Baikal Gris fragrance notes

  • Head

    • russian fir balsam, violet leaf, grey indian ambergris
  • Heart

    • mysore sandalwood resinoid extract, vanilla, grey indian ambergris
  • Base

    • tonka bean, fossil amber, cypress, cedarwood, oakmoss, nagarmotha

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Baikal Gris

Baikal Gris smells almost boozy to begin with, the tarry pop of ambergris working against a backdrop of what smells like freshly-poured latex paint, a furry-industrial smelling note that pleases my nose as much as the odd whiff of fuel, hot tar, paper, or glue you catch on the breeze outside a small fishing port or in the corridors of a school. These ‘incidental’ smells of the environment are always better-smelling to me than the scent of flowers. This preference explains, perhaps, why I am instinctively drawn to Baikal Gris over any of the other scents in this particular collection. It smells natural and industrial at the same time; evocative of a broader nature-scope.

Baikal Gris shares enough of a familial resemblance with Atlantic Ambergris that I find it immediately lovable. There are some major points of divergence, though, so let me just quickly point them out. While Atlantic Ambergris is sharply delineated by its fresh, camphoraceous pine needle, tar, and citrus opening, Baikal Gris has only a brief pop of metallic greenness from violet leaf. Either I’m missing much of the fir balsam or it needs some maceration time for that note to fully emerge. The upshot of this, for me, is that Baikal doesn’t seem overly coniferous to me, skipping instead straight to the tarry, salty freshness of the ambergris and the musky, almondy heft of the tonka bean. It smells clean, smooth, and almost medicinal.

Secondly, because Atlantic Ambergris’ amber-leather basenotes are laced with a ‘sweaty’ clove note, a splash of male aftershave, and quite a bit of ‘moldy’-smelling labdanum, the final result is part Caronade (a la Tabac Blond) and part Old Man of the Sea. In contrast, Baikal Gris feels infinitely more modern, with its musky bitter almond-cherry tonka bean. Because most masculines these days are upholstered with some kind of tonka bean finish, I like to joke that tonka is the beige carpet of the fragrance world (the audacity of taupe!). But honestly, it’s popular because it’s such a crowd-pleasing material. If you have a taste for tonka’s tan, buffed roundness and its ‘almost’ sweetness that orbits vanilla but never enters, then know that there’s plenty of it here.

Having said that, Baikal Gris maintains a fresh, salty sparkle that ensures that the big woolly carpet of tonka bean isn’t left out there on its own to do all the heavy lifting. It’s never overbearingly sweet or heavy. There’s a tendency for tonka-prominent fragrances to smell samey in the base – stuff like Fêve Délicieuse (Dior Privee), Fucking Fabulous (Tom Ford), or Ambre Eccentrico (Armani Prive) all blurring into the same matte, tonkified sludge towards the end – but in Baikal Gris, the sepia-tinted paste of tonka is sluiced and aerated by that grungy, salty-sweet seaweedy ambergris. Baikal Gris might be simpler and more modern than Atlantic Ambergris, but it’s no less pleasing for that. I think this one, like Atlantic Ambergris, is special and will only become more so with time as it deepens and macerates.
3rd February 2023
This is the second most expensive fragrance I've ever purchased, but I fell in love with a sample gifted to me as a extra in a swap. The soft spiced wood notes are great on their own, but the undertone of faint salt air, leather,cinnamon,'s so complex but never aggressive, never loud, never harsh. It IS strong, and I wear tiny amounts which last a long time on me. I will get whiffs all day. This is an all time love. Completely unisex (I'm female), warm, comforting, lovely. If this is what real ambergris has smelled like all these years, I know understand why it has been such a sought-after note in perfumery. Most of the ambergris heavy scents I've tried have been loud, piercing and opinionated, sometimes awful. This, this is beauty.
1st January 2022

A real creative masterpiece that shows it's true colours over multiple wearings. When I first smelt this I just didn't get it, it felt damp, flat with a pencil shaving vibe. As time went on this perfume opened itself up to me. I now get that juicy sandalwood, that fern like smell, the cypress and of course that fresh oceanic ambergris. Art isn't always instantly appreciated.... and that's what this is - art!
4th January 2021
A murky green-gray; cloudy, salty, and lightly sweet. Tonka, violet, sandalwood, and ambergris woven together, all smooth and round like an ocean-churned pebble. There's a hint of vanilla that slides into the softness, though its role is thankfully complementary, barely noticeable as its own. The pine here is not like I think of the sharp conifer or sweet balsam, but rather the impression of the cold air around a tree–all the sort of green nuances mixed into the atmosphere.

