Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Review: NASOMATTO Black Afgano


Black Afgano strikes me as partner to China White. An obvious thought, I guess, given the color and drug allusions, but neither of those occurred to me as the thought struck me -- it was the scent itself. Black Afgano has a trace resemblance to China White, sort of in the way that couples sometimes converge toward certain traits. This is not at all to say these two fragrances are smell-alikes, but both seem to share similar greenish and civet-y (or what I register as civet, since Nasomatto eschews note listings) aspects. The other predominant note for me in Black Afgano is vetiver -- and plenty of it, much more robust than its somewhat thin presence in China White. The vetiver here is earthier, darker, a bit like in Lalique Encre Noire, actually; and it dries down a little smoky and leathery, with noticeable patchouli mid-drydown and a mild but sweetish orange-like citrus opening hit that seems to reemerge again later; the civet appears in the far drydown. Formidable 'notes,' on the whole, and although far too potent to be a transparent brew, yet I don't find it all that bubble bubble toil and trouble.

For one thing, there is no potstink. Not recognizably cannabis at all, though I have no idea about whether Afghani. For another, I don't find it too hard to wear, as it seems to stay fairly close to my skin (but one drop goes a long, long way). I like it. Almost as much as China White. The cool floral-powdery-herbal suits me better and I think is more interesting as a fragrance, but this earthy vetiver-woods of Black Afgano is quite nice.

And molto Nasomatto. Drug-inspired. Pompous ad copy. Strong as hell. Checkity check check. But I find it hard to get all annoyed about it -- and I think because Nasomatto totally totally reminds me of high school counterculture hipsters. So heavy-handed about their Manifesto of Edgy that they render themselves kind of cute. I can't help but feel a little fond of all the thusness of its flashy self-conscious commitment to Cool. Take its website [includes audio]. The Little Annie song currently on it is really just too perfect.


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