Ménage a Trois: Doblis and Juozas

Happy Valentine’s Day! Welcome to Menage a Trois, what we hope will be a regular feature every other Wednesday, where we three take on at least two scents for review, according to our usual High Standards of Perfume Professionalism.

Hermes Doblis — woods, musk, moss, leather, jasmine, rose, $$$$$$$

  • Patty When I first sniffed this from a wee sample a most generous perfume enabling friend sent, I thought… what’s the big whoop here? I don’t get it, $500 plus for a bottle of this stuff? It’s really nice, but …. I ignored it for a few days, but had to try again. This isn’t a scent that is going to hit you over the head with “Hey, Look how great I am!” but it does sneak up on you. Perfectly balanced between floral notes and leather, this perfume whispers money, elegance, and taste. So why do I wear it, you ask? Because it fits me too –it is down to earth and not pretentious, it slides on without effort and is like my favorite velvet bathrobe, it takes no work to love it. Worth that much money? Not for everyone, no. For me? Yup. And I’ll weep inconsolably when the bottles run out.
  • MarchHey, Patty — Does the $$$$$$$ sign up there mean they stuffed a lot of dollars down into the bottle? It smells like they did. I smelled this among 47 other things in Chicago. At the time, it didn’t make much of an impression. I am now sitting here with my nose affixed to my left wrist, a position I have been in long enough to develop a cramp. Doblis demands the question: does this thing smell so unbelievably beautiful only because I know how impossible it is to get? When I smelled it in Chicago it seemed more masculine to me, with more leather. This time I am getting mostly rose on an oakmoss/leather base — the drydown smells almost Guerlinade-ish to me. Do I see the word bathrobe up there? Man, the word I’d use is cloak. Or possibly crown. An impossibly sumptuous fragrance that says, you cannot afford me. I am racking my brain, and I can’t think of another leather this luxurious.
  • LeopoldoErm, I’m not that great at reviewing scents like this, so I’m glad those luscious ladies went first. I read a little about it in order to get my head round the smell. Redesigned by Jean Claude Ellena it seems, though this isn’t much like what you expect from his usual schtick – it’s not transparent, minimalist, gauzy, sheer and that usual adjectival ticklist of stuff we associate with Patty’s lover-to-be. I’m guessing he’s been remarkably faithful to the original. What is marking it as different for me is the moss and the musk – there’s a thick (though not heavy) richness to this scent that reverberates with echoes of time past. It smells vintage. It’s also soapy and powdery in that exceptionally high class, ‘Yes I do have a waiting room, dressing room and ladies’ chamber thank you very much’ kind of way. I can see why some people would fall in love with it – nostalgia, sophistication and its rarity all make it desirable. It’s quite quite lovely without ever shouting about it.

Juozas Statkevicius — incense, jasmine, patchouli, coriander, vanilla, benzoin, musk, amber, cashmere wood, all languishing in Lithuania and unable to reach our far shores.

