Reviews en Bref: SHL 777 Panthea & Wish Come True

Panthea and Wish Come True are the latest releases from Stéphane Humbert Lucas777 line whose name is often shortened to SHL 777. My Reviews En Bref are shorter looks at fragrances that — for whatever reason — didn’t work for me or didn’t seem to warrant one of my detailed assessments which typically cover a scent from head to toe, from its official description to quoting other people’s thoughts in comparative reviews.

Panthea & Wish Come True. My collage from photos at Luckyscent.

PANTHEA:

Panthea via Luckyscent

Panthea is an eau de parfum that was released around the end of May. As a uniform rule when it comes to the SHL 777 fragrances, the official note list is always merely the most simplistic nutshell. Monsieur Lucas has told me a number of times that he prefers to provide merely the broadest brush strokes for what’s in a fragrance and, in my years of covering his line, not once has the official account ever been the complete, full tally of the notes. Neither Panthea nor Wish Come True are different in that regard.

The official list for Panthea is, according to Luckyscent:

Bergamot, pink pepper, tangerine, elemi, white tea, carrot, iris, jasmine, violet, carnation, white musk, tobacco flower, tonka, sandalwood, patchouli.

Source: shutterstock.com

Panthea opens on my skin with a brisk, chilled, lemony bergamot within a cloud of jasmine. To me, it doesn’t smell like real jasmine but, rather, hedione, a fresh, clean, cool, lemony, jasmine-scented material much beloved by Jean-Claude Ellena for its green-tinged cleanness and crispness. In fact, I would bet money that Panthea has some hedione in it, if not a lot. The hedione is partially responsible for the flecks of greenness within Panthea’s floral cloud, but I’d also wager that violet leaf plays a part as well.

“Clearly glass” by Liz Rogers at Liz Rogers Watercolors. (Website link embedded within.)

Other notes quickly follow suit. There are the jammy, slightly spicy, fruity berries of pink peppercorns, then tiny wisps of a powdery, somewhat lipstick-scented violet as well as the more lemony greenness of a rather piercing, sharp violet leaf note. All three things are minor as compared to the clean, cold, stony, and immensely soapy aromas of iris which bursts upon center stage after only a minute or two. It becomes a central part of the bouquet, curled tightly around the crisp, lemony “jasmine”/hedione and the brisk bergamot as the driving thrusts of Panthea’s opening bouquet. Finishing things off are a few slivers of vaguely sandalwood-ish woodiness and then a thick blanket of laundry clean white musk.

When smelt from afar, Panthea strongly resembles expensive floral soap combined with expensive floral-citrus shampoo, a few blobs of indeterminate red berry sweetness, and a flicker of indeterminate beige woodiness. I’m not keen on any of it, particularly the high-pitched shrillness of what seems far more like violet leaf than violet flowers or violet, lipsticky ionones. I’ve also never been a fan of hedione which always takes on a soapy aspect on my skin as it develops.

1985 vintage ad for Caleche. Source: hprints-com

In fact, it takes a mere 10-15 minutes for all of Panthea’s bouquet to skew sharply towards the soapy end of the spectrum, and the result closely resembles Hermes‘ 1970s-era Caleche. Like Panthea, Caleche is a fresh, clean, very citrusy floral with jasmine and iris that’s enveloped within an overpowering deluge of soapiness (aldehydes in its case, as well as white musk) with tiny accents of woodiness and greenness licking at its white edges. Where original version Caleche had oakmoss, Panthea has violet leaf, but the primary, central focus of both fragrances is very much the same: fresh, clean floralcy layered with brisk, lemony citruses and subsumed within a white cloud of soapiness.

The unmistakable similarity and olfactory overlap are enormously difficult for me. I was given Caleche (and its ghastly soap) as a present on my 7th birthday after some bad experiences in my initial perfume adventures with YSL’s Rive Gauche and JC Ellena’s First. All three are immensely aldehydic floral compositions, but Caleche was so intensely soapy that it was the last straw. I hated it so much that baby-me swore off perfume entirely, I kid you not, and things would have stayed that way until a fortuitous encounter later on with my mother’s Opium. But Caleche… I have run from it and any fragrance that smells like it for several decades now, so having its modern descendant blaring from my skin was an unbearable experience for me right from the start.

