Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Guerlain: Djedi


In my hand I have got a vial of vintage Djedi; this is a very curious perfume. At first application I don't really know what to make of it. I sense an opening burst of rose/honey-like sweetness paired with camphor, dead vegetation and mould??? Not to worry, it doesnt actually smell as bad as it sounds and this quickly fades (5 minutes) into a half and half mix of sweet vs. Russian leathers -Something akin to a 50/50 mix of Creed's petrol fueled (no pun intended) Cuir de Russie and Royal English leathers' sweet powderyness. Also among these leathers is of most interest to me a mineral note, that immediatley calls to mind the mineraly scent of ambergris tincture that I discussed in a post earlier this month (see that post for the fully story). Since this is in fact the vintage Djedi (I think its a 40's release) I am certain that this note is in fact natural ambergris tincture! This is meaningfull in both ways; 1. I finally have before me evidence and example of the effect and use of natural ambergris in a perfume 2. It smells alot like my ambergris and since this is a Guerlain product, this means mine is of a high quality (hurray me!). I have read somewhere that Luca Turin described this as the driest perfume of all time, this is absolutely untrue; one whiff of Bois du Portugal and you'll be chugging the next available Perrier. I would instead call this perfume physically damp(ambergris), which brings to the moss and vetiver notes a semi-sweet aura of decay (help of indoles as well). The last step in this perfume is a deeply animalic accord, sweet with a touch of cinnamon. I do not seem to end on a vetiver note as many people have described...

Final verdict: Don't get caught up in my strange sounding analysis, this is a perfume of course, it doesnt *actually* smell like decaying vegetables! I often feel like a nerd writing these things and I try to not go over the top with my descriptions. Bottom line - if you are curious about this scent, I'd say do not expect something thats going to knock you off your feet upon first smell (like Ambre Sultan). Djedi is in fact a very beautiful fragrance, but I must acknowledge that it may have somewhat limited appeal, and it needs more than a whiff of the topnotes to fall in love with. I would say start off with a sample vial if you can :)

2 comments:

+ Q PERFUME said...

Dear Matt,
Since I have the privilege to be here before you get famous, I have some comments to make about this article and about your welcome letter.
About Mr. LT:
he might be famous, he might know a lot about chemistry and biology. He is not my favorite fragrance critic. I know that he is very bias and I hate critics like "What were they thinking?", with no technical explanation at all...
Once he had a blog that had marvelous insights. Once, in the past tense.
You can´t trust anybodys nose with your eyes closed... maybe he thinks this way, that might not be true FOR YOUR NOSE. So he is not necessarily wrong too. Some people find Zen Gold by Shiseido a cat piss fragrance. I find it marvelous and on my skin makes men turn their heads and smile at me.

About the blog - what is wrong about announcing new launches?
Perfume culture spreading is also bring information to the public. I do it and I do it for free, specially because not all the launches get to Brazil.
I feel that is is my duty to share the information I get in languages that my people don´t know and can´t get by themselves.
Where have you seen bizarre insights? I am curious to read them...
Take under consideration Matt (it is an advice, take it or not- your choice sweety) that most of your readers are and will be perfume bloggers...
I would change the description of your blog...
Not to talk about what others do, but only about what you do.

And I was always very curious to know how these magicla vintage fragrances get to the hands of all bloggers, including you...
Maybe I am not being the Indiana Jones type of person? I never find anything like that but old empty perfume bottles...
In a nutshell, I am very fond of your blog and I wish you all the success!
Fragrant greetings, Simone.

Parfum said...

Parfum said...
Simone,

Thanks for your constructive criticism, I have thought it over and have realized that my initial description may seem a bit condescending, so I have changed it. This was of course not my intention ! I have however, not altered it 100% - as I feel that it is important that I can differentiate my blog from others in my description in a clear and concise manner, so that a first time visitor will know right off the bat that this is not a news blog. As I said in my description, I do not feel that news blogs are in any way inferior, in fact I don't believe I even have the talent or resources to write well enough in english prose and constantly update with news to do one myself. The history of my blog starts with the fact that there have been many times that I have searched for information on a fragrance, and have found nothing, simply because the fragrance was not released in the niche rush of the past 3 years. It seems as though most people concentrate on reviewing those newer releases (and the classics) - So I will take a different approach - maybe it will be of help to a minority of people instead of a majority, but I think thats how I will be able to write best.

About LT, yes, I do agree that lately he has been not explaining himself as much as usual, I think its just a phase, you cannot blame him as every one of us may become affected by the fame. For a time, famous people may not feel the need to explain themselves. Although I do believe he is still very talented and although I may not agree with him on Djedi's drydown, I still think he is 1000 times more knowledgable than I am! I have learned much from him and I look up to him of course!

Now about the vintage/scarce perfumes, yes I suppose I am a bit of an Indiana Jones type, certainly alot of my pocket change goes not to ice cream and movies but to rare perfumes and materials lol. It is also not uncommon for me to spend hours a day for months or years tracking down things I am interested in (perfume or otherwise). If there is anything at all that I talk about on my blog that you are interested in trying, please let me know and I will make some samples for you :)

Thanks again for the support and communication it really means alot to me that someone is reading my blog and enjoying it

- Matt