Saturday, August 21, 2010

XerJoff: Uden

BEFORE the frat boy jokes begin (believe me, I hear it all the time), let's get the name out of the way. XerJoff (pronounced as 'zerr-joff') is an Italian luxury house of fine fragrances that seeks to interpret natural wonders through Italian craftmanship.
As of today it has a total of 22 fragrances. This is a review of Uden from the Shooting Star line, named after one of the places in Russia that experienced a meteorite shower on February 12, 1947. As the marketing spiel goes, stars can indeed get closer than we think.

XerJoff Uden starts off with a scintillating symphony of citrus and fruity-florals. Trying to isolate individual notes here is an exercise in futility for the blend is quickly enveloped by an oriental-like musky woods overlaid with a slightly boozy note of rum. At this juncture I understood why XerJoff classifies it as a 'marine fougere' - the resultant accord certainly has a marine-salty airy feel to it. But the 'fougere' aspect continues to elude me even today. Nevertheless given its eau de parfum strength, Uden projects beautifully, lasting a good 4 hours before drying down to a delicious aroma of vanilla over lightly roasted coffee.

Few would not balk at the retail price (USD345 for 50ml) but there is no question over the quality of the ingredients used even if they don't feel quite as natural as some of the best I've tried from the likes of Creed. Other reviewers however attribute this niggling 'flaw' to the house style; I would be wise to sample further from this house before drawing my own conclusions. It's just that the white musks feel a touch overdone here while the drydown could be richer. Neither is the transition from top notes to drydown as silky smooth as I have come to expect of a fragrance with such an exorbitant price tag.

Hefty expectations from hefty prices? Perhaps so, but that sounds pretty fair to me.


citrus, lemon, grapefruit, floral/fruity notes, rose, sandalwood, guaiac wood, rum absolute, amber, vanilla, coffee absolute, musks.

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