Alchemy simplified, Dsquared2 Potion for Men

Canadian fashion designer duet of twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten, mostly known as Dsquared2, initiated their activity in the perfume world in 2007 by launching He Wood. Later on it was followed by a female counterpart – She Wood, and 6 flankers, 3 for each of these two fragrances. In 2011 a new concept appeared and a perfume named Potion was launched.

At the moment of spraying Potion on skin one does notice that the perfume is strong, intensive and that it quickly rises to the height of couple of inches above the skin. First note appearing on my body is a cinnamon. A very warm, sensual and kind of dry type of it. Moreover it is very shortly evolving into something that contains a sugary sweetness, like someone took a handful of cinnamon, mixed it with sugar powder and sprinkled on top of freshly baked gingerbread. I really liked that feeling even though it results in quite a gourmand form of this fragrance. This would be a lovely drydown, not sure if the opening should be gourmand right from the very beginning of a wear.

Just a couple of minutes later the sweetness of cinnamon slowly changes its shape and transforms into amber. Amber in Dsquared2 Potion is also warm and sensual, loaded with a gentle spiciness of cinnamon. The fragrance is a little bit heavier now but it also makes me think of golden honey. So far the fragrance is cosy, quite sophisticated and elegant. The entire composition gradually smoothes when a gentle woodiness appears in front of my nose.

Cashmere wood is a noble note in this perfume. It brings more masculine vibe and also introduces the element of savage male character. Now something creamy and sweet appears again. I blame it on vanilla, which is not listed in the notes. It could as well be the amber that somehow got stronger at the moment. As the time passes my nose receives more dry & spicy signals from the composition. Cashmere wood and pepper blend well in Potion creating the mingling nuances that make me want to sniff my arm again and again. Lucky me that I didn’t detect patchouli. I would also skip mint if it didn’t become more pronounced for a couple of minutes. Still it was overpowered by amber and woods.

The drydown of Dsquared2 Potion is soft and fluffy like a granny-knit woolen scarf. Musk dominates this stage while golden facets of amber still beautifully shine right behind it. Musk here is neither dirty nor clean. It’s something in between, like a smell of an excited body awaiting the feel of hands on it to rise the excitation even higher… There’s also fresh spiciness of angelica, which smells a little bit anise-like here. Other notes include rose, thyme and gentiana.

The main concept for Dsquared2 Potion was to create a masculine fragrance that could become an ultimate mixture of seduction, something that would attract the woman to a man who wears this fragrance. In the promotional campaign she (MaΕ‚gosia Bela, from Poland btw) is drawn to him (Diego Miguel) like there was some sort of magnet between them. Did the idea work? No, not for me. While owning a bottle of this fragrance and wearing it nobody ever noticed or commented that I smell good, bad, whatever. No reaction.

I haven’t worn Potion from Dsquared2 for more than a year, I sprayed it for the first time in ages to write this review. I think it’s time for me to let that bottle go. I was once fascinated by this fragrance but now I’m just bored of it. I wore it exclusively for too long to be excited about it again.

Perfumer behind Dsquared2 Potion is Annick Menardo. The perfume was launches as an eau de parfum although eau de toilette was also launched and it’s exclusive to some countries. The bottle design is simple, with ribs on the sides and front labels inspired by the old apothecary vials (really?) The juice is brownish, gold-ish, tea-colored, as you wish. Sizes available are 30ml, 50ml and 100ml. Matching body products are sold too. Are you going to give Potion a try?

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30 thoughts on “Alchemy simplified, Dsquared2 Potion for Men

  1. RobWales says:

    I’ve tried spraying a tester of this a few times, as it seemed to get many good reviews. But I thought it quite boring, and didn’t buy a bottle. The new flanker – “Royal Black” – is better I think.

  2. Undina says:

    If I ever see it at a store I might give it a try but reading about it and seeing that bottle didn’t produce a single lemming so I might never experience it.
    In addition to everything, it’s not an “amber time” for me yet. A month or two later I might have been more receptive πŸ˜‰

    • lucasai says:

      Nicely said that you will give it a try if the opportunity occurs. I would offer you a sample done from my bottle but I just found a buyer few days ago, so I’ll be saying bye-bye to Potion soon.
      I think that it is a great amber perfume for the mainstream area, that’s all.
      PS. You can always re-read it in a proper “amber time”

      After an Amber Week is over I shall be reviewing two hot perfume releases from one of our favorite perfume houses. If they don’t arrive on time I will start with a perfume from my own collection. I didn’t put my photos into a review for a while.

