Its been a while since I reviewed a perfume, one reason is because lately no perfumes have been jumping out at me so much to motivate me to write about them. Lately, I have been sniffing and analyzing well-selling mainstream perfumes. However, a few days ago a friend (non-perfumista) and I were talking about perfumes. He asked me whether it was true that spicy fragrances were generally more for winter wear. I told him that this can be the case, because hot weather can cause very powerful scents to become overly diffusive, but that in modern perfumery, these rules are often broken. Then out of nowhere he blurted:
"Hey! you know what the BEST spicy cologne is?? Diesel, the white one!"
I blinked for a minute after being caught off guard... and then it hit me! I decided right then and there that I would do a blog post about it. Diesel Plus Plus masculine has been one of my favourites since I first purchased it many many years ago at a super discounted price. I still have about 50% left of my (75ml?) bottle. I've always used it sparingly as I really find it precious - it is to me a perfect balance of all the elements of a teenagers/young man's romantic daytime perfume; freshness, fruityness, woodyness, masculinity, spice and above all a large dose of je ne sais quoi. The perfect synergy of these notes is something that a fragrance such as Lacoste Pour Homme (grey bottle) can only wish it could achieve. Plus Plus' "X"factor largely comes from this fragrance's most unique "milk note" which is achieved by the use of diacetyl - combined with detergent-like citrus notes the lemon gelatto is the most apparent note right off the first spritz. Also prominent in the top are green notes which Diesel refers to as "Frozen Green Notes" in their official scent pyramid. I smell menthol and I think a bit of eucalyptus to create the "frozen" illusion in this fragrance. The top of this pyramid is certainly very complicated and well balanced, while the rest of the blogosphere goes on about Roadster's use of mint, this forgotten masterpiece goes unmentioned as possibly on of the best integrations of mint in perfume history. Plus Plus is also a fruity perfume, the selection of fruits used is one that would go well with ice (such as in a pina colada), I definitley smell allyl amyl glycomate, which is used to produce a pineapple scent, as well as the tiniest touch of aldehyde c-18 to give the coconuty aspect. Also, there is a red berry mix, mostly raspberry with just a hint of cassis rounding out the fruity top. Ethyl heptaonate helps out the "juicyness" factor if im not mistaken.
The notes of of the middle fragrance are where this fragrance really shines and proves its level of sophistication. It is intensely spicy, with prominent notes of coriander, cardamom, white sage, and my favourite: pimento berries. Any fragrance which uses pimento (such as one of my all time favs Versailles Homme) immediatley grabs my nose's attention and Diesel Plus Plus did exactly that from the first spritz many years ago. The heart of this fragrance in my opinion, is the use of Birch Bark, and it is what puts the middle layer of the fragrance into prime gourmande territory. Birch bark is also the main flavour ingredient in a soft drink that many of many American and Canadian readers will will imediatley be able to conjure up memories of - Dr. Pepper.
The middle notes are very long lasting, so one does not usually reach the base in a wearing, unless its the by next morning. Diesel's official pyramid lists the base as a blend of musk, tonka bean, sandalwood, moss, vetiver and nutmeg. The musks used here are are a combination of very clean white musks, the most prominent to my nose are galaxolide and habanolide. The sandalwood note is abstract using synthetic molecules, and a heavy dose of coumarin, isobutivan and vanillin plant this fragrance comfortable among its contemporaries of the late 90's / early 00's. The fragrance is a juxtaposition of cold against hot, like a frozen cocktail on a hot summer day. It is reminscent of hot days on the beach without using the cliched suntain lotion accord. A great fragrance to bring along on vacation, or just wear anytime your stuck in bad weather and feel like lifting your mood. At current prices hovering around 9.99-19.99 its a great buy.