Close your eyes, and imagine that you’re lying in a field on a hot summer’s day. All around you are tall blades of fresh, green grass, but this is a very different sort of field. Your head rests on large bales of hemp, large pods of cocoa sprout up around your body next to black stalks of Madagascar vanilla, and the patchouli earth is a mix of sweetness and dryness. The sun shines on your face, but brown-red clouds shower cloves and nutmeg down on you, while a dry wind blows a soft smokiness from the ebony trees circling the field. Dotting the landscape all around are picnic tables covered by tobacco leaves that have been lightly drizzled by honey. As you doze in the warmth and golden sweetness, the scenery changes and you’re carried off in a cloud of cloves, nutmeg and chocolate, threaded through with patchouli and dry woods, and a dash of vanilla. Welcome to the special world of Coze.
Coze is a gorgeous, cozy eau de toilette from Parfumerie Générale that I simply loved, a fragrance that straddles the line between an oriental and a gourmand in a perfectly calibrated mix of spices, warmth, dryness, and sweetness. I’d heard a lot about Coze from a friend who strongly encouraged me to try it, raving about its patchouli aspects and its coziness, but I had held off for fear of the ISO E Super that Pierre Guillaume seemed so fond of in his other fragrances. He was right, I was unnecessarily leery, and I wish I had followed his advice sooner. Coze has neither ISO E Supercrappy nor any of the excessive, cloying, diabetic sweetness that is the hallmark of Pierre Guillaume’s Phaedon line. Instead, Coze is beautifully balanced, and the perfect sort of “Cozy Scent,” my second favorite category of fragrance. True, there are a few flaws which prevent it from being perfect, but, in the overall scheme of things and for the price, I think Coze is fantastic. It is definitely going on my “Must Buy” list.
Coze is the second in Pierre Guillaume’s numbered line of fragrances (02) and is an eau de toilette that was released in 2002. Parfumerie Generale describes the scent as follows:
Woody Oriental Tobacco – Spicy and Vibrant
A shortened olfactory pyramid for this first scent based on essential Canapa Sativa Seed Oil. [¶] The olfactory complexity of this new extraction, which Parfumerie Générale has the exclusive rights to, deserved a bold and original construction capable of bringing out all the facets of this rare and precious ingredient. In place of the head note, the disconcerting, captivating Canapa Sativa heralds, a rich, warm juice.
Its heart is vibrant with spices and precious wood : pepper, pimento and coffee fuse and flame to announce the sensuality of ebony, the rich, bewitching sweetness of chocolate and the infusion of Bourbon vanilla pods.
Indian Hemp, Patchouli, Spices, Blond Tobacco.
The succinct and complete list of notes, as compiled from that description, seems to be:
canapa sativa seed oil [Indian hemp], pepper, pimento [chili], coffee, ebony wood, chocolate, bourbon vanilla pods, Patchouli, Spices, Blond Tobacco.
Fragrantica, however, adds in cedar and sandalwood, something that I have not seen on any other sites. Luckyscent, however, omits both the patchouli and tobacco. Meanwhile, OsswaldNYC mentions both, but also brings up nutmeg as well. Whatever the specific details may be, one thing I can tell you is that Coze is reported to have been reformulated. It is something mentioned by quite a number of people, from those commenting on Luckyscent to my friend who loves Coze passionately but who mourns its change in potency and richness. (He says it is “25%” less dense.) Finally, I should add that I have no clue what “hemp” may smell like beyond its dried grass characteristics. I’ve come across hemp rope, but all I took away from it was the dried aspect.
Coze‘s opening takes me to a field of sunshine and warmth. The perfume opens on my skin with a fierce, concentrated explosion of nutmeg and cloves, then black pepper, chili flakes, and patchouli. In their trail is the sweet aroma of dried tobacco that smells like tobacco leaves drizzled with honey after being soaked in rich vanilla extract. The whole thing is lovely, but becomes even better when the cocoa arrives. It resembles rich slabs of semi-sweet chocolate, as well as dusty cocoa powder. As the Madagascar vanilla and chocolate infuse the top notes, the spicy patchouli turns earthier. It smells like sweet, slightly wet, loamy soil, but also something dustier and drier. Tying the whole thing together like a bundle are sweet grassy notes, presumably from the hemp.
