Devilscent #1 : Foreplay fragrance notes

    • synthetic ouds, woody notes, black vanilla, tolu balsam, clear labdanum absolute, synthetic musk deer accord, africa stone tincture, ambergris tincture, synthetic civet, beeswax absolute, frankincense, african bluegrass, giant arborvitae wood, cinnamon leaf

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Latest Reviews of Devilscent #1 : Foreplay

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Cacophonous mix of sour molasses and metallic woods, with a faint perfumey floral; all contrast and no tune.
19th May 2023

16 Notes: three kinds of synthetic oud, woody accord, black vanilla, tolu balsam, labdanum absolute, synthetic musk deer accord, Africa stone tincture, ambergris tincture, synthetic civet, beeswax absolute, frankincense, African bluegrass, giant arborvitae wood from the Pacific Northwest, and cinnamon leaf.

I am one with reviewer Flathorn on this page in recognizing a lovely wood structure ruined by the use of nasty, bitter oud, a note I despise and yet one that is vastly and inexplicably popular. Olympic Orchids' Blackbird was ruined for me by the use of this note, and so is Devil Scent One.

This is certainly rich and deep with a sweetness that mimics florals without their being present. The scent is strong, but oddly the projection is weak. This is a power house scent right out of the 1970s, so should be applied lightly.

Olympic uses high quality oils and resins and its wood notes are particularly vivid and true to life. The center of Devil Scent One is the combination of synthetic civet, synthetic musk, beeswax and frankincense. If only perfumer Ellen Covey had stopped while she was ahead. The blending of this house is always stellar and Devil Scent One is no exception. Without the oud, this would be stunning. Alas, this is not the case. I urge Ms. Covey to reformulate this without the oud and release it under a new name.

2nd December 2017

I first heard of Olympic Orchids when perfumer Ellen Covey, a Basenotes member, donated a sample pack of her early works to a sample pass. She started off trying to recreate the smells of specific orchids using natural oils and the results were endearingly amateurish, to put it politely, but fun sniffing nonetheless.

Years later, I met her at the first San Francisco Fragrance Salon, where she was debuting her Devilscent collection, a collaboration with an author, inspired by a goth romance novel about the devil as a charming but dangerous seducer (hence the names of the perfumes). Stylistically, the collection was a 180-degree turn away from her early work, and while it was unfamiliar territory, we talked about how she seemed to have a serious talent for making really brilliant dark, deep woody perfumes. It was great smelling her grow as a perfumer and find her footing in a genre where she really excels, and I've enjoyed following her work over the years and seeing her grow from just another Basenotes member dreaming of making her own scents into one of the most important indie perfume artists working today.

All that said, what does Devilscent #1 smell like? Well, it's like the ashy soot lining a fire pit the morning after a campfire, mixed with the smell of the surrounding forest, topped off with a big glob of bubble gum. If this sounds ridiculous, it is, but it totally works. Given time, it all melts together into a wonderfully complex smell that's sort of like a charcoal oud with elements of cedar and incense, but with an alluring sweetness that draws you close, while a hidden, slightly disturbing animalic growl hides in the depths. As such, it's a perfect scent metaphor for the idea of a dark, alluring devil that seduces with sweetness, but has a barely hidden treacherous animal quality that's both scary and sexy.

As such, I really like Devilscent #1 on many levels - it's a great woody perfume, a fantastic example of Ellen Covey's growth as a perfumer, and a work of high art and seasoned metaphor. Highly recommended.
31st March 2017
All the heavy artillery is here. But, if applied lightly, it is a charming enough scent, still decadent to be sure but with a great attention to style and blending.
Rich but not too sweet. Smoky, sweaty, animalic, dark. Leather, grass and woods. Dark brown vibe. Pipe tobacco.
Projects an aura of rich sophistication. Gets a bit sweeter in the dry-down.
No surprises here -- it is advertised as a sexy powerful scent and it is that.
7th August 2016
A gorgeous slightly creamy wood note that floats tantilizingly in the air, then disappears when you try to sniff it on your skin. When you sniff, you get oud, not the gentlest note to inhale deeply. I have a little bit of the same problem here as I did with Peace, that of the oud sort of laying over notes I really liked, but not quite letting me get to them. I know oud is hugely popular now, but sometimes it doesn't fully make sense or work in a fragrance. It is such a particular scent, because of its high piercing personality, not always sensitive to its fellow-notes. Especially ones that make you want to inhale fully, like several of the beautiful ones in this line, with gorgeous foundations. I have to say I don't entirely appreciate its presence here, feeling it's a little too much in the way. I keep stumbling over it.
The foundation is such a creamy mix of woods, fresh and rich, tolu, a black vanilla that doesn't smell like the parade of vanillas in mainstream fragrances, beeswax, arborvitae and other notes, that it is exquisite. I really want to bury my nose in the opening, but will content myself with the sillage.
This fragrance is so beautifully sultry, with very little use of florals, that I find myself trying to find the source of its sensual beauty. The sillage is really nice on this. After I got over my initial resentment at the oud and am letting the fragrance waft, it is so present that I've looked around several times to see if I'm burning Japanese or pine incense.
The smolder in this one is sensual without being animalic, though I notice many such notes in the pyramid. But they're wrapped around earthy, woody notes that blend them in beautifully without any one standing out or taking over - very well done blending.
And then, as it starts drying down, the beautiful accord starts burning off, but the oud stays, so it slowly becomes more strongly oud as it goes along. After several hours the oud is pronounced. After three most of the other notes are gone and you are left with oud and perhaps some animalics that are submerged in it. I wanted it to be the other way around :(
The main accord was really beautiful. It is perhaps not long-lasting, which I understand. But to me the solution would be to use a different note to extend it than oud. The ending was especially disappointing because the heart of this was so sensual. If this fragrance were reformulated without the oud, I wouldn't mind reapplying every three hours, the main accord is so nice. If this one works better on your skin, you are lucky indeed. The midnote is to die for.
30th April 2015
Very nice! Nice projection and lasts fairly long. Really complex and settles down into an intoxicating fragrance.
2nd March 2015