“What fresh hell is this?!” That question repeatedly crossed my mind as I smelt the new Jeroboam fragrances, and it wasn’t solely because some of them were indeed “fresh” (and excessively clean). The question really arose because I physically recoiled from the very first sniff of the sample wand for fragrance after fragrance, one after another, like a falling domino. When a scent wafts a brash, often brutish amount of chemicals merely from the wand and far before the liquid has even developed on my skin, then I know I’m in trouble.
There wasn’t even the promise or potential of something different and interesting in the synthetic cocktail to make the effort of wearing the fragrance seem worthwhile. For some of the Jeroboam fragrances, the molecules wafting from the wand and, later, on my skin were the most generic of bouquets whose quality and distinctiveness veered between being worse than a Montale, on par with a Montale, or like something you’d find in an Arab bazaar. For others in the line, the scent was all too familiar, evoking a richer or stronger aroma of things like Terre d’Hermes or one of the thousands of creme brulée caramelized vanillas on the market. At least two of the fragrances could be summed up flatly as “Bro Juice” on chemical steroids, with the added benefit or catnip of “Beast Mode” projection. If you like that genre of perfumery, great, all the more power to you, but it’s not my thing.