Photo: stepbystep.com

It didn’t get any easier, either. Roughly 20 minutes in, Panthea’s soapiness and white musk ballooned in size, becoming louder and louder. I started to feel as though I was wearing expensive shampoo as well as expensive Caleche soap. At the same time, both the violet leaf and the “jasmine” turned sharper, while a distinct ISO E-like quality began to flitter around the background next to a dry, synthetic-smelling, sandalwood-ish woodiness.

Putting aside my Caleche issues and aromachemical sensitivities, I wasn’t enthused by the excessively mainstream character of the composition. It reminded me of Givenchy‘s Dahlia Noir, a fresh, clean iris-driven floral that I made the mistake of trying in Macy’s upon its release in 2011 and which sent me running in search of a bathroom to wash it off. Dahlia Noir is powdery instead of soapy, but it actually has several notes in common with Panthea apart from its alleged, purported “iris” (a purely synthetic, faux “iris,” if you ask me) like citrus, pink pepper berries, sandalwood, tonka, laundry musk, and ISO E Supercrappy. On my skin, Panthea smells like Caleche and Caleche soap with a good slug of Dahlia Noir mixed in as well. I find the end result to be a far cry from SHL 777’s early aesthetic or anything truly “niche,” for that matter.

I tried to endure the fragrance as long as I could, but I ended up scrubbing Panthea both times that I tested it. The first time, I only managed 20 minutes. The second time, I sought to give Panthea a fair shot but, after 90 minutes, I simply couldn’t take it any more and washed it off.

Even if Panthea is not for me, it will probably be a big hit with a certain sector of the market, namely, women who adore Caleche, fresh clean florals, fragrances that smell like expensive soap, and the floral-aldehydic style that is such a signature of classical scents from Chanel. That’s probably why one Fragrantica commentator wrote so happily that Panthea was: “The most beautiful fresh floral that reminds me of the most luxurious soap ever created. That isnt a bad thing at all.” If you feel the same way, try Panthea for yourself.

WISH COME TRUE:

Wish Come True via Luckyscent.

Wish Come True is also an eau de parfum, and it was released at the same time as Panthea. Essenza Nobile has a longer note list than the one at Luckyscent but, once again, I think it’s only a partial picture of what is in the scent because I found Wish Come True shared a number of the elements and accords that are in SHL 777 Taklamakan. According to Essenza Nobile, Wish Come True’s list is:

Topnotes: Mandarin, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang
Heartnotes: Citrus Essence, Incense, Sambac Jasmine, Bay Leaf, Cardamom
Basenotes: Ambergris, Tuberose, Vanilla, Heliotrope, Styrax, Mysore Sandalwood, Musk, Laotian Oud

Painting: ARTbyKristen Etsy shop. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Wish Come True opens on my skin with tart, tangy tangerine and bergamot layered within a heavy, thick sea of ethyl maltol that smells of caramel-praline, fermented fruits in malt beer, and wheat. Fruity, honeyed, and slightly indolic jasmine follows suit, then a custardy and slightly banana-ish ylang ylang. The whole thing is set against a backdrop of several accords found in Taklamakan: smoky incense centered on myrrh and sweet myrrh; cinnamon-scented benzoin; spicy patchouli; dry, woody vanilla; sticky balsamic resins; and dry woods dominated mostly by smoky cedar. The highly gourmand floral structure is then drizzled with more ethyl maltol caramel, decorated with shards of crystallized creme brulée sugar, and spritzed with white musk.

Tangerine citrus IPA beer. Source: friartuckonline.com

It’s quite a barrage of notes that hit the nose, but they’re individually clear and distinct while also blended seamlessly together. Having said that, certain elements stand out amidst the floral, fruity, gourmand, oriental, resinous, woody, and quietly smoky accords. The strongest one out of the lot on my skin during the first 10 minutes is the heavily fermented, extremely wheat-like malt beer and the macerated, caramelized fruits aged within it. Then, after 15 minutes, the ylang-ylang joins the primary, driving mix, its floralcy wafting a profoundly custardy quality. The Taklamakan accords are only the backdrop against which everything operates but, out of those, the incense has the strongest trail.