Coze is sweet, but it’s also too dry to be a true gourmand fragrance. Nothing about it resembles dessert, despite the chocolate and vanilla elements. The fragrance is much more like an Oriental at the start with gourmand touches that have been carefully calibrated to be on the drier side, rather than the heavily sweet. There is a subtle smokiness to the notes, perhaps from the ebony wood. Tendrils of a Bakhoor-type of incense weave around the cloves, nutmeg, patchouli and chocolate, leaving me quite mesmerized by the overall effect.
I don’t know what is the better final touch: the honey drizzled on the blond tobacco, or the subtle traces of expresso coffee that join the festivities after 10 minutes. The whole thing is luscious, rich, smooth, and deep, a combination of notes that is utterly like catnip to me. In fact, I rather feel like a cat who — dazed and drugged — wants to stretch out in the warmth of the fiery spices, dryness, sweetness and darkness. Coze is neither light nor dark in its shadings, but a mix of both with the light tobacco and ebony woods. Yet, the predominant colours are earth tones led by the fiery, red-brown cloves. Somewhere in Tuscany, there is a painter trying to capture these exact shades of umber, burnt umber, sienna, terracotta, expresso, sun-bleached grass, and golden sunshine.
I grant you, I’m both a patch head and a lover of cloves, but neither is the sole reason why I find Coze to be glorious. The more I wear it, the more time passes, the less I can decide what appeals to me most. Like a spoilt child indulged in a candy store, I’m dazzled by the array of choices, notes that feel tailor-made for me. I’ve changed my mind on the tobacco being the coup de gras, as the note is far too subtle and minor in the overall scheme of things. I settle on the chocolate for a brief moment, but, being fickle, I change my mind again. No, I think it really may be the cloves. God, they’re fantastic. Coze’s opening is like a richer, more concentrated version of Caron‘s legendary Poivre Pure Parfum which in its modern form is much weaker on the chili pepper, cloves, and fire. Coze has all that, minus Poivre’s powderiness.
The cherry on the cake is the smooth cocoa powder and the dry vanilla, mixed with the patchouli’s earthiness and the hemp’s grassy notes. They are supplemented by a touch of coffee which, unfortunately, is extremely weak, muted and muffled. Most of the time, it feels like a mere by-product of the other elements, the result of the patchouli and chocolate combined, more than actual coffee, per se. Coze would be far better with more of the note, but perhaps this is the result of reformulation. Still, the fleeting suggestion is a wonderful touch when it briefly pops up in the opening 30 minutes.
Everything about the darker, woodier or spice elements seems intentionally designed to ensure that Coze never becomes cloying. I generally struggle with really syrupy fragrances, and I find Pierre Guillaume’s Phaedon line (especially Rouge Avignon, but also Tabac Rouge and Pure Azure) to be well-nigh unbearable in overdoing the sugariness. Thankfully, Coze is nothing like that. Your first thought when you smell it is not about the sweetness, but cloves, spices and patchouli before you register the chocolate and vanilla. Yes, there is a gourmand, sweet base, but all the other notes beat it up, stuff it into a suitcase, then sit on it, and tell it to shut up.
Coze starts to slowly shift after 30 minutes. The fragrance turns drier, woodier, and softer. The patchouli moves up to the foreground, as do the chocolate and earthy elements. For all the patchouli’s strength, it feels gossamer light, almost akin to a translucent veil of heavily spiced sweetness and warmth. The earthy and hemp accords are more distinct, though the hemp is merely just dry now and no longer freshly grassy. Meanwhile, the cocoa has turned into milk chocolate. The tobacco has retreated, along with the coffee, and both vanish completely after another 15 minutes. Taking their place is a hint of cedar that dances about; perhaps Fragrantica was right in their assessment when they included it. As a whole, Coze is an equal measure of well-blended cloves, nutmeg, chocolate, patchouli, and earthiness, followed by dry, woody touches and a lesser amount of vanilla and smoke. The whole thing is cocooned in a soft warmth that feels ambered, though is an abstract amber and impression more than an actual note.
45 minutes in, the sillage drops and Coze turns much thinner. As an Eau de Toilette, there are inherent limitations in how much richness a perfume can have. After all, a far lesser quantity of essential perfume oils is used than in an eau de parfum. Still, Coze feels like a light cloud, no matter how strong its notes may be. The richness is a bit like a will o’ the wisp that starts to dart out of reach. The cloves and spices may be potent when sniffed up close, the actual perfume now is wafting only 2 inches above the skin. Coze began by projecting a good 5-6 inches with 3 moderate dabs on the skin, but the more moderate sillage isn’t the real issue.
