It’s been so long since I’ve wrote about an O’Driu fragrance. I got drawn to them again recently – wearing my bottle of Leva regularly <3
This one is one hell of an odd-ball (well… they are all!). So here it is.
Up top, Vis et Honor opens with a bitterly green, camphorous blast of lavender, an astringent narcotic accord riddled with a briney olive-like scent (more black than green: more Sienne L’Hiver than Leva). The lavender vanishes in no time, where a smoky herb bundle begins to dominate. It smells like a burning stick of dried out herbs, along with the most pungent chamomile – overbrewed and nose-clearing, it hits the back of your throat with a sting.
This herb basket settles into a mint… well, it doesn’t settle at all – but a mint comes into focus in full force, heated by the smoke and warmed by the chamomile – it is a mineralic and hot mint, earthy almost. Paired with an absinthe/liqourice (sweetening Vis Et Honor just a tiny bit), what seemed like a complicated overload at the beginning manages to fall into place. I find that a lot with the O’Driu’s – they are literally impossible up top, to know what you’re smelling, and also to predict the direction it will take. A mint/anise was not expected…
The expected cool quality of these two is replaced with a burning, almost boozy sensation, like the feeling in your stomach as a spirit hits it. You’d expect a super-clean thing with the overload of mint and anise, but the smokiness that begins to evolve into a castoreum/leathery scent keeps it human and a touch soiled. It quickly interlocks with your skin smell as it begins to tame at this point, smelling smoother and warmer – a touch of salt, a gorgeous incense followed by O’Driu’s fantastic vanilla and a hefty dose of oakmoss (and pine?). MMMM!
A pinch of fenugreek adds a subtle curried spice, but nowhere near as pungent as in Ladamo. It keeps the fragrance warm, with a bit of spark on the skin. Labdanum shows up and stays up, a thick, sticky black layer of resin that anchors the remaining touch of liquorice and mint to the skin. The incense/castoreum/vanilla creating a smooth, smokiness underneath (I hope this is coming across as clear as it can! – complicated I know).
The spiciness of fenugreek has touches of clove and saffron too – I love a good saffron note and it’s as smooth as can be here!
Drying down, it’s extremely soft on the skin with a furry texture – with enough bite to keep it fascinating start to finish. I’d have bought this one when I was in CampoMarzio70 were it not for the exceedingly high price tag. Still – if I had the money, I’d snap this up in no time. Gorgeous.
To sum up that complicated thing I just wrote there, the development to my nose:
Top: Lavender, olive, chamomile, smoke, salt
Middle: Mint, liquorice, clove, saffron, fenugreek
Base: Labdanum, castoreum, vanilla, moss, pine
Vis Et Honor 50ml EDP O’Driu – 270 Euros www.odriu.com