Monday Quick Sniffs, part 38


Italian niche brand Etro has recently introduced a new creation titled ManRose. This fragrance opens with a dash of juicy zestiness of bergamot that is shortly followed by a slightly pungent wave of Sichuan pepper. Later these two get a gently spicy-oriental twist thanks to cardamom and elemi. At some point rose starts to emerge from the composition. It has a green, herbal and crisp side because it has been paired with a dose of geranium. The overall feeling is fresh and quite airy, even despite frankincense that is swirling around. Drydown consists of a blend of woods that are quite dry yet smooth, vetiver that presents its more grassy, hay-like facet. There’s also amber that warms things up. Other notes are patchouli and leather. I especially didn’t recognize the latter one. All in all ManRose wouldn’t be enjoyable if it didn’t smell so flat on my skin and if it actually had some sillage or lasting power. To notice it, I had to smell my wrist from up close and the perfume faded away very quickly. Shame, because a bottle decorated with arabesque looks rather pretty.


Last month Montale has presented some new fragrances with So Iris Intense among them. Here I’d like to make a remark that it was the first time that I was curious to give this brand’s perfume a try since I smelled White Aoud few years ago. So Iris Intense starts with a delicate Calabrian mandarin accord that is juicy, sweet, tangy and quite mouth-watering but… it disappears after 5 minutes and then the perfume goes straight to iris. Iris here is earthy and rooty, a little bit muddy too. Combining aspects of carrot but there’s also some powdery vibe to it. It’s kind of like an iris party where all iris perfume gathered together and everyone lends something to Montale. Drydown comes early, with a smooth, rounded sandalwood (from Mysore, they say) and a big cloud of white musk that gradually starts to dominate, making the fragrance smell plain and more reminiscent of a laundry product. And I don’t like the bottle can so that’s another issue for me. Even if it’s iris – I pass. Sorry – not sorry.


Last flanker to Gucci Guilty family – Gucci Guilty Absolute truly caught me by surprise by being so well done! Immediately after spraying it on paper or skin it bursts with a really intense leathery aroma. It’s pungent, loud – almost acrid and vicious. But the depth and dimension it gives is amazing. Vetiver which has been also used in overdose here is responsible for impressions such as woody, aromatic and earthy. Just with these 2 you can feel as if you were going down, deeper into the fragrance heart. Generally described woody notes create a solid base to Guilty Absolute while cypress gives a dark green hue to the blend. As the perfume spends some time on the skin it becomes more wild, developing an animalic facet. From the press release you can learn that this fragrance features 2 powerful aromachemicals: Woodleather® and Goldenwood® and that cypress (Nootka species) is natural. Also that there are 3 different patchouli oils inside. Guilty Asolute is not a perfume for me but I give it a thumbs up for being more original than most flankers are.

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16 thoughts on “Monday Quick Sniffs, part 38

  1. Jillie says:

    It’s funny, but even before I got to the end of your notes I guessed that the Etro and Montale would not be your favourites – the Etro in particular sounds a lacklustre formula (even with the geranium I like) and suffers from the current curse of being so dilute.

    What a surprise the Gucci turns out to be! I read somewhere recently that patchouli is experiencing a comeback, and this must be an example. It is cheering to think that some of the mainstream companies are willing to experiment with stronger, deeper fragrances than the wishy-washy norm.

    • lucasai says:

      You know me quite well so you have the ability to guess my preference. It’s a shame but these two could be quite good if they were more complex and if they had some longevity.
      Gucci is surprising one here, even though it’s based on two potent molecules to achieve its depth

  2. rprichpot says:

    Sorry to hear about the ManRose. GG Absolute has certainly been getting intriguing coverage. Thank you, Lucas.

  3. Holly says:

    What a shame the Etro juice isn’t worthy of the bottle which really is pretty. Conversely the Montale can is incredibly brash. Maybe that’s why I’ve only sniffed one of their offerings, Jasmin Full, which I was surprised by as it’s quite good, although loud. I’ve read elsewhere that the Gucci is well done but I know it’s not for me. Thanks for another round of MQS@

    • lucasai says:

      I completely agree!
      Oh! So you’re another one who has issues with testing Montale?
      They just launch so much that I can’t stop thinking they must be very unoriginal

  4. hajusuuri says:

    Woop woop for Monday Quick Sniffs. I remembered a comment you u made on NST revarding liking the Gucci Guilty Absolute. I got a ton of samples from the Nordstrom Fragrance Festival and I set this aside. I will likely wear this on Friday to participate in the community project! As to Etro and Montale, I will take a pass!

    • lucasai says:

      I knew you’d be happy to see them.

      Nordstrom Fragrance Festival sounds like fun, shame such things don’t happen in Poland.

      Do try the Gucci, the rest can be skipped

  5. rickyrebarco says:

    Thanks, Lucas. You saved me from sampling that Montale. That is one niche brand that I just do not like at all. Seems overrated to me.

  6. Undina says:

    I will be trying Etro if I come across it: I kind of like this bottle. I might try Gucci – or not. Montale will probably be a “pass” even if I see it. So thank you for saving me some skin time 🙂

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