August 25, 2008

Santal Noble – doubleplusungood

By Daniel

The experiment had to start somewhere really. The package from Luckyscent arrived and all 14 samples were nice and intact. Not knowing where to start, and not wanting to contaminate the thought process by favoring one right off the bat, I’ve been using a random number generator to decide my fragrances for me out of the samples. The very first one? Santal Noble by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier. This one was initially picked completely on a whim. I remembered hearing something about it, but I couldn’t tell you what it was.

To work, then. Initially applying it I could definitely get the sandalwood, but there was a definite…funk to it. Not in the good sense either. It took two days before I realized what it was I was smelling: Coffee beans. It’s a semi-sweet, pungent yet extremely dry opening that left me terribly uncertain about what to expect with it.

It’s something I may have to chalk up to one of two things. One, I’m not quite far enough progressed in this hobby to appreciate Santal Noble. Two, my skin chemistry doesn’t do it justice. Okay, three things. Three, I’m wearing during the wrong time of year (it was just under 100 degrees on the day of wearing). It’s very disconcerting that I really actively disliked it, because it’s one of the most highly rated fragrances on Basenotes that I’ve ever seen, some members going as far as to call it…

“Arguably the best Niche fragrance ever made.”
“This is probably the best woody fragrance ever created.”
“The richest, deepest wood there is.”
“The nectar of the gods, this is sandalwood par excellence.”
“It took me a very long time to appreciate this fragrance, but now that I’ve come to terms with it, I consider it one of perfumery’s towering masterpieces.”

Yeah it’s got a nearly perfect review history. So why am I bashing it? Because something in there just does not play nice, there is a discordant note in there that’s throwing the whole composition off and this time it just killed it for me.

However, I’ve got enough for two or three more days with it. I’m putting it down and will wear it again in the winter, and hopefully I’ll be able to decide on it once and for all. Because, while I’m not a slave to popular opinion (especially in this field), I see that many glowing reviews for something, I’m going to give it another shot, especially if I have the sample just laying around.

Thumbs down, for now. Will revisit this one in a few months.