I’m not quite sure what to make of it all. The wheat is an interesting addition, especially when juxtaposed next to the custardy ylang-ylang, but I’m less keen on the fermented beer aspect of the ethyl maltol and I definitely can’t handle the cloying sweetness of its main caramel-praline aroma. I like the background whiffs of Taklamakan, especially its cinnamon, woody vanilla, and spicy patchouli, all of which work well with ylang’s spicy floral side, but I don’t think they work well with the ylang’s banana. In fact, it makes me a little queasy whenever the two set of accords merge to waft a banana-malt beer aroma on my skin, and that combination is particularly noticeable at the 45-minute mark.

Source: simplyrecipes.com

To be fair, I don’t like the ethyl maltol note here at all, in any of its facets or combinations. A big reason why is that it is just so intense, loud, and bulldozer-ish that it creates a rather unbalanced set of accords on my skin as well as an excess of sweetness. From what I’ve been told, Stephane Humbert Lucas’ SoOud line is typically quite sweet, dominated by caramel or gooey gourmand elements, and he’s done the same for a handful of his SHL 777 fragrances (see, e.g., Une Nuit à Doha), but none of them have ever felt quite so cloyingly sweet on my skin as Wish Come True.

Photo: Alison Shaw via her website. (Direct link embedded within.)

The quantity of caramel ethyl maltol here not only feels quite heavy-handed, but it also muffles some of the notes to the point of strangulation. For example, the jasmine is quite drowned out after 10-15 minutes, and there is nary a peep of the bay leaf, cardamom, tuberose, or heliotrope at all on my skin during the first four hours. In the face of such a barrage, the fresher notes which do appear don’t stand much of a chance and are transformed. For example, instead of the tangerine and bergamot being crisp, bright, fresh notes, they are turned candied and immensely sugary. The double duo of vanillin and ethyl maltol even impact the musk, turning it into the always disconcerting aroma of white sugared laundry cleanness. The cumulative sum-total effect is a bit of a hot mess, in my opinion.

Source: myrecipes.com

During the first, opening hour, Wish Come True’s focus keeps shifting between two related but slightly different bouquets:

  1. a ylang-ylang floral version of Taklamakan, complete with its incense, resins, cinnamon, dry vanilla, and smoky woods; or
  2. a floral gourmand where ylang-ylang banana custard is sandwiched between thick slabs of caramel praline and then doused in fruity, fermented malt beer, and only thin wisps of incense and resins float around the background.

“Syrup swirls” by Craigshead Photo on Pixoto. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Things change midway into the second hour. Roughly 90 minutes in, the sweetness levels seem to go up ten notches. The result is tooth-achingly cloying with heaps of caramel piled in mounds over burnt sugar, caramelized vanilla, sticky toffee’d resins, banana pudding, and malt beer. I honestly can’t bear to sniff my arm too often up close, and I feel quite queasy when I do. That Banana-Malt Beer mélange is simply dreadful with the heightened levels of caramel.

Wish Come True changes again at the start of the 3rd hour. The ethyl maltol loses its malt side, although its caramel remains unchanged and is as forceful as ever. At the same time, the ylang ylang dissolves into a faceless, shapeless floralcy, while the Taklamakan vanilla-incense-woody accords and the white musk come to the foreground.

Photo: Bruno Paolo Benedetti at DigitalPhotograph.photoshelter.com. (Direct website link embedded within.)

