On days like today, where the weather is hardly my best friend, where there’s a chill in the air, but the sun is shining brightly, where I’ve dressed for summer, but am attacked by the frosty nips of a passing winter, where I feel down and out, too tired to move but too anxious to sit still, this little gem is my friend. For those of you not interested in the rambling of an amateur nose, here’s the TLDR: Dark rooms, warm, inviting, boozy cocktails, with a cubano lit a table or two away, the smell of tobacco wafting towards you. A must have for anyone that loves perfumery as an artform and scents that are safe, but nuanced. Definitely a compliment puller from anyone that gets close to you. (But trust your nose, not my words)
To everyone that’s with me till now, a small disclaimer. I am fairly new to the world of fragrances and perfumery, and a lot of my experience before I was bitten by the bug was “that’s nice” and “that’s...fresh?” However, as with most things, the more I began to explore, the more I realized that the rabbit hole is far deeper than I could have begun to imagine, and quite frankly, I have no intention of climbing out any time soon.
Now then, onto my thoughts about this perfume, what all I get from it, and what it evokes in me.
The olfactory fireworks (and yes, they are fireworks) start from the moment this hits your skin, but they aren’t explosions. They go off at medium volume, and bring with them the most delectable aromas. A slight tartness, a vanillic warmth, a sweet rum like scent, and the slightest hint of an abstract coconut, flitting through. A tropical cocktail at an upscale bar, one even those who don’t dabble in the devil’s drink can appreciate. Here, in this opening spray, the fragrance is already a winner. But it doesn't stop there.
As the sweet warmth of the rum and vanilla settle into the heat of my skin, something else begins to emerge. A bitterness to balance it out, almost vegetal, but not quite. I don’t know what this bitterness is, but it certainly plays to the cocktail aspect in my mind (a Rum Old Fashioned perhaps?) This bitterness takes the cloying aspect out of the sweetness, and turns it into an almost burnt caramel; deep, ambery, bittersweet. And from amidst this bittersweet concoction, comes a smoky love affair, that I can only liken to a half burning cigar, sitting in a forgotten corner, blowing it’s aroma to me on the air of those that pass it, with hints of leather. Something like an old reading chair you haven’t seen for a decade or two, but then when you sit in it again, you’re reminded of that comfort you’d forgotten.
Now, as for longevity and sillage, I’ve had a mixed bag. It lasted on my skin once for 16 hours, even surviving a shower, but another time, it was gone in two, a fleeting memory of beauty, so I can’t say much other than your mileage may vary. But one thing is certain, no matter how long it lasts on you, the journey that it takes you on is worth every second, long or short. It’s truly an art piece in a bottle, and has left me excited to try the other offerings this house has to offer.