I like wearing this when it's a little drizzly outside–chilly, but not so cold. It wears softly, sort of pitter pattering against window panes, there but not.
30th March 2020
Baikal Gris opens with a lush coniferous green woody fir coupling with just a hint of salty ambergris before moving to its heart. As the composition reaches its early heart, the early coniferous fir gives way to pine-like coniferous cypress rising from the base that takes the fore underpinned by natural smelling, slightly sharp cedar wood and relatively dry and smooth real sandalwood. As the progression continues through the heart phase, the coniferous cypress gradually recedes, as the sandalwood and cedar woody tandem add a soft leathery facet with just a tinge of slightly powdery green oakmoss joining moderately sweet, powdery vanilla in support. During the late dry-down, the moderately powdery vanilla takes command, with remnants of the powdery oakmoss and sandalwood smoothing things out through the finish. Projection is slightly below average and longevity average at 8-9 hours on skin.

The first time I wore Baikal Gris the ambergris spiked coniferous open didn't agree with me at all. In fact, it bothered me enough that I pretty much stopped paying attention to things right there. I was fully prepared to slam the composition in this review based on the initial informal wearing, but an extremely rare thing happened this occurrence... I have done a complete 180 degree change in my opinion. Maybe it took me some time to adjust, or maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for the composition last wearing, but today I am enjoying everything about it. Ironically the weakest aspect to me is the salty real ambergris that gets top billing due to its scarcity. In truth, the real allure is just about everything else, with the cypress, cedar and sandalwood notes the most prominent. Also prominent and unexpected was a gorgeous deep, soft leather accord not unlike the stuff found in vintage Bel Ami that reveals itself midway through the heart. Apart from the relatively benign ambergris, the composition is only slightly marred by its powdery mundane vanilla driven late dry-down. While that is kind of a "dime a dozen" finish, it is relatively short, and the rest of the journey is ever-changing and highly enjoyable getting to it. The bottom line is the $195 per 30ml bottle Baikal Gris took some adjusting to, but turned out to be fabulous, earning and "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation to all.
4th January 2020
I'm not sure where to start or what to say about this amazing fragrance, it is so good and beyond words. The Ambergris is prominent to me and that's a good thing because I love Ambergris , the violet is very well done also . I get leather from it, but not your just run of the mill leather, the leather I get is of the gods. The sandal wood is rich, creamy and amazing quality. My oldest girl which is about to be 14 loves it also when I wear it, she smells cinnamon, I don't get the cinnamon but it's one of her favorites of mine and also my 10 yr old girl and my wife love it when I wear it. My bottle is getting low and I'm gonna have to purchase as many bottles as I can because I never won't to run out of this beautiful parfum. Russian Adam you are a magician and you have a fan and patron for life. Keep up the good work!
29th June 2019
Wonderful. I was expecting an overall green scent...nope, only around edges. It's dominated through the top and middle by a big hay-like tonka with a personality of pipe tobacco and almond, distinctly boozy at first. I was a bit worried for a few minutes; it's sweet. This sweetness against a wet, vegetal violet is a little jarring, but it calms down, and the violet in particular dries out and melds with the increasingly agricultural tonka (the hay aspect takes over) to give an almost leathery feel.

This is where the saltiness of the ambergris and a subtle smoked fir comes into play, clearly present, contributing personality but not dominating, acting like a strident but appropriate seasoning. There's a black licorice-y overtone here, oddly industrial or oily (as in motor oil), probably a ghost created from this set of notes - most likely a product of the smoked fir. It's just beautiful. A wonderful accord, like nothing I've smelled before, complex, deep and undeniably attractive. Bravo!
6th May 2019
Salty. It has a pine note that is prominent. Basalm fir and Cypress are listed, it is almost like a cross between normal pine and cedar. This goes into a bit smoky almost clove like accord. The violet leaf gives it a metallic sheen. There is a subtle soapy oakmoss smell that reminds me of Mousse Illuminee. Projection lasted about 2 hours, then becoming a prominent skin scent. Something in the heart smells a bit of leather.

Performance is not up to the standard of the price for me, and I would not consider it fbw. Nevertheless, I consider this a quality fragrance, and give it a thumbs up.
23rd February 2019