  • March well, I dropped my vial on the floor and it broke, so I’m even a sadder sack than Patty or Lee. But I got a good, hard sniff over several days, and I’m going to cite Marina’s Cheesesteak Syndrome — i.e., you hear about how wonderful something is, build up your expectations, and are invariably disappointed in the reality. I got the Cheesesteak Syndrome with Juozas. I love incense — love, love, love. I can’t think of a single incense-dominated fragrance I can’t wrap myself around, even the dank Messe de Minuit. (Myrrh is another story.) So, sure — I liked Juozas. It’s not as dense as, say, CdG Avignon, nor as cold as the Armani Prive. I’m not sure there’s another fragrance I’d come up with a direct comparison to. But … but … there’s a note in there at the beginning, a sweetness (maybe a combination of the jasmine and vanilla?) that drifts in and out, and I don’t like it. It seems out of place in the fragrance, and its random emergence bugs me more than I’d think it would.
  • LeopoldoErm, March… Sad sack? Whachoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis? Just try to prove it… Anyway, I always imagine I love incense scents, and I own a few. But I hardly ever wear them. There’s also one I detest (and sandwiched between these two hottie perfumistas, I think I’m alone on this one) – the Messe that is a foul Minuit. The very thought of it brings on nausea. This of course meant that when I heard Etro’s baleful fumes mentioned alongside this new and rare exotic beast, I thought I’d have to steer well clear. I was wrong really – I get none of that damp menace from You-Owes-Us (see how phonologically helpful I am? Lord alone knows whether I’m right though), but it doesn’t excite me either. Some very clever person (I’m looking at you, Solander, you wonder!) in a blog I can’t read (language issues, rather than shock) made a pictorial link between the advertising imagery from this scent – glam blonde in 30s androgynous gear – and Weimar era Marlene Dietrich. And there is perhaps a thread of decadent sophistication running through this one. But there’s something sour in the first hour or so that’s a little offputting for me at least (like someone has melted a Haribo accord into it), and then it is a somewhat straightforward mix of incense, amber and musk. I’m a long way from king of amber and musk, so its appeal is a little wasted on me. I can imagine on the right person (my head says woman, but that’s marketing for you) it’d smell damn sexy. However, I am now craving some Haribo sours, even if I claimed not to like the accord. Make of that what you will. Oh, and Patty: March and I have just about left enough room for you. Try to say something snappy, would you?
  • Patty I sorta get the hype on this, but it’s probably not so much me. I really don’t like the initial blast, it is way too barber shoppy and medicinal, but as it dries down and the incense takes over that rough beginning, I wind up liking this very much. Worth the time tracking it down and getting it here? Not for me, but if it ever gets more accessible, I’d certainly like having a bottle of it around. Lord, you two sure can rattle on.
  • Kelly says:

    Ooooooooooooh, lookie – Doblis on Ebay. A mere $806. Can we all pitch in and get a drop each? 😕

    • March says:

      That is hilarious. Or depressing. Depending. How big is the bottle? If it’s 50 ml and it goes for, lessee, $900, then each ml is … $18. So 25 of us could each get a 2ml vial for … $36 plus shipping?

      Kill me now.

  • Ayala says:

    Congrats on the new look, March and Patty! And the third part in a dangerous love-triangle. I can smell trouble LOL!
    This is really fun, thank you!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!
    XO
    Ayala

  • Judith says:

    I LOVE Doblis, I LoVe Messe de Minuit, and I love Juozas. I guess I’m just in love:x! How appropriate. Yay for the Chanels on the truck! I hope my love will be amplified int the near future!:x:x

    • March says:

      Judith — what do you think you’ll like best? I keep whiling away the hours by triangulating all the reviews. Luca Turin comparing Coromandel to Borneo makes me nervous… I’m now thinking 31, Rue Cambon (“the best Chypre in 30 years”) and La Pausa will be my favorites.

  • Solander says:

    You’re sneaking around my blog like crazy, aren’t you? And you haven’t got a clue what I write – I tested one of those online translators for fun and it’s complete, although quite poetical I admit, gibberish.
    Anyway, what I was saying was basically that Marlene Dietrich was Tabac Blond and that pale copycat was Juozas. Pretty, sure, and I appreciate a classy vintage style ad, but nothing compared to Marlene the goddess with her androgynous, mischievous allure…
    I did write a rave review about Juozas though. I think it’s the perfect combination of dry, woody pepper/incense and sweet, powdery amber/musk. But it’s also unmistakably contemporary, sort of… transparent? “clean”? Vintage scents just have more depth and substance, like Marlene (I guess you could say she’s all surface, but she’s helluva surface, they just don’t make them with that kind of depth and substance anynore ;))

    • Lee says:

      To be honest, S, I didn’t try reading. I just looked at the pretty pictures. As for a translation machine – let’s just say I’m damn lazy. Though, if I had been able to read it, given your precis here, I would’ve wholeheartedly agreed with you.:d

    • March says:

      I tried! I tried on one of those translators, can’t remember which one, and it was total gibberish. Wonder why? I mean, is there something inherently more difficult about Swedish? I’m not a linguist… why does the word “linguist” sound dirty to me?

      • Lee says:

        cos of the James Bond joke w/ Moneypenny on the phone to him as he beds a Danish babe?…
        “You always were a cunning linguist, James.” Maybe?

