Private Label by Jovoy

Year: 2011

Notes: papyrus, vetiver, patchouli, labdanum, leather, birch, cedar, sandalwood
For the most part, many of Jovoy's fragrances have been unsatisfactory, to say the least. With far more misses than hits, one wasn't expecting much from Private Label but has been pleasantly surprised.

The opening is notably spirituous, accompanied by the inky properties of the papyrus and a discreet nuttiness from the vetiver. After the top notes subside, the vetiver then takes centre stage. Exhibiting a sharp woodiness, the rooty vetiver continues to emit nutty and grassy nuances along the way. As the composition further evolves, a slightly sweetened patchouli surfaces to further emphasise the earthy dankness of the vetiver.

Over time, leathery facets gradually become more discernible but, supplemented by the birch, they never really migrate to the foreground. During the drydown, the woody aspect becomes drier and slightly creamier, courtesy of both the cedar and sandalwood. Traces of vetiver still remain, but it's now more a fusion of soft woody notes and leathery whispers. Towards the very end, all that's left is a faint woody nuttiness.

Created by Cécile Zarokian, it's a quintessentially masculine woody-oriental, which focuses more on the vetiver than the leather. With moderate projection and impressive tenacity, one's only reservations are that its evolution is too rapid and the drydown lacks sufficient complexity (maybe the addition of some oakmoss and castoreum would have improved things). If these issues were addressed, it would have definitely been rated higher.

Nevertheless, it's unreservedly recommended for lovers of woody and vetiver-dominant scents.