re-sniffed on 6/24/10
in the bottle: Amazingly, I pick out most of the listed scents. This is uncommon, but it might be because the components are uncommonly strong and distinctive. Tobacco. A warm spice: clove. Something musky. A wood. A kind of catch-in-my-throat dryness; don't know where that's coming from. I will admit that I smell something that reminds me strongly of some kind of alcohol, but it hovers somewhere -- strangely -- between red wine and whiskey, even though neither is listed. Second try: Now I don't smell anything remotely like alcohol, rather it's all about wood and very strong clove. Really, this is predominantly clove.
on wet: A little floral. Tobacco.
drydown: The floral has gone creamy in a vanilla-smooth kind of way. What I'm smelling now, at a slight distance, just 2 minutes later, is nothing like what I smelled in the bottle. If I put my nose right on my wrist and inhale deeply, I get the clove and tobacco, but they're ghosts. OK, clove and wood, in that order. There are definitely other scents in the background, but they're almost "transparent".
one hour later: The scent is dominated by clove, with a deep, dark undertone which is almost impossible to focus on -- I know it's there, affecting my response, but it's almost subliminal. I'm going to say it's the musk and tobacco working together, but that's purely a guess; I can't, in all honesty, smell musk and tobacco.
before too long: I can barely smell anything on myself. I suspect that the scent is just as strong (if my SO walked in right now I'm sure he'd notice the scent immediately) but my nose has become immune to it. That's disheartening. I wear perfume primarily for its effect on me. Maybe today isn't a good day to be testing. I'll probably have to revisit this one yet again.
end of day:
compared to official description: I've never, to my knowledge, smelled Balsam of Peru, though it seems from my research that it's a fairly common component in scents, so it'd probably be more truthful to say that if I've smelled it before, I wouldn't have know that was what I was smelling. Second time around, I detected no floral notes in this. I'm pretty happy that I didn't pick the cumin scent out of this. I like cumin as a culinary addition, but I always notice it at the top of every spice mix, so I need very little to get the full effect. It so easily could have been overkill, but I don't smell it at all in this oil. What I do smell strongly is the clove, which is fine; I like clove so much I've even been known to chew the plain dried cloves like candy.
notes: I started this a little too late in the day to do a full review. I'll have to come back to it. This is pretty close to gender neutral to my nose. Having said that: It's hard to tell when it's just me wearing it, but I suspect that I would find this drop-dead, oh-my-god-take-me-now sexy on the right man.