      • Solander says:

        Of course linguist is a dirty word! It means something like “tongueist” after all…

        Anyway, Swedish is not a particularly difficult language. Sure it has its quirks, like they all do, but like English it doesn’t have grammatical genders, and it doesn’t have grammatical cases either (English has two, do-does, say-says… while German, French, Spanish have plenty)
        The problem with the translator I tried was simply it was crap (as you might expect from something free). A) It couldn’t translate any words with Ã¥ ä ö in them, and there are plenty. B) It hardly recognized any of the other words either, especially not inflectional forms and C) The words it did recognize it translated with some kind of dadaist poetry approach, the translation that made the most sense was the translation of the Swedish word for “I” with “self”, so it said “self think…” and so on.
        But even without these apparent flaws automatic translators doesn’t really work, do they? I mean, have they invented any that can really handle grammar, ambiguities and set phrases? Isn’t translator software guilty of all of those incomprehensible but oddly poetical multilingual manuals?

  • tmp00 says:

    much, thanks.

  • Robin says:

    Thank you all for killing my lemming for the Juozas stuff.

    • March says:

      Robin — happy to be of service!! By the time you’ve worked your way through your private fragrance backlog, Juozas will be available at Sephora.;)

  • tmp00 says:

    I refuse to even think of Doblis. Refuse I tell you! Don’t try to sway me by mailing me a sample, I shall not be swayed! :-w

    I liked the Juozas a lot, and am hoping that effusive praise will cause him to bring it to at least LuckyScent. Thanks to the buzzkill trio here, that may never happen! [-(

    :d

    Happy V-day, kids!

    • Lee says:

      We try our best Tommy boy. Imagine us, if you will, as a triple tag team wrestling combo ( o-+o->o=> ) slamdunking that You-Owes-Us mofo into oblivion.

      Actually we all said we liked it….

      *Dear Mr JS

      Please bring your wonderful perfume to LuckyScent in the US

      Thank you.*

      That better?

    • Patty says:

      Aw, Nice Reverse Pyschology move there! (looking at my teeny bottle and contemplating what Tom might have that I need… hmmm…)

      Hey, we are not a buzzkill, we liked it! I like it a lot, it’s just not love, but I’d happily have a bottle around to spritz. I just wasn’t crazy about the open — open, but just annoyed me, like Iris Taizo and Aomassia’s open bugs me — but the drydown is all that and a bag of Haribo.

    • Patty says:

      Human existence! Do you have a drop of that?

      • tmp00 says:

        Oh yes, I have a drop or two of that. Of course, if you are forced to move to another city after trying it, don’t blame me!

        😉

  • violetnoir says:

    Happy Hearts to all of you wonderful smelly people! 😡

    I LOVE Doblis! Unfortunately, I have just about used up my sample, so I am saving the dregs of it to sniff whenever I need a pick-me-up. What a gorgeous fragrance. Hermes needs to bring it back…again…and again…and again!

    I did not like the Juozas one. Sorry, but it smelled like any old other woodsy fragrance to me. Next!

    Speaking on next, P, how are we coming on the Chanels?

    Hugs and Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

    • Patty says:

      R– write to Hermes, and tell them we need our Doblis! Cheaper, better, faster. While you are at it, let Caron know that we’d also like the Parfum Sacre extrait back in bucketfuls.

      Chanels are on damn truck — TRUCK! — between Indianapolis and here. The same people that assured me they would be here today are now assuring me they will “probably” be here tomorrow.

      I’m the best person in the world to brow-beat someone on the phone into telling me what I want to know (all that “24” and Jack Bauer has rubbed off), but these Fedex people have been giving people the run-around far longer than I’ve been alive, so I’m only having marginal success. As soon as I get them agree to give me a jingle when the box crosses the Denver County line, then I’ll call it a success.

  • Lee says:

    I’ve deceided that the three stooges are a much more accurate representation of me than the blue eyed dude…:((

  • Katie says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. This is going to be a fun feature, and can’t wait to read the next one.

    Leopoldo – love the “Haribo accord!” I immediately understood exactly what you meant by that, even if you kind of meant it in a kidding way.

    Gots to try that Doblis now, on the basis of that last sentence March. And on the basis of Patty’s bathrobe, which sounds weirder than I probably think it does. :)>-

    • March says:

      Katie — I’d like to lay claim to that Haribo accord, because it is absolutely perfect — projects the synthetic aspect that chafes me, although I still say sweet rather than sour.

