Xerjoff XJ 1861 Naxos

The XJ 1861 Collection. Source: xerjoff.com

The XJ 1861 Collection. Source: xerjoff.com

1861 Naxos via Xerjoff's website. [Image lightly cropped by me on the sides.]

1861 Naxos via Xerjoff’s website. [Image lightly cropped on the sides by me.]

Officially, Xerjoff‘s XJ 1861 Naxos celebrates Sicily and the richness of its hesperidic traditions. In reality, I found it to be predominantly a tobacco fragrance, and a very enjoyable one at that. Prismatically complex, opulent, powerful, and rich, it’s a unisex composition that seems to take the tobacco plant from its budding flowers to its fragrant green leaves and beyond, slathering it with dark honey, lush jasmine, and bright, sun-kissed citruses, then placing it against a multi-dimensional backdrop dominated by aromatic, fresh lavender.

Yet, that is only one part of the tale because 1861 Naxos is like a kaleidoscope where the images change and realign themselves into different shapes with every click, especially in the first half of its life. Over time, the images and the notes change faster and faster, thanks to the impact of silky vanilla, dry woods, incense-like smokiness, spicy patchouli, and even some ambered booziness. The result is a bold powerhouse that has already become a big favourite with perfumistas, chosen by Basenotes readers as one of the best niche fragrances released in 2015 and frequently sold out on places like Luckyscent or Twisted Lily.

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UNUM Ennui Noir (+ Symphonie Passion)

Source: zby.ly.com

Source: zby.ly.com

Close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a field in Provence. Fresh lavender stretches out in an aromatic purple expanse as far as the eye can see. Slashes of white are interspersed throughout, heliotrope whose delicate blooms launch a powerful cascade of vanilla, marzipan, fresh anise, and powdered meringue. Running through the heart of field is a river of vanilla, silky and creamy, coiling its way around the purple and white flowers to create the scent of lavender ice-cream dusted with meringue and anise. The earth below them is made of patchouli, its spiciness complemented by something a little extra that smells of cinnamon, cloves, and chili-pepper. All around, encircling the field like a dark wall, is a forest filled with myrtle, wafting its unique aromas of spicy herbs, fruity sap, herbal flowers, and green woods. Cedar grows there, too, along with green vetiver that first smells mineralized, mossy, and minty, and then, later, smoky and woody.

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