The problem is that the red-brown notes have turned blurry, a little too blurry for my liking. Apart from the cloves and nutmeg, and to a lesser extent the chocolate, some of the elements feel very muffled, muted and indistinct in an individual way. In fact, if you smell Coze from a distance at the end of the first 90 minutes, there doesn’t seem to be much more to the scent than those 3 elements. You have to come in closer to really detect the patchouli (which is slowly and increasingly turning into simple spiced sweetness), along with the slight smokiness, and the lingering touches of earthiness. The dry woods are wholly amorphous now as well, while the vanilla seems to have melted into the rest of the fragrance.
As time passes, Coze doesn’t change very much except to become blurrier and softer. The most significant difference is that the dry chocolate powder moves to the foreground, while the patchouli slips to the background. Coze is now primarily cloves and cocoa powder, followed by patchouli sweetness and an amorphous woodiness. Traces of vanilla and a subtle smoke linger at the edges, but they eventually fade away. About 2.75 hours into Coze’s development, it is a skin scent. After four hours, it is a soft, sheer, sweet blur of spiced, woody sweetness with muted veins of chocolate and patchouli. It’s still very pretty and wonderfully cozy, but I miss the nuances, body, and richness of the opening. In its final moments, Coze is a sheer, translucent smear of warm, sweet woodiness. All in all, it lasted just short of 9 hours which is excellent for an eau de toilette, particularly given my wonky skin.
Despite the sillage and sheerness, I loved Coze, but it is not a scent that I would recommend to everyone. You must — MUST — love cloves! You also have to appreciate the true, original sort of patchouli with all its chocolate, woody, spiced, earthy nuances. This is not the modern sort of patchouli (or fruitchouli) with its purple, fruited syrup, but it’s also not the black head-shop patchouli of the 1970s. This is a much more refined, brown-red, spicy patchouli than its hippie predecessor, but it is still patchouli nonetheless. I think the cloves may actually be a greater problem for most people, along with the dryness and fieriness of the opening moments.
Those issues explain the mixed reactions to Coze on Luckyscent. The cloves made one person think of a dentist analgesic or numbing solution for when you have pain on your gums. For another person, the problem was actually the hemp which they thought was too weird of a note, evoking something “wet and heavy.” A handful of people found Coze to give off an “ashtray” vibe, perhaps from the tobacco or the incense. For some other commentators, the problem was that Coze was not unisex, but masculine in its dryness and woodiness. Clearly, it’s going to depend on your standards, and whether something very spicy or dry seems to lack feminine softness.
Those commentators are in the minority though, as the majority of Luckyscent reviewers love Coze:
- Choclate glazed donuts, mmm…..
- Mmmmmmm–darkly sexy! Loving the hemp, and it’s loving me! Smells slilghtly like a soft amber. Luscious and very come-hither. Lacy lingerie a must!
- This really does it for me! Heady,hypnotic,and enticing. EVERYBODY loves this one on me! It’s kinda odd when other guys comment on my frag, but it’s just that good.I’d wear it even if I didn’t like it just for the social aspect.
- The topnotes were off-putting. I think it was too much pimento? But the middle and base are exquisite. This is not a sweet chocolate. It is dark and mysterious.
- This fragrance has a stunning combination of notes. It gives an impression of fine grain texture, with dark spices and woods, with a touch of gourmand dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla pods. Rich but in a dry way. Outstanding.
- warm, spicy and deep topnotes from the pimento, chocolate and vanilla. The warmth has a woody resonance about it that gives it mystery and some complexity – probably from the sativa oil. Coze has a caribbean spice Island vibe but with sort of a woody incense drydown note. Nice if you like spice! […][¶] underestimated how nice the drydown is. Exceptional! The sweetness recedes and the pepper comes out with the resin wood notes for a smoky but ethereai very dry wood + spice. Kind of magical.
For two people, the problem was reformulation and longevity, respectively:
- I bought my second bottle last month and I’m sad to say that it is no longer my favorite. I don’t know what the did with the formulation but it lacks the depth and punch from 2 years ago. I love the initial blast but it fades VERY quickly on me now and is gone within 4 hours. No more strong punch of pimento. Damn – this has been reduced from 5 stars to 3.
- Love this for a summer scent — it’s woody but sunny, sweet (chocolate notes), both dry and light. It has a kind of rich European hippy vibe that seems sexy and festive to me, and not particularly masculine as some have objected. I would adopt it in an instant but on me it is terribly fleeting — I get 75 minutes at most. Heartbreaker.
