Heavy Animalics Are Marred By Additional Dirty Spice...
Salome opens with a honeyed musky orange before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the initial musky orange turns into indolic orange blossom, as an absolutely huge amount of starring dirty cumin spice enters, joined by co-starring animalic hyrax, with dirty jasmine and slightly powdery carnation in support. During the late dry-down the dirty florals and the cumin recede and finally vacate, leaving the remnants of the animalic hyrax and now moderately powdery carnation to join hay-like coumarin through the finish. Projection is average, but longevity outstanding at well over 15 hours on skin.
Salome has been making quite the splash on the perfume scene since its release last year in 2015. One of the frequently mentioned standout attributes claimed is its heavy use of animalics, and this reviewer definitely concurs, for better or for worse. The key animalic attribute used in the composition's heart is hyrax. The best way to describe hyrax is an animalic hybrid with characteristics of musk, civet and castoreum. In the case of Salome, the musk aspect comes out early, and as time passes the smooth castoreum facet takes control in the late dry-down with the civet relatively subdued throughout. If the liberal use of hyrax isn't animalic enough for you, the perfumer adds indolic jasmine and orange blossom to the mix for an increased dirty nature to the composition. While one might think all these indoles and musky animalics would be too much to handle, surprisingly they work to a relatively large degree, especially late when the castoreum-like facet of the hyrax controls. Unfortunately, there is a big show-stopper here, and it is in the form of an extremely large amount of dirty cumin spice that shows up seconds after initial application and dominates through the early heart, not completely vacating until the late-dry-down. This dirty spice is wholly unnecessary and overpowering to the extreme. It is as if the perfumer wants to dare the wearer to see just how far over the line they can go before crying "Uncle". For this writer, the animalics, while not really to my taste were tolerable, the indolic florals while additionally not to my taste were surprisingly interesting, and the powdery carnation never got too powdery to call it a day. Unfortunately, that dirty cumin used was just too darn much, particularly when added to the already overly dirty animalic mix. At the end of the day, Salome is the kind of composition one can appreciate as a work of art, but wearing it is quite another thing and this writer *wears* perfumes. The bottom line is the $160 per 50ml bottle Salome is definitely a departure from the common, bland "fresh" compositions of today, but while its heavy indolic florals and deep musky animalics are tough to wear but never overly-so, its dirty cumin absolutely is, earning it an "average" 2.5 stars out of 5 rating and a neutral recommendation. Setting aside the rating, if deep musky animalics with dirty cumin spice work for you, absolutely give Salome a try as it is bound to impress (though I would argue many vintage spicy animalic perfumes smell better, are much more wearable and can be had for considerably less money with some effort), but if heavy animalics, indoles and dirty spice are not your thing, this one will scare the heck out of you!