Astoria fragrance notes

    • cardamom, mint, key lime, pear, green tea, helichrysum, roses, peony, honeysuckle, raspberry, cedar Himalayan, birch, honey, civet, white musk

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Latest Reviews of Astoria

Astoria by Clandestine Laboratories (2023) is a fragrance that Mark Sage has made privately for his girlfriend, based on a shared experience they had. As the name suggests, this experience took place in Astoria, Queens instead of the usual haunt of The Bronx, and involves roses with a sprig of mint. I'll leave the rest of the story to the market copy supplied on the Clandestine Laboratories website; but what we more ore less get here is CL spin on a classic rose chypre, complete with an animalic base note of civet, not unlike Clinique Aromatics Elixir (1971) or Aramis 900 (1973), just made decidedly less traditionally-French since Mr. Sage works in a vacuum away from the influence commercial fragrance. The big twist here is the freshness of mint contrasting with the animalic rose chypre elements, plus drier woodier facets near the end of the drydown, making this perhaps more wearable than historical examples of the same ilk.

The opening indeed goes on fresh and green, with mint, lime, and tea rose over immortelle, offering up a bright floral-aromatic dry rose experience that eventually gives way to slightly-sweeter honeysuckle and pear nuances before launching into that funky civet mixed with green tea. The civet here unfettered and hangs its hindquarters out a bit, so be prepared if you're not used to that in a modern fragrance, although the woody cedar slightly-smoky birch elements tame it pretty quick letting the rose take the stage later in the wear over the woody dry-spiced base where cardamom tags out the mint to ride the scent on home. There's a lot of tug-of-war going on here, but Astoria eventually decides it wants to be a green and mostly-clean rose fragrance with only the occasional lick of animalic musk coming to tease your nose, perhaps aided by residual honey notes. Performance is good, although this isn't a screamer projection-wise.

This won't be everyone's cuppa, and it is marketed by the perfumer as female-intended; although if I know anything about fragrance enthusiasts in the online space, it's that they all love a nice green rose chypre fragrance, especially if there's a pinch of both naughty and nice in it, rendering gender irrelevant. I'll leave that last bit up to you if Astoria feels more butch or femme, although to my nose it barrels directly down the middle to feel unisex. There are definitely greener things in the Clandestine Laboratories stable, although nothing I've smelled released thus far with such a direct and focused rose accord, so anyone wanting to know how Mark Sage handles rose as a subject now finally has their answer, and I'm not personally disappointed at all. In fact, I'd wear this in the same ways I'd wear the aforementioned Aramis 900, since the green herbal rose and musk elements here serve the same spring-like context in my mind as Aramis 900 does, although with a quirkier NYC-based flavor Thumbs up
5th May 2023