Yes, Coze has definite flaws in terms of its sillage and weight, while, in a few rare cases, some people have also experienced poor longevity. However, on Fragrantica, the vast majority of people voted by a landslide for “moderate” in both categories. I personally was surprised at Coze’s longevity on my skin, especially given that it is an eau de toilette, though I did have to smell it up close after 4 or 5 hours to notice it fully. I suppose that makes it suitable for work, if you go easy on the amount you apply, because I have to emphasize that the opening 30-40 minutes are very strong indeed.
The more significant issue is whether Coze is unisex, since some women seem to think Coze is firmly masculine. There are some female bloggers who would firmly disagree. Back in 2006, before the perfume was reformulated to become even softer and less spicy, Marina of Perfume-Smellin’ Things wrote:
there is nothing overly masculine about this fragrance. It is my favorite of the line; with notes of Canapa Sativa seed oil, pepper, pimento, coffee, ebony, chocolate, and bourbon vanilla, this is a rich, sumptuous composition, with luxurious accords smoothly blended into a dark, spicy harmony. This is a “pitch black” perfume with woody and (very black) coffee notes being most prominent on my skin. Those, who, like me, are wary of chocolate in perfume, should not worry, the accord is very subtle and elegant here. This was without a doubt “full bottle worthy” for me.
For Angela at Now Smell This who tried the fragrance in 2013, Coze was wafer dry, but also autumnal and “firmly unisex.” Her review reads, in part, as follows:
If [Coze’s] list of notes brings to mind a Montale Patchouli Leaves café mocha, think again. Coze is as dry as a brown Necco wafer. [¶] In fact, to get a sense of Coze, imagine that Necco wafer, but crafted by Pierre Hermé. The chef has mixed a pinch of lavender with the cocoa powder, and he’s stored the wafers in an old wooden box with coffee dust in its corners. The mixture approximates tobacco, but is more minty-woody. I can’t pick out any pimento. For such a potentially dessert-like fragrance, Coze is austere.
It’s also fairly linear. What you smell after a few minutes on skin is what you get throughout the life of the fragrance. That seems to work for Coze, though. Instead of being a big, symphonic perfume … it’s an easy-to-hum folk melody you can’t believe you haven’t heard before. I find Coze firmly unisex.
Sometimes I want something interesting but not serious to wear. I can imagine spritzing on Coze in the fall for long walks. Coze would blend well with the scent of books, coffee shops, and fires, too. I could see … [it on] those days I want to smell earthy, warm, and easy, without smelling cliched or overwhelming. Coze’s biggest drawback for me is that it only lasts a few hours before I have to press my nose directly on skin to smell it.
And let me say it one more time: it doesn’t smell anything like hippies.
I think men who love sweet-dry fragrances with strong spices, some darkness, light gourmand touches, a hint of tobacco and incense, all wrapped up in cozy warmth will go nuts for Coze. Women who don’t like syrupy fragrances but who love spicy orientals will thoroughly enjoy it as well. As for those who don’t like dark fragrances, I truly don’t think Coze qualifies. The expresso is really the tiniest touch, the incense is subtle, and the chocolate is more like powdered cocoa for the majority of Coze’s development. More importantly, the reformulation seems to have toned down Coze’s fiery bite from the pimento in the opening, so it would be easier now for those who don’t like a strong spice mix. That said, everyone needs to be aware of the cloves and patchouli. If you can’t bear either note, you should skip Coze.
For everyone else, I definitely think you should consider giving Coze a test sniff. It is really lovely as a cozy winter fragrance, though the light weight and airiness means you can wear it in summer, too. Even better, Coze is not hugely expensive. The smallest size (30 ml or 1 oz) costs $85 or €65, while the 50 ml bottle is $100, €92, or £81.50. The relatively moderate cost means that it’s not impractical to reapply Coze after 5 hours if you’re one of the people whose skin seems to eat up the scent. I loved it from the first sniff, and definitely plan to get a full bottle for myself. The sunny, golden warmth mixed with the rich spices and patchouli, the dusky chocolate and sweet vanilla, the light threads of honey drizzled blond tobacco and incense… fantastic!
