Mazzolari Lui does not have the complexity or unisexiness I was looking for when I ordered my sample, seeing as it promised so many of my choice poisons, patchouli, flowers, Woods, and so forth. The reviews here on BN, from people whose taste I trust, echoed my expectations, so maybe my mediocre evaluation of it is partly due to frustrated, or at least confused, expectations. Because, what I get from Lui, is almost all leather - dirty leather (nothing wrong with that) with a large-molecule mammalian type musk (ditto) that reminds me of well worn saddles, var. sweaty, literally rode hard and put away wet, as the ranch hands and oil field workers from our old Brownsville-area ranch used to say, damp from the sweat of two mammals, including some of the crotch of one, most masculine.
The notes pyramid therefore bemuses me. Citrus? Where? And where is the patchouli hiding? This has happened to me before, with another perfume that wore its tarry leatherness proudly on its belt buckle, Tauer's Lonesome Rider, another perfume that advertised a similar mix of florals, and woods, and served me manly leather instead, so mind that if you are reading this, as it could be a blind spot in my olfactory perception. And, as with Lonesome Rider, I want to smell those other ingredients, so I came to this perfume with all the best intentions. I can handle a butch leather, but this is too grizzled for me, I suppose, to get past its initial impression.
There are two other things I do smell: something like powder, and a hint of something plastic**** that I find across the spectrum of Mazzolari's perfumes, both maybe there to help improve performance. Lui does not project especially hard, but it sticks to skin quite well, a solid ten hours at least without aggressive application. It doesn't do much, to my nose, over that much time, and I guess, I just find what it does do, to be grim, devoid of any debonair or other manly charms. I also find it boring. If I could find its promised complexity, I would be more charitable, but Lui just does not get out of the gate for me. However, if crotchy manly kind of saddlesque leather is what you want, or if you must compulsively smell everything dirty, then don't let my reservations stop you. I am not always right, and I have only tested this perfume once, using a dabber sample–which might be suffocating the ingredients I want to smell, in here. I plan on giving it another test, maybe on my boyfriend on a night out, when I might be more favorably inclined in general, and also experiencing it closer to its intended use, as I think this is probably supposed to be a masculine snuggler.
I'm not giving Lui less than a thumbs up simply because it is too masculine for my taste, there is enough of that kind of thing here on Basenotes with presumably male reviewers downgrading obviously feminine scents for simply being what they are, and I see no point in writing reviews that would be useless to our obviously, largely, masculine membership and audience. I can just think of a dozen better masculine or unisex leathers, most at better price points, too. Or, if just you want a perversely yummy masculine stink bomb, buy Kouros or Yatagan.
So, two stars, I guess, and a wavering sideways thumb.
**** still a hell of a lot better than a huge woody amber, so I won't detract from my overall evaluation
Mazzolari Lui is a refined essay on patchouli and amber, fused together with a warm, fuzzy note of musk. The musk is slightly animalic at the start where it's most apparent, and grows more subtle over time, though it's always there. There's some added complexity from the citrus and floral notes but those are always in the background, and there is a definite note of smooth leather somewhere in there. The transition is beautiful from the musk-patchouli beginning to the patchouli-amber drydown. Lui has excellent duration of several hours on skin, together with a wonderful silky sillage that's close and persistent.
Lui is more than the sum of its parts: it is interesting how the musk brings out the best in the amber-patchouli accord. There are several patchouli-ambers on the market (Jovoy's Psychedelique or Mazzolari Patchouli being excellent examples), but most of them can get two-dimensional and boring after sometime. While Lui explores the same idea, it is a more interesting and complete composition, as the musk adds a layer of sophistication. The texture and the animalic touch here reminds me of Diptyque's Oud Palao. Lui is warm, enveloping, and wears like a cashmere shawl in cold weather. An excellent choice as a masculine signature scent, and especially recommended to those who like any of Oud Palao, Musc Ravageur, Patchouli 24, or vintage Givenchy Gentleman.
Sometimes a perfume called Lui just has to whump its chunky gonads on the table to prove it means business and here is a case in point. A big musky patchouli full of animal magnetism that'll sort out the stouthearts from the snivellers. Its musk is on point sweet, funky and erotic. The patchouli is dark and brooding and yet wears a stubbly smile. The attract-repel smell of humid, bitter bark perches at the back of this composition like an aftertaste and there's a touch of dry spice. It's moody yet endearing; this brutish bubba can keep me happy by hugging me all day long. Which is not to deny that ultimately it's dashingly dressed, with a vigorous elegance about it, and when the volume drops in the drydown, civilization really has nothing to fear. Perfectly unisex to my nose, gonads notwithstanding.
I dont find this animalic. Its a dank patchouli. Its got some fruity background flavors, and a creamy somewhat pissy air about it. Its a patchouli in the way Givenchy Gentleman is, with 70s patch. Its got sweet amber woody chems fron 2006 as its base. Those aromachems are no longer so novel. Something in the base smeks cheap to me. There are better blends. Low neutral.
I get the same structure/effect that a lot of others do comparing this to MKK...to me, this starts out with a no-holds barred in your face blast of thick animalic patchouli...i've got no problem with that...i love it...projects like crazy at his point...and, just like MKK , after being this beast of a fragrance for an hour or two , it proceeds to dry down to a woody/flowery romantic/sensual/exotic/erotic smell that is just wonderful...one of my all time favorite patchouli fragrances...started with a decant and moved up to a full bottle...hope to always have some of this in my wardrobe...feels great wearing it...