I’ve been wanting to sample this line for ages and with my last purhcase in Berlin (I’ll be talking to you all about my splurges once I get back :P !), I got a couple of minis from the Agonist house.
Arctic Jade opens with a hit of cool anise and a sweetened eucalyptus/lavender effect made tart by juicy oranges. It’s lovely: herbal, bitter sweet and ice cold with some florals underneath making it a little more “perfume-y”.
The florals I struggle to define. There’s the merest hint of ylang ylang that seems to dominate, with a subtle rose and jasmine below it. As they get stronger, they push away the more herbaceous aspect and diminish the anise effect completely. It’s at this point where Arctic Jade has a slight struggle between its personality and temperature – it doesn’t quite have the right flow but, I go along with it anyway.
It turns a touch soapy and I guess a little orange blossom is to blame, but yet again, I don’t really mind it. The super-clean orange blossom and the rose then take the lead and Arctic Jade yet again tries to find its feet, with each ingredient taking it in turn to be at the front of the composition.
The cool, clean, floral soap gets subtle quite quickly, and sweetens as a rich vanilla joins in. I really like Agonists’ use of vanilla – their Vanilla Marble (yet to review) is one of my favourite vanilla representations ever. It’s sweet and “cakey” – with an almost icing sugar like consistency. A berry-fruitiness (raspberry?) adds a tart quality to the vanilla, a surprisingly playful twist considering the stern quality of the opening: I like that! However, it’s not let loose into fully blown gourmand territory due to a sandalwood/patchouli duo that keeps it more on a classical side.
Here, the fragrance gets what I’d pretty much describe as “boring” – as the musky (slightly chlorinated) sweet vanilla and woods overpower the florals and interesting herbs, along with a subtle amber warmth. But, it’s undeniable that Arctic Jade is ridiculously comfortable and easy to wear. I’d almost consider it full bottle worthy were it not for the large price tag (although major kudos to them for releasing these in more affordable and still beautiful bottles) – the reason being: I’d wear it a ton. Once it dries down (which is very quickly), the cool vanilla-laden base is smooth, clean, comfortable and subtle, and yet just about charming and interesting enough for me to want to wear it – something that is missing in my collection.
Not particularly ground-breaking – but recommended if it sounds like your sort of thing, surprisingly – it’s mine! :D
Arctic Jade 50ml EDP Agonist – 125 Euros ausliebezumduft.de