I absolutely love Coze. Yet it was not love at first sniff for me. The first 10 minutes on my skin reveal something minty? mentholated? something I don’t know how to describe that put me off the first time I tried it. But on my second trial, I fell for its warmth and convulsed beauty. Like you, I also get the explosion of nutmeg and clove at the very beginning. (I think I recognize patchouli now because this scent does have that same dark wetness, that very dark deliciousness that L’Ombre Fauve has and which I love. I even love its sweet twin, L’Oiseau de nuit!) On my skin Coze is always a deep brown against the blonde brown of the honeyed tobacco. Contrary to your experience, Coze remains fairly strong on my skin well beyond the 4th hour. On my scarf it lasts for weeks if not more. I wonder if there is any good wet dark patchouli with which we can layer Coze to prevent the blurriness you refer to? My skin amplifies the cloves manically and it does the same to Mona di Orio’s Vanille, which I also adore but the cloves are always there, biting me.
I’m so glad you enjoy it too. With regard to its strength, when did you buy your bottle of Coze? I suspect the reformulation was recent, since it is the very top comment on Luckyscent and the Now Smell This reviewer writing in Spring of 2013 had pretty much the same experience as I did. Did you buy your bottle pre-2013?
With regard to the minty, mentholated aspect you encountered, that sounds like the green side of patchouli coming out. It’s interesting because I haven’t seen others mention it, but, as always, it’s a question of skin chemistry. I’m definitely going to have to try L’Ombre Fauve. I’ve heard good things about it, but since you and I have such similar tastes, a reference to a similar “dark deliciousness” makes it a Must Try for me. Thank you, my dear! 🙂
L’Ombre Fauve is a sensual musky amber,quite beautiful.I nearly bought it last year,and I’m sorry I didn’t!I’d love to see your take on it
I plan on ordering a sample with my next order to the decanting site, Surrender to Chance. 🙂
Coze is good. L’Ombre Fauve is awesome! Think you’d love it.
Another great review.
Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! This was one of the fun and easy ones to write.
And another one for L’Ombre Fauve!! It will be the first thing I order next time I get samples from Surrender to Chance! 😀 I did get 2 other PG scents, including their leather one Cuir Venetum, in my last order, so I’ll get to test out more from the line in the meantime. Thank you for chiming in, James.
Mmmmhhh…I reckon it was the first half of 2012 when I got my bottle. It saddens me to hear it has been weakened. We certainly do not need more watered down perfumes for Christ’s sake! I am wearing it now and it stills shine. I used it pretty much all up last year and now I have a few spritz more, three perhaps. I fear my next bottle wont be as endearing and cozy as this Coze I now sniff uncontrollably on my arm 🙁
Oh no, do not take my word regarding patchouli at all since I am totally unfamiliar with it. Actually until you mentioned it here in your posts I wasn’t even aware that that was what I loved about L’Ombre Fauve. If you decide to try it, let us know! I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂
Well, if Pierre himself comes to deliver a bottle, I would love to buy a bottle. 😉
You might have to stand in line, as I hear Pierre Guillaume is quite admired by the ladies…. 😉
And not only the ‘ladies’, heh heh. 😉
Would I be wrong to say I foresee a PG Coze sales increase in the next couple of weeks? 🙂 What an excellent and passionate review, Kafka!
Did you appreciate the Mea Culpa in terms of my original doubts or hesitancy? *grin* 😉
This got to the very last 3 in my full bottle search yesterday in Bloom with the London crew, then it made it to the top two and then I bought Alahine. It was close and I enjoyed them both on my skin over the 2 hours I spent on the deciding. There will definitely be a bottle of Coze in my future but when I get home I will order a 5ml decant and see how often I reach for it.
Well, you can’t go wrong in buying Alahine!! You know my feelings on that one, Portia! 😀 😉 But I thought you had already purchased it some months ago when you brought it up on Twitter? Not the solid, but the actual bottle, no? Perhaps I was mistaken. I’m so glad you enjoyed the Coze, even if it was (naturally) beaten out by Alahine. lol
Are you having a good trip thus far? It sounds like it’s been fun from the little I’ve heard. What has been your favorite perfume purchase to date?
OK, so I ordered a vintage bottle of Alahine for a very good price but the site wrote me soon after to tell me that they had no stock. GRRR.
The holiday has been a whirlwind, we have had enormous amounts of fun, met some incredible people, hung with old friends, seen amazing sights and smelled so much fragrance that my mind has gone into frag melt down. Poor Michael has been battling a cold since Germany but here in London it seems to be winning, he is wrecked. I’m leaving him at the hotel to sleep and going to catch up with the gorgeous Karen Gilbert and some buddies.
I hope he feels better soon. And congratulations on finally getting your hands on my beloved Alahine! I know you’ll wear it with panache and will smell wonderful.