The result is an abstract, hazy floral gourmand blur cocooned within an abstract ambered warmth that is centered primarily on caramel and caramel-drenched, abstract white floralcy. The flowers may be indeterminate, but their petals have been candied with sugar, singed with smoky incense, then spritzed with sugared white musk. However, things are different when I smell Wish Come True on the scent trail rather than up close. From a distance, the white florals are completely sublimated within the caramel and sugar.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com

Whether I smell Wish Come True up close or from afar, it’s much too cloying for me and I felt the constant urge to scrub. I finally gave in and called it quits at the end of the 3rd hour and the start of the 4th when even the abstract, candied white florals were finally smothered to death by the sugared caramel. SHL 777 fragrances typically last a minimum of 15 hours on me, some as much as 20-22 hours, and I lack the patience (or masochism) these days to endure that sort of longevity for a scent that I really do not like or cannot bear to wear.

I don’t provide comparative reviews and quotes in my Reviews en Bref, but you can read Fragrantica if you love floral gourmands and are interested in Wish Come True. There are four or five comments there at this time, and they’re all positive.

Wish Come True may not be my cup of tea, but it isn’t a terrible fragrance; it’s simply best suited for someone with particular tastes. As regular readers know full well, I have a low tolerance level for excess sweetness and I do not enjoy gourmands. I particularly dislike the ethyl maltol trend that typifies many of the modern Guerlain gourmands. Yes, ethyl maltol is the material responsible for the “praline” note in the mainstream Guerlain scents that so many people seem to adore, although I would like to point out that none of them have ever manifested the malt beer side of that note on my skin. (Bogue’s new MEM has a bit of it but never to the degree, strength, or quantity demonstrated here in Wish Come True.) Still, if you’re a fan of the current hyper-sweet Guerlain aesthetic or if you like floral gourmands in general, you may want to give Wish Come True a sniff for yourself.

On a side note, I think Wish Come True skews slightly towards the feminine side, but a man who loves floral gourmands could pull it off, especially from the 3rd hour onwards when it’s more or less a pure gourmand. (I think it goes without saying that Panthea is highly feminine, although men who love fragrances like Caleche would probably enjoy it.)

I have little else to say in closing except that I really hope Monsieur Lucas returns to his darker and more Franco-Arabic niche aesthetic with his next fragrance.

Disclosure: My samples were kindly provided by Luckyscent. That did not influence this review. I do not do paid reviews, and my opinions are my own.

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Both fragrances are eau de parfums that are only available in a 50 ml bottle. Panthea costs $185 or €155. Wish Come True costs $225 or €198. In the U.S.: Luckyscent has Panthea and Wish Come True. Osswald NYC also has Panthea and Wish Come True. Outside the U.S.: First in Fragrance (Panthea, Wish Come True) and Essenza Nobile (Panthea, Wish Come True) have the fragrances. In London, SHL 777 can be found at Harrod’s Black Room. In Paris, it is exclusive to Printemps under the name 777. Zurich’s Osswald, Italy’s Afrodite Profumeria, and Russia’s Ry7 carry SHL 777 but do not show these latest two on their websites yet. Russia’s Lenoma shows the two fragrances on its website (Panthea, Wish Come True) but says it has no stock at the time of this post. Switzerland’s Theodora and Cannes’ Taizo carry the SHL 777 brand, but neither has an e-store. I think you can find SHL 777 at Ukraine’s Sana Hunt Luxury department store, but the brand is not listed online. In the UAE, you can find SHL 777 at Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdale’s. Samples: Luckyscent and Osswald NYC sell samples, but Osswald’s Sample Program is limited to the U.S. and has a 3-order minimum. You can call (212) 625-3111 if you have questions. Surrender to Chance does not have Panthea or WCT at the time of this review. In Europe, FiF and Essenza Nobile sell samples.

26 thoughts on “Reviews en Bref: SHL 777 Panthea & Wish Come True

  1. Well.I wouldn’t have thought that SHL would have wound up a review en bref. Never mind two of his creations at once.
    It’s actually consoling to know that even the greats are human. Lol

  2. As you may remember, Caleche was my favorite scent when I was young. Disappointment in the new version is what led directly to my discovery of the new world of perfume in the 21st century! So, one would think Panthea would be right up my alley (as my grandmother would say), but I do believe I’ve lost my taste for aldehydic fragrances. Still, I am curious! I am also dismayed that SHL’s fragrances have seem to have lost their overall interest. Nonetheless, I could never afford the ones I love, so there’s also a sense of relief for this poor mouse, ha!

