Morning Chess 
Vilhelm Parfumerie (2015)

Average Rating:  8 User Reviews

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Morning Chess by Vilhelm Parfumerie

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About Morning Chess by Vilhelm Parfumerie

People & Companies

Vilhelm Parfumerie
Fragrance House
Jan Ahlgren
Creative Director

The company say:

Inspired by the memory of the summer holidays we shared with my grandfather, Morning Chess mimics the ripe, green lushness of summer on coastal Falkenberg. There, in a summer cottage, my grandfather, with his two sons, would pass hours battling wits over a chessboard. Sweden would save all its light for those summer moments, endless, bright mornings. The grassy greenness is light enough to hint at the evergreen sharpness of the distant winter air.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Morning Chess by Vilhelm Parfumerie

There are 8 reviews of Morning Chess by Vilhelm Parfumerie.

Opens up similar to CDNIM except minus any lemon-cleaner note. It's green bergamot instead which is more pleasant and interesting but still gives it a similar, bright-citrus effect.

What I get most out of Morning Chess is a classy-leather, not the harsh, medicinal kind. Nothing really stands out that's overly-sweet either which is why I think some find this to be a more mature option to Aventus.

Projection really gets going about an hour in and keeps pushing for 4-5 hours later. I get 9-10 hours total longevity on skin.

Morning Chess is my first try from Vilhelm Parfumerie and I'm delighted to finally sample it after seeing it around a lot. The scent is fruity, creamy, slightly woody, slightly smoky, and yes, my immediate thought upon applying it was that it smelled a bit like Creed Aventus. It wasn't apparent from the note listing that this would be the case but even without pineapple or blackcurrant in the notes specifically, it nonetheless does have some fruity qualities that resemble the Creed superstar, though admittedly it's not nearly as similar as, say, Creed Cedrat Boise, or the scores of seemingly very deliberate clones.

To solely compare Morning Chess to Aventus is to sell it short and oversimplify it, but it's the elephant in the room. That said, though, it's creamier, darker, and dare I say a bit sweeter than Aventus, and it that respect, it sort of stands out in its own ground as a more woody/smoky/resinous and therefore cold-weather-friendly combination. Despite the only fruit listed being bergamot, it does have a sort of bright fruitiness to it along the lines of a pineapple or blackcurrant, but what I think is happening here is that it's a mix of the bergamot and a fairly liberal use of galbanum that foster the sweet, creamy vibe that rather sufficiently feels like fruit. The other main notes are leather, patchouli, and black amber, and I can't say I get much of any of these.

Overall, it's a really nice fragrance and I'm instantly a fan. It's somehow fresh, delicious, and a bit dark and provocative all at once, and I enjoy that, compared to Aventus, it's relatively dense and more cold-weather-friendly despite being an overall year-round-pleasant, gender-and-situation-versatile offering. The overall performance leaves a bit to be desired, though, at least on this initial wearing, which seems to be contrary to the consensus I'm seeing online, and since perfume generally lasts a long time on my skin, it might need some more tries. Still, with the retail pricing of $245 for 50ml (Aedes and Saks sell it, to name a couple), it really falls into the category of one that I'd need to totally love in order to buy it, and I'm not sure I'm there yet, despite it being great.

8 out of 10

Morning Chess is a refined, modern fragrance that can be contextualised as a reinterpretation of classic masculine perfumes, primary due to its citrus-leather-patchouli framework. The initial burst of bergamot is soon joined by an accord of leather, tempered with patchouli and galbanum. The galbanum (together with bergamot) steers it towards fresh-green, while the patchouli and leather are both clean, streamlined but substantial. There is very little transition in the development, only the freshness receding as the leather-patchouli accord is fully developed, with a faint touch of amber. The dry down is extended, and it has consistent close projection based on a moderate application of 6-8 sprays.

Morning Chess does hint at Aventus, primarily due to the leather, but significantly differentiated. Despite a listed note of 'Tuscan Leather', I get almost no connection to Tom Ford, apart from the part that both are leather fragrances. Morning Chess is a perfume that smells good, is perfectly wearable, and quite versatile as well, though it is a little dressy and not too casual. I like how the synthetics are handled here - they lend a very urbane character while being smooth, seamless and refined, making it a nice, crisp scent for spring or autumn.


This smells 95% similar to Aventus to my nose. I'd even venture to say that it's possibly better, in that it has a distinct leathery note to make it feel more complex.

Smelled this a few days back in Paris. It's remarkably a Mix of aventus and Tuscan leather. Even my wife said "smells like something you already have". I think it might be less expensive per OZ than aventus or TF so do the math before buying.

This was easily my favorite in the new Vilhelm line, with Stockholm coming in a close second.

A very fruity/aromatic opening makes it perfect for sunny spring/fall mornings, and the leather/patchouli/green dry down makes it great for days when it doesn't get too hot but it's sunny outside, the air is crisp and clean, and you really just want to get out doors. Every time I wear this and I get a whiff of it, I'm immediately transported to endless green hills, surrounded by mint leaves, and laying on a bed of leather.

The longevity and sillage are off the charts and make the Barneys price point worthwhile if you really dig the scent.

Has become one of my favorite scents with spring coming on.

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