Donna Karan Fuel for Men: Perfume Review
Fuel, first launched in 1994 and re-released last year together with another cult-favorite, Chaos, was inspired by Donna Karan’s late husband Stephan Weiss, "who loved the thrilling freedom of speeding down an open road." Housed in a sleek ablack bottle and coming with the "meant for a high-performance lifestyle" premise, Fuel of my imagination was a smoky, leathery, obviously masculine scent, simultaneously urbane and forceful, a banker riding a motorcycle. In reality, its spicy-herbal incense accord turned out to be a totally unisex, tranquil comfort fragrance of sorts.
The sharp and fiery start of Fuel is perhaps the most masculine and the most predictable part of it, the kind of top notes, fresh, brooding and with a touch of smoke, that one would expect from a perfume called Fuel. As a dry-fruity aroma of baked and spiced apples, sweet amber and, in this mix, floral rather than fresh lavender begins to unfold, the scent takes a very different, much quieter road, somewhere away from the roar and hustle of a metropolis. As I am smelling patchouli and sandalwood of the base notes, I can't help but think of a serene retreat in the mountains, deep in a forest. The gently burning incense tinged with a hint of herbs and fruits (the incense note not unlike that of Chaos!) is, too me, very far removed from the cars-cities-modern-lifestyle discourse. The perfume strikes me as much more...primeval, for a lack of better word.
I still think that the name is quite fitting, because, as meditative and calm the scent is, in its smoldering depth lies strength that is palpable. Fuel, to me, is some sort of powerful magical being in repose...resting for a moment but ready to unfold in all its formidable glory. If Vrubel painted The Demon Sleeping, this would be the fragrance to suit the picture.
Fuel is available at Bergdorf Goodman, $95.00 fr 3.4oz.