A refreshing opening blast greets me: bergamot, lemon, tangerine and, the star, a gorgeous petitgrain: refreshing pick-me-up indeed.
After a while an undertone of peppermint is present too. The drydown adds flora elements, mainly muguet, with a bright and somewhat lightweight rose tailing it. These florals' sweetness is rather restrained and pleasant.
In the base a soft and again quite bright patchouli is dominating on me; it lacks any harshness or sharpness. an ambery woodsiness, cedar mainly, appears to wars the end, with a faint mossy impression in the background.
I get moderate sillage very good projection, and six hours of longevity on my skin.
A stunning summer scent in the first half, with the later stages less vivid and a but anemic on me. The quality of the ingredients is excellent, though, and is what elevates this composition above the ordinary. Overall 3.75/5
Sergio Momo launched Xerjoff in 2003 directly to capitalize on the growing wealth gap in world ecomomics, with celebrities, tech barons, oil magnates, and financial oligarchs rising to the ranks of millionaires and billionaires across the globe, seeking to serve what must undoubtedly be tastes in luxury goods too decadent for the department stores of yore. Just as niche perfume offered a more artistic albeit pricier alternative to department store lines, "Haute" luxury perfume brands like Xerjoff were taking over for perfume lines from haute couture designers like Chanel or Dior as the new high-end option, with focus on supernatural performance, materials expense and resplendent packaging over displays of superior style or taste like older high-end perfume establishments such as Guerlain and Houbigant. Xerjoff would be at the forefront of this emerging "upper class" of perfume alongside brands like Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and category forerunners Creed, predating Roja Dove's predilection for puffery in presentation by nearly a decade by offering Xerjoff bottles adorned with precious metals or jewels. The real question is, are the fragrances worth the price and pretentiousness? Well, sort of, if performance and execution are what makes the house worth the plunge. With 1861 Renaissance/XJ 1861 Renaissance (2011/2015), you get a relatively natural-smelling citric white floral chypre that lasts nearly forever, but it isn't the sort of thing you couldn't also find from niche houses or in vintage, so there's that to consider.
The opening of Xerjoff 1861 Renaissance/XJ 1861 Renaissance is a fairly soft and classic semi-oriental push of bergamot, mandarin, and petitgrain. A lime and galbanum twang adds a bit of interesting green zest, but the composition becomes quickly "perfumey" and almost reminds me of a less-leafy Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal (2009) especially with the white musks coming in halfway through. These pillowy musks are joined by rose, muguet, and an odd peppermint, giving the heart a gentle tug-of-war feeling between masculine and feminine, which combatively retains the intended unisex vibe. The base is mega mossy, but this is more of a "nü-chypre" than something descended from the brainchild of Francois Coty, so we get ambrox, vetiver, a surprisingly natural cedar, and patchouli to bring back that semi-oriental feeling of the opening. 1861 Renaissance/XJ 1861 Renaissance runs between plush and airy, with nice paradoxically long-lasting citrus tones mixed with pillowy musks, florals, and dry woods. It all smells refined with excellent note separation and an almost classic tone if not for the evident chemical wizardry (however well-executed) under it all. This will last until you scrub it off with lots of diffusion and crazy projection; anyone can really wear it, but there is an air of formality that forbids me from seeing it outside dressed-up events or outdoor weddings. If you're the kind of person that loves citrus and classic floral arrangements, with no real budgetary restraint on perfume, this is something I'd recommend as it wears quite nice in warm weather if a bit cloying and prudish from the musks.
Although, I can't say I didn't expect an air of eltism with a fragrance literally composed and marketed so it appeals to the financial elite of the world, people who burn through more cash at a business lunch than some of us spend on a month's groceries, but at least there is sufficient artistry here to lure in hobbyists too. Also to be clear, 1861 Renaissance and XJ 1861 Renaissance are the same thing, but Xerjoff decided to repackage this a few years after initial launch to include it in a new "trilogy" XJ line. Different bottles, different coffrets, same scent. I personally don't see the value of this at MSRP but it's very well done and lasts forever, so if you catch a good deal, I'd recommend a try. You'll definitely make an entrance with the way this envelopes a space (once again, this is a citrus floral, yet impossibly does this), so I'd be cautious if you're not a fan of "statement perfumes" or the kind of pomp and circumstance houses like this tend to broadcast, but there's nothing offensive about it either. 1861 Renaissance/ XJ 1861 Renaissance comes across as an ultra-luxe perfume might be expected to, but it at least avoids the pitfalls of cynical upscale rehash of past glory or front-loaded note focusing like other perfumes in this rather affected tier of the market. I'm typically not a fan of the price gouging and fallacious marketing found in brands from this level of the industry, but at least here Xerjoff puts your money to good use with something both beautiful and eerily undying on skin. Thumbs up.
Smells like a beastmode version of Hermes Concentree d'Orange Vert. I mean it literally smells identical to my nose. And the projection and longevity are both super strong. So if you really love that scent, you will love this. Me however, I'm ok with it but not a huge fan.
Genuine, natural smelling citrus outing from Xerjoff's XJ 1861 collection.
This scent, of course, used to be called "1861"; it took on the "Renaissance" surname around 2015 as an ode to the then celebration of Italian unification at Milan. It was presented along with two others scents - Zefiro and Naxos - as a trio presentation by Xerjoff.
That being said...
Very crisp, refreshing citrus notes of Amalfi lemon, tangerine, and Calabrian bergamot hit you right from the start with an impressive, sincere contruction; an incidental similarity to lime is also perceived by the composite interactions of these fruits. Fresh brightness comes from lovely mint, and the florals add such a beautiful bouquet that is part and parcel to the 1861 (Renaissance) flair: Rose, lily-of-the-valley, tart petitgrain, herbal patchouli. Parting shots come from a nice combo of cedarwood, mossy damp greenness, musk, and powdery sweet amber. Lasts a long while and has great projection to boot.
Smells VERY similar to Acqua Decima by Eau d'Italie, also a really nice Italian-styled citrus-mint-floral-petitgrain-woody scent (actually, a cheaper, similar scent alternative, if 1861 (Renaissance) is a bit pricy for you). Overall, a great fragrance worth rebranding. :-)