    “Ylang ylang banana custard??!!” Oh my! Ick!

    • I remember that about the Caleche. Two other readers remain big fans of it. But I agree that your tastes have changed since then, and the Black Gemstone and O Hira that you love now are a far, far cry from these two in terms of notes or style.

          • I gave a small sample of O Hira to a perfumer I really like and admire, and they were blown away by it. They would have bought a bottle right away if the price were not quite so… er… unfortunate. LOL. So, yes, even a pro was impressed and wants a bottle. 😀

  3. I felt the same about Panthea. The soapy white musk trumped everything else on my skin. And it was the type that felt scratchy to my nose 🙁

    The bottles are lovely though! That blue and silver ❤️❤️❤️

    My feelings on Wish Comes True echoes my previous feelings on Killian Black Phantom. In my case, the overall Sim of Wish Comes True smells like banana custard on my skin. It’s too weird. I don’t know what to make of it.

    I finally succumbed to a bottle of Mortal Skin and Taklamakan. Those 2 are more my style.

    • Oh dear, you got the banana custard, too. 🙁 Well, at least you didn’t experience malt beer poured on top of it, because that was really disconcerting!

      As for Panthea, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “scratchy” note you’re describing stemmed from the sandalwood and the ISO E (which can have a woody nuance or side to it).

  4. Oh man, this was the release I was excited about for a while – he is one of my favorite houses. I am not even going to try it and hope that he goes back to the Arabic/French style as well. While I do not have as strong of a reaction to Caleche as you do, I refuse to even consider a niche fragrance that is a look-alike of an existing mall fragrance. And while I have been discovering florals (thanks to you btw as the florals always scared me), I do not want something that is Taklamakan re-worked(love Taklamakan btw).
    On the other hand I read your reviews of Mem and Dryad and would be trying those instead 🙂

    • Marianna, you were one of the people who specifically asked me about these two fragrances and I knew you would be disappointed. But since this is one of your favourite houses, perhaps give Wish Come True a sniff anyway? (But not Panthea, because it wouldn’t suit your personal tastes one iota. It doesn’t feature any of the notes you enjoy nor resemble any of the fragrances you love.)

      • I just got both samples. My mom really likes Panthea, so I will be giving her a sample. Wish come true is not bad – but that’s all I say – and I need more than that for a FB. On the other hand, I just tried Dusita Melody d’Amour – and that is quite impressive

  5. Why oh why … (… he only released them?). In spite of my love for SHL I didn’t run to try these, I simply had a bad feeling and I don’t like sweet parfum.

    • You’re another person whose personal tastes and note preferences are a long way away from what’s on display here. I simply cannot see you wearing something like Panthea, while the sweetness levels in Wish Come True would send you reeling. They’re both a far cry from the Oumma you adore, let alone something like Black Gemstone.

  6. Kafka, how perfect! Yup, Panthea had me shreiking in agony and running for the scrub brush in about 20 minutes. Blerrrg. It really defies description, which is a shame since I’m SUCH a SHL fanman. Wish Come True redeemed itself, but then I do love my floral gourmands. It skewed way more musky/sandalwood/ambergris on me than über sweet, and I’m thinking it may be a much better scent for the cold weather around the holidays along with Un Crime Exotique.

    Also may I just say how much I detest the tiny dabber vials the LS sends. Totally useless to me, as I’m convinced that perfume changes from being aerated through spraying. Would it kill them to spend an extra $.03 for a spray vial? Rant over. Xoxo

    • Haha, your Panthea reaction…. 😀 I’m so relieved to know I’m not alone. The very first sniff, I actually started laughing, one of those highly nervous, disbelieving laughs when you’re faced with something terribly awkward. Then, I started twitching away amidst horrible flashbacks to the Caleche nemesis of my childhood. Urgh.

