The idea of creating a parfum almost entirely of animalic base notes with one floral added seems like a too good to be true scenario for chypre lovers. This is especially so when one considers the top-quality oils and the overly generous concentrations used by Le Dore in his compositions.
War And Peace begins with a blast of powdery, suede-like orris, supported by the sweet/bitter combo of ambergris, castoreum and civet. The musk and amber resin provide a safe background for the development, which is remarkably slow. I keep waiting for the rose to appear, but she is quite shy. Who wouldnt be when faced with this remarkable assembly of base notes? You could cut the testosterone with a knife.
Like other Le Dores which I have sampled (Antiquity and Siberian Summer), this seems to be designed solely for the scent lover to wear in private, not for going out in society. I can hardly think of a social instance in which any of these three scents would be appropriate.
Ah, the patchouli and vetiver emerge and balance the suede/ambergris/castoreum/civet conglomerate. Rose, where are you? Currently, I am in an ancient library with suede covered volumes, opened and lying about in the sunlight, whlle the warmth of the aged paper infiltrates the air. The smoke of burning autumn leaves drifts in through the window. Still no rose. Well, perhaps this rose renders my nose anosmic.
To sum up, for me this is a smoky, musky, animalic suede, very decently constructed, but leaving one wishing this remarkable base composition had a bouquet of florals and a top of fruit or citrus, to add to the complexity. Le Dore is an expert at creating bases. Now he needs to concentrate on building the rest of the parfum pyramid top layers.
War and Peace goes on with nearly undetectable top notes, immediately shifting to its highly animalic musk and dense powdery orris root starring tandem supported by dark, gothic smelling rose. This floral animalic combination hangs around through the entire middle section of the composition's development until the rose gradually recedes and eventually disappears as the composition slowly moves to the late dry-down, revealing a base comprised of sharp, piercing woody vetiver that takes the fore joined by the now subdued powdery remnants of the orris root and animalic musk through the finish. Projection is excellent, and longevity is very good at 10-12 hours on skin.
War and Peace poses quite the quandary to this writer. On the one hand, the animalic musk and dark rose pairing, when coupled with the dense powder of the orris is *extremely* challenging to wear, dare I say wholly off-putting. Getting to the late dry-down is quite the chore, and quite frankly, I doubt I normally would have made it, scrubbing this sucker off as fast as possible. That said, I am happy to have endured the onslaught, as the late dry-down reveals an amazing hardcore vetiver, not unlike the stuff found in the Turtle Vetiver series from LesNez. As that vetiver is some of the best unadulterated stuff on the planet, being compared to it is high praise indeed. That said, I come full circle to the middle section of War and Peace that is just so tough to endure and ultimately I just can't say the great vetiver driven finish is quite worth it. The bottom line is the already sold out limited edition War and Peace displays some great quality materials, and a finish worthy of them, but the overly challenging price of admission proves too dear, yielding an "above average" 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5 rating and a neutral recommendation to all but the most ardent lovers of all things animalic.
Rose and Leather. Musks and Powder. War and Peace. This is an intriguing shapeshifter. Which particular combos you get seems to vary with ambient temperature and humidity. On a cool day as its been today I seem to catch more of the rose and leather off the top, and light vetiver and ambery resins up close. On warmer days it goes all Habit Rouge on me - very powdery with animalic, nearly fecal undertones.
I love the rose-dark leather duet but the other, not so much. The ingredients feel top notch and as with most Areej Le Doré fragrances, offer room for the composition to evolve into something great. I know some owners of War and Peace are wondering if they should sit on it, wait for the war to be over or sell it on eBay to the highest bidder for some peace of mind. I know what I would do: WEAR IT.
At the start I get a blast of fresh civet which is quickly followed by rose, incense and powder. After this there is this very strange scent accord that smells like a old Victorian house that has not been lived in for a hundred years would smell like. Or if you like the smell of a old musty smelling museum full of ancient antiquity's.
After about thirty minutes this fades away and you are left with the rose and powder which starts to feel animalic. You can smell the deer musk as it announces it's presence but it is kept in check by the rose and powder.
As time goes by the musk becomes more pronounced and then starts to get leathery. This is where the castoreum comes into play. So you have a scent that is rosey, musky and leathery with a slight incense like amber.
Now well into the drydown after many hours you can smell a very lovely sweet ambery musky ambergris accord with a animalic tinge. This eventually turns into golden incense amber with animalic hints.
Now the longevity lasts all day but the projection is well below average. This one stays quite close to, more of a personal scent for you to enjoy than anything that others will pick up on unless they are close to you.
The ingredients are top notch and it does smell good if you like rosey slightly powdery musky incense tinged animalics. Though I think the first 30 minutes with that old museum like scent accord is the most challenging. I think that scent accord will be very polarizing and will put a lot of people off the scent.
I like it and I think this with it's natural ingredient's will mature and get better with age.