Vine by Strange Invisible Perfumes
It is easy to lure me with the promise of a Greek myth, wine and pomegranates. I am also unable to resist the words like “whispering decadence”, “ambrosial” and “poised”. Vine is all of those things, but what is strangely invisible in the description of the fragrance is a very noticeable animalic accord that is persistently there through the two thirds of the fragrance development and only gets less noticeable (but never disappears completely) in the drydown, where Vine is all sweet fruits and thick dark wine.
To stay in the vein of Greek mythology, that animalic accord is perhaps the smell of Cerberus sent by his master to stealthily follow Persephone; it is hard to believe that she could have stayed oblivious to his musc-y, wet, sweetly repulsive odour. I cannot. This “three headed dog from Hades” note in Vine somewhat obscures all that is ambrosial about it. That is not to say that I don’t like this fragrance; I find it repulsive and irresistible at the same time, just like I cannot get enough of Muscs Koublai Khan, the fragrance that first opened my eyes to the wonders of all things musk and animalic.
Helmut Lang by Helmut Lang
Another relation of Koublai’s, very distant this time. A pale, androgynous cousin many times removed but still somehow reminiscent of that dirty naughty Koublai Khan of Lutens fame. The indescribable nameless animalic note is super light here, but it is still present. There is a “skin accord” among the official notes, and, whatever that may be, I bet you that is what makes this sleek, clean, modern eau de parfum smell on my skin like an unwashed Mongol warrior. Helmut Lang is very wearable, rather discreet, with just a hint of a hungry sexy predator lurking beneath the very contemporary minimalistic surface.