Saturday, September 10, 2011

Comme des Garcons Luxe Patchouli

  Most niche fragrances don't impress me, but here is one that does.  Like a lot of other reviewers have noted, I think the title "Patchouli" is sort of a misnomer for this fragrance, because this isn't really a patchouli-dominant scent.   Sure, you can certainly smell the patchouli in this, but it's blended with a whopping dose of immortelle, an ingredient that has a tendency to steal the show in any fragrance containing it.  
For those of you who don't know what immortelle is, it's a perfume ingredient that smells a lot like the cooking spice fenugreek, only richer and heavier.  If you like eating Middle Eastern or Indian food, you'd probably recognize the smell of fenugreek - I have trouble describing the smell, except that it's a dry, exotic and nutty smell.  Fenugreek is often a spice used in curry dishes.  Immortelle, the fragrance note, tends to be extremely strong, like fenugreek times ten, and when it's added to a perfume it tends to overpower all other notes in the composition.  Personally, I've found that a lot of fragrances that contain immortelle smell like maple walnut.

The combination of patchouli and immortelle works very well in CDG's fragrance here, and together they create a scent that is spicy, dark and exotic.  I also smell hints of black pepper in this, which makes the scent spicier and cuts through the sweetness of the immortelle.  As the scent evolves and dries down over time, it takes on a drier herbal, aromatic smell, almost green smelling.  After a couple of hours, the smell of the patchouli is almost gone, unfortunately, but the immortelle powers ahead.

I like Luxe Patchouli for its complexity, richness and strong herbal qualities.  My only complaint about the scent itself is that I wish they turned the volume on the immortelle down just a bit, which would have made the patchouli more prominent and made the scent less sweet.  If CDG had done that, it would be perfect.  Patchouli is my favorite fragrance note, so this may be just my own personal taste talking here.  I also love how strong this is; it's labeled as an eau de parfum, but to me it seems to be almost parfum strength.  Just a few dabs of this juice on the neck and wrists projects like mad and lasts all day.

I cannot conclude this review, however, without venting about one thing: the price.  This stuff goes for $290 for a 45 ml. bottle.  Who do they think we are, a bunch of idiots?  Granted, this is a good frag, but it's not that good.  Unfortunately, stupid prices like this reinforce my general belief that niche perfumery is pretentious and overrated.  If I want to smell like this all day, for about a third of the price I'd just buy a bottle of Annick Goutal's Sables (another immortelle bomb) and wear that, layered with a few dabs of pure patchouli oil.  I would never pay $290 for this stuff.

MY RATING:  8/10

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