A sharp, astringent cherry tobacco and a smoky incense burst out of Luctor Et Emergo, it’s one of my favourite openings (I’m sure I say that all the time). It almost smells boozy, with a hit of rum up top that quickly (unfortunately) disappears. A synthetic, rubbery, medicinal smell penetrates through the centre, whether it’s a combination of the incoming almond and the smoke, or a synthetic oud accord… I’m not sure.
Just a touch of clove joins in – turning the pipe tobacco suggestion into a more “kretek cigarette” smell (I used to smoke them!). That medicinal oud-y accord in the background adding a middle-eastern feel to the fragrance rather than it being all-out gourmand. The almond notes get more prominent adding a touch of powder and for some reason a “rubber” texture. Whilst it all sounds ridiculous heavy, it’s surprisingly light, and just a touch “sticky”. A balance I’m not always fond of but can forgive because of how damn good it smells.
What seems most dominant atop the smoky, cherry scent of the heart, is a mothball/leathery smell that brings to mind Vierges et Toreros, Putain Des Palaces and Humiecki and Graef’s Blask… OK so that’s a big mish mash of fragrances I listed, but I can track subtleties of all of them in here. Infact, Blask is what this reminds me of most (one of my favourites in the H&G lineup). They both share this “tannin” kind of smell that Blask lists as a “red wine” accord, atop woods and smoke – both with a sour fruity accord that seems to be cherry in both. Luctor Et Emergo is sweeter though, I suppose from the almond – but both play with a texture overload of bitter/sour/sweet. A touch of violet seems to add to the powdered almond, that’s where my association with Putain comes in as this accord seems to be identical.
A vanilla comes in from the base and I totally understand when people say LeE turns “play-dough-y”. A lot of people seem to get playdough from almond and vanilla, but I love that combination so no complaints from me. It begins to round out and become smoother, a little more easy to wear and a little less unusual, I kind of wish all the crazy shit up top stayed until the end but, all good things die out too quickly. Still – the drydown is gorgeous, a rubbery, spiced vanilla with a touch of smoke and a sour edge. An absolutely beautiful fragrance that I won’t be able to afford any time soon
Luctor et Emergo 100ml EDP People of the Labyrinths – $180 Luckyscent