The recent version
The bergamot and lemon blast is complimented by rose - woody initially and then with carnation giving it a flowery note with some sweetness - although never really cloying. Discreet herbal undertones - basil and whiffs of rosemary - round off the opening stage.
A dark but not really harsh patchouli gives the drydown some warmth, and is combined with an equally dark amber in the sidecar.
The heat notes include some floral components, in which a lighter carnation pairs with a darker and mellow rose. A fairly smooth patchouli develops which is given added depth by some woods in the background; which is mainly a restrained sandalwood on me.
A bit of moss and a touch of and ambery vanilla lead to the sweeter base that, after about five hours, becomes increasingly pleasantly maturely powdery. At the same time a dark and sweet leather note develops, which weakens after a while; it remains is always in the background; it is probably strongest in the early and middle base notes.
Around the same slightly spicy notes are added in in the background, like benzoin, olibanum and labdanum, but they are very much discreet accompaniments only.
I get moderate sillage and good projection. The longevity is brilliant....eight hours and still just fading out...
This is a great, complex and classic scent, rich and a bit enigmatic; a classic, well ahead of it's time, but one sees how it was released at the same time as Aramis. 3.75/5
The Vintage Version:
I had the chance to acquire and wear a vintage version - maybe 20-30 years old in a sealed bottled that had leaked and is possibly of suboptimal quality: the essential characteristics were very similar, but the vintage version was deeper, a bit richer and overall less sweet and, interestingly, on my skin a bit less powdery. Also, the vintage version lasted a bit less long: about five hours in total - maybe and aging effect. Otherwise the same unobtrusive, classic, and restrained impression but possibly with ingredients of higher quality. 3.75/5