I am ridiculously happy that you love Coze!!!!!!!!! It was my first PG purchase, 3 years ago and it is almost gone. I let my husband try it a few months ago, and now it is his favorite. He wore it last night to his Birthday dinner! Your description is so spot on. I love the way you break down the notes in such an enticing and in my mind, accurate way. It breaks my heart that the reformulation is watered down!! Maybe Pierre will read your review and realize he mad a grievous error and reformulate it in the old style!!! I can’t wait to show this review to my husband. He enjoys your writing very much, and he is really going to love this one! Thank you for yet another Gorgeous review!!!
Awww, how sweet about your husband and how Coze was his choice for his birthday dinner. I love that. When he finishes the bottle, I hope the next one won’t be too different in his eyes. Anyway, I’m so glad you enjoyed the review. I had fun writing it. 🙂
“I think men who love sweet-dry fragrances with strong spices, some darkness, light gourmand touches, a hint of tobacco and incense, all wrapped up in cozy warmth will go nuts for Coze.”
Yes indeed I think you have me pegged for this one. Can’t wait to try Coze. I loved your opening paragraph. It carried me on the wings of elan to another world. Beautiful.
I hope you let me know what you think if you try it.
How wonderful that you reviewed my favorite PG-fragrance! I don’t care for patchuli and I am not much into cloves but I absolutely love Cozé. To me it’s all about cannabis / hemp and spices. And in the beginning I smell something which reminds me of sweating horses…
Maybe I have a pre-reformulation-sample because I don’t get any sweet note at all, the chocolate is very dark and dry, like crumbling and from time to time I smell this alluring aroma of coffee beens. I crave Cozé quite often, it’s so different and versatile – and on my skin it lasts about 12 hours (with the sillage being, as you experienced it too, very moderate). It might be the fragrance which paves the way for me to like this certain kind of refined, spicy patchouli (I really hate head-shop-patchouli!).
It sounds marvelous on you. If you’re looking for an even better, refined take on patchouli, I’d strongly recommend the incense and white chocolate Coromandel from Chanel. If you haven’t tried it, you really should. It’s magnificent!
Oh, I love Coromandel, it’s on top of my wishlist! And I don’t get much patchouli from it either, my skin amplifies the woody notes together with white chocolate. But it might well be that what I consider woody actually is this refined patchouli – I guess it’s time for me to experiment more with patchouli. Did you try Ramon Monegal “Cuirelle”? To me it’s a very nice honeyed patchouli, sweet but elegant, it might be not tough enough for you though…
No, I’m afraid I haven’t tried Cuirelle, though I’ve heard some lovely things about it! As for the patchouli, it sounds to me as though you are a patchouli lover without realising it. *grin* Yes, it can often smell woody when it’s this brown sort of refined patchouli (as opposed to the more green kind that smells minty or earthy, or the purple fruitchouli kind which is super sweet and in so many modern florals). Patchouli is, in fact, often classified as a woody note, but it can take on tobacco, incense, earthy, spicy, leathered or slightly ambered undertones as well. Coromandel is a big patchouli and incense fragrance, but Serge Lutens’ Fourreau Noir has it too. Guerlain’s much loved LIDGE (L’Instant Pour Homme Eau Extreme) is another super refined patchouli scent, and it’s TOTALLY unisex, imo! So ridiculous to name it as a men’s cologne when it is perhaps more unisex than a good portion of scents labeled “unisex” out there. Since you’re in Europe, you should be able to find L’Instant Extreme quite easily and it’s really well priced, so I hope you will try that one as well. 🙂
Me, a patchouli lover?? Well, I’m shocked! But it might well be the case, I remember that for a pretty long time I thought I don’t appreciate vetiver but then I tried “real” vetivers like Guerlain or Lalique and fell in love with the nutty, earthy, smoky aspect of it – my favorite now is Sycomore.
Thanks for the Guerlain tip, here in Berlin I am really lucky to find a great number of different fragrances, I’m sure I will be able to get hold of L’Instant Extreme somewhere.
(And Fourreau Noir is delicious! As opposed to you I like lavender and therefore enjoy Gris Clair very much too. But I don’t own a Lutens so far and I guess my first one will be Iris Silver Mist. In spring probably…oh, if I look out of the window, it seems spring is coming early this year…).
Your tasty review has enticed me to go and find my sample upstairs right now and try this one again. I’ve only sprayed it once and wasn’t blown away – much preferred L’Ombre Fauve but will give it another try now. Thanks for the inspiration.
