Notes: Verbena, Neroli, Lavender, Clove, Bay Rum, Geranium, Jasmine, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Musk, Labdanum.
Pros: A shockingly good (and subtle) take on labdanum (rockrose).
Cons: Becoming hard to find (as it's been discontinued).
Development: The lavender, clove, rhum and labdanum are all seamlessly blended and make the strongest presence from the get-go. As the scent settles on the skin, the musk (and I sense some pepper) takes over.
Longevity: Ahhh, not sure of the age of my bottle, but this seems to last a good 6 hours with a very faint aroma lingering even thereafter.
Sillage: It's there, but won't announce your arrival before your entry.
Reminds me of: Shiseido Basara, but lighter; Imagine Etro Messe de Minuit, but with a well-rounded compostion; KM Oliban
Where can I buy it? $24.99 for a 50ml edt spray at ImaginationPerfumery.com
Bottleworthy? Absolutely. Ladies, take note, this is one you'll want for yourselves.
The Bottom Line: Valentino has always been one of my favorite couture designers, sumptuous, sophisticated, and never garish! This is one I remember dismissing in my teenage years as having been just too heavy for me. I couldn't have been more wrong. A stunning composition that has risen to the top shelf in my collection, Vendetta's soft herbal notes, paired with more traditional masculine notes (the clove and Bay Rhum are well blended and subtle) makes this one easy to wear. With topnotes set against labdanum and musk, the overall effect is reminiscent of an Eastern Bazaar, an ancient cathedral, or whatever imagery labdanum calls to mind for you. For the price, this is a scent not to be missed, especially if you really do love incense inspired scents.
Rating (out of 10): 9 (Valentino, bring this one back as a men's EDP, please!)
What's your favorite Valentino fragrance?
Image: Vendetta pour Femme