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Fragrance / Scent of the day.

I've been wanting to try this. What's your thoughts on this one?
Here is a copy of my mini-review on Basenotes of Javanese Patchouli. For those who don’t want to read through my rambles, the short answer is it is one of the best smelling compositions I have ever sniffed (and I have sampled several thousands of perfumes over the years).

Now for the longer answer:


Javanese Patchouli opens with a dash of fine lemony bergamot citrus, with hints of the earthy patchouli sneaking up from the heart. As the composition enters its early heart the earthy woody patchouli takes over the starring role with the natural smelling lemony bergamot remaining as underlying support, coupling with a fine soft pink pepper to add perceived dirtiness to the mix and subtle tonka bean derived sweetness. As the composition makes its way through the heart the bergamot and pink pepper gradually recede, transitioning to cedarwood rising from the base to join the slightly sweetened focal patchouli. During the late dry-down the natural cedarwood takes over as star with the patchouli still detectable, now in support through the finish. Projection is average to above average, and longevity excellent at around 12 hours on skin.

During my recent vacation to Las Vegas, I excitedly went from store to store sampling as many compositions of potential interest I could find, new and old alike. As I made my way through the tens and tens of retailers seeking out winners I was beginning to despair that not many compositions impressed save ones I already owned. Towards the end of the day after many disappointments I entered the Zegna store at Crystals exhausted with very low expectations after my negative experience with Zegna's regular line in the past. It turns out I am very glad I did, as I had a chance to sniff the entire Essenze private line and what a revelation it was.

As this is a review of Javanese Patchouli, I will cut to the chase and say that while the line positively surprised on the whole, Javanese Patchouli was the definitive standout. When I initially sniffed the cap for an early read I detected initial traces of greatness, but once sprayed on skin after allowing the composition to develop it became clear it is something special. The amazing perfumer, Frank Voelkl (responsible for my favorite Le Labo compositions Ylang 49 and Iris 39 among others) has put together what amounts to a near-perfect concoction. His minimalist use of natural smelling lemon-like bergamot running through the patchouli to smooth out its earthy qualities is simplistic genius. The pink pepper took me a little while to warm to, but the way it folds into the lemon-spiked patchouli and woods has won me over in the end. Finally, it should be mentioned that the cedarwood driven base while simplistic is quite believable and sublime. All-in-all this composition is masterpiece reference caliber work that has captivated someone who tends to like patchouli as a supporting note and not as the star. The bottom line is the $195 per 125ml bottle Javanese Patchouli is reference caliber work from the extremely talented Frank Voelkl that should be on anyone's sniffing list whether they like patchouli focused compositions or not, earning a "masterpiece" rating of 5 stars out of 5 and a very strong recommendation to all. Oh yes, of course I bought a bottle.
 
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