    • Patty says:

      Katie, my bathrobe is pretty weird, but I love velvet, which explains why I love a lot of the perfumes that I do.

      am I the only person that has no idea what Haribo is, much less accord of?

      • Lee says:

        I put the link there for dumbos like you, P! 😡

        • Patty says:

          I followed the link, but I’m being willfully obtuse right now, so indulge me.

          • Lee says:

            It’s German gelatinous candy – sugar coated, which comes in all kinds of flavas. I was particuarly referring to Haribo sours – the type of chewies that if you eat too many of ’em, you lose the roof of your mouth and need soft palate surgery. Kids love em.

          • March says:

            P — Haribo makes Gummi Bears, which is what I was thinking of. Tell me you’ve had Gummi Bears. You *have* to have eaten Gummi Bears. I can conjure up that synthetic, braces-removing taste right now in my imagination…

          • Lee says:

            You know, it’s funny, you rarely see Gummi Bears round these parts nowadays. It used to be all about the bears. Now it’s everything but.

            I always liked the fizzy cola bottles. And the sour cherries, ’til a friend told me they looked like testicles.

      • Katie says:

        OH my god, you have to at least try the Haribo Cola ones sometime. They are the greatest thing to ever happen to gummies. Ever.

        I have two bathrobes – one I unwisely chose in silk, which… it seemed like a good idea when I got it, very sexy, but I wear it never. The other is one of those grandma-style robes with 4-foot thick (or so it looks like)fluffy terry, and I will not be ever including it in any perfume ode ever. Unless its about my grandma’s perfume, heh.

  • Marina says:

    You three got it all wrong. Juozas is wonderful and Doblis suffers from the Cheesecake Syndrome. :d Seriously though, I tried and re-tried, and I still don’t get what’s the big deal about Doblis. It refuses to be anything but rather conventionally elegant (read- boring) on me. 🙁

    • March says:

      Marina — I don’t know what my issue is with the Juozas — I did note I said “sweet” and P said “medicinal”… I sniffed hard but never did smell the aporia.

    • Patty says:

      But comfortably elegant, like finding yourself in a huge castle, and instead of it being too much and like you don’t fit, you find big fireplaces that are cozy and little spots to hide, and it suddenly fits you perfectly when it shouldn’t.

      That’s the magic of Doblis for me. I do like the Juozas, and I would like to have more, but I just didn’t fall in love.

  • Flor says:

    I’m very bitter about the whole Doblis situation. I refuse to try it. I love to wear my scents and even if I did possibly manage to get my hands on a bottle (when pigs fly), I would be afraid of falling in love (because I undoubtedly will), and then would never use it for fear of it running out (inevitable). A sore spot for me to be sure. It’s like when I got my hands on Apres L’Ondee pure perfume and now it just sits there, crying, while it’s sisters (L’Heure Bleue and Mitsouko) always get their night out on the town.

    • March says:

      Flor, now that I’ve figured out how wonderful it is, I’m a little bitter too.[-(

    • Patty says:

      Don’t be bitter! Write Hermes. If we just deluge them with requests to bring it back, they have to, right? Well, at least it will give us something to do rather than calling all the Hermes boutiques in the world to see if they still have a bottle… just so I can keep track of them. No, no, I don’t do that, honest.

      • Flor says:

        I will write Hermes. Everyone has their breaking point. If they get flooded with enough mail, maybe they’ll finally give in to peer pressure and re-release it already! But for real this time – not the corny counted bottle bit, that’s just messed up. /:)

    • Maria B. says:

      Flor, that’s exactly my tendency with rare stuff. I’m oh so afraid to use it up because it will be gone forever, etc. However, I’ve made up my mind I’m going to wear what I have. I’m going to use the Apres l’Ondee extrait in the decant bottle inside the pretty bag in a case inside the linen closet…at least a little bit. :”>

      • Flor says:

        Glad I’m not alone. Maybe we oughta hit up Guerlain with mail as well. Why do the good die young??? Why!!!!!:-\

        • Maria B. says:

