On skin, Dark Horse is a fragrance of gaiac wood, cloves, and cinnamon with subtle hints of rose, vanilla, and vetiver woven throughout. It has a soft, natural texture; a mellow radiance that sits close to the skin and creates an intimate, yet substantial feeling of warmth. It reminds me a lot of Gaiac by M. Micallef, but there are a few significant differences between the two. To begin, Gaiac is a stronger, louder fragrance. It projects further outward and seems to fill a bigger space. Dark Horse reels it in, and remains low-key without ever feeling weak or flat. I actually prefer this aspect of Dark Horse, as I found Gaiac could be a little too much at times. Though I enjoyed it, Gaiac had the potential to become cloying, which is why I eventually sold the bottle I once owned. I also think Dark Horse is a more gentle-handed composition in general. The notes seem very well-blended, the cinnamon pairing seamlessly with the gaiac and cloves, expertly balanced and not a rough edge in sight. Finally, and what ultimately sets this one apart from Gaiac, are the lemon and bergamot top notes, which smell completely fresh and natural and add an entirely different angle and dimension to Dark Horse. It's rare that a fragrance will be dark and spicy and warm, and at the same time exude bright notes of lemon and sweet bergamot. But that's exactly what Dark Horse does. At least on me, the bergamot and lemon gets devoured by my skin within minutes. However, on FABRIC, they hang around for a long time, and play a central role in the composition. So, when you wear Dark Horse, it's best to apply a few sprays to your clothes as well as your skin, because then you get the best of both worlds, and this is where Dark Horse really shines!
Thumbs up and worthy of a blind buy so long as you're not looking for something with big projection. Dark Horse has made me very curious to sample the rest of the line, several samples of which were kindly and generously sent to me by the house's proprietor free of charge. What a pleasant surprise...
Opens warm and spicy, joyful. It has a bit of freshness, I get orange blossom with a touch of vanilla, warm spices (especially cinnamon) and woods. The combination is gourmand-like, sweet with a bubblegum feeling. Don't feel to many changes until the last part, when it gets thinner and sweeter, only lingering above the skin a slightly spicy vanilla, that is quite bland and scratchy, only a pale shade of what was hours ago. Not really my style.
Citrus, spicey, woody, green and gourmand like. Very unique fragrance. I think this house will go places. Nice fragrances for very reasonable prices Haven't smelled a fragrance this unique since Rykiel Man. 7.5/10
This opens up with lemony-lime and a hint of vanilla bean. It almost tip toes into house cleaner territory, but before it does, it begins to mellow. The bright lemon-lime whips into lemon meringue; there is almost a touch of marshmallow to it as well. Guaiac wood, jasmine, and clove warm everything up and keeps the opening in balance (ensuring the scent does not become too confectionary). After about an hour it becomes more woody, but not dry. Vetiver, I believe, is adding a "wet earth" aspect. I also get a bit of ozone, akin to outside after it rains. Melts into the skin beautifully and balanced quite nicely.
People who want to try gourmands, but don't like to smell actually edible, would probably enjoy this.
It's unusual, without trying too hard to be different.
Sillage is about 3 feet and lasting power is moderate at about 7 hours.
Lovely Fall/Winter scent. Warm and inviting. Unisex.
Disclosure: I received this as a free sample about a year ago. This doesn't change my review; I just thought it should be known.
The initial blast is citrus and spice, the woody vanilla is more apparent in the dry down, yet the citrus notes manage to stick around. At first it is reminiscent of Fendi Theorema minus the creamy base, but takes on a very subtle masculine vibe. It is still easily a unisex fragrance. If you go for citrus and spice blends, this one is definitely worth trying out, like most Dame Perfumery scents it is very well rounded and easy to wear.
Dark Horse is another interesting creation by Dame Perfumery, and so far the most unique I've tried. It is a spicy, powdery, sweet mix of citrus, spices, and vanilla that remains pretty consistent from its opening throughout its lifespan. Some of the standout notes are cinnamon, the main source of spiciness; clove, which always gives me a pseudo incense vibe; and guaiac wood, the sweetness of which fosters a great base to contrast the cinnamon.
I'd argue that Dark Horse doesn't project quite as much as Desert Rose, but they have similarly outstanding longevity: 10-12 hours and still there after a shower. Some might argue that this is more of a cold weather scent due its density and powdery texture, but I see this having utility in the warmer months, but just with fewer sprays. I would regard this as more of a nighttime scent due it being provocative in its mixture, but I'm sure you could make this work for the day. Lastly, it's a a great example of a unisex fragrance---it really depends on how it plays on your skin, so this is one that needs to (and should, anyway) be tried out.