If you don’t speak Italian, these name titles are all pretty overwhelming. The fragrances all seem to begin with the letter L and there’s often repeated names in this brand with alternative numbers at the end, I really don’t know where to begin and end with these. Sorry if these O’Driu posts start to get repetitive but I’m fascinated by this brand so far and really want to work my way through these fragrances, seeing if they each have their own identity beneath the huge O’Driu signature.
Linfedele 1003 opens yet again bitter and herbal, but there’s some notes in here which I find more appealing than before. A strong mentholated note comes in pretty much instantly along with some smoky leather. The type of leather is that boatload of birch tar which has come to fame through fragrances like Lonestar Memories and Knize 10. This is much greener though, and there is this wonderfully sharp medicinal note gleaming up front.
I really like the medicinal-ness to this opening, it’s so sharp and clinical a-top the greenery, it reminds me of notes I’ve smelled in Comme des Garcons’ Tea, and it wouldn’t feel out-of-place with a dollop of oud in the mix.
As with the previous herbal concoctions from O’Driu, I pick out that same cool lavender which I really like. It’s ridiculously sharp and pungent, yet subdued within the mix.
There’s a huge pine presence in this fragrance, and I’m used to pine fragrances having more of a warmth behind them like that in Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens. I actually prefer it like this, I wasn’t keen on the spicy warmth behind the Lutens’. This is much more raw and real.
As the fragrance settles down and becomes a whole lot more bearable, this pine and galbanum combination is coming through much cleaner now. By cleaner I mean individually, not distracted by everything else.
Similarly to the other fragrances I have tried so far, they each seem to have a gigantic “O’Driu signature” of herbs, and a less prominent combination of the headline notes. If that doesn’t make sense: for example, this is basically a leather/pine combo, Lalfeorosa is a rose/patchouli, but you’d never know this until like, 20 minutes of them being on the skin as they all open so similar. Whilst I like this concept, I find it hard to differentiate them on opening, and also, I struggle to understand the drastic price differences between them aside from being limited production…
Anyway, I’m going majorly off topic there. Linfidele 1003 is much nicer now. It’s a super potent masculine, again devoid of sweetness. Full of bitterness, smoky leather, sharp cool pine, and a pinch of frankincense and myrrh which is just starting to come out.
Very pleasant, it reminds me of Complex by Boadicea the Victorious, without the violets, with more class, and greater wearability.
By the way… There are common notes listed throughout these fragrances like juniper, myrtle, laurel etc. I have very limited exposure to these notes so I’m not listing them as if I’m confident with what they smell like, I’m sure this combination contributes greatly to what I keep repetitively describing as “herbal”…
So get ready to hear that word more-so:
So as not to constantly repeat myself, I’m going to give the familiar opening of Linfedele 1004 a little time to open before I start this review…
Ok so already, there is a difference between these two which is great! I really didn’t want too much similarity here. There’s this warmth behind this which right now is quite hard to break down.
There’s instantly a similar medicinal quality, but here it’s down to a handful of sharp and pungent cloves. Once I’ve got my head around this medicinal side to Linfedele 1004, the heat from it just expands more and more! Is it chilli pepper? There’s this fleshy chili note that provides the tiniest bit of moisture to the otherwise bone dry composition.
Similarly to Tauer’s Eau D’Epices, there’s the similar over-ripe cardamom which has that lovely fragrant twang with the painfully sharp green coating, that’s providing a little bit of sweetness.
Underneath all this, I can just about pick up on the O’Driu vanilla which I’m a big fan of. After ten minutes or so, a handful of green patchouli stops this combination from becoming anything foody (it’s not foody at all anyway! But I didn’t want the mention of kitchen herbs and vanilla to sound that way).
I’m really glad that this has its own personality. I was worried with the herbal opening that I would have little to write about here as I began to tire of the familiar openings, but 1004 is definitely its own beast. It is a complete contrast to 1003, where 1003 is cool and sharp with the medicinal pine and cool galbanum, 1004 is hot and sharp with medicinal cloves and heated chilli and maybe cumin?
The patchouli bush underneath is really nice, very natural and earthy. Suddenly I’ve just picked up on a bready-wheat type of note too. Sorry to keep referencing other fragrances but 1004 has just reminded me of my Hansel & Dreidel by Smell Bent. Although they are completely different fragrances, they share this similar bready note which I really like. I won’t use the word “doughy” as that makes it sound all too damp, instead this is bone dry. It works so well in fragrances as it’s not floral, herbal, spicy, sweet, it’s like this neutral space filler of something familiar and comfortable, and it provides a great dense texture to a fragrance like this that could otherwise be overtly spicy and sharp.
So there’s this rough wheat texture that somehow smoothes out this hot spicy pepper and maybe cinnamon?, the cloves are still strong and medicinal, and some lovely earthy patchouli mixed with the dark vanilla, has made Linfedele 1004 an instantly recognizable fragrance.
The spices do smooth out drastically in time and the whole fragrance feels warm, spiced, green, herbal and bizarrely familiar.
Whilst I am giving this a gleaming review, I THINK I preferred 1003, not that it really matters. Whilst I probably wouldn’t wear either, and prefer the creativity of 1004, 1003 is a lot more comfortable to wear on the skin and easier to get on with. However, like the other fragrances from this line, the longer they stay on the skin, the better they become (which is something that can’t be said about many fragrances/brands).
A wonderfully challenging, creative, complimentary duo.
O’Driu Linfedele 1003 50ml – 380 Euros
Linfedele 1004 50ml – 380 Euros both available odriu.it