I've noted many times in my reviews that there are a lot of patchouli fragrances on the market right now, especially from niche brands. Most of them smell so sweet, bogged down with amber and vanilla, that you don't even have to like patchouli to enjoy wearing them. Lorenzo Villoresi's Patchouli, by contrast, is nothing like those.
If you don't like patchouli, Villoresi's version isn't going to make you a fan, that's for sure. This is patchouli straight up and shameless. I almost laughed out loud when I read the list of notes for this: it lists patchouli in the top notes, the middle notes and base notes. It's about as close to being the smell of pure patchouli essential oil as a fragrance gets.
However, don't think that this is just some hack job thrown together with a ladleful of essential oil and some perfumer's alcohol. I've smelled pure patchouli oil, and it's cruder than Villoresi's fragrance. Villoresi skillfully added a number of other ingredients to bring out some of the patchouli's grassy and fruity elements more to the forefront. It's a multifaceted scent, but you never forget that it's patchouli. It has an extremely earthy scent, with that hallmark smell of damp soil that I love. There is not the slightest hint of sweetness in this, and I love it for that.
I love this fragrance more every time I wear it. This is the way patchouli is supposed to smell: earthy and raw. Although it's a pretty brazen and uncompromising scent, it's not a sillage machine. It projects quietly, even if you spray a lot on. It's both daring and classy at the same time, which isn't an easy thing to create.
It's categorized as a unisex fragrance, but I've read some reviews of this written by women who say that it's a little too raw and masculine for their tastes. I love it when women wear patchouli (I think it's both daring and sexy), but I'd have to agree that Villoresi's does lean more towards the masculine side.
Kudos to Lorenzo Villoresi for resisting the temptation to compromise and create a sweet, wimpy patchouli scent. It took balls to release a fragrance like this, and on that note, I must caution that this is for patchouli fans only.
MY RATING: 8.5/10
Fragrance House: Lorenzo Villoresi