      • Undina says:

        Actually, it was rather my “nicely” way of asking where are all those 37 people who voted for the amber week?!! ;-P

        • Kafkaesque says:

          *Waves hand* I’m here! You think I’d miss Lucas reviewing orientals???? πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

          I have no idea where the other 36 people are, but my WordPress is on the fritz in terms of notifying me on time about *anyone’s* new posts. The other day, I got 28 email notifications in an hour, after 3 days of almost none!

          • lucasai says:

            My devoted reader! Muah! :-*

            35, Hajusuuri also voted ambers. My WordPress reader has been having problems too but 28 emails in one hour sounds ridiculous!

        • lucasai says:

          I’m sure some of them are just blog lurkers who don’t comment but read the blog. Such poll is a great chance for them to influence the reviewed fragrances.

          • Gwenyth says:

            I’m a blog lurker!
            I read everything you write — and therefore felt I “should” vote in the poll because I love amber and wanted to read what you might write about that lovely note.

            Yes, I know, lurking is not always the best way to go, but sometimes I’m just completely happy to read the main article and then the attached comments. I suppose that is not really fair because you deserve to know that there are some “silent” folks out here reading what you write.

            So, here I am making a comment to let you know I’ve enjoyed reading about some lovely Amber fragrances.
            I’ll be better about leaving comments, too. OK?

            • lucasai says:

              Welcome Gwenyth!
              That is so cool you decided to come out of the lurker shadow. I’m sure you’ll enjoy being a known person on this blog and that you’ll find friends with the readers.

  3. poodle says:

    I’m not even sure if Potion is available around here. I’ve only seen the other ones. It’s funny how perfumes we once liked we find ourselves just not that into them after a while. I would like to smell this just to see if it’s as dull as you say.

    • lucasai says:

      I think it never became available in the US. I wouldn’t say that Potion is dull. I just wore only this perfume for quite a period and got used to it so much that I started to dislike it in result of no perfume change

  4. Dearest Lucas
    An excellent review… sometimes the best service a critic can do is to warn us away from something precisely and without too much rancour.
    Thank you.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you Dandy!
      I will repeat that – it’s a good perfume for mainstream area, but it gets boring after a while

    • Gwenyth says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. One need not be harsh or cruel, or write with rancor, but one can certainly state one’s honest opinion.
      To be honest is the best; and to explain ‘why’ is the only way to go. I place much more credence in a perfume blog if I sense this honesty traveling through all the blog posts. A site where every review is glowing and complimentary raises my suspicions.


      • Dearest Lucas and Gwyneth
        Here, here!
        Though I must confess it can sometimes be fun to give a howling bad scent a stinker of a review!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

        • lucasai says:

          Sometimes it’s good to review a fragrance that you don’t like too!
          For example Opus VII totally wasn’t my kind of thing but I surpassed that and everyone loved the review, including amouage

      • lucasai says:

        In my early blogging days I used to chose those fragrances for the review that I liked, to write only positive reviews but Kafka made me realize that is not the point. I understood that and since then I try to put my true feelings straight

  5. Kafkaesque says:

    Hmm, I don’t think this one sounds like my cup of tea, though, technically, it should be. The comment about cashmere woods (usually a synthetic construct) and pepper made my ISO E Super radar tingle. The fact that it has angelica made me scrinch up my eyes, and the lack of a good patchouli isn’t a saving grace either… Mostly, my concern is that it has a very synthetic base and ISO E Super, if not Ambroxan as well. The fact that you find it dull is the final clincher!

    • lucasai says:

      Well I found it dull but not immediately – after a couple of months when I wore Potion exclusive and NOTHING else!
      Could be Potion is packed with chemistry.

  6. Dionne says:

    I’ll come out of partial “lurker-dom” as another person who voted for amber. It’s only about a week or so until the leaves will start to change color where I live, so these amber reviews just remind me that I’ll be able to dip into my much-loved orientals and gourmands soon . Also, I had no idea that DSquared was Canadian, that that was a pleasant surprise. I *think* I’ve tried Potion…… yeah, it made that big of an impact. Although to be fair, lots and lots of fragrances fall into the Abyss of Nice for me.

  7. hajusuuri says:

    Speaking of fall…when I can, I try to walk through Bryant Park in NYC on my walk to the office. Just today, I noticed a lot more leaves on the ground and looked up – sure enough, the leaves ARE turning. As to DSquared Potion, I will skip it altogether. Thanks for your public service!

  8. Laurels says:

    I voted for amber week, but I’m late to the party as usual. Your description of the drydown was actually very sexy (it’s hot and humid enough here!) but I find the ad hilarious. Two attractive models wearing almost nothing–except a can of hairspray apiece.

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