I had a crushing perfume blow last week that I can´t quite bring myself to talk about yet, mostly because I´m embarrassed by how much it bothers me the way things didn´t quite work out. So I, your trusty perfume handmaiden, turned to my long-ignored stash of biehl parfumkunstwerke once more, figuring that if the first two I´d tried at random (mb03 and al02) turned out to be sniff-worthy, maybe I´d find some more love in that bag of samples. I did a little pre-research on Luckyscent and decided to sniff two by Egon Oelkers because the notes sounded interesting.
eo01 is described as a “woody oriental” with notes of tangerine, blood orange, cardamom, nutmeg, apricot, coconut, rosewood, pimento, iris, orchid, lily of the valley, styrax, vanilla, cinnamon, tonka bean, cedar, vetiver, patchouli. I was kicking myself for not trying this earlier, because I´d be hard-pressed to come up with a list of notes that sounds more like something I´d be guaranteed to love. I´m also laughing because somewhere (I think on my Baume du Doge post) we all solemnly agreed, enough with the spice-box scents!
Really, this is lovely. It opens with quite a kick – the citrus in combination with the spices veer in the direction of spicefests like the original CdG. But it calms down pretty quickly within the first two minutes into the sort of creamy spicy-woody comfort scent that some of us can´t get enough of.
Or can we? As lovely as eo01 is, it is not wildly original. Sniffing it reminded me strongly of two scents, Organza Indecence and Annayake Tsukimi. (I noticed later, when I went back to bloglift the notes from Lucky, they state “this is our holiday treat for the fans of Feminite du Bois and Organza Indecence.”) Well, okay. It´s less vanillic than OI, and less woody than Tsukimi, and I´m not entirely on board with the comparison to FdB, which is in my opinion on a higher plane of perfumery, and feel free to argue with me. If you want another spicy-woody comfort scent in your arsenal, check this one out. I will concede that it smells “niche-ier” than OI, which I adore but would be the first to admit is maybe not the most highbrow thing I own. If OI is a moist, delicious vanilla cupcake, eo01 is tiramisu.
eo02 is “a men´s fall or winter fragrance mixed just perfectly so that it becomes appropriate in any season …. Blending gourmand notes of clove, cinnamon and vanilla with the deeper elements of incense and patchouli then surprising you with a robust and zippy citrus.” Notes are: bergamot, grapefruit, galbanum, cardamom, cilantro, thyme, davana, fir, rose, jasmine, clove, atlas cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, incense, vanilla, cinnamon, ambergris, musk. Unfortunately I don´t have a sample, so let´s move on to…
eo03 — green leaves, orange flower, pepper, peach, raspberry, neroli, lily of the valley, egyptian jasmine, tuberose, ylang, clove bud, violet, elemi, sandalwood, vetiver, almonds, ambergris, musk. The Luckyscent blurb talks about elegant understatement and discreet luxury. So. You don´t smell this every day, particularly at the department stores. For those of you who read this blog and use me as some sort of reverse indicator in terms of scent preference, you may want to sample this one. It opens on a tart citrus, peppery, sap-green note so powerful its astringency literally made my eyes and mouth water, like I was sucking on a sourball. It is elegant, but very much in the high-style green-and-white organza rustle of galbanum/muguet/white florals that simply doesn´t suit my personal tastes. As the spicy middle notes emerge, the fragrance calms and it becomes warmer and woodier without ever really losing its edge. The blurb-writer makes a point about its diminishing potency – “the quiet opulence of the base of almond, ambergris, musk, balm and sandalwood, finishes this white symphony in pianississimo … a wonderful comfort skin-scent”. Which raises an interesting point. Lovers of big green meanies and white flower bombs like Vent Vert, Sous le Buis, and Givenchy III should find something to love here. At the same time, the drydown is pretty sedate compared to the rest of the ride. I prefer the soft, musky drydown myself, a non-powdery, white floral musk, but fans of the bombast at the opening would probably be re-applying.
Who bought these? Not too many people would be my guess. Honestly, I’m as much of a niche snob as anyone — by which I mean I’ll put up with some foolishness if you give me a really awesome scent. But a certain amount of perfumery is the wand-waving hokum-pokum of marketing. Biehl clearly puts the effort in there, insofar as you can read all sorts of blather about what a genius Thorsten Biehl is — I mean, the man’s not exactly hiding his light under a bushel. And he gives good coverage to the perfumers. But how much excitement can you feel browsing through 15 scents named mb01 and eo03? Not that much, in my opinion. And that’s too bad, because I really feel like they deserve better.