefruit, before it quickly becomes spicier with juniper berries with their special aromatic quality, dry, bitter nutmeg, fortunately only a small dose of cloves, while at the same time a hint of floral freshness blows through the forest. Towards the base, it becomes more difficult to clearly name the individual notes. In any case, rather dry woods mix with slightly balsamic and earthy nuances. Even though the original name referred to vetiver, I find the sweet grass to be one of several important components, rather than the main actor. I can't make out typical incense, but I can guess myrrh.
Since I have one bottle each of the original and the new version from 2018, I can compare both directly with each other. The reformulation will keep Itasca at, say, 90-95 %, but it will change more in a brighter direction. The dark woody and slightly earthy element is now missing and creates space for the initially almost grapefruit-like and rather green vetiver note. One might think that Itasca was originally composed for the autumn and has now been adapted to the spring due to the changes. Java Vetiver is supposed to go more in the decent-smokier, earthier direction and therefore I suspect that this is related to the reformulation. The top note of the new version also lacks a little of the fruity and resinous juniper berry. This is still present, only somewhat reduced, so that I perceive a little more hesperidic freshness. To what extent maceration can still have an influence I do not know. Usually one assumes a finished product, but sometimes scents change over a few months/years without getting worse.
Unfortunately, the reformulated Itasca has not only become a little lighter, but also a little slimmer. Nevertheless, Lubin's creation remains an excellent fragrance, which the wearer will not perceive so strongly even after a while, while others can still smell it for several hours. The performance is almost the same.
I would like to comment on the bottle: I think the first version is ugly as a pot - what a horrible font they used here and this colour combination! But now the bottle has simply been turned upside down so that the relief is unprinted on the back and the side that used to be completely covered with copper-brown forms the front with a sticker. Not beautiful either, but more stylish, I mean. Therefore the spray head works as always excellently!
Itasca is a good choice for nature lovers and those looking for a multi-layered, calm fragrance. Itasca is definitely one of the most successful perfumes when it comes to forests. Although I can imagine it as being less suitable for women and teenagers, I find it to be intergenerational and versatile.