Last night I sat down to finish off a review of one of my favorite fragrances by Jo Malone, Black Vetyver Café. Here is part of what I wrote:
Black Vetyver Café starts with dark coffee beans, freshly ground and almost-but-not-quite bitter, with a woody-nutty undertone. There is a faint trail of dry, smoke-free incense, and hints of pepper and light spices. Over the next 15 minutes, the coffee fades and the vetiver and woods intensify...
I love those first 15 minutes of Black Vetyver Café, but eventually gave up on finishing the review. There isn't much more to say. The fragrance doesn't entirely disappear after 15 minutes, but its glory is pretty much over by 30, and what remains after an hour is too bland to talk about at any length.
I can be very forgiving about lasting power. My beloved Thé Pour Un Été needs frequent refreshing, as do many of the other summer fragrances from L'Artisan. Diptyque Tam Dao doesn't last quite as long as it should. Eau de Guerlain and Chanel Cristalle, well, lets just say that you might as well just tuck them in your bag — it won't be long before you'll need a touch up.
But I own all of those fragrances, and have yet to buy a bottle of Black Vetyver Café. A fragrance ought to remain interesting for at least a half an hour, and I suspect that many people would say that a half an hour isn't nearly enough. Your opinion?