Perhaps you need a few big sprays for all its facets to shine? If that doesn’t work either, at least you have L’Ombre Fauve. 🙂
Great, tempting review. I’m craving something chocolate now. I wonder why?
I think you’d really love this one, my dear Poodle!
This sounds positively lovely! I like Tabac Rouge, but the more I wear it, the more I agree it’s a bit too sweet for my tastes. I don’t think I find it as sweet as you do, but I would really *love* it if the sweetness were dialed down significantly, I think. PG is such a great house – I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried from them. Admittedly, that’s only been about 4 or 5 scents, but still – this sounds promising. Infinitely cozy – cloves and patchouli – perfect!
Pierre Guillaume is known for having a very sweet, gourmand touch for a lot of his creations, but I think he took it to extreme degrees with Phaedon. While my skin does amplify sweetness, I’m far from being alone in finding a number of the Phaedon stuff “too sugary.” But it all comes down to personal tastes. What’s great about Coze is that it is SOOOOOOOO perfectly balanced, and I tested the new version, not even the much darker, drier, even less sweet original one. I definitely recommend Coze for you, Kevin.
MUST. TRY. !!!!!. What a gorgeous review, Kafka!! Simply lovely!! And now I’m afraid I’m going to have to rent a post office box so that my husband doesn’t see all the “SO affordable little samples” our mailman keeps delivering!! And now that the comments section has brought up Alahine, which I’d forgotten about and have yet to smell, I’ll need to order a sample of THAT, as well!! Damn, damn, damn!!! What a shame! ;).
Cannot WAIT to try both of these!! STC, you and are I are going to become SO well-acquainted!
My thanks to you for brightening my day with your beautiful review!
LOLOLOL at the secret post office. *grin* So funny. And you definitely need to order Alahine, but please be aware that it usually takes at least 4 tries for the magic to kick in. I call it Stockholm Syndrome. 😀 But once it happens, you’re pretty much gone for life. A friend of mine took a while to come around, but now she’s gone through a massive chunk of her 100 ml bottle in less than 3 weeks. In a totally different vein of fragrance, may I also suggest Chanel’s Coromandel, Serge Lutens’ Fourreau Noir, and his Fille en Aiguilles? Three great scents that I love passionately.
I am awaiting a sample of Coromandel and Mitzah from a generous friend now!! And I am more than happy to give Alahine all the time she needs in order to “convert” me!! :). But now I fear that after I’m under her spell, I will NEED to own some.. Oh, dear God, this can be such a costly obsession!!!
And last, but not least, many thanks for the SL suggestions- I did purchase Chergui last fall, but have not smelled any others, although I do surf through the SL site with regularity, and wonder which samples I might try next. Fille en Aiguilles was one that had def piqued my interest; don’t remember reading about Forreau Noir. Will add to the growing list of “must smell”!!!!
I keep laughing at your “Stockholm Syndrome”!!!! That is too funny!! 🙂
Nice review. I never try a fragrance from Parfumerie Générale up to now.
Ah, so glad to hear you’ve found a luv in Pierre’s very first ‘baby’ (& the reason for PG’s inception, thankfully !) Cozé is indeed gorgeous stuff, and that’s coming from a staunch card carrying clove-o-phobe, so go figure. 🙂 But Pierre is after all probably my fave perfumer, (he seems to resonate closest to my own ‘nasal aesthetic’). At least out of all my top fave ‘fumes he manages the most notches so far. (+ I easily enjoy a good 3/4 of his PG oeuvre). I think judging him by his Phaedon line is a big mistake as he’s only really ‘authored’ about 4 or 5 of that line himself personally (of which I only like half, & hardly rate the rest of the rather pedestrian line). He’s Huitième Art line is a good notch up (& with interesting new natural ingredients), BUT he’s PG stuff is on another level entirely – that’s where he’s masterpieces lie.