      I can see Wish Come True suiting you, especially if it’s not as sweet on you as it is on me, because you definitely do enjoy floral gourmands (among many other genres and styles). It sounds like it works well on your skin, and I’m sure you smell quite wonderful in it. Enjoy, my dear! And have a lovely 4th of July weekend.

  7. That last paragraph of your Panthea review could have sufficed for a really “bref” review en bref, but then we would have missed the image of a baby Kafka making serious perfume decisions at age 7! I would have also missed your impressions of Caleche, something I’m occasionally mildly interested in sniffing.
    It seems that so many of these niche perfume houses that started off with a bang, producing really beautiful perfumes, have been releasing products that seem to be less carefully conceived, more mainstream, and more expensive. Maybe they should consider the idea of quality over quantity (Bogue and Papillon are great examples of that concept, imo).

    • LOL @ your baby Kafka/serious decisions comment, Ed. You would have thought baby-me was a hoot (or a nutcase). My mother loves to tell the story of how 6 year old me spent 10 minutes questioning the waiter at the 3 Michelin-star Tour d’Argent about the details of their menu, to the point that the chef later came out to see who this crazy child was and to talk to me about his foie gras and duck preparation. (Yes, I started early. And, yes, your Uli is my nutty, perfectionistic twin. 😀 )

      In more relevant matters, I completely agree with you that some brands needs to consider quality over quantity. I don’t think SHL 777 actually has a problem of over-production, though, or at least not to the degree of someone like Roja Dove. SHL only releases 2 fragrances, at most 3, a year. RD and Guerlain have something crazy like 20 a year at this point.

      The thing that I always think is both fair and unfair is the question of artistic growth: just how much do we want a perfumer to explore new genres and styles, and is it really fair to ask them to stick to one aesthetic? It’s a question that comes up again and again with new Serge Lutens, but I think it applies here, too. Of course, all of those questions presuppose that the fragrances are at the same level of quality and complexity which is rather a subjective assessment. Subjectively and personally, I don’t think that either of these two SHL 777s are at the same level as past releases, but how much of that conclusion is driven by a love of the original style? And how much of that love is constricting to a creative person who wishes to express himself or herself in different ways? Serge Lutens and Stephane Humbert Lucas are very similar, imo, in terms of how they think, approach, and create perfumes, not to mention the Franco-Arabic aesthetic that was both their signature style.

      Amouage also once had that style, a style which was singularly responsible for their original popularity and which they’ve completely shed in all their latest fragrances in favour of a purely European and (imo) primarily mainstream aesthetic.

      It may be unfair to ask all these brands to stick to one thing, but the bottom line is these houses were loved for a style that the newest releases no longer reflect and that change is bound to be really disconcerting for the stalwart, die-hard original fans.

      Technically, quality drops are a separate matter, but, sometimes, as in the case of the recent Roja Doves with intrusive, inescapable synthetics in a largely mainstream composition, I think quality assessments are closely intertwined to views about a change in style as well. I’m not sure if I’m being coherent, since I haven’t slept in more than 24 hours, so I apologize in advance if I’m not being cogently clear on the connection.

      I do agree with your point about a startling number of niche fragrances being more mainstream in character these days. That’s a whole other issue, and I’ll save my rant on the “former Niche Down vs. current Mainstream Up” directional stream of influence for a day when I’m less sleep deprived.

  8. I think this is just SHLs attempt to expand is offerings from the usual franco/arabic style to open up a greater marketshare as Panthea is about as opposite as you can get for SHL.

    • First, welcome to the blog, Suzanne. Second, I agree that a fragrance like Panthea opens up the brand to a larger and new market than its prior scents, but I don’t think that was a conscious, intentional, and deliberate factor in making the fragrance the way it was.

      I know Monsieur Lucas quite a bit and, as I’ve disclosed in the past, he’s a friend of mine despite of my tendency to shred his fragrances from time to time. He doesn’t mind, and I don’t let the friendship influence me in my reviews (as this particular review should demonstrate), but I can tell you that he simply doesn’t think about things like market share when he’s creating something.

