Like a deep,dark mossy pine forest with hints of sunlight coming through the treetops on a foggy morning.this is how a man should smell that's nothing like the whiny,girly men we see today.
very woodsy and very masculine. gives off a dirty pine,earthy scent,yet manages to remain refined and crisp.it is definitely for mature taste. Mousse Illuminee smells suitable for a man who wears tuxedos business suits and have a business of his own,he is professional working in the city - lawyer,doctor,corporate executive,government official,and so on and so on,this is the kind of fragrance that suits your suits.
This opens up green and mossy. initially a faint green scent,it morphs into something dark but every now and then i can catch the whiff of fresh grass or leaves that are just so softly sweet.the floral heart notes become more apparent and smooth out the pine more aeromatically. oakmoss is dominant note on my skin - so damp, so mossy,and rather dirty,giving that whole edgy feel to it.it is a gentleman's scent and will likely attract an older sophisticated nose.good for a night at the parties.stands out against heavy citrus,power and floral based fragrances.
A balsamic coniferous piece of vintage mossy/chyprè with a plain natural tree moss-dominance. Rogue Mousse Illumínee starts radiant (and vaguely "Art-Nouveau"/chyprè a la Oriza L. Legrand Chypree Mousse New), musky/balsamic (kind of minty) and floral, with a marked sort of "barber-shop" aromatic twist (super cool and woodsy like a sort of ideal "more elevated and royal" floral vintage Pino Silvestre). Artemisia, cypress and laurel leaves (but it seems to detect something like fern, absynth or angelica as well) are heady on this initial stage, exuding a sheer musky/mentholated vibe. Along the way the floral presence (connected to moss and resins) express itself in a more vivid and redolent way, like a haunting presence connecting the mossy/aromatic head with a deeper resinous/smoky soul. On this stage the absynth's influence slightly recedes but is still relevant. In particular the woody presence smells vaguely smoky and herbal on my skin (a tad of mastic or galbanum as well?). Finally something soapy and bitter/herbal starts to emerge and keeps rising till the end of the trip (the resinous presence is connective and soothing, perfectly linking all the herbal, floral and bitter/woodsy elements). On the whole this fragrance smells particularly aristocratic on my skin with its aromatic old-school chypre appeal. Along the way it smells even more bitter and restrained, encompassing a quite assertive temperament founded on a bitter/resinous minty soul which seems supporter by galbanum and florals. Honestly I don't detect any comparison with vintage Polo (which is finally more typically "virile", drier, spicier and more complex "on" lavender, tobacco, hesperides, woody elements and leather) while (as pointed out by the excellent drseid) I finally catch more elements in common with vintage Caesars Man (mossy, minty and barber-shop on fir balsam and geranium) and with scents as Faconnable Homme, Ysl Kouros (this one in particular), Lapidus Pour Homme, Balenciaga Para Hombre and Penhaligon's English Fern.
P.S: along the "deep dry down" (which is endly somewhat linear and with a mastic/galbanum-effect a la Testa Maura Carticasi) the connection between treemoss, white musk and resins produces a sort of "galbanum/smooth vetiver-effect" under my profane nose. On this stage I also detect stronger a sort of waxy/resinous aromatic vibe a la Kouros.
Well let's just say, I have about 75 FB's of fragrances, and over 100 throughout 20 years of wearing and 10 years of actually building a collection.....and this is the first and only fragrance I've ever bought a backup bottle of!
Just cannot take the chance that they wouldn't be able to make this anymore for whatever reason. Deserves all the accolades it gets!
Mousse Illuminee goes on skin with a brief blast of bracing wormwood as underlying tree moss is immediately detectable from the base before moving briskly to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the wormwood vacates, leaving the tree moss that ratchets up significantly to take on the focal role, significantly supported by a relatively transparent white musk and mossy-woody cypress tandem with underlying camphorous bay leaf and a touch of benzoin sweetness. During the late dry-down the composition stays linear with the slightly sweetened tree moss and cypress leading the way through the finish. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at well over 12 hours on skin.
I am not much of a tree moss lover, instead having a gargantuan preference for oakmoss, and unfortunately there is none here that I can detect (check out Rouge's stellar Chypre-Siam for what oakmoss smells like). As such, the tree moss focused Mousse Illuminee lost me near-immediately. That is not to say I believe the composition is not well-made and smells good, but as many compare Mousse Illuminee to vintage Polo, I confess I don't get the comparison, finding the composition all too dangerously close to vintage Drakkar Noir and particularly its semi-clone, vintage Caesars Man. I love vintage Caesars Man but honestly find it superior smelling with similar performance, and it cost me about $12 when I bought my 120 ml bottle years ago. The bottom line is the $125 per 60 ml Mousse Illuminee is a "good" smelling 3 stars out of 5 rated perfume that to me is superfluous when superior "cheapies" like the superior excellent smelling vintage Caesars Man can still be found on the after market for much less, yielding a neutral recommendation.