Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DSQUARED2 - Potion

A LIGHTER SHADE OF PALE. DSQUARED2: s first foray into masculine perfumery, He Wood (2007), was a competent albeit simple blend of violets and vetiver. Uncomplicated, yet instantly recognizable and pleasant. Since then a few flankers have appeared, all of them with some merit of their own. All in all a good olfactory resume so far for the extravagant Caten-twins Dean and Dan.

Therefore I was quite excited to try out their latest launch - Potion. Additionally, the nose is the esteemed Annick Ménardo, creator of previous brilliance like Bulgari Black, YSL Body Kouros and Dior’s Bois D'Argent.

And Potion does deliver. But, unfortunately far too weakly. The longevity and sillage of this is incredibly low – more like a fragrant whisper than the eau de parfum strength signalled on the great looking apothecary style flacon… Three spritzes faded into oblivion within an hour on my skin. This really is a pity on this woodsy, spicy and innovative concoction.

During it's brief presence, Potion delivers a smooth, minty almost absinthe-tinged ride. The opening is boldly boozy, herbal and slightly bitter but rapidly mellows down to gentle spices and dry woods. The main accord is austere and strict , creating an almost pale/white impression where very classic ingredients come together in a contemporary manner - much like Comme des Garcons' early stuff.

Official notes include red mint leaves, angelica, thyme, rose petals, black peppercorns, gentian, cinnamon, cashmere wood, patchouli, amber and musk. A note missing from the official list is nutmeg, which I pick up strongly - especially on the dry down. Hints of smoky incense, dry cedar and soft amber purr together before Potion fades out completely.

Overall Potion is a well crafted, fairly original blend obviously made from high quality ingredients. This clearly stands out from the majority of new designer releases and reinforces the obviously high ambitions of this particular house regarding fragrances. Creative and extremely wearable.

Ultimately, and unfortunately so, the insanely low staying power and projection significantly lowers the overall experience. Hopefully DSQUARED2 puts out an “extreme” version or something in that direction soon. Apparently the wide range of ancillary products features a perfume oil version that might be worth looking up in hopes of increased output.

Year of Launch: 2011
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Gucci Pour Homme, L’Artisan Parfumeur Fou d’Absinthe, Cacharel Pour Homme, Hermès Eau de Gentian Blanche, Comme des Garcons White
Longevity & Sillage: Both unfortunately extremely low
Overall Rating: 6/1o

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Citrus Anatomy part V - Guerlain Homme L´Eau

The latest instalment in Guerlain´s Homme-series is actually the by far most accomplished yet. Better and more balanced than both the original and intense versions, L´Eau is highly wearable for summer and crisp fall days. It retains the rum/mojito accord from the original and has a cool, bracing mint note. The harsh and synthetic wood accord from previous versions has been replaced by classic eau de cologne notes with zesty citrus, pungent herbs and icy geranium.

Additional notes include lime, bergamot, grapefruit, cedar and vetiver.

For me this is a perfect update of Hermès Eau de orange verte concentrée. Same elegant classic style but with better longevity and some added complexity. The frosted glass flacon looks good and represents the content very well. Good projection and excellent staying power. Overall a winner and perhaps more importantly - finally a modern classic for Guerlain´s in house perfumer Thierry Wasser.

Overall rating: 8/10