I gave a quick first impression of Odin Nomad long ago, but have finally had a chance to give it, along with the other two samples I had, some more attention.
Odin 03 Century – Beautifully blended. For the initiated, you won’t think it’s anything new and certainly relatively. For what it is though, it’s really quite nice. The cypress peeks through nicely, and the musk and amber in the base sweeten it just enough. It does have some unique elements here and there, but ultimately, you’ve got a mild-mannered woody amber with a hint of patchouli to give it some punch. Century is not in-your-face, but seems to have pretty surprising longevity.
*UPDATE* Century has killer longevity – 12 hours and a shower later and I can still smell the musk aromachemicals on my hand!
Odin 01 Nomad – This one holds my interest a bit more than Century. The initial blast has a cleaning supply vibe, but not in a bad way; it’s probably the juniper in the head. That passes within a minute or two and it turns into a tart, creamy cedar. It settles quickly into another variation of the sweetened woody base, this time with tonka instead of amber. The bright tartness (perhaps the bergamot?) hangs around for a while giving a bit of interest. There’s something floral to me as well, but I might just imagining it. Nomad doesn’t have much more tenacity than Century.
Odin 02 Owari – A blast of mandarin with a realistic grapefruit right out of the gate. It’s not the kind of grapefruit I usually loathe, but like freshly torn peel and tart spray. It fades into the heart soon after and a great neroli plays center stage. It’s supported by a slightly sweet base (seems to be a trend here). I can see some resemblance at times to Diptyque’s Eau de Neroli.
Owari seems like something I’d love in warmer months, but I’ve got a stockpile of great neroli scents, so it would have to blow me away to get my wallet out. Century would be nice for someone looking for a safe, woody amber who doesn’t have any of the genre. Nomad is the only of the three that I could imagine for me – it’s nothing daring, but it’s a great, close-wearing scent with decent longevity that would be perfect for office wear. The bergamot, juniper, and sandalwood are a really pleasing combination.
I decided to give this one a test this morning as I was heading out the door and put a single shot of it on the back of my hand to enjoy throughout the morning. At first sniff from the bottle (really nice bottles – photos of the set coming soon!) and initial application, it is a nice light summery floral citrus that didn’t really seem to hold any surprises. It has an uplifting white floral opening (listed notes are lotus flower, magnolia, jasmine, olive blooms) with a hint of bergamot and a spike of tart citrus… the description on the Xerjoff site really is spot on. It’s really quite pleasant, but didn’t come across as earth shattering or new.
However, this scent has huge evolution. On my drive to work, it has already begun progressing through a variety of notes and new players were emerging. I was getting what seemed like a chili pepper note and the olive blooms were really coming out as the other initial florals fell back. A few hours into it, that chili pepper note begins to fall back and you’re left with a very fresh osmanthus and citrus. I’m not sure if the Olive Blooms listed in the notes is of the osmanthus variety, but I’m definitely perceiving it that way. I also smell orange blossoms, similar to how they’re treated in By Kilian’s Prelude to Love. It’s extra “clean” smelling – most likely attributable to the choice in musk aroma-chemicals in the base. If smelled up close, you’ll be able to detect just the slightest of creamy undertones that is quite nice and helps to bring it together.Very nice.
Overall, it’s probably my least favorite of the Casamorati series, but I really like the other three. It’s certainly well made and something to put on your sample list if you love bright citrus floral scents that aren’t too feminine… I think it could easily be worn by a man. Actually, the longer it sits on my skin, the more I like it. I’ll definitely give this one a full wear soon.
Check out Sorcery of Scent for Dimitri’s thought on it from a while back.
UPDATE A WHILE LATER – I’m really warming up to this one. After a while on my skin, I’m really liking it.
I recently got a sample of this in the mail (thanks Nathan!) and finally got a chance to give it attention. It’s made by natural perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and is an oil. It is from 2002 as a holiday release. Here are the notes and description from her site:
An ancient aroma of sacred incense…the Holy Smoke of the Midnight Mass rises with a blessing for the coming year.
Top notes: Bergamot
Middle notes: Mastic, Oppopanax, Sandalwood
Base notes: Brown Oakmoss, Frankincense (Olibanum), True Arabian Myrrh
I really thought it would be a dry, churchy thing, but what I got was a warm, enveloping scent that opened with the tartness of bergamot and warmth of oppopanax and slowly developed over the entire day. If you’ve ever had a hot toddy, that’s exactly what this reminded me of for most of the morning. It develops well throughout its life, with pops of frankincense taking turns with a sweet sandalwood. A full 12 hours later, it was still quite detectable but evolved fully from what it had started out as in the morning. That’s incredible with it being a natural perfume. I’d highly recommend giving this a try if you’re looking for an introspective, warm fragrance – I can totally see this as a perfect scent by a fire at Christmas (and any other time of the year, for that matter).
The first time I had a chance to try Guerlain’s Les Voyages Olfactifs was at EPCOT last year. It was the first time we’d been to a Guerlain boutique and it was fascinating to have a big table full of all the Paris and boutique exclusives. All three from Les Voyages Olfactifs are Guerlain through and through, with the signature Guerlainade and touch of powdery sweetness in the top. They come in enormous 8.3 oz bottles, with screw cap and additional atomizer. I would personally prefer these bottles to have a better integrated atomizer since I keep them with the atomizer on and the great, brushed screw cap off.
Paris – New York is supposed to smell like Manhattan at Christmas time. I’ve never been to Manhattan, but if it smells like this, it must be a marvelous place. It opens with a slightly perfumey, candied note that lingers in the air with a hint of tart mandarin and bergamot. As it dries and throughout the day, you’ll catch wisps of vanilla, cardamom, cedar, and hints of orange blossom. It lasts a full day and then some, and projects in just the right way. It lets its presence be know, but does not announce it loudly. The dry down is gorgeous – a light floral over cedar and vanilla with hints of cinnamon.
Rose Chyprée – it’s incredible. Rose Chyprée is from Andy’s new Mémorables line – and it evokes memories. There’s something about it that’s comforting and familiar. It’s something that once you smell it, you want to keep smelling it, nose glued to it. The GF can’t get enough of it… for her, it makes her think of her horses back home in Arizona. It brings her memories of the desert, hay, flowers, and the scent of a horse, glistening with sweat, along with its worn leather saddle.
It truly is something special… all of Andy’s perfumes are hand made and packaged by him. He is really quite the talented perfumer. (Andy, quit the day job already!) This one has a pound of rose petals steam distilled in each bottle. That’s incredible. It is a small 15ml bottle, but it’s potent and a couple shots are all you need. Andy’s description from his website:Une rose chyprée is an oriental rose on a chypre base.
It is an elegant perfume built around two natural extracts from rosa damascena: The absolute and the steam distilled essential oil. 15 ml Rose chyprée contains one pound of fresh rose petals, steam distilled in the traditional way.
Its heart is lifted by spicy Bay and hot cinnamon and a fresh accord built around bergamot, lemon and Clementine essential oils.
Green Bourbon geranium oil lets the rose petals shine and contrasts with the dark resinous accord in the base, built around labdanum, oak moss, patchouli, vetiver and vanilla.
I stuck a regular 1ml sample vial here just to show scale… it’s a tiny little thing.