Sunday, September 18, 2011

Patchouli Antique

Niche firms have got to stop this madness with the patchouli fragrances.  I'm talking about the endless line of patchoulis designed for amber lovers.  Believe me when I say I'm a patchoulihead of the first degree, but I'm really getting sick and tired of smelling yet another niche firm cranking out yet another super-sweet, amber-soaked treatment of patchouli.  Real Patchouly (by Bois 1920), Mazzolari Patchouli (by Mazzolari), Patchouli Leaves (by Montale), and too many others all pretty much smell the same and are beginning to bore me to tears.  Add Patchouli Antique, by Les Nereides, to that long list.

Ignore the feminine looking bottle.  Patchouli Antique has no gender designation, and smells plenty masculine.  Don't get me wrong, this does smell pretty good.  If I wasn't so jaded and hadn't smelled so many other patchoulis like this before, I'd probably call this a great scent.  It's patchouli that has all of its rough edges honed down by a massive dose of sweet, heavy amber.  Therefore, what you get is a big fat amber scent that contains a lot of patchouli smell for the first hour or two, then dries down to a pure amber fragrance.  Fans of oriental fragrances will probably love this, as it's very warm and sweet.  In fact, I could see people who aren't fans of patchouli really digging this because it's so user-friendly.  All of the patchouli's earthy aggressiveness is removed here, and that's what I don't like about Patchouli Antique.  There's nothing "antique" about the way this smells, but rather "nouveau" in its style.

If I'm looking to wear a sweet patchouli, I'd go for Mazzolari's Patchouli, which is more complex and has a more sustained patchouli presence.  Patchouli Antique is not a good fragrance to pick if you're looking for an earthy and aggressive patchouli scent.  No, if you want a balls-out, ripping patchouli, then Santa Maria Novella's Patchouli, or Mazzolari Lui, is the way to go.

MY RATING:  7.5/10 

Fragrance House:  Les Nereides


  1. Patchouli shouldn't be mixed with Amber, that' sacrilege! The only essential oils it goes with are real Sandalwood (Santulum Album), Himalayan Ceder and Wood Musk (If you can find it).
    Patchouli should be stored at least for 2 years before use. I have had 15, 18, 25 and 30 years old Patchouli...There's nothing like it, except equaly matured Santulum Album.

  2. I wouldn't go so far as saying it's sacrilege, but I think the whole amber/patchouli thing is WAY overdone. I much prefer earthy patchoulis, not sweet ones. Santa Maria Novella's Patchouli - now THAT'S a patchouli!!!