I'm a little surprised to see the slightly equivocal reviews here given my positive experience with it. Although it doesn't quite have the character of fellow animalic and stablemate Je Suis Un Homme, this is a good effort. Brief liaisons with citrus and spice in the opening give way to a consistently warm dose of animal notes prominently supported by ylang-ylang. Good performance and consistent lasting power. Not much wrong here.
Although fascinating, this definitely isn't for everyone.
The topnotes are fiercely metallic (blood note) and animalic (costus). I know this is supposed to be a tuberose-for-men (whatever), but I don't catch much of the flower. It's there, and there are wafts of it now and then, but it's not something I would have called out if I hadn't seen the list of notes.
The rest of the scent is leather, acidic, and rough around the edges. I happen to like that sort of thing, but be warned. I find this much less wearable than most of the others in the line, even if it is fascinating.
It's like the bad boy at the back of class, you don't want to look round to see what he's doing but you can't help yourself. I hated it at my first sample. Now I can't live without it. I don't wear it often, but I do wear it alone. The last time I wore it to a party my boyfriend's best friend took one sniff and said he wanted to eat me. I don't blame him, I'm happy to sit in a corner and sniff my own wrists when I wear this. It's dirty and leathery and very animalaic on me. I grew up in the countryside and used to help with my uncle's dairy heard - I can really smell the bulls in V&T. A wanton beast. Not for everyone, and at a perfume party it smelt different on every person who tested it, but on me it smells of leather, warm hay and bull sweat. I quite simply can't get enough. Pure S.K.A.N.K.
NB: There is more than a little Bal A Versailles in the dry down here. Pure barnyard!
Vierges & Toreros starts out as a very sharp, smoky leather, sparked with just a touch of bitter citrus. Sweet white flower notes emerge very slowly - even tentatively - from the background. The tuberose does not really present itself as a distinct note. It is blended with what might be jasmine or orange blossoms in a single, seamless accord that drifts mysteriously behind the leather.
The white floral notes never actually dominate the fragrance, because as soon as they grow conspicuous a very strong blend of dry woods takes firm hold of the base. The floral notes move in and out of focus while the woods, smoke, and leather take on a rustic, campfire sort of character. Very late in the drydown the woods sort themselves out into something very much like cedar, which in combination with the remaining leather reminds me of a cedar chest filled with boots and shoes.
It's an outstanding leather scent, but not as dramatic or original as I'd hoped for from the maker's description. Vierges & Toreros should appeal to those who enjoy Oud Cuir d'Arabie, Tabac Blond, and Lonestar Memories, but it doesn't displace any of them. Anybody looking for a "masculine" take on tuberose could just suck it in and risk the blatant green tuberose of Ropion's Carnal Flower from Frederic Malle.
As much as I love the concept of tuberose and leather, I've grown weary of Vierges & Toreros. Why? It's the drydown. The development ends on a scratchy synthetic cedar base note that's at once unpleasantly harsh and oppressively potent. So while I enjoy wearing Vierges & Toreros for the first hour or two, what follows is tedium, and then exasperation.
Vierges & Toreros starts off as a very peppery bright floral, with plenty of nutmeg and tuberose. It stays this way for about 15 minutes on my skin, then a very violent animalic-leather accord swallows the flowers and the nutmeg and everything becomes very masculine. At times, I get a whiff of something slightly metallic rising from the depths of the fragrance (might be a blood suggestion).
Sexy as hell and very unusual. Great longevity (about 10 hours on me) and pretty solid projection.