      He’s very much a Serge Lutens type, both in his mental, philosophical, and intellectual approach to scent and in terms of responding instinctively to things in his own life as an impetus for the fragrances that he creates. He is an absolute dreamer, and someone who lives in his head and heart. He truly can’t be bothered to concern himself with factual details which is why he has a total indifference for complete note lists (something that he’d actually rather skip entirely if he could get away with it). He also doesn’t care about reviews, positive or negative (hence, the reason why we can be friends even when I write caustic reviews), and he has ZERO interest in something as mundane as expanded markets share. It’s simply not who he is. There are so many other perfumers who are intently focused on all of these details, but Monsieur Lucas? He’s the quintessential dreamer and artist who creates based on his life and his emotional and mental state. Calling him an “artist” is not hyperbole, by the way. His original career was as a painter. Perfume is simply the latest way he expresses himself.

      I hope you won’t interpret my response as an aggressive refutation because it’s not intended as such at all. Rather, it’s my attempt to explain who he is, how he thinks, and why. I completely and absolutely agree with you that a fragrance like Panthea will have the unintended, inadvertent consequence of opening up the SHL 777 brand to a whole new audience. It truly will, because it goes even further than the dreadful Generation Homme in being a mainstream scent with a clean, fresh profile. But I would bet money that market share considerations never once entered Stephane’s mind when he made Panthea. 🙂

  9. SHL samples are not easy to obtain in The Netherlands, I guess that is why I have never tried anything from this brand (i think Essenza nobile is a reasonable option for me), but it seems to have quite the fanbase.

    Reading the comments I get this feeling he has a reputation for very good orientals, woods and ambers.
    So this sounds like stuff I could fall in love with!

    But I also need to ask myself, do I really want to flirt with another expensive brand…while there are somewhat more affordable but also very handsome perfumes and attars out there. 🙂

    • Yes, SHL 777 is much loved for its orientals, Franco-Arabic ouds, immensely dark, spicy woody incense fragrances, and rich ambers. And, you’re right, some of the fragrances are expensive, but others are well below the price of Tom Fords, Kilians, Neela Vermeires, or the like. Tom Ford starts at around $225/$230 for a 50 ml, Kilian can be around $295 for 50 ml, judging by the latest one. A number of the SHL 777s are about $185 for that same size. That’s even below Bogue prices.

      Unfortunately, some of my favourites in the SHL line (like Black Gemstone) are about $290. So, yes, that is higher, although in line with Kilian’s pricing.

      If you can get a few affordable samples from Essenza Nobile, I think they might be worth trying for someone with your tastes, just to know and just because his original, early fragrances are filled with the notes you love. 🙂

      • I just looked it up, the samples are not crazy expensive. Price range for a 3 ml sample is 7 to 35 euro (for O Hira)….aaaanddd another brand on the to-sample list. 🙂
        But I think I’ll skip the ones you reviewed here. I dont like soapy-scents, and you already know how I feel about gourmands.

  10. Thank you for giving me a much needed chuckle today – you were a perfumista from such an early age, and certainly knew what you liked (or didn’t).

    Funnily enough, like juliehrose, I did enjoy Caleche once; this was many years ago and probably a different formulation from the one you were confronted with on your birthday, so perhaps a nicer one …. Over the years I lost interest in it and now actively dislike it – I don’t think it’s just reformulation but also a change in my taste or in my perception of fragrance generally now. The same goes for a lot of the aldehydic perfumes. I agree though that Panthea is just what appeals to people these days – laundry musk in a bottle. Yuk!

    Wish Come True would be my nemesis (more like a Curse On You) as I can’t abide those gourmand scents that remind me walking through a fairground where the air is sticky with the smell of caramelizing candy floss and roasting nuts – not things I want to be wearing.

  11. Wellllllll sh!t
    This is what I meant in when I said I thought about new releases and came here to see what you made of them. While I was delighted by your experience with MEM, these two . . . it’s too late to un-order my sample of Panthea (which I now dread testing) but I think I can pull Wish Come True off my wishlist.
    How does NOT needing to spend money make me sad?
    So, so glad you’re back.

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