For you L’Ombre Fauve is a must try, I’ll be v. surprised if u don’t adore it – it’s easily one of my favourite ‘ambers’. Whereas it’s rather unfortunate Cuir Venenum was amongst your early forays into the line as it’s probably he’s most saccharine and reviled frag to date, a true love/hate one if ever there was one – of which I was pretty certain you’d fall hard on the latter. I only persisted with it out of respect for it’s composer, (aware we’re usually more ‘in tune’) – & over time it’s utter bizarreness did finally win me over somewhat – well, a smidge (tho’ it WAS hard work & we’ll certainly never be buddies). Methinks she’s like the overly sweet, quirky odd-ball eccentric old aunty of the bunch. 🙂
But CV is atypical IMO so I hope it hasn’t put u off trying the rest as they’re well worth the effort. And tho’ I don’t suffer the same ‘Iso-E-prejudice’ as u, I’m not anosmic to the stuff yet can hardly pick it up in the majority of he’s frags, so I’d not let that deter u either. 🙂
If nothing else at very least Cozé Verde should be a pretty good bet – it’s the perfect spring/summer alternative, lighter/fresher but just as delicious – it’s Cozé evolved.
Plus I think you’d find Arabian Horse rather amusing and interesting, if not exactly a luv. (many others surpass it) – But aaarg too many to mention really, I’m convinced there’s quite a few still that would/will surprise you. 🙂
Cuir Venenum was not one of my earliest experiences with the line.
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Wow, your wonderful description is so close to getting me to blind buy this baby! It is currently in my shopping cart at Osswald, just waiting for me to see if there is anything else I want. Normally, I’m hesitant to blind buy, but this sounds like it is right up my alley. I took your advice from your article on Kalemat, and I was not disappointed. Besides, at $100 for 50 ml, it won’t be a huge loss in the unlikely event that I don’t like it, and if that happens, I’m sure it would make for a wonderful Christmas gift to someone (my fragrance loving nephew would be the perfect recipient).
I always love reading your reviews, they are so much fun. I also read through a bunch of the comments from your readers, and I find it absolutely amazing that you seem to reply to every single one. How do you have the time?!
By the way, I just noticed in one of your replies that you say to someone L’Ombre Fauve is a must try – that, too, happens to currently be in my shopping cart at Surrender to Chance. Early Merry Christmas to me!
Welcome back to the blog, Mark. It’s nice to see you again. As a small point of clarification, I haven’t tried L’Ombre Fauve yet, though I have a sample that I haven’t gotten around to trying. But everyone tells me that I will love it, so perhaps one of the comments was someone insisting (yet again) that I simply HAD to try it? 🙂
With regard to Coze, OH SO GOOD!!!! My heavens, it is rather narcotic in its dark, sweet, rather resinous, patchouli, spiced, hempy glories. That said, I’m generally very leery of blind buys, unless the amount is extremely low, because one person’s love is not another person’s, especially given skin chemistry. Surrender to Chance currently has a one-night only, pre-Thanksgiving 20% off sale. Perhaps you can order a sample from there first? The Coze will still be waiting for you at Osswalds thereafter. I can give you the code if you want to order tonight and if you don’t have it already: Charcoalfriday. The sale ends tonight at midnight EST. You can try the L’Ombre Fauve at the same time. 🙂
Still, if you’re really tempted to brave the wildness, Coze is one of those scents where — for a guy like you and from what little I remember of your tastes — I think you’d be happy. Promise you’ll let me know what you think either way?
Thank you, it’s nice to be back, although since I read your blog so often, it’s almost as if I never even left.
You are correct about L’Ombre Fauve, it was someone else recommending it to you rather than the other way around. I first became aware of it about a week ago from the Facebook Fragrance Friends group, and since I get the newsletters and discount codes for both STC and TPC, it immediately went on my wish list. I was in the midst of putting together my shopping cart at STC when I came across Coze. I hadn’t read your review yet, but I decided to do a little bit more research on it, that’s when I read it. I doubt very much that I would have any regrets about blind buying a full bottle, but Osswald doesn’t carry LF and STC does, along with various other samples I want, I suppose I can put off that full bottle purchase until after I sample it. And I promise to let you know what I think of it. 🙂
You seriously need to stop lurking! 😉
As for TPC, the very mention of their name makes me bitter. I was JUST about to write them an email to ask if they had even bothered to ship my order from more than a week ago. I rarely order from them but, whenever I do, I always regret it. EACH AND EVERY bloody time. IMO, they take a totally unprofessional degree of time to process and ship things, even if they have a gazillion qualifiers on their FAQ page. In contrast, Surrender to Chance is prompt, efficient, quick to answer emails, and never appear to have a chip on their shoulder. Really, I am so pissed that I bothered with TPC again.
As for Osswalds, they do have L’Ombre Fauve but they tend to take down a perfume’s page when they sell out. I know they carry it because that’s where I got my sample from. (You know about their sample program, right?)
Anyway, stop lurking and come out to play with the rest of us. 😉 Have a super weekend, Mark.
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