Sunday, January 8, 2012


Open is tied with Palais Jamais (by Etro) as being the driest fragrance I have ever smelled.  Sawdust practically smells like a gourmand fragrance by comparison.  Looking at the list of notes in Open - thyme, sage, lemon, lavender and vetiver - you'd think that wearing this would cause you to burst into flames if you were standing near a hot stove. 

The list of ingredients contained in Open is short - lemon, sage, thyme, lavender, patchouli, tobacco and vetiver - but it smells like there's more to it than this.  I could swear that I smell cloves, sandalwood and oakmoss in this as well.  Open starts off smelling sharp and prickly, mainly from the lavender and what I perceive as clove.  Over time, the scent smooths out and warms up, and it ends up smelling like a bar of soap heavily scented with sage and cloves. 

Open gets warmer the longer you wear it, and it develops a nice tangy smell in the drydown, providing a little relief from the intense dryness.  The base notes are listed as tobacco, patchouli and vetiver, but I smell mostly vetiver; the tobacco and patchouli seem to merely provide warmth and an almost fruity tanginess in the final stages of the scent.  This is my favorite part of Open's development.

Open has both a serious and casual feel when you wear it.  Its bone dry ingredients give it a seriously austere edge.  On the other hand, the heavy use of lemon, lavender and vetiver give it a bright, sunny feel that I typically experience with Mediterranean-styled colognes. 

If you love ultra-dry herbal fragrances, but wish they had better longevity on your skin, then Open is right up your alley.  It has amazing staying power (12+ hours on my skin), and it projects strongly.  Open, however, is not a powerhouse.  Despite good longevity and sillage, it's not an aggressive scent, and I would go so far as to even call it a light and airy herbal scent.

Fans of dry, austere and classic woody spicy fragrances like Equipage, Jacomo de Jacomo and Palais Jamais would do well to give this a spin.  It's really an excellent fragrance.

MY RATING:  8.5/10

Fragrance House:  Roger & Gallet

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