Starts of dark and waxy; violet leaf is leading the way with papyrus and rose as supporting notes. The dark part is given by the mix of oud and a slightly dump vetiver note. The rose comes up within the second hour and the blend is a bit sweeter, but still waxy with a hidden oud like note. By the 4th hour I can barely smell it on my skin, it has remained a powdery dark rose.
Smells like lipstick. Nothing else mixed with the lipstick smell like other fragrances that have this note, just pure lipstick. Projected very well and lasted all day so it has great performance if you enjoy the smell.
The preponderance of mixed reviews here on Basenotes makes me feel better about my own ambivalent attitude towards Cruel Intentions. This fragrance is fantastic in theory: the elements of bergamot, rose, and vetiver sit right in the center of my personal fragrance wheelhouse. Styrax and Oud can only be good things here, right?
This description would lead me to expect an earthy but super-smooth fragrance, something a là Maison Francis Kurkdjian. This may have been the, ahem, intention, but it's difficult to tell. This fragrance seems so stubbornly closed up on itself that even a very generous application reveals little, besides a curious dried rose petal note and a hint of dried vanilla. It's almost as if only the tightest, most difficult olfactory elements of this perfume's constituent parts are present at all, and they are all somehow smothered beneath a barrier that mutes them even further. This is too bad, because what I can smell is intriguing, animalic, earthy, rose-and-dry-vanilla that I would happily pay good money for--if I could smell it. (As it is, the name (that wretched movie. Oh, the humanity) and the almost indetectable scent could almost have been paired up into one of Etat Libre d'Orange's particularly sophomoric efforts).
It's entirely possible that my sample has gone off, but it has smelled like this from the time I received it. I'm not giving Cruel Intentions a thumbs down yet, only because I want to be sure this is really what it's supposed to smell like.
The opening in an interesting start, with a somewhat dampened bergamot mixing with a flowery mix that is dominated by a violet accord and is paired with a rose oil component. It is not the traditional fresh bergamot but more the oily extract that I get here, and equally the floral side is neither very bright nor fresh and more on the extract side.
Soon a strong resinous styrax is emerging, which remains as the central epithet for a number of hours on my skin.
Later in the drydown a mix of woodsy notes arrives; I mainly get guaïac with hints of sandal. There is an ephemeral smidgeon of oud somewhere, discernible only using a strong olfactoric microscope and one's imagination. The last element to be added is a somewhat bland vanilla that remains until the end.
I get a fairly soft sillage, just adequate projection and seven hours of longevity. A restrained daytime spring scent with a pleasant start, and afterwards remaining a bit flat on me. 2.75/5.