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Altin Damla

Item Description

Altın Damla (Golden Drop in English) is a popular and traditional fragrance in the prolific culture of Colognes in Turkey. It consists of a combination of patchouli, musk, rose powder and vanilla. This reviewed version is made and marketed by Lâle Kolonyası –an independent manufacturer located in the European side of Istanbul– and comes with a 60° volume of alcohol.

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Pros: The original scent
Cons: The original scent… or simply put, YMMV
As I wrote in the description, Altin Damla –which means Golden Drop in English– is a traditional fragrance in the vast Turkish Cologne market, on par with other scents like Lemon, Lavender, Tobacco or more mysteriously named ones like Izmir Night or Secret Flower. My review focuses on a particular brand, Lâle, a small-size company located in the European side of Istanbul, but you can find the Altin Damla fragrance with a bunch of local competitors.
Price: It is hard to tell the price I paid because I got this Cologne in a big lot including many other items (Turkish Colognes and shave sticks) which was a pretty good bargain, but I have no clue about the individual cost of each item. I know for sure that locally made Colognes are fairly cheap in Turkey. Lâle being a rather unknown brand, it is much harder –if not impossible– to find than more famous manufacturers like PE RE JA, Eyüp Sabri Tuncer or Selin. So, unless you are visiting Turkey, your best chance to get hold of a copy is to ask a local contact, be it a friend or a vendor. Then it will depend on how much your contact will overcharge you –or not– for the tracking service. Let’s say this: if you must pay more than $10-15 for a bottle, don’t bother to buy. I rated it 10 because a fellow Turkish member at B&B told me you can get 400 ml of any Altin Damla for 5 bucks.
Quality: considering the cost of the product, you cannot expect much of a high-end quality, though it has a great value for money, therefore the 10/10 grade.
Packaging: the fluid is stored in a cheap plastic bottle that looks like a dishwashing one. The bottle has a manufacturer sticker on it, and a product name sticker on the former. Both are not even upright and seem to have been hand stuck. No mention of formulation and ingredient list. You could do barely cheesier than that but in my opinion what matters here –in regards to the price– is the content, not the container.
Scent: the fragrance is the strongest quality of this product. The scent was described to me by the seller as a mixture of tobacco leaf and flowers, resulting in a manly redolence not for everyone’s taste. I am a sucker for tobacco-scented perfumes that is why I initially purchased this product. What my surprise was when I smelt it for the first time! Such a shock, it felt like I received a powerful deflagration of mixed detergent and kerosene into my nostrils! Of tobacco aroma, there is absolutely none. I find it really hard to describe the notes of the scent with actual words, the best I can say is that it is an overwhelmingly powdery and floral scent, and quite heady. The fragrance grew on me and I actually enjoy it so much now that if forms a part of my perfume rotation. I asked a Turkish member at B&B about the Altin Damla ingredients and he was kind enough to make some research for me: patchouli, musk, rose powder and vanilla. This recipe seems to me much more accurate than the seller’s description.
Complexity: if by complexity, you mean a scent hard to grasp, then sure it is not for everyone’s taste and deserves to be rated 10. If by complexity, you mean the condition of being elaborate then the scent in my opinion does not evolve much with time, it smells strong at first then just fades slowly until vanishing.
Staying Power: as far as I am concerned, I believe the staying power is a typical YMMV factor. First, it depends a lot on one’s skin. Then, your sense of smell will get used to the scent with time; at some point you will not notice it anymore, which does not mean other people will not notice it on you. I wore perfumes which I did not smell anything while it caused headaches to people around me. I guess Altin Damla usually lasts between 2 and 4 hours on me, which is far from the longest staying power I have ever experimented.
Quality of Atomizer: the atomizer is very powerful and sprays way too much fluid with one pressure, but at least it has an atomizer which is not always the case with Turkish colognes. Personally, I hate splashing colognes, so I rated it 2 because it comes with an atomizer but I prefer more gentle ones which allows me to adjust the quantity I want to spray on me.
In conclusion, I am not sure if my lousy review convinced you of trying Altin Damla. Most likely not. If you are keen on trying a one-of-a-kind and hate-it-or-love-it fragrance, I believe you should give this one a chance. And if you love to sniff Arko’s infamous scent, Altin Damla will suit you just fine. My advice: as Altin Damla is a traditional Turkish recipe, do not bother to search for this obscure Lâle as more widely available brands like PE RE JA or Eyüp Sabri Tuncer offer an Altin Damla version in the Cologne range.
Price
5.00 star(s)
Scent
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Packaging
0.00 star(s)
Complexity
5.00 star(s)
Staying Power
2.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
1.00 star(s)

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