          Flor, I think in the case of Apres l’Ondee it’s not Guerlain’s fault that they no longer produce the extrait. I read on another blog a couple of months ago (Now Smell This?) that Guerlain has been forced to stop producing the pure parfum because some component of it is on some European Union list of forbidden substances. Or something like that. Please, somebody, correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Elle says:

    As DH or any of my exSOs could tell you, I’m the ultimate Vday grinch. Hate romantic gestures w/ a passion. However, should DH ever get me Doblis, even if he gave it to me w/ a poem (the worst thing I can imagine in life – not in general since I’m a poetry sl*t, but personal ones make my toes curl in agony), I’d toss all my grinchiness out of the window and…well, make him a very happy man. Yes, I’m afraid I’m easily bought.
    Do any of you get Ambre Soie layered w/ a bit of Bois d’Encens from JS? That association was what hit me immediately w/ JS and it’s remained through subsequent testing.

  • donanicola says:

    Good post Fragrant Threesome! You-Owes-Us sounds interesting. Must admit I have yet to sample the Mess (though LOVE LOVE LOVE Avignon). But what I really wanted to say was how grateful I am to Patty that she dispensed some preciousssss Doblis through FF. As I type this the sample bottle is wedged up my left nostril. Just gorgeous. How can something so elegant be so warm and comforting too?

    • Patty says:

      It really is understate, and much as I try to convince myself it’s just another pretty floral leather, I really, really love it.

      What I do not love is Fed Ex, who dumped my precious Chanel cargo onto a TRUCK from Indianapolis to Denver yesterday and now cannot tell me where my package is at all, just that they are hoping I might see it tomorrow. :-wb-(x( Bastards.

      • March says:

        I would laugh, if that weren’t so depressingly stupid. This is what you paid FedX for? What kind of service is that?

        • Patty says:

          Well, they can’t help the storm, so I’m okay with that. The not being able to tell me where a next-day priority 21-pound box is is pretty unforgivable. I mean, what if it was a baby in that box?

  • Maria B. says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to everybody–and especially to the Three Musketeers of Scent. I ran to take a shower as soon as I read your post…so that I could sample What’s His Name on clean arms. (Thank you, Leopoldo, for You-Owes-Us. I think this is the only way I’ll remember the name.) This is my second try at the fragrance. I like the opening, actually. It’s not really barbershoppy or medicinal on me. It’s somewhat leathery. I know leather isn’t listed among the notes, but that’s what I smell, okay? My perfume-eating skin quickly brings the scent down to a whisper, but a very pleasant whisper. I like the fragrance, but I would not beg Patty to undertake the arduous trip to Lithuania again to bring us some more. :d I think I’ve fallen prey to Philly Cheesesteak Syndrome.

    I LLLOOOVVVEEE Messe de Minuit. It actually lasts on me, and as my DH also enjoys wearing it, I can play it in stereo. (Such magnification is particularly cherished by those with my kind of skin.) Messe does not smell like Midnight Mass to me at all. Its wateriness makes me think of a baptismal font in an old stone church. It is one of my life’s ambitions to smell like a church. A sample of HEELEY (is one really supposed to use all caps?) Cardinal is supposed to be winging its way to me. I’m very curious about it. I haven’t tried the CdG incense series. I wonder if someone among your legions of readers has actually done a comparison.

    As to Doblis, I don’t want to know about it. When I was 14, I saw *How to Steal a Million*, starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. They were their usual charming selves, but for me the star of the film was a gorgeous yellow Jaguar. No car has ever come close to looking as good to me. I will probably never be able to afford a yellow Jaguar–and certainly not THAT yellow Jaguar. No, I don’t want to know about Doblis.

    • Lee says:

      Maria – I’d say CDG Avignon is closer to church than MdM. I’d be happy to post you a sample (P: get me this lovely woman’s email so I can fix her up…Doh! Realised I can do this myself. I’m blaming mercury in retrograde or my underpants being too tight…)

      You’re wise, oh so wise, to steer clear of Delectable Doblis. I certainly will not be posting the drop I have left to you with the Avignon$-)…

      @};-:[email protected]};-

    • Patty says:

      But I have an evil plan. If we all bug them to bring it back, they have to, right?