XerJoff, again and again this magnificent niche label draws me in. Right from the beginning, the beautiful scents by Sergio Momo made me swoon. No wonder I once owned four of them. I will never forget my first XerJoff perfume. It was the limited edition "Verona 010". Only 101 bottles were made and every one was hand painted by a chinese artist. Every bottle was unique. I paid 300€ for a 100ml bottle, quite an expensive blind buy. But there was no other option, as samples weren't available. Luckily I loved the scent. The second XerJoff in my collection was the honey and caramel drenched Oud, Mamluk, followed by Uden and finally Mefisto. I enjoyed all of them, but only for a short time. I came to a point were I wanted to take a break from perfumes. I sold most of my collection, including the XerJoffs. Then I was gone for one year. Currently I am rebuilding my collection. My new motto: Less is more! I focus in less fragrances, which allows me to enjoy and experience them in a more intense way. As I made my way back into perfumery, I noticed several new releases, including Red Hoba, Blue Hope and 1888 by XerJoff. Of course I wanted to try them, but I took it slowly. I don't want to experience the feeling of "too much" in terms of perfumes again. Everytime a new release sparks my attention, I stop myself from immediately ordering samples. I remain patient. But amidst all my patience, a sample of Blue Hope found its way into my hands. After all this time it's XerJoff again. What can I expect?
Just seconds after spraying the fragrance on my skin, the scent of tart and lush citrus fruits emerges, studded with beautiful accents of Saffron. This almost spicy freshness makes me think of nature and calmness. After reading several reviews on the internet, saying Blue Hope is sweet and fruity, I was quite surprised by such an opening. This must be a typical case of false expectations on my part. Or is it? Rather quick, the first impressions of Blue Hope start to disappear. After merely two minutes, the first changes begin to unfold: The perfume gets richer, the citrus melts into an accord of woods, which also brings fruity and sweet notes along with it. Just a few seconds after their appeareance, they already start to take over. What is the source of these new olfactive impressions? Sure, I could take the easy road and guess that some fruits are responsible for the fruity sweetness. But in this case it's just not that easy. Blue Hope may be fruity, but doesn't smell of fruit. The same goes for the Sweetness, which gets more intense as I write these lines, but never really goes into gourmand territory. The scent as a whole seems rather milky and tasteful. Also, the saffron is still there, lending the scent a velvet like gloom. As I consulted the notes pyramid to find out which of them is responsible for the curious fruit accord, I saw the cedarwood. At this point it is important to consider that cedarwood comes from many different regions. All these varieties produce oils, but they all have a distinct smell. They range from urinous, resin, woody, smoky; to even creamy and coconut like. That's exactly it, I am sure! The slightly woody, sweet and milky scent mixed with fruitynessmit is a result of combining a certain variety of Cedarwood with Jasmine. Often Jasmine is called the single most important flower in perfumery. You can also find different kinds of Jasmine, growing in different parts of the world. They all smell have an individual smell, but they all smell without a doubt like Jasmine. And truly, as Blue Hopes heart comes to full bloom, it offers a moist and green note with exotic hints, typical for Jasmine. But let's be honest: All of that is rather hard to make out, as the perfume is blended masterfully. Not a single note acts on its own, all of them act together and create something wonderful, something new! After an hour on my skin, all thats left of the saffron is a soft hint. It played its part extremely well in the composition and continues to lend a faint, almost unnoticeable velvet spice accent. During the rise of the Vanilla, these little hints of spice are pleasant and keep the composition alive and moving. And now to my favorite part of the fragrance: The Vanilla shows its full beauty during the drydown of Blue Hope! On a side note, it's fantastic how this fragrance manages to change this dramatically three times without losing its spirit. After the dry citrus and saffron opening and the rich and creamy Jasmine and Cedarwood heart, follows the beguiling and sweet base note of Vanilla. And despite all these different phases, Blue Hope always smells like Blue Hope, staying true to itself. But now back to the wonderful drydown: The already mentioned Vanille does not overpower the heart notes completely, parts of them remain until the end of the perfume. But something rather curious happens now. The Vanilla is hiding a secret. It's a carnal secret. It may only be the faintest hint, only a whisper. But it's there, something animalic. The last fragrance that combined sweet Vanilla with animalic notes, if I remember correctly, was Musc Maori by Parfumerie Générale. Unfortunately, this one smelled rather vile to me. Blue Hope is luckily not even close to this disastrous combination, I guess it's due to a different ratio of how the notes were used. So while Musc Maori reminds me of Vanilla pudding with chocolate chip cookies and big cat anus, Blue Hope doesn't evoke any wild animals, nor is it erotic in any way. It carries the scent of life, which draws me in and keeps me protected and warm. This warmth and feeling of protection is present during the whole development of Blue Hope. It's a comfortable kind of fragrance it calms me down and envelops all my senses. A fresh oriental like no other. Chapeau, Mr. Momo! Your creative direction resulted in yet another marvelous fragrance.
What else can I say? Blue Hope is a fragrance I fell in love with. It is warm and gentle, and the way the fresh citrus transforms into something much deeper and more rich is stunning to whitness. I know that XerJoff is often critiziced for their high prices and decadent bottle design. But personally, I am willing to pay the money they ask for Blue Hope, as this fragrance is unique. XerJoff is one of the very best out there, not a single of their compositions was a disappointment. Even if I did not like a fragrance, like Dhofar or Fiero, their quality is always outstanding. Lastly I'd like to mention that Blue Hope, despite being gentle, has amazing staying power and a strong sillage.