Humiecki and Graef Geste, Askew & Skarb – Nava

If you have just stumbled onto the Posse and have no idea what we do here, you’re probably thinking I’m about to review three new German novels, or that Humiecki and Graef are German philosophers and “Geste”, “Askew” and “Skarb” are some of their musings. Alas, they are fragrances, and I’ve finally gotten my keister in gear and snorted them sufficiently so I can offer my opinions.

First, Askew and Skarb are the more masculine scents. They’re not in the Brut, Old Spice, or Aramis category, so if you are a woman who likes your fragrance a bit on the butch side, these are right up your alley. I’ll save Eau Radieuse, Multiple Rouge and Clemency for next time. Maybe by then, I’ll be able to sniff Multiple Rouge without wanting to hork into my aunt’s composter.

The scents are available in the US at LuckyScent, but it’s best to look at H&G’s eponymous web site, only if you promise to protect your keyboard with Saran wrap against the inevitable spewing of your beverage of choice while reading the copy. Lee has dubbed them “Humiecki and Daft” because their copy is so over-the-top, you can’t help but think of them as such.

Skarb is “a fragrance about melancholy”. It’s comprised of lovage, sensual musk, barley extract, frankincense, myrrh, Roman chamomile and absinth.  I really like this one because it is comforting in the same way Annick Goutal’s Sables is, without the pancakes and syrup vibe. It’s musky and a tad boozy, but not in a very obvious way. I would probably love this even more on a crisp fall day, when the leaves have turned and the days are getting shorter, and you need a sweater or a jacket when you venture outside. It’s comforting, but not at all foody or gourmand. It doesn’t smell melancholy at all to me, but then again, I’ve secretly been spritzing samples of SJP NYC all over the house when my aunt is not home.

Geste is supposed to evoke “the softness of a young beau’s skin with the purity of a crisp white shirt, the sweetness of freshly baked bread, and the mystery maturity brings to love.” Its notes are soft amber, musky soft violet, soft petal, soft fir resin, and its inspiration is “A mature woman in love with a young man.” Sorry, but to my nose, Geste does not scream “cradle robber”. It is a potent, powdery violet, and it certainly wouldn’t smell appropriate on, say, a 16 year-old. It’s not one of those laundry detergent violets like Guerlain’s Insolence, and it does not smell at all of “crisp white shirts” or “freshly baked bread”. I do like the warm hint of amber in the background, but the violets are too overwhelming for my taste. Thank goodness, because if I got it into my head that I wanted to seduce Justin Bieber, this would be the last scent I’d wear. Kellan Lutz is more my speed anyway, and I still wouldn’t reach for this. Forgive me, but any male under 30 is bound to think “Grandma” if he gets anywhere near this one.

Askew is “a fragrance about fury”, with notes of birch tar, Guatemalan cardamom, soft leather, ginger, grapefruit, vetivert, and Egyptian mimosa. This one is by far my favourite. It is also more masculine than Skarb, probably due to the leather note, which is why I like it so much. It is faintly reminiscent of Parfum d’Empire’s Cuir Ottoman, and it does remind me a lot of Chanel Cuir de Russie. It killed me go anywhere near my bottle of Cuir de Russie in the midst of such an unprecedented heat wave, but I stuck my head in the freezer for about 30 seconds and I was fine. I would like this a lot more if the green sweetness of what I believe is the mimosa was removed from the composition. Then, it would be perfect; but still very far from pissed off.

I got a little carried away with the snark as regards to the copy, but sometimes, when you read stuff like this, you can’t help it. You just want to revel in the scent, not someone’s contrived drivel about what they think it represents. It’s part and parcel of the industry, so we’ll never be able to avoid it. But, they are well crafted, thoughtful compositions, and as we like to say, definitely NOT something you would smell in the department stores. At $220.00 for 100 ml., you’ll have to really be head-over-heels for them if you want to own them. But as the saying goes, they’re worth it. At least I think so…

Disclosure: All H&G scents in my possession are sample atomizers.

  • Ms. Christian says:

    Please don’t secretly spritz any of SJP’s “products” anywhere. It would be horribly sad to have a building condemned and then torn down because it was deemed a toxic hazard.

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  • Shelley says:

    Fragrance about fury? Funny, I find I end up getting cozy with birch tar…after a period of adjustment… ;)

    As for the mystery my maturity brings to love, it’s that I know to eat the fresh baked bread while it’s fresh baked bread. And if we’re not talking entendre, I mean, seriously, enjoy the bread. If we are talking entendre, well…enjoy the bread.

    Wait, you said there is no bread. I shall go hungry. Perhaps I’ll start with Skarb…at least it’s got barley and absinthe. You did say it’s “a tad boozy,” right? I’ll at least get to drink?

    Multiple Rouge? What, women don’t get emotions? Just…extra paint pots? ;) Will look forward to seeing what you have to say about that.

    • Nava says:

      The bread is definitely lost in a hail of violets. So, definitely go for Skarb if booze is more your thing. But if it’s bread you want, a loaf of fresh warm sourdough and a crock of butter would be my choice. :d

      • Shelley says:

        C’mon and join me at the table. I’d happily share a loaf.

        (We can look at pictures of Daniel Craig crying, if it seems important to somehow nod toward H&G whilst we enjoy our carbs…)

  • March says:

    The copy for these made me laugh, but they were so interesting to smell! Multiple Rouge was extremely interesting … I have a review of them buried on here somewhere from awhile back. At least they backed up all that hooha with some interesting scents, you know? I do sometimes wonder whether we’d be doing ourselves a favor by not reading that copy up front!

    • Nava says:

      They are, as you said, “extremely interesting”. Multiple Rouge just gobsmacked me with its sweetness, but I will definitely reconsider it.

      The great and powerful Lord Geek told me a story the other day:

      A guy who sells fishing tackle and lures had a customer come into his shop and ask, “Do the green and purple lures really help you catch fish?” He answered, “Mister, I ain’t selling them to the fish”. That’s my take on the copy. :d

  • Tiara says:

    “…if I got it into my head that I wanted to seduce Justin Bieber, this would be the last scent I’d wear” is one of the funniest lines I’ve heard all week. I needed that chuckle today.

    Must admit I’m having a hard time separating out the copy from the scents. It doesn’t take a scent to make me melancholy, I don’t want to smell like their version of a cougar and I can be whipped up into a fury with just a glance in my son’s room so these don’t appeal to me from that aspect. Don’t like leather, violets don’t like me so that leaves me with only Skarb. Think I’ll wait for your reviews of Eau Radieuse, Multiple Rouge and Clemency before considering further!

    • Nava says:

      I don’t know, Tiara; based on today’s enthusiastic responses, I think I’m going to move on from the brand altogether. Stay tuned…:d

      I’m glad I was able to provide you with a much-needed chuckle. 🙂

  • Lee says:

    I hated Askew most of all and thought Geste was pretty damn loveable – whadduz that tell you?

  • Musette says:

    I’m with Style Spy! Fury! Bring it AWN!

    xo >-)

    • Nava says:

      Sorry, you two…you’re gonna have to look a lot harder for a scent that’s furious. :d

  • Style Spy says:

    “A fragrance about fury.” !!!! I think I probably need some of that.