A huge hit of animalic, smoky leather and medicinal oud that brings to mind Oud Cuir D’Arabie – starts Petroleum. Along with a bizarre inclusion of heavy aldehydes that gives it this huge – futuristic light and lift. It makes the weight of the ingredients far lighter than expected but keeping the dense texture. The glue-y oud is lovely! In the same vein as the Montale’s, but slightly lighter and easier to digest.
Whether it’s an inclusion of rose oxide or not, there’s a delicate, but heavily metallic rose note in the heart – which combined with the leathery oud does bring to mind a kind of petrol-like accord, but still given light from the aldehyde remains. An underlying sweetness of amber becomes present quite quickly, but still – the bitterness of the leather keeps Petroleum dark, modern, and slightly morbid. The leather notes introduce an animalic civet which provides this rich depth and a slight sourness throughout Petroleum – and the contrast between sour/metallic/aldehydic and medicinal, is impressively combined into something that smells smooth, rounded, and appealing.
As Petroleum gains more clarity and re-arranges itself a little bit to become calmer on the skin, an unexpected, ozonic, almost marine type note comes in. The soiled sea water almost turns into driftwood – adding a whole new element to the already confusing mix. The marine/oud vibe is what stays throughout the heart of Petroleum, and it sounds like it completely doesn’t work but it’s so so good. The saltiness from the ozonic accord, continues to add some dirtiness rather than freshen up the fragrance, and it’s obvious that Petroleum was definitely not made to be “pretty”. It is however far more than that, it’s a beautiful perfume that is mysterious and unlike anything else I’ve tried.
The fragrance gets lighter and lighter and as the base comes in a little more, the oud becomes light and almost translucent, the leather more of a thin, vinyl-like sheen with the animalic civet lightening slightly into a soiled white musk. The marine notes calm down also, but never fully let-go of the bilgey, iodine-like association. The rose practically vanishes from sight, leaving behind the only remains of anything remotely “perfumey” in here. But as I said earlier, everything is smooth, clear, and surprisingly easy to wear. The wonderful petrol note is just a splattering of oil on the skin now – and whilst the textures aren’t challenging, the unsettling aroma is still hard on the nose (and stomach).
All in all, I love this, and it will definitely go on my “must buy” list (I was close to blind-buying this a few months back and I should’ve gone for it!). Without a doubt, the best in the Histoires De Parfums line. Recommended.
Edition Rare Petroleum 60ml EDP Histoires De Parfums – 125 Euros www.histoiresdeparfums.com